There are many people who live in mortal fear for the future of the car hobby.
The most obvious sign of the automotive apocalypse is the relative age of the owners who celebrate their automotive past with a tangible investment in a vintage ride.
In short, most of the owners know exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot-or JR for that matter-depending upon their age.
Right now the car hobby is riding a giant wave of popularity because many of its members have been able to use their earnings or skill set they acquired through many years of hard work to buy the vintage vehicle of their dreams.
We at MyStarCollectorCar salute these dedicated car guys and girls because they have been able to live their automotive dream and chose to share that experience with the car hobby world.
However, time is not on their side–in direct dispute with 1960s song lyrics performed by a formerly young Mick Jagger. The current generation of car guys will be forced to pass along the classic ride ignition keys from their failing hands at some point in the future. Here’s hoping the next generations will not view this moment in the same light as passing along an unpinned hand grenade.
The non-Hemi elephant in the room? Will the car hobby be able to survive the passage of time beyond the current situation when most of the current crop of car guys have taken the nearest exit on the freeway of automotive memories?
The short answer is maybe; because the mantle of responsibility will be foisted upon the next generations of car guys, so the survival of the car hobby will be in their hands.
The New Age car hobby will be a different one and requires a few changes to make it a good fit for the automotive heirs-apparent.
Generation X represents the oldest of the next-gen car guys and they have been heavily influenced by the generations before them in many cases. The oldest among the Gen-Xers are now comfortably into middle age and have accumulated the kind of financial and skill set resources to dive into the hobby if they want to be a part of its future.
These are the people who realized the importance of the car hobby as it pertained to their fathers and grandfathers. They were able to witness the strong impact of a vintage ride on these important car people in their lives.
Generation X also developed their own interests within the car hobby so their list includes smaller, nimbler imports, along with their favorite childhood domestic vehicles like the Fox Body Mustangs, Buick Grand Nationals and Dodge Vipers.
Their enthusiasm for internal combustion blasts from the past will play an important role in the survival of the hobby. Here’s hoping the lesson from their car guy elders has a profound effect upon Generation X.
The odds may get longer when Generation Y (aka Millennials) become the future of the car hobby. This even younger generation have many distractions that get in the way of the car hobby. Many of them concentrate their need for speed into more powerful personal electronic devices and have little interest in horsepower and torque as it applies to the internal combustion engine.
Sadly, many of them have underdeveloped mechanical skills and over-developed thumb muscles from our new world of detached communication.
The good news is the newest generation of car guys and girls are still represented at car shows. They may be a 21st century version of 1950s hot-rodders because they are tuner car fans, but they are heart and soul car guys who provide a glimmer of hope for the future of the car hobby.
The tricky part is to get serious buy-in from enough millennials to keep the car hobby alive and well in an evil new bubble of green religion saddled with zero emission gaming devices that require little contact with the real world or its use of fossil fuels.
However, we at MyStarCollectorCar are encouraged by the numbers of potential next-gen car guys and girls that we see at every car show. Thus we will offer some solid advice: take a kid to a car show in 2019 and keep the ball rolling for the hobby.
Then teach them how to change the oil and tires on your beloved ride. It’s a start.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.