Don't keep it to your­self!

Classic Driver - - FEATURES -

No mat­ter which car club you be­long to, I bet you hear the same cry. “We are all get­ting older, what do we do to at­tract young mem­bers?” And as much as I hate to say it, but many older car types have brought this sorry sit­u­a­tion upon them­selves.

En­cour­aged by my fa­ther, I joined the VCC when I was 14 years old and was prob­a­bly the youngest mem­ber in the club. By the time I was 16 I had the 1924 Chevro­let on the road and at that stage I think the Hay­cocks were the first fam­ily to have three ac­tive motoring gen­er­a­tions in the club. The sad fact is that 30 years later, I am still one of the youngest mem­bers! And much of the blame can be laid firmly at the feet of the older gen­er­a­tion.

While I was al­ways en­cour­aged to use my fa­ther’s cars, for many of his fel­low mem­bers, the thought of al­low­ing some­one... any­one else, to drive their pre­cious car was ab­so­lutely un­think­able! Drive it? Don’t even touch it! So now as they reach the age where they are think­ing of what is go­ing to hap­pen to their trea­sured car, the rest of the fam­ily couldn’t give a hoot about the thing, just as long as it is dis­posed of ASAP and turned into some­thing more ap­peal­ing, i.e. money.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Seven of us went to Bendigo a cou­ple of weeks ago. My brother and I got to en­joy a week­end with our fa­ther, shar­ing a joint pas­sion. Nigel Fraser, con­sid­er­ably younger than me, has his fa­ther’s 1923 Chevro­let in his shed, along­side his own cars from the 1920s to 1950s. Neil Carter had his son Nick along for the trip as well, not just tag­ging along, Nick has a cou­ple of early Morris’s and he spent more than all of us at the swap­meet.

At the Chelsea hill­climb, four teenagers were com­pet­ing, three of them not old enough to hold road li­cences, en­cour­aged all the way by their par­ents and grand­par­ents. Here is the fu­ture of the clas­sic/vin­tage/ col­lec­tors/call it what you want move­ment. The so­lu­tion is a lot closer to home than you might think.

The wis­dom of this can be seen with the three cars fea­tured in this is­sue of Clas­sic Driver. The Ri­ley DHC has been in the same fam­ily since the 1950s and as the owner’s daugh­ter works along­side him in the fam­ily car dis­man­tling busi­ness, it would seem cer­tain that it will re­main in fam­ily own­er­ship for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Then we come to the VW Kombi. Now owned by the son of the orig­i­nal owner, he has a nephew who is a keen Kombi en­thu­si­ast and is look­ing for one of his own, so the fu­ture of this fam­ily car seems as­sured as well.

And the Fal­con Co­bra? That came about be­cause the owner was look­ing for a clas­sic Chevro­let for his son, an­other old car fa­natic, so here again we have a fa­ther and son com­bi­na­tion ac­tively in­volved in the old car world.

So, when it comes to look­ing at the fu­ture of the clas­sic/vin­tage/col­lec­tor, call it what you want move­ment, have a good look within be­fore look­ing out­side! The good thing about this pas­time of ours is that it is one which can be shared, be it with friends or fam­ily, a day’s motoring in your old car, or a day at the track, is some­thing best en­joyed with com­pany.

By the time you are read­ing this, we will all be pre­par­ing for the ar­rival of the red-suited fat bloke pow­ered by fresh veni­son to ar­rive on the roof and leave us good­ies. Al­ways a so­cial time of the year any­way, why not try shar­ing your old car with your kids, grand­kids or even the neigh­bour’s kids? You just might be sur­prised by the re­sponse you get.

So all that re­mains is for me to thank all our read­ers for their loy­alty over the year, the own­ers of the cars who have been gen­er­ous enough to al­low me to ex­pe­ri­ence their ve­hi­cles and tell me their sto­ries and the rest of the Clas­sic Driver team and con­trib­u­tors for their un­end­ing sup­port and friend­ship as we all work tire­lessly to en­sure ev­ery­one gets the qual­ity Clas­sic Driver they de­serve.

Merry Christ­mas and happy and safe motoring into the New Year!

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