Owning and maintaining a hobby car is full of ups and downs. With any luck the highs appear more often than the lows, but there is no way to guarantee their appearance. What we can do is focus on the moments that make the thin wallets and late nights and headaches worth it.

To bring some light into what may be a dark tunnel, we pulled out six of the moments in car ownership that we’ve found most rewarding. Whether you own a classic now or are thinking about jumping in with both feet, here is what you have to look forward to.

First show/event

Getting your new purchase home is a big moment; taking it out for its first show or event is even bigger. A car can be an extension of your personality and going out to your first car show with this new form of expression is a powerful moment.

Sharing your car and its story can be as easy as joining a gathering of likeminded individuals in a parking lot—or, if you thrive on more challenging goals, as complicated as earning a spot on a concours lawn. You don’t have to walk away with an award, but we’ll bet you’ll carry a memory when you go.

First startup

Catching a problem before it’s a problem

Classic vehicles require a certain understanding. Once you learn your car’s language, you will know when something is not right.

Whether you do your own diagnosis or call in the professionals, having your hunch justified is an awesome feeling. It’s more than just keeping up on maintenance. This is knowing your car well enough that, when you detect a disturbance in the force, you act on it with confidence.

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