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Getting Respect

I have found that most people, car folks or not, respect other peoples property. However, there is a certain portion of the general public that are absolutely oblivious to respecting others’ property; heck they don’t even know what a high quality object is. It is these people who make car shows stressful and leaving your car unattended on the street or at such shows unthinkable.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my cars and drive all of them with no exception. However, I don’t take needless chances with them. Each also has their own blemishes from road rash or some stupid move on my part.

My question to all of you is how can we protect our cars from the idiots out there? Let me site some examples.

My wife and I were at a car show talking with the owner of the late 60s Camaro next to us. He was furious. While we were out looking at some of the other cars at the show he had a young couple approach him and ask if the boyfriend could take the young girl’s photo with his car. Like most of us he said sure. The car’s owner went back to a conversation he was having with another car guy when he suddenly realized the young girl was laying on the hood of his prized Camaro! The young couple had obviously seen a photo like that in one of the car mags and thought this was the perfect opportunity for their glamor shot.

Would you ever expect such a thing at a show? How would you deal with it?

Here is one that happened to me. I had just purchased a new Corvette. That is a big deal. These are relatively expensive cars and it was brand new, days old. I was not rich and such a purchase was a big commitment. It was to be my daily driver as well as my weekend toy. I had a job which required me to do a lot of traveling and attend public meetings around the state. It was an opportunity to bring a little of my hobby into my daily life and a chance to really enjoy a Corvette.

The Corvette was approximately 4 days old when I took it to my first night meeting with the public. I picked a spot near the front door where I thought it would be safe. there would always be people present and no one would be able to “mess” with it. It was a long night but it was summer and the sunset was very late in the evening. When the meeting was over the sun was just setting. I came out to enjoy a pleasant summer night ride back home.

As I approached my 4 day old Corvette which had been as clean as a new car should be I noticed the shine on hood and front fenders was not present. When I got to the car I found sticky baby hand and knew prints as well as obvious diaper butt prints all over the front end. Some young family had placed one or more babies on the hood of my brand new Corvette while they had obviously been crawling all over my new pride and joy. Where they taking pictures? Where they jealous of someone else’s property? Where they just ignorant or malicious?

Luckily I was able to wash and buff out any evidence but the damage to me was permanent.

I have also seen and heard of stories where unattended cars at shows and on the street have had rare trim items removed, gear shift knobs always being popular. I had vintage Corvette parked outside my residence one night and the “L-82” engine emblems and the “Corvette badge” emblems were removed with the help of a sharp screw driver. The removal of the relatively inexpensive emblems resulted in thousands of dollars in paint damage just for some kid’s wall decoration.

How can we protect ourselves from this fringe element of the car hobby? I am well aware that these instances are far less of a threat to our society than say a lunatic with an assault riffle in a public place. The question is, where does this lack of respect for others and their possessions begin? How do you reverse it?

What is your story and how do you protect your car?

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Richard

I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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