Is the old car hobby going to die off?

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

  1. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    Lucky you, living where you do. If I lived in a salt-free environment, we'd be doing the same thing. I think most any 1960s vintage car is easily suitable for every day use. By then, cooling systems could keep up, heaters were becoming standard and radical things like overhead valves were commonplace. It can be done with 1950s cars too, but I think they are a little more involving for both maintenance and keeping them pointed straight down the road. If one isn't picky, any number of 4 door sedans from any vintage can be picked up inexpensively, and if it's a common brand like a Ford or GM parts are never a problem.

    Sadly, I live in a place where they use salt at the first sign of a snowflake, so can't bear subjecting anything that has survived 50 or so years to a constant barrage of what equates to acid to it's metal parts. One local guy does drive his stuff year round (Buick Riviera, monster Pontiac Bonneville) but he does all his own painting and body repairs in his shop so doing an annual rust fix isn't a big deal to him.
  2. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    I graduated with a degree in industrial engineering/vehicle design. I quickly learned that I want nothing to do with designing cars (with all the safety/comfort bullshit that it seems every car must have nowadays, making a shitty car go for $40k) and now work as a fabricator. Retirement? Fuck that. I'll just die when I'm 60 from all the welding fumes and chemicals. :lol3
  3. BeeCeeGS

    BeeCeeGS WeaponOfMassDestruction

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    New $50 million dollar high school in my town, and they've designed the auto shop to be used for other purposes in anticipation that it won't be needed in a few years. Other new high school doesn't even have one.
  4. wos

    wos Long timer

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    Had a car show up here a couple weekends ago. A lot of really nice old cars. From the 20's up through mid 80's. Full up restorations, muscle cars ready for the dragstrip to rat rods made out of scraps. But they were vastly outnumbered by the new generation of ricers with fart cans and stock cars with a few stickers on them.
  5. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    I wish I took a camera to all the Oakland Rod and Custom Show's I went to - compared to the level of old car customizations there is now it was pretty legendary.
  6. Kris

    Kris Been here awhile

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    The local club had a cruise in / car show Saturday night, out of the 100 + cars there I would say all were owned by people 55 + in age mostly guys in their 60s. There was a Mazda Speed3 and a S10 v8 that had younger owners but that was about it for the youth segment. There were many younger guys there to look (me included) and were obviously interested which is encouraging. As is the custom at these events some are sporting for sale signs but I didn't see a price under 20k. I don't think banks loan on these type of vehicles so it would be cash sales which excludes many younger buyers.
    Some ideas to help this situation; These clubs need to encourage younger guys to get involved. Perhaps a retired guy who is an old car expert could mentor a young car enthusiast. Share that knowledge of car restoration and hot rodding. If you are retired and well off cut a deal on your classic car that you have for sale to a young car enthusiast with the agreement that the car will be kept, not flipped and he will participate in club events.
    Many at these events are sitting in lawn chairs next to their classic car, I have yet to see any of these guys ever speak to my 14 year old son as he pours over these muscle cars he is obviously interested in this hobby. He is the future of this hobby. We have a 2000 Sonoma and after seeing the S10 V8 his goal is a V8 swap for it and has already started researching this potential project. He even washed and waxed and detailed the interior the following day.
    I think many kids would have an interest in old cars and the mechanical world but too many fathers do not. That is where the guys in the cars clubs could help out IMHO.
  7. s.e. charles

    s.e. charles Long timer

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    didn't want to start a new thread, but this is an interesting (to me) video

  8. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

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    At 73, I have had a good number of the classic hot rods. Built most of them myself.
    My first car was a '41 Pontiac 2 door that I fumbled with when I was 16. I managed to "customize" it to the point that it would never again be a running car.
    Got Grandma's 51 Chevy 2 door as a graduation present. Blue flame 6 cylinder and a power glide. Drove that to college and yes, I got laid in it. I had learned my lesson with the Pontiac and never touched that car. Mouse hair upholstery felt great on my knees though. Blew the transmission shifting into low and caught reverse. Bye bye car. PNDLR shift pattern got me.
    Pop bought a 62 Corvair and I got the 61, 80 HP 3 speed. All my friends were driving 409 or 348 Chevies and one 406 Ford. I spent a lot of weekends under those cars swapping out blown trannies and broken rear ends. Meanwhile I discovered drag racing and beat the snot out of that little Corvair.
    Then I bought a used 59 Corvette. 245 HP hydraulic lifter 283 with 2 Carter AFBs on it and a 4 speed. When it finally died it was in the 11s with a 327 short block, roller cam, 5.14 rear end. My sister burned it to the ground thanks to me not having an air cleaner on it. I got married in the mean time and life was good. 2 incomes and we could afford a house.
    Cars in the meantime became a secondary hobby. I had a 4 speed 66 Comet with a 390 2 bl in it that did OK on the street. A 68 Camero Z28 with a 4 speed, an Oldsmobile with a 400 inch motor and a 3 spd auto. Built an Anglia with a small block Chevy that was a lot of fun but not really very fast. The Camero became a fun car for a bit, all out 339" motor and a 4.88 rear with a wide ratio 4 speed. A street sleeper for sure. I could put a coke can under the front bumper and never touch it with the front wheels. Along came my first son and that was the end of that.
    I discovered motorcycle drag racing and went nuts. That ended a couple of years ago when I could no longer stay ahead of the bike going down the track. By that time, I was pushing the 7s at over 160 mph. Custom frame, 1425 Suzuki on nitrous.
    These days, I have a survivor 1997 Vette with an auto trans and a 2000 Suzuki 1200 Bandit for fun and nice cruising around. Once in a while, the red mist comes out and I will whale on the Suzuki through a couple of gears just for the hell of it.
    Having to live on 2145 a month has put an end to my playing. I would still like to put together a little S10 or something with a nice little small block in it but it is going to take hitting the Lotto to do it.
  9. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    Fascinating thread. I am 35 years old, and have been a classic American car nut since I was 14 or so.

    However, I think people my age and younger are not going to get into it due to:

    1.) We have a lower standard of living than previous generations (having time, space, tools, money, and time / energy to get/have/do a classic car are all luxuries).
    2.) We tend to not earn until later in our lives (see parathensis above).
    3.) Scarcity: the cars are quite scarce.

    Honestly, I had my last 1966 Mustang Convertible essentially stolen in 2009 and I doubt I will get another. Will not have time, money, or space for 5+ years, to buy a classic car (something I really have no life-connection to).
    mississippimadman likes this.
  10. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    When I was 35, in 1988, I had already owned a house with a garage for 7 years. I had at least 10 (running) British motorcycles out there in that garage, none of which I had paid more than $400 for. At the time, cars didn't really interest me much (although that would change in time). I was a Journeyman Skilled Tradesman, so I was very familiar with tools and manufacturing processes-very important when you start fooling around with old machinery. Two years later, I would move to another place, and build a 30x40' pole barn to house even more junk. To me, the car hobby is something you ease into as your time and circumstances allow-I don't think it will ever be a hobby for young men, who are usually too busy with getting a family and career established. Like I tell my son, "I wasn't born knowing how to do this stuff-it takes years of experience"
  11. CDNTX650

    CDNTX650 Been here awhile

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    I'm 33 and have a love for old. 50s to 70s. Full sizes and compacts. Not much into the mid 70s....there's a few though. And 80s has a few too, fox body's and cutlass/regal/gn. motorcycles came after in about 2005. Not sure why I love classic British and SOME japanese bikes. But I do. The love of cars came from growing up with classics. 1969 buick skylark rag top is what I had alot of fun in cruising around with my dad when I was young. I just bought a 1971 valiant with him that's a real minter. And I have a 74 yamaha TX650A. (I do have a modern car and bikes too)

    If you are willing to drive a nice 4 door or even a full size with 2 doors they can be found very affordable here. But everyone wants the muscle... $$$$$. I paid 5000 dollars for the valiant with a 225. Nice driver and not awful on fuel...and no rust!

    Learning to do all the work yourself is the other. I just did it somehow with my first xs650. And it was pretty easy to move that skill set over to a slant 6. but it does seem like less and less are interested in my age group. I am married...no kids yet. Having trouble so I decided not to wait and enjoy these things while I can. I can sell what I deem necessary if they do come along.

    It is a money game though. I am a tradesman and make good money. I don't buy new cars every two years like tards I work with. And buy most of my toys with cash... triumph scrambler the exception.
  12. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Cars are too good now. Back then, unless you had money to have it done, you had to figure out how to fix it yourself, often in the dark on cold and wet pavement, and were doing it often. Nowadays, even total shitboxes will run for 2-300k miles and 20 years before they become money pits.

    Who remembers every department and auto parts store prominently displaying jumper cables next to the ice scrapers at the start of every winter? Nowadays, if you want jumper cables they have to be special-ordered, because it's effing rare for a car to not start, even with a badly worn battery. The result of that is that you'd be hard-pressed to find two people out of a hundred under the age of 30 who know how to use them, and that's about the same number who know how to change a tire.
  13. CDNTX650

    CDNTX650 Been here awhile

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    Haha. If you life in central canada with -40c cold you learn quick!
  14. Slipkid

    Slipkid Long timer

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    I've been in the old car hobby for a long time. I think the type of cars will change but people will always be involved in the hobby. There is one segment that is changing. It's the Model A guys. I can tell a Model A guy from fifty feet because they all look very similar; work boots, they definitely can work with their hands, probably a pair of blue or green work pants, matching work shirt and a little ornery. They are old school when it comes to how the attend meets, socialize at meets, and can be pricks about authenticity. They can also make the old Ford move; two speed rear-end, gear venders overdrive roller main bearings. My father in law can pull a Model A 4 cylinder out of a cow pasture and be driving it in a week. My wedding car was a 31 Victoria sedan. These are the guys in the 70's and even 80's. They are getting older. The problem with most people with the Model A is that is difficult to drive it on the highway to go to a show or even do a weekend away, back roads are more it's style. Also, back roads are changing. Nothing like driving to the middle of nowhere and finding a Walmart, Home Depot, Starbucks. this is sort of a Buzz kill for the Model A group.
  15. dhallilama

    dhallilama Been here awhile

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    Old cars, the hobby dying out? Young/younger guys not into 'em?

    head over to the HAMB... JalopyJournal.com ... spend a few months reading the threads, then tell me it's dying out and that jive about the younger generation.

    edit: on the other hand I'm a hot rod guy, what the hell do I know :D
  16. freetors

    freetors Long timer

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    And the model T guys are all dead or on their way.
  17. Island Rider

    Island Rider solo adventurer

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    If you watch this you will meet one youngster that defies the trend away from hobby cars.

    42 likes this.
  18. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    LOL! You just described me to a "T"( except that i'm not 70 yet)-I have three Model As, two of which I brought back from the dead. A model A was one of those things I always thought about getting in the back of my mind, and I finally dived in with both feet. Now, I'm starting to think about getting a Model T before I get much older.
  19. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Hmm... I'm WAAAAY behind on this thread. It's possible that there won't be many replies, but I'll hope for some.

    So, I think I'll be headed back to the US next year, it's up to my employer. If I am, I've decided I want some kind of sports car or hot rod. I do have disposable income.

    So, I thought about a Miata (the new one). Very good car. however, I do have a young daughter so it'll either be me and her (nice for a daddy/daughter date) or me and my wife, or us in another car. OR, I could get a restomod Camaro, Dart, GTO, etc in the $35-45k range that would be very nice as well. I can turn wrenches. They'd have a back seat.

    These are basically the only two options I'm interested in. Oh, and they'd be nearly daily drivers, to and from work, around town, whatever. I'm 41 and I don't mind the bumpy ride of the Miata, nor the "old" smell of a restored muscle car.

    Thoughts?
  20. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Why compromise?