by Greg Biskey
This has been a very trying year, to say the least. We have had to endure many hardships and experienced more life changing restrictions than we have in our entire lifetimes. One of the hard things to have to endure is not being able to have regular car club events.
I had written a long time ago about how it is that the people we meet along the way make our car club an enjoyable experience. Sure, we all love our cars, but it is the people driving them that makes a club fun. This past year we have been told to stay away from people as much as possible. That goes against human nature, and it was hard to understand. It also makes it hard to recruit new members into the club. I hope this is mostly behind us, for long term inactivity often leads to loss of interest, and that would be tragic.
I have made so many good friends over the years from being a car collector. For forty years I have been smitten with “OldChrysleritis”, a very contagious and hopeless condition which I often call a disease. However, because I started my journey at a young age, I have experienced some downfalls which I predicted would come true many years ago. My first love of Chrysler cars started, and has remained, with the pre-war cars. That's WWII for you younger people. I have regrettably also developed a mutation of the disease which draws me to post war cars, but that's another story.
I have always looked at the early vintage of automobile as being a work of art. The styling and the engineering are so spectacular. They are relatively hard to find, and even harder to find parts for. That's what makes it a challenge. As years went by, I shared this love of these cars with people that I met from all over the United States. We met at national shows, or we called each other looking for advice on how something fit together, or what the proper color of an engine should be. We helped each other find very hard-to-find parts and spent a lot of our money buying them. We bought cars from each other, and sometimes sold them back and forth because we missed them after we had stupidly sold them. A lot of this activity happened before there was an internet, so you really had to pay attention and be a good hunter when word of something that piqued your interest came up. It has been a lot of fun, and I hope it continues to stay fun for a long time.
Something I predicted many years ago has happened. Most of the people I shared my experiences with were all 20 or 30 years older than me. They and the early cars were really from the previous generation, which I kind of wedged myself into. I often remarked that because of the age difference, a lot of my friends would one day be gone, and then the hobby wouldn't be so much fun anymore. That has happened. Few people of my age, and I'm no spring chicken, have a true interest in or knowledge of pre-war cars. The hobby is still fun. I still enjoy the cars and the conversations, but a lot of my old friends have gone on, and I miss them. They mentored me as I became smitten with the old cars.
Luckily, there are still a few old timers out there and I try to take advantage of seeing them as often as I can. This past year has been a pothole in the road of life that cannot be filled. Everyone got a year older and we maybe even lost a few more old friends. But we will go on, and hopefully meet new friends and keep the circle going. I hope if anyone else should ever come down with OldChrysleritis, that they never develop a vaccine for it, and I will do my part to spread this disease to others. As we get older, we have to become the mentors and try to interest some younger people in the previous generation of cars. They will thank you.