Classic vs Fancy

I’ve often been asked why on earth I bought an El Camino – and even worse, an El Camino from ’82 with 192000 miles on the clock.  Well, that’s actually pretty easy to answer.

It’s a classic American car, with a whopping v8 engine that can do wheel spin at 30 mph and it’s in very good condition for its age.  A bit like me 🙂

But, what intrigued me the most was the fact that you don’t see many of these old cars in the hood we live in.  Most people drive over-sized luxury SUV’s (Infinity, Mercedes, Escalade, etc.) or small compact sports cars.  People at the local school stare at my car when I drop off our daughter and I have been asked to park at the back at the building too when attending parent teacher meetings.

However, the most compelling reason why I bought this car was because I could afford to pay it in cash, given nobody would give me a car loan to buy the Dodge Challenger.  And, that was in spite of showing the bank my salary slip, a letter from the company and bank statements.  They point blank refused my application because of my credit score.

To some people that might make sense.  We had only been in the country for a few weeks and I couldn’t possible be a good trustworthy customer.

See, in the US the credit score is used to assess your ability to pay off debt.  It’s not looking at your income, but how well you manage the creditors such as rent, utility bills, medical bills, loan repayments, etc.

Me arriving fresh off the boat from Europe who were (and still is) going through the worst recession in history, did not do me any favours what-so-ever.  The US credit score authorities do not assess or request credit score reports from European banks, so despite having a close to perfect credit score in Europe, our score here is dismal.

I didn’t really have many other choices but to buy an old banger or seek out the local mob.  So, I opted for the old banger and decided to make it a project car.

Since buying the Beast, I’ve invested a few thousand dollars into fixing up and restoring the engine, totally ignoring the inside or the outside of the car.  I’m finally getting to a point where most engine parts from 1982 have been replaced with new parts and even the windshield has been replaced.  That means I can start focusing on the outside.

Sure, it needs work, but it’s so much cooler to drive a classic car then a fancy car.

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