I just stumbled across the site by chance earlier this morning, and have signed on to be a member. I guess it's only proper that I introduce myself, as suggested by the moderator's sticky for newbies (see, I am already on the right path as far as site etiquette!
My name is Dave, and I am located in Amherst, MA. There is not that much of an old car following here, and the hobby is unfortunately a solitary one for me. My one good car buddy got stationed in Hawaii a couple years ago, and is now heading off to Iraq.
Anyway, my first car ever, back in high school, was a '77 Ford Granada that my parents bought from my grandmother for $1. It only had 30,000 miles on it, and had a 302. My older brother got me into reading the Auto Trader at a young age, and that probably solidified my interest in old cars. Well, that and growing up on the Dukes Of Hazaard, Smokey and the Bandit, and the Rockford Files. While looking through all the Auto Traders, I developed a real affinity for Mustangs. Then, my brother bought a '69 GTO! That's when my interest turned to Pontiacs. After a number of years, my brother no longer wanted the GTO, and I convinced him to sell it to me during my senior year in high school. Cruising that car to school every day was awesome! I sold the Granada and bought my '77 GP with a 455 in my freshmen year of college. My current stable consists of the GTO, the GP, a '74 Jaguar XJ6 with Chevy 350, a '78 Mercury Monarch with less than 30,000 miles, and a '78 Grand Lemans that I am refreshing to use as a daily driver. I have too many cars for my limited budget, but I guess when you have an obsession, that is what happens.
I have pretty archaic working conditions, but not as bads as some of what I saw in the few threads on garages that I read here this morning. For example, I am at least not in a tent in Alaska! (props to you guys up there who are building race cars in a tent while I whine about only having an old barn to work in). As for my abilities, I don't know how to describe them exactly, though I feel pretty deficient. I bought a Mig welder, but have not yet learned how to use it. That means that I have not yet learned bodywork/rust repair, which is unfortunate because I would really like to be able to make patch panels and fix rust and paint cars and all that. Being in the Northeast, that is sort of a necessary skill. I do most mechanical repairs on my cars, but they often take longer than they probably should, involve skinned knuckles and lots of swearing. I've rebuilt a few engines, and they are still running strong, so I guess that is a good sign.
I'm a teacher, so I have summers off, which is great for the hobby. In fact, with this year's schedule, I'm off from June 8 to early September!
I mentioned above that I am a Pontiac guy, but in all honesty I love old cars in general. There are cars from all the major auto makers that I'd love to own. And, although my knowledge and experience base deals more with the mid 60's up, I love the looks of the older cars, too. Heck, John Milner is a hero of mine, and having a car like his would be totally sweet, although my impression is that with cars that old, you need more skill and money than what I have to get them into driver condition.
Ok, perhaps I should wrap this up. If you fell asleep somewhere above, I understand. If not, then thanks for taking the time to read this. I look forward to being a part of the community and getting to know you all.