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History Hot rodding and social media

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hot Rod Ron, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Like it or not, social media has changed the landscape of hot rodding/ custom culture forever. When I say hot rodding, custom culture let me clarify what I mean. Hot rodding and custom culture are anything that is not stock and personalized to the owner of whatever the machine is. It could be anything a traditional hot rod, custom motorcycles of all types, tricked out muscle cars, custom trucks of all kind, low brow art of all types and medium, fabrication and the tools that go with it, custom imports old and new, retro 80’s/ GEN Xer and anything that is hand built.

    Just look, here we are using computers and social media to connect like never before. We can use it for making new friends, finding parts, finding business contacts, business opportunities, and even promote a business or event. My questions for you all are the following:

    1. Do you think social media and the internet has helped or hurt hot rodding/ custom culture?

    2. As a business owner, do you hate doing social media and wish someone did it for you?

    3. If yes to answer two, what would you pay to have it done if that person or company could show you a return on investment (ROI)?

    I am writing this post as a lot of you I know are small business owners and the face of hot rodding/ custom culture is changing drastically. I am afraid of it going away, and small businesses will not survive. Hot rodding and custom culture are a big part of who I am and don’t want it to go away. A lot of my close friends are business owners in this market and are struggling and not sure where the next consumer base is coming from. I am interested to see what you all have to say.

    Please on a final note DO NOT MAKE THIS POLITICAL!!!!! I don’t care about your politics.
  2. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 11,759

    from Raytown Mo

    I see a lot of hot rod community formed on social media. It lets you know your not the only one and in some cases lesnyou connect with some people if there aren’t hot toddlers near you.

    I use it all the time, for work, cars and fun.

    I have learned about a TON of shops doing great work by them being present and involved/active on social media. Similar to the hamb, if your involved and posting we’ll see it.

    Also see a huge amount of parts for sale in niche classifieds accounts as well.

    Every time I here someone saying it’s all dying or young people aren’t into it, 9/10 times they don’t use instagram or the like. I see tons of content daily and it’s almost all late 30 year olds and younger posting it

    I guess to answer your questions

    1: yes I think it has helped
    2: I don’t mind doing it
    3: in my position I’d rather do it myself and form some sort of human to human connection but I have seen plenty of business’s where they have a dedicated Person to do the online stuff.

    I think it’s a great idea however what you find is that unlike a webmaster that just needs to know how to run a website your social media person needs to know your business, needs to know the facts and be involved. They are more of a virtual spokes person than a web site master
    arkiehotrods and chryslerfan55 like this.
  3. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 1,052


    There are younger guys in the hobby surely but there is more older guys which is fine for now . The problem will come when there is a economic down turn that coincides with the older set looking to sell some of the cars. Going forward social media will be a huge part of everything but at times as with any marketing it may not be enough .I'm thinking there will be a lot of supply around which will bring down prices [ good for us that just want to drive them] .It may put a gap in the need for sales of newly built cars and major parts ,engines,trans,ect but small parts and services should be fine as new owners make cars " theirs". It may be a bumpy road for the hobby but it will bounce back. When it happens just get your shopping list ready. I don't see any real fear of this hobby going away.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. Social media is a curse & a blessing with any business both large & small it has definitely had a huge impact on on how business is done, look at Sears and how they were a giant in retail but in todays world online shopping hastened the demise of the retail empire.

    We are living in a different world today than when most of us grew up, whether we like it or not.

    As for the car enthusiast, printed media has taken a hard hit with many titles been taken out due to social medias domination but other print has actually survived with their creative advertising & subscription offerings and even grown stronger, the Rodders Journal comes to mind. HRP
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020

  5. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 715

    from TX

    I still think sears dropped the ball when they did not join online shopping.
    At the same time, 1964 was 55 years ago. Like it or not, the crowd for this site is going to continue to shrink. Until there is nobody left to post.
    Like sears dropping the ball, this site really has no future and will pass into the fog like sears.
    Just my opinion, maybe 5 or 10 years, but it will change also.
    Sure is a lot of great info here.
  6. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,760


    #1 IMO Yes, It has helped with parts shopping, acquiring knowledge, YouTube Video is outstanding, making contacts/friends like the HAMB #2 I enjoy participating on social media #3 Now retired and my business did not require social media to be in business but was computer savvy, CadCam CNC machines, etc. #3 Depending on the business you chose today, IMO it's a Definite Necessity to spread the word on your craft/services (your own website) and it provides many ways/services to check on your customers/vendors credit/references etc. Like many I miss the old days, NO cell phones/internet/computers/ etc., a simpler way of life, less population/crime/drugs, BUT none of that is ever coming back, SO...... we have to adapt to today as I did with my life, business all through the years. Change or perish IMO
  7. This great start to the discussion keep the comments coming.
  8. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,230

    from Ioway

    What's a "social media"? You mean the internet?
  9. oldsfrench
    Joined: Jan 26, 2018
    Posts: 242

    from France

    I am 51.
    I hate all this social mtherfuker. .
    All of them spy all your life
    Ggggle is the number one i hate. ..
  10. #1 - yes helped - I mean, do you think the HAMB has helped the hobby? You know how everyone says "needs photos" ? Well Insta is almost all photos, how good is that! Instagram in particular I can send a photo of a cool hotrod to my kids for example. I am interested in early motorcycles, I have just found a few people hot rodding pre 1920 Hendersons, how cool is that? It's like the little pages for any niche you can imagine.

    #2 - I am a real estate agent, I do my own social media. So that makes me take time out of my day to stop and take a photo of the beach or whatever, which is really about stopping to smell the roses, so I figure that's got to be good for me! I try to keep my "House" photos in a lower ratio to my "lifestyle / community "photos. That includes hot rod shows, cool cars I see, sometimes my project, and other stuff I am up to. It is also a vehicle to promote my local area which I love regardless of my career. check me out paul.thompson.realway on Instagram, say hi while you are there! :)

    #3 - DIY 100%. Photo on my phone, straight to Insta, done. I do spend more time on some of them though. My approach is social is more networking than straight advertising. You get to see I am into ie old cars, bikes, border collies, I live in the bush, work at the beach, do long hours sometimes, support local business etc. If you have those things in common, would you call me when you need a realtor? Same thing might go for your business.
    Last week I uploaded a dashcam video of a kangaroo jumping across the street in front of me; sometimes it's a pic of something old I found in the shed. Pretty random, but that's what makes it real. I think this can work for most industries too.
    It is about being transparent, I believe there is an authenticity in it, you can tell if someone is a dickhead pretty quickly, and if they do fool you with a false facade, you will work it out before long and drop them real quick.

    To come back to topic, for me socials feed me cool pics during my work day to keep me sane; let me market myself in an inexpensive (for now) way; and actually connect with them; I can see what people are up to globally in my little niche (Ford Customline), it helps me find people I want to do business with also.

    check out these instagram handles - polishedslots - fully HAMB friendly
    and hard.metal. 80% HAMB and you will likely love the other 20% too.
    These guys make my day, and still have fresh old images even if you are a long term internet car junkie. Have a look and see if you think this is helping the culture.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,897


    Sears screwed their own goose before Amazon was even started as did more outfits that dropped commissioned sales people and went to the K mart mode of a couple of kids with no product knowledge in a department acting mostly as just check out clerks. We went in Sears three years ago to buy a big screen TV they had advertised. No sales clerk in the department and five customers standing around hoping someone would shows up to sell us one. No go, We left and went out to the other side of Town to Fred Meyers. As soon as we walked in to the area of the TV sets in the electronic dept a young man came over and asked if he could help. We said we were looking for a tv with about a 46 inch screen. He says "we have this one and this one for _____ & ________ or if you don't mind last years model I have a Toshiba in the back that we can make a great price on. Sold it to us for less than half of the original price and loaded it in the car for us. . That is why Sears went down the crapper lack of customer service for a clientele who went there because of customer service. Remember they were one of the biggest mail order retailers on the world for over 80 years.
    Desoto291Hemi, jimgoetz, jvo and 2 others like this.
  12. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,048

    from oregon

    I was a late adopter to the whole technology thing (internet) and as far as social media the HAMB is the first (probably only) involvement I will ever have. I actually lurked for a long time because I didn't want to subject myself to a lot of what I was seeing (old HAMB).
    Not long after I did start using the internet and hearing all the different negative stories surrounding it I coined a term (not original though I'm sure) "The good news is.....there's the internet, the bad news is.....there's the internet".
    The more I read how the dirtbags of the world are abusing the technology the more I'm a believer in the later (bad news).

    But what's a guy to do!
    jimgoetz likes this.
  13. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 715

    from TX

    I remember sitting in the outhouse reading the sears catalog ... of course then I was looking at the girls.
    Sears was so perfect to transform from mail order to on-line order ... they just did not keep up with the times.
    Desoto291Hemi and nochop like this.
  14. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,223

    ramblin dan

    I think if I were honest with myself even though I do very little social media such as facebook and the like, I do find a lot of my parts online. Sometimes new or from guys who have parts after a build no longer needed. I look at Hamb very regular and am grateful for all the knowledge passed from it's members to guys like me who are sometimes are afraid some of my questions would seem dumb. I think I'm going to have to get a bumper sticker for my project car that says the car that Ebay built. Not that I don't go treasure hunting at swap meets and garage sales. My guess is a lot more guys would find it much harder and might lose interest in projects quicker if it wasn't for social media and online shopping making it easier to get the parts they are looking for. I guess the fact that we are online having this discussion no matter what ages are, kind of answers the question.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,897


    As far as the original question goes, I'd say social media has helped hot rodding a ton along with providing groups for every automotive interest and most sub interests.
    There is a FB group for every kind of motor enthusiast out there no matter what the vehicle is, the mods or lack of mods or what not. No matter where you live or what car you have or what you want to do with it there is a group of people with like interests. Just like here though some join a group and their ideas don't jive with the group and they get their nose out of joint.

    The main thing is that guys and gals are out there building or redoing cars even though they don't jive with what we like here and don't jive at all with most of us old farts liked in the 50's or 60's. Who would have thought that some of those sedans we scrapped just because we wanted the engine in the early 60's would have a real following now.
    wicarnut likes this.
  16. HemiTCoupe
    Joined: Apr 4, 2013
    Posts: 217

    from TN.

    I use the internet to buy most of my things, I live in the mountains of east TN, and it's 45-60 miles to get to Knoxville, 145 miles to Nashville. I usually go to Crossville 43 miles away, but I can't get what I need there, so it's the internet. I always buy from "free shipping" places when ever I can.

    I read everything on-line now, there is no good mag to get anymore.

    I have to watch myself on FB, I was locked out for a month, and I am on probation with them now for the past 6 weeks! Funny thing is, you can't find out why, or ask how long for. All I can do is read & make comments on there right now. I'm still not safe! LOL I guess I added more time to it, a couple of days ago. A guy asked to rate his 40's ratrod truck, on a S10 chassis. One guy said he loved it! I asked how the hell can you tell, with a women with a dress on, sitting on the engine with the scoop between her legs. I said you can only see the out line of the cab top, and a rusted grille, and front tires on ifs! He then posted a side shot for me. I said "Yup!" a turd with lipstick on. I said as far as I think, ratrods are like rap music, music for those that can't sing!

    Anyone can report you for something "they" don't like you said on FB about anything, and get you screwed! Trust me, I know, but don't know why! Someday I'll be able to read those 87 notification & 8 messages I have sitting there! LOL

    Hell! The wife & I don't even own a cell phone! How many of you can say that! I have a answering machine, leave a message, and maybe I'll call you back! You aren't going to follow us around everywhere!

    Desoto291Hemi, redoxide and trollst like this.
  17. I think social media has helped.

    As far as the business end of things for me the social media certainly helps drive people towards a business but in my eyes the biggest downfall of most small businesses are shitty websites once the customer has found you. Social media has pushed me to your business then when I get there you have no information/pricing, I can't order online, the site looks like it was made at the dawn of the internet, never gets updated (coming soon pages that are the same for months on end), emails take days to be answered etc. Any of these occur and I immediately look elsewhere.

    This industry still seems to cling onto the notion that customers are always going to call if they really want to do business or find out info and that is not the case for younger people these days when there are plenty of other sources that accommodate online purchases/info and if you refuse to acknowledge that and adapt your business to suit you will not last long.
    customline3859 and jvo like this.
  18. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,826

    from Wa.

    My computer is in a wooden box, hangs on the wall and has a crank on the side but I manage to keep up.
    41 GMC K-18, greener200 and 49ratfink like this.
  19. Deescott
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 238


    Social media is just a must for any business. Unless you grow your business slowly and locally, through word of mouth, you absolutely have to have it as most people just use google or social media to find goods and services. As far as hot rodding, social media is the best magazine, and it’s kinda neat to connect with people around the world with the same tastes as there are just not that many in Arizona. But, I could live without it for sure, and I would be doing what I do and like what I like, just as before the internet. It’s made hot rodding trendy with the dorks of the world. Its turned “traditional” hot rodding into a whole other thing, “new traditional”, where all the damn cars look the same. That’s my rant.
  20. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,222


    Social media is whatever you make it. Personally, I enjoy participating in several dedicated, special interest auto groups on FB. They are great places to network, share ideas, find parts, etc...
  21. I am sure that you strengthened the spread of hot rodding throughout the world. as an entertainment in which everyone can see photos of the meetings ... photos of the jobs of the shops. Ask questions, make purchases. etc. In social networks, the more friends you have, the easier it is to do business. There are people who are dedicated to position a company or brand in social networks ... Still after letting you know everyone if you are a small hot rods workshop ... There is one thing that does not change ... Your product or service has to be very good ... Your attention has to be very good .. If you have a long history that is something that can not be matched.

    Sent from my Mi A1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Unique Rustorations likes this.
  22. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,836

    from norcal

    You ask that question here?.....
    Asphalt Demon likes this.
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,048

    from oregon

    I can!
    Right there with you on that.
    My wife has one of those frick'n things and it either isn't on when I want to talk to her or there's a dead spot in the reception, always something seems like.
    Now where did I put my smoke signal machine.
    Desoto291Hemi and HemiTCoupe like this.
  24. Ahh I forgot... All you guys are invited to my house... I'm from Argentina... Maybe do you like Tango? or a good Argentinien meat... We had cars too!!

    Sent from my Mi A1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 546

    from Alabama

    I use the internet, email and text messages. Beyond that no Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media. I have no need to know what everyone is doing every second of their lives nor do I have any need to tell anyone what I am doing. People are slaves to their damn phones. Can hardly have a conversation any more without people checking their phones. Was in a restaurant the other night and a whole family was sitting at a table all looking or messing with their phones. Didn’t even put away their phone to eat.
  26. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 549

    Early Ironman

    You are on social media right now. It’s just not the annoying way too much personal information variety.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    rockable likes this.
  27. Early Ironman likes this.
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,564


    The HAMB is one great source of information and friendships. The iPhone people and their world are totally foreign to me, and see no reason the join it.

  29. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,867

    Staff Member

    social media for the most part will be and is the ruination of the world as we knew it. I feel the world was a better place when you went over to your buddies place to find out what they were doing and to help them on their hot rod projects. Parts were found by scouring the junkyards and ads in Hemmings. I killed my cellphone last fall ( i told myself I was not going to be one of those people going thru life looking down at a device) and do not miss it one single bit. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to drive anywhere without being interrupted by a phone ringing. Texting was another annoyance that I no longer have to deal with. It seems like we are fostering a generation of people who are terrified to talk to people either on the phone or in person. I had a FB account and deleted it 5 years ago, I don't want to know that much about people and they sure as hell don't need to know that much about me. Just the amount of political ranting that goes on there is a good enough reason to stay away, let alone the amount of privacy you are giving up by your membership there....

    This place is an exception in my eyes mainly because of the narrow focus keeping the idiots out. There is for the most part a great group of people here and I look forward to seeing what people are building etc. But the old fashioned part of me (that is a really big part lol) wishes I could just drive over and see for myself and give you a hand.....
  30. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,653

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Interesting point was raised here. Exactly what will be the future of this site in ten years. I’d guess over half of us will no longer be here. At an alarming rate.
    Has the influx of young people kept up with the loss ? Will Ryan be financially capable and still be want to maintain the H.A.M.B. as we know it??

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