We hope you had a good Christmas despite all of the limitations of Covid-19 restrictions. With all of that becoming a distant memory already it’s now time to look forward to 2021, and what better way to kick off the New Year with a few resolutions? While these are always very personal targets, here are a few of our suggestions as we hope to see some green shoots for the classic scene next year…
Learn a new skill
Owning an old vehicle is a pretty hands-on hobby, and having even the slightest know-how on keeping your pride and joy in top condition is hugely beneficial. From basic maintenance and roadside repairs to more specialised restoration techniques like welding and electrics, learning a new classic-related skill can never be a bad thing, and this extra string to your bow can open up other options – you’d never know where it might lead you! No matter what skill you choose, there’s a massive range of books, courses and online resources out there ready to teach you, but don’t forget the benefits of learning directly from an experienced old hand too, as some traditional methods like lead-loading and English-wheeling need to be preserved and continued for future generations.
Talk more to other enthusiasts
2020 was a pretty miserable and isolating year for many classic car fans, and while the shows and meets may not return for a while yet, it’s still really important to stay in touch with your fellow enthusiast – not only is it fun to talk about your favourite hobby with like-minded people, but it’s important to maintain some kind of social outlets in these isolating times for the good of our mental well-being. It’s also a great way of picking up new tips and tricks about maintenance or restoration, not to mention tracking down those hard-to-find parts. Depending on what public safety restrictions are in place, you might be able to meet up socially-distanced in a car park with your classic in the absence of the shows, but if not, don’t forget Facebook groups, online forums, video calls or even the good old telephone.
Get a youngster involved in the hobby
One thing that’s apparent in the classic hobby is the high average age of those involved in it. It goes without saying that any following needs a constant injection of younger blood to survive, and with kids nowadays bombarded by social media and other tech pursuits it’s become more challenging to attract them to a hands-on hobby like this. But the spark of curiosity still burns within them, and so it’s worth giving them the chance at tackling some mechanical tasks – they might be surprised at how fun they are! It’s also a good excuse for some parent-child quality time in the shed, away from the pinging phones and games consoles, which is when the best chats and laughs happen. And, when the work is done, a sunny Sunday car run in a vehicle that the whole family has worked on makes all the effort worthwhile, and forms the kind of memories that last long into the future.
Finish that project
Us car fans tend to be easily distracted from the task in hand when yet another ‘too cheap to pass up’ classic pops up for sale, and before long your garage or driveway can end up littered with ongoing projects. None of us are working on an unlimited time-frame, be it for reasons of age, health, work or family commitments, and so we really do need to be realistic about what can be achieved. It would take superhuman effort to keep five or six projects actually moving forward simultaneously (as well as being pretty expensive) so stick as closely as possible to one project at a time, as the progress will be more readily visible as you move along, providing much-needed motivation to see it through to the end and preventing you from getting burnt out before that shining end-point is reached.
Go to a new show
While it’s hard to predict just how Covid-19 is going to treat us in 2021, it’s looking reasonably likely that there will be some kind of gradual return to normality later in the year, which might allow some kind of show season or road run schedule to go ahead, albeit on a smaller scale than in previous times. If the shows do start up, and if you do feel comfortable with hitting the roads in your classic once again, a good resolution to make would be to take in an event or two that you’ve never travelled to before. The summers can often pass so quickly and busily that we only end up attending the regular favourites each season, which is important too, but it’s always worth checking out at least one new event per year to keep the fire of discovery burning. It spreads around the support to the organising clubs even more, and you’d never know – it might become your next favourite classic show!
Regardless of what resolutions you make for the New Year, we hope you enjoy a happy and healthy 2021, and we look forward with hope and interest to what the next twelve months will bring.
Andrew Pollock, Editor.