New Zealand Classic Car - - Reader's Writes -

In re­gards to Jes­mond Mi­callef’s state­ment about en­sur­ing the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions be­come in­ter­ested in clas­sic cars, in your last is­sue. He’s right in say­ing it’d be great to have more youth com­ing through and en­joy­ing the hobby, but I think he may have his blinkers on a bit, too. Per­haps my view is a bit more on the hot rod or mod­i­fied side of things, but I see count­less events that en­cour­age fam­i­lies to take part. I my­self have just re­turned from Beach Hop, where there were thou­sands of kids lin­ing the sides of the roads, watch­ing in awe as the cars rolled by. Tak­ing things to the next level, they even had a com­pe­ti­tion for kids’ pedal cars, which drew more than a lit­tle ad­mi­ra­tion from other kids, who no doubt then pleaded with their par­ents to build one for next year.

If it’s the ve­hi­cle-own­ing-aged kids that need to be tar­geted, then there needs to be a rea­son for them to be in­volved. They’re hardly likely to join a car club to sit in long drawn-out AGM meet­ings or sit around drink­ing tea and eat­ing scones. If car clubs want to talk to the younger gen­er­a­tion, they need to get in­volved in so­cial me­dia, and be ac­cept­ing of youth, not con­de­scend­ing. The hot rod­ding scene has been through all of this, and over the last decade there’s been a big change in at­ti­tudes, and it shows. There are now plenty of young peo­ple build­ing hot rods and get­ting plenty of as­sis­tance from the older gen­er­a­tion. Sure, they’re not all cars the older rod­ders nec­es­sar­ily like them­selves, but ev­ery­one has to start some­where, right?

Part of why peo­ple, both young and old, like cer­tain cars is that in­tan­gi­ble ‘cool fac­tor’. Not sure about Jes­mond, but I cer­tainly don’t know any kids that had posters of Tri­umph Her­alds or Sun­beam Alpines on their walls. Lam­borgh­i­nis, Fer­raris, as­pi­ra­tional-type stuff is what will draw them into the scene for a closer look. Once they’re in­volved, maybe then they’ll fall in love with some­thing more at­tain­able; it’s all about ex­po­sure. So, that said, does this very mag­a­zine have a duty to try and at­tract the younger gen­er­a­tion? Less old-man rant­ing by colum­nists about the same old tourist-driver woes, less ‘tally-ho, old chap’ speak, and more ‘to­day’. Maybe the Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show is a good place to start, too. Has any­one ever con­sid­ered drop­ping posters to the lo­cal schools? Again, not with Hill­man Imps on them, but [with] some­thing that the kids would love to see. All food for thought, but the an­swers are out there! Old enough to know but still young enough to care Thanks for your per­spec­tive on an is­sue that’s puz­zling many clas­sic car clubs in this coun­try. En­cour­ag­ing younger peo­ple to join in our hobby is def­i­nitely some­thing we all should be in­volved in. AFW

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