Peter Egan's fascinating article about his weekly meeting with the Slimey [sic] Crud Motorcycle Gang makes a number of good points about car restoration— specifically how simpler (and usually older) projects are much more manageable for the typical DIYer. The natural extension of this intorductory thought (and thus the thrust of the piece) becomes the future problems that today's cars will present for restorers. Highly-complicated and finicky electrical components will be sizable obstacles for those not specially trained in the field, and the prospect of taking something like BMW's i-Drive system and making it new again could drive amateur wrenchers to both the nuthouse and the poorhouse. To blame is not only the complexity of modern components, but also the sheer disposability; rarely are gremlin-plagued electronics repaired, it's just much easier and more time-efficient to replace them completely, a trend which could be cost-prohibitive for future restorers. Not that anyone would actually need an i-Drive in the future, anyway. We'll all be using mental telepathy to change radio stations by then.
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