Is nostalgia worth the extra cost? | Column

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 8, 2022 | Honda, Mecum, Radwood, JDM, crx, Column, Mecum Orlando, Nostalgia | Posted in Columns | From the Oct. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

I didn’t think it would go like this.

It was an assignment, just like any other. Go, get the story, say hi, come home.

In this case, the assignment was Mecum’s Orlando sale. I assigned this to myself, so in the end I guess I’m to blame.

This particular sale is a newer addition to Mecum’s calendar–the inaugural one took place last year–and …

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docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/5/22 11:57 a.m.

In one respect you can't put a price on nostalgia.  On the other hand I found that my nostalgia for a VW Corrado VR6 was stronger than reality.  Now that I've bought and sold the Corrado I don't have a desire to own another one. I also discovered that having to maintain a parts horde for an old '90's VW that doesn't have good factory support turns into a much larger amount of money than expected.

RobMason
RobMason New Reader
8/5/22 1:22 p.m.

One thing i have found is that you really can't go back. It never seems to live up to the memory.

However....you Can make new memories - just don't expect it to be the same as it once was. Go a different route than you did in the past. My first car was a '61 MGA that I restored to pretty good show quality. My new one is full race mechanicals and 4 different colors of primer and overspray that I autocross and track - having an absolute blast, but it won't win any beauty pagents.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
8/5/22 1:37 p.m.

Depends what it's for. Pleasure drives, car shows, track rat, or ?. On my first custom car, it had a dead stock drivetrain and a really nice shell and paint job. I dreaded taking it on track and hurting the paint. My second car had a fully-built engine with a much less stressful body and paint job. That one, I dreaded taking it on track and hurting the drivetrain - all self-imposed stress. So, ask yourself what you want the car for, how it would be used, who's going to maintain it, and whether there's time and budget for both.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/22 1:58 p.m.

I half expected the article to be about the SiR that you just bought at auction.

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/5/22 2:30 p.m.

Enjoy it while you can, none of us are promised tomorrow, after all. I've had lots of Supras over the years. When I got my first one, they were just old-ish used cars. Now the "JDM tax" seems to have hit hard for whatever reason. Sucks, but it's not gonna keep me from driving them when I want. I don't daily them like I used to, as one is less than friendly due to the cold start tune and the snapping turtle clutch response. The other is more a Point A to Point A car since I detest people who can't be responsible and respectful around other cars, and that seems to be the norm anymore...

 

Either way, neither of those cars are as good as a modern car, at least in terms of NVH, comfort, efficiency, safety, audio quality, etc... but I'd still rather be behind the wheel of that 90's Japanese goodness. =)

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
8/5/22 2:38 p.m.

Not commenting on the article as such though my nostalgia car is costing me some.  But, saying this up front, if an article is going to be in the magazine, WHY ARE YOU SENDING IT TO ME IN MAIL?  I don't want that.  I subscribe for a reason.  Don't devalue my magazine, I don't want to read it online, that is why I voted for extra subscription costs being OK.  Or put it in the Forums after a few months and gather your comments there.  Berkeley this bogus community building stuff at the expense of the magazine.

Send me older articles, fine, I can pick and choose.  Extra online content, I can live with that.  But do not duplicate.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
8/5/22 2:49 p.m.

In reply to PT_SHO :

I appreciate the feedback, but I don't see how we've devalued the magazine. This isn't a free article--only paying subscribers like you are able to read it. Everybody else only sees a few words and a request for payment.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
8/5/22 2:50 p.m.

It all has to do with age and success.  As enthusiasts get older and more financially stable, the cars they wanted in their youth are now possible to buy and just have as opposed to needing it for daily driver duties.  The 80's and 90's cars will see an increase in value while I think we'll see a decline in 60's-70's muscle.  Interestingly, I was kicking around picking up something classic/vintage next year for fun and was supervised at how cheap pre-war cars have gotten.  Which points to my theory.  Very few people alive today remember the first time they saw/rode in/drove a Model A.  So, the demand is no longer there.

-Rob

Nostalgia is not rational, but it is still one of the most powerful motivators of human behavior.  I'll take a $30k ND Miata over a $30k CRX Si, and believe that it's a superior machine in every way.  But if it doesn't pull the heartstrings, then...

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/5/22 3:07 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

My MGTD owned since I was 14  provides me with plenty of nostalgia but that's because all those memories are already mine.  
   If I were to get another MGTD  I doubt I would have those feelings of connection.  I don't think you can re-create history.    

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/5/22 3:55 p.m.

I've been thinking of a S10 or G-body for my next project. Clean S10s start at 4500 if you can find one. Rotten  Monte SS is 5 grand to start and we'll over 10 for a nice one.

Oddly  no one will touch my 91 Firebird because it's not a TPI car.

roadracer
roadracer GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/5/22 4:21 p.m.

Everyone has that car they sold by mistake! My next planned project car is a GT40 replica that I gotta have after building & owning one for 60,000 miles in the 80's/90's.   Great memories from those.. I'd like some more of them :D

Life's too short to drive something 'normal' - daily drive something crazy!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/22 5:52 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

Nostalgia is not rational, but it is still one of the most powerful motivators of human behavior.

 

Off to drive home in a car as close as possible as I could get to the car I had when I was 21, down to the little 13" white letter tires....  oddly enough, the year The Matrix came out...

 

 

Randy_Forbes
Randy_Forbes New Reader
8/6/22 7:47 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Thank you Tom, I did not know that.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
8/6/22 8:04 a.m.

I graduated high school in 1983. There's very few cars from that period I'd ever really want, so the nostalgia factor doesn't really, uh, factor.

I had a Fox Mustang, Charger 2.2 and Honda CRX Si.  None of them I would want back, especially the Charger. Ugh, what a pile of misery that thing was.

Nowadays I go for stuff way older (1960s, 1970s).  Didn't really grow up with them in the family or anything; I just prefer the looks and simplicity. They aren't great cars, but they are fun in their own way.  It's not nostalgia I'm going after, it's a certain kind of driving experience that is more raw and interactive.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/6/22 11:04 a.m.

I can't say that my corrado was a bad car, in fact it was one of the nicest, best prepped ones in the country.  It's just that in the past 20 years I've driven far better cars and my expectations have changed.

my nostalgia for a corrado didn't out weigh the actual driving experience I got from it, so I sold it.

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
8/6/22 3:48 p.m.

While I owned a C3 in the mid 70’s (69 4spd T-top) and had a great time with it, however I have little desire to own another one. If I did go at it again it would be way more mod than resto. I have moved up a few decades with a car I always wanted: S13 coupe. Even  then knew the first thing I would plan for it would be to motor swap it. Why relive the old times when the new ones can be better!

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/6/22 4:42 p.m.

Nostalgia is everything to me. When I'm riding/driving a classic from my day, it brings a comfort to me in such a way I can't explain. 

 

It sounds sort of weird but anytime I see adults fake acting filming TikTok videos of themselves pretending to be important.......I just want to have my classic cars and listen to classic rock and pretend things didn't advance past 1993. 

 

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
8/6/22 5:11 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk (Forum Supporter) :

Different cars, same soundtrack!!

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
8/6/22 5:40 p.m.

So last year I went to a shindig for guys who raced BMX & motocross locally. It fired up a desire to find a late 70s Redline BMX bike. What I wanted was $3000 or more. Luckily Mongoose came out with retro models so I bought one of those.........Nostalgia has a strong pull for me as well but my inate thriftyness wins out.

As for cars; from time to time I think about parting with the Datsun but then I drive it and remember how much I love it.

I'd love a CRX but only only if I could have a bone stock one and only not it were less than 10K........probably unlikely. Realistically I'm maxed out on cars but when has that ever stopped me from wanting.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/6/22 6:07 p.m.

Thanks to a few minutes on the floor at Mecum, though, I got the bug. Badly. Another CRX? Honda’s follow-up model, the del Sol? Another Civic? Integra? Integra Type R? Japanese-market Integra Type R?

No bad answers there.

Money no object I'd go ITR, but why does the Prelude never come up when people talk about Golden Age Hondas?

They seem undervalued right now.

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/6/22 6:31 p.m.

It all depends on what you want and you finances.  This question is impossible to answer except on a personal level.  I seem to get my best deals on Chevrolets.  

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/7/22 10:15 a.m.
rob_lewis said:

It all has to do with age and success.  As enthusiasts get older and more financially stable, the cars they wanted in their youth are now possible to buy and just have as opposed to needing it for daily driver duties.  The 80's and 90's cars will see an increase in value while I think we'll see a decline in 60's-70's muscle.  Interestingly, I was kicking around picking up something classic/vintage next year for fun and was supervised at how cheap pre-war cars have gotten.  Which points to my theory.  Very few people alive today remember the first time they saw/rode in/drove a Model A.  So, the demand is no longer there.

-Rob

I doubt it's as absolute as you portray.  Certain cars are just right and will always create a demand thus a strong market. 
   For example a 1932 Ford Hot Rod.  A 1948 MGTC,  A 1961 Jaguar XKE   A 1965 Ford Mustang,  A 1969 Chevy, Camaro,  A 1972 Jaguar XJC,   Well I could go on.  And on.  And on.  
     All of those have an enduring appeal that creates demand. Yes there are newer "Classics" and I only mentioned a few of those more available classics from my era.     
        Some of those earlier ones mentioned,  that generation is already  in their 80's and 90's  or dead.  Yet those values remain very strong. 

emcj7550
emcj7550 New Reader
8/8/22 7:47 a.m.

None of it is supposed to make sense. It's like being seized by "a fine madness." That's one of the joys of this. I don't have to understand (much less approve) of your crazy passion, in order to celebrate it. And, you are free to share in mine. Anyone who feels otherwise is just plain missing out.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/8/22 8:23 a.m.

Nostalgia is not about logic and rationality. Unfortunately I'm not super rich so I can't afford to pay nostalgia taxes on cars I loved growing up. That's life! I'll always thirst after old MK3 Supras but it just doesn't make sense right now.

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/8/22 10:49 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

Thanks to a few minutes on the floor at Mecum, though, I got the bug. Badly. Another CRX? Honda’s follow-up model, the del Sol? Another Civic? Integra? Integra Type R? Japanese-market Integra Type R?

No bad answers there.

Money no object I'd go ITR, but why does the Prelude never come up when people talk about Golden Age Hondas?

They seem undervalued right now.

 

My first positive experience with a Honda was in a way lowered 93 Prelude vtec with an intake. Bone stock other than that, and in 2004... it was impressively quick for a 4 banger.

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/8/22 10:52 p.m.
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) said:

Nostalgia is not about logic and rationality. Unfortunately I'm not super rich so I can't afford to pay nostalgia taxes on cars I loved growing up. That's life! I'll always thirst after old MK3 Supras but it just doesn't make sense right now.

The dream is far better than the typical reality when it comes to Mk3's these days. They're fantastically built cars, but the reality is that they were fairly tech heavy cars for their era, and the wiring is really starting to show its age. Fortunately, the support for these cars, from a knowledge standpoint, is phenomenal. Very much a part of the reason I've had these cars for uh... wow. 17 years now.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/9/22 10:56 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

Thanks to a few minutes on the floor at Mecum, though, I got the bug. Badly. Another CRX? Honda’s follow-up model, the del Sol? Another Civic? Integra? Integra Type R? Japanese-market Integra Type R?

No bad answers there.

Money no object I'd go ITR, but why does the Prelude never come up when people talk about Golden Age Hondas?

They seem undervalued right now.

 

Someone asked me that same question this weekend: Why not a Prelude?

I dug driving them back when they were new but, for whatever reason, they're just not calling me. 

Four-lug, JDM Type R does sound cool, though. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/9/22 10:58 a.m.

And this just showed up:

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/9/22 11:02 a.m.

I have said this many times:

A Porsche 914 in a good canyon is sublime. It's not fast but it is existential. You are alive with the handling, the smell, the sound, the pure feel of a mid-engined car.

N.A.R.P. my ass.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/9/22 11:06 a.m.
te72 said:
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) said:

Nostalgia is not about logic and rationality. Unfortunately I'm not super rich so I can't afford to pay nostalgia taxes on cars I loved growing up. That's life! I'll always thirst after old MK3 Supras but it just doesn't make sense right now.

The dream is far better than the typical reality when it comes to Mk3's these days. They're fantastically built cars, but the reality is that they were fairly tech heavy cars for their era, and the wiring is really starting to show its age. Fortunately, the support for these cars, from a knowledge standpoint, is phenomenal. Very much a part of the reason I've had these cars for uh... wow. 17 years now.

Oh, disclaimer. My first car was an MK3 supra but it had too much rust so I eventually let it go. The knowledge base is SUPERB with these cars!

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/9/22 11:09 a.m.

My first car was an MGA. I bought a Honda CRXsi back in 1987 when they were brand new.

I drove a Mustang in high school and I drive a much newer Mustang today that kind of looks like the old one.

I kept my Miata and my 914. The Miata will make a good rallycross car. The 914 is just cool to drive on a Sunday afternoon and remember the good old days. The 914 cost me $4,000 many years ago. The Miata was $3,500 out of the Auto Trader. I don't think I would buy either one of them at today's current prices.

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/9/22 11:52 a.m.

In reply to RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) :

Nice. Rust has claimed a few too many of them, unfortunately. You should see the basket cases we see over on those forums once in a while. There are some incredibly optimistic people out there, lemme tell ya...

 

Mk3 was my fourth car overall, but my first "nice" car. I had been driving an old Cavalier for five years prior to the Supra, and let's just say, you knew, without looking at signs, what the speed limit was in the Cavalier. The Supra, on the other hand... I recall wondering why the semi trucks were all going so slow on my first road trip in that car. "They're not going slow dude, you're just cruising at 125, oops." =P

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/9/22 12:22 p.m.
te72 said:

In reply to RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) :

Nice. Rust has claimed a few too many of them, unfortunately. You should see the basket cases we see over on those forums once in a while. There are some incredibly optimistic people out there, lemme tell ya...

 

Mk3 was my fourth car overall, but my first "nice" car. I had been driving an old Cavalier for five years prior to the Supra, and let's just say, you knew, without looking at signs, what the speed limit was in the Cavalier. The Supra, on the other hand... I recall wondering why the semi trucks were all going so slow on my first road trip in that car. "They're not going slow dude, you're just cruising at 125, oops." =P

Absolutely loved my MK3 Supra. I think it had a lot of features ahead of its time (it was a 1987). I didn't even mind the head gasket cause it was well documented and I knew it was going to happen eventually.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/9/22 4:03 p.m.

While I certainly appreciate how cool the ITR is, I have no desire to own one.  I drove a GSR back in 1999, at sea level even, and was not impressed with the complete and utter lack of torque.  It would just be worse once the altitude -20% penalty is applied.  Basically for any older car to feel somewhat snappy up here it's gotta have a turbo, which then leads into the issues of proper engine management as that didn't really get pretty good until the 00's....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/9/22 4:06 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

True story: I asked Honda if we could buy the 1997 Type R press car that was sent our way. I was told, no, it came in on a bond so it either has to go back home or be crushed.

We'd eventually buy a 2000 Civic Si. 

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/10/22 10:02 a.m.

I'll say this much, sight lines on older cars were WAY better. That's probably my biggest gripe with modern cars.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
8/10/22 10:17 a.m.

Nostalgia dies hard for me. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/22 10:38 a.m.

The 944 transports me back in time like no other car.  All of the variants will do but the allure of the turbo or an s2 is so strong.  Days when the only computer in the car was the sponge between my ears.  Every time I sit in one it transports me back to the late 80s. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
8/10/22 10:43 a.m.

Nostalgia is a powerful force that can easily separate you from your money. For me, I had the foresight to keep at least one of my project cars from back in the day, and most of my "stuff" from when I was a kid, so I feel like I'm ahead of the game. That said, I've had strong urges to buy another 1987-88 Mercury Cougar XR7 (my high school ride) and a clean 2002-03 WRX (one of my favorite cars from 20 years ago). Every time I see one up for sale, that nostalgic wave comes over me and the urge is strong to make a stupid decision. As time marches on, it's harder and harder to resist. While I don't see the 80's Non-Mustang Fox Body cars selling for mega bucks in the future, that 1st US market WRX is already a classic and clean examples will only skyrocket in value. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
8/11/22 9:03 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I was looking for one of these for a bit as I totally agree that they're a special car, regardless of how much wind they'd suck up here at altitude.  I should've bought one when they were $10-15k.  To me, at least, they're not worth the $50-75k a good one seems to sell for now.  There are lots and lots of other cars I'd buy first, second, third for that amount of money.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/11/22 7:35 p.m.
ddavidv said:

I graduated high school in 1983. There's very few cars from that period I'd ever really want, so the nostalgia factor doesn't really, uh, factor.

I had a Fox Mustang, Charger 2.2 and Honda CRX Si.  None of them I would want back, especially the Charger. Ugh, what a pile of misery that thing was.

Nowadays I go for stuff way older (1960s, 1970s).  Didn't really grow up with them in the family or anything; I just prefer the looks and simplicity. They aren't great cars, but they are fun in their own way.  It's not nostalgia I'm going after, it's a certain kind of driving experience that is more raw and interactive.

Post WW2 Vets came back and wanted  the cars they grew up with. So 32 Fords 40 Fords.  ie; Hot Rods. 
 The new as Baby boomers grew up we wanted the same basic thing. Except now it was muscle cars or sports cars. 
 Etc. 
     But the really great cars from any era are always increasing in valve.  Duesenburg 427 Cobra,  etc etc etc. 

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