Author Topic: Looking to the future of classic cars.  (Read 2002 times)

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2017, 11:47:31 AM »
Interesting article on the state of the vintage car hobby in the UK.

The classic car hobby continued to grow in the UK even when the economy was plunged into the teeth of a recession. Its worth to the economy – both internally and through exports – and the number of people it directly employs have never been greater.

Those were the main findings as the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs revealed its latest research into the size and scale of the movement at the Houses of Parliament last night.

The title of the research document (below) – A £4 billion Hobby – sums up the rude health of the movement which, though growth slowed noticeably over the past five years, has on the whole escaped the ravages of the global recession.

Even then, the Federation warns that all is figures are conservative and the £4.3 billion generated a year may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Key findings of the report were:

The historic vehicle movement generates £4.3 billion a year – up a billion on the 2006 figure – nearly £1 billion of it in exports.
A total of 28,000 people earn a living directly from the classic car industry, up 1000 on five years ago.
41% of businesses expect to recruit more staff soon.
The survey also revealed a younger, more down to earth hobby than has been previously assumed. Plus, though more than 850,000 vehicles made before 1981 still survive, their environmental impact is minimal, with 82% of them used no more than twice a month and the entire hobby contributing only 0.24% of the UK's annual mileage.

The myth of classic cars as an exclusively wealthy hobby was also debunked, with 31% of historic vehicle owners having a total household income of under £25,000 and, despite the news headlines driven by megabucks classics, a mammoth 68% of classics being valued at under £10,000.

The Federation's research, masterminded by FBHVC vice president, Geoff Smith, was conducted in the summer, focusing on four groups: traders, its 500-plus member clubs, museums and individuals. There were more than 11,000 responses in total.

Some more interesting stats:

More than £3.3 billion of the hobby's turnover is through 3800 specialist traders.
Museums and clubs generate turnover of £90 million.British enthusiasts spend £3 billion a year on the hobby, or £2900 each.
More than £505 million worth of classic car sales take place in Britain every year. Only 3% of these were over £50,000.
35% of historic vehicles have changed hands  in the past five years.
The total value of historic vehicles in the UK is approximately £7.4 billion, an average of £8250 per vehicle.
57% of people earning a living from the classic car industry are under 45.
55% of all historic vehicle owners are aged under 60.
Half of all historic vehicles cover fewer than 500 miles a year.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for Which There is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2017, 04:26:27 PM »
Those in their youth today will be long dead in 100 years.  I do not see death of the  hobby, but advancing diminishing  of it to the point of being quaint if you are a car guy in 2117.  I went to the "Fall Festival" last year and hoped to get a chance to drive a Model T as they train you and allow a short drive there in Hickory Corners but fortunately not at the time we were there.  In the 1950's dad purchased a model T for work car for $15 but took it back and got refund because it leaked so bad.  17,000,000 T's and almost everybody that drove probably knew how to drive them. I had a couple of neighbors who drove theirs to Starbucks once in a while on sunny days but one died and the other has not been coming back.

How many today could just get in one and drive it? Very few I assure you.  How many young drivers do not know what a clutch is?  Knowledge and  experience diminish over time  when not used.

Everybody reading this is probably the "Car Guy" of his neighborhood  but as we age and our numbers diminish due to lack of sufficient new "Car guys" will diminish the hobby.

Classic car enthusiasm and the future of the hobby are not about whether or not people can or want to drive a Model T.  Fewer and fewer people know who Greta Garbo was or can identify her in a photograph but that doesn't necessarily mean the number of motion picture enthusiasts is diminishing or that those unfamiliar with Garbo are less enthusiastic about movies (now or in the future) than those familiar with her.

The hobby continues to move forward, adapt and evolve.  Older car guys/gals of the past era are replaced with younger car guys/gals of the current or next era.  I don't think there is conclusive evidence that the number of car guys/gas is diminishing.  Sure, the specific cars and what people like about cars may change as well as how enthusiasts choose to enjoy or participate in the hobby (perhaps less in person at car shows and more online) but there is still lots of enthusiasm out there.

Classic car guys/gals unite!  :)

Offline lexi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2017, 05:49:57 PM »
Yes, as I said in one of my earlier posts how many of us drive horse drawn carriages? What we are witnessing is the natural evolution of things as the paradigm of those inclined to collect (and have the ability to indulge) fades with the passage of time as that group passes on. What is perhaps interesting is how spirited this discussion has become. Classic/Antique car collecting is a relatively new endeavour, as cars have not been around as long as other collectibles such as oil paintings for example. The... 'hobby'... (as the term denotes)... has generally speaking, yet to evolve to the point where other more well established art forms and collecting have, though amidst this add the chaos of a changing technological world and ecological factors which negatively impact the classic car world. So there is a certain degree of 'shock' to the car community as they wrestle with these issues; which collectors in other collecting genres have previously experienced for decades. We are all going through the system and this is a cyclic phenomenon. So get out and enjoy your cars and share them with all who take an interest in the hope that they may one day carry the torch so to speak-and keep interest in classic automobiles alive. History has a habit of repeating itself, (as human nature is relatively static), so the day will come when only a scant few of the very best examples of our cars will exist (and be on display in museums). All is fleeting. Clay/Lexi
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 11:39:25 PM by lexi »

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2017, 08:21:33 AM »
Geographical locations matters heavily on determining the future of the hobby is a valid concern.

Living in CA, the mecca of the classic car universe, is becoming threatened by the extremely outrageous high cost of living as home prices are skewed towards the rich and upper middle class. Owning a classic in Texas is much more attainable and affordable than owning one in CA because the taxes are much higher here, emission smog regulations on cars 76 and up truly discourage buying late 70’s on up anything and the prices many owners are trying to sell their classic for is inflated. People out here try to sell project junk cars for insane money, everyone acts like their oldie is gold.

Car prices for old school Cads and the likes are dirt cheap elsewhere. The bargains are to be had in other states, but not here by any means. Some buyers are firm on their asking price and won’t budge no matter how long it sits on the market.

So it really depends on where you live, how the state government is, cost of living factors and the amount of room you have to store your cars.

Many of CA biggest cities are way overcrowded, more and more young people are being crammed into tiny condos and apartments with hardly any parking or storages because that’s all they can afford.

So it’s becoming very difficult for people in general to own a classic that live on the West Coast.

The ones that live in the mid-west and south with all that empty space and homes with acres of land got it made! Big city folks with the lack of space is where you rarely see an oldie cruising around, its when you get into the suburbs and more so, rural areas and small towns are where the majority of classic car owners live.
This same aspect can be said about classic car ownership in Europe. But we all know, it’s very expensive to own a classic car in certain countries. The amount of regulations are insane!

But head to Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, for whatever reasons, the interest in old classic Cadillacs is sky high. They love and appreciate our cars, and are willing to buy them at high prices just because they are so rare in their homeland, while many Americans have lost interest and could care less.

So I just want say thank you to all the Cadillac collectors and enthusiasts from around the globe that truly appreciate what the brand used to build and how amazing they used to be. You see light, while so many others don’t. We truly are a unique group, that many don’t understand and never will.

1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline lexi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2017, 10:35:30 AM »
In an earlier post, 64CaddieLacky identified himself as a millennial. Reading his comments it is clear that he is one of the 'chosen few', gifted with foresight often lacking among his generation. Back in the 1960s and early 1970s when I pondered purchasing my first classic car I ran into the problem he so aptly described. Space. Where do you park a car the size of a whale, especially if you don't own real estate? I also had spotty employment as I was just a kid starting out trying save a buck. Today's youth arguably face increasing pressures in the job market as well as living arrangements. While some may flirt with the idea of owning a classic car, if you can't park it (let alone afford the purchase or upkeep), you can't seriously consider buying. You are not in a position to 'indulge' in this luxury, as I have put it. Been there some 50 years ago. History repeating itself. This has been an ongoing situation, partly reflective of some of the obstacles facing those in the 'hobby'. Cripes, there reportedly are more middle aged people now having to move back home for various reasons. They presumably will also be tough candidates to enter the classic car world as well. They have other priorities to wrestle with. Many of my earlier comments touched on these and other trends, though with projection into the more distant future. Looking further down the road and comparing what has happened in other genres of collecting, I still maintain the future is bleak. The eco-friendly laws are indeed another factor and may prove to be a 'wild card' as in any given jurisdiction the 'hobby' could be largely nullified with the stroke of a pen. As my father used to warn, "Beware the eco-terrorists' (meaning politically correct environmentalists who make unnecessary changes). He said that back in the 1970s. Time waits for no one and its march carries little good news for the classic car world. Out to drive my prehistoric, rolling environmental disaster Caddy now! Clay/Lexi
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 10:48:48 AM by lexi »

Offline WTL

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  • Name: W. Love
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2017, 11:28:40 PM »
I guess my ultimate fear, with reference to the particular years we own, is that we may in 40 years still have the car, but little practical opportunity to refuel it with appropriate gas (either octane, or e85 and even more harsh types of fuels).  As much as the electronics, as much as the plastics, I think the hobby is going to be at the mercy of what follows the internal combustion engine that we know. 

That said, they will still be antiques, and arguably antiques are more popular than ever.  I wonder if, at some point in the future, actually being able to drive the vehicle is less important than having it to display, and for people with room, the vehicles will serve as discussion pieces.  I have an inoperable 1941 floor radio, I use it for a tv stand.  I know some people fix them, and some update them, me I just want to look at it.  Fixing it would be terribly daunting, only to deliver a distantly inferior sound to something I can get at walmart, cheap and small.

I don't see people wanting to fix plastic radios from the 90s...not many at least.

Offline gary griffin

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2017, 10:29:21 AM »

As I peruse old family albums and see my ancestors using horse drawn wagons and carriages.  I envision future generations enjoying photos of our "Pride and Joy's" but not really knowing what we put into the hobby.

The knowledge of our era will be available to them but the feelings we have for them will not be fully understood.  I knew my Great grandfather until I was 15 when he passed.  He crossed the country in a covered wagon and made deliveries in open horse drawn wagons.   I mention this because the personal connection draws my interest in 19th century transportation. I suspect Gramps was enamored with the sailing ships that his ancestors immigrated on?

My grandchildren find my cars interesting but not as interesting as their parents find them. I visualize my great grandchildren viewing old photos someday and wondering why I have such a smile on my face in pictures of me with my cars.

Gary Griffin

1940 LaSalle 5029 4 door convertible sedan
1942 Cadillac 6719 restoration almost complete?
1942 Cadillac 6719 (parts car) (Gone)
1957 Cadillac 60-special (Needs a little TLC)

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #67 on: October 11, 2017, 10:02:34 PM »
One thing that another person mentioned here that can possibly help the hobby is driving our cars regularly. I know all it takes is some little kid to see a nice ole Caddy cruising down the street to get them interested and hooked for life.

Anytime I drive my 64, and there’s little ones around they all stare at it like they’ve seen their favorite toy!

It’s such a great feeling and a compliment knowing that even small children know what looks cool, stylish and interesting. I remember not too long ago I had a 10-12 year old boy riding his skateboard in a parking lot where I parked to get something to drink at a market close by, and he said “cool car, I really like it”.

Getting that kind of attention is more precious and  worthy than the tons of adults that say the same thing to me when I go for a cruise, because at least I know I just made some kids day and he made mines as well hoping that in the near future when he grows up he to will want an classic Cadillac someday. 8)
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline Jeepers Creepers

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  • Name: Jeepers Creepers.
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2017, 11:11:26 PM »
That might be a 64 thing....

Couple of weeks ago (school holidays) a group of 4 or 5 young girls walking down the footpath, the cool one of the group gave me/The Fleetwood 2 thumbs up.

First thing I thought, was at least one of them had good taste.
Kevin and Astrid Campbell
1964 Fleetwood Sixty Special.

Offline lexi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2017, 11:14:30 AM »
Happens with my '56 as well. On three occasions I have had young children point at the car exclaiming "Look, the Batmobile"...!!! Small children seem to recognize that there is something different about the car. Another time I was slowly driving through a sub division due to road construction where road pylons guided drivers around the various road work, (so I was creeping along, & with my windows down). Behind me was a modern limo. I slowly passed a group of young ladies at curb side, all dressed up & obviously ready to attend their school prom. As my car is also a limo they must have thought mine was the pick up vehicle. As I slowly drove by without stopping I noticed in my mirror the car behind had stopped to pick them up. I saw one of them longingly point to my car and heard her say "I want that one"! Made my day! Clay/Lexi

Offline dochawk

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #70 on: November 05, 2017, 01:09:09 PM »
I believe that there will always be a select few who will for nostalgic reasons take the plunge, though the availability of products like gasoline and perhaps even certain lubricants may be a death blow to the 'hobby'.

I think that that's the *real* threat here.

I expect to be driving for roughly another forty years.  Gasoline cars, however, will probably only be sold for another ten or twenty.

For that matter, I seriously doubt that non-autonomous cars will be available 20 years from now, although a few may have a manual mode.

The corollary to *THAT* is that at some point, traffic control systems will be directing the vehicles, and manually driving will be banned.

We're going to need to figure out a way to fuel our vehicles (100% alcohol or hydrogen solutions, I presume), and a way to fit into the control networks (maybe some kind of gizmo on the dashboard and an exemption for classics to use this?)

i really have no hope that 25 years from now, I can simply hop in my '72 and drive it across town, casually stopping for gas on the way . . .
1972 Eldorado convertible, 2001 Deville DHS (daughter), 1997 Eldorado ETC (and now my wife wants an Eldorado!)

Offline James Landi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2017, 02:27:45 PM »
Me thinks it will be many decades of "transition" to totally automonous electric vehicles.  And one can easily project a time when the automonous lane is similar to the HOV lanes, viz: restricted.  One of the ironies of loving Cadillacs is that G.M. is constantly pushing our brand to be the most AUTOMATIC, most ergonomically designed and sporting the very least number of knobs and switches to complicate the driving experience.  For those of us old enough to recall, during the early days of the German and Japanese car market advertising the makers pushed "road feel."  Meanwhile Cadillac created cars that increasingly isolated the driver and passengers from the road.   I recall thinking, "Why would I want a car that features road feel when I can drive my '56  Cadillac and feel as if I'm sitting on a moving living room sofa????  This all gets rather complicated.

Offline gkhashem

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #72 on: November 05, 2017, 03:35:46 PM »
While not happening soon, it will someday. This is the new reality no guessing NO AGREEING, all these opinions may not matter.

Then what will you do?  Maybe only the super rich can play this game if there is any fuel to be had. If not then that's it.

As I already stated this is the real threat, all the other talking points were spouted off 40 years ago. NO gas NO cars.

While not happening soon give it 20-30 years and then what?  We all have paper weights.  All this other talk is chatter, opinions, but this appears to be a coming reality.
1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1964 Oldsmobile 98 Town Sedan
1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior #861)
1970 GMC C/K 1500
1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior Crown #959)
1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Brougham Coupe
1989 Buick Reatta
1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo (OCA 1st)
1991 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (Senior #838)

Offline bcroe

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Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2017, 08:00:55 PM »
Fossil fuels are here for the very long term; nothing can match
them.  When they are gone, it probably indicates catastrophic 
world problems.  Bruce Roe

Offline Steve Strickland

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  • Name: Steve Strickland
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2017, 10:39:09 AM »
I've been reading along with this thread and am also very interested in the future of the hobby.

I fall under the 'college and family took my priorities first' category. I am now in my early 40s and have started my first real restoration. I bought my grandfather's 1951 60 Special. All the parts are there and original. It's not in great shape but it is complete. It would start with a bit of luck and jiggling. The chrome has surface rust on the face of it and the back of the bumpers appears to be only rust. The seats are well worn and covered with a shop blanket. The glass has the brown patina of the safety glass glue aging gracefully. The paint is dull and missing in small chunks on various panels. Even with all of that, the smile that I have while driving it and the looks/smiles/waves that I get from others makes me proud to own it.

As part of my research, I have looked at prices and availability for replacements, refurbishing and just living with what I have. The cost of having chrome replated is significant. I am not looking to have a fully restored show car. I want a car that I can drive occasionally to show off.

I grew up in a household where my father worked on his own cars and I was the helper. Once I was 10 or 11, I was in charge of a weekly maintenance check on the vehicles. I have done the same with my kids. I feel that I am mechanically inclined and am willing to tackle most items on my own. That being said, the Cadillac is very different from the 1970 GMC pickup that was my first ride. Restoring said pickup would be easier now with the plethora of parts available through the aftermarket and the current desire for the 67-72 lines. New parts for the Cadillac are not so abundant. I am doing this more as a labor of love than strictly hobby, however; my wife says that I've caught the bug. My kids, when prodded, will help but do not share my enthusiasm. I look at Cadillac's differently now since I've torn into this one. It is truly a marvel with the hydraulics and learning about the 6-V system. There are many items that I didn't even think about while I did my preliminary research that I am learning about. The local resources, for me, are non-existent. I look forward to having the car as a driver. Maybe in a few years I can justify replacing all the glass or having the chrome done.

In the meantime I will drive it on sunny days and not worry about those dim, yellow lights cutting through the darkness only to be blinded by an oncoming, modern led vehicle. Will I do another project in the future? I don't know the answer to that yet, but I do have an uncle who still owns my original pickup truck.