So what’s happened to the old car hobby? Why are all the people in the hobby nowadays old and gray?
Answer: The truly awful cars that Detroit produced in the 1970’s and 1980’s destroyed the hobby.
A lot of the problem is that the supply of low-priced “classic” cars was destroyed by the truly *awful* cars that Detroit produced in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I mean, there wasn’t *anything* produced in those decades that was worth owning, it was all smogged, hosed, smothered, and pre-rusted to a fare-thee-well. About the only “classic” vehicles that people restore from those eras are Jeep (and competing) 4wd vehicles, mostly because nobody makes anything like that anymore (not even Jeep — it wouldn’t be legal for them to do so, for one thing, because that old iron lacks all the safety widgets of the new vehicles).
The reason that’s important is because most people who got into “old” cars in the past got into the hobby via relatively cheap “classic” cars that were maybe 20 or 30 years old, and only later got into the more expensive *really* old stuff. Think about all the teens and twenty-somethings rockin’ twenty-year-old 57 Chevies in 1977, or the thirty-something gentlemen rockin’ the same in 1987. Chevrolet made over a million of those ’57 Chevies, so they were cheap and had easy to find parts for them and the car itself was interesting enough to make it worthwhile. So now it’s 2016, and what’s a kid gonna do who wants to get into the hobby with a 30 year old car? Buy a 1986 Cadillac Cimarron or Chrysler K-car? SNRK!
– Badtux the Car Penguin