Autofrei Verlag, Pt.1: The Economies of Used Cars

Modeled off of the Automobiliac’s The Automobiliac Proposes series, Autofrei is beginning its own series of propositions/fantasies in an imaginary collection of books written by yours truly. Starting us off is a look into the decision making processes of classic car owners in New York, theoretically written while pursuing a masters at NYU. What can we learn about a city’s culture, infrastructure, and upper class from vintage car ownership?

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4 Responses to Autofrei Verlag, Pt.1: The Economies of Used Cars

  1. Automobiliac says:

    You can learn that most vintage car owners in NYC are either diehards or utter poseurs, with few in between. I feel like there aren’t many people in the city who just felt like buying a fun old car just for the heck of it! That’s my impression, anyway

    • Raphael Orlove says:

      Diehards and poseurs are great subject material! I wonder if the classic car poseur set has changed very much at all in the past sixty years. Maybe it’s the same crowd that putters along in 275 Ferraris today as had puttered around in Peerlesses and Pierce-Arrows in the 1950s and ’60s. If that is the case, what an interesting and insular community, if a lot has changed, especially since the 1980s, and its more of a money game, well, that speaks to changing tastes and changing economies over the past half century. As for the diehards, well, they’re quite a crowd, and the strict code that they follow – round headlights, manual transmission, rear-wheel drive – has a lot of memories and social preferences tied up in it. Moreover, I’m sure that the concentration of vintage cars in the city has shifted around, so what can that tell us about what is going on in the city? I doubt that there were many vintage alfa owners living in Brooklyn a couple decades back. Where do they get there parts? What happened to the old car repair shops on the West Side? So many questions, so few rich people willing to give me interviews.

      • Raphael Orlove says:

        How is the history of drag racing in Brooklyn being remembered through the purchases of nostalgic Brooklynites? How are the informal sports car races in Central Park in the 1930s and ’50s being recreated today, perhaps along Bowery or Park Avenue?

  2. Automobiliac says:

    Maybe drop by the Madison Ave. Sports car driving and chowder club and pose these questions.

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