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Younger generation outlook on AACA?

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As some people have commented recently, I have not been on the DF as often as I used to be, so I missed some of this thread. I note that one of the members of Team Hudson has responded and hints at a story. Here it is. A long time ago a bunch of "old timers" gathered around a lake named Houghton in Michigan. I took my '11 Hudson but my normal navigator named Sally could not be with me, so I needed a navigator. Turned out that two of my friends brought their kids (three boys and one girl, all younger than 18). Even though I may have been an old F___ I knew that the youngsters would rather ride with anyone but Mom and Dad. So I organized Team Hudson - me and old Harry with the kids! But I had one requirement - each one of them had to know how to crank the Hudson and drive it. They all passed the prelims so we started to tour. Talk about a great tour. I had the best bunch of navigators, turn signalers and passengers on the tour.

Approaching an intersection on one of the days, I accidentally killed the engine. "Team Hudson" lept out of the car and ran to the front. She grabbed the crank handle and yelled at me, "Gas on". I responded, "Gas on". Then "Spark Retard". I replied, "Spark Retard". She gave the crank the needed 1/4 turn, the engine started, she ran around and jumped in the navigator seat and we went on down the road. I glanced over and saw a beautiful young 17 year old girl with the most magnificent "I did it" smile on her face. Her other comments speak for themselves.

Conclusion - Get them involved on a one-on-one basis and they will enjoy. BTW, the smile may be a few years older (so am I) but it is still magnificent. Boy Howdy!

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WOW, this thread covers a lot of ground. Back to the subject, what did we decide the problems are? Time, money? Hanging around older people? I think some of this is more perception than reality. As stated, the tuner car guys can spend as much as a restorer, and one can buy an old car that will provide economical fun for the family. I said AN old car, maybe not a 1955 TBird or a Chevelle 454SS, but one can buy a nice old driver with potential for less than a used Taurus, sometimes it's even a prewar car. Of course, one can't RESTORE a car on the cheap, but a car show can be very democratic, with a $2500 driver on the same field with a $50,000 restoration. The AACA has classes for them all, even at Hershey. I think there are two big problems, (a) is that experienced old car people, especially those with nicer cars, can be "stuck up", especially with younger people. I recall in 1985 as an 18 year old with a 1963 Pontiac, I admired a man's 1964 and was told to "eat your heart out". Who wants to interact with people like that? But there are many, and I have to remind myself not to sneer at lowriders and other cars "beneath me" so as not to discourage young enthusiasts like I once was. Problem(B) is that some kids don't see restored antique cars out and about, and if all they and their friends see are street rods and lowriders that is what they think is cool. Further, if they do see and admire a nice old car and all the owner talks about is money the kid thinks an old car is more unatainable than it really is. Or even worse, be like my Pontiac guy and puff up your own importance, THAT is a great way to bring them into the fold. I hope we all figure out that if we don't bring around a new generation our own cars are at risk in the future. Who will buy and care for them? We should try to open up a bit, drive the cars, CHEERFULLY enjoy them, and try to encourage the young fans who come around. The kid with the 1963 Pontiac may someday be the one to buy your car in your old age if you don't kill his enthusiasm first. Todd C

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Hi guys,it sounds like everyone is having a good time. Has anyone come up with any good ideas on how to get this youth thing back on track. Philly is just around the corner and I would love to see all of you there. I have been involved with Doug Drake and Fran Shore for three years now, and it seems like we have all of the same people saying all of the same things. We need some new ideas, the National Directors don't want to get involved in this, they will all say they support it, but thats about it. Lets get something going on this thread that we can roll into Philly with and get this thing off center.

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Could we hook up with some school American History or science programs? In AH in Elementary EVERYONE learns about H. Fords assembly line, etc. In middle the kids move on to science and internal combustion engine, and in high school you have the advanced technology and shop stuff as well as physics and history.

All of this is pertinent to the early auromobiles and all kids love a field trip. The trouble is cost; however, tours and meets could work in the sponsorship of a school or two. Tours could cruise to a school and meets could accomodate special kid tours.

I think all of this would be lots of fun for car owners and inpsiring for the kids.

Of course you would have to temper the atmosphere a bit with some facts concerning the disastrous consequences the car has had on our planets psyche and ecology such as pollution, fragmentation of habitat, urban sprawl, etc. wink.gif

Heh heh.

Peter

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Of course you would have to temper the atmosphere a bit with some facts concerning the disastrous consequences the car has had on our planets psyche and ecology such as pollution, fragmentation of habitat, urban sprawl, etc.

Heh, heh.</div></div>

Peter,

Why is this a joke? I could see if you used verbs like "undercut", "overshadow", "emasculate", "denegrate", "discount", etc. But <span style="font-style: italic">"temper"</span>? confused.gif

That term implies using logic and balance to the treatment of the subject matter. Not only is the humor factor greatly diminished, but such treatment of our environment is certainly best avoided at all costs to be sure.

Just remember that if smart people knew everything, they'd only see things your way. crazy.gif

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Dear Dave,I gotta believe most people come to this forum for some light-hearted banter,some auto related some not.You certainly have a way of taking it right down the drain.Awhile back you related a story regarding installing a trailer hitch on a car.I gotta believe you were just upset because it got WELDED to the gas tank,YOUR plan was to drill and bolt it.diz laugh.giftongue.gif

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OH MY! wait till I tell my son what he started here! just by calling you guys a bunch of old farts wink.gif heheh

Todd C: I think you make very good points.

Wayne: I'll send my son your way! and see if he can drive uphill backwards with my 1904? hehe -- geez and I'm just happy that he stays under 100mph (I think) on the turnpike driving home from my house-- now I would have to worry about driving backwards! blush.gif - didn't smokey & the bandit do that driving backward stunt?

My sons exact concerns about taking on the 1930 cadillac project - "I don't have the money & time" yet, he rebuilt a 1989 mustang & dumped alot of time & money into it. I know someone mentioned how even modifying newer cars can be just as pricey - true.

However, I would guess my son's perception of what it might cost to restore the cadillac is more than he realizes. possibly because of what he has seen at AACA meets when he attended with his grandfather. His sees -- the retired guy with deep pockets restoring a Packard, cadillac, Model T etc... to showroom looks/condition. Then putting in an enclosed trailer & bringing it to shows sitting in a lawn chair.

Ryan wants to drive the car he's put time & hard work into - be able to bring it to a show & have a fair chance of being recognized or perhaps fitting in with others in his class. With the impression he has now - he probably feels he doesn't have a chance and nothing in common with the "older" members. Probably very untrue since all he does is talk about cars. I'm sure his grandfather planted the seed yrs ago wink.gif especially in recent yrs once Ryan got his license that's all Ryan & his grandfather talked about. Watching the Daytona 500 was like a holiday for my son & my father.

Like many of us.. my son has always enjoyed cars - and I'm sure in the future his inerests will change and he'll probably want to take on an antique restoration project.

I'm sure it's quite intimadating & disappointing when a kid in their 20's puts everything they have - time, effort & money into a car.. then goes to a show and none of the "older" guys come over to show interest.

From what I get after reading all the posts in this thread - it seems as tho the best suggestion so far is -- for the older members to get the younger ones involved - one on one basis and/or get out there with your cars & show them off more smile.gif

I don't know if it's been mentioned but for the ones afraid of the hobby dying - perhaps when we are at shows interact with the younger one like my sons age. Ask questions - we all might be surprised what they have to teach us!

enjoy the day all smile.gif

-- Claire

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It appears that many kids these days (and I do refer to those that spend 10,000$ on a 1995 Honda or Toyota as kids) care only about the hedonistic pleasure of their small closed world. Hanging out and chilling and wasting time. At 38 I am not quite a geezer, but some of the younger generation seem to be suffering from an extreme lack of world knowledge and an extreme lack of any significant curiosity of anything that lies beyond their small safe and upper middle class world. A love of old cars incorporates mechanical and American history and the "pimping" out of the newer rice burners seems to revolve around the "look at me and my "money" car...bling bling" syndrome.

Whadda u think?

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PWN you are correct in my opinion. I still stand behind what I posted above.

"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."

Old Cars Weekly just did an article about what Carlisle Productions sees as the future in the car hobby and they are gearing up for the sport compacts. Two shows starting next year.

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Claire, I'll take you up on that. When and where will the '04 (Buick, or was it Olds) be for the next tour. Your son and I would have a blast. I saw those two early "thumpers" in the flea site beside Bob/want1937hd in Hershey and started dreaming about an early car tour. Give me a call, I'm ready. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">....Awhile back you related a story regarding installing a trailer hitch on a car.I gotta believe you were just upset because it got WELDED to the gas tank,YOUR plan was to drill and bolt it.diz laugh.giftongue.gif </div></div>

I don't find the ignorance and disregard of danger "light-hearted" in any case. At least the guy welding to to a gas tank wasn't endangering my children. Those who <span style="font-style: italic">are</span> are just as ignorant of the danger as the guy with the acetylene torch was. And there's a lot more of them.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> A love of old cars incorporates mechanical and American history and the "pimping" out of the newer rice burners seems to revolve around the "look at me and my "money" car...bling bling" syndrome. </div></div>

Couldn't the same thing be said of a hot rod in the 1940's, a lowered leadsled in the 1950's, or of a muraled sub-lime muscle car in the 1960's and 1970's. Ditto for a sin-bin van or macho-truck from the 1980's and 1990's.

Appreciation for the loss of the past I think usually begins when you begin to see your own past disappearing. Then you begin to notice that which has been lost from generations before. A proportion of those guys and girls out there tearing up the local strip in their rice-rockets will likely eventually gain an appreciation for the vehicles of the past, just like we eventtually did. cool.gif

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This getting to be a really long thread, and maybe it was mentioned before, but is it any different than it was 25 years ago? I am 42 and have only been a member a couple years, so I cant speak to that question. Did you older, more seasoned, fellows feel this way years ago?

I can always find folks my age and younger at the meets I have attended. I always preferred the original cars all my life but never had the time or money to be too serious about my hobby till recently. I think its just a place in life thing.

Maybe the best thing is to be nice to people when they ask about your car. Take it to some Saturday night cruise ins, or the Sunday Local car show. I have had many people ask me about that "little oval badge" on my car, tell them about AACA. Dont get hung up on the fact you didnt win a three dollar plastic trophy, be happy for the guy who spent all that money on a custom paint that will be out of fashion in a couple years!

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And why are they so ignorant, Dave? I was in a Maryland restaurant a couple of weeks ago. The 16 year old said my bill was $3.42, so I gave her $5."42" and she couldn't give me the correct change. Is the whole education system going into failure mode? Believe me I think getting the kids into mechanical "anythings" will give them a little education, if only because they have to read the directions in the manual. Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I was in a Maryland restaurant a couple of weeks ago. The 16 year old said my bill was $3.42, so I gave her $5."42" and she couldn't give me the correct change. </div></div>

Wayne, You don't see those notes from the Bank of Northern Virginia with Jeff Davis on them very day, cut the kid some slack will ya.

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Regarding younger people with sport compacts, I have found them to be very enthusiastic about their cars, and I think this could be a positive start in getting younger people into old cars. It may be true we will not "convert" them all, but at least they are tinkering with cars in the first place and thus getting a basic interest and respect for the practice. Remember, most teenagers don't HAVE to tinker with cars as most of us over 30 and beyond did. Many have the suburban life Peter referred to and will never turn a wrench, where the sport compact kids do (in theory anyway). I think they are the ones that are more likely to eventually find older cars interesting, as opposed to those that never work on anything at all. I don't like the compacts, but at least the kids are into cars of some sort.

Todd C

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Thanks Bob, I was wondering they they hauled me off to jail. When they said funny money, I thought they were talking about my personality. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> W.

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Yes, in fact it was a lot different 25 years ago. Many of us with 30 year old cars were still fighting to get them accepted by the hobby and AACA. AACA went to the 25 year old rule in 1974. That aside, there were so many people in the 30-45 age group in the local Regions we virtually needed baby sitters. In fact, the Chesapeake Region club meeting once a month was my wife and my one night a month out with a baby sitter. The Meets were teeming with people my age. Why even old HVS had two young children then!! But something has really happened in the last 25 years.....cars that are as old today as our cars were then had started to bring on computers and pollution devices and exotic wiring for a multitude of accessories and young people just couldn't tinker with them like the previous generation had. And then more affluent parents started buying new or near new cars for their high school kids, thus knocking out the need to buy a $100 car and the greater need to keep it running. There was a gas crunch about that time, keeping a lot of younger people out of any kind of car, or at least out of a big old car like we had. And then again there was the blossoming of computer game stores and that became a kid craze, soon to be followed by this very thing I'm typing on now, a computer. So, then there was the diversification of interest. Hey, you guys ages 38 and 42 should be able to remember all of that. So now here we are. Us old guys are still enjoying old cars, but there just don't seem to be enough young guys interested, and those that are seem to be oriented toward "street rods"; maybe because most of them grew up as mechanical tinkerers. Many of us grew up idolizing styling, and yearly changes, something that basically disappeared around 1977. That's just what I think. The question is now, how can we retrofit the fittest among us to want to play with cars older than they are, because most of the newer older cars are too complicated or ugly or both. And one more thing, there used to be junkyards full of old cars....what great fun the treasure hunting was on a Saturday. Today the ecologists and taxman have forced oldtime "auto graveyards" to disappear, and now we have aggressive auto recyclers who don't have any cars older than 5 years if that old. Parts go back to the manufacturer now, to be destroyed when they are obsolete. In our day Dealers got stuck with those parts and from that source came all of the NOS parts for our cars that are non-existant for newer cars. Even today, as I restore a 1971 Buick Riviera, there are no NOS parts for it anywhere, or at least almost nowhere, even on eBay. Whew.

Bob Swanson, if you see this drop me an email at Vabuickman@aol.com so I can get your email address.

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Very good points here from Dynaflash8. In fact, the junkyard points may be a big factor I had not thought about for a while. In high school and college in the early to mid 1980's I loved going through junkyards and finding 20 year old cars to pull parts, admire styling and dream of restoring. Near Hutchinson KS were TWO yards with 500+ old cars EACH!! Both are now long gone, and I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a trip through a junkyard, those visits may have been the fuel for my initial old car adventures and are indeed something kids today are unlikely to experience. Maybe the sport compact group is the modern version of junkyard dreamers? I only hope we can interest them in restoring later on. Todd C

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Dynaflash and Poci1957 make excellent points. Times have and continue to change (Heraclitus would have been proud). My son, Jonathan, is 18 and a keen car lover. But he has 0, zip, zilch, nada interest in junkyards. There is a Cadillac yard about 4 miles from where he lives. I could spend all day there...of course you are not allowed in and have to order from the counter because they are eco-friendly etc, etc., etc.. All of the parts are neatly stacked in bins. Its pretty cool really. But he would rather surf the web for parts and I cannot really blame him. It takes me mear minutes to find parts or sites concerning parts I need. My biggest problem is where to find the best deals. What with eBay, we rarely have to leave the house to get what we want. It is a remarkable tool...but it kills the fun of searching through old cars and seeing maybe that special hulk that thrills the soul. Since Jonathan is into antique luxury cars as well as American Muscle, Euro-sport cars and Japanese racers, with a healthy interest in old trucks, I think the computer is suited for his needs. Now instead of walking the rows of old metal, he and I surf the auto traders and ooo and ahhhh over cars we would love to have.

At least he loves cars. But he will have nothing to do with the clubs. Not yet at any rate. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

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All of you guys have made some very valid points about why the youth are not getting involved. Most of these things are the very things that I have seen in my youth club. But the fact still remains that when I started my club I had several youth that had import cars that now have American cars. Many of these kids are very talented. But one thing still baffles me. How is it that I can start a youth 4H/ AACA club and have maintained it for the last 3 years with a minimum amount of work, and nobody else can. As a matter of fact I just had 3 new kids join our club at last months meeting. The fact of the matter if we don't make an effort to introduce and exhibit what or hobby is to these youth, they will just go on playing video games and messing with thier computers. My group still does all of those things, but also has over a period of time developed into a group that has am appreciation for not just the muscle cars, but for some of the classics. It is all in how we present it to them. If they think you are interested in what they think and what their opinions are they, most of the time will join in just to see what it is all about. I not only have my club moving forward but we are also working along with one of our local regions with some of their events and have been attending their meetings. We need to shed that old guy skin and make these youth feel as though they are needed and wanted, instead of making them feel as though they are as some put it, TO BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD.

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Tom you sure have it all right. I'm an old guy, who used to be a young guy that loved old cars. I started by cutting them out of magazines as a little kid. Yet I'm an all-thumbs mechanic, but I loved the styling of the old cars. Anyway, I as an old guy do everything I can to be friendly and helpful to young guys; but it's not in my genes to really know how to do it right. We need more guys like you. Maybe you can train some more guys out there as to how best to approach these fine young people. I'd appreciate having an email from you at Vabuickman@aol.com if you get the chance.

To whoever was talking about passing junkyards by for eBay. Here's the real deal. The great old junkyards are gone or almost gone. Standing at a counter can never get you anything except possibly exactly what you're looking for. And mostly, you can say the same about the computer, except when you're lucky. But walking around in a tree-shaded, mountaintop, picnic-area like auto graveyard is a whole different experience, wholly different. It's a true treasure hunt, where you might find the most unexpected thing around the next three or truck. Many times you don't know or remember that tiny little item you need or that is missing until "waalaa" you see it inside some old, stripped hulk that was once like yours. I honestly think that the junkyards I visited during the 1960's and early 1970's were more fun than any car show I ever attended. And the best ones were in eastern Pennsylvania. The two best I ever went to were Hap Gemmell's place off Prospect Avenue in York, PA where there was a mountainside of 1930s and 1940s cars and a barn full of NOS and used parts; Ed Hurp's place in Red Lion, PA where there was a picnic grove full of 1930s and 1940s cars, and my one trip to Bill's Auto Parts in Providence, Rhode Island that was absolutely full of Cadillac 4-dr convertibles, a Marmon, a Pierce Arrow and so many more, plus a building stock full of NOS parts for 1930s and 1940s cars. 'Dem was 'd days fellows. Next time I'll talk about all of the Buick and Pontiac dealerships my friends and I found in the 1970s.

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One of the things that we need to do is make the youth program very visual to everyone. My own opinion is that there are a few people out there that are trying, but the majority of the National Committee members are not involved in any way other than to say that they support it. The way that I was taught, if you support something you are supposed to spend some small amout of time participating in what it is you support. The thing we all need to do is pool our thoughts on this topic and get this youth progam really up and running. Without insulting anyone, it is kind of floundering. We need some PUSH. If we could get more people involved in this forum that would tell us what is on their minds, and come up with some new ideas, we would have a better idea of what we need to do. Another thing we all need to realize is that there is strength in numbers. The more people we get involved in this thing the easier it is on all of us. The most important thing we need to do is for all of us to let the National Board members know that they need to stop talking and start doing. This is a very worth while undertaking. I spend a lot of time with my youth and enjoy every minute of it. I get a lot of gratification in seeing them work on their cars, the club's go-cart, judging at Hershey, or participating in the national meeting. Please keep your thoughts coming.

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Tom...interesting concept.

My thoughts on the efforts made to-date generate something to throw out...

This AACA Forum is not the total AACA Membership by any means. Although we are up to probably 14-15,000 posts, the AACA Membership is around 63,000 +.

To reach the majority of membership, why not have a questionaire sent to the "total" via the AACA magazine for input. To me, it is quite obvious, that a minority are responding via the internet, however, the gold mine of input has yet to be tapped.

Regards, Peter J.

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I agree with you on the number of people we would reach. But how many people do you think would respond to a mailer? I think that right now this is the best way for some of us to communicate on this topic. What we need to do is keep it rolling and try to draw more people into it. I don't completely disagree with your outlook on the youth program, but I don't completely agree either. There has been a great deal of time spent in trying to develop a program. Part of the problem is our earlier discussion, there are not enough people willing to put their thoughts forward and following through in trying to implement some of them. I think there is a lot of room for improvement, but this will always struggle without people wanting to get involved.

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