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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Which classic car owners drive the most miles?

Ever wonder if you're driving enough? Not the stop-and-go-traffic kind of driving, but the Sunday cruise, cars-and-coffee run, canyon carving, just-for-the-heck-of-it kind of driving. We at Hagerty spend a lot of time thinking about this-we exist to save driving, after all.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/hagerty-insider/which-classic-car-owners-drive-the-most-...
46 REPLIES 46
hyperv6
Gearhead

Much of this depends on who you are, what you drive, what events you attend and free time.

When I was single and living at home you jump in the car and attend a event 2 states away.

Now with a family and working overtime most of the summer just quick short trips and only several Pontiac events are what I have time for,

 

I also had a local guy here with a Duel Cowled Duisenberg that would jump on the highway and go. He said it was built to drive. Fix it when it breaks. 

vintagetin
New Driver

Bugs are cheap, and don't give their owners much trouble, so people have confidence in them. I bet the oldest car that gets the most miles is the model t. Those guys are nuts, and will drive anywhere.
MTPantera
Pit Crew

I'd think another value would be how handy someone is to wrench on their own car so that they drive the car as much as they are willing to complete their own repairs can allow more miles to be put on the speedo. Fewer miles if you let someone else do the wrenching. Therefore, learn to wrench and enjoy the miles.
Lotusross
Pit Crew

Not all old guys stay home...I might just skew the mean for the 70 plus segment. In April and May I took my 77 year old self in my1965 Lotus Elan ( A car Sam Smith asserts is made of "Kleenex and Unicorn farts") 11,544 miles from my home in Colorado to the four furthest compass points in the Continental USA, Card Sound Road, FL, Madawaska ME, Jalama Beach CA and Cape Flattery WA. I also hit the highest town, (Alma, CO) the lowest, (Furnace Creek, CA) and the geographic centers of the 48 states (Lebanon KS) and the 50 states (Belle Fourche, SD) averaging 350 miles per day and 30 MPG.
I have taken my old Lotus cars on an average of two trips per year of a thousand miles or so for the past 20 years and plan to do so for the next twenty, God willing!
Rob1
Instructor

Lotusross you made my day yep us olde farts got the time and resources to do as we want and driving our "classics" takes up a good part of my summer also,plenty of time in the winter to put them in top notch shape.I enjoy the ride and venture the backroads as much as time allows and thank the inventor of drivethru coffee and food as getting out of a vette is getting to be a bit of a laugh i feel 90 YO then but 25 behind the wheel.Cheers Rob
DavidHolzman
Detailer

Keep on driving! And drive fun!
hunternicholas
Intermediate Driver

You may have interest in this.
In 1976 I spent a summer in Kinsley Kansas. On route 50 near the town's western boarder was a sign with two arrows. One arrow pointed west and stated Los Angeles 1500 miles, the other arrow pointed east and stated New York City 1500 miles.
Kinsley Kansas is about thirty-seven miles east of Dodge City Kansas.
As well, I was told that spot is the geographical center on the continental United States, but I don't see how it could be when considering the great distance from NYC to Madawaska ME.
Carmie62
New Driver

I’m shocked. I didn’t think Gen Z were old enough to qualify let alone have the funds to drive a classic.
RobinW
Pit Crew

As a dude in my 20's, young people are pretty much exclusively driving the cheapest to fix and buy classics like rusty spitfires and bugs. They are happy on the road with rust holes and all because even a slow chunky junker is exciting and novel these days. Most also have no garage to store the car in, let alone protect it so might as well drive it any chance they get.
MadamBlue91
Pit Crew

As a "Gen Z" kid, I do have my license, and two cars. A 91 Caprice wagon, and an LT1 powered 96 Caprice sedan (basically just an Impala SS but without the badges).

The LT1 is a hoot, and I drive it almost every day.

I wouldn't consider either car to be a classic though.

Most classics are out of my reach, due to price of course, but some, like a Corvair, are still affordable, even for a Gen Z kid. 

Mike_E_V
Detailer

Miles=smiles!
WAB
Intermediate Driver

It is also dependent on how many collector cars you own / have insured with Hagerty and / or others that are insured on another agency with your daily drivers.....Midwest is a short driving season.....also agree that being employed limits the time you have to be behind the wheel and the amount of travel you can do based on vacation time and family commitments. Wish I could drive them more often.
bblhed
Advanced Driver

I'm a Connecticut person and I have to admit that oddly lack of events tends to make me spend more time with the tires turning than parked. I like to drive my car, if there is no event to park it at I just keep going, there is a lot of back road in this state believe it or not.
joet
Pit Crew

I bet if you polled MG "T" owners (TC, TD, TF) you'd be surprised how active their clubs are with driving events.
Bullypit
Pit Crew

Please tell me where I can get a "1963-67 Shelby Cobra" for $160K...
Maestro1
Instructor

John, thank you but a few things about this: First, Hagerty is an Insurance Company so this is another way of statistically quantifying your risk element. I live on the Left Coast and believe me folks out here drive their cars. It's a big State with lots of variety in it so it's always worth a cruise. Next, can we please stop naming Generations and simply define by Age. I have no idea what the Graph Designations mean and they are irritating. Naming a Generation is absurd and juvenile. We all are all individuals in a Generation. Not your fault.
Some idiot in marketing must have started the labeling. Next: I have a 41 year old Japanese truck that is a member of the family, the girls drive it to go shopping, I use it for
whatever reason, mostly parts store runs so it gets driven about 200 miles a month. It has an audience; I go down the street in it and people wave and honk at it. Because it's small we call it The Puppy. 0-60 indicated in five years and absolutely reliable. It's mechanically strong and cosmetically a mess. They will bury me in it.
Paperbackwriter
New Driver

Due to more limited resources, is it possible that younger enthusiasts use their collector cars as a daily driver? That might help explain why they drive more miles. If so, good for them. Our cars are meant to be driven, and if that's the way they make their passion fit their budget it's a positive.
Stixx
Intermediate Driver

I WAS SURPRISED THAT PORSCHE OWNERS DROVE SO LITTLE ON AVERAGE.
noah300g
Intermediate Driver

"C5 Chevrolet Corvette (1997–2004), the Honda S2000 (2000–2009), to the 1981–1987 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup." I don't consider these 'modern' vehicles something to be compared against 50+ year old cars from the 50's and 60's and even the 70's.
The folks in both of my Chrysler 300 (original letter series from 55-65 and 70 Hurst) drive the pants off of their cars every year. Thousands of miles every year, all around the country.
salsa96
Intermediate Driver

If you love a certain type or make of car or truck, which there are many for those vehicles you just mentioned, then classic or soon to be a classic shouldn’t matter.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

This was a complete waste of time. All of this junk is based on what people SAY they MIGHT do.
dd1
Intermediate Driver

Informative article. I'm from eastern Connecticut and admit I was taken aback with the metric reflecting drivers in this state. Yes, the cost of living is high (including gas prices) and we're over-taxed but on the bright side there are some really nice twisty back roads in this state if you're an aficionado of small, nimble sports cars (both old classics and modern collectibles, ie: Lotus, MGB, Miata, S2000, etc. I used to own several NA Miatas and I can tell you it's sheer paradise navigating twisty roads on a sunny October day, top down, as the leaves cascade and fall everywhere (including your cabin:)! And the fact that the state is so small only enhances the experience because the rest of New England states are only a stone's throw away. And of course there is always upstate New York, which is equally as beautiful for nice scenic drives.
Redvette2
Intermediate Driver

Interesting data....especially about the younger generations driving the most!
jimliberty
Pit Crew

My new car is a '64 Porsche, the oldest a '47 Crosley pickup. I live in So. Cal. and can drive one most every day. And, I do. ......Jim.
LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

Nine or ten miles to the gallon on a lot of 60 `s muscle cars, $3.50 (87 octane) $4.00 gallon (93 octane....... some places more) taking a 100 mile ( $35 - $40 +) drive is not cheap anymore. Actually it`s a deterrent for a lot of people these days. Yes it cost money to own a car like this and it is to be expected, but the cost of gasoline for the driving enthusiasts sure puts a damper on things for a lot of people. Was not that long ago gas was under $2.00 a gallon, now almost double.. Possibly the younger drivers are mostly into vehicles that get fairly decent gas mileage ( 20-25 +) and that is why their driving mileage is the highest of all.
salsa96
Intermediate Driver

Interesting take, I think that most of these older people have more money to start with but the older the car the less likely they drive them a bunch to keep the values up.
Tinkerah
Technician

Fuel is only expensive if you consider driving your classic is strictly for transportation. It is not: it's an exciting, nostalgic, visceral experience. My overpowered ill-handling iron can get maybe 20 mpg if I'm gentle, half that if I'm enjoying myself. At $3.00/gallon, that's thirty cents a mile. BARGAIN.
Mbhcid
Pit Crew

Up until June 2020, I put an average of 5k/yr on my 1958 356. Last June, I “encountered” another driver who did not see me in a sea of SUVs and pickup trucks and pulled out of a parking lot and into my DS fender. Not much damage, relatively speaking, but the car has been “off line” for going on 14 months being repaired. Aside from the damage, the accident gave me pause: what would have happened if we were both doing 60 mph? (I wouldn’t be typing this) So, when the car comes home, I think I’ll be a lot less eager to jump in it for a joy ride knowing my life may be at risk. I love it, but like I’ve always said, I don’t want to die in it.

DaveA
Detailer

You make an excellent point. I love my classic car because it is the opposite of my daily driver: it’s old, it’s analog, it smells weird, it’s slower to accelerate, it has ZERO safety “gadgets”, and it’s not as comfortable. I like those qualities because it is so different than a modern car. HOWEVER, it’s also no where near as safe to drive, and I too may be dialing back the miles I drive it in the near future.
TG
Instructor

I expected a more profound dropoff in the 1960s and earlier realm largely because pre-70s technology (in my opinion) does not lend itself to highway driving. I generally don't stray too far from the 70s for that reason - with the exception of my 65 Impala. After I discovered that the drivetrain and floorboards were toast it ended up with a 700R4 which largely addressed that concern
DAdams
Intermediate Driver

Note how the numbers are dominated by the post 1960 cars. What would the numbers look like if limited to pre-WWII? I suspect the Ford Model A (28-31 version) will dominate. With the Model T a distant second.
Smileamile
Intermediate Driver

Last October, while vintage racing our Alfa at VIR, a 78 year young couple pulled up in their MG TF with the luggage rack loaded. They struggled to get in and out of the car, but they weren’t about to give up. They had driven in from New England and were making the rounds of vintage races. They were heading to Road America, their favorite track. What an inspiration!! Never give up...
carguyjim
Detailer

The vehicle at the top of this article I believe is mis-identified as a 1929 "Woodie wagon"
I believe it is actually a "Depot Hack" Maybe the author thought that actual model name confusing.
I was going to buy a Depot Hack but could not deal with the primitive driving methods...
Whiplash
Pit Crew

Just turned past 600 seasonal miles in my 930 yesterday.

Ironically, I'm TRYING to add mileage to the meagre 15k+ odometer reading...but our sunny seasons here in Ontario are just too short!

(1st World dilemmas, eh?) ☺
farna
Advanced Driver

5000 miles a year is daily driver territory for an old car. I put 5-7K a year on my 63 Classic when I was daily driving, another 4-5K a year on my motorcycle. I was USAF and took 3-4 16 hour round trip drives (800-900 miles) a year to visit family, usually one in my Rambler. I built it as a daily driver though, so it's modified (Jeep 4.0L EFI six and AW4 OD trans). I drove a 63 Rambler American the same way for 14 years though (starting in 84). It was my "second car", and if I went anywhere without the wife and kid I was in it. No bike then, but still 5-7K a year. A VW Bug (or any classic) as a second car would get about 5K average on it. Easy to see the age thing. I don't do many long distance shows at 60. Time isn't as much and issue, nor is money. I've "been there, done that" too often. Not much new or exciting about the big shows any more, certainly not enough to make a long trip just for that. I still do one on occasion though. Plan on driving to the Kenosha Homecoming show (AMC/Rambler) in 2022. It's only held every four years though. Wouldn't do it yearly! It's a 15-26 hour drive one way for me.
not-a-gto
New Driver

Hate to say it, but this is an area where Hagerty does not have a true perspective on what they are trying to analyze, so your conclusions are way off. Hagerty’s policies specifically exclude certain age groups as well as certain vehicle usage, thus you know very little about those demographics. Two of my now young adult children have collector vehicles as their only vehicles, thus their daily drivers. They’ve had them since we restored them together when they were teens. They are now out on their own as adults and still passionate about collector vehicles. However, they are still too young for Hagerty’s policies and Hagerty wouldn’t cover their vehicles anyway since they are daily drivers clocking over 10,000 miles a year. I have a collector car insured with Hagerty that sits in the garage most of the time because of policy restrictions. I also have another collector vehicle that I daily drive, probably average 10,000 miles per year, not insured with Hagerty because they don’t cover daily drivers.

Northern911
New Driver

Interesting stat's as Hagerty doesn't insure "young" drivers under 25 (Gen Z) in Canada and in many States. When my son turned 16 he decided he wanted to get into the classic cars and find something to match our 911SC, which is insured with Hagerty. He sold his dirt bike (happy mom) and we found him a two owner, 1974 Porsche 914. He spent countless hours working on it and learning how to repair and maintain the car. There is no bigger reward for a parent, than sharing the interest in a hobby that you both enjoy. Now its on the road and he's enjoying the fruits of his labour but we had to find another insurance carrier in order for him to be allowed to drive it. Difficult to promote youth engagement in the hobby when they can't drive them. Maybe in 7 years, when he's 25, we'll move the insurance to Hagerty. For the time being, he'll be on the road, laying down miles (KM's in Canada) cruising in the classic sports car that he built.
Harry_2002
New Driver

Yesterday my wife and I completed a 6,130 mile trip in the car we honeymooned in 44 years ago. 8 days driving and 6 days fly fishing the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers. Due to a lack of motel rooms in southeastern Wyoming our longest day was 979 miles. Our car is a 1976
BMW 2002. With a 5 speed no problem running the high speed roads out west. I am always amazed with how many young guys recognize
‘02 and its place in sports/sedan car history. I guess my wife and I are atypical 70 and 75 year olds.




Our car is a 1976 BMW 2002. With a 5 speed gearbox we had no problem running the high speed Interstates out west.
Numberscruncher
Detailer

Interesting article. Even if I'm just one of those Boomer "ubiquitous" 64.5-66 Mustang owners.
jaysalserVW
Detailer

I live in the Dallas, TX, area--just to get out of the Big City traffic is a hassle for an older vintage vehicle. Highway vehicles have little to no respect for someone driving an antique--and they will push the older car to its limit! "Get out of the way!" Our collector club finds it difficult to locate good cruise sites that can be accessed without getting onto a major highway. We envy the Easterners who have so much scenic roadway to explore at a leisurely pace. And, my wife and I DO fall into that older class of people who have traveled and driven so much that we have little desire to travel just for travel's sake. Sigh!
daytongarmin
Pit Crew

Prewar/postwar grouping might be an interesting comparison.
Being a Model A nut......
tygar
New Driver

Hmmm? As another guy said: I guess I skew the older driver rates, as I & wife are 74 & between our current 4 collectibles, especially his & her corvettes, 68 Mustang, 80 MG, we put on 10-15k a yr, & use the vettes as daily drivers. (that's what vettes are for!) Actually my favorite is the 80MG, bored, hi power fuel inj, 280Z 5 speed, & it screams!...but, no AC & in hot humid south means it ain't gettin drove!
aenthal
Pit Crew

I wanted to drive my 1960 Edsel 6000 miles this summer but I couldn't because it is carbureted, and it has to cross three desert states both directions.
Problem is the 10% alcohol in the gas. In temperatures over 100 degrees (or nearing that) the alcohol evaporates before before the gasoline, vapor locking the lines. Did that on a trip to Utah and back a few years ago. Car can drive deserts in spring and fall, but not June-August, when the big car meets happen. Network of pure gas stations is not complete enough to avoid tanks of this 10% stuff. (Carrying equivalent of a bomb in the trunk to fill from, via tanks, is also a very poor plan).
I will be adding an electric fuel pump under the tank, to see if that can flush the gas through the lines after a vapor lock happens. I do not want to fuel inject it because I like keeping the car close to stock.
I own my cars to drive them, not just look at them. Disappointed that I had to drive a modern (2005) car to an Edsel meet. Car is otherwise outfitted for desert crossing with auxiliary transmission cooler, and custom radiator (hidden within stock housing), but I can't change the climate or the mileage to a tank of gas.
RichardLW
New Driver

Another factor is how many classics you have. When I go out, I look at my four and need to decide which to take. Can't drive more than one to any event, store, etc.
02-orignal-ownr
Detailer

Just ask a BMW 2002 owner how much he/she drives each year. We have folks who drive to the annual Mid America 02Fest in Eureka Springs AR every year from as far away as California and Maine. And the Vintage meet in Asheville NC turns out 75-100 2002s every year, in addition to another 450 or so pre-1993 Bimmers...
Ragster
Intermediate Driver

I drive my 2007 Mustang Convert about 5000 miles a summer cruising season.... Drive a little -Drive a lot......Just DRIVE !