I have to say that I am fortunate to own a pre-Model A car that has many parts suppliers and that there are plenty of Model T owners who have parts still lying around and willing to sell it for a decent price if I am in need of something. However, when I go to swap meets, it is getting harder and harder to find anything earlier than a Ford Model A and, even then, parts are getting hard to find. Almost everything being sold at the swap meets is post 1950. Trying to find parts for my dad's 1917 Overland is next to impossible.
I went to an HCC meeting last month in Kirdland, WA and no one drove a car later than 1945. When I was a kid in the 1970s, cars from the 1930s, 1920s, and teens were commonplace. What has happened to that hobby? Are the pre-1920 cars a dying breed?
I am 47 years old and it is readily apparent that my generation, as a whole, has no idea about cars earlier than the 1950s and anything older is a "Model T" or a "Model A." Is there a lack of interest? Lack of appreciation? Lack of mechanical skill? Lack of funds?
From personal experience, I happen to love the cars from the 1920s and 1930s, but affording one on a single teacher's income is tough, let alone restoring one. Have the cars priced themselves out of an average person from purchasing them? It has taken me nine years to restore my T and, though it isn't done yet, I have been able to afford to restore it over time. I am not sure if I will be able to afford to restore Dad's Overland and there isn't a repair manual for it like there is for the Model T.
I know that I have presented a LOT of questions that probably have multiple answers. Many of you are my parent's age (late 60's/early 70s) and began the hobby when it was much affordable and parts were more plentiful. I am curious about your thoughts and how/if we can keep the hobby alive for the next generation.
I'm 32 I have a brass t speedster in progress
Younger folks I see constantly texting and focusing on their IPhones have not been taught to work with their hands and have very little interest in older cars. I know this is stereotyping and does not fit all but one has to look at how they were brought up. Dad and Granddad do not change the oil in their cars anymore or do any repairs around the house. There is a "service" for everything. The burbs are full of lawn care services and swimming pool cleaners. Many folks do nothing with their hands at home and the kids are brought up this way. My Nieces and nephew who are all straight A students, and have a lot of book smarts, show no interest in my Model T's and Model A's. Even 1950's autos were long gone 40 years before they were born. They prefer cars with computers, blue tooth stereo, and touch screen navigation because it is what they are growing up with at this time. I believe each generation reacts to the technology at the time they grew up. I don't fault them for their attitude. I fault my generation for not passing on workmanship and the satisfaction of doing a job well on your own. Hell, Most of my male friends are overweight and have a paid lawn service, paid pool cleaning service and do very little themselves at home. The younger folks are just mimicking what they see the adults doing. These are my opinions and your mileage may vary!
Twenty-five years ago there was all this same wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the very same topic -- all the 50-60 year olds lamenting the end of the hobby. Now, many of those guys are dead and guess what.... back then, those who are 50-60 years old today, were nowhere to be found! There are always exceptions, of course, but a society is not judged by the sum of its exceptions.
It is simple economics on many levels. Young people don't normally have the money and time for what is an expensive and time consuming hobby. Additionally, I don't see any of the stuff I like getting cheaper, so there must be a demand for it. Ebay keeps telling me so.
It's very likely that 20 years from now this same debate will still be going on.
Why didn't you drive an earlier car to the HCCA meeting?
I think Model T's are slowly going away. They are to slow for this new generation. They don't have any fancy gadgets in them, and other than being cool to look at most of today's kids would rather own a rice rocket that sounds like pig with a wire brush being pulled out of its back side. Im keeping my T as long as I can, After that I just don't know. None of my boys have any interest in it at all. Michael, You're right! My next door neighbour has a real nice 67 chevy, He's never turned a wrench on it, He takes it to a garage! If it starts he drives it, if not he calls a tow truck. I told him once that I would help him give it a tune up but I was told he could not get his hands dirty because of his office job.
The Model T is interesting to many of the younger generations but only for a brief amount of time. Many find the older cars cool to look at and even to ride in but unless it can go at least 40-50 MPH safely down the road most do not want to own one. They are generally just too slow for someone to have it as their sole project car. I am hoping that as they get older they will be able to have multiple cars in their collection and will appreciate the older cars more. I am 52.which is not young but not 65 + either. However, my father worked on Model T's and A's when I was young and he has plenty of spare parts for me to play with now. He also has two mostly complete cars that also contribute to my infliction. Unfortunately, most of the younger generation doesn't have this convince that I do.
Took a break from rebuilding front axle (just about to ream bushings) to read this on my smart phone I do wish more people worked on old cars near me because the older guys around me can't do much either
"Is there a lack of interest? Lack of appreciation? Lack of mechanical skill? Lack of funds? "
All of the above listed reasons are high on the list. Most old cars don't have 400 hp fuel injected turbo charged ,supercharged v12's either.And young people are lead to believe they need that.
Also, old cars are not "green" We tend to forget the young folks are raised to think nothing should put out fumes including themselves.
Being raised riding in a minivan that the side door opens with a button does not help matters any.
And frankly, I think sheer LAZY is part of the problem. It takes to much effort to repair and drive something with no power steering etc.
I have younger folks come up to me saying how cool my 66 F100 is. "Does it have a v8, does it have ___?" I explain there is nothing automatic except the cigar lighter will pop out when it gets hot.IF I could find it. I chunked it in the glove box somewhere so I could plug in the gps.
They think if it is not v8 it cant have any power or do any good. But shucks, I have a bit over 200 hp out of a 300I6 engine bored 30 over with a rv cam in it. I actually left behind a 3/4 ton chevy v8 going up hills,both of us pulling campers.
And yes, I think the parents and grandparents have a role in it to.
Just because you can afford to pay someone to mow the yard, does not mean you should. That is wasting money and not teaching the kids how to work.Granted you don't put them on 20 acres with a 20 inch cut Aircap push mower and tell them to be done by lunch but let them learn how to WORK with their minds and hands.
My point being, the old car isn't dying! Every time my 4 year old nephew comes to see me the first thing he wants to do is see the model t stuff. Even he can see it complete and I give him the steering wheel rim to pretend drive. He loves it and we have a blast! The more people have fun like that, the longer the hobby will survive!
Great question. My only car (of 2) that runs is the 1927 Tudor. I actually drove my 2005 Toyota Corolla to what was a National Federation of Music Clubs meeting that was held at the same church as the HCC meeting. I drove up thinking I had arrived at the wrong place. I walked into the room and was welcomed by several members. My hope was to see if anyone of them knew my parents and uncle, who had toured with the HCC when I was a kid. There were a few who knew my uncle. The meeting was accidental, but I had a lot of fun talking with those folks.
"Kirdland, WA and no one drove a car later than 1945" Really? If no one drove a car later than 45 I would say the early cars were pretty well represented.
I am so new to all this, I don't even have my car on the road yet. The engine and rear are out, parts are everywhere. When I brought the car home, I managed a five minute drive in the yard before the old carb clogged and she died. That's all it took to hook my five year old son. Everything he does now has a tie to the model t. I've even had to order him a repair manual because he sees me looking at mine and trying to learn about my "new" old car. I'm lucky to know where my car will go someday. Judging by the look on his face when we get even one step closer to having a reliable and safe antique car to drive, I think this hobby will be fine!
I think I agree with Walter (although time, as we all know, will tell ). Remember when we were young, how many of us were interested in a 20-22 hp Model T, versus (pic your era) 55 Chevy's, 62 Corvettes' or late 60's muscle cars?
Add to this the fact most of us couldn't afford the "old car hobby" (or any other "hobby" for most of our young married and work life). I don't think we'll really know if today's youth will pick up the hobby until we're long gone (an interesting juxtaposition).
Oh well, it may matter to my kids, at the estate sale..........
Folks moved from the country to the city burbs, can you imagine building a T in the 2 car garage with neighbors on both sides? I have four old fenders, two splash shields and old seat springs decorating my out side garage walls and no doubt more to come. On he plus side, tools are much cheaper and more available but who knows how to use them! Only gear heads know and work on cars, the rest of the population doesn't even change their own oil! Old cars are to slow in todays traffic even here in the country where I live. We are a dying breed, progress will bury the old cars. To bad, I've had my fun.
I belong to several transportation related clubs. Early V8 Ford club, HCCA, AACA, and Antique Motorcycle besides both T clubs. The only ones that don't have a local chapter here are the AACA and MTFCI. Each of the aformentioned local clubs has its own "character". One of the local clubs is dying (due to a membership that is only interested in eating). One of them is realizing that they are not growing in membership and are trying to dig themselves out of the hole. The Flatland T's Chapter is growing. We are continually trying new things and like to help each and learn restoration techniques. There was a big auction of Model T parts last weekend. A week before there was an auction of Early Ford V8 parts. Both of these auctions were well attended and I thought things went pretty high. We still have plenty of wide open spaces in south central Kansas where we can get out and "pull the ears down". I guess I'm not seeing a real problem here if you are willing to work at bringing in new members and figuring out what it is that they like to do. What has been working for our T club is having people talk to us about how they have restored parts of their car. Since the younger generation does not have high school shop class any more, our T club does a good job of teaching each other how to do things.
This will never be a hobby for the masses. Neither will building a wooden boat, or doing a Civil War reenactment, or playing a violin. We don't need masses of people. We need only enough to keep the craft alive. And that, we have. So quit griping, and enjoy!
I'm part of the new fancy tech generation (early 30s I be). Love old stuff, especially anything earl running on gas or steam. Model or full scale. I find very few my age in the same hobbies as I. However there are some, and I wonder if many more unknowns are hiding around. I do find most of my close friends are old timers though. So I may be a tad different than most my age.
Now, if you need a place to donate anything you want to get rid of, I still have a bit of room in the barn! Hehehe I find I'm too poor to buy it all. Hahaha
I am serious about any donations though!
I may be addicted.....
I am active with the local HCCA club (okay I roped into being president again...) and the local Model T Club. No one drives an antique car to a meeting. I used to be a member of the Puget Sound Chapter of the MTFCA and they were a good touring club 25-30 years ago. I'm sure they are still active today. Turn out for the tours is not as good as 20-30 years ago, but you get out of a club what you put into a club. Yes, we need to continue to promote the hobby.
: ^ )
Well, I am stupid. I should proof my posts. No one drive a car earlier than 1945. Geez. I swear I am dyslectic.
I distinctly remember that when I was in high school (sixty years ago!) I was in a tiny minority with my appreciation for old stuff, so this is nothing new. Most people don't care about history and obsolete technology, and most people never have. We who do care have always been a tiny part of the population and always will be, but I think that tiny part will always be around. One of my Facebook friends is in their twenties and a big fan of Charlie Chaplin and Billy Murray. So your kids and/or grand kids have no interest in your Model T's? Not to worry. At your sale the cars will go to somebody else's kid and/or grand kid who does have an interest.
You made me think.
I like wooden speed boats.
The Battle of Glorieta Pass.
I share some of the concerns expressed but I am thankful that our local club is growing with sometimes three and four generations of one family represented at our tour events. The difference may be that our club (North Carolina Region of the HCCA) is a touring club vs show club. We have members from Florida to Connecticut and North Carolina to Tennessee and beyond. We enjoy all years of cars but limit participation to 1927 as the latest. My kids grew up with the T and one is able to enjoy his own and participate in the club as past president. I am truly blessed to have a family that enjoys the hobby as much as I. Dick C.
I remember since before the day the training wheels were removed from my Schwinn, the goal of my life was a driver's license and a car. _Back in the Ike-Era, all American, male babies were born with the lines of the right palm configured in an H-shift pattern. _We grew up on the Kat from AMT and received, at precisely nine o’clock on the morning of our sixteenth birthday, a learner’s permit. _Suddenly, our parents became our closest companions and wherever they needed to go, their pubescent chauffeur did the driving—which frightened my mother and caused my father to use words such as could only have been learned after years of toting a Garand through the malarial jungles of the South Pacific.
Cars were important. _They were as much a part of the American culture as listening to Elvis sing and watching George Reeves fly. _On Sunday afternoons, we’d “go for a drive,” something that families simply no longer do. _Oh, how well I remember that: You went to church, came home and changed into human clothes, then Mom and Dad piled you and your sibling(s) into the car and burned through five gallons just getting to the local drive-in burger joint. _Then you hit the highway, the gas pedal got planted and the family enjoyed a speed limit ten or fifteen miles in excess of today's national standard. _The likewise-standard fudge factor of 5-10 put you at a cruising speed in the neighborhood of 75 mph—and yet in little danger of attracting the attention of the local constabulary—which meant you could go pretty darn far in one day. _Somewhere along the line was an obligatory stop for soft ice-cream and then, after the phrase, "Are we there yet?" had been endlessly chanted, we arrived at the world's largest ball of twine or the world's largest frying pan, or the Baseball Hall of Fame—or, if you were a car-kid and had brought home a red A+ in arithmetic, one of the many automobile museums that dotted the landscape of America.
Nobody does that anymore. _Yeah, I know; gasoline is too darn expensive, but I think it's mostly due to the fact that our kids, whose minds are now absolutely transfixed by digital distractions of questionable value, are absolutely loathe to get in the car and actually go somewhere with Mom and Dad. _The age of the roadside attraction is over. _So, also, is the age of the road. _Boys are no longer born knowing how to drive. _I suppose that’s not surprising, for cars are no longer the stylized, 2-tone freedom machines of the American middle-class. _Nowadays, cars are just a bunch of uniform, cough drop/Chicklet-shaped tools of transportation, available in a choice of boring-bland colors, and which, when used up, are unceremoniously discarded and recycled like so many plastic, 2-liter Coke bottles.
I remember the greatest car museum on the east coast, The Long Island Automotive Museum. _In its day, its corrugated Quonset-hut buildings held the greatest collection of Brass-Era cars this side of the Mississippi. _It was a holy place, but due to lack of public interest, closed its doors for the last time in the 1980s. _I also remember the Gast Classic Motorcars Museum, in Strassburg, Pennsylvania. _That one closed too. _Same reason. _And that same sad story has been repeated and repeated from one end of Route 66 to the other.
For now, the antique car hobby is mostly held together by gray, arthritic types like me. _We’re not going to be around forever or even (in the grand scheme of things) too much longer. _We need the young blood which now is almost totally absorbed by twiddling their collective thumbs on smart-phones, black-berries, blue-teeth, green-thumbs, black-eyes, etc. _I wish I could see a bright future for the antique car hobby, but…
If people care and want to grow a hobby, they need to make it fun. By and large, car clubs suck. Boring meetings with the
same six old fat white guys there talking the same old BS as the last time. The stereotypical "car culture"/scene sucks. Cruise-
ins and car shows, what a waste of time ! I mean, really ... hanging out all day or weekend on some hot patch of pavement
just because those same six guys and their same six cars show up ? WTF ? Competitive showing and judging, just plain piss
me off. Want to drive off the noobies and potential upstarts ? .... get them around a crowd of snooty purists who are all about
the plastic trophy and meaningless "title" to go with it.
I used to accept the old car culture at face value. It was what it was, and I never had the presence of mind to think of it as
possibly being something else. I had my 58 DeSoto and I yearned to find likeminded crazies and commune in "some way", ...
sharing fix-it knowledge and resources, tools, parts sources. I am still mystified as to the possible attraction to wasting my
weekends at car shows, but I did it in hopes of connecting with others that might see my car and make an introduction. But
it never amounted to squat.
In 1986 I rented and banquet room at a Seattle area Denny's and sent out notices for two months to every name I could find
who owned a fin-era Mopar. I was the only one who showed. Tried it again three years later with the same results. Yeah, I know ...
... slow learner ! Then this crazy nutter moved to town and we immediately hit it off. We went on long road trips seeking out back-
water wrecking yards and barn finds, we helped each other with our cars, we just had a hell of a good time doing our car thing
together ! I told my friend about my club idea and he said "Why bother ? ... we have our own club". Good point, but I somehow
talked him into a grander plan and we agreed to make a 12 month effort to make it work, and this is what we did ....
We took lots of photos of our escapades. We hunted up period magazines and trade journals, and published a magazine for a
non-existent club and sent it out to a list of about 200 people all over the NW. We did it for 12 issues. We made up absurdly
fantastical stories, plagerizing anything and everything, mixing photos of huge swap meets of 1950's parking lots with stories
of car get togethers and tours. We had so much fun pulling off this spoof. And we made it seem as if a whole lot of other people
were having our kind of fun too.
There was one kicker though .... each issue always arrived "a month late". At least that was the way it seemed. All the "upcoming
events" had already come and gone by the time people got their issue, and it didn't take long before people began to complain that
they were "missing out".
So, the day came, we decided to adjust the clock and hold a real meeting. I booked a banquet hall and lo-and-behold, 125 people
signed up and paid dues to be a part of our non-existent club ! Now, we had to perform !
Actually, that part was easy. We just organized monthly seminars and presentations on various aspects of car restoration, group
tours to good wrecking yards, and the occasional scenery tour with a nice place to eat along the way. It was a popular club and
people really enjoyed our bullsh!t newsletter/magazine, with all its bogus stories and self-mocking humor. It was FUN !
Then I had to leave the area and a young guy with a lot of energy and computer skills wanted to take over. His idea of a magazine
was to lose all that "meaningless" crap and just print the meeting minutes and a list of serious upcoming events (meaning just going
to car shows and cruise-ins) within a year, membership was down to under 25 and people were calling me, saying the club was
Later, I returned to the area and was asked to take it over again. My old friend had moved away, but I found an equally energetic
loon to aid in the madness, and soon we were back up to our old tricks and the club swelled to big numbers again.
When I left Seattle in 1997, I again handed over the reins and have heard reports that it took a nosedive again as people fell back
into that complacent, boring paradigm of normal car culture ... it wasn't fun anymore.
If you want to grow a hobby, you have to make it fun, and "fun" doesn't mean a bunch of old farts sitting around passing gas over
and over, ESPECIALLY to younger people ! It means tailoring a given medium to a different kind of viewpoint about what is fun.
Doing the same old thing and expecting different result is the definition of insanity.
Our litigious (sue happy) society has caused a lot of changes in the education system which I believe is to blame for the lack of interest in cars and engines and sports. When I was in Junior high School in the '60's the boys had shop class in which we learned about woodworking and the use of woodworking tools. We also had shop, in which boys learned how to repair all the systems on a car. We also were required to take phys. ed. Over time, liability concerns by the nation's school systems spelled the end for courses like this, for fear the kids would get hurt and the schools sued, which is a legitimate concern, so, with nothing else to do, the kids turned to their video games and smart phones. It's not their fault really. It's just the direction society pushed them. I think, out of a population of 323,500,000 Americans and 7 billion people worldwide, there are enough mechanically minded kids out there to ensure the future of our hobby. Just 1% of 323,500,000 = 3,235,000, so, I don't think we have anything to worry about. Not everyone likes to sit around all day playing video games and watching TV. A lot of us enjoy being active and getting our hands dirty. Jim Patrick
Jim, a big part of the problem with the decline in Auto shop is that vehicles have become far more complex. Newer vehicles require computer hook-ups to diagnose and subsequently repair. Most defective parts are "plug and play" to replace. Nothing much can actually be repaired. Also, for all their complexity, modern vehicles are capable of going miles longer than their predecessors with increasing reliability. Not to mention the specialized tools and equipment that are required to fix problems that rarely occur anyways. Schools don't have the money to invest in those items. The role of training modern mechanics has largely been relegated to post-secondary Technical Schools because its more cost-effective. I went to a technical school my senior year in high school back in the early 70's. What I learned then is great for Model T's, but is mostly obsolete (except for basics) on modern vehicles. Since my career path led in another direction than mechanics, I've struggled to keep my knowledge base of auto mechanics current, but it is getting more difficult every year to keep up without re-training. Expecting kids today to develop much more than small engine skills is probably unrealistic.
I think Jim is right on the mark. Our school system has failed us as a nation. I took all the tech stuff in high school. I even took building trades one year and we built a house. Go into any Lowe's and look at the number of folks buying, ceiling fans, storm doors, garage door openers, ect., that now need to find someone to put it in for them.
Most men under 45 today need no more tools than a young single women keeps in her kitchen drawer since they have no idea how to use them.
Sometimes I think it's our own fault. I go to car shows that are filled with family's with kids. They go from car to car looking in to cars and taking pictures and such. I can draw a a bigger crowd and usually win the people's choice award by letting mom and the kids get in the car and take photos. I know there's a risk of muddy feet and the rare unruly kid but that is rare. I, many times have had other car owners come over and tell me they think I'm asking for trouble. Once I had a 10 year old come back and show me a photo his mom had taken and another of one he had googled up on his smart phone. ( the seed has to be planted to grow.) I have another photo someone sent me that they had framed and is hanging in the sons room. Go to the schools and volenteer the time to promote the sport. Show up at the baseball game or the sporting event in your T and answer there questions. Mom and dad can afford a T or an A. Hell I paid less
For my first T than I did my smart phone I'm using now. Parts at affordable, kinda easy to find and the fun for me is the chase. Next time your at that car show take down that don't touch sign and remember back when you were a kid with lots
of stuped questions that the grouchy old man would not answere. The young ones are the future of this sport.
More old cars now than ever, many,many put-together T's added every year, more barn finds every year.
NO the hobby is not dying! No one works on modern cars because they are not repairable and the trade is not hands on but computerized.
Look see young people love it...
These pictures were taken from our forum and I see a lot of interest
Another recent one...
How many have been passed down to the next generation that we read about on the forum.
That's what I'm talking about. Take the less than trailer queen out and promote the car. It's a blast. Kids have more info available to them than we ever did in the past. I don't see model Ts going down hill at all. There's a lot of old car guys out there promoting what I call the sport. Good jod Seth from Ohio. My hats off to you. Someone just posted another post about lurkers. I know I'm going to get my head handed to me because of this post but I don't give a ~#£¥. I'm not by any meens a rich guy and I know many guys who have forgotten more than I'll ever know but I do know more now because of this forum.
I have a theory that most young people into old cars like the cars their Grandad or Dad grew up with. My sons and son inlaw are right into the late 1960's early 1970's cars that we wrecked or drove to the local rubbish dump.
But then, my Grandad was a WW1 Pilot and Dad was born in 1916. Their era cars are what I have in the garage.
Somehow I can't see my Grandsons getting excited by the current Kia's, Daewoo's and Hyundi's..but you never know!
Still, here I am a guy in his thirties saying the hobby is just fine. And here is proof I intend to keep it going! My nephew Oliver loves old cars
What I have noticed is that the collecting car world of cars are like the gears and cogs on transmissions. These gears and the cogs representing the model types and years..
You have; Sport european, Muscle cars, big iron, pre depression, pre war, turn of century, brass cars, super cars, etc. etc.
Which gears and cog/cogs are engaged is what is hot at the moment, eventually things will turn and gears will shift but at the end everything travels around and around in circles and will; come back. Some are engaged for a long time others for a short time only to return later.
Right now Porsche is engaged and revving high but its only a matter of time before we will see a shift.
Personally, I think the pre war cars will be next to rev high with the higher prices going for original and the sport (gentleman’s ride) after that it will flow down into the pre depression years (prices are kinda of high right now so I don't see a big increase in these) with a slight trickle into the brass era.
Unfortunately as a society we have less and less tinkerers thus the older brass era cars tend to 'scare' some would be collectors, I don’t think will ever have that crazy jump in prices that we see now for our teen vintage. Don’t get me wrong there are always those special and rare cars out there that will demand very high prices… but for the average Joe like you and me will have to be patient...
The best thing we can do is to pass on our knowledge and collections to the younger members in our families... keeping this amazing hobby alive and well long after we are all pushing up daisies...
I don't believe the cars are going to disappear. At some point in time the cars will find someone who wants to do something with them. What is done with them is based on what these new owners have seen and information they can find. There is a lot of information in club libraries and on the internet. Look at what we have compiled on the Forum. I wish this information was available 50 years ago. Many youngsters do notice and are fascinated with early cars. When the car price and their income become compatible great things can happen. I can imagine these youngsters getting together and forming their own groups. They may seek out the wisdom and encouragement of some of us older folks. Or they may be be turned of by old fogies and self appointed experts.
All we can do is hope for the best and try to be helpful and generous.
I don't think it is dying, but the old car hobby has periods of waxing and waning. Probably due to Economy / Kids graduating - getting married / Kids being born etc.... The most important part of the hobby is to get out there with your car The more people who see it the more interest your car generates and that is what perpetuates the hobby. I don't attend a lot of car shows like I used to because if your car isn't dripping billet you don't get any recognition but I do go to at least 2 or 3 cruise-in's a month and I always meet someone new, it is a great hobby!
Old cars certainly are not for everyone. It seems most people remember and may become involved with the cars they remember when cars were important to them but they couldn't afford or didn't have a place to keep them at the time. As those people age, have more time and enough disposable income they may today buy that Road Runner or Corvette they lusted after 40-50 years ago. But it's pretty tough to build excitement in the general population for something they didn't have exposure to when they were younger. Most people couldn't tell a model T from a model A, never rode in one or think that a slow, dangerous and poorly braked "ride" would be fun to own versus a later model very roadworthy car from their youth that may be more available and driven and enjoyed on modern roads in today's traffic. Even with that said, there are more people who don't have and never had an interest in cars than people who do. Lots of good comments. Harley has had great success by developing their HOG club(dealers are required to sponsor a club). The HOG club gives the a motorcycle owner something to do with their motorcycle. Without a reason to ride most Bike owners fade away in a couple years with the motorcycle sitting unused in the garage. Keep it fun, and people will be involved and interested.
It's all been said above. At least concerning the hobby fading. A heck of a lot of 40's / 50's ect. cars are being modified under the hood to provide owners with all the conveniences moderns offer. And it's OK with them. And that is a HUGE factor. Safety, speed and comfort beyond anything the car was manufactured with originally while outwardly looking the same. Modify a T to compete and it's frowned on by T hobbiests. Not that there's a heck of a lot you can really do. A motorcycle is safer than cars from the era we "live in" so it's going to go south over time. I really feel that parts availability is (possibly) the only thing keeping the hobby as big as it is.
I am 25 years old and have a love and passion for this hobby and always will. Not only Model T's and A's but really any pre-1930's car. I realize currently, there isn't a booming interest in the hobby with others of my generation. However, that being said I personally know quite a few others my age and younger, who, like me, hope to have a barn full of these cars we cherish so much someday. I have a good start on my barn already with a 1926 touring car, my Dad and I restored, a 1926 roadster, a 1930 Model A town sedan and a 1964 Chevy II Nova, all in original condition. As others my age in the hobby have talked about countless times, we just do not have the type of money to spend on what guys are asking for their cars. I would love to have a brass car someday but would have to take a out small loan to buy one. I have my eyes on other cars of the era too, someday I would love to own a Maxwell, or a Stanley Steamer , a IH high wheeler, or even a curve dashed Olds, but with the market price of these vehicles well over $35,000+ I cannot afford them. So I guess the purpose of my post is there are several of us out there who love this hobby just as much as you guys do, we may be far and few between but we are out there and will continue to do our best to keep the hobby alive!
Like Benjamin Morgan said, we are always willing to take any donations off anyone's hand and put in a good home!
It appears that if you were raised with a Model T, it is a car of choice. If you were not raised with a Model T, then the car of choice is whatever is popular on the reality car auction shows where the high rollers buy a muscle car -- only be flipped a year later for more money - a mobile stock market.
And there maybe part of the problem, how do you afford a vintage or antique car at today's auction prices?
Last week, I saw a 36 Ford coupe which looked so original that I thought it was completely restored. The owners appeared to be over 65. As I looked at it more carefully, I noticed that the gearshift lever was different than I remembered them and he told me the car has automatic shift and a newer engine.
I am the kind of guy who remembers the cars from the Model T to the present day and at least this car looked so real that I was fooled. Most of the cars I see from the 30's to the 50's have been lowered and the wheels look different. They don't look or sound like what I remember. To me they don't look good at all and I am not interested in them.
This goes for the Model T too. The more period correct it looks and sounds, the better I like it. However, I am 80 years old. If I were younger maybe I would think differently.
"...how do you afford a vintage or antique car at today's auction prices??
That depends on the auction. If you go to Scottsdale or other biggies where all the high rollers show up, sure, the prices will get crazy. But at small local or regional auctions I've seen very decent Model T's, and even Model A's, go for very reasonable prices.
I've been on this Forum to varying degrees (lurker, poster) for almost 10 years and this topic seems to come up every 6 months or so. "Dying" is a pretty passive word. If the hobby is dropping off (I've been around it for more than 40 years and there do seem to be fewer "young" people these days), its demise is less a matter of natural causes and more a matter of it being killed by the very people who claim to love it.
For every individual like Richard Moore, who invites younger people to explore his T up close and hands on, there are a dozen who will keep the public behind velvet ropes, cringe if someone even sneezes near their vehicle and refuse to interact with anyone looking at it beyond "don't get too close."
For every individual who will patiently answer questions and assist a young person who is trying to school himself on a T, there are a dozen who will mock him for "foolish" questions or start yammering on about how he needs to buy the "bible/black book" or "read previous Forum postings" before asking questions.
For every individual who will offer encouragement to a young person and their initial T project, there are a dozen (particularly at "shows" or "tours") self-appointed Stynoski Award judges who will systematically pick the subject vehicle to pieces in front of the young owner's eyes ("well, you have a 'Bitsa' on your hands there young fella - now pull out a notebook while I tell you everything that is wrong from crank handle to tailight").
For every individual that will give a younger guy a needed part or cut them a break on the price, there are a dozen who will try and make the next mortgage payment on the sale of a rusted coil box or pitted demountable rim (and I am NOT talking about the vendors here - they're in business to make money and earn a living - I'm talking about the swap meet crowd).
For every individual that has a decent T (that no family is interested in inheriting) and sells it at a REASONABLE price to the next young caretaker, there are a dozen who think they own a dual-cowl, Duesenberg phaeton and attach a Barrett-Jackson price to it. So much for a car that was originally built "so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one-and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."
Any of the above (or a combination thereof) is enough to ensure this hobby "dies" and it happens ALL the time.
There are plenty of young people interested - you see that on this Forum, you see it out in the public; this "generational" argument always falls flat, as it has for nearly 100 years and is the first refuge of "the cranky old man." Too many times however, the interest of a young person is crushed by one of our number. I'm second generation in this hobby and have been turning wrenches on As and Ts since I was 6 years old - much like Dennis Seth's grandson above. I was fortunate enough to have not only the encouragement and mentorship of my Dad, but also the encouragement of many older guys along the way (most now long gone) - people generous with their time, expertise and assistance.
The key to "keeping the hobby alive" is fostering the interest and the numbers of hobbyists who actively do that are often outnumbered by those who seem bent on killing that interest.
Be friendly, be helpful, be encouraging, be reasonable. If you cannot do that, please, be quiet.
Just had a thought....
To get our T's out there... why not join uBer for short runs in the city etc. on weekends...
You get to drive your car... make a little cash... expose people to the T that otherwise would never see or even ride in one... and teach them about the wonderful world of T's and car clubs in general...
Only issue is see is that uBer might take issue with no seatbelts/safety rating... let alone the classic car insurance company that cover our cars would have a heart attack!
Burger, Your comments are very apropos, and I think you have zeroed in on an important point. It's the enthusiasts that make the club, not the other way around as you illustrated with your DeSoto club. Unfortunately many car clubs are doomed to the natural effects of entropy from the start. Cliques form after the discovery of "like minded friends" phase fades so the once enthusiastic people just drift away.
As a young man I was never drawn to a hobby by any club but rather by one single person who patiently shared his passion with me.
I think we often underestimate the power of passion when we say "old cars have become too expensive" because to the truly smitten enthusiast, cost is merely a temporary obstacle that WILL be overcome.
It's my opinion that if the antique car hobby dies, it will not be because of cost, electronics, schools or any other fault, it will be because we forgot how to share our dream with that one young man or woman.
I have to agree with Michael. It is not just in cars, the same is happening with aviation, sailing, you name it. Outdoor hobbies and even many indoor hobbies are decreasing. Many kids have never owned a bicycle or know how to swim. Education is way behind in the math and science areas and kids just have no interest in learning more past their initial "cool" stage when introduced to something mechanical or that requires some knowledge of math, measuring, 3D visualization, geometry or heaven forbid algebra that is being thought of as not necessary to teach anymore.
Ron: You said it, but one question. Would you rather have a Stynoski Award... or the Rosenthal award? For me it would be the latter, I guess I just like to help people!
Ron has nailed it. A few years ago a thirteen-year-old middle school boy showed up on the forum. His ambition was for his first car to be a Model T. Because he was a bit socially awkward (like a middle school boy) and asked some odd questions, he was quickly told "My best suggestion to you is 'go away'." From there his forum experience quickly went downhill. Soon there was rampant speculation that he wasn't thirteen, but a middle-aged troll who came to the forum to make fools of us all. Dick Lodge and I pointed out that it was very easy to do a simple internet search and determine that the boy really was who he said he was. That didn't matter. Personal sniping based on paranoid fantasies continued and abounded. The kid stuck it out for awhile, asking questions like "What is the wishbone?" to which some attributed sinister motives. Eventually he gave it up and left the forum and amended his ambition to having a Model A for his first car. Now he's a high school student, and financial reality has him driving a 1987 Ford pickup. I hope eventually he'll be able to have his Model T, but if he does it will be despite the bad taste left by a bunch of old guys who couldn't go easy on a kid. How ironic is it that some of those old guys are the same ones who bemoan the lack of interest by young folks?
Rosenthal, hands down, no question.
Ron in Mass., I like your comments.
I am approaching 70 and the time has come to part with couple of Fords. The responses I have received from my ads suggest that many people are misinformed about values, restoration costs, maintenance, etc.. Some of the worst comments came from people that viewed B-J, Mecum, and other auctions as being the gospel for the antique car community. They have set the values so high that a newcomer is turned off before he/she has an opportunity to start a project. I would take a loss on my sales to help a younger person start out. But the minute they say restomod or rod, I say next. Just venting.
Not from my perspective ....
I think "Ron in Central Massachusetts" said it very well, along with several others that posted. How the owners of pre-1930 type collectable cars act towards younger people and others that show interest in mechanical history, will make a big difference on how the hobby will grow in the future. . . or not. There is a regular poster here that takes his extremely valuable Model K to events all over the country and allows people to experience his rare vehicle. While Rob and I don't see eye to eye on many things, I admire his efforts to expose others to the early technology of historical automobiles. I think one very average black Model T shown in public by a friendly owner is worth 100 museum pieces as far as keeping the hobby alive. If we don't show our cars and interact with people out side of the hobby, where are the future owners/restorers going to come from?
I agree with absolutely everything you say, from the auction-induced overvaluation turning off newcomers to cutting a break for a younger person starting out and bypassing the "restomod, rod" enthusiasts. When I was a young man, I benefited from a T owner who was willing to take a small loss in order to make my long-held dream of owning a T come true (I grew up in a Model A family, but always loved Ts). When the deal was done, he said "you never truly 'own' one of these, you just sign on to be a caretaker for a while. Time she had a new caretaker." I've never forgotten that comment or his generosity.
I need to set the record straight, the photos I posted above were taken from the forum without permission of anyone pictured, their parents, or grandparents. My grandson is not pictured in the first photo but that is Dan Killecut's grandson. I have tried in the past to get Dan to send him to work at summer camp for me but he just wouldn't buy it. I have not seen my grandson and granddaughter for five years and if I ever get the chance you better believe I'll post photos.
Scott and Skip have echoed my sentiments exactly as far as the prices of cars go. The hobby was much more affordable when my parents were getting into the hobby. Of course, every owner wants to get top dollar for his car if he has to sell it and there will always be a buyer; however, I wish the prices were lower. I don't think we will see them come down anytime soon, with inflation, etc. It is an expensive hobby to break into, as well as maintain. With that said, working on my car is therapeutic for me because I like to work with my hands. I would go stir-crazy if I didn't have the T.
I think there is a lot of truth in Will Copeland's first post. I agree with his reasons. Another thing is with fewer younger collectors, having large stashes of parts; fewer parts show up at local swap meets. You are forced, in most cases, to go long distances to swap meets, well known for having a lot of early parts venders to find Model T parts, Hershey, Chickasha, and some in California, just to name a few. A recent post by a forum member reported on the Pate Swap Meet in Texas, one of the largest in Texas, and stated that the older parts just were not there; particularly Model T parts. A lot of people have to travel hundreds of miles to attend the meets as either buyers or sellers, and the older a vendor gets, the less likely he is to want to load up a truck and trailer full of parts, drive hundreds of miles, only to haul most of them back home.
Another problem is resale value, popularity, and rareness of vehicles. While certain Model T years and body styles, mostly in the early brass years, are rare and command premium prices, when is the last time that you saw ANY Model T sell at a Barrett-Jackson or Mecum auction for $500K, $250K, or even $100K. Its rare when you even see a Model T at one of their auctions. What you do see at their auctions are cars of the 60's; muscle cars, like Camaro and Malibu COPO cars, Chevys with 409, 427, and 454 high performance engines; Fords with 406,427, and 428 high performance engines. Fords like R and Q code Galaxies, 64 Fairlane Thunderbolt drag cars (only 100 built), 66 Fairlane R code cars (only 57 built), and 68 Mustang 428 Cobra Jet cars (very low production).
These are the cars that are bringing the big bucks at auction and try to find parts for one of these rare cars. I've had a 66 R code Fairlane and I never did find the correct transistorized ignition parts for it, even after looking for twenty years.
These are the reasons, IMO, why the desire for pre fifty cars are dwindling and when all of us folks, older than the twenties right now, are gone from this world, the current twenties generation will probably be making more hot rods out of our restored T's. This is my opinion; your opinion may vary.
I'm 33 and bought my first T when I was 17.
In this hobby, the overwhelming majority have been helpful and friendly. When I look back at a few times that I did experience the scoffs of a "bitter old man", it was usually well-deserved and those guys truly did know better and were trying to prevent me from making a mistake whether I wanted to hear it or not.
I'm probably not done having bad ideas, but I'm more inclined to listen than I was when I was a teenager and knew everything already.
I don't think the hobby will ever "die" but it will always be changing. Many guys my age are into traditional style hot-rods, which tends to blur the lines between stock restoration and hotrodding. Speedsters and gow-jobs are gaining popularity which is creating an interest in T-era cars, parts, and methods. Whether you agree with their tastes or not, they are learning craft of building and maintaining a Model T.
There are more cars that are considered classic or antique than there was 25-50 years ago.
Boomers like myself and those that may be a little younger tend to like cars that they grew up with in that era. Not all but a lot.
Mustang's, 50-70's era cars, use to be fairly cheap 10-15 years ago. Not any more.
The demand is there and not slowing down. Ford's, Chev's, and a few other brands have parts suppliers and vendors that sell lots of parts.
The popularity of car restoration and older car shows what the current car trends are.
Maybe if there was a show that was dedicated to pre- 30's cars but there isn't.
T's are another kind of vehicle that is fitting into the car restoration hobby. The hobby is getting crowded and T's have a lot of competition.
Ya know, I might be wrong, As I scan through this thread I see names I've never seen before. I've been a member of this forum for many, many years. I've never seen so many new names! If this is just a hint of the interest in the hobby I think it's in good shape!
Take a look at orgainized religion for another compareson. Older members stop coming for health and age reason and the newer members can't realte or don't fit in or aren't repplacing the older members on a one for one basis.
My other hobby, Military Vehicles is undergoing the same issues. After the bubble burst in 2008, funds available for "fun" are being closely spent.
When I started toing research on my current Modl T project, I was shocked to learn that there is no Model T club in the entire state of Georgia. Several in FL incluind one huge one. Demographics?
I do worry. I have has 3 Model T's over the years, 2 1926 tudors and now a 1923 touring. My son (now 30+) has always been exposed to them and helped out a lot when he was young/home. My hope was always that he would inherit one of them. Straight-faced he said don't bother ... unless it was a hot early Mustang.
David, don't give up on your son. If he owns/works on Mustangs now, after a decade or so he may become familiar/bored with them and start looking for something different, at which point your Ts might become more interesting to him (especially considering the price!).
In my case, after messing with Mopar musclecars for many years (I still have a 1971 Plymouth GTX), I decided to look for something different and ended up buying a T.
I'm not sure either of my sons is real interested in the T's or the A. My oldest knows he will get my '59 Harley and may get it sooner than later. The younger one will get his Mama's '67 Mustang. He is somewhat interested in the TT. He knows how to drive it and such, but he just doesn't really have the fever. Both have driven the '18 Touring, but I think it was more to satisfy me than because they really wanted to. The poor A is the red headed stepchild. It is the nicest antique we have, but with the exception of the Panhead, sees the least use.
Will Copeland you took the words out of my mouth.
all I have to say is the hobby is slowly going downstream.. There will still be people to be caretakers of these cars but less of them.. more and more cars are going up for sale to cash in on their investments. the younger Generation X or hipsters don't want these cars its not their style. the newer generation will buy cars n trucks in the 60's-70's and paint them black gray primer and put on 22" low rider wheels and loud stereos
and the old saying you buy items toys cars etc from your childhood memorys
"Maybe if there was a show that was dedicated to pre-30's cars but there isn't."
Prewar is close enough for me. Chickasha. Bakersfield. Luray. And I'll include Hershey, because it's so big that even with all the post-war stuff there's still plenty of prewar.
Something I don't think has been covered is the complete change in the American family over the last 50 or so years. The economy has changed so much that many of the younger generation even with college education have a hard time finding employment. The jobs they do find are the lower paying kind. Many children grow up in homes with only a mother who either works or relies on some form of welfare. They tend to live in apartments where there is no room to store or repair old cars.
Those who do have a small amount of discretional money to spend, use it to buy entertainment systems and computer devices. They spend more time on texting than on visiting and carrying on conversations.
It is just a completely different generation. The family farm is almost nonexistant. People are moving from suburbs to the city, where they live in apartments.
I think lodges and social clubs are also declining in membership, especially among the younger generation.
Anyway, I think there will always be some interest in the old car hobby, but it is not for everyone.
I am 53 and like the muscle cars and mustang. I have a grabber green 70 sports roof mustang. For years I only cared about drag racing. Now I love having and driving model T s and A s but none of my car friends care about 20s and 30s. Even my age group seems to care most about big cubic inch engines or Chevy ls v8 swaps. I still believe the car hobby is much stronger than the eighties and early nineties. It just seems the majority of car enthusiasts do stray from the older cars as stated above in other posts.
I think the viability of this hobby rests firmly on the shoulders of current T owners. Who else could properly introduce, and promote potential owners to the amazing history of the car that put the world on wheels? I have only owned my T for a little over two years, and to be honest, i never ever considered buying one till i set my eyes on my 25 and took it for a short spin...and now that's all i really care about, and I'm sure there will be many more. All it takes is a spark in the right direction to fan the flames. I truly believe that lots of people will have more interest if we properly introduce The Model T every chance we get. At least that is my hope.
You would not know it by this picture. My 10 year old Grandson driving around the soccer field.
Great shot! Love it.
Robert Blanchard, you've hit on a capital idea. My wife and kids have used uBer (I otherwise wouldn't know what it was). Great idea, on an evening or weekend when out driving with the T (or A or Packard or Chebby), hire out as a "uBer" driver and expose folks to a mode of transportation they otherwise would never experience. I don't know what the "requirement" is to be a driver, but it must be simple. The other night we hired a uBer driver, and it turned out to be a couple who where driving downtown, and they took our daughter with them, for five bucks. We felt better about it than hiring a taxi, and it cost a quarter of the amount.
Great idea. I may try it this summer with an old car and see how it works out.....
Jim,We share the same age. I am 47 today! Even from the other side of the world, my observations are this. The Model T hobby is alive and well and even growing. The Horseless carriage clubs which include your Overland appear to be slowing. The very things that were responsible for the Model T's success in the first place, are the things that keep it going. Cheaper than all other autos to buy, availability of spares both original and reproduction, a great network of clubs and places such as this forum to share common ideas problems and experiences. also the Model T has legendary status of the era that no other cars enjoy to the same extent. Little kids spot a Vintage car out on he road and to them it is a Model T! The HCCA/Veteran Car era clubs have a problem with supply of affordable cars, spares for the same and the mass interest we enjoy. I can have a go at repairing most things on my Model T's but would struggle to tackle a diff rebuilt on an equivalent Caddilac! I now have some good friends around me of similar age and we drive our T's regularly. Each time we go out we amaze people at the capability and affordability of a Model T and we pick up new interest and members. My teenage son often comes along and I know my T will be one day safe with him continuing the hobby. My interest lies with T's so I am pleased that at least where I come from the hobby is strong and even growing. Not convinced about the future of some of the more exotic or rarer makes unless the prices come down! Just my thoughts.
In my own humble opinion, I agree that the schools may be partly to blame. I think that a lack of interest in history in general is a partial cause for an apparent lack of interest in old cars and, frankly, old things in general.
I will never forget the time I was driving my 14 down a residential street when I came to a stop sign and stopped to wait for a car to pass through the intersection. Instead of going through, the car stopped in the cross-roads and the young lady motioned to me to pull over. I did. She got out and I've rarely seen such excitement in a teen. She couldn't have been more than 16 or 17.
It turns out, her class that day had gone to the Piquette plant and learned about the Model T. She was beside herself that she actually saw one "in the flesh" and driving down the road. Of course, pictures were taken and all kinds of questioned were answered.
I find that a lot of the younger folk are interested in the older cars, if that interest is nurtured. That's why at any car show I attend, if one of the appears interested, I let them get in, look under the hood, etc.
My kids --the men and the women -- love the old cars and know how to drive all of mine. Their friends love to ride in them. (Age range from mid-20s to late 30s.) My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter likes nothing more than to sit in and drive the "T car.)
Teach, nurture, make it fun.
No doubt that boy is having a good time.
What's killing it in Canada is the stance of the specialty vehicle insurance companies not insuring anyone with less than 10 years driving experience. That means you need to be 26 before you can insure your own antique. However you can insure and drive a $50000 new vehicle, no questions asked. Would someone please help us get through to the Canadian companies. All calls fall on deaf ears! Hagerty is the main one here, but they are under a different set of rules than the USA.
We live in a fast paced society where everything is disposable and the millennial Generation only cares about the newest I phone or android. My kids and there friends always say they like my old cars but dont want to get there hands dirty. The parents to most of that age group are the same way, so its not all their fault!The parents take their lawn mowers to town for a oil change. Maybe some of them will get involved in old cars someday! Maybe..
My son (pictured removing the heads from the Bridgeport Spl) prefers the old '25 T Lake Racer to the '20 Fairgrounds Racer, but he's warming up to the latter very quickly.
Most of my nephews love old cars, and especially love Model Ts and Model As, but for the lack of radios. That's an easy fix.
most of your posts are relative related younger adults / lids/ grandkids etc.. thats ok because they were brought up with it but try to get non relative adults to get involved in the hobby thats a different story.
RJ, I was typically into V8 cars, especially Cadillacs, Imperials and Lincolns until I started having kids. And I found the pre-war cars of all types to be as much fun, and the Model As and Model Ts even more fun.
Today there are far more distractions than there were when we were young. But there will be a resurgence in the hobby _if_ the old-timers don't treat their toys like their made of gold.
Right now there's an intense international interest in homebuilt pre-war Ford racers, as well as small and large factory racers. As the many thousands of involved "youngsters" continue their involvement and diversify their interests, you'll see more of them join the ranks of traditional hobbyists.
The Race of Gentleman, held on both coasts this year, is shining a light on the hobby as it sinuously entices participants and toilers.
The hobby's not disappearing, it's just continuously specializing.
Dave, i agree pre-war cars different and fun..but the newer generation would rather have rice burners and muscle cars from the 60's+ than the pre cars.. go to the cruise nights and see what the younger majority generation they are going after.. We draw 800+ cars here on a wednesday night and not 1 pre war car....all newer cars with black gray primer and 22" wheels
RJ - are you talking about Bear Mountain?
Ron Macedon,Ny east side of Rochester,NY
Ok. Bear Mountain draws those numbers too and it's also Wednesdays (at least it was 8 or so years ago). I used to bring my TT (I was stationed close by). I was usually the only T and one of a handful of prewar cars in a sea of muscle cars, rice burners and black primer specials (along with a RIDICULOUS number of Starsky and Hutch Gran Torino clones/tribute cars). My TT routinely had a crowd around her, the requests for a crank start demonstration were endless and here is the best:
One evening, a young guy in a black T-shirt with tattoos up his arms parked next to me in some blown-up, blacked out, late 70s Monte Carlo. He spent a lot of time bending my ear about my TT - horsepower, haul capacity, the three pedals, the Ruckstell, parts availability, etc. About 2 hours into the evening, he noted the number of people around my vehicle after a crank start, pointed at my TT and said to his buddy "now, THAT, is real chick magnet."
The key to converting is to frequent the dens of the unconverted. Take your T to Macedon next Wednesday and be a celebrity. Spread the Gospel.
We take our cars to a different cruise event. There's approx 24 of us. We meet at the church parking lot at 6pm then at 6:30 we start to drive down country backroads til 7:30 looking for a different ice cream parlor. We have T's model A's some v/8's some chevys a few street rods but who cares we just love driving them down the backroads
I have always been considered slightly "eccentric" but I married a British woman 38 years ago, spent Many a delightful day in England and Wales. 3 years ago I bought an original 1927 Roadster, just cause I love history. I ALWAYS take the time to talk to people interested in the car. I have many people wave to me and some who give me the finger...that's their problem. Always try to be a good ambassador to the T hobby and certain people will respond to you.
Randy, those people are trying to tell you that the Model T is number UNO.
May I say this here about hobbies? This will be pointed at old engines/machines including old cars.... Too many stories to be told.
My buddy takes out his TT and allows a 10 year old girl to drive it-that's not relation to him-(he always says "Xxxx was watching me for the day while her mother was at work and we took the TT out for awhile"). She loves it. She'll always have "that smell" (NOT the Skynyrd song) of burnt gas, hot oil and three pedals.
His grand-kids will be indoctrinated in his TT when their time comes and may also know forever to distinguish between shoving the left pedal to the floor in an emergency or to stop or shoving it only half way down. They're stuck with it.
My brother-in-law (he has a couple of late '50's/early '60's cars in his shop right now and always plays with that older junk) bought a '28 Plymouth four-door for his wife (my sister) for a birthday or adversary day.
One evening I was out there for a celebration of some kind and had worked all day already and was asked if I wanted to take The Plymouth out and I said "Yes! But I don't want to drive this time." His 25-30 year old boys took me out for a cruise. They did great! They're stuck with it.
I stuck my son into this.
OK, he likes his '68 Catalina convertible these days (beautiful-different cash cow) but he also plays with old gas engines, has built successful demo derby trucks, is good with my old skid-loader (mostly) and will be resurrecting an F-20 when time allows but he also has known our T and all our other junk since he was a kid.
I wish he had my '20 Fairbanks-Morse horse and a half engine at his house like he wants...
I unwittingly drooled waste oil all over my shoes to pickle those F-20 engine parts in that covered (not drip proof bottom) box in the buddies back yard... I liked those boat shoes dang it.
I was "inclined" to move the '53 motor-grader BACK 20 feet today to open up our smallish yard a bit.
Mama wished for it.
I lit it up and was warming it before switching over to Diesel cycle (old UD-16 IH engine) and who came a-runnin'? NOT the construction machine lovin' 5 year old grandson but the younger one. That 4 year old walks/runs like an ape for heaven's sake but cripes can he climb!!! He's up there in the cab in an instant and I get him situated so he won't fall out the door when we move. :-) Put him on the other side of me.....
I asked him to push the lever to lower the blade the last inch as I'm standing on it after the move. Does he see me lowering down? No. He pushed the lever. He was happy. I let him play in there for awhile. He had fun. I have a couple that may be stuck. I like that. :-)
Did I take the T out for drive with the little boys? Nope! Too dumb for that.
The left rear fender is stable again with a real fender iron I secured from another forum member and modified it to be what it needs to be. It looks like crap. Just like
our little Ford.
The T sat there, in the way and I was too dumb to put 2 water cans of water in it and go out with the little boys. It got cold last night.
Another lesson learned.
They love that crummy little Ford runabout/pickup just like I do!
Issues with my skeletal/musculature/nerve systems? Yep!
We had enough people here to get that T cranked (I still say I could use my leg to crank that little Ford-I'll need to.) to take it out.
No. This particular Ford does NOT do starters even tho it could. No. Maybe the center-door coming up.
Near near near, puditup puditup puditup, tuttle tuttle tuttle tuttle and away we go!
We cannot give up. The next generation is there.
Now if I could catch an N Ford that isn't pretty, I could really mess my descendants up! Forcing them all to learn that.....
I'm 28 and starting to get into the hobby. I can honestly say that I would be no where without the help of my friends George and Martynn. Together, we've made my dream of owning an antique car a reality. The hobby will not die as long as there are experienced men like you all teaching young guys how to turn a wrench. The day this hobby dies, is the day we lose imagination.
I have read several but not all of these posts, and would like to weigh in.
I'm 18, and have loved antique cars for the better part of my life. If I had to pinpoint an age, I would say 8, when I first saw the Pixar movie Cars, 10 when I went to a car show which was incredibly influential on me, and 11-13 when I read Archie comics, and thought Archie was the coolest teen ever. He drove a 1916 Model T, a 1964 Mustang, and had two girlfriends!
A Model T has always been at the top of my list of cars I would like to own someday, and this was set in stone when I finally got to go to Detroit and Greenfield Village with my dad when I turned 15.
The dream of owning a Model T finally became plausible around this time last year, and I am doing everything I can to make it happen. I come from a place where people my age who put a lot of their money into cars decide to soup up their jeeps and F150s, or buy standard transmission Japanese cars and make Tokyo drift style vehicles. Even among the older guys, they tend to spend their disposable income on modern Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, or Porsches. I am definitely an oddity at any age.
It is definitely challenging to make a Model T work. I basically had to tell my parents my entire financial plan for the foreseeable 5 or so years, find a place to store it in winter, and have a plan for everything that could potentially go wrong. I have even wrote them letters explaining to them why I should be able to get one. If I had given up every time they have said no, I would have stopped trying well over a year ago. I think they are finally starting to see that my passion is just that: a passion. Not an impulse, not a throw away of money but a passion that I fully intend to pursue. My friends are excited. They have almost zero interest in antique cars, but they all want to learn to drive it, go for rides in it, etc.
So, is the antique car hobby dying? Whatever the answer is, I am doing my best to keep it going for the rest of my life and beyond!
In the "bigger picture", anyone into old cars is not only an "oddity", but just downright weird
in the eyes of our mall drone culture. SOme might think that is somehow insulting, but like you,
I've had the affliction since a very young age and wear my eccenticities like a crown.
"Normal" is just plain BORING. I'll be dead soon enough and have an eternity to be as exciting
as the mall drones.