For decades we have seen the national auto shows, where the major manufacturers roll out their new models and a few flashy "prototypes" that will never see an assembly line. Then there are the rod and custom shows, populated thirty years ago by twenty- and thirty-somethings and filled these days with middle aged and older auto enthusiasts who still love classic American cars, both stock and in all the different permutations of customization they have gone through over the years.
And of course there's the Concourse D'Elegance crowd, oohing and aahing at priceless Ferraris from the fifties and sixties as well as the older exotics such as Packards and, going even further back, Hispano-Suizas and Auburns.
For those who lived American Graffiti and those who live for the foreign classics, if you're involved at all in building, maintaining or participating in the fellowship that has built around classics and exotics, you should consider utilizing a website.
First of all, it's a great way to show off your car or cars, whatever you've got in the garage that is carefully driven once a week and towed, gleaming, to car shows. Secondly, it's a communications device for like-minded collectors or builders that may be interested in your specialty - whether old Corvettes or sixties Alfa Romeos. There are current web sites for national and regional organizations as well as a number of sites that specialize as classified advertising for scarce auto parts.
A personal site, however, is going to give you a far different type of interaction with your fellow wrench addicts. Instead of searching impersonal national websites for parts or people with similar interests, you can use your site to bring them to you. Proper use of keywords and perhaps a classified ad or two online will bring potential contacts to you personally, and there they will find a site with photos of your car(s), your shop and a little history about your involvement.
You don't have to find contacts like that at shows or in pulp publications for parts and project cars. A properly designed site for a car enthusiast that elaborates on his area of interest and the history of his cars will give that person a potentially national social role in the company of his peers, just as the kids are using MySpace to communicate.
You can advertise for parts, show vehicles for sale - with unlimited photos and videos, if you wish - and put the word out for a car you might be seeking for your next project. This approach will also limit your needs for entering ads in national locations. All you need to do is mention "55 Chevy for sale at www.old55.com" or whatever your site address is, and the interested parties will come to you. No more details listed in long paragraphs done in tiny print - and no more photos of your car on a page or in a lineup of dozens of other vehicles.