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Passing on your experience to young folks


Frantz
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I'm 31, starting a family, work full time, and I love old cars. Sure I love fast and modified cars, but I'm a also history buff, and nothing makes me happier than seeing an original representation of a historic machine... well maybe restoring one would. I've been stashing parts and cars as good deals have cropped up, and I can fix basic stuff without any issue. I'm probably ahead of the curve, but there is still so much to learn. What would help new guys like me out the most is just being invited to some restoration weekends. Welding some patch panels? Show me how. Laying some paint? Yes please! Stitching some new seat covers, or a convertible top? Bam! I don't have much covered space, but I do have tools. I've come to the realization that a nice restoration outside is better than a collection of parts cars. I can't wait until everything is perfect or else I'll be too old to crawl around on my back and have fun under a car. Is there any efforts to pass on this knowledge many of you have learned? I can only learn so much from a book and don't have restricted scheduled time to take college courses. It'd be awesome if regional clubs put some efforts into workshops to help us new folks out who didn't grow up in a car family. I feel like we could get more young folks involved if we showed them how to get an old project back on the road and gradually get it to standards and enjoy every mile in between. Does that seem like a good idea or is there a better way?

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Frantz, contact these guys... http://aacagettysburgregion.org/

Join their region and I'm sure they have something going on all the time in you area. Antiquers love to share their hobby. By the way, the President of AACA, Don Barlup, belongs to that region and lives nearby.

Wayne

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In a perfect world you may find someone that could teach you as you request.

Personally I can get more done when I work alone. But that's just me.

I have always felt that mechanics are born not made.

When I owned the boat dealership I hired lots of guys. Some that could figure things out, and some that went to small engine classes that knew nothing about how things work.

Bottom line, you either have it or you don't.

As for retirement and old cars I have found that I can figure most stuff out.

These forums are way better than the old days for info and parts. The world is getting smaller all the time.

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Golfers love to talk about their golf game, fishermen talk about fishing, old car guys love to talk about old cars. Just find some old guys who are getting too old for the hand to hand combat and offer to help them. If you lived around here I would have you in my shop, fixing things, learning things, and getting an ear full. We would work on my cars and your cars too.

Go ahead and ask, your big problem will be getting them to shut up.

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I recently joined the Hershey region.

I suppose what I'm trying to get at is, part of the hobby should be passing the experience, fellowship, and enjoyment of restoration. It might be faster to do most jobs alone, but it's enjoyable to have some like minded buddies over to drink your beer and watch you work. I hear discussions about "who is going to want my collection" but not so much about how to actually get young folks involved in restoration. Heck, I'm already hooked, and have been for years. But I don't want to be the only one at car shows in 50 years. One may be good at just figuring out how to put parts together, but that still leaves machine work, body work and upholstery, and understanding the history. I love Ramblers, but I don't have memory of ever shopping at an AMC dealer. My folks bought a new Chevy Celebrity wagon in '88. That's my first new car experience and I was five. The personal experiences aren't well documented in history books but are part of the hobby worth preserving. YouTube is awesome for "how to". You can watch just about any process, but there is no fellowship there. I've hung out at shops before and learned much, but enjoyed the friendships even more. It would seem it's an opportunity to expand our enjoyment of the hobby beyond the show-field and business meetings. Maybe I'm just being too idealistic.

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You wanna know the secret to achieving this? Host a small gathering, a beer and BBQ sort of thing, with a few club members and old car guys you meet, just for chit chat. Without fail, several of them will end up under your car before the evening is finished. It's just nature's way. :)

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You wanna know the secret to achieving this? Host a small gathering, a beer and BBQ sort of thing, with a few club members and old car guys you meet, just for chit chat. Without fail, several of them will end up under your car before the evening is finished. It's just nature's way.

Now that's a good idea! I can have my Ramblers on one side, my Mopar on another, my Chevy on the back and my Ford out front. Beer, food, and tools in the middle in the middle. Proactive ideas are often the most successful!

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Now that's a good idea!

Indeed it is ... & exactly what I was going to reply, until I read it had already been mentioned by MarrsCars!

Along with that, when you meet in person, you tend to find out you have more in common than an interest in cars.

Cort :)www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve

"When you're surrounded by friends, they say the fun never ends" __ Glen Campbell __ 'Country Boy'

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Passing on information to others is important. At the recent Run to the Sun swap meet in Myrtle Beach, I had my GMC V-12 on an engine stand in the front of my space. The young kids couldn't believe it, the old guys, long time mechanics, couldn't believe it and thought it was 2 engines built together, and the kids and dogs, well they cried and ran when I started it up. It sure got a lot of attention, but it was part of the education experience. and lot's of fun. When I was packing up, I needed some help pulling the winch cable out of the 20 foot trailer. I asked a young boy to help me. While the winch was being let out, he was pulling with all his might thinking he was pulling it out. After words I gave him a vintage red Firestone racing jacket, just his size. I will guarantee you, that he will be wearing it next year.

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.......... After words I gave him a vintage red Firestone racing jacket, just his size. I will guarantee you, that he will be wearing it next year.

Great job Dan. I guarantee he will never forget you.

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One old guy I use to hang out with at old one lunger and tractor shows use to try to chase me away when I was young. I never listened to him and ended up knowing the quirks and how to fix his stuff better than he did. And I use to tell him so later in life. If no one was in within ear shot, he would agree. He has passed on now to that big engine show in the sky. Dandy Dave!

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Frantz,

Another idea that worked for me was visiting shops where they restoreor work on cars. Body shops, upholstry shops, mechanical shops that do old cars.

When I started in this hobby at age 13, I would go & watch and ask questions at the towns shops, then go home and do it myself. Made lots of mistakes and my work was appreciated by me because I did it myself. Then I'd show it to the guys I'd asked and they would tell me how not to do that same mistake again. In my eyes, the cars I painted with my mother's Electrolux vacumn cleaner looked a lot better than before and I had not paid $29.95 for the Facto Bake job. Then I met other old car guys that even had small compressors and learned from them. Believe me sanding off a stucco style paint job teaches the skill of block sanding.

Point is that 100 + cars later I'm still proud of the process and loved most of those cars as learning experiences and a source of money for the next restoration. In that process, nobody ever made fun of my work, except me. We've all been there.

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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I wish there was a youngster around here that shared my love for vintage machinery like I did when I was just a youngster. I brought my first Briggs and Stratton motor home at the ripe old age of 7. I do talk to one young fellow on FB, but he is about 3 states away. He has the vintage construction machinery collecting disease bad. I try to tell him what to look for when buying a bulldozer or old power shovel so he does not get in too deep with very expensive repairs. Seem all the kids around here stay home and play video games these days. God forbid they get a little bit greasy wrenching on something. One of the principals at our local K-12 school told me one time he was trying to get mentors for some young folks that were interested. I told him I would be interested and would be glad to have a youngster with promise come over see what I do first hand. Then he told me that they could not leave the school and that I would have to mentor them one on one in a class room there. I told him that this was a hands on kind of thing, and if you were going to keep a youngster happy he would need to get his hands dirty experiencing these old machines/autos first hand. I guess insurance laws and the threat of the school being sued if the kid came home with a cut on his finger and dirty dungarees killed the idea off. I never heard anymore about it after that. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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