“Today we can enjoy the story of an interesting CHB reader, who has the aim to involve the youth in this wonderfully mad car world. CHB totally agrees with CSR, let’s make 2016 an outstanding year with new chances. Let’s especially give the youth a place on the vintage and classic automotive stage. To me it was not that hard to earn a spot in this lovely car world and to get access to an incredible little vintage racer. Unfortunately not everyone can achieve this in such a short time, so let’s make sure every petrol head gets chances. That sounds perhaps a bit arrogant and charitable at the same time… haha, forgive me it’s Christmas and you know, I always have nothing but good intensions : )”

When I pick up a classic car magazine, I either turn to the events section, or to see what has been happening in the staff fleet. Finding out what other people do to use and maintain their older cars on a regular basis is heartening. Those of us who are fortunate enough and do use these elderly machines have all made accommodations for practicality and safety; fitting LED bulbs to strengthen a 356’s 6-volt system for example.

One of the joys for me of using these cars on a regular basis is that the rest of the world gets to see them, and in some way experience them. Apart from the overbearing know-it-alls (often fathers in front of their children) I have experienced happiness and enthusiasm, let a six-year-old kid sit behind the wheel of a classic car and they’ll be happy for weeks. Let a teenager ride along for an afternoon and you’ve set up a classic car fanatic for life, how many of us can attribute our love of cars to something that happened when we were 9 or a teenager?

But we need to do more to promote and encourage younger people’s activities in older cars. As the costs of ownership continue to rise, opportunities to learn about working on your own cars are rapidly diminishing. Likewise the age old challenge of weekends with family versus weekends with cars. The challenges of income and time make it harder and harder for the next generations.

We need to find ways to offer simpler shorter events but also workshops and seminars. There are fabulous rallies around the world, but few have the time or means to participate in the Mille Miglia. Likewise, few can take the time (nor do they need) to spend two years at a technical institute. But we would all benefit from workshops and sharing experiences. Classic car magazines and clubs are ideally placed to sponsor such events. For example, instead of (dare I say ‘yet another’?) track days, how about a race prep workshop? Get a few of the experts we all know to offer some hands on sessions for simple mechanical work; for example a workshop on preparing your car for a tour or race weekend. Some members of the American Bugatti Club discussed making videos of this a few years ago.

As wonderful as the big conours events are, and such rallies as the Highland Malts in the UK or the Colorado Grand, they remain exclusive. There is nothing wrong with that, but why not offer a partner day where enthusiasts who don’t have a car get partnered with someone who does, and get to experience a day in an E type or Bugatti. We shouldn’t give away these cars, but we can and should make them more accessible.

Written by CSR