It seems most people are sincere in trying to compliment the car or owner but just can't find the words. If we were at a corporate finance function we would be equally awkward. No prob with those folks and you can have a positive impact on someone impressed enough with your work or ride to be complimentary, even if they don't get it all correct. . The problem I have is with the guy that tries to argue with you over the make and model of car or what type of engine you have when they are just a casual observer. Or people that make totally disconnected statements such as " Yeah, I had a '41 Chevy with a factory flathead V8 like that when I was a kid but I didn't screw it up like you". Problem is you're driving a '34 Ford and it's a textbook case of perfect classic hot rod. What can you saw to people like that who are both liars, exaggerators and rude, all in the same sentence? Asshat?