Old books and polished knowledge

The time that a car enthusiast got out of bed in the morning, calculated the ratio of gearbox during breakfast, and after breakfast sawed the gears with a double-hardened steel jigsaw? That time has never been there.

Most of us, classic enthusiasts, have a nice, broad technical knowledge. This can be based on education or later interest. Or we can still be learning. Because we are never too old to learn.

Practical learning is now easier than ever. There are - also among our advertisers - many companies that offer courses and / or training. Welding, sheet metal work, spraying. You name it. But recently we ran into something we hadn't thought about for a while: Old school books and information. And because today it is getting too hot to do something else, we dive into that material.

Knowledge is power

As strange as it may sound, in the past learners or students had to learn things to know. That is different now. Thanks to Google & Co. A newly graduated, young, first time mechanic came to ask his senior what to do. He had reset a fault a four times. But the report remained. The Real Experienced Mechanic then asked the youthful technician an unexpected question: "Have you already looked under the hood?" No, so… The cause of the disturbance turned out to be mere raven.

What people needed to know in the past is something that we nowadays think is a challenge. Not on the Internet or the smartphone. At fairs, church fairs and similar festivities. For a few duppies to a few euros. And those old 'textbooks', also from the time that many adults still did evening studies to gild their future, are thought through and clearly intended to explain and transfer knowledge. Even though you would have forgotten all that while browsing and dreaming about all the drawings.

A recent purchase, incidentally, shows the decline of education in a dramatic way. It is 'Vehicles, part 1' in 1978 issued by the VAM from Voorschoten. It is a study book, including questionnaires. For the LTS, the primary technical school. And that wasn't the place where you wanted your child to be in 1978. Because work with your hands? You didn't allow your child to do that. But times have changed. And a HBO Event Management and Marketing degree? That will only have value one day if it is printed on soft, ribbed paper.

Craftsmanship is mastery

Nowadays, a good engineer earns considerably more than a student who graduated cum laude in sociology or political science. And if you have the knowledge level of an LTSser vehicle technology from 1978? Then you must already be able to call yourself a 'master' these days.

The very broad basis of the state of the art of our classics is crystal clear in that study book. Reading was like a refresher course with a few clear "oh yes!" That's how it was! "

The VAM car technical notebook that was purchased with the same deal is more of a research than a study book. It is technically - including formulas - considerably deeper than the first mentioned book. For example, the section 'legal requirements state what the permitted tandem axle load in the GDR depends on the axle distances. Or was.

Very accessible
Key help 2.0: FAIL!


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  1. After having spent 20 years in the car trade (first mechanic diploma, MOT), this lady 12,5 decided years ago to make electrical engineering unsafe.
    After a customer came to see if I could adjust contact points because the youngster armed with a laptop was looking glassy, ​​I was done with it.

    Best decision of my life.
    Earn a lot more and no nagging managers at my head who want to tell you how to do it.
    I still understand cars, but I don't do anything about it anymore.

  2. My VAM books are still in possession of 1976 (may well be the same print). And sometimes I understand things better now than I did then, experience shows.
    Unfortunately, payment to technicians is still lousy, especially before anyone needs to know.
    In recent years it appears that the 2e mechanic exam of the time (body and revision, cardan and revision, aligning the 4 wheel) is now more of a first mechanic exam.
    The poor payment and the arrival of, for me, not at all interesting, electronics made me decide to go into port after 36 years.
    However, it is now true that the electrician from then, now the better car mechanic.

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