An interesting subject (OK maybe just to me) has been coming up a lot over the past couple years at the car shows I attend. The subject of legacy and handing down this automotive hobby that we love. Now I know that when it comes to your regular hot rod / muscle cars shows here in SoCal you see a lot of middle aged and older guys hangin’ out and not many young people (holly shit I sound like some old guy). You see the occasional family at the bigger shows like GNRS but not many. Does this mean are beloved old car industry is dying?
I would argue no. If you go to any traditional hot rod, kustom or lowrider show you see plenty of young people involved in the hobby. You also see entire families with generations of car builders hangin’ at shows. I know plenty of fathers and grandfathers that have handed down their love of cars to the younger generation. You just have to look for it and you will see.
There is one thing that I think will change with the newer generations that you may not be seeing now. That is the adaptation of newer technology into older vehicles. It is starting to show-up but just think that the teenager today has never not had the internet, cell phones, smart everything. It will just be natural for them to add a touch screen to a dash or convert a car to electric (it’s coming trust me). Heck they will be able to 3D print some part that nobody makes any more or modify it so it fits and looks like it was originally there with some computer behind it (think steampunk). But there will also be the traditionalists that love the way the hobby was back whenever and wants to keep it that way. Please don’t let it be the ‘80s though. The hot rods then were terrible. But if you do the mullet has to come back with it.
Keep an eye out the next time your at a show with your car for the little kids. Talk to them. Encourage them to ask questions and to learn about this hobby we love. Inspire and cultivate the next generation of hot rodders.