This has been an interesting thread. On the gearheads looking and lusting after unmodded vehicles, there are usually two reasons for that. One, they are looking for something in the vein of restoration, or two, they are looking for something they can modify. With that second one there's a kind of 2.5 reason also. Some previous modding can be classified as a hack job depending on quality. I just think the desire for finding the "unmolested" vehicle status comes down to a restoration goal or the joy of modding the virgin vehicle yourself for a real gearhead.
On the age of gearheads doing the modding, I'm not sure I find that to be the case that it's mainly a young man's game. I look around and see that it's many of the older guys who have the time, money, and experience to pursue modding projects. Many of them also pursue restoration projects, but if you're honest, that's a whole other direction. Many, many older guys are reliving their youth in terms of hot rods and hopped-up vehicles of all kinds that they couldn't afford when they were younger...motorcycles and nearly all other vehicles.