My Car Quest

May 16, 2022

Buying Things vs Buying Experiences

by Mike Gulett –

I have heard it said that experts in human happiness say that people will be happier spending their money buying “experiences” rather than “things”.

These experts say experiences include trips to places like: anywhere in Europe, the Grand Canyon, New York City, Big Sur, Hawaii and many other places. The purpose of the trip could be to celebrate a wedding, birthday or anniversary. Or maybe for no special reason – just a vacation.

But a classic car is labeled a thing. I say that a classic car lover owning a classic car creates many opportunities for experiences related to owning the special classic car.

The experiences include: driving, showing a car, participating in a club, meeting new friends who have an interest in classic cars, restoring a car (especially with a family member or friend helping), searching for parts, traveling for car events, traveling as part of the search for a car and the whole process of searching for a classic car to acquire in the first place. Or, one could even write a blog about the obsession and experience of owing classic cars.

The classic car creates many opportunities for experiences, over and over again because of the car and the owner’s interest in the car and other classic cars.

Expedia Travel Advertisement

“Do you think any of us will look back on our lives and regret the things we didn’t buy? – or the places we didn’t go?”

Spoken by Ewan McGregor, aka, Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars

This advertisement is creating an either or relationship between buying a thing (like a classic car) and taking a trip. And I say they are not mutually exclusive.

The University of Texas at Austin reports here about a study on this subject,

…people are happier with experiential purchases over material ones irrespective of when you measure happiness: before, during or after consumption. Experiences also provoke more satisfaction even though people typically spend more time using their material possessions. The researchers said a possible explanation is the endurance of experiences in people’s memories, while the perceived value of material goods weakens over time.

If you want to be happier, it might be wise to shift some of your consumption away from material goods and a bit more toward experiences.

Classic car ownership creates experiences that lead us to places we would not have gone, things we would not have done and most importantly meeting people we would not have met.

The classic car is a “thing” that keeps delivering wonderful “experiences”.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Below are photos from a few of my experiences created from classic car ownership. Memories that will last a lifetime.

Valentino Balboni and Mike Gulett

Mike Gulett and Valentino Balboni – Concorso Italiano (2011)

Buddy Pepp and his 1966 Shelby GT350H

Buddy Pepp (former chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum) and his 1966 Shelby GT350H – photo by Mike Gulett – Carmel Concours (2019)

Wayne Carini and Mike Gulett

Wayne Carini interviewing Mike Gulett – The Quail, Carmel CA (2018)

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada with Mike Gulett driving and Michael Menetto navigating – Marin County, CA (2012)

Mike Gulett and Giotto Bizzarrini

Mike Gulett and Giotto Bizzarrini – Italy (2013)

Ivan Lessner, Mike Gulett and Adam Bolcs at Villa Rivolta

Ivan Lessner, Mike Gulett and Adam Bolcs at Villa Rivolta – Italy (2013)

Dennis Gage, Mike Gulett and the Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada on Speed TV

Dennis Gage, Mike Gulett and the Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada on Speed TV – The Best of France & Italy – Van Nuys, CA (2008)

Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV

Mike Gulett with Bianca Beltran on KSBW TV – Monterey, CA (2015)

Iso Grifo A3/C

Iso Grifo A3/C No. 0222 and owner Bruce Meyer (founding chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum) – Pebble Beach (2016) – photo by Mike Gulett

Summary
Buying Things vs Buying Experiences
Article Name
Buying Things vs Buying Experiences
Description
I have heard it said that experts in human happiness say that people will be happier spending their money buying “experiences” rather than “things”. Is this true as it relates to classic cars?
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Comments

  1. Getting my special interest cars home have always been accompanied by special experiences. Once I retired and could take all of the time I needed, the trip home was always the emphasis. The largest trip involved a car I never intended to keep, but I wound up fixing nearly all of its ills, and there were plenty, before passing it on to the next owner. On the trip home, I treated a friend, who had never been east of Iowa, to car racing venues, car museums, Native American heritage sites, and more, starting when we dipped our feet in the Atlantic at Daytona Beach and set back home to our homes on the Pacific Ocean. Two years later, I was working on still another buy, when I decided that the car was “not as advertised” and refused the sale. I had no other way home, as the car was going to be tasked with that duty. This was an unplanned adventure that turned out to be better than I expected — an Amtrak trip most of the way home! So far, I haven’t stranded myself longer than the better part of a day. I am working up the “value scale” a bit, and probably will only buy “keepers” from here on, but that adventure I seek is always part of the process. Two for one.

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