Attend any collector car event, from your local weekly cruise-in to, well, to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance taking place next weekend, and if you listen to the old timers — yes, my fellow Baby Boomers, we are now the old-timers — you’ll hear them lament that the collector car hobby is dying off and that no one will want their cars after the current owners have left for the Heavenly (or Hellish) Highway.
Problem is, the oldie-but-goodie group doesn’t remember that it was young once, that its interest in cars was very different back when they were wearing T-shirts and Levis. They either drove the cool cars in the high school parking lots, or lusted for them until they were well enough along in their working life where they could afford to buy them.
They took those cars to cruise-ins and car shows, where they saw even older vehicles that were cool in their own right. So their collections grew to include a couple of muscle cars, a post-war European sports car or two, and eventually even a pre-war classic and, hey, that London-to-Brighton Run looks like fun so I’d better buy a Brass Era relic.
The boomers and those in the ensuing Generation X likely don’t know that there’s a whole new generation of car enthusiasts coming up behind them. Turns out the warning on the rearview mirror is correct: objects catching up to you may be larger than you realize.
Oh, and while we’re at it, we need a couple of those modern supercars to show that we’re not really old fuddies.
Problem is, the boomers and those in the ensuing Generation X likely don’t know that there’s a whole new generation of car enthusiasts coming up behind them. Turns out the warning on the rearview mirror is correct: objects catching up to you may be larger than you realize.
For the past week, we’ve offered space to six leaders in the collector car community and asked them to point the way they see the hobby going in the next decade or so.
This “Road to 2030” series began with Mark Gessler of the Historic Vehicle Association offering a road map we might follow. Craig Jackson looked at the future of collector car auctions. Curator Derek Moore did the same thing regarding car museums. Craig Lieberman, technical director for the launch of the Fast and Furious movies — think American Graffiti or Bullitt for a new generation — focused on the growing collectability of Japanese vehicles. Roger Falcione of ClassicCars.com looked at the marketplace and how electrification might spark new interest in old cars. And Sandra Button, the head of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, found optimism in the upcoming car collector generation and is confident that people will be celebrating the automobile for decades to come.
We hope you’ve read the series throughout the past week. If not, there’s still time to catch up, maybe as you fly to the Monterey Peninsula this week. Just click on the boldface links above.
We also hope that as you’ve read, you’ve found the series thought-provoking, and perhaps the columns even left you not only less worried but perhaps even optimistic about the road ahead.
If you want, you can keep the conversation going, whether during your visit with your friends in Monterey or through the Comments section at the bottom of each of the guest articles.