Let’s say 25 years has elapsed, which is normally enough time for people to start a family, realise automotive recreations are sadly not essential components of bringing up children, lose said recreations, bring up said children, get rid of them and start to think about nice cars again.
But you’re maybe twice as old now as you were then, and those foolish failings of your once beloved car that you’d scarcely have noticed then will probably irritate the hell out of you now. But not so much as the fact that the car, whatever it is, is no longer brand new and state of the art, but in automotive lifespan terms, even older than you. While its shell has started to sag, its trim to creak and its engine to rattle, several generations of new cars have come out, each more technically advanced than the last. Even if you could somehow find the car you once loved in the same condition as it was when it left the line, compared to its modern equivalent it would just look silly. An abacus next to an iPhone.
None of this should stop you buying a classic car, merely one of which you have prior knowledge. My father once bought an Alvis 12/70 saloon because he used to smoke about in one after the war and was desperately disappointed to discover in the 1980s that it wasn’t quite as good as his teenage self-recalled. And I can remember concluding my brother’s mid-engine Renault 5 Turbo was the most exciting thing ever to put treaded tyre onto public road, only to discover upon reintroduction a couple of decades later that it had turned into a slow, malevolent old nail.
Which is why I know I must not buy another Lotus Esprit.