There are many, many variables in the term “car guy”. One major variable is the reality that a car guy can be female.


Sure the majority of car guys are male but the women who do commit to the car hobby bleed motor oil just like the guys.


Another variable is stock versus modified but this topic is about what your favorite decade for old rides really says about you.


Twenties and thirties era car guys probably remember when TV was black and white, gas was 25 cents a gallon and you kept a job for life. There’s an undercurrent of younger guys who see a ’28 Model A as a canvas for a rat rod but few, if any of these younger dudes want to own a stock 20s or 30s car. Guys who like twenties and thirties cars are either older with a real nostalgia for these cars or younger with a romanticized view of old school hot rods.




Car guys who skew toward 1940s cars are significantly older across the board than the twenties and thirties guys because they don’t have as many younger rat rod guys in the demographic mix. 1940s guys are typically well past retirement and they’ll go either way on their cars so they’ll rod them or keep them stock. These guys remember post-war rides when they were regular drivers so they’re probably not big fans of hip hop or sexting.


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Fifties car guys are the dark horse players in the old car hobby. They’re probably going to be older guys but there are no hard and fast rules about fifties cars because younger guys see these cars as a road map to cool. The difference is older guys may build a ’55 Ford up to period correct hot rod standards or keep it bone stock, but a younger 50s car guy will inevitably drop it down to a belly-crawling level, strip the interior and all exterior trim off the car and either paint it flat black or leave it bare metal rusty. Fifties car guys of any age are definitely independent thinkers with a flair for the offbeat.



Sixties car guys are more conventional thinkers. This era saw the birth of the muscle car and the pony car so sixties guys are slightly younger guys with no real demographic swing from old to young. Upper middle age is the key here. Sixties car guys think GTO, Mustang, Camaro, Road Runner – Ford Fairlanes don’t matter to 60s guys unless there’s a big block under the hood. Sixties guys see cars as more of an investment and less of a personal statement.


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Seventies car guys are a more amped-up version of sixties car guys because this is an era that has set the standards for prices. Hemicudas and SS 454 Chevelles have hit numbers that rival the GDP of smaller Central American countries so the investment potential spiked on the early 70s cars. Nobody’s going crazy over ’77 Chrysler Cordobas but try buying a Super Bird on a budget. Seventies car guys are pretty conventional thinkers in many ways and most of them will be mid-range middle aged dudes who prefer AC/DC and Coors Light over Van Morrison and Guinness.


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There are always going to be exceptions to the rule but the decade really does define the car guy.


Jerry Sutherland

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