The west coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) has always been a car lover’s paradise. Of course we all read the car magazines and saw the amazing cars of the Southern California culture, but those cars stretch all the way up the coast. Why is that? Well when you factor in the beautiful scenery, amazing driving roads, and of course the wonderful weather you get the perfect atmosphere for the car culture. In the Midwest and on the East Coast winter means more than a rain shower or slightly cooler temperatures. You get snow, freezing temperatures, and of course road salt. Road salt, any cars nightmare. So any car exposed to this climate is going to be much more prone to rust or corrosion. The summer months in these areas is not much better for the cars. The humidity in the air during the summer months also adds to the rust problem.
This is not to say that the West Coast does not have its downfalls, they are just a lot less abrasive. One negative, if you can call it that, is with the amazing year around weather and driving roads, the cars are used a lot more. The miles are racked up quickly. The sun can be brutal on the cars as well. Paint fade and dry rot with the rubber components is likely to occur. But compared to the costs/labor involved with rust, these set backs are not huge and are easily corrected.
The dry air on the West Coast is what saves the cars there. It is the ideal climate for preservation as well as conservation. That’s why when looking for a classic car most people start the search there. The headaches and costs associated with the rust you are likely to find on cars elsewhere in the country are just too great for most. Everybody ideally wants to either start a project with a solid car or buy a completed car that they don’t have to worry about hidden rust problems that may cause issues later. That reassurance is what you find on the West Coast. The car culture will always be the strongest on the West Coast for this reason.
Save the Classics,