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Old 11-07-2018, 02:29 PM   #45
30 Closed Cab PU
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 667
Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

The # of people who have the mechanical skills and knowledge has drastically shrunk with the progression of complicated modern/low maintenance vehicles. Most people do not even know how to change a tire, change oil, find a blown fuse, etc. Due to auto complexity and budget constraints most High Schools have discontinued Shop classes including Auto Mechanics, which was a major source of teaching auto basics and a source of encouraging young people.

Also shrunk is the amount of people who are "backyard mechanics". Again due to the knowledge required/economics of working on vehicles. In the past many maintained there own vehicles to save money due to the having to get by during the Depression and/or due a lower standard of living in those days. Another cause is the U.S. morphing away from a rural society decreasing basic general overall mechanical knowledge. Farmers know how to make things work, even if some fixes are infamous "farmer fixes".
I see a lot of comments on the Barn about how easy it is to maintain and work on the Model A. Basic things like replacement of water pumps, working on distrbutors, replacing a radiator, etc. seem doable for a person of my skills. However to properly work on the motor and the rest of the drivetrain, suspension, front end, and brakes is beyond the skills of a large percentage of people including myself who are/ maybe interested in As.

To pay to have this type of work is very expensive. If you need work done a mechanic with Model A skill must be found which is getting harder and harder to find. If lucky you can find someone reputable close, to perform major work/repairs. My A has been in the family since the early 60s, and I inherited it. But still have spent over $7,000 on it. I still have to replace the radiator, possibly have motor rebuilt, and the paint/body is average to below average (runner). Also the brakes need attention and possibly need the steering/front end worked on. My point is, and also was made in this string, owning an A takes real commitment, time, and depending on the Model A a lot of $. Something a lot of younger people, people with young families, etc. do not have, so they may prefer to own something from the 50s/60s/70s, that is easier and less costly to own/maintain.

All of the above are obstacles to owning an A. The Clubs, the Barn, the Model A Vendors, and the Internet help. But an A owner has to make a commitment to the A that is usually is not required for most cars from the 50s/60s/70s.

So it would not surprise me if the A hobby continues to decline.
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