A LOT of older car tragics believe young people simply do not appreciate collector cars and so there’s not much future for such vehicles in this age of electronics, Star Wars and other non-emotional stuff.

So The Classic Car Trust has conducted what it believes is the first scientifically organised survey to see if that perception is reflected reality.

In the past year, interviews were conducted with 500 people who attended classic car shows in Italy, England, Germany, France and the United States. 

Interviewed were 250 people yet to reach their 30th birthday and another 250 aged 55 and older.

The interviews were conducted at Retromobile in Paris, Retro Classic in Stuttgart, London Classic Car Show, Los Angeles Classic Car Show and Auto e moto d’epoca in Padova — and the results reported in the 2019 edition of The Classic Car Trust’s magazine — The Key.

“The young are much more passionate about collector cars than the old tend to think,” the survey says.

“And all of them — the aged and the youthful — are confident about the future role of collecting, and indeed are prepared to promote the preservation and appreciation of our four-wheel heritage.” 

However, the summary added that youngsters needed to be involved first hand in events that tie in with their “expectations and language.”

Both age groups expressed strong passion for cars and optimism about the hobby, though perhaps for different reasons.

“Age is . . . not decisive in appraisal of the future of car collecting,” the survey says. 

“All are convinced of the role of classic cars in preserving a historic heritage and the way collecting expresses a true passion for automobiles.

“Another common consideration is the fact that the more cars become self-driving, the greater the appeal of driving the ‘real’ cars of yesterday will be.”

Regarding passion, the survey found while the 55-and-over contingent’s passion is driven by memories, the pleasures of driving and the taking part in events, for the younger generation, “classic cars bear witness to a cultural heritage to discover and preserve,” as well as bearing witness to the evolution of style and technology and “speaking for what are perceived as happier years.”

Young people also see ownership of “non-contemporary” vehicles as a way of being different, “of getting out of the mainstream.”

Those interviewed were asked to list their favourite collector vehicles and unsurprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” topped both lists, with the Lamborghini Miura and Aston Martin DB5 among the top four in each group’s list of favourites.

Early Chevrolet Corvettes, the Jaguar E-type and “Pagoda” Mercedes also were among the faves of the 55-plus group, while the younger audience preferred the Porsche Carrera RS, Lamborghini Countach, BMW 2002 turbo, Ferrari Testarossa, early Ford Mustangs and Lancia Delta Integrale.

Among Bugattis, older interviewees preferred the pre-war T35 while the younger audience lusted after the EB110 of the 1990s.

As you might expect, younger people preferred vehicles more recently produced than those favoured by their older counterparts.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.