Author Topic: Looking to the future of classic cars.  (Read 1405 times)

Offline StevenTuck

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2017, 06:35:53 AM »
After reading so many views, I get back to my original reply. Foremost there has to be interest in collecting a vehicle. The current generation, with some very few exceptions, has no interest in collecting a vehicle. The reason is they have no personal connection to a vehicle.

I recently watch a interview with Bill Clinton and George Bush who seem to be more friends now than rivals. Bill, a baby boomer, said he is one of the few alive who didn't grow up with a TV, as such the family had to communicate. The only communication todays generation knows is via a cell phone and texting, facebook and twitter. The personal connection between two humans is lost.

Unlike our generation, they can communicate with someone by cell phone, no need to drive over to a friends house to visit. I discovered this first hand with my niece who opted to text her boyfriend rather than go out on a date. A date that would require a vehicle to get them there.

Proof is in the pudding they say and about five years ago for the first time ever the number of sixteen year olds getting their drivers license had dropped. The interest in driving a vehicle is waning. Therefore, the current generation views a vehicle as utilitarian much like a refrigerator. It is something that they have that makes life easier. It serves that purpose and nothing more. So do you think people will be collecting refrigerators? I think not.
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Offline Scot Minesinger

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2017, 08:16:28 AM »
I agree with 98% of the posts on this thread.

I like to share my 1970 Cadillacs, and when young people ride in them or see me driving down the road it is always positive.  To counter this trend, share your classic by driving it and bringing it out in public.  Take your relatives for rides and let everyone you can enjoy it too.  Think about the time you first saw a car you had to have, it did not take long to make a connection - just a few moments.  If we don't let the public know that they are out there, they will never know.

Driving is less fun today than back in the 1950 thru 1970's.  After driving to and from Hershey, PA for their 10-4 thru 10-7-17 show from Virginia (about 150 miles one way), I can understand the younger generation's perspective.  The trip there was a beautiful day but traffic getting out of DC metro area even after rush hour would normally be over was a nightmare due to construction and accidents.  It would have been nice to be riding in a self driving car and get some work done for my day job via e-mail.  Then on the way back traffic and rain, again self driving would have been nice.  The show was good but the drive to and from was a bummer compared to years past.  So I kind of get it, using a washing machine for laundry is not fun and neither was using a car to get to Hershey - utilitarian appliance like.  If it were not for Amazon type businesses, working from home, bank apps for deposits and etc., the roads would be so clogged I don't know what we would do today.

Oh well, will try and make the best of it!
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Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2017, 08:19:33 AM »
Cars that cost as much as houses used to that have electronics that are horribly expensive to replace and are not repairable are the bain of the existence of a poorer Family person. Requiring people to buy unaffordable cars they cannot then later afford to fix is not a sustainable solution to internal cumbustion cars of the past that were affordable to buy and affordable to fix.

Thatís long been true (cars costing as much as houses once did).  A big part of it is simply inflation.  In many cases, however, cars are actually more affordable today thanks to lower pricing combined with longer term financing, leasing, better warranties, better reliability and durability (lasting longer on average), etc.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2017, 08:22:31 AM »
This is why most of the population Lease now.

Not true.  Most people still buy.  While leasing has significantly increased in popularity, still only around 30% or so of new cars are leased right now and practically no used cars are leased.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2017, 08:31:23 AM »
After reading so many views, I get back to my original reply. Foremost there has to be interest in collecting a vehicle. The current generation, with some very few exceptions, has no interest in collecting a vehicle. The reason is they have no personal connection to a vehicle.

I recently watch a interview with Bill Clinton and George Bush who seem to be more friends now than rivals. Bill, a baby boomer, said he is one of the few alive who didn't grow up with a TV, as such the family had to communicate. The only communication todays generation knows is via a cell phone and texting, facebook and twitter. The personal connection between two humans is lost.

Unlike our generation, they can communicate with someone by cell phone, no need to drive over to a friends house to visit. I discovered this first hand with my niece who opted to text her boyfriend rather than go out on a date. A date that would require a vehicle to get them there.

Proof is in the pudding they say and about five years ago for the first time ever the number of sixteen year olds getting their drivers license had dropped. The interest in driving a vehicle is waning. Therefore, the current generation views a vehicle as utilitarian much like a refrigerator. It is something that they have that makes life easier. It serves that purpose and nothing more. So do you think people will be collecting refrigerators? I think not.

A number of reports and articles out there have largely debunked the theory that young people lack interest in cars.  In part, one must consider that we went through one of the most difficult economic periods in more than a generation not too long ago and it was especially tough for younger people.  Other factors include more and more h.s. graduates going to college (college costs come first, may not need a car far commuting until after college, etc).   However, the percentage of 20 to 24 year olds with driverís licenses today, around 78%, is still not much different (and sometimes even higher) than it was in the 1960s and other at least earlier decades despite the above mentioned factors.

Besides, the percentage of people who are car or classic car enthusiasts and actively engaged in the hobby has always been relatively small and so those who arenít choosing to get their license at a young age probably aren't now and would never become enthusiasts.  Driver's license or not, they would've been part of the much larger non-enthusiast population anyway.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 11:14:42 AM by Big Apple Caddy »

Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2017, 11:47:02 AM »
Being in the business of restoring and customizing vehicles I have read with great interest all the posts here.  And there are a whole lot of great points made. 

Stepping back to look at the big picture I see it as a money thing-- as it almost always is for every facet of life.  How do I want to spend? What do I have to spend on things in my life.  And how important to me are the things I'm considering spending my money on.  I truly believe this crosses all lines of age or gender.  Add to this, as it has been pointed out, the "screens generation" have virtually no interest in a car much less a classic restoration.

As for the restoration or future of classic cars (as the title of this thread is) all of these points result in the above questions folks ask themselves and are a conglomeration of a waning interest in this hobby of old cars.   

And at some point we have to realize that there are a lot of cars out there that have been refurbished, restored, re-done, that are pretty nice cars that can almost in every instance be had for a fraction of the cost to bring that car to it's current state of beauty and reliability.  And even still, the price tag is usually too steep for the "average" buyer.  I see it in my business all the time.  Folks want to believe, very badly, that they can "do" the car they dream of for a price they have decided they can afford.  Sadly I have turned away more and more customers after we have a long talk in my office about how I just don't see the end of their project coming in on "their budget".  It's why I often say (with much consternation) that I can no longer build cars for folks who work for a living.  I often think of my first job at a custom shop almost 45 years ago. We painted a Funny Car for a local mechanic.  Hard to believe a local mechanic could afford to race a Funny Car these days...

We all know this hobby is expensive.  Because life is expensive.  We almost never see a price on a new "whatever" that we think is in line with what we though before we went shopping for that item.  And therein is the problem.  Less money to spend on the things you want since you end up spending so much on the the things you need.  Not to mention with the "Chinese invasion" we end  up buying the same things over and over again as nothing lasts anymore= less $$ to spend on fun stuff.

Offline Bobby B

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2017, 01:18:32 PM »
Ken,
 Great Post.....
              Bobby
1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
1968 Mustang Convertible
1973 Mustang Convertible
1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster
1971 Datsun 240Z
1979 H-D FLH

Offline jdemerson

  • 1952 Cadillac 6219X Vermont -- Emerson
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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2017, 02:07:42 PM »
A number of reports and articles out there have largely debunked the theory that young people lack interest in cars.  In part, one must consider that we went through one of the most difficult economic periods in more than a generation not too long ago and it was especially tough for younger people.  Other factors include more and more h.s. graduates going to college (college costs come first, may not need a car far commuting until after college, etc).   However, the percentage of 20 to 24 year olds with driverís licenses today, around 78%, is still not much different (and sometimes even higher) than it was in the 1960s and other at least earlier decades despite the above mentioned factors.

Besides, the percentage of people who are car or classic car enthusiasts and actively engaged in the hobby has always been relatively small and so those who arenít choosing to get their license at a young age probably aren't now and would never become enthusiasts.  Driver's license or not, they would've been part of the much larger non-enthusiast population anyway.

I'll join Mr. Langley in questioning the negativism and skepticism that generally prevails in these conversations (as interesting and stimulating as they are!). There is still interest in cars among younger people. Two weeks ago I attended an annual local car show in the tiny town of Bristol, Vermont. There were 314 cars there (an all-time record), including my '52 Cadillac. Some were original and valuable (e.g., a perfect 1955 Packard Series 400 two-door hardtop, and a '66 or '67 Mustang Shelby GT350H). But many were cars that were modified to fit the interests, imaginations, and creative minds of their owners.  There were MANY young people who work on their cars and enjoy them as much as those in my generation  40 or 50 years ago. Many of the youngest folks have small Hondas, Mazdas, and VWs, and though not my cup of tea, those are quite amazing. There also were several pre-WWII cars there, though those don't hold the interest of the younger crowd. What was amazing is the VARIETY of cars and trucks on the field.

    Sure some problems will need to be solved in the future if the hobby is to continue. But somehow the use of 3D printer technology, and/or fabrication of electronic components, and/or use of improving plastics and carbon fibre will likely keep the hobby going at a level not unlike what we have known. The hobby will necessarily change in various ways, but it probably won't disappear.

    Mr. Langley is right in noting that there have been plenty of dire predictions over many decades. I can recall when some collectors thought that no car built after WWII could ever be worth preserving or restoring. Hmmn... '53 Eldorado anyone? '59 Seville?  '64 GTO? '67 Eldorado? '69 Z28 Camaro?  Perhaps the time when pessimism was greatest was in the '70s and '80s, beginning in 1973. I for one am far more positive about the future of the old-car hobby and restoration today than I was in the mid-70s -- if for no other reason than there are many more models from the past two decades that are WORTH preserving or restoring.

John Emerson
1952 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan 6219X
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Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2017, 04:09:02 PM »
I've commented on this subject many times in the past when brought up and simply add my two cents that the reports of the demise of the old car hobby have been greatly exaggerated.

I'm certain industry statistics would also point to a robust vintage car industry enjoying good health. If credible evidence exists to the contrary, I'd be interested in hearing it. To date, everything I've heard has been anecdotal.

BAC...maybe this is something you can look into using your excellent research skills.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 04:34:28 PM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
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Offline bcroe

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Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2017, 04:34:51 PM »
I'll add when I was in school some handy kids would get an old car
and get it going because they didn't have the means to get a new car. 
It saved them money/debt.  Soon I found slightly used cars could be
picked up for a small fraction of new, then I would drive them 3 to 5
times as far as the original owner.  Fixing it yourself saved a fortune
too, you could learn how if you kept the car long enough.  But the
reasons I fixed was to get the quality work I expected, and it was
more convenient than schedules, pickup, etc. 

More recently my cars perform far better, and need far less maintenance,
than my first ones.  The distance driven is heading past 300,000 miles,
and I just stopped buying cars, esp current models.  This is REALLY
saving me a fortune.  My newest engine/trans is 1979, bodies
vary around that.  Bruce Roe


Offline lexi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2017, 12:51:17 AM »
Yes, many of us are pessimists but we are rarely disappointed! The 'hobby' won't disappear but it's survival will be fraught with challenges that will make owning and operating a classic car more problematic. Clay/Lexi

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2017, 02:02:14 AM »
As a millennial, I got to tell you older guys here, thereís hardly any interest in classic cars within my generation. The majority of local car shows Iíve attended (and I've been to many) I donít think Iíve seen a guy in his 20ís or 30ís owning any of the cars on display.

The youngest looking owners are in there 40ís, and 90% of the rest are 50 on up.

We can debate this topic forever, but the 2 biggest issues that we can agree on is that the hobby is very pricey, time consuming, and what hasnít been discussed, is most young people donít have a place to store these cars. If you donít own a home, itís really hard to continue the hobby if itís always on the street and you have no place to work on it.

Financial burdens like student loan debt, and career driven people simply donít have the time nor the interest on owning a classic compared to a working class individual with no responsibilities, still lives at home, and has the time to give the car attention.

I can see the sporty imports being collectibles to young people today, like old 90ís Hondaís, Nissans I grew up with, which are popular among Asian Americans, but on a overall level, classic domestics are a dying breed. Iím telling you guys, every car show that is classic American driven, young people arenít the owners of these cars, all the hot rods, all the muscle cars all the 1920ís-40ís antique rides,  are all owned by old dudes. The spectators are young of course, but thatís about it.


I have hope for the hobby but Iím also realistic in my observations.

Being an old soul at heart, i truly believe my taste are unique for my age. America at one point in time used to build magnificently beautiful things, from clothing, furniture,  to architectural wonders, stylish cool cars, well built super long lasting appliances and a hard working industrial spirit that is sadly long gone.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 02:16:30 AM by 64CaddieLacky »
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Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2017, 03:58:28 AM »
Well said Mr. Asaro.

My own purchase of a collector car was sort of later in life, and hopefully, I will be able to realise a reasonable price when I am forced to sell, due to age, and having to pass in my Drivers Licence, which one day will happen.

I am even rationalising right now, as I know it will be impossible to find a retirement complex with a three car garage and a car port for the boat.   Yes, got to plan for the future as it will only be 30 years till I reach 100.

Bruce. >:D
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Offline Jim Miller

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2017, 06:26:48 AM »
The world does change, and I concluded I'm a visitor on the 21st century, but three communities around me have "car" gatherings once a week. Young and old alike participate. Some classics, some modifides, but usually a decent crowd. If we want to see classic collecting remain vibrant we need participation and outreach. I drive my car couple times a week and always receive comments and wishful looks (just like I used to do). Any kid under 12 years old goes crazy seeing our cars because they look like the Pixar movie Cars. Could not ask for better promotion. We should have video posting or links on our website of riding in the front seat of our cars. Looking down those hoods, even in a video experience, is neat. As members, we should collect email contacts of local car groups we can feed into CLC and then do a email blast for Grand National, Hershey, Fall Festival, etc. to a wider group. Maybe wishful thinking, but I'm optimistic.
Jim Miller
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Offline James Landi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2017, 07:30:46 AM »
When "all's said and done," the CLC leadership and our extraordinarily talented "Self Starter" editor and writer, Mr. Stewart, as well as this excellent interactive website unite us, in spite of our physically diverse locations on the globe.  As was well said, in the previous post, supporting local and regional events and staying active and supportive of the CLC and its mission and core values are personal commitments we make, not simply to car ownership, but to the activities of this club and other collector clubs by preserving an .  important pieces of our historical/ cultural heritage that adds enrichment, engagement and understanding in this ever accelerating technologically complex 21st century that we are now experiencing.   Happy day, and appreciatively,  James

Offline gary griffin

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2017, 08:19:53 AM »
There are only a few Stagecoach and Buggy collectors and in 100 years there will be very few car collectors.  I used to collect arrowheads and they were plentiful in the streams of the Olympic mountains where we hiked in the 50's but I doubt many still exist? Most of our cars will be as gone as we will be gone. Passion for cars will decline as cars become just transportation.  There is already talk of banning non self driving vehicles from primary streets during the rush hours by 2010 and when that happens fully banning self driven cars will follow a few decades later.

We are flawed individuals and have accidents at a rate many times greater than autonomous (Self driving) cars will have, so banning us from driving will be logical.

Being a pilot since the early 70's I have watched the evolution of airplanes and today they are almost autonomous and soon will probably be fully autonomous!  My passion for flying has diminished just as the passion for automobiles will diminish.

When was the last time you went to a stagecoach and buggy museum. 





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 Big Apple Caddy

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  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2017, 09:06:27 AM »
As a millennial, I got to tell you older guys here, thereís hardly any interest in classic cars within my generation. The majority of local car shows Iíve attended (and I've been to many) I donít think Iíve seen a guy in his 20ís or 30ís owning any of the cars on display.

The youngest looking owners are in there 40ís, and 90% of the rest are 50 on up.
This has largely always been true.  Younger people, 30 and under, are still more into the "today" and tend not to be interested in old(er) things.  While there have always been exceptions, the "classics" interest usually comes on a later age and when things from one's youth actually become classics.


I can see the sporty imports being collectibles to young people today, like old 90ís Hondaís, Nissans I grew up with, which are popular among Asian Americans, but on a overall level, classic domestics are a dying breed. Iím telling you guys, every car show that is classic American driven, young people arenít the owners of these cars, all the hot rods, all the muscle cars all the 1920ís-40ís antique rides,  are all owned by old dudes. The spectators are young of course, but thatís about it.
Today's youth have and are growing up with imports more than older generations and those cars will likely have more appeal in the future exactly because of that.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2017, 09:15:31 AM »
Being a pilot since the early 70's I have watched the evolution of airplanes and today they are almost autonomous and soon will probably be fully autonomous!  My passion for flying has diminished just as the passion for automobiles will diminish.

A somewhat similar sentiment from the 1955 article I posted earlier:
"Modern cars are too full of gadgets, too easy to operate.  It's like sitting in a living room and pushing a button.  We like some movement.  We like the gear shift on the gear box, like the feel of shifting the gears, when you get to know your own transmission."

Yet 1950s cars eventually became desirable classic to the younger people of the 1950s as they got older.  The same can happen with todayís youth and todayís cars down the road.   Just because older generations may not "connect" with modern things doesnít mean younger people donít or that they wonít want to seek things from their youth, the eventual classics, later on as they get older.

Offline gary griffin

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2017, 11:23:04 AM »
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.

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 goofyhb

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  • Name: Axel Joehnke
Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2017, 11:43:36 AM »
I would like to add my thoughts on this topic too:

The spirit documented by the "parade of progress" influenced the design of some of the products I like. The product design still is a complex topic, but since decades it is not linked into a similar bigger picture.
The Electric Vehicles would have had a chance to change that because of their link to energy storage, autonomous driving, user/traffic tracking, all these connected and connecting functions. But there are so many distractors today...

As engineer I have deep respect for the solutions which have been created in the past to make things happen without having the tools, materials and technology we have today. Just yesterday I had the chance to see a 1934 Packard. These cars had features like adjustable suspension or checking the oil level on the touch of a button! With these cars you can learn and get into every topic. Some areas need a lot of know how, so that's when you rely on an expert/specialists. But these guys are human beings. So their job is something nearly everybody could learn. Today's cars are designed with the help of complex computer programs. The 15 to 30 computers inside the car communicate over several manufacturer owned protocols. Nobody could learn all this in a couple of years. Designing and building a car is still a team effort, nowadays incorporating more robots and computers than humans. I think that the respect for the team has subsided with this.

I love the dagmar bumpers on my 55 the same way as I love the autronique eye, the vacuum antenna or how easy it is to adjust the camber angle. I like the performance and the space. I don't miss a thing. This all is giving me an idea or dream picture of that past where people found smart solutions so different from today's solutions for nearly similar problems. I know it is an idealistic picture leaving out so many things which were not okay at that same time. I have tried hard but I don't feel the same sensation when I look at a robot welded part compared to a hand forged one.

We need to constantly show our cars to the public. Not only to fellow enthusiasts. We need to proof that these cars can do the same job as today's cars do: Get you from A to B in comfort. Show that traveling was not just a task but added experience to your live. And so on. We have a sensation when we work or drive our cars. I got the spark when I was about 8 years old. We can give this to our on child or the child next door.

Axel
(Hamburg, Germany)
1955 Series 62 Sedan http://bit.ly/1Ri914p