My youngest son is 28 and loves old cars. Every day he finds another car he wants to own. And he likes cars way back to the 1930s. In fact, the older they are, the more he likes them. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Jesse can’t buy any old cars, but he dreams about them a lot.
His latest email made me realize that his situation wasn’t so much different from mine. At age 12, my dad (who recently passed on) bought me a toy MG TD. From that day on, I wanted a real one. When I turned 18, my grandfather gave me a ’55 Chevy 210 Del Ray. At that time, in 1965, it wasn’t really a collector car. I got my first “old” car in 1972 – a 1954 Chevy 210 sedan. The first time I took it to a car show, the “old” guy at the gate told me, “We don’t let hot rods in here.”
When I finally got a 1930s car in 1985, I was almost 40. And when I finally got my MG TD in 2001 I was 54 years old!
Thinking about all this made me realize, once again, this is not a young man’s hobby. I told Jesse to hold on to his dream and that if he really wanted one, he would get his old car someday. But I couldn’t help wishing the hobby was like a cell phone network. Why don’t we just start up a big fund to give these young people some cheap old cars and then they will have to buy the literature, parts and services that keep this industry of ours going?