MarkV

Reflections at 30: The Future of the Car Hobby

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Great post and well written!  I'm 46 and a woman and have vented about this topic for some time!  I was at the AACA National meet in Mobile this past weekend and while at the Rountable discussions, I commented on how I was treated at the Virginia Beach National meet 3 years ago and it wasn't well treatment I received!  Another woman commented that my 1989 Suburban was "just another used car".  My response... they are ALL used cars!  Of Course, she didn't like that comment, but it made me so angry that I wrote a letter to the editor of the AACA Magazine, West Peterson, about the treatment of new members and what vehicles they enjoy.  If this car hobby is to grow, everyone has to be welcomed, whether they own a vehicle or not, or if it's a Toyota or a truck!

 

As for grumpy old people, I meet them all the time when I'm on a judging team usually.... usually they warm up to me and we are all good friends at the end of the day :)  Give them a chance too ;-) 

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5 minutes ago, AnniesSS said:

As for grumpy old people, I meet them all the time when I'm on a judging team usually.... usually they warm up to me and we are all good friends at the end of the day :)  Give them a chance too ;-) 

 

I’m a few years older then you Annie and only involved because of my father. I kind of enjoy the older grumpies because I find if you give them the respect they earned, they typically are softies inside. Sounds like you find about the same thing. 

 

As a women selling my father’s collection, I have found a few people trying to take advantage of my situation. I’m too stubborn to let them. Most have been extremely helpful. The old grumpies never were anything but helpful and kind to me. They remind me of my father also. 

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7 minutes ago, victorialynn2 said:

 

I’m a few years older then you Annie and only involved because of my father. I kind of enjoy the older grumpies because I find if you give them the respect they earned, they typically are softies inside. Sounds like you find about the same thing. 

 

As a women selling my father’s collection, I have found a few people trying to take advantage of my situation. I’m too stubborn to let them. Most have been extremely helpful. The old grumpies never were anything but helpful and kind to me. They remind me of my father also. 

I'm on the opposite end where my father couldn't even change the oil and although liked cars, knew nothing about them.  Sadly he sold the 1969 Chevelle and the Mach 1 Mustang cause he was bored :(

 

I'm sorry you have to let his things go, but I guess they are his things and will help keep him comfortable :) I wish you all the best in the sales :)

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If someone is around old cars and is grumpy they are most likely grumpy about everything. If they are guys around a couple girls that like cars and know what they are doing like you two they are just plain nuts. Have fun girls and forget about the grumps. 

Dave S 

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9 minutes ago, AnniesSS said:

I'm on the opposite end where my father couldn't even change the oil and although liked cars, knew nothing about them.  Sadly he sold the 1969 Chevelle and the Mach 1 Mustang cause he was bored :(

 

I'm sorry you have to let his things go, but I guess they are his things and will help keep him comfortable :) I wish you all the best in the sales :)

That’s a shame! You would have been a great owner for them. 

 

I have most sold and am in the home stretch. I’m keeping his favorite. I sure was glad he had them to take care of his needs until I straightened out the VA about the benefits he earned. That’s was the purpose of the collection, his retirement fund if you will. He always said it’s harder to spend cars then cash!

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I might not buy a tractor trailer and load retirees in it to work on the Mexican wall, but I would buy a bus. You might have a hard time finding 20 people who would actually travel a job like that, but if you offer a ride there is a good chance you will find a bus load. My Irish ancestors three generations back gave some big blowhard all their money to get to the US on a boat and he cheated them, dropped off in Newfoundland. I remember that and I give 100% of whatever I provide. Opportunities abound, they always have. All you have to do is watch what the other guy is doing. Don't do the same thing, just figure out what is hardest for him to do and offer to make it easy or more convenient. Four Fridays ago I was on a High School roof at 1 AM scrawling notes of what should and should not be happening. Two years ago I was collating information on a 200 year old city that no one had taken the time to do. This year I am making a training program to teach what we have been doing for the past ten years.

Since 1998 most of my old car hobby money has come from internet car sales of stuff. That is when I got connected online. All through the 1990's I serviced collector cars in my garage and had two part time helpers. That was all after a regular job.

My Wife says I am sarcastic when I put a twenty dollar bill under the sugar bowl in the fall and tell her that's for the kid who comes by offering to shovel the driveway. He hasn't come yet.

 

The BMW was cheap, mostly due to its reputation as a high maintenance risk. I paid a total of $7700 for the car. It is the same age today, as my '64 Riviera was when I bought that in 1978 for $2,000. The Riviera cost equates to about $12,000 in today's cash. And the BMW is in much better shape. I talked with the Medford, Or. dealer who sold the BMW new on Monday. The car was $122,580 in 2003. Recognized or not, I will treat it like a collector car.

 

Bottom line, I have been working adult style since I was 11, always had a regular job, usually had a part time job, and always had a hobby fund raising job; pretty much like 3 jobs, But I never worked hard. I have always been a round peg in a round hole... or I was gone. That brings us back to the topic. Young people are expected, by older people, to be followers and looked down upon for not "passing through the rite of passage" the old people think they passed through. It's a lot of BS, like teaching them to dance without music, follow the old guy's motion. The departing generation has been like that, nothing changes but the date.

 

 Dang, Bernie, keep on and I am going to start agreeing with you.

 

  Ben

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I know a few grumpy car people. They generally are hard, cold and thick skinned. They have many layers and ya gotta peel them back like an onion. Patiently. These old grumpy folks often got this way from dealing with frustrating people for 50+ years. Once you invest the time, and they warm up to you, they can be a treasure trove of information. Sure they can be qwirky, but they are often sharp, smart and have tons of experience to share. The problem is, the Grumpy old Guys need to know that you are worthy of their time and investment. Once they know, and you truly have no other motive other than to learn the hobby, and need a mentor, amazing relationships can be built. 

 

I was lucky enough to share this very experience with a brilliant old man a few years ago. He shut his grumpy door on me many times. I kept going back and earned his respect. I was extremely fortunate to befriend this man. He ended up treating me like a son. I learned a ton from him. He poured it on me heavy once he found a willing person who really wanted to learn and could be trusted. We laughed. We drank. We harvested elk together.  We flew his private plane together. He let me fly it! I look back on those years fondly. Cracking his nut was not for the faint of heart.  But well worth it for I have great memories with the old Grumpy guy. He died 2 years ago and it hit me pretty hard. It was well worth the effort for I reaped many rewards.

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2 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Tech workers can make a stupid amount of money. Many there in Seattle thanks to Microsoft being headquartered there. I would think a lot of that effect spills over into Vancouver. Average programmer with twitter is said to make in excess of $150k. Video and computer game people make more. Amazon has tech workers in Seattle and a young relative of mine worked there in video games for them. Testing and rating video games I think it was.

The Vancouver tech company's are constantly complaining that Vancouver's cost of living makes it nearly impossible to hire and keep talented people.  Why would you train for and be employed in a very demanding job if the local cost of living reduces your buying power to that of a semi skilled worker in a more average cost location?  Vancouver has a reasonably successful hi tech sector , however there are constant threats to its future due to a runaway housing bubble and overall out of control cost of living. 150 K a year won't even dent a mortgage on a slightly better than average house around here. Where I live; one of Vancouver's suburbs, property assessments rose an average of 17% in 2017 alone.

Greg

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Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I got into this hobby when I was in my 30's. I have been in the hobby for a little bit over two decades. I have found that most of my friends are older than I am and I have been to a lot of funerals. My first car was a $5,000 Model A Ford that I bought as a young police officer with a loan from my credit union. I have more disposable income now but still don't have unlimited cash to enjoy the hobby. 

 

My kids have grown up in the hobby but are not currently as active as they have been, nor as active as I expect them to be in the future. The college years and the years of young work life shortly after college do not allow as much involvement in the hobby as being an older adult allows. 

 

In general, there are differences between generations and there are differences in economic conditions from time to time. In general, those make a difference in hobby participation, but people are still people. There are still plenty of "car people" and a percentage of them are "old car people".  While it does not apply to everybody (and specifically not to me), most people tend to enjoy and collect the cars of their youth. As a result, there are varying trends in what types of cars are "hot" at a given time.

 

There are large cars and coffee events in my area that continue to attract large numbers of young people and old people locally. Our AACA chapter has a  number of members who attend cars and coffee with our antique cars. The young people that attend cars and coffee are getting exposed to cars like my 1937 Buick and I find lots of them that are quite interested in pre-war cars, but it will probably be a few years before most of them can afford to collect a car like mine, although it costs less than a typical new car today. 

 

Earl Beauchamp has often told the story about how his 1939 Buick was called "a used car" in his early years in AACA. Earl went on to later serve as AACA's National President. There have always been "grumpy old men' in the hobby, that is nothing new. There will probably always be some of them. I can also say that some of those folks have become dear friends of mine over the years. When you show up with an old car and a desire to learn, you will find welcoming folks in AACA. Our local AACA chapter has members from pre-teen to 90's and everything in between. The future of the hobby is like the past of the hobby. Some people will collect and enjoy cars. Some people won't. Only a relatively small percentage of today's older generation enjoy old cars. Only a small percentage of baby boomers enjoy old cars. Only a small percentage of the next generations will enjoy old cars. Life goes on. 

 

  

 

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3 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Unfortunately in my city and surrounding area the million dollar homes are the starters/ fixer uppers. Also lots of 2-3 million tear downs in the nicer parts of town. One tear down in a very nice part of town recently made the news with a 7.5 million asking price, and it isn't even on a very large lot. Newer little box row houses are  $750,000.00 and up. It might have a garage but it will be most comfortable for a Smart car. You are not going to do much car work when your neighbours front door is 10 feet from yours.

  A great deal depends on where you live.  Almost every larger city in Canada has a similar situation so moving won't help much. Ditto for Australia. 

 

 

Greg

 

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4 hours ago, AnniesSS said:

Great post and well written!  I'm 46 and a woman and have vented about this topic for some time!  I was at the AACA National meet in Mobile this past weekend and while at the Rountable discussions, I commented on how I was treated at the Virginia Beach National meet 3 years ago and it wasn't well treatment I received!  Another woman commented that my 1989 Suburban was "just another used car".  My response... they are ALL used cars!  Of Course, she didn't like that comment, but it made me so angry that I wrote a letter to the editor of the AACA Magazine, West Peterson, about the treatment of new members and what vehicles they enjoy.  If this car hobby is to grow, everyone has to be welcomed, whether they own a vehicle or not, or if it's a Toyota or a truck!

 

As for grumpy old people, I meet them all the time when I'm on a judging team usually.... usually they warm up to me and we are all good friends at the end of the day :)  Give them a chance too ;-) 

Some people are having a hard time with late 80s vehicles being old enough to show,when you think of old cars late 80s just seem too new and I am still using them for daily drivers. That thought pops in my mind at first when I see them at shows then I have to tell myself that they are getting up there in age.

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10 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

That may have a lot to do with the specific Kaiser’s you have. I would think the smaller, specific cars like that have very limited age appeal?

I have one kid that wants this car.. He knows the car is rust free.. 

He will 19 this year.. I just got him 10K worth of tools..

 

No Motor.. Just google Lady K  kaiser. 

 

He wants to have one also.. Lady K was built by a 19 year old..

Mano Forsman .

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Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, junkyardjeff said:

Some people are having a hard time with late 80s vehicles being old enough to show,when you think of old cars late 80s just seem too new and I am still using them for daily drivers. That thought pops in my mind at first when I see them at shows then I have to tell myself that they are getting up there in age.

Yeah, that's what many were saying FIFTY years ago, too.  Maybe tomorrow I'll retrieve from my shop the 1970 edition of the Official AACA Judging Guidelines which I must have picked up at Hershey that year.  It's all of about EIGHT pages, about 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide.  Except for CCCA-recognized cars (including Lincoln Continentals through 1948), the newest cars eligible to be judged were 1937 models.  That's right, 1937.  On the bottom of the class page I had written, in fountain pen, in my fine Spencerian hand, that in 1972 they'd accept through 1938, and in 1974 1939 models would be eligible for judging.  Gotta find that document and quote it directly rather than from memory.

 

So it's all relative.  The important thing is that people get interested while they have SOMEthing interesting to them, and their taste will usually improve with time.  Sure happened with me....

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5 hours ago, AnniesSS said:

Another woman commented that my 1989 Suburban was "just another used car". 

A better response would be if a car 30 years old is just a used car to her than she must be real old. Now look at it this way. If you bought a 30 year old car in 1989 it could have been a 59 Chevy or a 59 Cadillac and how desirable are they.

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

A better response would be if a car 30 years old is just a used car to her than she must be real old. Now look at it this way. If you bought a 30 year old car in 1989 it could have been a 59 Chevy or a 59 Cadillac and how desirable are they.

Love this response Joe, although I’d personally never say this to anyone. (But I’d think it). Annie, I hope we meet someday. :)

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5 hours ago, Grimy said:

Yeah, that's what many were saying FIFTY years ago, too.  Maybe tomorrow I'll retrieve from my shop the 1970 edition of the Official AACA Judging Guidelines which I must have picked up at Hershey that year.  It's all of about EIGHT pages, about 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide.  Except for CCCA-recognized cars (including Lincoln Continentals through 1948), the newest cars eligible to be judged were 1937 models.  That's right, 1937.  On the bottom of the class page I had written, in fountain pen, in my fine Spencerian hand, that in 1972 they'd accept through 1938, and in 1974 1939 models would be eligible for judging.  Gotta find that document and quote it directly rather than from memory.

 

So it's all relative.  The important thing is that people get interested while they have SOMEthing interesting to them, and their taste will usually improve with time.  Sure happened with me....

 

I don't know when the AACA wisely adopted the 25-year rule, but in 1979 I remember my uncle, Johnny Green from Granville OH, lamenting that something as common as a '54 Chevy could be shown at AACA meets.  Uncle Johnny was a Model T / Model A person and wanted nothing to do with anything more modern.

Edited by Roger Frazee (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

Love this response Joe, although I’d personally never say this to anyone. (But I’d think it). Annie, I hope we meet someday. :)

 

Likewise my friend!  I have to head way more west and you east... and since I was just in Alabama.... I think we missed the mark this time lol

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8 hours ago, junkyardjeff said:

Some people are having a hard time with late 80s vehicles being old enough to show,when you think of old cars late 80s just seem too new and I am still using them for daily drivers. That thought pops in my mind at first when I see them at shows then I have to tell myself that they are getting up there in age.

That proves that cars HAVE improved from the 1950's and 1960's.  There has been much advancement made on rustproofing since that time, and on many cars, the two-stage paint job often still shines like new, (not counting cars where it has peeled off).  Mechanically, they have improved as well,  not to mention, the lubricants and seals used on them.   Because of that, a lot of them are still presentable daily drivers, and their 'half-used-bar-of-soap' look keeps their design from looking dated.

 

Yes, it is difficult getting my head wrapped around seeing a rather pristine original 1988 Chevette at a local car show regularly, in addition to a 1986 Dodge Aries that also appears regularly.  It is then I have to remind myself these 80's cars are now 30 years old!!

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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27 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

That proves that cars HAVE improved from the 1950's and 1960's.  There has been much advancement made on rustproofing since that time, and on many cars, the two-stage paint job often still shines like new, (not counting cars where it has peeled off).  Mechanically, they have improved as well,  not to mention, the lubricants and seals used on them.   Because of that, a lot of them are still presentable daily drivers, and their 'half-used-bar-of-soap' look keeps their design from looking dated.

 

Yes, it is difficult getting my head wrapped around seeing a rather pristine original 1988 Chevette at a local car show regularly, in addition to a 1986 Dodge Aries that also appears regularly.  It is then I have to remind myself these 80's cars are now 30 years old!!

 

Craig

If you are in and out of body shops like I am every day, you will see there has been little to no improvement in rust proofing over the last 100 years.  Routinely, I see 5-6 year old vehicle with rust issues.  Trucks, Jeeps, cars, everything.  Shock mounts gone, trunk pans you can see through after lifting the carpet, etc.  10-12 year old vehicles are often totaled because of rust-they become non-repairable to reputable shops.  Some specific examples are a 1 year old Tundra with half of the bumper clips missing (Tundras don't use galvanized fasteners), a 4 year old Ram with holes in the fender and bumpers, a 6 year old Impala with a rear strut mount barely attached anymore, and a 5 year old Cherokee with the rear axle shaking in reverse because it is barely attached to the suspension.  These are just a few.

 

Often the rust on newer vehicles is more hidden, but also way more dangerous.

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I really enjoy humor with a strong sense of irony. I guess that's what I like about the old car hobby. And my work. And my life in general.

 

Bernie

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48 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

That proves that cars HAVE improved from the 1950's and 1960's.  There has been much advancement made on rustproofing since that time, and on many cars, the two-stage paint job often still shines like new, (not counting cars where it has peeled off).  Mechanically, they have improved as well,  not to mention, the lubricants and seals used on them.   Because of that, a lot of them are still presentable daily drivers, and their 'half-used-bar-of-soap' look keeps their design from looking dated.

 

Yes, it is difficult getting my head wrapped around seeing a rather pristine original 1988 Chevette at a local car show regularly, in addition to a 1986 Dodge Aries that also appears regularly.  It is then I have to remind myself these 80's cars are now 30 years old!!

 

Craig

Maybe a little but they still get very rusty,my 89 crown vic that I bought about 11 years ago is about gone and probably would have been off the road sooner but I think it was only driven 10,000 miles in its first 18 years. The rocker panels were starting to go when I bought it but could have been from mice nests and this car had been rust proofed,my 95 F150 had had all the spring brackets replaced and has holes in the frame but since its 23 years old it would have outlasted most trucks made in the 60s driven in salt in the winter.

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Rustproofing used to be a job that poor performing salesmen did during evening hours to get to a living wage. Some of them slobbered it on with the same attitude that put them under the car in the first place. I have always seen it as sound headener more than preservative.

Bernie

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Its the mechanicals that are improved.

In my day if a car had a hundred thousand miles on it it was on its last legs.

We sometimes would see cars that had obviously turned the ODO past its limits. These cars were to be avoided.

Now these days a car with a couple of hundred thousand miles on it still have lots of life left in them and the ODOs expire at 999,999.

Rust or not they run longer, this is why us old guys see them as used cars, its because they are.

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5 hours ago, junkyardjeff said:

Maybe a little but they still get very rusty,my 89 crown vic that I bought about 11 years ago is about gone and probably would have been off the road sooner but I think it was only driven 10,000 miles in its first 18 years. The rocker panels were starting to go when I bought it but could have been from mice nests and this car had been rust proofed,my 95 F150 had had all the spring brackets replaced and has holes in the frame but since its 23 years old it would have outlasted most trucks made in the 60s driven in salt in the winter.

Now you get my point.

 

Even though salt is used in places just east of the Rockies, the corrosion is not quite as bad as we have a drier climate, and it can get VERY cold in January/February which slows the corrosion process some.  There are cars here that are 25 years old with still presentable bodies on them, but of course if one wishes to make such a purchase, it's still wise to look underneath it, and under the carpets, regardless where it's located.

 

Craig

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