Author Topic: A problem of age...  (Read 2623 times)

DrewS

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A problem of age...
« on: March 11, 2012, 01:38:14 PM »
Hi Folks, not sure how many of you read practical classics magazine on here? This months issue contains the results of a survey they undertook with footman james of readers and people interviewed at the NEC classic car show. Worryingly it states that just 4% of those interviewed were under 30 (of which category I fit in to) and 10%  in the band I will shortly be a member of... 30-39. 24% were 40-49, 30% were 50-59 and 26% were 60-69. This posses a very interesting debate and question, how does the classic car fraternity, and in our case the microcar collective encourage younger people into the hobby?

The survey says the top 3 most popular eras are the 60s,70s and 50s in that order, which most of our cars fit into, so is it that the people buying the cars from those time periods purchase the machinery they remember as a child? or from their youth? The data seems to point to this kind of analogy, as pre war and 1940s were in 5th and 6th places respectively, and only 6% of respondants were 70+.

How do we encourage more young people into micros? it seems that the mini is one of the most popular classics, and with the younger agegroup, so could we convince some of them out of there (fast increasing in value) small Austins/Morris/BMC/BL/Rover mass produced mini wonders. Certainly I would say as a former owner of a classic mini, that all the micros Ive driven or ridden in are as fun if not better.

Surely its time to capitalise on the publicity which his clarksoness bestowed on the P50, what with the bamby cars version being a good starter micro and all? I wonder what others think of ways to encourage new blood?
Late 63' Tiger Nose Schmitt pilot (In need of some TLC) 2004 Smart Roadster wearer (Yes it is a microcar at 698cc!! - Sadly Gone :-( ) Fiat 500 Owner (Tempremental, Poorly Built and with a wiring loom made of chewing gum and Spaghetti!!) and future Isetta or Trojan Owner ( As pocket money permits!!!

Big Al

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Re: A problem of age...
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 07:37:25 PM »
Hi Folks, not sure how many of you read practical classics magazine on here? This months issue contains the results of a survey they undertook with footman james of readers and people interviewed at the NEC classic car show. Worryingly it states that just 4% of those interviewed were under 30 (of which category I fit in to) and 10%  in the band I will shortly be a member of... 30-39. 24% were 40-49, 30% were 50-59 and 26% were 60-69. This posses a very interesting debate and question, how does the classic car fraternity, and in our case the microcar collective encourage younger people into the hobby?

The survey says the top 3 most popular eras are the 60s,70s and 50s in that order, which most of our cars fit into, so is it that the people buying the cars from those time periods purchase the machinery they remember as a child? or from their youth? The data seems to point to this kind of analogy, as pre war and 1940s were in 5th and 6th places respectively, and only 6% of respondants were 70+.

How do we encourage more young people into micros? it seems that the mini is one of the most popular classics, and with the younger agegroup, so could we convince some of them out of there (fast increasing in value) small Austins/Morris/BMC/BL/Rover mass produced mini wonders. Certainly I would say as a former owner of a classic mini, that all the micros Ive driven or ridden in are as fun if not better.

Surely its time to capitalise on the publicity which his clarksoness bestowed on the P50, what with the bamby cars version being a good starter micro and all? I wonder what others think of ways to encourage new blood?

I fear it is a very difficult task. Certainly minimalist motoring is a very niche interest. Microcars includes that but those more usable or better designs are expensive and do not provide easy or instant kicks for bucks. In the main knowledge is not freely available and it is far easier to buy a Mini, buy the bolt ons and have something that works with a vibrant and varied calender of events to get into. By not using our entry visa to the mainstream of classic cars last decade we opted out of all that to remain a sideshow. Now the collectors are very much dictating pricing. I fear it is to late to leap into popular demand.
Put it another way, to many current owners are not interested in the sort of things that an influx of new blood would bring and would (and do) resist it as it is change. Meantime prices have become uncompetitive in comparison to Minis, Escorts etc. changing owners and/or metamorphosing things into something different but still not likely to interest those who are doing up Minis, Escorts etc. Microcars look to remain an anachronism in classic transportation.

But then this is to a background of a general trend in collectable cars into off road activity. In the same way as money supply is marking out those who can afford a nice lifestyle and the rest, so with interesting cars the Brooklands effect of those that can banding together privately to exclude those that cannot is becoming a stronger trend. Like the VMCC you need the right sort of machine to be a playing member and the modern entry models are getting more expensive right now. A reason I am looking at reshuffling my collection so as not to be shut out of the possibilities of playing with that gang who will protect their hobby just as the VMCC have theirs. It is a time of opportunity but also of coming exclusion I fear. I have my own thought as to where Microcars fit into this but I will not expand on it now as I think it is probably not want most folks want to hear.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Jim Janecek

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Re: A problem of age...
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 09:10:35 PM »
A "club" by its very nature is exclusionary.

There are many people that appear to enjoy "belonging" to a "club" of some sort that focuses on shared interests.

Getting back to ways to involve young people:
There is a guy in Southern California that taught an auto shop class for girls and they restored a Bug-eye Sprite and later an Isetta.
That seemed to work out well.
Another meet in a resort town in New Jersey had a dozen microcars visit an elementary school and ALL the kids got to go out and walk around with the cars.
Later, I had them use the experience for an Art Class where they drew their favorite car.  They sent me a huge stack of kids drawings of microcars that I am trying to figure out how to incorporate into a story right now.

There will always be people that take their cars to car shows, but I think that showing kids that they don't have to have the most expensive or FASTEST vehicle to get attention is also key.  One cannot ignore that many people are attracted to these vehicles because they draw so much attention.
That being said, it is still an uphill battle.  Asking a young person to stray from what peers accept as "normal and desirable" is really asking a lot.
Jim

I'll leave this pic here.  It is a guy from Indiana on his High School Prom date a few years ago with and the electric Citicar that he refurbished while in High School.
He won "Best Ride" at the Prom, beating out a Monster Truck and a Fire Engine, not to mention countless limos.  

Chris Thomas

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Re: A problem of age...
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 08:54:06 AM »
Dear Jim

Nice Car, shame about the bumpers.

Chris Thomas

Big Al

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Re: A problem of age...
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 10:22:24 AM »
A "club" by its very nature is exclusionary.

There are many people that appear to enjoy "belonging" to a "club" of some sort that focuses on shared interests.

Getting back to ways to involve young people:
There is a guy in Southern California that taught an auto shop class for girls and they restored a Bug-eye Sprite and later an Isetta.
That seemed to work out well.
Another meet in a resort town in New Jersey had a dozen microcars visit an elementary school and ALL the kids got to go out and walk around with the cars.
Later, I had them use the experience for an Art Class where they drew their favorite car.  They sent me a huge stack of kids drawings of microcars that I am trying to figure out how to incorporate into a story right now.

There will always be people that take their cars to car shows, but I think that showing kids that they don't have to have the most expensive or FASTEST vehicle to get attention is also key.  One cannot ignore that many people are attracted to these vehicles because they draw so much attention.
That being said, it is still an uphill battle.  Asking a young person to stray from what peers accept as "normal and desirable" is really asking a lot.
Jim

I'll leave this pic here.  It is a guy from Indiana on his High School Prom date a few years ago with and the electric Citicar that he refurbished while in High School.
He won "Best Ride" at the Prom, beating out a Monster Truck and a Fire Engine, not to mention countless limos.  


That would do a lot to help. Also making a basic car at school / college which is highly useful practical skills would enlighten a few youngsters to the fact there is more to life than going fast. I have had a few youngster come round to help me. Their interest wanes when they realise that there is a lot of boring hard graft in doing stuff up. They also seem untrained in how to learn, which is a basic skill schools need to instil before anything else. Anyway none of these lads really went for it though one is now about 25 and does motorbikes quite well.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs