A Few Reasons Why Few Teens Drive Classic Cars - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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I was at a car show yesterday, when I noticed a few cars pull up into the street. The first... a carbon copy of the "The Fast and The Furious" Mitsubishi Eclipse, minus the green paint job. The next... a 98 Mustang that had been modified (riced). The third... a Dodge Stealth (modifications: see previous cars). I was wondering why these cars were driven only by teens, and why the street rods and classics were driven by 35-70 year olds (yes, even the senior citizens made an appearance). Granted the budget of a teenager (16-19) is nothing like that of an adult, and while street rods are expensive, a new Eclipse or Mustang is very expensive as well. Somebody could have bought a very nice classic Mustang for what an Eclipse or newer Mustang would cost. Still, I was wondering why those two guys wanted newer cars over classics. Then it occured to me. When I remembered Scotty2Hotty posting about the question over whether or not teens should drive classic Mustangs, I noticed a few things. For one, most of the replies (including mine) stated the lack of safety a vintage car is inherited with as well as mechanical aptitude an owner should possess. Why on earth would someone want to buy a car if they are scared of driving it because of the risk to personal safety It seemed to me that we are almost talking people my age out of purchasing a classic car. I hear all the time that teens don't have any respect for older cars. How so few 16-19 year olds drive the classics... According to some we just buy a foreign car and throw on a huge muffler. It just seems to me that most teens are just facing the truth, realizing the facts, and following the advice. Of course some kids don't have the mechanical aptitude required to do a full or partial restoration to a vintage car, so what do they do They create their own type of muscle car. They don't want the worry of restoring a delapidated Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, or Plymouth Barracuda, they simply want the fun of driving a fast and powerful car. Unfortunately they look towards Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, or Nissan for this speed and enjoyment. I am just wondering if people really do appreciate the fact that a teen drives a classic car. From what I hear, they are dangerous, time consuming, and more expensive than a newer car. That is also what others are being told. Still, I think this only applies to a car in a state of disrepair. Yes, it is cheaper to buy a car in excellent condition than it is to restore one into the same shape and this should be taken into account. Good coupes can still be bought relatively cheap, and in my area insurance is actually cheaper for classics than it is for a newer car worth twice as less (even for liability only). Unfortunately I think many teens are getting the wrong impression about vintage cars... I may be biased but that is what I feel. This forum is very honest (and I highly respect that fact) yet I still feel we are continually discrediting the interest many young adults place into a pre-73 pony car. True, they aren't as safe as newer vehicles, or as efficient, yet many cars I see in the student parking lot aren't any of these despite that fact. Most cars teens drive to school are nice cars but not state of the art, and few have air bags, as well as being less than 10 years old. Of course, I live in rural Kansas by a small farming town. I hear of many teens in ricers on this forum... but not many people meeting a teen in a classic car... and I keep telling myself this is why.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 09:01 AM
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My child(ren) will NOT be driving other than a classic Mustang. It just will not happen. Safety be damned! [IMG]/forums/images/icons/smile.gif[/IMG]
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 09:48 AM
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My Daughter (now 9) already has her sights set on the 67 convertible mustang, but chances are... her first car will be a 6cyl. coupe or fastback. And my son (now 7) has already claimed my 76 Dodge PowerWagon 4x4 as his own! I guess those subliminal messages while they sleep worked! [IMG]/forums/images/icons/blush.gif[/IMG] hehe!

This is something they have decided all on their own, and all I can say is...I'm a proud Daddy [IMG]/forums/images/icons/smile.gif[/IMG]
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 10:30 AM
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I'm not sure that safety is a real issue with most teens or that it drives car buying behavior. The fact is that one of the attributes that makes teens the most dangerous demographic on the road is that they don't feel anything bad will happen to them. That mindset doesn't square with concerns about safety.

I think there are other reasons why the imports are so popular. First, they are plentiful and cheap. You can buy a used Civic or Eclipse for relatively small money and it will be economical and reliable, for the most part. Adding performance parts over time is probably no more expensive than doing likewise for a classic.

Second is that kids tend to want something they can relate to and most teens neither have classic cars in the family nor have they grown up around them. My oldest niece (now 16) is driving her mothers old Saturn, although she really wants a classic Mustang (thanks to the example set by her uncle!). Unfortunately, her parents have said no to that because they can't afford to indulge her. But I expect that someday, she'll make good on her wish. Teens without the exposure she's had simply can't relate to the classics.

I think that we continue to have a duty to inform newcomers to the hobby about the pros and cons these cars represent. To your point, we need to put that information in an appropriate context. Yes, today's cars are much safer, but classics were once new cars that people drove every day year-round. The vast majority survived the experience quite nicely and those that didn't might not have fared much better in a modern car, depending on the circumstances. As has always been the case, the driver is a more important variable than the car.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 10:42 AM
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While you make some good points.....If I was 20 years old, had $20k and wanted something I had to drive daily but wanted fast, I mean really fast....

1. I would buy a 300Z (used)
2. Buy a notbook PC with the program to modify all the ECM aspects
3. Invest $3k in a big turbo (or $1k if it already had a turbo to mod the wastegate)

Now I have a car that gets 30mpg, 600+ horsepower, airbags and watchout vettes!

I know, please forgive, it's an import.......
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 10:46 AM
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Another reason is comfort. I know someone that passed is coupe down to his son and now he wanted to pass it on to his son. His son drove it a few times and handed him the keys back saying he didn't like it because it didn't have power this or power that and no a/c. Some are just spoiled and have to have all the creature comforts.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 10:59 AM
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I personally think its the generation gap. These kids didn't grow up with classic cars like some of us in the 60's, 70's, 80's. My first car was a 71 Plymouth Duster w/ a 318. So I'm restoring something from that era. Vintage mustangs are a way for the older generations to relive and bring the past to present, with something really cool to show for it. Teens are looking at the present and future and don't have a lifetime of history built up yet. Just a generalization of course.

Ricer models are priced cheap, good on gas, reliable for the most part. All of this factors into a teenager's budget. You may spend a couple grand on an older, but reliable ricer, but get a rust bucket mustang that doesn't even run.

And its the hot rodding rage right now. But deep down in their ricer concience, they fear the classic iron....hehe.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:58 PM
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I was 18 when I got my Mustang.

Although my first choice of car was a post 90's 300zx, it was way out of my budget. So I started looking at cars between 3-4 thousand, and all I saw was mid 80's pieces of junk.

I came across a Mustang, and it hit me, a 4 thousand dollar Mustang would have 10 times the class and style than a mid 80's import. Also, my grandpa worked on old cars (buicks) and I instantly had someone to help me there. That started my crusade to find a Mustang I wanted, I was not concerned about safety, but I wanted a car that did not need anything major done to it. A few months later, I came across mine.

Since then, one friend of mine has bought a 68 coupe, while another one wanted to get a 65 coupe for a while, but never did.

73 Grande, 351c 2v, FMX.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 01:01 PM
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my first car was a civic for a year then i got my 2001 bullitt and i respect it and NEVER abuse it in any way!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 01:13 PM
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No thats about right ... I've always like the Z car myself, esp the twin turbo 300.

I really feel that the statement about identification is right ... for my part, being 28, I'm not exactly of the crowd that can "identify" with classic mustangs. In fact, I think the reason for my getting into classic stangs is probably fairly typically for most of my generation.

1. They have style/beauty.
2. They are fairly unique and allow self expression to a degree without having to get a second mortgage.

I love the looks and comments you get with a classic mustang, and also the fact that I cannot keep my eyes off my own darn car. Every time I park to go into a store or something I'm gawking more than anyone else [IMG]/forums/images/icons/smile.gif[/IMG]

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 01:16 PM
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The biggest reason is probably marketing. I can remember back in the 70's people actually WANTING purple paint. In fact i knew a guy who built a purple supercharged V-6 gremlin with the entire interior done in matching fun fur. For many of us out dream cars are formed when were kids playing with hot wheel cars. We say to ourselves "when we grow up were going to buy one". Funny there is even a group of people out there who made knight rider cars!

Learning to work on cars is a lost art and vintage cars require you to be able to work on your own car, especially when your poor which is every teen. Stereos, rims, wings and decals are all consider performance upgades. These cars seem as unservisable to to teens as a british car with multiple carburetors seems to me.

The other factor is price. The first time around when i bought muscle cars it was because they were so damn cheap! I got my 67 chevelle convertible for $350, a 70 riviera for $400. The fox bodied mustangs and the lincoln mark VII or 5.0 cougar would be a modern equivalant. You can get a real nice one for under $3,000 or a fixer uper for under $1,000. There are a small group of teens doing this but there doing it to future vintage cars. The new cars are much easier to build for power if you understand them. The whole fuel mixture thing is taken care of for you.

The law is another factor. It was bad enough when we were teens of you got a speeding ticket.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 03:51 PM
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I like my Mustang because I can make it the way I want, plus I think they are much easier to work on than any newer car, I have had my car for 2 years and its been a great learning how to do everything for myself. There are so many people my age who do not know a damn thing about cars, and thats how they will probably always be.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:39 PM
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I own a mustang and im about to blow the damn thing into a million peices! If i want any kind of modified car well it takes time ot do the modifactions. Stack that on the time of actually restoring a car and it takes forever!

My friend recently bought a talon TSI for $7k. This car has more power than is good for him, is really really nice compared to %95 of old mustangs, and handles better than almost all of them for sure.

Lets think about it, what does a mustang restored to almost new condition cost? oh around 8 grand, and that is unmodified, rather low performance, handles like crap and stops like crap. Also has non power everything for the most part.

Old cars are something that you fall into when your young and try to get out as fast as possible.

Now if i had a parent that was into the hobby it would be a lot easier. I could get cash to do all the nice brakes, someone to guide me through the painting process, etc etc.

Sure my car has potential, but potential does nothing when your friends are driving around nice cars that get tons of attention and your stuck driving some POS.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:58 PM
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I have always wanted a classic must since I was about 15. I almost got one for my first car but the guy I was buying it from backed out at the last min. So I got an 89' LX Sport conv. 5.0 5-spd, Fixed it up, Motor, Brakes, Wheels, Paint, Interior, It was really a nice car. So I sold it got a truck (F-150 XLT EXD Cab. Loaded) and this Jan. Got my first classic mustang (65' Fastback 289 4-spd) I had just turned 20 when I bought it, I am now in the middle of a full restoration.

About these kids with Hondas, The first thing about ppl my age and younger and some older 16-25 is they don't know a lot about cars, and they see these movies like fast and the furious and others, and they want something like that, so they get there moms Honda and start doing "Mods" to them. The other problem that all the ppl I know with Hondas, and other import cars, and some not imports, is that they don't know how to make power or even what power feels like. I have a guy talking to me about the spoiler and wax job he just did gave his car 15hp, I couldn't stop from laughing. There are so many ppl out there like this itís not funny. And the sport compact mags. Donít help either. Has anyone ever read these things

I had another friend with a CRX, he had it all "pimped out" and was talking about how fast it was, and how many cars he had raced and won, one of them being a new mustang GT. First of all he has NOTHING done to his motor; second I have a 2001 GT Vert. So I took him for a ride! After that he sold his CRX and bought a mustang 90GT.

But anyway back to the reasons why teens don't drive classic cars.... from the ppl I know they think they are slower than their Honda civics and what not.



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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 05:06 PM
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Personally I think it's the hype. Everyone seems to buy into it. The F&F made street racing jap cars with useless dual element wings seem popular... so it is. In my day it was clean muscle, driven on the streets like the REAL Gone in 60. Safety as viewed from my standpoint isn't in the equasion. If 4-door Chevette's & ragged out Pinto's were idiolized in a popular movie, you'd have a different story entirely. Everyone just wants to be popular, even us old timers.
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