If you’re a film buff and you like cars, Hollywood has gone out of its way to keep you satisfied. Even films about other things, like “The Bucket List,” will digress to some exciting car racing action now and then. It isn’t just Chevrolet that is the heartbeat of America, even though they co-opted that title. The auto industry itself was the heartbeat of America during its twentieth century reign.
Car films fall into several categories. First, there are those films with adrenaline-rush chase scenes like “Bullitt,” “Vanishing Point,” “Fast and Furious” and their ilk. Then there are the movies featuring race cars and the racers who drive them, like “Le Mans,” “Grand Prix” and “Days of Thunder.”
Then there are those hybrid genre films. Cars meet animation to become “Cars,” for example. Or, cars meet teen angst to become the nostalgic lifestyle classic “American Graffiti.”
George Lucas wrote and directed the film. Production costs for this no-name cast of future stars were $777,777.77. It was filmed in 29 days. Revenue generated: $115 million. That’s called return on investment (ROI). Nice little business model there. Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford were primarily doing television stints before stepping onto the silver screen. You might say the film launched their careers. But, it would never have been the film it was without the cars.
Every film has a casting call for actors and actresses; not only for the stars, but for the extras as well. This film had a “casting call” for cars. Over 1,000 applied. Three hundred made it to celluloid. The car stars included a Chevy Impala, a 1932 Deuce Coupé, a 1955 Chevy Sport Coupé, a 1958 Ford Edsel and a French Citroën 2CV.
Life was simpler in 1962. A first-class stamp cost 4 cents. A gallon of gas cost 31 cents. Your oil was 10W-40, conventional oil made from refined crude. Synthetic oils for cars were still in the concept phase. And, for the most part, cars were American-made. Yes, Porsche, Mercedes and Jaguar may have had a small footprint at that time, but the cars most teens drove with pride in 1962 were manufactured in Detroit, not Germany or Japan.
That was Then, This is Now
A lot has changed since those days of innocence. People who own classic cars today are well aware of their value and the need to take care of them. Usually, the cars are not driven much. Because of road salt here in Minnesota, a friend of mine with a 1957 Ford rents garage space for winter storage.
Many vintage car owners adhere to a fairly detailed regimen when it comes to storage. It’s a little more elaborate than the average motorist might realize. It’s one of the things owners need to learn, though. Fortunately, when you own a vintage car, you become part of a community that will help you along the way.
When it comes to storing a classic car, or any car, for a substantial period of time, there are two critical concerns that vehicle owners need to recognize. Gasoline has changed, and oil has changed. Let’s briefly talk about this and what you can do to help your customers with vehicles in storage.