trimacar

A pet peeve - the hobby is dying and old cars are junk

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11 minutes ago, DAVE A said:

Ask about his car and let him (or her...sorry ladies) talk.  Then ask him if he is part of any organization.  Invite him to join you at your local club meeting. If we all do this the hobby will grow exponentially.  

Bravo!  I often take a Pierce-Arrow to the Blackhawk Museum's Cars-n-Coffee where parking israndom except for planned club gatherings, and so wind up parked next to everything from one-year-old Mustangs to 1955 cars.  I try to engage my neighbors in conversation, and undoubtedly the best way is to ask them about their car, whether modified or not.  This is just like a cocktail party or other social function, where one asks a new acquaintance about themselves as an ice breaker.  At car get togethers, the new acquaintances invariably reciprocate by asking about mine and want to see the engine and hear it run.  Bottom line is to open the conversation.  One car of particular interest was an inherited all-original 1930 Buick 60 Series 7-p sedan, which the fellow had got back on the road without any club membership on the basis of internet information.

 

Motoringicons: I take your point about owners of always-unfinished, never-running projects, but in my experience not all are 'cheapskates.' I'm no psychologist, but I think their attitude comes from trying to diminish their own responsibility.  I listen and reply by saying my cars don't have to be perfect for me to enjoy them, especially by DRIVING them.

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It's fun sometimes to see the reaction when I ask about or compliment the guy who shows up in what one might consider a marginal car.  And it doesn't cost a dime to do...

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7 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

There is heavy interest in speedster type cars, I think due to both an interest in the era, the ability to do a lot of work at home, and a budget friendly alternative for a brass era car.  An interesting bridge between antiques and hot rods.  Most people I know actively building these are younger. 

 

 

Although I already have brass cars, I am currently building a 1915 Buick speedster so my son and daughter can tour with us in a car that they will be comfortable driving.  (My son is 6'3" and doesn't fit in many older cars, and my daughter does not want to drive without seat belts etc.) Eventually, I expect one or two of my grand children will also enjoy touring in my older cars as well as the speedster. 

 

I fully agree that "budget friendly" collector cars will continue to be favored by the next generations entering this hobby.  These lower cost collector cars will be the stepping stones for those who will eventually graduate into fully restored collector cars later in life when they can afford it.

 

I have not had a Hemmings subscription in over 20 years.  

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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There was a time when I would read Hemmings practically from cover to cover every month. I stopped taking it when I was pretty much out of the old car world and resubscribed about 15 years ago. One year was enough... I haven't looked at it since. The things I am interested in can easily fit on a single page - or less. The ads were virtually all for 50s & 60s stuff... not a bit of which interests me. The prices of cars for sale are invariably over the top, as if the world is populated with really dumb rich guys. That hasn't been my observation in 50 years of collecting. As it is now, I don't even consider it significant.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

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5 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

I think pre-war cars are the best styled cars ever produced.  We live in a world wide market for classic cars, interest is not going down IMO. 

 

Couldn't agree more!

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I'm just an old gearhead.

I like to tinker and make things work, whether original or not.

The feeling of that old thing ticking again makes me happy.

I also like to create things that never were out of parts available.

Just lock me up in the shop and leave me alone and something will happen.

As for where my interests lie? I tend to lean towards Mopar, but if it ain't running and I think I can do something for it ill give it my best.

Cant stand clubs, if I had to join every club that had to do with my interests I couldn't afford all the dues.

Where is the hobby headed? Couldn't care less as long as I am happy.

Nuff said.

 

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)

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Funny Trim,

 

I just resubscribed to Hemmings this year, after not getting it for like 10 years.  Because of what has been written and the HF ads, I wont be resubscribing.

 

Hemmings has really downgraded itself over the years in my opinion. I understand subscriber-ship is down, but for me as the reasons Ive mentioned.

 

Though I appreciate hot rods and what they are, they are not me and the ads in Hemmings have turned me sour on the mag. No renewal coming this year!

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I am not really interested in the cars of my youth.  I have already had a few of them and don't need any more.  Ever since I was a kid I have gravitated towards cars of the nickel and brass eras.  Today many of the nickel cars with a few exceptions are way down in value but the brass cars are holding their own due to horseless carriage tours.  I particularly like to tinker and understand the engineering.  To me one of the biggest problems with old cars are young people are not really learning to work on them.  An intrest in old cars can get pretty expensive if you always have to pay someone to fix them for you.

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39 minutes ago, nickelroadster said:

I am not really interested in the cars of my youth.  I have already had a few of them and don't need any more.  Ever since I was a kid I have gravitated towards cars of the nickel and brass eras.  Today many of the nickel cars with a few exceptions are way down in value but the brass cars are holding their own due to horseless carriage tours.  I particularly like to tinker and understand the engineering.  To me one of the biggest problems with old cars are young people are not really learning to work on them.  An intrest in old cars can get pretty expensive if you always have to pay someone to fix them for you.

 

I especially agree with your comment of "but the brass cars are holding their own due to horseless carriage tours. "

 

I especially like one of the other contributors to the forum that   "If you don't drive them you might as well collect clocks"

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14 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

IMO,  If we keep pushing to only own "perfect" cars we will drive a lot of the younger set out of the old car hobby.  I believe that with a frame of mind that judging is a priority we make it an exclusive hobby where my check book is bigger than yours. To your point of being expensive to restore cars.

 

The issue with a perfect job is a respected restoration shop will only do one quality of work and that the best of their ability. If they did a mediocre job it would reflect poorly to the customer with real money.

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People have been predicting the demise of the hobby for well over 50 years. I have been actively involved in it for less than half of that time. I wanted an antique car when I was in my 20's but it took me another 10 years of so before I was able to buy my first antique car. I chose my dream car when I was in my early 20's and it took me about 30 years before I was able to actually buy that car. I am now restoring an almost identical car just because I want to do a total restoration myself one time in my life. I am doing almost all of the work myself. It will be restored as well as I can restore it, and then I will plan to drive it.

 

I currently have one antique car to drive and one to work on. I am having fun. I also have two children who have both been active in the hobby. They are less active now than I suspect they will be when they get older. When they were young, they participated in club activities with me. As young adults, school and work take a larger percentage of their time. It is really easier to be actively involved in the hobby after you are old enough to own your own home and have been around long enough to have a bit more disposable income. If all goes as planned, they will both inherit an antique car. 

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A lot of the millennium  generation may be having the same problem I had with my first vintage car. 1978 I was in my own home with a new garage I built so I went out and bought a 1930 A to restore.  It was a in descent shape and took it out for my first ride and I broke down. Called my father for a tow and after we got it home he told me to never call him again if it involved my A. I never did and he was never in any of my cars over the years but my mother helped me with upholstery. The new generation may be having similar problems as I did seeing how the economy is.

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12 hours ago, DAVE A said:

A couple years ago I did a seminar in Philadelphia to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ontelaunee Region.  To research that seminar I read every issue of the region's newsletter the "Tin N Brass".  What I found most interesting in that review was that 50 years ago, the leaders of the region were lamenting the fact that cars were not what they used to be, the young people weren't interested in old cars , etc., ...in short, exactly what we are saying today.   This repeated itself every 10 -15 years.   

       I honestly don't think he hobby is dying.  What is dying, and IS hurting the hobby is the willingness to reach out to others and draw them into our circle.  We all talk about reaching out to kids and get them involved, but there is a big group out there that we seem to ignore.  That is other old car owners that aren't part of any car group or organization.   We need to speak to them and tell them about the fun we are having.   Next time you see a guy with an old car, swallow your fears and walk up to him.  Ask about his car and let him (or her...sorry ladies) talk.  Then ask him if he is part of any organization.  Invite him to join you at your local club meeting. If we all do this the hobby will grow exponentially.  

I not sure if your just Invite them to the club meet or maybe help them fix the old car.. So they can bring it to the car meet...

 

This is my problem. I have no one to help or teach me the old stuff.. I can do it.. but I am very rusty. Because it has been 20 years since I played with the old cars..

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The last time I looked Minnesota had almost a third more licensed cars than it had licensed drivers. I don't know what is happening to "The Old Car Hobby", but there are more people with "an old hobby car"  today than there were forty years ago.  What we don't have here today that we had only a few years ago are the open spaces for local cars shows and swap meets.

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7 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

A lot of the millennium  generation may be having the same problem I had with my first vintage car. 1978 I was in my own home with a new garage I built so I went out and bought a 1930 A to restore.  It was a in descent shape and took it out for my first ride and I broke down. Called my father for a tow and after we got it home he told me to never call him again if it involved my A. I never did and he was never in any of my cars over the years but my mother helped me with upholstery. The new generation may be having similar problems as I did seeing how the economy is.

 

Wow, Joe, that to me is a sad story.  My father (and mother) were just the opposite.  In 1964, at 13 years old, I fell for the old car look and wanted one to restore.  There was no history of this disease in our family, yet they took the time to help me.  In Louisiana at the time, just about the only old car readily available was a Model A, and my mother drove me all over the place to look for ones for sale.  Finally, a fellow who worked for my father said he had a '31 Chevrolet he'd sell us, and my father acquired it for me.  Two years later, I wasn't quite through with the Chevy restoration, and my Dad bought me a 1925 Dodge Brothers coupe that had been restored.  This would have been 1966, and the Dodge was $500.  He supported me in my hobby, though he had little to no interest in the cars themselves.  He did the same for my brother, whose passion was deer and duck hunting, to the point of organizing a hunting club and establishing a camp in northern Louisiana.  My father didn't hunt very much, mostly staying in the cabin and cooking, which he loved to do and was darn good at.  I learned to cook from him (my mother hated to cook), even picking up some good Cajun recipes, as he was a true Cajun from south Louisiana.

 

I believe parents have to support their kids in the dreams the kids have.  This doesn't mean spoiling them, or catering to every whim, just providing guidance and support.  The best explanation I've heard of today's issues with kids, when we grew up in the 50's and 60's, the kids had to make the parents happy, now it seems the parents have to make the kids happy, and the latter leads to all sorts of problems.

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9 hours ago, MCHinson said:

People have been predicting the demise of the hobby for well over 50 years. I have been actively involved in it for less than half of that time. I wanted an antique car when I was in my 20's but it took me another 10 years of so before I was able to buy my first antique car. I chose my dream car when I was in my early 20's and it took me about 30 years before I was able to actually buy that car. I am now restoring an almost identical car just because I want to do a total restoration myself one time in my life. I am doing almost all of the work myself. It will be restored as well as I can restore it, and then I will plan to drive it.

 

I currently have one antique car to drive and one to work on. I am having fun. I also have two children who have both been active in the hobby. They are less active now than I suspect they will be when they get older. When they were young, they participated in club activities with me. As young adults, school and work take a larger percentage of their time. It is really easier to be actively involved in the hobby after you are old enough to own your own home and have been around long enough to have a bit more disposable income. If all goes as planned, they will both inherit an antique car. 

 

I agree, the hobby like the economy goes up and down depending on how much free money is out there.  I have 4 kids ranging from 21-27 and all 4 (3 of them girls) enjoy the hobby, each have a antique car of there own.

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My dad was born in 1925 and his first car was a 1936 Ford.  In fact it was the first car in his family.   About 30 years ago he got nostalgic for the car of his youth and bought a 35 Phaeton.  Restored it to perfection.  Pulled it out of the garage for the first time with a big smile,  went out the driveway, around the block,  came back and got out of the car.   He was a little quiet and staring at the Ford.   I asked him what was the matter?    He said "Well, that wasn't anywhere near as nice as I remember it".   Never drove the car again, and pretty shortly there after traded it towards a 36 Packard Phaeton.

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5 hours ago, trimacar said:

 

 

 The best explanation I've heard of today's issues with kids, when we grew up in the 50's and 60's, the kids had to make the parents happy, now it seems the parents have to make the kids happy, and the latter leads to all sorts of problems.

 

I am afraid the partents these days are afraid that their kids wont like them. Therefore there is not much disciplining.

I was a pretty strict parent and now my all grown kids are thanking me for teaching them right.

You could get arrested for spanking your kids these days, Whats that about?

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I rarely read periodicals written to the car hobby outside of club magazines. I read contributions to this forum just about every day, sometimes when I should be doing something else. There are a lot of personalities writing to the forum, all with the common, deep interest in old cars. There is a spectrum of attitudes and opinions that just makes it good reading. And it all comes from the heart, as do our club publications.

 

Journalists, to use a general term for "pay to write" authors might not always carry the same passions when a bag of groceries or the heat and electric bill is in the balance. And, for the last 4,000 years or so, stories about bad stuff have been the best sellers. Since my children were old enough to be exposed to the media, I have warned them that, above all, authors need groceries and they will do what it takes to get them. We live in a world where far too many people sit on the edge of their seats, listening for the next expert's conclusion rather than living and gather the facts to make their own. It is not just cars, this vicarious appetite is everywhere. I resist it, quite irreverently, most of the time.

 

Take the paid author with a gain of salt. Read the Forum and experience all you can on your own. You will be farther ahead for it.

Bernie

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7 hours ago, alsancle said:

My dad was born in 1925 and his first car was a 1936 Ford.  In fact it was the first car in his family.   About 30 years ago he got nostalgic for the car of his youth and bought a 35 Phaeton.  Restored it to perfection.  Pulled it out of the garage for the first time with a big smile,  went out the driveway, around the block,  came back and got out of the car.   He was a little quiet and staring at the Ford.   I asked him what was the matter?    He said "Well, that wasn't anywhere near as nice as I remember it".   Never drove the car again, and pretty shortly there after traded it towards a 36 Packard Phaeton.

It would be interesting to know how many other full restorations are viewed like that after the first ride. Deep down inside that could be part of the reason I never finish a project. I did have a fellow return two years after I sold him an unfinished restoration, looked great, he offered me a chance to drive it around the block. What a relief to know hadn't invested the time or money to finish it myself. Bob 

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Where you live can be an obstacle for young people.  A house with a garage is a near must for a hobby car. Depending on the area a house might not be within many family budgets. In many parts of Canada and certain locations in the U.S. a single family home is an impossible dream for the majority of younger people. Pretty difficult to swing a hobby car in an apartment or condo.

 

Greg in Canada

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Grimy, 

 

 I saw your Pierce Arrow at the Blackhawk Cars & Coffee last year. I worked a temporary computer consulting job in the Bay area fro 6 months last year. One Sunday I decided to go to the Blackhawk Car Museum for Cars & Coffee. Was not impressed with most of the cars, but yours really stood out. It was parked near the front and you were idling the engine for the audience. A beautiful car that was easily "best of show".

 

Lots of Porsches, several Ferraris (whose owners knew nothing mechanical about their cars), and a bunch of decent stuff. Nothing brass or antique - except you. 

 

Thanks for showing it. 

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On 1/3/2018 at 11:22 AM, Steve_Mack_CT said:

It's fun sometimes to see the reaction when I ask about or compliment the guy who shows up in what one might consider a marginal car.  And it doesn't cost a dime to do...

 

Agreed! If I like something regardless as to how "good" it is I tell them. If I don't I keep my mouth shut and move on.

Car snobs have done more damage to the hobby than any amount of "lowly" or poorly done over cars....... :angry:

 

 

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How much longer will gasoline be in general use? Will that determine the real end of the (internal combustion) antique car hobby?

 

Phil

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When I was 16, my dad bought a 23" T depot hack to advertise for our family business.  That put the bug in me and I've always liked the cars from the 30's and have had a soft spot for a 5w coupe. I always thought that someday I'd own a Model A rumble seat coupe. Like any young man, providing for my family, hone, and any other normal life occurrence came first. I forgot about the antique cars but anytime I saw one, I'd look in admiration. 14 years ago, I bought at 85 military blazer to  use for my job.  A couple years later, while putting thousands of miles on that blazer, I bought a extremely low mileage military blazer with the intention to make it a work truck. It sat in the garage for 8yrs or so then it ended up being my first rotisserie restoration and that got my juices flowing. I then purchased a 31' chevy special sedan basket case which I nut and bolt restored in 13 months while working my full time job. Now, I'm on my dream car (almost). A 32' Oldsmobile Roadster.  I have also started restoring early 30's cars for customers as a hobby business. When I go to shows with my 31' Chevy, I constantly get told I'm too young to be driving and restoring cars of that vintage as most my age are hotrod guys. I'm 56 and they're telling me this. What I have noticed in our hobby and I actually think that while to most it seems like a bad thing, it will end up being a good thing, is the prices on the earlier cars have dropped considerably. I'm seeing younger owners of older cars showing up these past couple years because I believe those who want to get into the hobby can't afford the muscle cars or foreign models they might want so are finding a cheaper alternative to get started. It seems like it's starting to make a new sort of club for these younger guys. They say everything moves in circles and possibly it's circling around again to a resurgence. Only time will tell.

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