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Dynaflash8

Young Adult Members

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While my generation is turning white-haired, and AACA is actively trying to build interest in the old car hobby at the early age in child development; what about the parents of those children? What about the sons and daughters of we oldtimers?<BR> There seems to be a graying of the Club, with many more of my generation then the next. I will soon be 62, but I've been here since I was 23. Basically I've given a large part of my life to AACA and its various organizations and programs.<BR> Recently I have become friendly with an intelligent 32 year-old new father who is into our hobby as I was 35 years ago. He has recently almost completed an AUTHENTIC restoration of an antique car of his choice. He has impressed me a great bit. He reads this forum but I won't say who his is.<BR> Unlike many or most I've met his age, he isn't into restoring a car with modifications that fit his fancy, authentic or not. I can't help but recall asking one fellow around that age why he put rallye wheels on his '57 Chevy, to be told in no uncertain terms that the "original wheels don't float my boat." I had to grit my teeth. So, this young father I've met is a refreshing change, and it got me thinking. I thought, "now here's a fellow that might have something to offer...."<BR> Instead of us old geezers trying to figure out what we have to do to attact the young adults we need to follow us in leadership, the parents of the children we are teaching as Terry Bond speaks of in his post, why don't we go to the horses mouth?<BR> It occurs to me that a select Committee of really interested and knowledgeable AACA member young adults who have made themselves known by participation at the various levels of AACA may be able to examine the thinking of their own age group from the inside out and develop a program that would appeal to more of their generation. This would need to be a program to encourage authentic restoration of the vehicles that their generation is in love with and club participation. Such a Committee, possibly under the leadership of a national leader, would need to present good rational thinking their generation might understand and suggest programs that would bring those people into our hobby rather than the modified hobby. My biggest concern about such a Committee is how young adults from around the country and not living close together could afford to meet and discuss the issue, what with children, house payments, car payments, jobs and professions to be concerned with. Yeah, young adults earn more then they did in my day, but still that would be a strain. Hmm, I don't have a good answer for that except maybe computer conferencing.<BR> What do you think out there in DF-land? Doya think there's a chance something like that would work?<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 09-24-2000).]

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Excellent thoughts. I think you hit the nail on the head.<P>All of us meet young people at various shows, AACA or local. We could start now, personally asking them what they need, how do they view AACA, in general, what does it take to get their interest.<P>We could all pool our data, and, go from there.<P>Peter J.<P>------------------<BR>heizmann<BR>senior member

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Earl, Good ideas, the thing to remember is that many young people out there are different today than the young guys of your day. Today, with the cost of living, wives working outside the home, and a different way of looking at things. America is not as dependent on the car as in your day. You would think nothing of packing the family in the car and driving anywhere, today they fly. Gas prices are up recently, and until the SUV's of recentl years, cars were smaller. The cars that the 35 year old remembers when he grew up are more complicated than the cars of your youth. It was easy to do the work yourself, now how do you get your hands in the cars of the last 25 years, you need special tools, electronic gizmo's, lifts, etc. Also society is more into disposable things. You were a child when WWII was on and clearned to save and conserve, now we have an over supply of everything and credit cards to buy it. I have a Model T and I am into it because it has been in the family for over 60 years. If we had a 57 Chevy, or a 66 Mustang, I would be a 57 Chevy or 66 Mustang guy. Different cars for different eras. I hope some of this makes sense. SalG, AACA Life Member, age 37.<p>[This message has been edited by SalG (edited 09-24-2000).]

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I think SalG is on the right track with society being a "throw-away" genreation. We as younger members tend to like the 60's and 70's cars. They are new enough that if you wanted to, you could still used them as "daily" drivers if you don't want to show them nationally but, are still antiques. the future "antiques-to-be" are going to become more and more difficult for the home restorer to work on.<BR>For the most part the main reason you'll find a younger member in an "old" car (pre-55) would be becuase a family member had one and they liked it as a kid. As older members, didn't you restore mainly the cars you grew up with, just as we are doing?<BR>I think we are working on a good idea here. Maybe it needs to be disscussed some more at the Hershey DF meetings. Father Ron, any possibility of getting the national directors for membership and such to the meeting?<BR>The biggest reason i'm involved in antique cars is my dad. He had I believe a 38 or 39 Mercury Convertibale. He took me to the car meeting as a kid. Heck, til it ended up I became a auto mechanic, and now I build drag cars for a living. How the automobile interest made the path for my life to follow.<BR>novaman, AACA Life member for 18yrs, age 34

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Sal and Novaman your comments are great and you have expressed the problem; now what is a solution? Yes, I grew up from 1941-1951 in my Dad's 39 Buick; and then I got my 39 Buick in 1955 as my first car. I got the current one in 1963 to make it like the one in 1955, and Thursday I got back my 39 convertible sedan I sold in 1985 to build my retirement home. All that is true, but I never worked on cars; they could have been computer driven as far as I was concerned. We're all hung up on the cars of our youth, or most of us are; but that isn't the question. AACA is a club for "furthering the interest in and preserving of antique automobiles" among other things. Whatever the age of the antique automobile modifying is not preserving. Preserving without modifying has been something I've found younger folks I've talked to, too often unwilling to accept. How can we interest them in larger numbers to see the value of authentic restoration and sportsmanship and camaraderie with others of like interest?<P>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 09-24-2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 09-25-2000).]

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I like old cars if they are as authentic as possible. Like my 1912 Cadillac. The safety inspection would like to see that I put turn signals on the car but I don?t want this. Mostly I drive this car at old cars tours so it is not absolutely necessary. At my 1931 Ford Model A I put direction lights on it and use an alternator for more power for the electric system because I drive this car very often in the normal traffic. I started the old car hobby, as I was 23 years old. My father collects cars since 36 years. My first car was 1952 Mercedes 170S. The condition was not the best? I bought then cars from the 50s but they were all authentic cars. As my father started to collect brass era cars, I was interested, too after a while. After this years with my 50s cars I like now mostly the cars of the pre1940 era. In the main thing US cars. I don?t know if I would be a classic car fan if my father doesn?t have this hobby. From youngest years there were old cars around be. Yesterday there were 3 generation of family members in my Model A: My grandma (92 years old) my parents and me. We had a nice tour. <BR>I don?t know why young people like these not authentic cars with bigger wheels and these other things. <BR>Thomas, 30 years old.<BR><P>------------------<BR>Thomas Borchers<BR>Member of AACA # 004829<BR>HCCA and MAFCA

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Yes, the parents of these kids are VERY important.<BR>At TRAACA, by bringing in the kids, we also worked on signing up the parents. BSA/GSA kids come with adult troop leaders. Presentations to these groups involve community folks as well: all free publicity within the community for AACA. ensure to bring your "soft-sell" membership chairperson along to get them applications.

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This has been discussed before here. I am 17, going on 18 and I like most old cars made after 1946. The old cars I like are the ones you can use as daily drivers. The cars since the late 40s appeal to me because they can safely attain legal speed on the Interstate. I have no interest in the muscle cars, mainly because to me, they are overrated. The ideal automobile for me would be a late 1950s to early 1970s full-size, big block V8 Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Chrysler. The problem is that all young people are not like me when it comes to cars. In school, I was told by classmates. that wehn it comes to cars, I think like a 70 year old man. To them it was an insult, but to me, It is the highest compliment I have ever been given by anyone.

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dynaflash8:<BR><B>PS: Buick59, my wife and I are restoring a 71 Riviera as we speak. Think it'll turn my white hair black? smile.gif</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>OOh...A "Boattail" Riviera!!!! I love those cars!!!! Isn't that a Bill Mitchell Design? I don't know about your hair color changing, but I do know you are having fun doing something you enjoy, and basically, that's what counts!!!!

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Dynaflash8- I am a LeSabre and Electra 225 person. I also like the big Estate Wagon. These cars can tow trailers that would freak many an SUV!!!!

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id say i would have to agree with the 59buick guy. i too am the same age and do not find a fancy in muscle cars. i mainly enjoy late 50s and earlier. i also often get told i look and think like an old grandma in my car, but i love it. either my classmates love it or make fun of it. maybe this year i will win the twinkie awards for best ride. i also like the fact that i can drive around and say hey look what i have done. its nice to know you have acomplished something. mindy.

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You last two guys lift my heart. When I was sixteen, proud of my sidemounted 39 Buick with leather interior, my favorite date said to me one night, "I hate to tell you this, but the kids around school call your car Beauchamp's Hearse!" Just think, my classic car! Well, like a dumb cluck I traded it in on a 1952 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop. That was on July 31. By September 30 I'd lost both my Buick and the girl! What you guys are saying is sort of a repeat of history. The problem today is, there aren't enough of you guys, and other young adults I think. How can we interest more folks from 25-45 or 50 (let's say--and I see one of you is 17) in authentic car collecting in AACA? Muscle cars aren't a problem if restored to factory specs. In 1962 fellow collectors called my 39 Buick a "used car" when I tried to show it. That changed my life and not for the better I think. So, I've been there and done that. I don't fault any guy for his interest. I just want him to be one of us and live by the code. I'm not gonna live forever; we need new folks between my age and the kids we're trying to interest to take the club over for awhile. We need lots of them, too. Come on, this is heating up and starting to be fun, so lets hear some suggestions about how we can get more young adults interested without compromising the tenants and ideals of AACA.<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 09-25-2000).]

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I am a second generation and what would probably be considered a somewhat younger (35 yo) member. My dad gets full credit for getting me interested in antique cars. He brought me to my first car show when I was 1 yr old. There is a picture of him holding me while I am clutching my 1911 Thomas Flyer Matchbox car. I beleive there is no substitute for current members helping get their kids or neices/nephews involved. I have owned some modified cars in the past but now am solely into correct restorations in order to be able to show them at AACA National Meets. My first one was the Centennial Meet in Dearborn in 1996 where my 64 Corvette received a second junior. I currently own a 70 Dart Swinger 340 that I am going for a senior with at Hershey this year and hopefully a Grand National 1st in Moline next summer. You will be pleased to know that there are quite a few of us youngsters who are fanatically into factory restored cars. I spent a week researching and applying the factory inspection marks to my ride and I can assure you that I'm not the only such fanatic. A restored car is just plain a better investment of your cash than a modified and many people realize this. As far as making the AACA more marketable, I would start by advertising your strengths rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. I had an opportunity to attend the Special Fall Meet in NC this summer and later on attended a marque specific national meet and must say that the AACA one was a much better experience for me. Absolutely no politics involved and your judging process is THE best I have ever had to experience. I'm sure there are a ton of disgruntled show people out their who would appreciate this if they Knew more about it. Something that you may also wish to consider including as part of a National Meet weekend would be a "cruise-in". Just a bunch of guys/gals getting together and sharing car stories. When I start going for my preservations, I wouldn't mind having a little fun with my car rather than just having sit in the trailer until Saturday. Locally, many of the shows are not as big as they once were but the local cruise nights are starting to pull in 200+ vehicles in some locations. Just a few thoughts from a youngster.

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People are generally sick of hearing my thoughts on this matter, but here's a few observations you may want to ponder:<P>1. Restoring cars to the constantly rising standards that show cars have reached over the last 30 years gets more expensive with each coming year (envirnomental regulation, new tools and techniques, parts scarcity, etc.). Also each new year of car admitted into the field (most of which will be the cars of choice for younger people) is increasingly more complicated and concommitantly more expensive to restore. <I> And you're concerned with how younger enthusiasts will be able to afford travel expenses? </I> Think of the implications for car restoration given that.<P>2. For about 20 years, 1970-1990, cars simply weren't the same as they had been in past generations. Noone breathlessly awaited the arrival of the new Chevy Cavalier or stood outside the Ford dealer to see the unveiling if the 1978 Fairmont (let alone the 1979, 1980,...etc.). When you raise a generation under different circumstances, they see things differently. Most people I know see their cars (old or new) as something they can/should/will/have to improve somehow. <P>3. Specialty/marque clubs enjoy a position that didn't exist even 10 years ago. What would you pay more for, an AACA Senior 1958 Corvette or a Bloomington Gold 1958 Corvette? <P>4. All interests actively pursued are self-motivated. Your parentage may give you exposure to the hobby, but it's appeal keeps you here. My dad thinks that anything without a warrantee is an antique and should be discarded. It is a preservationist mindset that appeals to me, not a memory. Find the young people working on environmental, archeological or historical preserves and you'll find your audience.<P>5. In answer to heizmann's question, most people my age view the AACA (unfairly) as a wealthy retiree's club. The time and money necessary to be even a marginal player within most aspects of the AACA that I'm aware of is more than even fairly well-off young families can afford. As far as competing with other hobbies, this is often the death knell for interest. In most hobbies you can have a hell of a lot of fun for $3000, and you can often make a passable street rod for that, too. In the world of authentic antique cars, at that price you can be little more than an object of derision (again, this is an outside and unfair observer's viewpoint).<P>Since registering with this forum my personal opinion of the AACA has improved markedly. My concerns for its future, and the future of the part of the hobby that I most enjoy, are darker every day, however. I beleive that in the near future we are going to have to do <B> anything </B> that puts more old cars in young hands. <P>And if your car is hiding in a garage or trailer, and not being paraded in front of a bunch of envious 23 year-olds that you don't know, then it isn't doing it's part. If other people <I> see </I> you having fun in your Terraplane or Model T, then you've given them the biggest step in joining us--exposure! Take it to the local "Oldies" cruise with all the damn Chevys, you'll be glad you did.<P>--The resident wet blanket has spoken again, age 42.

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I just got back from Carlisle. Got up at 4AM after going to bed at 11:30 and it's 12:30 AM now. I think I'm still able to have a good time at 62, and that's amazing. Younger guys need to know this hobby keep you young <smile>. Thanks for the comments you last two fellows.....it's good information, and I like the idea of a Friday night cruise-in at a National Meet. Be a good change of pace. This is a serious dicussion. We're listening, I'm listening. And hopefully we'll do some learning too. Thanks for your rsponses.....and DaveMoon, the only reason your opinion of AACA has improved is because your're learning. Nothing is new really, I was 23 when I joined and I've been there and done that with most of this the same as you are doing now.......but think of this....the audience at the top is listening now, learning now, which wasn't true in 1966. Thaks guys

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i do agree with dave that it is an expensive hobby. i have put tons of money into my car and i have tons more to go. it could be the simplest thing but will end up costing a hefty amount. i think the prices to get something chromed is outrageous, but its something that needs done. sure one could pick a hobby that was less expensive, say stamp collecting or maybe a rock collection, but what fun is that? what do you have to show that you have accomplished, a pile of dirty pebbles, some stamps with fat elvis on them? by having this car i have learned things cost money and as my grammy always told me 'money doesnt grow on trees'. having a hobby such as this has given me a sense of responsibility.

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I agree with several of Dave's points. The cost of restoration has gotten out of proportion with what you have when you're done. Unless you love the car you own, it makes no sense to spend $40,000 to restore a car that will be worth $15,000 when finished.<BR>Anyone who can afford that kind of investment please give me a call, I'll help you lighten your wallet!<P>I happen to be in this type of situation and it is discouraging to attend a show only to have the trophies go to restored cars when mine is original (and driven, too). Maybe a greater emphasis on preservation over restoration would attract (and keep) younger members. By the way, I only joined AACA last year (after 20 years as a lone wolf) and have found it to be a lot more than a rich retirees soceity.<P>I am eagerly awaiting the eligibility of 1960's cars for HPOF. At last I'll have a place for my Imperial. But seriously, we need to advocate preservation as much as restoration. It is a lot less expensive to keep up a car than to do a complete restoration and a preserved car can be restored when time (and funds) permit.

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The last person, Michael, made some very good points. However, I'd like to point out that I, personally, have never been very rich. First I worked a part-time job for some number of years for restoration money. In my time I have built 3 1st Junior cars, 2 Senior cars and 1 Grand National First. After 18 years the Grand National First got a Grand National Senior this year. I've done that by subcontracting the work to good mechanics who were willing to work on the side, in each of the individual categories of a restoration. I've used bumper platers for steel and only high-priced platers for white metal, or gotten NOS, or chrome parts from the West. I've never taken a body off, but done the chassis the hard way, laying on the back. The point is then, that it can be done. There are certain classes of cars in the 50s and 60s which are currently in extreme competition, but that, too, will pass. A friend of mine played the game with a 58 Cadillac, and played, and improved and played some more, and one day he won.....it's kinda like football, at any given meet, it could be your day.....maybe even the richest man in the world was somewhere else that day.<BR> More good news along the lines you speak is that consideration is being given to a "Drivers Class" without this bare-knuckles competition. You could hear something about that in the VERY near term, maybe so, maybe no.<BR> I also have an HPOF car. No bare-knuckles competition here either. I kinda like the challenge of competition, but this is a really good old 65 year old car and folks like to see it the way it is. My Dad drove my Mom to the hospital for me to be born, in one exactly like it. But, when I got it, it was well on its way to a streetrod.....the wheels and tires were changed, dual exhausts installed. I guess I saved it. Had to find original rear axles and front brake drums and backing plates and replace the sealed-beam adapters, but it felt good to put it back on track.<BR> I've rambled a bit, but my points are (1) where there's a will there's a way, and (2) maybe more help and consideration of the average man is on the way.<BR> <P><BR>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-02-2000).]<P>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-02-2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-02-2000).]

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Dynaflash8 has some good comments, but remember that "putting it to committee" is a "Washington" term for not getting anything done. National is already providing the impetus, and it's up to the local clubs to gear up and do something about new membership and youth involvement. Those are the programs that last, not the ones directed from the top that expire with a change in administration or when the "funds" dry up.<P>Besides, you're clubs will take to it if it's their own idea and project.

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I don't think this hobby has to be that expensive to be enjoyed. I have seen some very presentable cars selling for less than $3000. The idea is to DRIVE them. Its more fun than showing them. I have been a member of the N.J. region for 20 years. This group goes on many day trips, weekend tours and a 9day tour every summer. There are several 2 and 3 generation families that participate. The year I was vice president we ran 48 events only one of which was a show. I am also a member of the Pocono region where we have involved the younger people in the running of the club. Our current president is 36, members of the board are also among the younger group. Our newsletter editor is 13. What I'm saying is that the more you participate in your local club the more enjoyment you will get out of it.

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I agree that many people view AACA as a rich mans club.. but I also agree with those here that say it doesnt take lots of money to enjoy the AACA.<BR>I think the reason that the AACA has the reputation as a rich mans club is the past emphasis was on judging to exacting standards. For many years it seems the main reason for being in the AACA was to have a Senior car Only in the past decade or so does it seem that other activities such as tours have really been promoted in earnest. If you can't or are not interested in having a show car, there are other activites to participate in such as the national tours.<BR>Everyone has their own interests whether its show car judging, touring or both. If the national AACA events are too expensive or time comsuming (not everyone has a week to take for a Glidden Tour), then the local regions and/or chapters provide lots of events that do not cost a fortune. <BR>My wife and I are 30 somethings with two children, house payment, car payments and trying to make a living so we do not have lots of money to throw around. When I joined AACA 9 years ago, my one and only antique vehicle was a 1957 Chevy pickup that I bought a few years earlier for $1200.00. That truck took my wife and I on countless club events and tours. If not for having that truck, I probably would not have thought.. or been invited to join the AACA. It isn't pretty...but it is reliable and we had tons of fun in it.<BR>Time has passed and our finances have improved over the years. We now have a 1931 Ford. Its not a Senior trophy winner (not interested in owning a car I can't drive without being afraid it might get dirty or scratched) but we still have as much if not more fun as we did in the truck.<BR>The Bottom line: The cost of the car isnt what is important in enjoying the AACA.. its the people you share the fun time with and the enjoyment you make out of being a member is whats important.<P>

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Just back from Hershey, the "Greatest Show on Earth". Lots of mud in the flea market (or some areas of it) again, but still found stuff. As for the Show, it was stupendous. I only want to comment on a couple of things said while I was gone. Bruce, you can have it all, a Senior car, and a driver all in one. Once a Senior winner, or Grand National Senior winner drive it. When you drive your modern car you lose some (or a lot of smile.gif)money; why should an old car be different? It doesn't hurt to be careful, of course, but you can still drive and tour it. If it runs down and you love it enough, restore it again, it's no different than buying a new car. Worried about a wreck? What's the insurance for? I've driven my Senior '39 Buick over 10K miles in the last number of years, and when entered in 2000, it still managed a GN Senior. It can be done, don't be afraid to show and go. <BR> AlSmeraldo: As for a "committee from the top", leadership and direction from the top leaves no question that "whatever it is that is being done" is okay to do at the local level. Don't you think? On the other hand, things that are really desired and that rise from the local level usually become part of the policy at the top. When I spoke of a "committee of younger members" I wasn't speaking of folks at the top, but a group to provide information to folks at the top.<BR> P.S. I really appreciate all of this input from you younger fellows. You are, after all the future of the hobby.<P>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-09-2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-09-2000).]

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Daynaflash,<BR>I agree that you can tour in a Senior car. What I meant to imply.. thought it may have gotten lost in my ramblings.. is that a new member doesn't have to start with a Senior car to have fun in the AACA. Getting started in any manner is the main thing. Then as finances and situations impove perhaps they can move up into owning a Junior or Senior car if they wish.

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OK on all of that BruceW....good thoughts. Man, I don't know where you live but your post is 4:22AM......wow, you're an earlybird smile.gif

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