Answer: Why are people so afraid that classic cars will not be dependable? I don’t recall hearing anyone back in 1975 saying “I have to go into the city. Maybe I should take the railroad in case my car doesn’t make it.”
Some years ago a friend and I decided to make the pilgrimage to the Spring Car Show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in a 1941 Oldsmobile that we co-owned. We kept it in a barn in the Catskill Mountains and more than a few eyebrows were raised when we “un-winterized” the car on a Friday evening and left the next morning on a 250 mile journey through winding mountain roads and high speed interstates. Needless to say, the car performed flawlessly on the way to Carlisle. It didn’t make it back, but that was only because we accepted an unexpected offer on the car.
Classic cars can be very dependable – particularly those built as recently as the 1970’s. All that it takes is routine maintenance as described in the owner’s manual. The mileage intervals recommended in the owner’s manuals need to be modified into time intervals since our cars are not likely to reach the listed mileage intervals on an annual basis. Remember, when these cars were built they were intended to be driven year- round, not driven sparingly and/or stored for the winter.
I recommend changing the oil and filter twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The radiator should be flushed and filled every two years, and the belts and hoses should be changed every three years. I also change the transmission fluid and filter every three years, and I do a complete tune-up at the same time.
If you keep your classic car maintained, it should have no problem making it from Montrauk to Manhattan. Heck, it might even make it to New Jersey.