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Ran When Parked?

Of course it did. Classified ads that include “ran when parked” tell us absolutely zero about the vehicle. That is, until I read one ad on Facebook's marketplace this past weekend that said, “Ran when parked in 1968.” 

THAT cracked me up. I am guessing the person placing that ad had to be over 80 as 1968 wouldn’t seem that far back. To others (who can do the math), that is over half a century ago (53 years, to be exact).

Can Free Classifieds “ruin the hobby?”

Veteran Military Vehicle Magazine readers often lament the loss of classified advertising in the magazine. I do, too. It was one of my favorite sections of the magazine back in the 1990s (that’s 30 years ago for you youngin’s). 

But times change, and one of the fastest impetus to change is cost. People stopped paying for classifieds the minute they figured out they could post vehicles for sale on internet forums (and now, on a variety of Facebook-based marketplace groups) for free.

But, while my dad used to say, “It’s hard to compete with free,” he also cautioned, “NOTHING is for free.” 

So what’s the true cost of “free classifieds?”

Well, on the surface, if a person doesn’t have to pay for it, they are going to write whatever they want: for example, “ran when parked in 1968” (my next ad is going to say, “New when first purchased"). You are forced to sacrifice clarity and accuracy.

Free classifieds mean one less filter for stupid. But, most of us can live with that. We have pretty good filters for stupid.

A darker cost to “free,” however, is the erosion of our hobby’s foundation. People jumping into Facebook groups or investing all their time in internet forums results in tearing down structures that our hobby has built: Local clubs, national organizations, and, yes, even traditional print magazines.

So what filter can you apply to protect against foundational erosion? That’s simple. Support your local club, your national organization, and magazines by renewing your membership / subscription.

While I want to tell you the single best thing you can do for the hobby is to renew your subscription to Military Vehicles Magazine, I have to be honest and say it is: Get out and use your vehicles. Nothing does more for promoting the hobby than driving your vehicle and letting others see you doing it.

We are all social creatures (and probably a bit starved for some human contact after nearly two years of COVID-19), so put down the phone or tablet, and walk out to your garage. Check your oil. Inflate your tires. Start your engine and back that vehicle out. Take it around the block, downtown, or drive to do your “supper pickup” at the local restaurant.

2022 is going to be a year of rebuilding: Shows, clubs, and yes, subscribers and members. Let’s put the tragedies of the last few years behind us and get out there to show our true colors: Olive drab, Lusterless blue, and American Star white.

Keep ‘em Rolling,

John Adams-Graf

Editor, Military Vehicles and Military Trade

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