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Is the antique automobile hobby ready for the coming switchover to electric cars, etc.


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Another post recently discussed the viability of Hybrid automobiles.  It quickly diverted to issues related to electric power, global warming and other charged issues.  I would generally stop such caustic debate, but I was as guilty as many of the other posters, so my deleting it would have been hypocritical.   You can read it here if you wish:

 

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What do hybrid cars, solar energy, going green and politics have to do with our beloved antique automobiles?  
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Great question!  No one knows, not exactly. Many make radical assumptions out of unfounded fears and irrational loyalties that our blessed internal combustion collectables will be banned.  "They will force us to crush them!", "They'll ban gasoline!", "They won’t let us drive them on the road". This type of thought has been going on since the gas rationing of the 1970s.  So much sky is falling and no rational thought. 

 

It's irrational to think our cars being taken from us.  I simply see natural attrition takes its course, and our gas-powered vehicles dying a slow death after the eventual and inevitable switch to electric vehicles. Most "common people" see automobiles as a mode of transportation, not a hobby. Even those of us in the hobby have modern vehicles we use and throw away when their utilitarian value is gone. I don't see many in tears over the slide downward from the heyday of the horse and carriage. Nor will there be for gas powered vehicles.

 

The demise of the automobile hobby has been bantered about for years. Example: Most national clubs have some sort of youth drive going on to keep interest going.  My personal opinion is that our hobby's biggest problem is not gas or government, it's indifference. The nostalgia and romance of antique automobiles will wain organically, much like horses and horse drawn vehicles after the dawn of the automobile. 

 

Antique automobiles will ultimately be relegated to historically and culturally interesting history, and found in books and museums, and hopefully occasionally in a neighbor’s garage to be dusted off and shown in parades or to the grandkids. Maybe not tomorrow, but in the next generation (or 2).

 

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Peter, I mostly agree with your statement, my cause for disagreement is with youth and the automobile.  I have a son who is not quite 30 yrs old and he and many of his friends enjoy the automotive hobby.  The difference is they do not as much enjoy the really old cars that are the topic here most often.  My sons group goes for cars with modern style like Porsche, BMW, the exotics like Lamborghini and yes even the electrics.  He often sends me photos of events that include more diverse collection and brands of automobiles and there are many youthful faces in the crowds.  It is true that for most of the population the car today is just an appliance to get from point a to point b.  I feel that way too when I see the number of uninspiring autos on the highway, they are bland to say the least.

 

For the hobby to survive I see the need to welcome younger people and be tolerant of the questions and cars they have.  I realize the 25 year rule is the backbone of the AACA organization but we also need to realize that rule will now include newer cars than pre-war and a fair amount of import cars in the mix.  I hope the idea of being a car oriented person with a passion for transportation in its many forms continues to be a hobby and passion for many going forward.  
 

The photos show the project my son and his friends are working on, it’s a 6.9l mid 1970s MB.  The car is owned by a friend of my son and the toolbox and tools they are using is the one I gave him to get started, just like the one my dad gave to me.

 

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16 minutes ago, TerryB said:

For the hobby to survive I see the need to welcome younger people and be tolerant of the questions and cars they have.  I realize the 25 year rule is the backbone of the AACA organization but we also need to realize that rule will now include newer cars than pre-war and a fair amount of import cars in the mix.  I hope the idea of being a car oriented person with a passion for transportation in its many forms continues to be a hobby and passion for many going forward.  

 

I agree.  I'm not saying youth are not interested. But to expect them to lust after our Model As, 1960 Cadillacs or muscle cars is not realistic. Cost, maintenance, but mostly a lack of interest do to unfamiliarity are key factors. They simply can't relate to them.   Many of the cars we lusted after are being lost to time. Packard, Studebaker, Desoto, American Motors, and hell, even Pontiac or Oldsmobile are brands the current generation have zero knowledge of.

 

The cars they see as fun today were built 15-25 years ago.  Who'd have thought a Toyota Supra, VW GTI or a Ford Mustang II would be lusted after, but they are.

 

Many of use got into cars because they fast and fun to drive. If you want to win a street race today and be the envy of your peers, you drive a Tesla.

 

Times change.

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8 minutes ago, Peter Gariepy said:

Cost, maintenance, but mostly a lack of interest do to unfamiliarity are key factors

 

Cost is a huge factor, even storing the things in a reasonable size city is expensive. If you want house with room for a workshop, most of Melbourne would be in the realms of US$1.2-$1.8 (most of which is purchased by 'developers' who put a tonne of of flats on them) 

 

That and part availability, people wanting huge money for rusty untested junk that they paid $2 for back in the day. There are people out there that would prefer to sit on stuff till it ends up going to the scrap metal place when their estate needs to be settled (or my personal favourite, jacking up the price when you ask about a specific detail because it's somehow worth more now). In my case, it's not like there is a heap of early v8 cadillacs out there so the people buying parts is already small

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Interesting, if our hobby is dying, to see so many young people and families involved in the Model T clubs and tours.

 

I don’t believe that you only like cars you grew up with.

 

The interest in early brass cars is at an all time high, yet not one single person who like them grew up with them as new cars.

 

I've said it before, when somebody says “nobody likes Model A Fords anymore”, it’s because the person saying it doesn’t like them, and that person figures if he doesn’t like them nobody does.  I don’t like broccoli so no one likes broccoli.  Not how the world works.
 

Gasoline will be around a long time, regardless of green endeavors.  Airplanes need to fly at night, and moon power panels aren’t available.

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For longer than the 3 decades that I have been in the antique car hobby, people have been lamenting that the hobby is dying and that "young people are interested in old cars". I still see young people getting into the hobby. My personal observation is that elderly antique car people tend to hang out mostly with their antique car hobby friends. They tend to think that essentially all people their age like old cars. They are wrong. Only a small percentage of their generation likes antique cars - just like in every generation. They just are not hanging out with enough young people to see that that generation also has a similar sized percentage of people that like antique cars. The hobby certainly still has a few years left... but it is changing a bit because of the long lasting mechanical aspects of modern cars and better lubricants, and probably to a great extent the economy. There is clearly a larger percentage of "survivor" vehicles in the hobby versus restored cars in the hobby. The economics of restoration are tougher due to higher costs, especially impacting young people in the economy of today. As time goes by, the hobby will still be with us for the forseeable future, it might just look a little bit different with more HPOF cars, and certainly some antique cars (over 25 years old) that do not have the same appeal to a lot of the older hobbyists, but the younger generation will surprise you with their dedication to the hobby, especially as they age and develop more disposable income in their later years. 

 

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3 hours ago, kgreen said:

I wonder if the prevalence of social media gives a large voice to a small thought.  And here I am on a social media platform!?!

 

Excellent point.

 

My wife and I own a Grand Design Imagine camping trailer, and there's a Facebook site to discuss that particular make and model.

 

If you read the posts on that site, you'd never want to buy one.  People complain constantly about tires, axles, screws coming loose, AC thermostat hard to read, AC unit too loud, on and on and on.  BUT, that's the 1% of people who own the trailers who are having problems, or the 5% of people who just enjoy complaining (percentages made up on the spot, just like 73% of all such percentages are).  It's just not real exciting when someone comes on the site and says "Gee, we've had no problems, or if there were they were little ones, and we love our trailer."

 

So, social media is not necessarily the real truth.  Surprise, surprise....

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 

Excellent point.

 

My wife and I own a Grand Design Imagine camping trailer, and there's a Facebook site to discuss that particular make and model.

 

If you read the posts on that site, you'd never want to buy one.  People complain constantly about tires, axles, screws coming loose, AC thermostat hard to read, AC unit too loud, on and on and on.  BUT, that's the 1% of people who own the trailers who are having problems, or the 5% of people who just enjoy complaining (percentages made up on the spot, just like 73% of all such percentages are).  It's just not real exciting when someone comes on the site and says "Gee, we've had no problems, or if there were they were little ones, and we love out trailer."

 

So, social media is not necessarily the real truth.  Surprise, surprise....

 

100% agree. The complainers always end up online telling everyone how awful something is, frequently on multiple sites, but the happy people usually say nothing. It's like that with virtually everything you can buy. The complainers make things seem far worse than they are and they are statistically the minority in most cases.

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4 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

100% agree. The complainers always end up online telling everyone how awful something is, frequently on multiple sites, but the happy people usually say nothing. It's like that with virtually everything you can buy. The complainers make things seem far worse than they are and they are statistically the minority in most cases.

 

Thanks for comment.  All I could think of while reading it is "Matt, too much time here, you go, sell car"  (a take off of the joke my kids use to tell about an all you can eat Chinese buffet, "You been here three hour now, you go home, how come you no eat vegetable and only eat meat?  You go home now..."

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10 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 

Thanks for comment.  All I could think of while reading it is "Matt, too much time here, you go, sell car"  (a take off of the joke my kids use to tell about an all you can eat Chinese buffet, "You been here three hour now, you go home, how come you no eat vegetable and only eat meat?  You go home now..."

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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This seems to be the way human nature is now on high speed. Most know when and where to complain the loudest but never ever consider giving any compliment for a job well done - they expect it because they feel they paid somehow and "need to be served". the "  Imperial potentate syndrome" I think of it as. Even if people are being paid to do a job it never hurts to commend them for a job well done . The major horse race track I live next to faithfully comes as requested to trim the 3 story white oak trees that are 30 feet west of my house , I usually try to give the dozen workers a bottle of water at least to quench their thirst, and when they finished I took the time to type and send a letter to the head of the grounds for the race track and a cc to his Boss the Director of the NY Racing association as well as my village Mayor and trustees to note how great this was for a good neighbor to do. The fellow that got the letter came over walked down my driveway soon after to talk to me and told me he in all is years never ever got a letter of thanks - only complaints, and also saw that letter copied to who I sent it to. He said he framed it and has it hanging in his office.

Why can't people just be thoughtful and nice once in a while?

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Growing up when ordering a car part involved sending a letter with a check and hoping (no tracking then) and hoping to receive something in a few months or calling every auto parts house to find the one that had the best price (local - long distance was expensive) & never had a credit card until I came backe from SEA to discover the world had changed. Then we had the '70s and for the first time cars were not better every year.

 

The world has changed more in just my lifetime than in the thousand of years before About 1800 began the age of discovery but even 120VAC wasn't standard everywhere until after I was born. Still think the biggest invention of the 20th century was cold light.

So it is inevitable that the (now two and working on a third) generations since I was born are "different".

 

The biggest is that from the fifties when television was new and limited and cars were simple and those who could "hop them up" were idolized. You did not need a computer to change the radio.

 

Being born in the first half of the last century, I cannot do everything once was easy (like riding a Harley) and prefer cars before OBD-II (which are now "antiques").

 

So why are JDM cars so popular ? Because they are inexpensive, small, fast, and tunable (sound like a 50's hot rod ?) And kids tune them with their cell phones. Different choices but not surprising.

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15 hours ago, trimacar said:

1. Interesting, if our hobby is dying, to see so many young people and families involved in the Model T clubs and tours.

 

2. I don’t believe that you only like cars you grew up with.

 

3. The interest in early brass cars is at an all time high, yet not one single person who like them grew up with them as new cars.

 

4. I've said it before, when somebody says “nobody likes Model A Fords anymore”, it’s because the person saying it doesn’t like them, and that person figures if he doesn’t like them nobody does.  I don’t like broccoli so no one likes broccoli.  Not how the world works.
 

5. Gasoline will be around a long time, regardless of green endeavors.  Airplanes need to fly at night, and moon power panels aren’t available.

 

1. Your comment doesn't scale. Just because a few small cars tours have young people attend doesn't mean it reflects the entire hobby.

2. Car enthusiast first gravitate to the cars they own and can drive, some as daily drivers.  Then they venture out to other cars. (IMHO)

3. The falling number of members in the HCCA (and other car clubs), and the lack of horseless carriages at the car shows I attend contradicts your statement.

4. It's not an issue of "like". It's an issue of wanting to own, restore, maintain and drive. I'd speculate that you talk to any car guy under 50 and ask them if they want to own a T (or virtually any pre-war car) and the answer is no.  A perception of drivability, lack of parts, knowledge to maintain, access to knowledgeable mechanics, initial cost, etc. make it prohibitive as well.

5. Agreed. Gasoline will be around. But demand will be low, and so will the corresponding supply.

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I have a 10 year-old grandson who lives 8,000 miles away, who I haven't  seen in almost 3 years. He loves old cars.  About 6 months ago he had one week to write a show-and-tell school project on a topic of his choosing, and brief it to his class.  He wanted to do it on old cars. My daughter asked for my help. I offered trim badges and gauges from my '57 Belair, '63 Vette, or parts from the 'teens brass car display I have in my den. I emailed pictures of each for him to choose. He picked the motometer and a brass cowl light from my den display. I overnighted them to him in Hawaii, he wrote a very brief report about them, and took them to school to show in class. They were kept on display in his classroom for several weeks. Both my daughter and son-in-law have no interest in old cars, so somehow he developed it on his own. Unfortunately with him living halfway around the world, there's not much I can do for encouragement, other than sending him car models to build, which he loves to do.

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Peter, I have not been on the forum for several weeks.  I quickly saw this thread.  I disagree.  It is up to all of us in the hobby that wish to see it perpetuated to actually do something!  Create our own destiny!  While we have had a scant amount of events I can tell you that there are young people getting into the hobby.  Not enough but they are out there.  We all need to find a way to give them the "bug".  

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1 minute ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Peter, I have not been on the forum for several weeks.  I quickly saw this thread.  I disagree.  It is up to all of us in the hobby that wish to see it perpetuated to actually do something!  Create our own destiny!  While we have had a scant amount of events I can tell you that there are young people getting into the hobby.  Not enough but they are out there.  We all need to find a way to give them the "bug".  

 

I started this threat to start the first step.

 

I actually don't necessarily agree the doom and gloom of my own headline "The ultimate demise of the Antique Automobile" but I do believe that times are changing. We need to prepare for that change. 


Fast forward twenty years.   Gas stations will be scarce. The vast majority of cars on the roads will be electric. Don't take my word for it, looks at the manufacturers own business plans and industry forecasts. The next generation or two of "car guys" (and gals) will be in a completely different landscape.  We can stick our heads in the sand and ignore it, or we as an organization and hobby can prepare.

 

It's worth a conversation.

 

“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.”

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Here is an an example of something proactive we need to do NOW as a hobby to support future generations of car people

 

Companies like Apple and Tesla (and others) don't want us to modify the product we purchase.  This also applies to manufactures of refrigerators and washing machines and many other consumer products.

We need to stand behind legislation the supports our rights as consumers to modify products we purchase by supporting organizations like Digital Right to Repair Coalition (DRRC), which later changed its title to The Repair Association (TRA). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronics_right_to_repair


MORE INFO:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Vehicle_Owners'_Right_to_Repair_Act

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1 hour ago, Peter Gariepy said:

 

 

1. Your comment doesn't scale. Just because a few small cars tours have young people attend doesn't mean it reflects the entire hobby.

2. Car enthusiast first gravitate to the cars they own and can drive, some as daily drivers.  Then they venture out to other cars. (IMHO)

3. The falling number of members in the HCCA (and other car clubs), and the lack of horseless carriages at the car shows I attend contradicts your statement.

4. It's not an issue of "like". It's an issue of wanting to own, restore, maintain and drive. I'd speculate that you talk to any car guy under 50 and ask them if they want to own a T (or virtually any pre-war car) and the answer is no.  A perception of drivability, lack of parts, knowledge to maintain, access to knowledgeable mechanics, initial cost, etc. make it prohibitive as well.

5. Agreed. Gasoline will be around. But demand will be low, and so will the corresponding supply.

I wasn't going to get jump into this thread of the rehashed age old debate, but since you asked with your number 4 point I will give you an answer.

 

I am in my 40's, hence under the age of 50 and I got rid of all of my newer cars to exclusively buy pre 1932 cars.  I didn't grow up in a car family, had no exposure to old cars, etc.  When I was about age 30 I got a Challenger SRT launch edition when it came out.  Loved the speed and doing things with it.  Then I moved on to a new Porsche, and then in 2016 I purchased a Maserati.  Had fun hanging out with others, the speed, etc. etc.  About 4 years ago, My daughter who was 19 at the time decided that she wanted a Volkswagen Camper bus.  We went to some places to look at some and she purchased a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia and to this day it is her daily driver.  At the place where she purchased it, they had a wonderful 1931 Model A roadster which my wife and I fell in love with.  We purchased it the next day and I have been in love with old cars ever since.  I actually sold off my newer cars and now own several early cars.  Also, my 20 year old son only likes early cars and drives the Model A, Model T, and the Cole's all around and at least 4 times per week.  He is also now one of the driving instructors at the Gilmore Car Museum Model T driving school, which is always sold out and probably 50% of the participants are under the 40's age range.  

 

Club membership is not an indicator of old car ownership.  For example, I belong to the Model A club (MARC) however I rarely go to a meeting or tour because I am very busy with my job.  Also, many of these clubs hold activities and lunches during the week which is great for the retired set though not for people under 50.  I know several other people in my area that own pre war cars and we just meet up somewhere or enjoy hanging out and driving them together. I most likely will not renew my MARC membership.  The only reason I have an AACA club membership is for the Hershey swap meet and I have never been to or participated in an AACA activity outside of Hershey.  

 

Just this weekend I was texting with another 40 something old that owns a 1920's car sharing technical and how to information.  In the 'old days', getting technical help would have been to talk to the local car club expert and was a value of joining the club.  These days, there is so many more avenues to get help and the communication is real time.  

 

As far as saying the old stuff is not at the local car shows anymore is also misleading.  It is a factor of time and prioritization.  Do I really want to bring my 1913 car to the local car show and sit in the sun for 4 hours while a bunch of people walk around and touch things?  Also with the cars and coffee car shows of today there are so many more cars available so how can you compare today to 30 years ago?  30 years ago, you essentially had pre war, 50s cars, and muscle cars so of course as a percentage of the car show crowd you were going to have more brass era.  Today you have all of those, plus the 70s' cars, 80's cars, and even the 90's.  Also you have the JDM's and Tuners.  There is so much more out there that people can collect.  

 

Things are changing for sure and the biggest issue that I see is the disposable income that is available to the younger generation but I see a much greater interest from the younger people in the older cars than you may thing.  Here is a bonus picture of my 20 year old son cleaning the engine on the Model T in preparation for changing the head gasket.  

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44 minutes ago, Peter Gariepy said:

 

I started this threat to start the first step.

 

I actually don't necessarily agree the doom and gloom of my own headline "The ultimate demise of the Antique Automobile" but I do believe that times are changing. We need to prepare for that change. 


Fast forward twenty years.   Gas stations will be scarce. The vast majority of cars on the roads will be electric. Don't take my word for it, looks at the manufacturers own business plans and industry forecasts. The next generation or two of "car guys" (and gals) will be in a completely different landscape.  We can stick our heads in the sand and ignore it, or we as an organization and hobby can prepare.

 

It's worth a conversation.

 

“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.”

Electric cars will become more prevalent and I am well aware of that as I work in the high tech industry.  Cars are one thing, but there are lots of other machines that work on gas such boats, lawn equipment, generators, etc.  In fact, I would be willing to bet that the number of the engines in the categories that I just mentioned outnumber the cars in the world.  Yes you can get electric lawn mowers, but what about a generator?  Also, with Boats, where is the groundswell of electric boats?  For example in West Michigan gas stations all over have Rec Fuel or 100% pure gas with no ethanol.  It is going to be a long time before there is no gas at all and we will see if that day truly comes.  It absolutely may become more expensive for gas as it could be a specialty item and we will have to adapt, but it is not the sky is falling scenario.

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3 minutes ago, kfle said:

Electric cars will become more prevalent and I am well aware of that as I work in the high tech industry.  Cars are one thing, but there are lots of other machines that work on gas such boats, lawn equipment, generators, etc.  In fact, I would be willing to bet that the number of the engines in the categories that I just mentioned outnumber the cars in the world.  Yes you can get electric lawn mowers, but what about a generator?  Also, with Boats, where is the groundswell of electric boats?  For example in West Michigan gas stations all over have Rec Fuel or 100% pure gas with no ethanol.  It is going to be a long time before there is no gas at all and we will see if that day truly comes.  It absolutely may become more expensive for gas as it could be a specialty item and we will have to adapt, but it is not the sky is falling scenario.

 

FYI:

"Light-duty vehicles (cars, sport utility vehicles, and small trucks) account for about 92% of all gasoline consumption in the United States."

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/gasoline/use-of-gasoline.php

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3 hours ago, Peter Gariepy said:

3. The falling number of members in the HCCA (and other car clubs), and the lack of horseless carriages at the car shows I attend contradicts your statement.

Peter, this comment precisely proves my point.

 

You go to car shows and don't see as many early cars, and from that extrapolate that interest in early cars is dying.

 

I can't speak to the HCCA membership numbers, but it's a very strong and active club.  The emphasis in that club is touring, not shows, and (Covid excepted) the club has a LOT of local, regional, and national tours.  They do NOT have a national show, again, the touring is the focus.  As an aside, they also have one of the best Club magazines out there, equal in quality to our own fine AACA publication.

 

Look at the marketplace, too.  While projects and many mundane collector cars are suffering, prices for brass era cars have never been higher.  

 

Yes, the hobby is changing, but some areas of the hobby are still quite strong.

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19 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Peter, this comment precisely proves my point.

 

You go to car shows and don't see as many early cars, and from that extrapolate that interest in early cars is dying.

 

I can't speak to the HCCA membership numbers, but it's a very strong and active club.  The emphasis in that club is touring, not shows, and (Covid excepted) the club has a LOT of local, regional, and national tours.  They do NOT have a national show, again, the touring is the focus.  As an aside, they also have one of the best Club magazines out there, equal in quality to our own fine AACA publication.

 

Look at the marketplace, too.  While projects and many mundane collector cars are suffering, prices for brass era cars have never been higher.  

 

Yes, the hobby is changing, but some areas of the hobby are still quite strong.

 

I'll concede to your point. My comments are what I see personally, and I'll admit I'm sure there is plenty hiding out of my site. 

 

That could be part of the problem:  When do young people ever get a chance to enjoy horseless carriages? How will they learn to appreciate them if they never see them? (just an observation)

 

What is visible:  The HCCA discussion forum has scant few posts (less than 4000 in 18 years) (The HCCA forums here on forums.aaca.org have 5700) Maybe thats just the nature of the club and they simply don't use online forums to communicate?

 

As to car values.  Horseless carriage prices being strong is based up supply/demand... the demand can be low, but because the supply is even lower the prices will remain high. Horseless carriages are out of the price range of the younger generation. Not only the initial price, but also ongoing maintenance.  Add to that the scarcity of the vehicles compounded by the fact so many are in multi-car collections.  Apparently owning only one horseless carriage is like eating one potato chip. 

 

 

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to The ultimate demise of the antique automobile

I agree the HCCA forum isn’t active, but that’s just a snapshot of what’s going on in the brass era world.  There are numerous “private” forums, usually marque specific.  
 

For example, I belong to a Brass Buick’s forum which is very active, and with multiple posts daily.  There are others out there.

 

As mentioned I think the collector car world is morphing into a different animal, but I don’t feel all is lost...

 

 

 

 

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On 9/21/2020 at 8:52 AM, Matt Harwood said:

 

100% agree. The complainers always end up online telling everyone how awful something is, frequently on multiple sites, but the happy people usually say nothing. It's like that with virtually everything you can buy. The complainers make things seem far worse than they are and they are statistically the minority in most cases.

A late friend of mine worked for an auto wreckers.  Their operation was a professional auto dismantling business, 'staff only' parts removal, with their main clientele being body shops, and mechanics' shops, and did not generally sell to the public as they were not a 'junkyard'.  As a general rule, they wouldn't purchase a wrecked vehicle more than 8-10 years old. They would pay up to $20K for a wrecked vehicle such as a year-old Range Rover that was involved in a roll-over, etc., as an example.  Nor would they only sell a small trim piece off a fender, etc. As well, if a major item had to be removed to gain access to another item that was being purchased, that item was tagged, placed on a pallet and inventoried.

 

His operation would be the only one that gave me a true idea of what was a 'lemon' or not.  He would tell me of instances where the phone was constantly ringing off the wall for a particular component unique to a certain model car, which indicated it was obviously a substandard part.  On the other hand, he would tell me of certain engines, etc., that were 'bulletproof' as there was no call for them, and sat on the racking, collection dust.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Just now, 8E45E said:

A late friend of mine worked for an auto wreckers.  Their operation was a professional auto dismantling business, 'staff only' parts removal, with their main clientele being body shops, and mechanics' shops, and did not generally sell to the public as they were not a 'junkyard'.  As a general rule, they wouldn't purchase a wrecked vehicle more than 8-10 years old. They would pay up to $20K for a wrecked vehicle such as a year-old Range Rover that was involved in a roll-over, etc., as an example.  Nor would they only sell a small trim piece off a fender, etc. As well, if a major item had to be removed to gain access to another item that was being purchased, that item was tagged, placed on a pallet and inventoried.

 

His operation would be the only one that gave me a true idea of what was a 'lemon' or not.  He would tell me of instances where the phone was constantly ringing off the wall for a particular component unique to a certain model car, which indicated it was obviously a substandard part.  On the other hand, he would tell me of certain engines, etc., that were 'bulletproof' as there was no call for them, and sat on the racking, collection dust.

 

Craig

 

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"complainers always end up online telling everyone" the other end is the "help desk syndrome" - you know a problem is fixed when the customer stops calling. OTOH it was not allowed to say "You are too stupid to have a computer, donate to the charity of choice." This thought was usually for the people who kept asking things like why the cupholder disappeared.

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Interesting thread,

 

I feel the need to ask this question, How many of us have children who grew up around the hobby and those children have no interest in the hobby? I have three sons who grew up around the hobby as I did. Traveled all over the country going to meets. One has some interest, and even has one of my Father's car, the other two really could care less. The problem I see is that their spouses have no interest, just my opinion 

 

I know myself having grown up in the hobby, I continued with it. My fathers interest turned to antique toys, and I had no interest in them at all. I have been selling them off for several years at my leisure, and everything sells so there is an interest in that hobby, but nowhere near the prices he paid for things 40-30 years ago. I can see this hobby going down the same path 

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6 minutes ago, John348 said:

Interesting thread,

 

I feel the need to ask this question, How many of us have children who grew up around the hobby and those children have no interest in the hobby? I have three sons who grew up around the hobby as I did. Traveled all over the country going to meets. One has some interest, and even has one of my Father's car, the other two really could care less. The problem I see is that their spouses have no interest, just my opinion 

 

I know myself having grown up in the hobby, I continued with it. My fathers interest turned to antique toys, and I had no interest in them at all. I have been selling them off for several years at my leisure, and everything sells so there is an interest in that hobby, but nowhere near the prices he paid for things 40-30 years ago. I can see this hobby going down the same path 

 

My young sons (11 and 14) don't really have much interest. They play along, they're good sports, the go to shows and tours, but neither of them is really excited about the cars the way I was. By the time I was five I could tell them all apart and get pretty close to the right year, but when I show my kids a picture of a Model A or a Corvette or a Mustang and ask them what it is, they just start guessing. It's not in them.

 

Of course that's OK, and I've worked hard to make sure that participating in the hobby hasn't been miserable for them. I don't want them to grow up and say, "I HATE old cars, I never want to do one of those stupid car shows ever again." We leave them home about half the time now just so they don't get overloaded with cars. The younger one is kind of interested and does a few in-depth hobby things like writing an article for our regional magazine and helping me turn a wrench now and then, but I suspect he's doing it just to make me happy and not because he truly loves it.

 

Of course, this is also what we do for a living, so it's just a regular thing to them. For me as a kid, when my father and I would go to get one of the old cars out of storage on a Saturday morning, it was an EVENT. For my kids, it's just another day. Maybe I damaged some of their excitement for the hobby because of my profession. I don't know.

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When I was growing up  TV had three channels and I was allowed 1/2 hour a day. Not good or interested in sports. Excitement was DXing on a tubed TransOceanic or reading a book (Tom Swift Jr. and Hardy Boys). Major interest became anything that moved or flew under its own power. Was a nerd before the term existed.

 

Kids today have so many more choices, particularly before driver's license age. Computer games for those not good at sports. Have no interest in cars which are mostly boring (yearly differences in DRLs...) and hard to play with. No surprise "cars" are no longer in 1st (or 2nd) place.

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1 hour ago, trimacar said:

I agree the HCCA forum isn’t active, but that’s just a snapshot of what’s going on in the brass era world.  There are numerous “private” forums, usually marque specific.  For example, I belong to a Brass Buick’s forum which is very active, and with multiple posts daily.  There are others out there. As mentioned I think the collector car world is morphing into a different animal, but I don’t feel all is lost...

 

Just curious. Why "private"? Why not be more visible? 

FYI: I recently helped with some technology issues with a smaller club to help with their "private" forum.  Participation is modest but constant.  No more than 150 participants. Maybe 30 "core" participants. They saw being public as both a 'service' to their membership, and worried public would expose them. 

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Matt, do you think your sons would have a different reaction if the cars were more recent offerings from Porsche, Corvette, Ferrari and similar makes?  My son likes older cars but really digs the newer stuff for cutting edge design and incorporation of performance technology in the mix.  I can see that in younger fans, a trip to a museum can be educational but it may not reflect the style you find exciting.

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1 hour ago, trimacar said:

As mentioned I think the collector car world is morphing into a different animal, but I don’t feel all is lost...

 

One of the benefits of the AACA forums is its exposure. Not just to the world through great search engine presence, but also exposure across forums and interests and marques.

 

I see the AACA forums like the Hershey swap meet.  Everyone interested in antique automobiles, regardless of club affiliation, attends and participates, as is the case in the AACA forums. The AACA forums have gravity, we suck people in.

 

One of the reasons I started this subject was to talk about the future of the entire hobby.  Anticipate the coming changes, be prepared, be leaders instead of followers.

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Is the antique automobile hobby ready for the coming switchover to electric cars, etc.

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