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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #92: Gates and ladders-all the ways old people kill young enthusiasm | Hagerty Media

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from my father and an anonymous psychiatrist. From Dad I learned that "People do what they want to do, and what they say they want isn't important." From the infamous Internet blogger "The Last Psychiatrist" I learned that "You're not a 'good person' because you have good intentions.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-92-gates-and-ladders-all-t...
357 REPLIES 357
Rick52
Pit Crew

What a horrible article. I had visions of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, someone with a nice car who otherwise hates the rest of the world. Fortunately, I have experienced none of what was “imagined “ in this article.
Spuds
Advanced Driver

Great article! Look at all the comments.My final take is some people have good manners and some are jerks like coal rollers that are just hateful fools on the street.
Everywhere I go in my 67 Jeepster or 59 VW transporter is a 1 vehicle car show.Everybody has a story and I listen to them all and sometimes I just want to be left alone.But good manners is showing respect to others and Ive met many awesome people,so its good.
Shame to see the ICE hobby is over,but its inevitable IMO.
FatBabyDriver
Intermediate Driver

Last night I helped my stepson prep his V6 Mustang for his first autocross this weekend. I'm doing my part!
Reinout
New Driver

Thank you Jack for a great article. You mak every good points and I learned a lot. Based on the number of 'negative' comments it appears that there are a lot of readers who didn't get any of it, though.
Tinkerah
Technician

I endorse every mod I see whether I like it or not. I used to be confused by the weird things the tuners were doing to their Hondas until I was challenged by one who gave me and my T-Bucket a real run for my money. It dawned on me in that moment that the kids are doing creative things to whatever they have access to to personalize them and sometimes wring astonishing power from teeny engines. The hot-rod spirit is alive and well whether we recognize it or not. However: I do draw the line at rolling coal. I can't seem to articulate what sets that particular act apart from a smoky burnout but I'm owning my hypocrisy.
bradleydad
Pit Crew

Perhaps you should write a positive article, for inspiration, on what some people and organizations are doing. During normal times, for example, we do Sunday drives at the museum where I volunteer (California Automobile Museum) and take folks for rides in some of our classic cars. (Folks are thrilled by it!) There are lots and lots of kids who are fascinated to see my Model A around town. I've been doing "drive bys"for birthday parties while people can't gather for parties. I take folks out in my classic Mercedes for anniversaries and such.
We aren't all the cool guys at gatherings who think they have the coolest car ever. Some of us just love old cars and their place in history.
Mrmotor9
New Driver

Jack;
I don't know what you do/did for a career but you are wasting your time. That is the best article on the subject I have ever seen. Yes I am guilty of some of the offenses mentioned, but I am going to print itout and put it on my shop wall to remember it.

Thanks Milt
PS my first car was a ugly 47 chevy sedan with a Olds in it
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Very kind of you to say --- thank you!

Spuds
Advanced Driver

Agree,great comment.'Be nice' in a nutshell.....
Rider79
Instructor

Good article. Sadly, there is a lot of truth in it. It has made me think about what I will say during the cars shows to come this year, and try to ensure that I don't exhibit any of these off-putting behaviors. I don't want my often self-centered (let's be honest here) Baby Boomer generation to be known as the one that basically ended collector car enthusiasm.
dirkfathom
Intermediate Driver

Spot on and damn near any over 40 dude is guilty of some aspect of this behavior. It's a good reminder to drop the back in my day routine. We didn't like it from the boomers and it's no better from us.
HoustonNurse
Pit Crew

Considering the vast majority of minivans and compact econoboxes have more HP than the "classic" muscle cars of the late 70s and 80s, blustering about them seems comical at times..... More than a few times, I have had a young person beaming with pride over a car I would never want and yet I was happy for them and congratulated them. It's sad to see the "purists" at Cars and Coffee sneering down at them... Many even do it to me and my 2005 Corvette Survivor..... but I ALWAYS have a positive reaction for anyone.. and offer my "services" if they need a tip or idea... but some of these kids have oodles of money that we didn't... it's time we were happy for other's success and happiness...........
Servicefiter562
Pit Crew

Wow this article sure stirred up the crowd.
I personally prefer car gatherings to actual car shows. I didn’t buy my car to win trophies I bought it to drive and enjoy the hell out of it. I have a C4 ZR1 and I always hear people telling the people they are with things about my car that are so far from the truth it’s hilarious. I guess I could correct them but I doubt they would believe me. Hell I guess finally at 61 years old it’s not that important to me that I have to correct them. If someone actually asks I’ll go as deep as they want.
I guess I’m lucky the place I go every type of vehicle shows up and it seems everyone who takes the time to stop and look finds something they like. I like talking to the younger guys they have the same passion I do just different taste. Their enthusiasm reminds me why I have always loved cars. All of em.
Jimmyo
New Driver

I don't think he's wrong. I've seen this behavior and I've seen people go out of their way to be helpful to people who are new to a particular car. How many people crap all over someone when they ask about doing things on a budget? When they don't have the most desirable year and model of a car? When they don't have the right tools? If you want to know where the younger people have gone, it's to the "sh--tbox" world. They pride themselves on having the worst car, and keeping it going using spit and zip-ties. Breaking down on the road and fixing it with a leatherman tool and stuff they found on the roadside is a badge of honor. Rat rods also were a reaction to young car lovers feeling like they are being boxed out of the hobby. Nobody likes to think they contributed to "gates and ladders" but keep in mind the next time a young hobbyist ask your advice and you answer that they need some really expensive gear and parts to "do it the right way". Or you tell them they brought the wrong car. Remember most of us were once that kid lying in a slush puddle tying up their muffler with a strip of aluminum cut from a soda can.
Murrad716
New Driver

Well written and spot on. Got my first 911 (996.2 C2 cab 6mt) 7 years ago at age 45 and joined the PCA. Wanted a 911 since the days of having the 930 turbo poster on the wall as a kid, was so excited! Didn’t know my 911 wasn’t the generation worthy of being talked to at coffee gatherings or my first few Autocross and DE events. All kinds of gates and ladders there, still is after seven years of membership and now having a 997.1 turbo (still cab 😉 ) The car enthusiast hobby will die for the most part in my lifetime for all the reasons you mentioned. Unsure my generation or my father’s, has the sense to take action in the positive ways you write about until it’s too late. I for one will seek out that modded Civic, Focus or GTI and be sure I bridge the gap.
TingeofGinge
Pit Crew

Should there be a distinction between people who see a vehicle as an inherently valuable item and those who see it as something akin to jewelry or decoration? I'd argue that people who intentionally make their cars /less/ functional (stance, bro-dozers, etc) aren't really automotive enthusiasts, but are more akin to something like bandwagoners. I say we'd be hard-pressed to argue that they're "car" enthusiasts when they seem to have no interest in highlighting or optimizing (or even maintaining) what makes a car a car.

I don't think anyone would equate the person who spends hours work on their car, driving their car, caring for their car, and contributing to their local scene to the person who slaps a set of eBay coil overs and camber plates on their 05 Jetta for the social media clout. Surely Mr. Baruth can opine on the rising influence of social media clout on today's car culture...
NewtyNewt
Pit Crew

anhedonia really. At least the writer didn't use nihilism. I did like the ink art put down reference in the article. Too funny.
hyperv6
Gearhead

You know after reading this you needs to really look at the history of the hobby and how society has changed.

Ok strap in and hold on.

#1 if you are going into the automotive hobby put on you big boy pants. People with positive or engine critic of cars has been around from day one. It is often what drives us to build better cars.

#2 the greatest loss of the young people are mostly due to the change in their own social system for several reasons. Years ago we used to have to have cars to get out and our cars were our shield that represented who we were. Today kids use cell phones and PS4 to socialize and many never leave home.

#3 even the kids that love cars today they can’t afford what they really want or they can afford it.

#4 Society as a whole has taken a vehicle and changed it from a social status to an appliance. Utility is more important than style. Safety and mpg have replaced performance.

#5 some schools have made vehicles evil with their green teaching. The car is a villain in their eyes due to progressive Green teaching.

#6 the cruise ins are still there but the youngest people are 50 years old and the older folks go home by 8 pm before it gets dark.

When I got into cars it was do to my own love for cars. My dad was into computers and really could not check oil. I did have some older guys next door that raced. I started by helping them. They got us a go cart that was a VW chassis to drive at 12 years old. I learned how to pull rear gears how to assemble and disassemble a small block Chevy. I learned much and now with my job I help the, on their projects today with parts.

I got dirty and got yo spend every weekend at the track. My father let me go and get dirty as he saw the value in me following my love. His contribution was letting me go.

I also went to s hood for auto shop. I took all the hard jobs like clutch and engine work. I worked at a gas station that did service work. It was one of the last that did so in my area. I added to my knowledge and skills.

I got my own cars. My first was a 63 Galaxie 500 sedan. Not a cool car. But with some work and a cool set of Ansen period correct wheels and better tires it was a cool low sitting ride. I worked my up to muscle cars that at the time were cheap and still in good condition in the 80’s. I was buying tri power set ups for $90 for a GTO. It was a good time for a car kid.

While some want to Blame the older gen the truth is I faced the same critic when I was a kid. So suck it up. You are not going to please everyone.

As for cool available cars I agree it is tougher to modify and buy but if you really want to you still can.

The real trouble is most kids just don’t want the same things we do. They also are not willing as often to work for these things as other things they like are more value.

My son hold a interest in a cool car from time to time but would rather spend the money on a new PS5.

Also it is hard for me to share my car as because he is under 25 and not permitted to drive my car due to insurance. I understand why but it is hard to bring desire with no real seat time.

The real truth is there are a number of older car guys still out there that if a younger kid with passion for cars wanted to learn we would gladly teach or help them. The real trouble is the lack of true students in the way I came up.

I don’t blame the kids either as they just chose a different way. Not only did they skip cars but they skipped the food courts and malls. They skipped many things past gens did. Just watch Ridgemont High and see how it was then and see how it is now. They chose a much different path. Nothing wrong or right just their choice.

As of now there are still some car kids. If they want to learn they just need to seek the same kind of older car guys out. Offer to help if they will teach them. Keep their eyes open and mouth shut and learn. This is a s hood not a social program. Also nut up and learn to take the hood and bad of what people say. Often the critic I got saved me from doing something I would regret later.

I expect the auto hobby to survive but it will be smaller and more tech based. In fact Electric for all its not will bring back performance at more affordable prices. I envision these tech kids putting in better batteries. Reprogramming you make them faster and better. No emissions laws to hold you back. Just look at kids with RC cars and apply that to the next level up.

If there is going to be a future car culture it will come down to the kids of the future. They have yo want it bad enough to go after it. If they do great if not that is their choice and we had our time and all good things do come to an end. We never did what many past gens did with horses as time moved on.
70sKid
Pit Crew

It's hard to imagine any other other comments made in response to Mr. Baruth's piece that will top this one (that certainly includes my own). Talk about nailing it.
knucklebusted
Intermediate Driver

As far as I can tell, I'm guilty of hating one group: The coal-rollers. That obnoxious bunch did it to me on a motorcycle more than a few times and I'd like to see those nasty things detonated with a lump of C4 on the oil pan.

While I'm not a fan of the huge, multilevel wings on the rear for FWD cars, I don't tell the owner that.
BellShapedCurve
New Driver

What a pitiful self-indulgent load of nonsense this is. It’s all about one person’s uninformed opinions of his pseudo-utopian world of speed and hydrocarbon excess. Your tine has come and gone yet you choose to remain in the past. In 15 years you’re going to have a hard time finding a gas station. Look at what ALL the vehicle manufacturers are saying and doing. Don’t you read?
70sKid
Pit Crew

As a car guy, it's hard to give this a "like". But I'm upvoting it because I agree with the general sentiment. I can see the writing on the wall and fully realize that I, like my car, am a modern dinosaur. For the time being however, I need Hagerty and Hagerty needs me. As to Mr. Baruth, well apparently Hagerty thinks that they need him as well (I'm assuming that he's being paid to write for them).
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

If there is one thing I learned working for the dealers and OEMs over the course of a decade it is this: The one thing you can GUARANTEE won't happen 15 years from now is whatever the OEMs are saying will happen.
Texas
New Driver

I’m 31 and rebuilt an old Chevelle on a shoestring budget (I make way less than what this article mentioned) in a little one car garage all by myself over 15 months. Consisting of bare metaling the entire car, learning how to weld and use body hammers with dollies to fix all the rust and sketchy 80’s body work, rewiring the entire car, finding an old vintage air system and figuring out what parts I needed to get it to work over 9 months, rebuilt the 454 all the way down to the cam, put in a shift kit, and even repainted it using super deadly paint in my one car garage using harbor fright led strip lighting and the purple gun. Weeks of block sanding each coat of primer to make it perfect, even redoing the entire interior since I was tired of being embarrassed of hearing old timers with their sweet a/c cobras and six pack hemis talk down about my Chevelle at cars and coffee meets. But the point I want to make is it’s possible to do this and go the old hot rodder way, it’s just you’ll have to pretty much lone wolf it and be happy with it in the end. I just know now my Chevelle will eat any of their cars alive if given the shot, and it definitely tickles me to death.
Mcompact
New Driver

Overall I have to agree; I've tried to be accepting of different automotive tastes and modifications(although sometimes the best I can do is bite my tongue). That said, I think a greater threat comes from outside our enthusiast circles- this fascist, for example...

I had been reading a discussion where someone went off on a rant about people owning full-sized pickup trucks. I simply responded:

"My overriding vehicular ownership philosophy is: What car or truck I choose to drive is absolutely none of your business. I won’t try to dictate what you should drive, and all I ask is that you accord me the same courtesy."

Our internet fascist then weighed in with the following:

"And my overriding vehicular ownership philosophy is: If you want to own and use a car on a regular basis that poses a massive risk to other people’s health and safety above and beyond what’s unavoidable, than you should be made to bleed money through your nose for your being a sociopath.
But yeah, other people’s safety is none of their business - in the mind of a hedonist for whom other people are cattle on a good day and live game on a bad one.
Talking about courtesy when you want the right to recklessly endanger other people is about as nauseating as it gets. You clearly have no idea what risks these cars pose based on size and distribution of mass alone."
I suspect that this joker has been terribly bitter ever since the Berlin Wall fell- forever eradicating his chances to join the East German secret police...

PowerWagonbuild
New Driver

Wow, I didn't know Jay Leno littered, smoked cigarettes and listened to Toby Keith. This article is self centered and garbage. All the real car builders I know are ready to include everyone, regardless of age, etc, in the "group".
67CougGuy
Pit Crew

Thank-you, Mr. Baruth !
Sadly, your eloquent treatise might have little positive effect on those 'players' who you've targeted with your message.

It seems obvious that the 'car hobby' should be wide-open to fully-enjoy by an enthusiast of any net worth, any social standing, any political or religious belief; and certainly of any age.

In my estimation, there will always be "Barricade Builders" in 'every area of our lives' (and I am not referring to "lawmakers", here) -- all of whom routinely detrimentally-affect that which they 'put their hand to'.

Hopefully, those folks whose routine efforts help the 'hobby' to prevail, will continue to "leave ladders-in-place", while generously "lubricating gate hinges".
JimFay
New Driver

Every generation has a new look: The 50's saw tail dragging "customs", the 60's saw whitewalls with no hub caps, in the 70's we jacked up the rear end like a drag car, 80's, 90's 2000's all had a look that the previous generation laughed at. And yet every generation kept the hobby going and in turn smirked at the next generation's interpretations. With another round of government regulations at our garage door, now is the time to approach and talk with any young kid who thinks he just re-incarnated his favorite NASCAR, NASA, SCCA, NHRA, or IMSA race car by putting stickers in the window, 5000 watts in the trunk or replacing the muffler with a "boom box" can. We were all dorks at some point in our "car careers" and look how automotively perfect we all turned out!
575041
New Driver

27 yr as a mechanic,14 as a high school auto/welding instructor.....has taught me much ...#1 do not poop on another guys rig...#2 if you comment on there rig,make sure its a positive one...#3 only help if help is asked for,but let them know you are there for them...enforce the rule of safety,brakes are good,steering/suspension good,no fuel leeks,tires are better than just holding air...seatbelts....for the most part...everything else can be whatever....as for driving fast...story is good..tell them of your times of speed and sweat behind the wheel....me i was not stupid...if i was over 100 mph..i was on a 4 lane at night no other cars then 1....and it was done and over in oh 1-2 min...i am in full agreement ,to many old guys just think they know it all...my dad called them gas bags...well said dad....as a hunter we are told to take a kid hunting...as a car guy...take a kid to a show or even better..take a kid for a drive in one of your dust collectors...
70sKid
Pit Crew

I'll admit to skipping through large chunks of this piece and nodding off during others, but generally speaking the old have always put up gates and ladders. If the youth of today aren't successfully maneuvering around these gates and ladders, I wouldn't blame it on the old who are acting as should be expected, but on the general lack of interest when it comes to the youth of today and the automotive industry. It's not just today's youth that are disinterested by the way. In addition, it's not just the automotive industry being impacted or that today's youth are lacking in passion, their passions are just being directed elsewhere. The remaining youth who are into cars are just fewer and farther between.

The thing that is hard to imagine is that none of this is going to matter in another decade or so. That old saying about death and taxes left out one other inevitable constant, and that is change. The gates are going to be applied anyone who loves internal combustion engines and it's going to happen a lot faster than any "car guy" can imagine. Timelines to ban the ICE are continually being pushed up around the world. My guess is that the bottom is going to fall out of the collector car market in the next 10 to 20 years, primarily because these cars will be seen as obsolete.

Various cars have seen their stars rise and fall with time, but cars in general were always buoyed by the fact that more were being made in the case of vehicles using the internal combustion engine. Soon enough, that will no longer be the case and when that happens, cars as we know them will join any number of other things that were once valuable before becoming obsolete. Aside from the car collectors themselves, the biggest losers in this inevitable scenario will surely include Hagerty and the other classic/collector car insurers out there. Instead of worrying about the remaining youth who are still into cars, unless your automotive passions include EV's, you'd be better off worrying about just how much time you have left to enjoy cars as you know them.
DailyDriver1969
New Driver

I appreciate the article because it touches on the very real problem of ladders and gates that permeate through too many car enthusiasts of a certain vintage in particular. There are plenty of younger snobs and gatekeepers as well, but the transfer of knowledge and appreciation of older cars is in danger of being lost on younger people. Few of my son's 20-somethings drive at all and prefer Uber and public transportation generally. They take little interest in our garage full of Detroit steel and chrome and that's sad to me. Like the author mentions, I have overheard plenty of criticisms and dings at car shows against cars that were only V-6's, less popular years and models, cars modified even slightly, or not 'frame-off' restorations, etc. It's usually guys who like to talk about the 'good old days' and criticize anything built after 1970. I wish I had a dime for every time I heard some yahoo reminded me my Corvair was 'unsafe at any speed' or I should have gotten the turbo. I agree that we need to do a better job of passing the torch, and being supportive, positive, and open to those trying to learn or earn their own classic, no matter where they are in their journey.
02-orignal-ownr
Detailer

In the spring of 1972, recently returned from Vietnam, I finished restoring my '48 Fiat Topolino coupe, rescued from a backyard before it could be turned into a Gasser dragster. I spent most of the summer being turned away from cars shows because they didn't have a class for "postwar" (that's WWII) cars. Since my '48 was identical body-wise with the prewar Topolinos, I could have entered it as a '38 and no one would have been the wiser. But I didn't, and remembered this treatment.

A few years later, I was at a car show where all imports were lumped into a single class, regardless of age or body style. My correctly restored Topo was thus in the same class with a rather raggedly 300LS M-B roadster--who took the trophy. During the judging I overheard one judge exclaim to the other, "We'll have to point this Fiat down because the headliner is made from seat upholstery material." At this point I had to intervene, and pointed out that the entire interior was original, and that in postwar Europe material shortages meant that they used what they had to keep the production line from stopping. My car was built for export to either Belgium or the Netherlands, and was exported with no tires or light bulbs due to shortages of both in Italy. It came to me with Dutch Englebert tires and Phillips light bulbs--and a Belgian coin under the floormats.

I learned my lessons from these (and many other) incidents, and at our club shows and cruise-ins, there are classes and spaces for all car enthusiasts, regardless of age or interest. And we all have fun learning from each other.

PS--I will admit to one bit of snobbery--as the owner of a pre-1974 BMW 2002, I still tease my friends with later Bimmers that "real BMWs have round tail lights."
daveviggiano
New Driver

Jack B.,
Thanks for the insightful article. I'm 71 years young.
These days I can't even afford an old car or truck to play with. I'm tired of Boomers pricing an old car worth $2500. at $10K because . .. "if you restore it it's worth $50K!"
To that I say, "okay why don't you restore it?"
OCULUSNY
Intermediate Driver

Or, we just have to sit and wait for all those spare ECUs to run out.
End of story.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

That's the one thing about which I don't worry. I've been running a generic ECU on my Neon race car since 2015; that's how you make a 2.4L minivan motor turn in a car that never expected to see it. You can duplicate Ford's EEC-V with ten bucks' worth of hardware. All the trickery of the old ECUs was in getting sophisticated behavior with the extremely limited selection of automotive-grade (meaning heat-and-cold) chips available at the time. 

TA76
Intermediate Driver

I'm past 65 and none of this applies to me or my friends. Also on a cost adjusted basis that 30 year makes more than I did at that age. Not of fan of euro sport cars but I appreciate that people like them. people doing stupid and dangerous things in traffic - I have never ben a fan of. On the open highway as long as they are in control not a problem. I have met a lot of young people who have jobs work hard so they can play with their vehicles. Unfortunately met more that don't work, and mommy & daddy pay for everything that just put loud mufflers on slow cars. Easier to look cool than really be cool. JMHO
erne75
Intermediate Driver

If ICE cars and eventually all cars are gonna be taken off the road, it is because Government tendency for totalitarian control and nothing to do with hypocrisy from older car enthusiasts. It definitively doesnt have anything to do with reducing pollution or saving the planet from the mythical "Global Warming" or whatever they are calling it these days. It is all about the unavoidable march toward tyranny that all governments, including our once great Republic, are prone to eventually do. It is about curtailing liberty and freedom of movement of which the individually privately owned cars are a symbol. In their own words: "You are gonna own nothing and you are gonna be happy" (or else!)
JimmyL
Pit Crew

I notice a lot of comments that say this is a bogus article, but I dare any of they naysayers to go to any "parking lot show" and NOT see how they segregate themselves into groups by make, model, and style of cars/bikes. You will also see the if a muscle car guy goes over to the ricer area of the lot he will then be shunned by his fellow muscle car guys. This happens even at the track. I myself am a old school muscle car guy, but I make a point of going over to ricers, low riders whatever and see what the are doing. Fun to talk with them and am always amazed at the cars and the engineering they bring to their sid eof the street. We can all learn from each other no matter what kind or style of cars you like. It is still a car and part of our life style whether we like it or not.

Thanks for the well written article, and the time you spent writing it.
MReed2897
New Driver

Been guilty of both in the past....The only effort I know of to address access to motorsports is the "Genius Garage" guy. For a positive influnce....The "cafe racer" craze in the motorcycle community has been a relatively low cost way for new gearheads to learn skills and get a start to wrenching on old bikes no one wants. Only 1 ladder I will keep pulled up....drinking and driving.
Carbonara
New Driver

Jack Baruth's inane comment "..before we decided to turn off the global economy on a whim" is woefully misguided and renders this otherwise weak piece totally absurd. Hagery most certainly erred in publishing it.
Swamibob
Instructor

Now that's funny! 🙂 Perhaps Mr. Baruth's writing isn't your cup of tea?

ModelT
Advanced Driver


For some reason my comments won't work. This not in order and may not work.
Not braggin but I had 100's of trophies collecting dust, paint overspray, and taking up space. Some just because my car was the only one in it's class or wasn't a red '57 Chevy convertible. In the beginning, a 1955 Chevy 2-dr wagon was different and wasn't cool. That's what made it kool to me!
When we had to make a quick move from Florida back to Illinoiz I brought one trophy. We got it during Turkey Rod Run while at a Hardee's cruise. It's a 911 trophy given by the local Ormond Beach fire department, most likely just because it's a red station wagon and maybe the only wagon there.
That one trophy carries all the memories of all the car shows we've attended since my first back in the 70's. For the most part, I didn't enter shows and most places were show and shine with no trophy given. Just fun, large and small, events to drive to, talk, and look at cars of all shapes, types, and colors.
My first show with the newly completed restomod '55 Chevy handyman wagon, I entered the 'special interest' class. I knew I had no chance in the shoebox class. It was red but not a shiny red '57 Chevy convertible.
We were up against kit cars and small rail jobs that had never been driven. Kustoms and other modified vehicles that basically had no other class. We didn't stand a chance! It was Father's Day and I didn't care. It made it to the show. I was only hoping it would make it back home.

There was that newly pro-restored 1964 Impala convertible, rolled off an enclosed trailer and carefully driven 50' across the grass, parked next to my home built '55 210 wagon with Nomad quarters painted with a cheap Sears sprayer in my dusty garage.
Yes, I welded on '55 Nomad quarter panels to replace the rusted out '55 Chevy wheel openings. I even painted it Corvette red and Nisson super white in '55 Bel Air style. Unlike that '64 Impala braggart, who did nothing but pay to have his car built! He planned on getting first in that special interest class, rather than compete in his own '60's class. Sneaky, like I was. I didn't know the man but I was already disliking him!
It was the first time on the road after I spent years building what I called our minivan wanna be. The window trim and dividers were flat black like new mini vans were.
I hadn't planned on entering the car show but it was cheaper and safer than parking in general admission. As the trophies were handed out, we were walking to the car to leave. By the time 3rd and 2nd were handed out, we were loaded and the engine was running. My son ran up and got the trophy. The guy with the '64 Chevy convertible p***ed and moaned and couldn't understand why a stinkin station wagon built in a home garage beat him! I almost gave him my trophy but my son and wife wouldn't let me!
We got trophies at many events. Yes, most were charity events, the only reasons I entered. Won some, lost some. The most fun I had was arguing about my handyman wagon not being a Nomad!
tttm1
New Driver

So I’m just sitting in my garage looking at my big block Monte Carlo and my old G35, both of which I love to take out and drive on nice sunny days, I have the “G” to do lap days with my son who has a RX8, although I’m going to try the monte this summer. I feel that’s it very important that we encourage the younger generation’s interest in automotive pursuits. As a father I have always stood behind his racing (karts and now iracing now too). Great article.
MakoVette
New Driver

Bravo! Accurate and well written. This needs to be published in all the old guy car rags/blogs to spread the word and force a much needed conversation.

I have shared this article with my motor head pals. While I suspect most will nod their grey haired heads sagely and agree, a few lightning bolts are inevitable, which is a good thing.
ChevyDave
Intermediate Driver

To all the White Knights:
Your experience or point of view does not erase nor marginalize the experience of others.
Your experience or point of view does not erase nor marginalize the experience of others.
Yes, I meant to write that twice.
I am thrilled that you’ve never exhibited the behavior - nor had the types of thoughts - Jack writes about.
But that does not mean they don’t exist and that you can deny their existence. Jack himself has admitted to them and other comments have described being targets of them, so yeah, they’re a thing.
To say this type of behavior doesn’t exist is like telling a racial minority that racism doesn’t exist because you don’t practice it and have never witnessed it personally.
So do the hobby a favor; accept the fact that this exists for some people in some parts of the hobby and commit yourself to correcting it if you see it being practiced.
tolyarutunoff
New Driver

absolutely right as usual...I can smugly say that I encourage anybody with car enthusiasm for that very enthusiasm, no matter how it is expressed...re going really fast on a deserted highway: I do that occasionally and any reticence I have is at the potential time spent talking cars with a highway patrolman while he explains why he's only going to give me a warning. you think the 'deputy sheriff's association' plate or the patrol association sticker on the rear side window might have anything to do with that?
BMD4800
Instructor

Well stated.

I’m certainly guilty of this and am actively working to encourage youth, even if I don’t agree with their tastes.

Much of the pushback here can be traced through other comments to see their own biases. Sadly, they really are only hurting themselves. There is a whole world of fun out there, if one is willing to look.

As to politics...oh that 300lbs gorilla that offends. Face it, much of our hobby is in the crosshairs. EVs, limited use certificates, etc are likely future realities. But, to dismiss the politics of this is exceptionally foolish.

My anecdote: I will paraphrase and be kind of vague because my buddy still races with these folks. I moved to the south east, brought my late 70/early 80s domestic midsize with me. It’s one of those that platform shares and there is TONS of performance parts. I didn’t know much about making a race car, I just built a car for my enjoyment and the through trial and error built a nice car. My buddy drove and begged me to come to open track day at a well known road course. He raced a BMW in a club. I went, everything was cool, tech was safety based, I drove a couple laps with him before letting it hang out. I felt like a superhero, it was great. Most folks were nice, a few scoffers, nothing big. Then he took it out. Again, I went there ONCE. He proceeded to post some (evidently) ridiculous times for what the car was and class it could compete in. That’s when all hell broke loose. A couple Porsche racers came over and started making comments, got the track officials to kick me out. Their beef was my car didn’t have all the class requirements (dyno sheet, newer style engine, tires were wrong, etc), and it wasn’t painted. Yeah, I had some mismatch painted panels and areas of primer. That was on purpose, but whatever. My buddy and another racer in his group protested that it was an open track day and my car passed all safety tech. It was fine when some dumb western hillbilly with a beat up midsize is bumbling through the course, but something else when an experienced driver is picking off high-dollar machines. The Dr. Porsche dude in our group took it out and said that it was unrefined, loud, exhausting, and the most fun he had on the track in a long time. I decided not to race at the track. Why bother? I went to the local drag strips and had way more fun. Even with the road race stuff, it hooked decent with some 10.50W’s

Elitist half-witts. This is what you do when you chase folks off.
uweschmidt
Detailer

I remember when all the Harley Drivers poo pooed The Japanese Bikes with electric starters Now most of the Harley guys Could"nt kick a Harley to go . But the most interesting line in one of the Comments was: the Government will get their way Its time we all woke up it is not the Government that brings Change its the people that bring change The majority of Polititions examine every issue on its merit of getting votes and then promote the direction that will bring ( in their Opinion or research) the most and thats what happens !!!!And here I will put in a comment that maybe is"nt quite appropriate for this Article: Start questioning yor representatives how they feel old about old Gasoline Cars and our Hobby (dont forget to mention how much employment this Hobby brings) and where they stand on Issues that will really effect Us
MrsN
New Driver

Got money no taste
Tristahn
New Driver

My takeaway is to appreciate and accept people where they’re at and not make staments which marginalize their position. With that said, the article comes off as an abrasive lecture against bad behaviors you’ve seen, with a host of tangential twists which confuse your point. The message in essence is a good one and It’s been understood. I’m just not a fan of your writing style.