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Hot Rods Are we a dying breed?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Frozen Chosen, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Frozen Chosen
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 21

    Frozen Chosen

    I was recently reading in another magazine that about 60-70% of all collector cars and hot rods are owned by baby boomers. The article went on to say that most younger people don't have an interest in hot rods and old cars that's why they don't own them. What do you guys think?
    First off the reason why I own two rods now is because I can finally afford to own them. (And pay for gas) I have one son and two son in-laws that are all hot rod fans.
    So when is too young to pass the torch? Well I have to tell you that I have five grandkids and all of them love to go cruising. My granddaughters who are 3,6&8 never pass up a chance for a getting in and going. In fact they are usually chiming "Go fast Pop-Pop, Go fast" before I get on the highway. While I don't particularly care for their choice of music, we crank up the tunes and cruise with the windows down.(So don't judge when you hear Pink and Lady GAGA)
    So when is too young? I don't know, but if we're a dying breed I'm going to make sure my cars don't go in the scrap heap! My youngest grandson Hunter is going to know all I know about hot rods before I'm gone! Let's keep this part of our history alive! IMG_0670[1].JPG
    hotrodtodd1960 likes this.
  2. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,627


    Hi. Dying breed - maybe for some, maybe not for others. Some folks just never nurture a need for the hot rod or racing culture. growing up in the 40 - 50's it was hard to find any teenagers either not into it or at least appreciated it.
    I grew up around it. Dad was not a hot rodder but he knew how to work on engines and encouraged it for me. When I was a kid Dad had a 1/4 Midget racer & one of the guys that worked for him drove it in the races on the 1/4 mile dirt oval at the fair grounds in Shreveport back in the late 40's. He also helped sponser some of the stock cars of the 40 & 50's on the 1/2 mile dirt track there as well and we attended many races there.
    There at the fair ground's track the front straight away was common to both the 1/4 & the 1/2 mile ovals as I recall & the 1/4 mile was inside the 1/2 miler.

    After I got my drivers lisense in 1953 I was really into hot rods, customs & drag racing for quite some time. Kind of got away from it in the 70's but am coming back now in retirement.

    Neither of my sons was into hot rods or racing when growing up but I had a nice suprise from my oldest grandson a couple of months ago while he was on leave from the Air Force. He had just returned from duty in Korea & had spent a month His new base in California before coming home for a couple of weeks. All he could talk about was hot rods & drag racing. Seems his buddies there are really into this & he is really getting caught up in it.

    Perhaps I now have someone to inherit my 46 when the time comes. Hope that ain't soon but at age 76 who knows.
  3. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,719

    junk yard kid

    Im 33 and i have a 16 month old daughter. All i gotta say is "you wanna go for a ride?" and sometimes she goes and bangs on the doors of the cars. Her favorite seems to be my banger roadster pickup. I then take her around my 1/8th mile dirt race track. She absolutely loves it and we go almost every day. Im sure she'll be a hot rod gal for life. I really need a station wagon though so i can take her on the road.
    loudbang likes this.
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    are we a dying breed? no.

  5. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,574


    Let's just say thinning out.
    zzford, CurbFeeler and squirrel like this.
  6. Never too young to be introduced to hot rodding.I started on mini bikes and go carts around 61-62.Older guys I grew up around showed me the car and hotrod life.Never grow up:cool:
    loudbang likes this.
  7. Sure we are,I am part of the baby boomer generation and we are on the decline but I honestly believe there will always be a segment of the population that will keep hot rods & customs alive.

    My grandson has no interest in hot rods whatsoever but is absorbed with baseball,our oldest granddaughter loves hot rods and will inherit the wagon.

    Our youngest Granddaughter is all about hot rods,,with a name like Veda what would you expect?,,she already says the sedan is hers! HRP

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  8. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,315


    i have been into cars and bikes all my life. my dad did not like them at all. i have 2 daughters that was raised around cars and hot rodsand can work on them. they both married some one who wants to know why do you need to change the oil . neither grandson is interested in cars. but my grand daughter is another story. the stronger it runs the better she likes it. and she is good help .
  9. No, most of the guys I know into this stuff are fairly young....we're just out wrenching or doing burn outs...To busy having fun to lament the demise of hot rodding...

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  10. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,711

    from Nebraska

    I don't think we are a dying breed at all.... just not mainstream like so many other things these days.

    Mat Thrasher and HEMI32 like this.
  11. I hope not, but I am worried that we are. As I tell young guys that come in my shop all the time, when I was a kid (and I am almost 59 now), you had 2 things---your car and your girlfriend. And your two goals in life were to make your car fast, and get your girlfriend in the back seat and separated from her panties. I know there are young guys and gals today interested in hot rods, but not on the scale of the baby boomers. And in our economy, the cost factor sure becomes involved. Hard for a young guy with a family to plunk down $10K or so for a good project and then start working on it. I have had a chance or two to sell some of my older stuff at a big profit, but I cannot justify what it would cost to replace it. And unfortunately, neither of my kids have any desire for them. Point blank asked my 35 year old son the other day if he was interested in any of the old man's cars when he kicks the bucket and he said no. My eldest grandson does not seem to be interested either---but he is crazy about the stick and ball sports. I am sure there will always be some interest in the traditional hot rod, but I am afraid it will be nothing on the scale of what it has been for the last 20 years or so. And even more troubling is when I go to the shows and cruises and all the guys are old grey bearded guys like me.
  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    billion dollar a year aftermarket, and car shows with 3000 entries going on all over the place. this hobby ain't going nowhere anytime soon.
    kbgreen likes this.
  13. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    This hobby that we love so much was, in the 40's, 50's and 60's, a way of life. In the 70's, the baby boomers were trading in their rods, customs, and muscle cars for a family, home, and a Toyota (or Datsun.) In the late 80's, the boomers start to age, so they want to recapture a piece of their teenage years and they start buy the cars and bikes of their youth. As a result, prices skyrocket for those old cars and parts, which in turn, drives today's teens towards imports because they can't afford the high cost of buying/fixing a old classic. So as the boomers slowly fade away, so will this thing of ours.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  14. boltupal
    Joined: Dec 27, 2010
    Posts: 278

    from western ny

    Those kids are still out there "hotrodding " they"re cars . But cant afford 32 coupes etc. My grandson is only nine, but loves rides in bubba's race car. He just stares at it. Motorheads are motorheads , no matter what age.
    bct likes this.
  15. Mark C.
    Joined: Jul 8, 2014
    Posts: 11

    Mark C.

    I don't have a good answer based on any kind of fact or statistic, but I do think the hobby will always survive in some form or another, though probably not to the extent that it is today or at least in a different form. One thing that I have noticed is the trend of taking previously restored cars and turning them into hot rods, as the folks who remember them as new cars seem to be trailing off and some of the younger guys who wouldn't be caught dead in a "stock" car are building them to their tastes.

    Regarding the difference between generations, I can say that when I was in high school 30+ years ago, most guys that I knew were interested in cars to some extent, even the guys whom you would not normally expect to have interest. Now I think you will find that some are interested, likely the ones exposed to it by family or friends, but the majority will have more interest in sports, video games, phones or whatever and will tend to think of hot rods more as "old men's" toys.
  16. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,322


    my 16 year old loves my F100 and wants to drive it to school
  17. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    I'm sure it will out live me.... the rest of you will have to worry about it.:D
    bowie likes this.
  18. Thank you Malcolm,,I remember seeing that a good while back.

    A lot of people thought Gassers were a thing of the past but look at the resurgence.HRP
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  19. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    Are we a dying breed?
    Yes! No doubt in my mind.
  20. M224SPEED
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 171

    from Missouri

    Too many car & parts hoarders these days don't help,but there are viable options,not all of us can find 33-34- Fords 40-41 Willys laying around to stumble over,and I know I have left a good many other builder cars off the list but I hope you all get the point.
    Bottom line there are other cars & trucks to be had,and built so I hope we all take the time to try and teach the younger generation about rodding,maybe get the idea of making the best of what you have,and build on it from there, just like we did years ago. Hopefully the worry of a dying breed will have some life pumped back into it !
  21. We are a dying breed, as todays hot rodders, but tomorrows hot rodders are already getting started. They will do things their way. Try driving a black and flamed rod around. The looks and comments i get from young people is amazing. They love it, and i know it leaves a lasting impression on them, as it did me, when i saw my first biack and flamed hot rod.
  22. enloe
    Joined: May 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,919

    from east , tn.

  23. The skills and talent are dying off, not the appreciation. Machine shops, metal shaping, etc. in the quality and applications we expect are fading away. Greasy fingernails are one thing, having the skills and connections to build a great car take years to develop and hone.
    M224SPEED and CurbFeeler like this.
  24. 4psi
    Joined: Nov 30, 2011
    Posts: 283


    " The article went on to say that most younger people don't have an interest in hot rods and old cars that's why they don't own them. What do you guys think?"

    They don't own hot rods or old cars because they can't afford them, not because of lack of interest. The majority of the younger crowd is priced WAY out of the market.
  25. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    Around here it is. I'm 35 and the youngest person I know into these cars. But that makes it good for me. Still plenty of cars. And no one wants them.

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  26. I am the only person that I know of in their early 20s in my area that messes with old cars. Lots of people my age and younger like old cars but it comes down to cost. The parts for old Fords, especially sheetmetal, are ridiculous now. There is virtually no way a young person could realistically get an old Ford and learn and tinker with it, shelling out $5,000 + for a rusted out hulk is unreal. To be honest if I didn't come from a family that already had lots of old stuff to learn with and fix I would be into tuners or something of that sort. Its cheaper and you get results quicker than spending hundreds of hours patching some old piece of junk together. In the end I don't blame people in my age group for not being into messing with old cars, it is truly a rich man's hobby
    zzford, loudbang and Hitchhiker like this.
  27. Back when I was in junior high school they taught industrial arts,when I went to high school they taught machine shop and auto mechanics,today a kid has to wait till they graduate high school to enroll in a tech school to learn any of these skills unless they have a old guy that can teach them. HRP
    loudbang and Jim636 like this.
  28. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    "60-70% of collector cars and hot rods are owned by baby boomers"
    Of course this is true. As of today, baby boomers range in age from 51 to 68 years old and they also represent the largest segment of the US population by large numbers. Who would you expect to own the most collector cars and hot rods?
    As for a dying breed, this also is true, but it's really a separate issue. There's just too few newcomers to the skills and culture necessary to keep this hobby strong. Kind of like horses and locomotives I guess.
  29. 4psi
    Joined: Nov 30, 2011
    Posts: 283


    That isn't the case here in Oklahoma. Our High schools have Vo Tech programs that cover all that you mentioned and some.
  30. frank spittle
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,672

    frank spittle

    Car culture in general is on the decline. Look at the major race track grandstands. Local tracks too. Guys and gals that are into rot rodding generally like some form of racing too.
    One of the reasons baby boomers own more than 50% of collector cars is because they have most of the disposable income.
    dana barlow likes this.

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