Is our hobby now only for the rich?
Dear Classic American,
Is it me or does it feel like the American car scene in this country is dying? There just don’t seem to be the car shows like there were 20 years ago and cost of petrol (and even the cars themselves) seem to be putting them out of the reach of ordinary enthusiasts like me or many of your other readers. It’s almost as if we’re being priced out of the hobby – I remember buying my first American car in the Seventies for just a few hundred pounds. It was rough as a badger’s a*se, but easy to work on, fun and actually relatively cheap to run (apart from the fuel… no change there!). I don’t see youngsters getting into the hobby and what once seemed to be quite an everyman’s hobby appears to be turning into something that only the rich can afford. Maybe I should just take up pigeon fancying?! Mark Carson Walthamstow
Well Mark, where do we start? You’re certainly not the first person to make some of these observations/claims, but we’d dispute their veracity. True, fuel costs are prohibitive now, but there’s always the possibility of them coming down in the year ahead. Those same fuel costs have almost undoubtedly been responsible for folks being a bit more cautious about the distances they drive for ‘national’ shows. Subsequently, there are more local shows which are well supported, as opposed to the big national shows like there used to be back in the day. Car costs? Well, we reckon there are bargains to be had out there, you just have to be a bit more open-minded about what make or model you decide to buy. And as for youngsters getting into the hobby, there is a cadre of enthusiastic youngsters engaging with classic American cars; we’ve even featured them many times on these pages. So come on Mark, take another look at that glass – it’s half-full!