Readers React to Graying - Cont’d.
the 80’s, 90
s and 00’s.
And if they *do* happen to be interested in collector cars, the hobbyis often prohibitively expensive to get into. A lot of older folks who have money in the bank buy-ing *their* dream car have driven prices well out of the range of what the average high schooler can scrounge up.————— As someone who is on the younger side (34) and has been into old cars my whole life, the initialimpressions the hobby gives to people kinda suck for making them want to hang around. A car show where the same dozen do-wop songs are being blasted over a PA interspersed with“witty” DJ comments. And where nearly every car gets driven in, parked, wiped down and thenhas the owners set up their displays of crying dolls & giant show plaques before retreating totheir camp chairs behind the car to only talk with their friends. Dismissive comments if your car doesn’t meet their standards.—————My g/f and I have gone to a fair number of car shows & local cruise nights, and most times wepull in, park, walk the circuit of cars there, stand around looking for someone to talk to or some-thing to do, get bored and go home. I *have* a classic car, and the shows are often little fun for me, how much fun would they be for someone who doesn’t have a car and for whom this is their impression of what owning one is like?—————I’m a Boomer and I frown deeply on some of the props that people bring to shows. I likeplaques but I say, ‘Size them to show off the car, not the plaque.’ I also don’t care for everyhood to be open. I take a lot of pictures and an open hood wrecks the image. If I want to seethe engine, I ask the owner if he would be kind enough to open the hood. When I’m at a show, I(and others in my club) try to be available to answer questions although we’ve seen many own-ers who tend to be condescending to those asking the questions. But finally, don’t be afraid toask questions yourself. You’ve got a voice; use it. A lot of owners are shy but will warm up tre-mendously if you take the first step.—————I think we, the “Gray Hairs,” have to stop fretting about the value and invested costs of the carswe treasure and accept that
what is important is the love and joy of ownership and us
.Doing so will abate some of this ongoing “hand wringing.” The hobby, like most things in life,will shift and transform. It won’t die as one segment ages.—————Today's kids are simply not in
love with driving. Oddly enough, they seek the same thing we sought as kids, freedom. But freedom is no longer found on American roadways.It is found on the Internet.
The Internet is the last place on earth where liberty reigns. Theexplosion of the Internet is an example of what true freedom can accomplish. You don't need alicense or "I.D." You don't need anyone's permission. You can go anywhere, anytime. You cansee places you've never been, meet new people and have fun.—————I can not count the number of old car shows that I have attended where the displayed car own-ers ignore everyone but their buddies. Its always the same, they sit at the back of their cars onlounge chairs and make no effort to meet or even bother to speak to the admirers of their cars.If the car owner shows no interest, why should younger people take a interest in cars they mighthave never seen or heard of? Of course, living in Palm Springs I don’t see all that many youngpeople to start with, car shows or not. Ladies and gentlemen, if you show zero interest at theseshows in anything other than yourselves, how can you expect anyone else to care about you or your car, or this hobby? You are part of the problem, and you can be part of the solution. It isup to you.
Try getting off of your duffs and speak to those people that show interest inyour old iron once in a while. Until you do, nothing will ever change.
————— As a younger (31) car guy, I can say the problems of getting and keeping the next generation inthe hobby, of which there are many, are there, but can be overcome.First is the perception that everything is expensive. If you watch auction coverage or a buildshow, most of what you see is the high-dollar, cost is no object, restoration or modification. It isnice to see what happens with unlimited funds, but then everyone thinks a beat-up old car isworth too much to buy. This is the same for parts & repair. Older cars, especially 60