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fordee9r (Ron Springstead)

Lost Auto Knowledge, Pt. 2

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I don't think there's much cause for pessimism with the younger generation's interest in the car hobby. Go to any dragstrip in the country and you'll find it filled with cars from the last 20 years. Vintage musclecars are becoming an increasingly rare sight at the amateur level. <P>So for now they're racing; maybe when they get older they'll be restoring.<P>Cheers,<BR>Bry

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Interesting discussion and very civilized. It think that 25 yrs. is a good number and should remain. I haven't shown any of my "used cars" yet but I may some day thanks to this forum and my increasing interest in AACA. In 1982 a 57 Chevy was 25 yrs. old. Was it just a used car? It's all relative. If you were to ask most "car nuts" why they enjoy the cars they do they will tell you stories like... It was my first car, my parents had one like it, a lot of the kids in high school drove them, I had my first date in one, etc. (actually I have thought that this topic where people would share these stories in a thread would be interesting). If you lost your virginity in an 80 Pacer you may have fond memories of that model car.(and a bad back). Anyway If you freeze it at a certain yr. you will eventually kill the hobby. I am 40 years old and cars older than the late 40s are somewhat alien to me although I still find them interesting. My interest is in the cars that were still on the road in the 70s as I can relate them to my chidhood and youth. I agree with HVS, let them in and let the spectators decide. What harm could it cause. My 2 cents.

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I'm siding with Bry on this one. There is a significant proportion of the youth of this country still actively pursuing the car hobby. And they're doing it with the vehicles that are reasonably available to them, just like we did. smile.gif" border="0<P>However, here's the rub. Those vehicles are usually small Japanese "imports" like the Civic and Mitsubishi Eclipse. And it is not that these cars are fundamentally different from hopped-up '49 Mercs and the like, it's really pretty much the same scene. What's different is the admission fee for this scene. It costs serious $$$$$ to do one of these cars right, more so proportionally than any of us probably ever thought reasonably possible with our Camaros and the like.<P>For instance, I have a now 21 year old cousin who's '96 Civic sports about $8000+ in mechanical modifications, $1800 of which is just wheels. God only know how much of that was the cost of his dropping in a new 5-speed Integra drivetrain into his former automatic Civic. <I> AND--He considers his car a poor imitation of what his friends drive! </I> rolleyes.gif" border="0<P>You <B> can </B> beat cubic inches, it just takes cubic dollars.<P>And that's where the problems come in in the automotive professions. There's <B> nobody </B> turning wrenches and reading trouble codes that makes anything like the kind of money it takes to be an automotive enthusiast today. If you do like cars, the last thing you want to do is try to make a living out of them because you'll have to give your's up. Thusly, the majority of people coming into the profession are (with exceptions) dissaffected individuals, who if they percieve the desire to pursue cars as a hobby see the proposition as out of their league.<P>Even in perifery industries it's a problem. My brother's Advance Auto Part's store looks like a new employee convention much of the time. He's had to let go 2 people just this month for stealing fromt he store.<P><B> The automotive enthusiast of the future is going to be a self-sufficient animal, that's to be certain! </B>

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As for 72 Electra fan's observations about 25 year old cars, this is one of the problems that I got beat up with on the "Young People" series of threads. <P>In fact, I was once a Car Show Captain for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. There was an infamous instance there in the late 1980's where one of the Directors of that....let's just say "illustrious" organization actually <I> did </I> point to a row of '55-'57 Chevys and demand to "GET THOSE #@%* DAMN USED CARS OFF MY DISPLAY FIELD!" <P>It was years before the event was able to recover from that single display of intolerance. And, as thing turned out, not all together preferable to many people once it did. (Notice, I'm a <I> former </I> Car Show Captain!)<P>That, however, is a rare exception. It was my premise in the "Young People" threads that the acceptance of "newer" antiques was once much better than it is today. There were already many books written about the '57 Chevy in 1982. I have a couple of books written in the late-70's chronicling the collectibility and increasing values of cars far newer than 1957. <P>My favorite observation of how different things used to be is that the Studebaker Avanti made the cover of Hemmings' Special Interest Autos magazine when it was a 7 year old car! Can you picture a 1994 <I> ANYTHING </I> on that cover today? Even a Viper or Ferrari? And this was long before any "gas crunch" or the AMC Pacer.<P>I am as guilty of this as anyone. My memories of the cars of this era (I was in college at the time) are not pretty ones. <P>I hope there are Chevette and Fairmont restorers out there waiting for the charge. And I will cheer them on! <I> (From the rear!) </I> tongue.gif" border="0

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One thing I'd like to point out is that a young person does not have to be mechanically inclined, or even mechanically interested to become a car nut. I have been a car nut since I was about 4 years old, but have never been interested in doing any of the mechanics myself. I earned my living as best I could and fortunately it gave me the necessities to restore many cars over the years. I also had a lot of help from good friends who ran good shops, and who were good mechanics.<BR>I was always interested in the styling, the comfort, the ride, and to a much lesser degree the performance insofar as it equated to speed. Therefore as a person interested in style, I do see cars from the 80s and 90s that will be sought after. Whether there will be anybody who can fix or build any necessary computers doesn't worry me too much. Kids coming up today will develop as adults who can do miracles with computers. There area already such young people around. We have a '97 Mercury Couger 30th Anniversary <BR>Edition. I think it will be collectible one day. The current Firebirds will be collectible, as will the the Plymouth Prowler and Chrysler PT Cruiser. And yes, a 280Z will be collectible. No, there won't be any big, comfortable cars like I collect, because there are none today, not even a Cadillac. But I'll bet somebody will have fond memories as a child of going places in a 1980 Buick Century with a 267 Pontiac V-8 like we owned once, and was arguably the worst car of the 72 I've owned. People are restoring '58 Buicks and two of them almost took us to the poor house as young adults. And, interesting enough when I see them, I look at them, and I remember the good times, not the many bad times. I don't think we need to worry too much until Mom & Pop stop using cars to take the kids to fun places. When those kids grow up, they'll remember the cars that got them there (or in today's society the truck that got them there smile.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0)<p>[ 06-20-2001: Message edited by: Dynaflash8 ]

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Earl ~ You mean there is hope for my VW Thing? smile.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0shocked.gif" border="0 ~ hvs

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In case anyone wants to take up the mantle outlined by Dynaflash and restore/preserve a new Firebird (which I'll agree is arguably one of the best looking cars ever put on the road), just a friendly reminder. When you go to change the spark plugs in this wonderous piece of machinery, don't forget to get an early start. It is an 8.8 hour job!<P>Have fun!

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While cleaning out my 1929 Chrysler, I found a publication from 1963 in the storage area behind the seat with a classified ad showing a picture of a very clean 1936 Cord offered for $650. In order for there to be 50 year old cars 25 years from now, someone needs to start caring for the 25 year old cars now. Sadly I fear that future generations will find it difficult or impossible to restore cars of the 1980's and newer, due to the computers. When my wife&I took our three young daughters to the Belleville, KS car show, we were able to point out models driven by their parents, grand parents, and great-grand parents. They're not just cars, they're history, and every model has it own, whether it was loved or hated.

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