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Oldschoolgent

Too young to get respect at a car show?

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I too was very young when I started this hobby. I was 14 when I bought my first car and it was my daily driver while I was in high school. I also found it difficult to talk to most of the older guys while working on the car. So now whenever I am at a show, cruise, or just by an old car I do my best to be sure that I answer any questions that a younger person asks. It makes the day more fun and broadens the hobby.

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Have seen a lot of older people afraid of their inadequacies. Have been a car nut since 11 and overcompensating since was a senior in high school without a driver's license. Today I just stay quiet at shows unless asked.

Have had cars that were too new for the clubs and had the same car when it came of age (88 coupe is now but the '90 vert has to wait for next year.

BTW anyone realize that the backwards baseball cap dates back to the 1900-1911 period ? (In an open car I prefer a golf cap to prevent sunburn. My styles and fashion usually cross every few decades).

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Listen to yourselves. Three of the last four posts are doing nothing but reinforcing Alex's original concern.

Besides, how is a kid in a headbanger T and a backwards ball cap any different than a 70-year-old in a poodle skirt or a pack of Camels rolled into a sleeve? You wanna talk about ridiculous? No way could I take such a person seriously. At least the kid is dressing like others in his age group, whereas the septuagenarian just looks foolish.

Bottom line, if a young person expresses interest in my stuff and can carry on an intelligent conversation (and there are many who can), I will not diss that kid based on age or appearance.

Besides, by the very nature of our hobby we are challenging the status quo. How else do you explain the persistent attacks and punitive legislation and taxing we endure simply because modern people don't understand or appreciate old cars, which most view as gas-guzzling, polluting dinosaurs that should be eliminated? Because we are challenging the modern status quo.

He didn't state how he was dressed. We are just offering ideas as to why some owners might look at someone and look at how they present themselves and decide to talk to them or not based on what they see. Right or wrong, it happens all the time. Look at places of employment. Some don't care if your tattoos show or you have fishhooks stuck in your face. Other places of business require that tattoos be covered and no facial piercings, or other visible piercings other than the standard ear piercings, are permitted. It isn't the image they want to convey of their business.

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I joined the Charleston Club in 1962 at the age of 16. I had an antique car that I'd worked on for a couple of years, and, started attending events. I was totally ignored by this bunch except on one occasion. They did a run from Charleston to Camden Park on brand new I 64. I pulled my 37 Dodge Coupe, that had a larger flathead than stock, into the fast lane and passed the bunch of the high dollar stuff that was leading the group. When we got to the park, a guy hopped out of his old Caddy and demanded to look under my hood. It looked stock to him - so he sulked away. He didn't know that the engine was 4" longer than the original with way more power. I think that was the last event I attended with this bunch. Regards:Oldengineer

By pulling out and passing the leader of the tour you broke the hard and fast rule of touring with a group. There is a leader of a tour, they set the pace and the route. Then the vehicles are lined up with the slowest vehicles right behind the leader and then they line up to where the fastest vehicles are in the back of the line. And each person is responsible for the person behind them to make sure no one gets left behind. If you didn't want to travel at that speed you should have prearranged to meet them at the destination rather than do what you did. Hopefully you just didn't know the protocol of touring.

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I first joined the AACA when I was about 19. I think Nixon was president then, to give you an idea of the time frame. Anyway, I was definitely the "kid" in most settings, but I found helpful, friendly people when I got the nerve to approach them. Today, I am impressed by the interesting, helpful car people I meet, especially now that my social skills have improved! Pass by the snobs, and you'll find the great people that share your interests. You'll be glad you did.

Phil

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Alex, I just got back into town and have just read about your bad experience. I am retired, live in Bloomington, MN., and would gladly share any info about any of the autos in my garage. I am not a club type guy because of other commitments, but various club forums have provided valuable information over the years. Concours events are typically invited owners with very special autos to display. Usually MN. nice applies, but there are always the exception out there. Don't judge them to quickly, and just know it gets better. I have autos from 1-cyl Cad, Brush, T's, A, 62 Vet, stop by and lets talk.

AACA has some of the best info out there, and they are always willing to help.

Skip

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Alex, I just got back into town and have just read about your bad experience. I am retired, live in Bloomington, MN., and would gladly share any info about any of the autos in my garage. I am not a club type guy because of other commitments, but various club forums have provided valuable information over the years. Concours events are typically invited owners with very special autos to display. Usually MN. nice applies, but there are always the exception out there. Don't judge them to quickly, and just know it gets better. I have autos from 1-cyl Cad, Brush, T's, A, 62 Vet, stop by and lets talk.

AACA has some of the best info out there, and they are always willing to help.

Skip

Thank you for the offer. I'll send you a PM after this response.

No ill judgments will fall upon anyone else because of others' actions. I will certainly attend other shows and communicate with others, as I feel that the experience I had was probably an abnormal one.

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Shop Rat, not all touring groups have the same rules. Most of my touring is with the HCCA, but some is with Snappers, the AACA brass&gas touring group. We each tour at our own pace - necessary, when some cars cruise comfortably at 20 mph and others at 35+. If I'm in a slow car - I often am, since my favorite tour car is my one-cylinder Cadillac - I look over my shoulder from time to time. If I see more than a couple of moderns or three antiques back there, I find a safe spot to pull over and wave them by. It keeps everyone on the tour happy, and it keeps the moderns waving with all five fingers.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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Shop Rat: Had no idea about protocol - nobody told me, and, as near as I can remember, we simply lined up in the order we arrived at the assembly point. These days, I enjoy talking to anybody that's interested in the old 48, young and old. By and large, the vast majority of owners I run into at car shows and cruise-ins are a very friendly and love to talk cars. Regards:Oldengineer

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I can attest to oldcarfudd's proper touring methods. For instance, we were on a 1&2 cylinder tour together and he would regularly pull over in his 2 cylinder Buick to let me pass with my 1 cylinder Reo.:)

Frank

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Frank - Now you know why I sold that Buick! Come to the 1&2 in New York state next month and we can drag race - you in your one-lung REO and me in my Cadillac! We'll get people to time us with an hourglass - or a calendar!

Gil

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Update'

I met with Alex yesterday afternoon and spent a couple of hours talking about old cars in general. Having never met, I was not sure where the interest might be. This young college grad has a quest for knowledge that was quite refreshing. We discussed the pros and cons of rare vs. common models and also the mechanics of a couple early brass era vehicles. The 62 Vet and 69 Velle also had some obvious appeal. We truly had a great time learning a little bit about each other. Alex does not have an auto at this time and I did not want to influence him in any way. But by giving a little history of my own experiences, I am hoping the added knowledge about early autos will help with his decision.

Anytime we can help promote the hobby, we should do so automatically. What fun.

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Update'

I met with Alex yesterday afternoon and spent a couple of hours talking about old cars in general. Having never met, I was not sure where the interest might be. This young college grad has a quest for knowledge that was quite refreshing. We discussed the pros and cons of rare vs. common models and also the mechanics of a couple early brass era vehicles. The 62 Vet and 69 Velle also had some obvious appeal. We truly had a great time learning a little bit about each other. Alex does not have an auto at this time and I did not want to influence him in any way. But by giving a little history of my own experiences, I am hoping the added knowledge about early autos will help with his decision.

Anytime we can help promote the hobby, we should do so automatically. What fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed our chat. Thank you for opening up your garage to me and offering a plethora of information. Hope to see you again at some local shows!

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He didn't state how he was dressed. We are just offering ideas as to why some owners might look at someone and look at how they present themselves and decide to talk to them or not based on what they see. Right or wrong, it happens all the time. Look at places of employment. Some don't care if your tattoos show or you have fishhooks stuck in your face. Other places of business require that tattoos be covered and no facial piercings, or other visible piercings other than the standard ear piercings, are permitted. It isn't the image they want to convey of their business.

Shop rat, one of my pet peeves is older ladies making themselves look stupid by combining purple dresses with red hats. How do we gain respect if we dress like we have dementia?

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Shop rat, one of my pet peeves is older ladies making themselves look stupid by combining purple dresses with red hats. How do we gain respect if we dress like we have dementia?

Your probably know this but those outfits are a spin-off of a poem about growing older and not caring what other's think. :o

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Shop rat, one of my pet peeves is older ladies making themselves look stupid by combining purple dresses with red hats. How do we gain respect if we dress like we have dementia?

That killed me. I laughed out loud.

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I guess I must look stupid or something because strangers at car shows are stand offish with me and I'm a 62 year old white man who bathes regularly.

If you act half way sensible and show an interest in someone's car they usually thaw out pretty quick. Please don't act like you know more about a car than the guy who drove it to the meet. You won't have much trouble getting acquainted.

Let me tell you a secret. People like to talk about themselves. They also like talking about their hobbies. If you can get them talking in 10 minutes you will have a friend for life. Hell their wife won't listen to them that long and as for their kids they won't listen at all.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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I too was very young when I started with the hobby. My earliest memory of old cars involves riding in a GMC or International (I would have to check which one) flower truck in a parade with my dad. I must have been 3 or 4. I did not make it to an AACA show until I went to Hershey in about 1990 or so. What a way to start! Sure, there were some snobs, but most people have been friendly and inviting. Over the years I have learned when I driver is a jerk, I can still appreciate the car. I agree that most people like to talk about their cars and the stories behind them but there are a few that do not. I just ignore them. While there certainly are those who will tell you AACA is a hostile land, I have never failed to find someone (and usually quite a few someones) I truly enjoyed when I was showing a car.

I still recall the first time I took my car to an AACA meet. I was 37 (pretty young for this group) and the car was freshly restored, having been finished literally the morning before the show. It was my first real restoration. I drove for hours trailering the car to eastern Ohio. I was extremly nervous the night before and was up late into the evening cleaning and polishing every detail. Finally, another exhibitor who was staying at my hotel came out to lend me a hand. By the time I was satisfied with the car there were probably 6 or 7 people around my car cleaning, polishing but mostly shooting the breeze. Their kindness was a godsend and I slept well that evening. We all shared a table at the awards banquet and they hooted and cheered when I won my very first 1st junior award. It was those welcoming people who made the award such a prize...though I admit, I really like the AACA trophies!

Don't give up Alex and when you have a car to show, let me know and I will help you clean it in the parking lot!

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Alex,

Sorry to hear that a few of the show participants were not friendly. I look forward to talking to those interested in my car. I could talk all day about it. Sometimes I keep talking so much they just walk away. Anyway, I can say I have been snubbed a few times at a car show. This is even when I was participating with my car!!!! Meet a few guys that talk right through me and kept on going. It may not necessarily be your age. I'm 48 and have been snubbed by the best of them. The question is, "If you do not want to talk about your car and share why then participate?" By and large a majority do and will talk about their cars. Don't give up on a dream or desire to have your own and participate. Every hobby has a participate that does not play nice.

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I guess I must look stupid or something because strangers at car shows are stand offish with me and I'm a 62 year old white man who bathes regularly.

If you act half way sensible and show an interest in someone's car they usually thaw out pretty quick. Please don't act like you know more about a car than the guy who drove it to the meet. You won't have much trouble getting acquainted.

Let me tell you a secret. People like to talk about themselves. They also like talking about their hobbies. If you can get them talking in 10 minutes you will have a friend for life. Hell their wife won't listen to them that long and as for their kids they won't listen at all.

It takes either of the party to break the ice. Often I get a comment, after a long stare at the car, that their family owned one or they got his license in it. Sometimes tawdry tales with dates in the back seat. The ice is then broken to talk about the car and the admirers tales of a time gone by. Sometimes I have to break the ice. I simply ask if there is anything they want to know. There is a reason this person stopped to look at the car. Mostly a question, but by and large, a car they remember. I let them reminisce and I listen. Listening goes both ways.

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Alex, I can empathize completely. As was suggested in an earlier reply, size them, up and if they don't want to share and warm up to you, move along! Keep looking and you will find the right folks to talk to. Sometimes you don't need to be in a club to enjoy it, and sometimes it's the right kind of folks and you can have a lot of fun. I love old limousines, hearses, ambulances, and sedans (horrors! Not the coupes??) Keep charging! Slainte (Cheers!)

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Some people relate better to machinery than they do to people. Keep this in mind around the old car hobby. It helps to go easy and make allowances.

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I think a lot has to do with the club or people putting on the event. I used to go to a somewhat local show every year sponsored by that area's local car club. I say used to because I got tired of the rudeness of the club members when registering and in general. Very snobby. Last weekend, I went to a show sponsored by the Northeast Region Thunderbird Club and I have to say, they were terrific, very friendly and welcoming. The difference in atmosphere between the shows was telling.

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it's a world wide thing.I finished my first resto at age 16 .A 1935 Morris 8 Coupe. Probably the onjly one in the world. But, because it was built after 1931 there was no way I could join a Vintage car club with it. So I never bothered although I had been going to rallies with my parents in our Chevy Coupe since the early 60's. The most friendly folks were the ones with most expensive cars,Packards,Peirce Arrows etc and in those days many had done the work on them themselves. it seemed like a bit of genitalia envy where the worst snobs were those who drove things like MG's etc. ha ha ... A little kid, as I was, could front up to the owners of a Rolls and start chatting about various aspects of the car and recieve a warm response in return .It helped that I have alwayas been a voracious reader and I still have a copy of Dykes which although pretty ratty now,I have read cover to cover a few times. :-) so to be able to discuss tech aspects helped a lot I think.

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