Is the old car hobby going to die off?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by discochris, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. discochris

    discochris Long timer

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    The "getting the young'uns on a bike" thread brought up something I've been thinking about for some time, that being the future of the vintage car hobby.

    My wife and I took Disco Jr. to a small local car show a couple of weeks back, and the average age of the people there and the car owners was probably about 60. I commented at the time that it seems like the vintage car enthusiast is a dying breed. I'm 40, and while I love old cars/trucks (and boats and motorcycles), it seems that people my age and younger aren't getting into it like people older than us did. I have a 1966 Ford Truck that I semi-restored, a 1965 boat, and I had an old Beetle too, but I don't know too many people that have old stuff or have any interest in such things.

    I suspect part of it is cost or that people don't want to deal with the quirks of older stuff (the recent thread on buying a vintage Mustang as opposed to a late model one comes to mind.) I think part of it too is that the cars we grew up with for the most part don't have the romanticism that the older cars from the early 70's and earlier had. The example I gave was "who would want to restore a 1985 Cutlass Ciera they grew up driving?" I don't know why - it just seems kind of sad to me.
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  2. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

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    I also think cost is a big issue. I've always lusted after a Charger, but there is no way you can touch em for a reasonable price.

    I love the look of the old muscle cars, but will likely never own one. The performance of newer cars is much better, at similar or less cost than buying a car that is 40 years old in decent shape.

    Also want a 72 Z28 :deal
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  3. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    At 60, I'm one of the younger guys in my Ford Model A club. Very, very few young guys seem to be interested in restoring one to factory condition-if anything, they want to make a "rat rod". I suppose it is a money thing, even for a car as common and accessible as a Model A. When I was young, I had neither the money or the time to indulge a hobby like old cars. I really had no place to work on one then, and more importantly, I did not yet have the needed skills and tools that come from a lifetime of working on cars.

    Car shows: only old guys have the time to waste a whole weekend sitting in a lawn chair next to their car!
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  4. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    The "classics" will change, just wait 10-20 years people will be bringing back cars of the 80's and 90's. If I had money laying around I'd love a 87-88 Thunderbird turbo coupe....it's the same body style as my grandfather's old T-bird but with a standard transmission, plus I was a kid of the sport compact age so turbo 4's are what I cut my teeth on.

    It's all about what cars you remember and have an attachment to, but what are called the "classics" have stayed roughly the same for the past decade or 2 so that generation is getting older. The only 80's car that I can think of that comes close is the Buick GNX.
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  5. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    This was just a topic over on the AACA forum.
    http://forums.aaca.org/f169/greatest-threat-vintage-car-hobby-355631.html
    The model railroad hobby has the same concern. Kids today are engaged in electronics, not mechanics. They'll probably collect old video game consoles. They didn't grow up taking apart old lawn mower engines or helping Dad fix the car. Heck, half of them don't even have Dad living under the same roof.

    Cost doesn't have to be a deterrent. Sure, everyone wants a '57 Chevy convertible or a '66 GTO...that's why the prices are insane. But you can still buy slightly off brand old cars or even just four doors for decent money. I've been shopping the mostly unloved 66-70 Falcons and you can buy nice driver/amateur show cars for $5000-$7000 all day long.

    There are some kids with an interest in history, but most dismiss it as boring. I've always had a healthy interest in old cars; can't tell you where it came from. I like anything old. I like the experimentation they had to exhibit, the hardy build quality, and post-war the tremendous amount of style the designers ran amok with. Cars today don't have that enduring style; they are all a different take on the same jellybean.

    Another deterrent, even for guys in their 40s-50s that have the money (the age group I'm in, though not so much the money category) is the misguided belief that you can't drive these older cars. Everything needs a V8 swap and a Mustang II suspension. They don't appreciate the driving experience aspect of antique vehicles, though it can be limiting on the distance you'll want to travel.

    There's a lot of factors that contribute to this, but I think the disinterest in cars in general in the youth is the biggest thing. Kids no longer eagerly await their 16th birthday so they can get a license. Lots of young people today don't bother getting it until they are 18-21, and then only because their parents won't cart them around anymore.
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  6. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

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    The whole "car culture" thing isn't being picked up by the younger generation, which is partly why they have so little interest in "classic cars."

    A lot of us old guys got laid for the first time in a car. I don't think that happens so much nowadays.
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  7. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

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    Hope not....I am getting to the point where I just can't take care of them anymore, and thinking something with AC, and cup holders would be more fun, get more use over a 67 Triumph GT6, Opel GT, Fiat...or anything else. I really enjoy my old Fiero it is older, not that common, but has AC Power breaks, and is not work to drive like my cars from the 60's-early 70's. Would I be happy with a new Mustang or Boxster....I think I would...but this is just an old thing.

    I think kids today are going to look at cars of their youth....not those from our youth....but some always will.....and you have to admit a GT6, Opel GT and such are some pretty cool looking old cars....nothing on the road looks like them, they have their own personality....they are not appliances.
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  8. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

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    It is very possible that younger people have no or little disposable income to spend. Just the way the baby boomers want it.....

    Oh, yeah and the price of gas...much controlled by those of the baby boomer age. It's hard to justify a vehicle that costs money and then $4.00/gallon to run it...

    I'd love to have some old cars/trucks but am not going to invest in a hobby the 4 dollars / gallon to enjoy.

    It's kinda interesting, I am in a training class this week and the instructor was laughing about how he has a pension and the younger people will have no idea what that is.... yeah, real funny. thanks for this country you are leaving...
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  9. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    Sure it is! ...but their version of 'car culture' isn't the same as mine or yours. How many Civics do you see running around that are modified? Last trend was mini trucks. Next trend? Who knows.

    They're using what they've got just like Dad used what he had when he built his 33 Ford p/u: cheap cars that you can modify cheaply.

    I wouldn't bet on that.

    M
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  10. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

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    yer gettin too old to be still doing it nowadays. knock it off
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  11. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I want a birth-year baby blue El Camino with a 308, geared stupid tall with an auto for hauling bikes and yard waste. By birth-year, I mean 1981. It is the only old POS car I have any interest in, mostly because they are as fucked up as a football bat.

    As for getting laid in a car, I put footprints on the rear windows of an '88 Mazda. You had to be part gymnast to get busy in the cars of my youth, unless you could get ahold of mom's minivan.

    All told, autos hold my attention for about ten seconds at a time, before something shiny comes along. :dunno
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  12. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    No kidding.

    I've noticed this talking to kids in class. There are a rare few that have/want/desire 60s-70s Muscle Cars or even anything that would make a hot rod.

    The rest are looking for WRXs and RX-7s, if not 20 year old M3s and whatnot. There are still what I would have called gear heads out there, but they are in ones and twos, not like when I was a kid and there were packs of us that would muster to drop in an engine or pull a transmission, or just get together and hit every junk yard for 200 miles trying to find a 9" cheap or a 4-bolt block.

    That shit doesn't happen anymore, like at all.

    Can't really blame them, the 70-80s didn't offer much in anything that will ever be a classic.

    Stack a 70 Cutlass next to a mid-80s Cutty, which would you rather go into debt grabbing parts for.
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  13. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    The future is bleak if this is any indication of things to come... :lol3

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  14. freetors

    freetors Been here awhile

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    I'm 21 and have a healthy interest in cars and bike, both new and classics. I've had two fun cars so far, a subaru wrx and a honda s2000 (my current car). I wouldn't hesitate to buy an older car if it the stars aligned and it was a model I liked in good shape and a decent price. There are certain feelings you get when driving a classic; the noise, the smells, the vibrations, that you just won't find in many modern cars. Unfortunately not many people my age don't really care about that stuff, but they're not really car people anyway. As previously mentioned, the prices of classic cars has gotten a little out of hand. Some cars that aren't even particularly desirable are now going for more money than they sold for originally. Rusty, crushed up car bodies sell for thousands if it is a desirable model. Many of the "classics" that I would be interested in aren't readilly available in this country or are quite hard to find, like japanese sedans and sports cars and european cars (not british) from the 60s and 70s. The trick to buying a classic car is finding one of the less desirable models that YOU like and enjoy and make it how you want. Not everybody has to have a 1970s muscle car collection.

    And there are some cool cars out there from the 80s and 90s, they just didn't come from America :evil
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  15. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Holy Shit.
    (Sorry we never touched base- I did something to my back and have been pretty immobile.)
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  16. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Christ dude... You're falling apart... Alyssa is going to have to trade you in for a new model....
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  17. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    :lol3

    Well, the Mustang "Fox" generation from 79-93 has gotten a big-ish following from what I read. A supplier now stocks just about every part to restore one. I had a few pass thru my hands and honestly, I'd not be keen on getting another one!

    Great looking to me, but not a great looking car to anyone who didn't have or want one when they were new/fresh. I'm partial to dark blue or dark green LX 5.0 notches, but I won't go build or buy one. Crap brakes, not really that fast and uncomfortable too.

    Even the "hot" cars of the 80s and 90s weren't much to give a crap about, they were only good when compared to the cars of the late 1970s!
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  18. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    LOL! I won't buy a classic car because gas is $4/gallon, but I think a video game cartridge is worth $35,000:rofl
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  19. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

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    Chevy 308s are rare as hell!!!!
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  20. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    Come to the corner of Adams and Magnolia in HB on a Saturday Morning.. You'd think the whole world R motor heads.

    It's awesome...

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