The Old Stillwater Garage is a well-known restoration shop located in the rural northwestern part…
Hold the Shop, I’ll Do It Myself
Results from Hagerty Collector Network’s 2005 Hobby Survey reveal that hobbyists are a bunch of gear heads…literally. A staggering 89 percent of respondents reported working 1-plus hour per month doing their own collector car servicing.
The top reason hobbyists like to do their own work? More than half of you think that enjoyment and the fun of being hands-on is worth the grease and grime. And 17 percent prefer the quality control of knowing your own hands are doing the work.
“It gets done right,” one respondent says.
Another gives a great example: “It’s very different than my job as an actor/writer. It’s therapy.”
Another hobbyist admits, “I’m the only one I trust.” We can attest that many folks feel the same way.
This hands-on group has done everything from a simple oil change to repairing body damage. And 25 percent of poll takers have completely restored a vehicle. That’s a lot of therapy!
To get the parts for a restoration or even simpler work, 40 percent use eBay and other online sources, in relation to more local channels. Our 2002 Hobby Survey results showed only 21.7 percent felt the World Wide Web parts-worthy. In the last three years, that statistic has doubled.
It is odd, however, that collector vehicle owners don’t feel comfortable (or just don’t like) working on their newer, regular-use cars and trucks. Could it be that the newer vehicles have more intricate electrical systems, more parts and less “umph” altogether? Or is it just plain not as much fun as working on that ’55 Chevy?
Other places collector vehicle owners go for parts buying included Hemmings (12 percent) and the “other” category, which held 15 percent of the votes. Separate responses weren’t that surprising: My local salvage yard; club members; national parts catalogs; and dealers specializing in the make/model of the car.