Summertime finds many Americans hitting the road. Whether they are going on road trip vacations or cruising for fun with friends, they want to be enjoying the warm weather and longer hours of daylight by getting out on the streets and highways. Summer is also the time when motorheads like to show off their wheels, with car clubs holding rallys and tours or meeting in parking lots to display classic and vintage cars.

There are some clubs that focus on foreign made vehicles, but there is nothing like an American classic car to evoke waves of nostalgia in people of all ages. Pontiac, Ford, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, AMC, Dodge — these are the names that car lovers seek out. And those who happen to own a vehicle from the 1960s, 1970s, or even older are likely to have spent hundreds of hours rebuilding or maintaining their car in perfect condition. They invest in custom wheels and keep the paint job pristine. They polish, protect, and show off their car every chance they get.

The appeal of these cars is two-fold, both to those who own the cars and those who show up at rallys to see them. The first is the unique beauty of these babies. American car makers specialized in making muscle cars and hot rods that combined speed with beauty. Many car lovers are just as enthralled with what’s under the hood as what the body of the vehicle looks like. A beautifully designed engine, kept in perfect running condition, can be more attractive than a sleek exterior design. When both are brought together, the effect can be staggering.

Nostalgia also plays a big part in why these cars are so attractive. Manufacturers weren’t kidding when they sold cars as being built to last. Forty, fifty, even sixty years after they were made, these classic cars are still on the road. They remind people of an earlier era before things became so disposable; when owners took pride in their possessions and did what was necessary to keep them not just functional, but in top condition. Though that age past, it continues to live on as long as some of these cars remain as reminders of the way things were — and could be again.

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