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Car Estate Planning

Bryce Howells [ April 2003 ]

In resent years, I have heard VAE members speak of how they want the club to go and to be remembered. I feel this opportunity is in our hands. The VAE members, who have been in the club for years, have done great things with their automobiles, which, in return, have provided them great pleasure.

In speaking with these people and going over to their shops, I find that they have great collections of “project” cars, trucks and lot of boxes of parts.

The overwhelming drive of car collectors to start new projects and the reality of “Not enough time and not enough Money” means many of these cars are going to be at Estate Sales. The other result is a spouse left with old cars and old parts and looking for any means of disposal.

I believe that the solution lies with those who have three or four (or more) car projects, which they will never get to. It is to seek out people, men or women, who are younger and have car interest. Go to High Schools, Vocational Arts programs, automobile repair or similar locations of education.

The first time I went to VT Tech for the fall VAE meeting, I was approached by two students, while I sat near my 49 Packard having a sandwich. Their interest was working with older cars. This was my first hand experience with younger people having an unfulfilled desire to restore and own old cars.

For those interested: Find younger people interested in cars and have them come over to your shop 2-4 times per month and work on a “project” car that you have most of the parts for, get it running, then give them the car with extra parts.

Another idea would be to give a car to an auto repair school and become an assistant to the instructor. This could do two things for you: help to clean out your shop or barn and give you the opportunity to teach and interact with younger people.

At this time, I think it will be difficult to find young people who are willing to spend $10K - $15K on a resorted Model A when they can get a old corvette for the same price. The early VAE members back in the 40’s & 50’s could buy any old car they wanted for $50 - $100.

I know everyone feels the favorite car has great value. The true value is only what someone else will pay. I would hope that the greatest value would be the value to a first time owner, at the beginning of their car addiction, when money may be scarce.

In closing, in order to avoid the termination of your passion for old cars at the time of your demise - do some Car Estate Planning and pass along the “Fever”! I feel we could and should now pass on cars, which we will never get too, to interested younger people. Pass on the passion and the car addiction while we still have some say on where and how it will go.

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