cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
RonD
Intermediate Driver

Car culture ?

Is car culture dead? 

19 REPLIES 19
Sajeev
Community Manager

For some people who see an erosion in their culture as the years roll by, yes. 

 

For those doing things that get plastered all over social media, absolutely not!

Rob1
Instructor

@RonD @Sajeev Not dead but evolving from what I see,upon retirement the misses and I moved to a more remote location in the north we grew up in the Niagara region during the 60,s and the car culture there in full swing and to this day car shows many people into owning and restoring.When we first moved I thought it was over and in a relatively short period of time while out for a cruise ran into a few locals with nice older hardware they invited us to cruise night at the nearest town center a hour and a bit away once there I thought to myself how wrong I could be about well everything how presumptuous I was to think that just us in the south were into cars. Cruise night drew quite the crowd as it rolled thru town and ended in a large mall parking lot where I seen some of the nicest examples of old/new/foreign and domestic cars from pro street to flivers and the interest from the general public so even here in the Great White North it alive and well there were plenty of young people showing up that has been my experience.Cheers R

DUB6
Instructor

I think the word "evolving" is perfect.  No, it's not the culture of the times when I got involved with cars.  But then again, that time (the '60s) wasn't the same as the culture of the WWII guys returning and hopping up Model A's, either.  And it certainly changed dramatically in the '80s, and of course again when "Tuners" gained so much ground.  We all tend to think that when something changes dramatically, that it's dying.  But generally, it's just morphing.  For instance, aren't there already people getting excited about what can be done with a battery-powered vehicle to make it different and neat?  I think I saw where you can order an old XKE converted to EV-power.  There's going to be inventiveness, creativeness, and engineering daring-do with whatever the next generations are handed as vehicles.  So, while certain eras of car culture are dying out - it's just the eras, not the culture itself.  Us old guys are just trying to hold onto our era a bit longer than most, I think, because it was so much fun.

   So some sort of car culture will survive us.  It might not be anything we would recognize or even appreciate if we could come back to take a look, but it'll mean something to those who are living in it.  And after all, if evolution didn't happen for the future enthusiasts, we'd still be driving around like Fred Flintstone, right?

   Today, I let a young kid sit in my car and me around with the controls.  Do I think that that kid (maybe a grade-schooler at best) is gonna grow up a look to find a 1966 vehicle and put Crager mags on it?  No, I don't.  But just maybe - if his dad keeps bringing him to cruise-ins and car shows - maybe someday he'll fall in love with a 2029 SomethingMobile, and want to do whatever the current upgrades are to those to make them cooler (fly faster, hover on a dime, run off an app on his smartphone maybe?).  His "car culture" is likely to be very different than mine, but it'll still be alive.

hyperv6
Technician

Not dead but dying. It used to be the youth could not wait to get a car. 

Your car equaled freedom, it was an extension of you and it was how you got to where you socialized. Today that all takes place on a cell phone. 

Add to it the difficulty of buying, owning and modifying a car today is not as easy as it once was. 

I work in the performance market and my customer base is no longer youth but the aged. Too many cruise in’s I attend I am the youngest and it looks like a nursing home. 

The only area of great growth is Trucks and Jeep’s. 

I not only hear, see but I also feel the decline. 

There will always be pockets of us enthusiast but we will not be in great numbers as we once were. 

DUB6
Instructor

New interests are constantly being invented.  There was no video gamer culture, no Instagram photo posting culture, no Pinterest culture, no frisbee golf culture, no drone-flyer culture - and a myriad of other things - when I became a car guy in the '60s.  So yeah, people's interests are going to be spread more thinly due to more choices.  But I don't buy the argument that (at least some) young people are no longer interested in cars.  Maybe we are just very 'not-with-it' here in my area, but I see tons of millennials and even younger who are out admiring cars at shows and cruise-ins, asking questions about the vehicles, and working on their first projects.  Granted, that first project may be a '03 Mazda instead of a '64 Chevelle, but that's fine with me - they have the bug and they are doing something about it.  I'm cool with that.

jonZ
Instructor

I hate to say it but I have to agree with hyperV6. "Not dead but dying". There may be a culture out there but we,  the older crowd, are not there with them. I wonder if the autos made today, will eventually be a classic? Seems like to me everything is disposable in regards to automobiles....at least until I go to Crusin the Coast! Yall come in 2021!!!!!

hyperv6
Technician

Now keep in mind I am not saying things could not turn around. But I don’t see that soon. 

If collector car prices fall and the cancel culture don’t attack auto enthusiast it could come back in younger hands. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

I agree that "evolving" is indeed perfect.  It's probably also shrinking, as the children/grand children of folks that were normally in love with cars are sadly not that interested. But it's not dying, as there are plenty of car shows that pop around large cities catering to teenagers, Gen Z, Millenials, etc. 

DUB6
Instructor

   I think that we also need to understand that "car culture", as a general term, has MANY facets, and that some come into prominence while others fade back.  It's really fluid.  For instance, my current interest is mainly in hot rods and the nostalgia of my youth.  But at one time, I was heavily into sports cars and road racing.  I also had a dalliance with off-road 4WD rigs with big tires and winches.  But here's my point: while I was morphing through those phases, there were literally MILLIONS of people worldwide who were in "car culture" who were doing NONE of the same things I was.  People in Europe have their own views and interests regarding cars.  Folks in Australia have theirs.  And take a look at Cuba, just as an example.  It doesn't matter where the people are who have an involvement, they are all included in the overall framework of "the car culture".

   This is intrinsic to lots of "cultures", by the way.  Think of music.  Think of fashion trends, hairstyles, sports - nearly anything that you can assign a "culture" to.  Things change, they expand and shrink, they take on their own flavors in different areas and with differing demographics, but they still live!

   As long as there are forms of personal transportation, there will be a "car culture" - of SOME sort or another.

Rob1
Instructor

 There certainly has been a decline here in speed shops and myself part of this issue as i order just about 90 percent or more online not only custom parts but everyday items brakes/steering parts/etc etc delivered to my door from anywhere in the world.Powered by gasoline or battery's people will still customize their rides now and in the future when you think about it the Low Rider culture is half way to electric,and trips to the local parts stores are getting tougher with my walker good thing one is close to my nursing home.LOL  

NITRO450EXP
Instructor

When I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, it was alive and well with cruising Woodward before it became and official event. And Gratiot was a hot spot for racing.

As well as a few spots down by the Airport.

 

Then I moved out into the suburbs, well actually past the suburbs into rural MI.

I was surprised to see more classics and local car shows out here than I expected.

 

But yes, it has evolved.

 

I myself have a much larger digital footprint than I ever expected, but still go hang with the guys on Tuesday Night ( Informal car show) and Thursday's the formal show.

 

Nitro

Greg_I
Detailer

I agree with everyone else that "evolving" is the word to use here. Yes, car culture of the 50s/60s is a thing of the past. You will not see today's youth at a cruise in or a car show. They are not interested in those things. As a millennial with a muscle car, I can throw in that I am one of those people who find cruise ins and car shows a snore fest. Cars and Coffee is where I prefer to be as well as many of my peers. Taste in cars has evolved too, but that doesn't mean that older cars are no longer desirable. If that were the case, people would've stopped collecting Model A's 50 years ago. I think to look for car culture, you gotta cast a wider net these days, but it is out there and vibrant as ever. It just doesn't look like it did even 10 years ago.

Oldmanlegend
Pit Crew

I disagree. Car culture is not dead or dying, but it is at serious risk, and its peril can be boiled down into 2 simple words; "rigidity" and "exclusivity". If we want to save car culture, we have to be as fluid and accepting as the society we operate in. We need well thought arguments to support our positions but also be open to modifying those same positions when they don't hold water. We need appreciation for differences in opinion about aesthetics and show communal support for anyone who shares the same love as we have for automobiles. Much in the way all ships rise with the tide, all cars rise with the road. Car culture must survive, and it must be us who defend it. 

NITRO450EXP
Instructor

Well if the Greenies have it their way ICE's will cease to exist. Then all ICE's will be relics of the past, Model T or 2021 GT500 Supersnake.

Then we will all be in the same pickle.

Oldmanlegend
Pit Crew

Using derogatory labels to deride those with concern for our planet, or anyone else for that matter, is the type of exclusivity we need to avoid. We have no victory without dialogue, and I fully believe there is room for ALL car lovers, even those who prefer EV's. I have not heard anyone propose getting rid of all ICE's, and I don't see that being a feasible possibility any time in the next few decades at least. Since we all care passionately about cars, let's try to keep derision at a minimum and understanding at a maximum. We will be better for it and our culture will continue to thrive. One love, brother.

NITRO450EXP
Instructor

From Forbes:"

Banning the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is not a new concept in countries and municipalities outside of the US. Beginning in 2016, European countries and cities began to make commitments to ban the future sale of ICE vehicles. Countries like France, Norway, and the UK have all set dates for these bans, with Norway’s being the most bullish—all new car sales must be zero emissions (battery EV or fuel cell) by 2025. Several cities within Europe have announced similar bans on ICE vehicles, including Rome and Milan, which ban ICE vehicles from entering certain parts of the city.

In late September 2020, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will phase out the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered cars to reduce California’s demand for fossil fuels—the first policy of this kind in the US. The executive order requires that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. Plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) are included under current ZEV mandate definitions, but what the exact 2035 regulation will include in terms of powertrains is not yet clear.

Countries like France, Norway, and the UK have all set dates for these bans,

 

And Greenies was not intended as derogatory, It was a lighthearted reference, My derogatory terms are not PC or family safe.

 

Nitro

Oldmanlegend
Pit Crew

I see the misunderstanding. I was speaking in the classical sense of getting rid of, meaning total banning from roads. I know of the plans to phase out ICE and honestly, it sucks. But on the flip side of that coin, oil is non-renewable, and will phase out on its own eventually. I sympathize. I’m a true believer in the power translation of a nice v8, so I’m not exactly ushering in the new era either. I was honestly just trying to keep things civil. I perceived the term to be derogatory. That’s all. I appreciate the dialogue and the article.  

hyperv6
Technician

Banning of new ICE is here and we are not going to stop it. There will still be some ICE hybrids in 2-3 cylinders like the Mahle engine. But the cost of ICE will be what really kills it as the development cost of cleaner engines only gets higher as battery cost drop. 

We as enthusiast do need to start fighting to prevent our collector cars from being eliminated. This fight is coming. 

hyperv6
Technician

To say evolved is correct but to expect it to be as it was never. While we may have done similar things to past gens we all did do our own thing. 

50’s and 60’s were cruising and street racing.

 

70’s to 90’s was parking in parking lots and drive in’s recreating the past. It was mostly people buying the cars they could not afford and reliving a dream. 

90’s to present was more large events to recreate the past and fewer racers on the street. Mostly older people with some younger import kids. 

What has the future presenting. Right now those of the past are in the final years of driving. There is a gap of about 30 years of disinterested youth. 

I expect smaller pockets of enthusiast. More larger events to call together those smaller groups. 

I do feel the Truck and Jeep segment to grow. The new Bronco will add to it. Now if only GM could bring us a Jeep fighter like the Bronco.

 

Youth today want life style vehicles that they can do things with other than racing. 

I see it in the after market. It used to be Camaro Mustang and now it is really truck and Jeep parts.