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Recruiting Young Members

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jplatel1 jacob P
Albany, NY, USA   USA
Hey, maybe this type of over generalization about people my age is part of the problem.


In reply to # 1496414 by 65or66 good luck in your task.

Using both feet and both hands to get the car started and drive it is going to interfere with their texting, IM-ing and snap-shattinggrinning smiley.

And "Whuuuuuut?! You mean it doesn't have ABS, traction control, automatic lane departure correction, autonomous collision control, 8.8" touch screen infotainment system and it's own Wi-Fi hotspot?!"

Sorry. Crankier today than usual.

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65or66 Gold Member Jim B
Lake village, IN, USA   USA
1965 Triumph Spitfire MkII
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Jusanudda Munny Pit"
probably! I'm sure I don't notice the young drivers who DON'T force me into a ditch as they look down at their phones.

gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, Virginia, USA   USA
I'm not sure that I agree that younger folks (less than 50) aren't interested in classic cars. Every time I'm out in one of the Triumphs, I get thumbs up from the younger folks as well as pictures taken as I drive down the road. I think it's a matter of exposure and the realization that our cars are actually affordable for them. They think they are cool, but don't know anything about them.



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

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Greg1835 Avatar
Greg1835 Greg S
Rudolph, Wisconsin, USA   USA
In reply to # 1496432 by gfe05111952 I'm not sure that I agree that younger folks (less than 50) aren't interested in classic cars. Every time I'm out in one of the Triumphs, I get thumbs up from the younger folks as well as pictures taken as I drive down the road. I think it's a matter of exposure and the realization that our cars are actually affordable for them. They think they are cool, but don't know anything about them.


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achurch Avatar
achurch Andrew Church
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
Oh wow so much generalization here of the younger generation...

I'm 27 and an automotive engineer, so maybe not a good measure. I've always loved classics and hate that new cars are essentially computers with wheels and inflexible (there are a lot of us like that). I had a Scion FRS (rice rocket) that I turbocharged, lowered, added lip kit, and did a race build on it. Cost a ton of money and ended up with questionable reliability. Due to some unforeseen events I had to sell it (stereotype so far) and I bought my truck and a Spitfire with the proceeds. I did start a model specific car club that ended up with 50+ active members where we did drives, meets, and dinners. Average age in the group was 23.

I got the Spitfire because I love the old sweeping bodylines of yesteryear, the simple mechanical nature of the engine, and the simplicity of the whole package, plus it was literally less than 1/10th of what I paid for my FRS. Now it was rough and needed a bunch of work, but I love wrenching and learning and have really pushed myself to do things I hadn't before on this car. Again, lot's of young people want to work on cars but mainly space, tools, disposable income, and knowledge are the big hold backs.

Being very keen to learn, I joined my local British Car Club. I found they're website (last updated in 1992 I'm sure) and I emailed the President. Paid my fee and showed up to the first drive. My wife and I were very surprised when the next youngest person there was over double our age! Unfortunately my Spitfire is off the road for my restoration so I haven't gone to an event since. The people we nice enough, but I was having a hard time relating to anyone (Only Spitfre, HUGE age gap, interests/hobbies).

For contrast, my Dad is 60 has a 2014 C7 Corvette and is part of a Corvette club. They are all over 40 in his club as well. They go to local car shows and I've gone a few times with them. When I do see the odd British car they always get tons of attention. Everyone knows what a Corvette or Mustang or Camaro or Challenger looks like, but these are borderline exotics (from what I've seen) and get lots of attention.

Going to mixed model car shows and cars and coffee type events are good ways to get some exposure. Finding these events organized on Facebook (it's not just for 30+) is a good start. Finding ways to show how affordable and fun these cars are is another way to drum interest. Auto-X events (if anyone is willing to enter their car) are a great platform to show off these cars abilities and are usually frequented by "youths". The "Import Scene" is the big one for most younger enthusiasts. But they tend to not think of the British cars as they haven't been on our roads in volume since well before we were born. But fundamentally, there isn't much difference between a Spitfire and an AE86 Corolla. Just one isn't in a popular Manga. Also these are the precursor to the Miata and similar revered platforms, but is forgotten. Park it next to one of those at a meet and people will realize how cool they are.

Customization is a big thing. I'm doing my Spitfire as a resto-mod. Everything now is custom and unique and individual. Seeing 20 of the exact same Mustang but in different colours isn't cool. Seeing each one with a unique flair and discussing the differences, that's interesting. Don't discourage modifications because the cars should be "pure" or "original", embrace it, encourage it. That's how we all learn.

There are a few Classic Car pages on Facebook geared towards younger enthusiasts (Young Retro Motor Club (UK)) that if you reach out to may be willing to help spread your word.

If you want feel free to PM me and I can help you with some social media strategies to get the word out.



Andrew Church

1977 Spitfire 1500 - 1st Classic

RobTAR Robert I
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
Young car enthusiasts, and slow cars don't mix too well. Most young people that are into cars think that 300 hp and 4 seconds to 60 mph is just average. I just don't think classic cars are very marketable to the young crowd, at the cars shows it's mostly 60+ that I see, along with a few young children with their parents. The reality is that the 80's and 90's Japanese sports cars are classics to the young people you are trying to attract, and the Triumphs to them are like the old horseless carriages were to the current older car guys. I don't ever remember my Dad lusting after Model T's when I was a kid, it was Corvettes, Mustangs, Olds 442s, performance cars from when he was in his late teens and early 20s.


I'm 36 by the way.

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
AH! so there is some hope that the younger auto enthusiasts do have some interests in our cars. I had to learn how to "wrench" back in 1967 when my first car was a TR3 and I couldn't afford to take it to a dealer for repairs. I've learned a lot over the past 50 years but after hearing from Andrew I'm thinking I may have to learn a new skill I've shied away from in the past very few years-----Facebook???? Twitter??? Social Media, I don't do any of these, heck--I just barely text and that is maybe once a month. I don't know, sounds to complicated to me. Maybe some one else in our club can do those things but we're all over 50 but I suppose one of them has that knowledge . Back in my early days I had to fill out an order blank, go get a money order (no credit cards back then) from the Post office and then mail my order in to the very few places that had spare parts other than the Triumph dealer which was 50 miles from where I lived. My source then was primarily JC Whitney and they actually carried a good supply of British car parts. I might get the parts in a couple weeks. I hope there are more members like Andrew coming forward to keep this hobby going. I think I need to talk our club President about the Facebook possibilities but our Lady President of our club is in my age bracket too but maybe more social media savvy. Good suggestion Andrew.

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achurch Avatar
achurch Andrew Church
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
In reply to # 1496462 by Bpt70gt AH! so there is some hope that the younger auto enthusiasts do have some interests in our cars. I had to learn how to "wrench" back in 1967 when my first car was a TR3 and I couldn't afford to take it to a dealer for repairs. I've learned a lot over the past 50 years but after hearing from Andrew I'm thinking I may have to learn a new skill I've shied away from in the past very few years-----Facebook???? Twitter??? Social Media, I don't do any of these, heck--I just barely text and that is maybe once a month. I don't know, sounds to complicated to me. Maybe some one else in our club can do those things but we're all over 50 but I suppose one of them has that knowledge . Back in my early days I had to fill out an order blank, go get a money order (no credit cards back then) from the Post office and then mail my order in to the very few places that had spare parts other than the Triumph dealer which was 50 miles from where I lived. My source then was primarily JC Whitney and they actually carried a good supply of British car parts. I might get the parts in a couple weeks. I hope there are more members like Andrew coming forward to keep this hobby going. I think I need to talk our club President about the Facebook possibilities but our Lady President of our club is in my age bracket too but maybe more social media savvy. Good suggestion Andrew.

Feel free to reach out to me. i'm more than willing to help my passion reach a younger audience. I can tell you there is a lot of interest in classic cars, but a lot of misconception as well.

I managed to get my mum on Facebook (and somewhat proficient) but my dad is a lost cause with all that stuff haha. My wife's 65 yr old aunt spends a lot of time on Facebook and is arguably better than my wife at it! Good knowledge trading across generations....



Andrew Church

1977 Spitfire 1500 - 1st Classic

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
I'm a lost cause for Facebook too but it's worth exploring in our club. When I go on local cruises, I go with another couple that has a Miata, when we stop at places, the TR gets all the attention but almost always from the 50 and up crowd. It's what they recall from their college years. The younger crowd just think they are cute cars. Personally, I don't know any British car owner under 50 in my area. I think that everyone in my local club chapter is retired. So does someone under 40 want to socialize with us old geezers? Probably not. Our club is more of a social club that all happen to own British Cars.

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DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, Connecticut, USA   USA
Click on the tab "My Account" and on the drop-down menu click on Member Map. That will show you people in your area who are members on here (assuming they have not chosen to hide). Go one by one and send them a nice email. Send them your club newsletter (unless it's a total turnoff.)

But as my fellow Connecticut Triumph Register member Ken Woolley observed, there are a number of reasons the members of car clubs are older (but not necessarily wiser) than your target group. A big challenge is how to make your organization more appealing to younger members. Not getting all hung up about modifications is a good start (disclosure: I am firmly in the leave it the way it was built camp, but any group ought to be a broader church than that). I thought the pictures Rick Lazio added to his post are very attractive cars, not that I would do that to my car. Perhaps some more adventurous driving events. We hold a go-kart session in the winter with the MG and Jaguar clubs and it is noticeable that there is a younger turnout for that. Somehow I don't think the typical foliage or winery tour that existing members probably enjoy would be that appealing, but there's no reason you can't add new ideas alongside the old. A club belongs to its members, what (within the bounds of risk management) do they want to do?

It might be a struggle to meld two different generations in a club, but the older generation ought to understand that if the hobby is not to die with them then they have to welcome a different generation's take on British sports cars. And the Spitfire (along with the rubber bumper MGB, the TR7 and that sleeper the Jensen-Healey are the most likely paths into the hobby. They were for me thirty odd years ago.

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Neville, you just hit on a very good point. When our club goes on outings, we always have several destinations. However these are usually, winery tours, theater events, flower garden tours, foliage runs, picnic tours etc...what young group of people are going to enjoy these types of events? We've got some serious re-thinking to do in our club.
So you are part of the Conn. club. I'm in the British Cars of New Hampshire club which has 4 chapters in the state.

achurch Avatar
achurch Andrew Church
Lexington, KY, USA   USA
Brian, I can tell you that won't appeal to many younger members. We'd usually meet in a parking lot then go for a drive o some nice windy back roads and end at a casual restaurant for wings and such. Or we'd link together a couple drives and meet people at stop points. Early mornings are kind of hit and miss as well. We usually met up around 10-11am and wrapped up around dinner.



Andrew Church

1977 Spitfire 1500 - 1st Classic

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Andrew, that was a good point. I've sent off a note to our club president that we need to consider events more suited to the younger group. I know that when I go for a drive, I purposely explore the back roads of NH and Vermont to find winding smooth roads that our cars love. We avoid major routes and interstates at all costs.

DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, Connecticut, USA   USA
Your club also sponsored an excellent event last September: the Reliability Run. Since this is a bit more ambitious than a genteel 20 mile hop to a winery it might appeal to a younger audience. Especially as we got to drive around the race track in Tamworth NH for a few laps smiling smiley

Seriously, the Reliability Run had enough cars that it had to be run as separate flights, so those who want to put their foot down a bit (within reason, it is all on public roads after all) could be accomodated along with the more sedate drivers (who actually were pretty gutsy taking T series MGs up the various notches).

I think the answer is to try to broaden the calendar, and let younger members take a lead in it, all you need to do is guide them a bit as to what can be done with the typical club and driver's insurance.

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Yes, that was a 600 mile run and all the cars made it back. I didn't attend but there were many. Most the members in my local chapter prefer events of less than 100 miles with a number of rest stops/breaks in between. The roads were in northern NH with lots of twists and turns.

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