So what do you guys/gals do to keep the new generation interested in the old cars? I’m looking for more ideas.
I run a local car show and a couple car cruises throughout the year where I live. I have a lot of cool sponsors that give some toy cars or tools, in order to give away at the event.
Ive also had model building contests for the kids at the show. Hot wheels, or hot wheels coloring books. Things like that.
I also encourage kids to sit in the old cars as much as possible. I started doing this and some other classic owners followed suit. I also have them start them up under supervision. They seem to love it! I’m doing my best to hold their interests and explain how all the mechanics work.
Kids have a ton of things to keep their attention, phones, tablets, video games, etc.....
So any help from any of you out there, I would much appreciate. What other fun things can I do to hold their interests, and keep them coming back? Thank you all!
That is certainly a difficult question, as younger car enthusiasts seem to like things that sometimes drastically different than older folks. I mean personally it feels like mixing oil and water where I live. 😐 The night time "car meet" scene in Houston is full of millennials (not that many Gen X-ers, honestly) and the events have almost a feel of being in a night club. Or turning a parking lot into a night club?
Anyway, my advice to you is to check Instagram's location search tool (maybe Facebook, but that's kinda passe for millenials) and see what local enthusiasts do on Friday/Saturday night AND where they congregate. It is my hope that you will be inspired by what you see, and that will integrate into the hard work you already do for our motoring community.
If you need to learn more about location search read this (it gets better at the bottom): https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/instagram-location-search/
Kudos to your efforts (letting kids in the cars is huge), some bullet points to try and keep this post from being a novel:
-millen & gen X like 90s and newer SUV, Japanese cars, modern muscle, lifted trucks and so on. If the show welcomes the 2004 Golf that has been "stanced" do the other participants stay open minded an welcome the car and owner?
-there is 30+ years of really solid video game car enthusiasts, and once games like Gran Turismo started feature real cars they became an influencer. Set up some consoles and let people play old versions of the games, do a model contest where you build a car in 2000s Forza style, etc. --this is the nostalgia of younger people vs. hearing a rockabilly band do 50s covers...
-influencers... Mighty Car Mods, Roadkill (now a streamed show but it started on YouTube), Hoonigan and so on... there is a lot of car content on the internet with big followings. Maybe your shows aren't to the scale to bring a personality in... but even getting a sponsor to get a prize from one of these sources (i.e., a Roadkill T-shirt, a MCM chopped sticker...) would connect to different niches.
-brand loyalty is not fighting words to most Gen X and under. 69 Mustang and Camaro are both cool... and neither as fast, grippy or efficient as a Hyundai Veloster N. Traditional car show crowds have to let go of the bias and negative perceptions "not what I would want, but cool for what it is" is much better than dumping hate on someone's joy.
-educate the "old crowd". That kid with the stanced Golf might just be the torch-bearer that decides the 62 Galaxie should be kept stock for the next 60 years after you are gone.
Probably one of the best "tools" to keep the younger generation, and especially boys, engaged with cars is the video game "Grand Theft Auto."
Yeah, I love the video game route. I'm a millennial, and a lot of my passion and knowledge behind cars stems from video games. Even to this day, I'm playing games like Forza Horizon that let you build your engines from scratch, and drive a plethora of cars ranging from America and Europe. And you can drive generations and generations of cars ranging from a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 to a 2019 Bugatti Chiron.
Another one is that the age limits for cars to enter need to go away. I've noticed in my area that there have been a few holdouts that only let 1970s and older cars attend. I think that sort of thinking will slowly strangle those events out of existence. Even though my car is a 69, I tend to avoid those shows on general principle and would rather have the oldest car at the local millennial meetup.