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Younger generation outlook on AACA?

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I guess you can say this is a follow up to a previous thread about getting younger new members which I can't find at the moment..

I was talking to my son this afternoon for quite some time on the phone. We got to talking about AACA. I mentioned Philly to him and if he wanted to go with me. He'll go as long as it doesn't interfere with his job - however - he'll only go to go with me - as he went to club events with his grandfather.

His comments about AACA was "it's a bunch of old men"

He also told me the real reson for not wanting to restore the 1930 cadillac is because it doesn't look "flashy" or drive fast. Fair enough.

He doesn't have a lack of interest in the auto hobby.. he goes to local cruise ins, he's always down englishtown, NJ where something about cars is always hgappening and he's a mechanic 9-5. However, his impression of AACA doesn't intrique him enough to get interested in AACA as a club & the events.

I should have asked him what would interest him. Whatever it is - flashy & fast should be part of it smile.gif I think he speaks for a big majority as I read many other auto related message boards with users from 14 yrs old to 40+ yrs old. Fast & flashy is the theme with a little nitrous & some airbrushing.

my random babble for Sunday night smile.gif

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Dear Clair,Ready for some more babble,here goes.Been down the go fast road,something changes and you get interested in the old stuff.Can not put my finger on it but i know i can put my finger on the money part.No matter what you are trying to make AS IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE DEALER it takes a lot of dough.Chrome,bodywork,interior do not know ANYBODY that can do it all by themselves,i did not get interested till i was 40 and it still takes alot of what i make and ALL my spare time to get the job done.Just a few thoughts.diz laugh.gif

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I hope we are not like that. I am 35 and currently working on a 1929 Chandler that is neither flashy or fast. I have been in AACA for three years now, really only to get the magazine so far. The biggest advantage I see for the club is as a conduit to pass information about these old cars. They should remain part of our culture and not merely museum pieces. With the support and help of the older members I have met I will return our car to road status.

I'll agree there are a lot of the younger generation that prefer fast and flashy, but I think that is to a great degree a result of what they are exposed to in our culture. Those that wish to look beyond the norm will find a wealth of interesting vehicles to collect and enjoy.

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Dear Chris,Tell me the part about your Mustang being a 68 1/2 fastback with a 428 Cobra jet and a 4 speed.diz laugh.gif

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Diz! I love babble - I'm the queen of babble hehe.

The almighty dollar I'm sure is part of the reason for many-- even for those in their 30's & 40's with families.

My son did mention time as a factor. he's been working 60hrs a week.

I'm self employed working from home & spare time isn't always easy find. Yet, I can walk out in the garage anytime I want. I've been spending alot of time in the garage recently taking advantage of nice weather - then I wind up sitting in my office odd hrs in the evening. Works for me - cause I'm having fun! I don't envy the ones who are out of the house 8-10hrs a day and then still want to enjoy the hobby.

When I was in my teens the 1904 olds was cool but it was cool to be my fathers car. At the time I preferred racing around with my friends plymouth satellite - or my brother inlaws chevelle.

For the past 15yrs or so I've slowed down & my interests have changed. I enjoy antique anything - especially tools. I've always been interested in cars & the history.

So I can understand not being able to pinpoint how/what happens when one becomes interested in antique cars.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Clair,Ready for some more babble,here goes.Been down the go fast road,something changes and you get interested in the old stuff.Can not put my finger on it but i know i can put my finger on the money part.No matter what you are trying to make AS IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE DEALER it takes a lot of dough.Chrome,bodywork,interior do not know ANYBODY that can do it all by themselves,i did not get interested till i was 40 and it still takes alot of what i make and ALL my spare time to get the job done.Just a few thoughts.diz laugh.gif </div></div>

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Hey Diz you were'nt supposed to bring that up!

Actually the '68 Mustang was my first car. A deluxe coupe w/ a 289 2 barrel and freeway gears. But after going to so many Mustang shows I have moved on to older cars with more distinction.

And no, the Mustang is not for sale! I'll never part with my first car, too many memories.

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I think for a lot of younger people (I'm 45, so it's mainly an external observation by now) <span style="font-style: italic">"fast and flashy"</span> can be translated to mean <span style="font-style: italic">"moves with me in it"</span>. The guy who goes to see and be seen in the street rods and muscle cars at Englishtown is going to see collector cars that are and should be <span style="font-weight: bold">driven</span>. I'm sure it is his impression that the 1930 Cadillac's only viable future existence is as a trailer queen, as most younger people would assume.

Otherwise I fail to see how a 1930 Caddy could be <span style="font-style: italic">anything but</span> "flashy". Even in sedan form, they shine like the sun next to 1958 Buicks!

I've been saying this for years on the forum now, but it's still true. Most young people (even those in the hobby) who don't have 6 days plus $130/night to spend on some tour or at Hershey do not "see" the AACA at all, let alone see it as an active organization. Now if the AACA (on a local basis) spent one day a year parading down this young person's street where the cars could be seen,... dazzler.gif

...now that's an organization that'll make an impression! cool.gif

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By the way, for the younger people who read this thread: I've driven 14 second 1/4 mile runs (1970 Challenger) and I've ridden in near-12 second 1/4 mile runs (1968 tri-power Vette & 1993 Lotus Turbo). I've also busted the suspension and exhaust off of a heavy-duty off-road equipped Chevy Blazer, among many other SUV's I drove professionally (in a non-competative capacity, however).

I don't think any of them equated to the sustained excitement of riding in a 1920 Studebaker touring car or 1910 Model T. Given the choice, I'd definately re-take the old ride again! smile.gifcool.gif

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Claire, that son of yours needs to meet me. I'm not flashy and certainly not fast anymore after breaking my heel years ago, but I like fast cars. They don't have to be new either. I noticed some early 1900's cars at the Hershey flea market parked near Want1937hd's flea site and would like to get one in the future. Then at Rick Hoover's shop that same night, Rick related the neat tour he was on last year with the early cars and how much fun it was driving over hills backwards since that was the only way some of them could get over the hills. My kind of fun. It's a shame some of the grandkids couldn't have been on those tours. I can see me now in an early 1900's car wide open down the highway, wind blowing in my hair worrying about keeping the wheels on the beast. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> A little paint for the flash, and at any speed, an open car certainly seems fast. Just one of the things I'm looking forward to in the future. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Wayne

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Hi, Claire...

Appreciate your scenario with your son.

Very soon, you will see what Diz means, which, should peak the interest of your son. Diz was tame in describing his career as "been down the fast road".

Diz is one of the most interesting people I have met in a long time.

Regards, Peter J.

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Claire, when you say fast and flashy, a little nitrous and some airbrushing, are you talking about cars or the women your son is chasing? Your son needs to take a ride in a car from the 20's. Most have no shock absorbers, stiffashell steering, and just about no brakes. 35 or 40 is plenty fast enough. I'd think that 30 Caddy would be pretty flashy too.

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I have also been down the "fast and flashy" road, and some would say that with Oldsmobile Starfires, Toronados and Hursts around I'm into that scene even now, since all those can border on gaudy. I realised inadvertently that all the collector cars I own were the top-line cars for their era. It wasn't planned that way either.

A close friend who does Pontiacs was into TransAMs and GTOs in his younger years. Now, at 42, his tastes run toward 60s Grand Prix and Bonneville Broughams. He just bought a 66 Starfire (first advertised for sale on the Forums BTW). Again, flash and top line for their era.

Right now most under-30 car freaks tend toward imports or maybe Mustangs. Sporty looks and decent performance, and a lot of aftermarket support- at that age most can't stand a stock production car and want to personalise it. Though when they all make the same mods, it looks like "follow the herd" to me. Then the unmolested car looks different.

I try to take one of the cars out every weekend weather and work schedule permitting, and I make a point to stop and talk with young ones. Of course, if I drive thru a parking lot and stop to talk, the car is immediately surrounded and I'm bombarded with questions and sometimes a request for a ride. This is especially true if I'm on the Toronado- they cannot believe it is front wheel drive, and big-block V8 powered to boot.

Last Saturday night a 17 year old wanted a ride in the Toronado and while we were on the road, he confided that he can't stand imports or rap music, but it was go along with it or be alone. 60s-70s is his true interest for both cars and music. This works out good, since I now have another cruise night buddy and he's got an old car mentor- who coincidentally still understands 17 year olds. Hopefully my influence will get him into his own old car.

I treat them as adults unless they're absolutely screwing up, and I try to look out for them if they get themselves in a bind. They look at life differently than you and I, but they're full of ideas and talent. Not unlike we were at that age, eh? <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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Good for you, Rocket. That's what I'm looking for in getting kids interested in our old cars. If they don't experience it, they can never know about it. W.

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I just received some flyers from the various local suppliers that handle aftermarket accessories / parts, stock parts, etc. I thought to myself these are the same suppliers that I have been using for years to keep my 6 vehicles running. It was very clear as to which way the market is heading as 90% of everything in these flyers was geared towards sport compact vehicles such as the Honda, Nissen, Toyota, etc.

You will convert some of the younger generation over to the older stuff but my guess is the majority will continue to have a strong interest in the sport compact cars. These vehicles are also strongly supported by the manufactures who will keep their interest going as they are always developing newer and faster parts. At one of the sport compact national events this past summer they had to turn away over 2,400 cars as the show was full.

I don't see the old car hobby fading away by any means however I do envision it as being greatly reduced in the amount of people that are involved. We are getting older, dying off, dealing with sickness, etc. This past weekend I thought about all the effort it takes to work a full time job and the amount of money involved and having justed turned 50 it may be time to reduce the amount of vehicles. My 2 cents.

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I think you're largely correct. As the older AACA members (who own prewar cars because they grew up with them) pass on or are forced by age/health to the sidelines, they must be replaced by younger members with a strong interest IN and cognizance OF history. (As an aside: how many high school students HAVE that intense interest??) Otherwise, if the whippersnappers' interest is purely mechanical or leans strongly to rodding, the antiques won't survive either.

This isn't a judgement, just an observation.

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In my humble opinion, the only way to impress the young people with our love of these cars is to expose them by driving the car out where everyone can see it. Interest is something generated within, and outside of outright solicitation or advertising, the best way to stimulate interest is to show the car in normal, day to day, mundane applications.

You do not compete with the rice rockets, simply show off what the past has to offer and that anyone with the desire, the discipline and the commitment to spend the time and money necessary can achieve. Praise for a modified car is just as important as pushing originality.

No one likes to be dismissed or put off because their vision and hard work do not coincide with a righteous mission. Just my thoughts on the matter.

By the way, my son is 19 (Nov. 28th) and has had the car bug a while. He loves hot, muscle cars...in fact he just bought a 1970 Dodge Charger...but from a very early age I have instilled in him an appreciation for the Automobile...all automobiles. He had a 1960 Cadillac sedan he was restoring to original, which burned in a garage fire. And now he is in process of restoring a 1972 Cadillac FLeetwood Eldorado convertible. He loves cars of every era, and while he likes customs and hotrods, he is slowly starting to admire a fresh from the showroom restoration, or better, an untouch original. I never pushed him to this, I simply included him in my love of cars, from models when he was very young (I made them) to going to shows and dealers to just look. Instruction by example and practice rather than preaching. It worked. But he still isn't interested in clubs. That comes, I think, in general with age and experience.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You do not compete with the rice rockets</div></div>

Unless one has a big bad FWD car <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

At risk to my tires and wallet (since the city has a specific ordinance against spinning tires and exercises it, whereas the Commonwealth largely ignores it), I sometimes have to show the ricerockets how a FWD burnout is properly done...

It's always a hoot to watch the dropped jaws when the BFG smoke has cleared. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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Well stated Randall! I also think it's important not to be critical of youth just because they are interested in something that might not be exactly what "we" had in mind. Many of us ended up here because it was a natural extension of our interest in anything with wheels. Everyone participates according to their own level of interest, ability, finances, etc. Just step back, give them room to grow and if you show them how much fun this can be, then they'll come onboard eventually. My three year old grandson came over yesterday and brought his plastic screw-driver with him to help me work on something out in the barn. In fact the first words he ever spoke were "Model T" and once his feet reach the pedals, watch out!

Terry

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Dear Terry,I am SURE Momma and Dada were PLEASED with Model T coming out of juniors mouth first.Suprised they did not re-po him from his Grandpa.diz laugh.giftongue.gif

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Claire, I think I joined AACA in 1970,an Argo elerctric on the cover of my first issue of Antique Automobile, I was 19 years old, and everyone in the club was "an old guy". I'll be 53 next month and I'm still the kid in the local group. I've never spent any time wondering about younger people getting into the hobby. This is not something you can force on people. You either have a love for it or you don't. There are so many different clubs and publications now that the need for an umbrella car club is not neeed to have a good time. The late model stuff just doesn't mix with the pre WWII era vehicles. The only young car people I can relate to are building Rat Rods. I always cut them a deal on parts at a flea market,they are building low buck cars and having FUN.

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My brother and I discuss this endlessly. I also have a brother-in-law and a couple of nephews and nieces who are also into old cars. None of us belongs to a club and our ages range from mid-thirties to early sixties. Between us we own eight old cars. Ok I did belong to a local club for one unsatifying year, that may have been more my fault than theirs.

One of the nephews has been painstakingly rebuilding a 66 Mustang for about 10 years.

The other nephew finally got one of his Dads cars a couple years ago. Prior to that he hadn't shown any interest in old cars, his mother owned a Model A Ford. Now he and his wife just bought another sixties car. Maybe actually getting to experience the fun of owning and driving an old car had something to do with that.

So I asked most of the gang why they didn't join a club. The first thing they all said was "Time". Next was that they didn't see the benefit.

I've known a couple of teenagers in the last few years whose idea of a good "first car" was a fifties or sixties "anything". Sure, they really wanted a flashy, powerful car, but anything old and servicable would do. They didn't come from "old car" families, so who knows where they got the bug.

I agree that encouraging a young persons interest in just about any car is a wise thing to do as far as extending the life of the hobby goes.

The young Sports Compact folks are often dropping a pile of money on their cars, so money isn't always the issue. A real disappoinying experience was a year or so ago at a open show where the local Sports Compact club had several cars on display. They were pretty much ignored by the "old car" crowd.

That's not good. Even if these are not ones personal choice for a hobby interest car, it costs nothing to walk over and chat about the cars for a few minutes. If we show interest in their cars, it's a lot more likely that they'll show some interest in ours.

Some of it may be more to do with the need for immediate gratification. My Mustang nephew is obviously not to concerned with that. But the nephew and niece that just bought a second car went for one that was nearly perfect already, they wanted to be able to buy and go right now.

While not every collector car may fit well on an AACA show field, they still have value and bring pride to their owners.

Perhaps we need to focus on wht we have in common more than our differences if we want to encourage vintage automotive enthusiasism let alone club memeberships.

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I have been involved with AACA through my family since I was a little girl. My parents involvement with the local/national events (shows and tours) gave me a wide variety of experiences with antique autos. This early appreciation of antique cars has kept me an active life member of AACA. I know for a fact that a twenty-something adult who works +50 hours a week can make time for a hobby they love. I do not own an antique myself. Too much $$$ for me. But I have access to friends and family who allow me the opportunity to enjoy their vehicles. I have had the pleasure to drive a range of vehicles from a 1911 Hudson (at the age of 17) which I cranked by myself to a 1970 Buick Skylark. Let me also say this if I had a choice of driving my parents'1970 Dodge Challenger 426 Hemi or the 1913 Buick I helped restore... the Buick would win hands down. I also judge at shows when I can and love to car hop on tours! I have also started as a volunteer to drive vehicles to AACA events. AACA is a wonderful way to meet new people no matter what age. In fact just this past weekend in Tallahassee I had a great conversation about early Buicks with someone my own age showing a 1924 Buick. At the same time I have many "older" friends through the AACA who I have known for +20 years! Anyone who complains about the AACA being a bunch of "old men" should really try to invite their younger friends to events and extend their social boundaries a bit and talk to the older members, not only do they know a lot about these historic vehicles but they have a lot of heart too!

PS-Converting a car to a flashy modified with a custom paint job and exhaust system can be expensive too.

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My own take on club membership isn't so much being part of the crowd so to speak, but for parts and information support. That's why I have maintained membership in the Oldsmobile Club of America for 20 years, and also the NAOC, Toronado and Hurst clubs. I laid groundwork for the local OCA chapter because I wanted some Oldsmobile company at shows and cruises.

I'm a relative latecomer to AACA, joining in 1994 when the Toro became eligible. I've never participated in a large AACA event because the cars are simply not the quality I think they should be to compete there- they're nice, but they are driven frequently and are more survivors than anything. I've been to the Richmond Region and General Greene shows, and enjoyed the camaraderie I found at both. There are rarely any <span style="font-style: italic">Antique Automobile</span> parts leads or stories about my cars or even my automotive interests, but I learn from every issue I get, and I believe an AACA membership lends some credibility to any old car enthusiast's persona.

I'm as guilty as anyone about walking past cars that don't interest me at shows and cruises, though I try to talk to owners of cars that are obviously being ignored by everyone. The sport compact crowd can't or won't understand that their thumping bass and foul mouths aren't welcome at a general car show, and I've had to get after them more than once about cleaning up the area their cars were in- asked their local club president once if his mama still changed his diaper and wiped his ass, because it was obvious he'd never been taught to clean up after himself. Embarrassed him and he got a little mad over it for a while, but they got the message. 'Course, the fact that four of us blocked them in so they couldn't leave might have helped <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />.

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The younger generation (under 35) do NOT seem to be interested in 'fast and flashy' but rather more interested in small and techno. I mean geez, what could be faster and flashier than a '30 Cadillac except maybe a 56 Packard Caribbean.

The younger set (including myself at 50) are more interested in a little bit of action rather than setting around in a lawn chair hoping for a dash plaque. I don't have the answer BUT, the lawn chair and dash plaque thing just doesn't get it. Recently there was a 'work meeting' at one of the regional Packard clubs involving a transmission removal process. This is something i really wanted to attend but was unable due to schedule conflict. We need to get some action with these cars we own. Some kind of meet where we can drive the cars and maybe put them up on a rack and look at them or something like that. Something that is more Demonstration oriented rather than just Display. I realize this idea is difficult. The younger set wants to move and shake NOT sit and plaque.

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