Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Hunter and the Hunted

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Hunter and the Hunted - by McKeel Hagerty

"This photo was taken last week in a farmer's field in South Dakota. The truck is an International and it won't be moving under its own power ever again. The hunter is a guy who seems to shoot with his eyes completely closed…but that is another story.

As I reflect on this truck I wonder how many cool old vehicles like this are sinking into the ground in farmer's fields. They are not valuable "barn finds" or hidden gems but rather the detritus of another time, a utility vehicle that lost its utility. This one probably spent its years of use hauling light loads around the fields of Kennebec, SD. It was probably inexpensive, it had no creature comforts and it served its purpose. Maybe it hauled blind shooters like me around on hunts of yesteryear but it never drove in a parade. As I drove around from farmstead to farmstead over a few days, I think I answered my own question; there are tens and likely hundreds of thousands of lost vehicles like this. Evidently, their only use these days is target practice.

It makes me realize that the vehicles we insure are truly an elite group, each with an elevated purpose. Even if a collector car of today was originally a utility vehicle like this International truck or a salesman's sedan or a plain-Jane four-door hard top, it is now a cherished object for someone and it made the cut. There is, after all, a kind of natural selection with the cars we drive. In their days of active use, the first ones are likely lost to traffic accidents or acts of God. The ones that make it a few more years are repaired and maintained and then slowly retired or traded in or scrapped. Only a few are saved from the scrap heaps and fields of South Dakota to be preserved or restored and then elevated to a new use of providing smiles, fueling egos, getting girls, winning races and trophies or just putting in a few scenic miles on a Sunday afternoon. There are likely only single-digit millions of these rare machines left in the entire world and their kind will likely never be made again. We at Hagerty are the trustees of the most cherished vehicles ever built and I, for one, promise never accidentally to shoot one again."

McKeel Hagerty wrote this blog to the employees of Hagerty Insurance on his recent experience. Thank you, for sharing your reflection with other collectors in classic car hobby.

No comments:

Post a Comment