Archive for March, 2014
A demographic shift is definitely on the horizon – some 76 million baby boomers will soon reach retirement age. And while this brings up a number of concerns and issues, we have to ask, “When the Baby Boomers put down their auction flags and retire, what will happen to the collector car industry? Who’s going to buy all their cars?”
This is a very real question. Each generation not only defines its tastes, but is also defined by its tastes. There is a worrisome rhetoric that young people just aren’t interested in cars any more. This has been heard before when generations move on in age and the next one reaches its prime, but it is certainly a cause for concern to those that are a part of the Baby Boomers Generation. Will those who are a part of Generation X, Generation Y, or the new Silent Generation care about the cars of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers?
Some Baby Boomers did embrace the classics of their parents’ era, rightfully recognizing them as objects of art and pieces of history. This was helped by the sheer volume of boomers, enough to absorb the best collector cars, while also preserving the cars of their own era. But don’t expect this phenomenon to be repeated. Not only has the sheer volume of collector cars grown, but the next generation in the line of succession, Generation X, isn’t as large or as enthusiastic as the Baby Boomers. It is argued that the children of the Baby Boomer generation aren’t developing an interest in collector cars; there are too many other things capturing their attention – travel, sports, the internet and social media (technology).
Over the last 50-60 years, there has also been a strong shift with the development and rapidly changing technology. This “change in tastes” of the next generation will likely also affect the hobby of collecting cars. While today’s collector car market is dominated by mostly original cars and more-or-less accurate restorations, the future may be about resto-mods; old cars with modern equipment, incorporating today’s technology. Anecdotal evidence already suggests that resto-mod buyers tend to be younger, which makes sense.
Our take is that car collecting as a hobby won’t fade away, but the hobby will certainly evolve.
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