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Old 11-04-2018, 08:41 PM   #1
Corley
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Default Membership dropping, interest too???

It's very odd. The recent Studebaker Drivers rag has membership numbers for the last few years, broken out by states. Only a couple states have more members now than 4 years ago, and most states show a 5 to 10 percent drop in membership. So, if this is a good indication, one would expect that there is less interest in the old car hobby. However, prices seem to be up. Quite a bit up, in fact, judging by the for sale ads.

So I wonder if the cause of higher prices is caused by the investment players at the big auctions, the higher quality of restorations being performed, or just the general economy and cost of living. And, is this same trend showing up in the model A clubs and community?

This declining membership is a really big issue, as the knowledge goes away as each old person gives up the cars. It would seem there is not much interest among the younger folks, and few to carry on. This means fewer and fewer to pass the knowledge on to. Does anybody care? There are museums closing due to lack of interest and support, and only the wealthiest few can afford to purchase and hoard these cars, taking them out of public view.

Maybe I'm glad I'm old enough that I won't be around to see what's coming... Sad...
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Corley, I read your thread with interest. I am new to Model A's, I am 67, I was so welcomed into the group and made to feel like on of the guys. When looking around and talking to the members who really have the knowledge, tools and all the tips I find them to be a 10 -12 years older than me. I worry about newbies like myself whether we will be able to gain the knowledge quick enough from them to be able to instill it to guys coming along behind us.
When the economy is good people are willing to buy toy, boats, motor homes and cars, When the economy goes South so do the toys at a fraction of the price. I think that is why you are seeing big $$$$ increase in cars. How ever if you look at what type, year models etc is increasing the most I think you will find it is the cars from the 60s and 70s not model A's
I bought my car from a gentleman who was down sizing his house and his kids did not want Dads eccentric toy. I was happy to buy it and will have it for a long time. My co workers with Chevy's, Mustangs and Cuda's all shake their head when people ask for a ride in my A. Some of the guys have paint jobs the price a I paid for a nice 1930 Coupe.
The above is are observations from a newbie who really enjoys the Model A Fraternity. I have put 5200 miles on my car in the ten months I have owned it and have had nothing but good vibes from people when they see me coming down the road
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Most Organizations are losing membership. I think it is a result of the times we live in with way too much else to take our time. The young are not much interested in the past or antiques. There is not much for them to be nostalgic about ( the 70s-80s?), and a computer to keep them occupied. Prices are still holding mostly because of inflation.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Many young people living in the larger cities aren't interested in cars and don't even intend getting a driver's license. They see cars pretty much the same way that the anti car guys did 130 years ago - noisy, smelly, polluting and dangerous. I'm afraid that for cars the age of our Model As, the future is not looking so rosy. I intend driving and enjoying mine as long as I can - and enjoying the waves and smiles that go with it.
I enjoy telling the smart@ssed drivers of modern cars that by the time their car is as old as mine already is, it will probably have come back as a microwave oven, a lawn mower and who knows what else. That usually shuts em up!
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Seems like Hemming's is getting thicker, more cars in a lot of categories? Does it seem that way to others. Perhaps it's the "thinning of the herd. I know I just cut from three A's to two and may take it down to one before the fairies come get me. No grand kid or kid of mine is vaguely interested in the old cars. Most of the other kids in the extended family are more interested in a new cell phone than a drivers permit. Some into the thirties don't want anything to do with a car if they live in a city. SF a garage is about as expensive as renting a home out a ways. Now they are promoting dormitory style living where one or two couples occupy an apartment with kitchen and living room down the hall. Years ago I hosted a fire chief from Hong Kong. He told me the wages for the Chinese fireman would buy a 10 X 10 foot room for eight hours a day for the family. That room was shared by two other families the other 16 hrs and the firemen pulled a rickshaw to bring in food and clothing money. Maybe we didn't have it too bad after all.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

It may just be that hobbies in general are declining and especially certain aspects that some of us older folks. Like Gerry Allen, I too am 67 and bought my first A last year. Like him, I am really blown away by the help I have received by others I have gotten to know. Some are 10 and even 20 years older than I am.

However, I watch a lot of the Velocity channel on TV, and nobody (in general) seems to be doing episodes of Model A or any other really vintage restoration or upkeep. A lot of its content is geared around 400 HP engines and modifications which the younger folks really dig. I guess that's what the sponsors like based on the business they get from advertising.

I am a former coin collector. Who collects coins any more? It used to be that coins would pop up in circulation every once in a while that were collectable. Not really any more. I don't even bother looking any more.

I hold a ham radio license and that hobby is literally dying off. Who wants to get on the air and contact Japan or Europe when you can do so with a cell phone as easy as you can fall off a log? The mystique has gone from that hobby. Radio Shack, which once had a line of parts for the electronics hobbyists and experimenters has gone by the way side.

I am also a member of a telephone collectors organization which is filled with older members and struggling to find younger members.

I really do intend to be around a while and enjoy my Model A, even though my wife and I seem to be one of the younger ones in the club. She really likes the car and that's important!
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

I cannot really add to the good points and observations already made, except to say that if you go by attendance at the big car shows and swap meets, the hobby is booming. But, my Model A club is aging - I'm one of the younger ones and I'm 75. I, too, have been unable to identify anyone in my extended family who would be interested in my old cars or my vast tool collection (and able to house them), when I am too old for them.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbox51 View Post
It may just be that hobbies in general are declining and especially certain aspects that some of us older folks. Like Gerry Allen, I too am 67 and bought my first A last year. Like him, I am really blown away by the help I have received by others I have gotten to know. Some are 10 and even 20 years older than I am.

However, I watch a lot of the Velocity channel on TV, and nobody (in general) seems to be doing episodes of Model A or any other really vintage restoration or upkeep. A lot of its content is geared around 400 HP engines and modifications which the younger folks really dig. I guess that's what the sponsors like based on the business they get from advertising.

I am a former coin collector. Who collects coins any more? It used to be that coins would pop up in circulation every once in a while that were collectable. Not really any more. I don't even bother looking any more.

I hold a ham radio license and that hobby is literally dying off. Who wants to get on the air and contact Japan or Europe when you can do so with a cell phone as easy as you can fall off a log? The mystique has gone from that hobby. Radio Shack, which once had a line of parts for the electronics hobbyists and experimenters has gone by the way side.

I am also a member of a telephone collectors organization which is filled with older members and struggling to find younger members.

I really do intend to be around a while and enjoy my Model A, even though my wife and I seem to be one of the younger ones in the club. She really likes the car and that's important!
Matchbox, unfortunately I have to agree with you. While my Model A club is fairly active, it seems to be waning. Newer members tend to be older but also a few younger ones (under 50). I attribute overall decline to changing demographics, younger folks just aren't interested in anything vintage. I think another problem with most hobby clubs is that they tend to get political with some of the leadership having a "my way or the hiway" attitude. Our club was on the upswing a couple of years ago, we sponsored a very successful regional meet that should have been applauded but seemed to be unappreciated by the older regime, I think due to jealousy because their regional meet a few years earlier was a total flop. We also sponsor a skills event with the local high school that the old group is now trying to do away with. They also mounted a campaign to vote out those who had done a lot to help the club. After the voting results were tallied one of the conspirators was heard to say "now we have our club back". After that, several members dropped out.

I too am a ham operator, inactive mostly because the magic of radio no longer interests me. I had no money but started out building a station with junk T.V. and old radio components. I communicated in morse code with both coasts on low power. What a thrill that was. A lot of study was necessary to obtain a license. Today, not so much. The code requirement was dropped and technology has reduced most of the equipment to microprocessors and software. A friend of mine is a very active ham and for years took care of the club's 2 meter repeater. Everybody used it and complained when it broke but very few offered to help him and further complained when he needed money for repairs and updates.

Old telephones--I was in that too. Sold a lot of stuff on ebay but recently gave away most of it because no one wants it.

I know all of this sounds pessimistic but in spite of that, I love my Model A, it brings smiles to young and old alike, everywhere we drive it. Fortunately there are still a lot of very nice, wonderful people driving Model As who will help you if you just ask.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

I am new to Model A's too. I bought one last year at age 69, and another this year. I see the same troubles in the Studebaker Club, and the local HCCA. I think we all need to step up and put some effort into getting the club cars out for runs or tours as often as possible. We get a lot of thumbs up on the road, and a lot of interest when we stop somewhere. I have seen coffee shops and gas stations empty out to come out and see the cars when we pull up. Take a grandkid along for a ride if you can. I have met a lot of interesting people and made new friends through Model A's. Can't ask for more than that. Who gets them next....I'll never know, but I hope they has as much fun as I am!

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Old 11-05-2018, 01:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Getting the car out in public is the thing to do. I also get thumbs up whenever I take my Model A or Studebaker out. It must have been Devine intervention the other day when my 1999 Olds wouldn't start. I wanted to drive to Target to use the Kodak machine to print a couple Studebaker pictures from digital. Since the Olds wouldn't start I had to drive my 1950 Studebaker Land Cruiser to the store.


As soon as I parked at Target and got out of the car, 2 older women came almost running towards the car, and one of them was taking about Studebaker. She said her dad used to sell Studebakers. I asker her if that could be Lawrence Burke in Anoka, who owned the Studebaker dealership, and she said yes. Then she looked up and saw I was wearing my Studebaker cap, and she got even more excited and said I really made her day. So it really pays to get your old cars out in public, if just to make someone's day.


BTW, later that day the Olds started just fine, so it's still a mystery what happened in the morning.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Yeah, interest drops when you get told that you should crush your car because the pinstripe is the wrong colour.

It's not that easy to figure out that you can buy & use one if they're all in museums or only on tours. Found driving one daily & using it as a regular car gains heaps of interest.
Got a driver spec car? Do try it.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Quote:
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Yeah, interest drops when you get told that you should crush your car because the pinstripe is the wrong colour.

It's not that easy to figure out that you can buy & use one if they're all in museums or only on tours. Found driving one daily & using it as a regular car gains heaps of interest.
Got a driver spec car? Do try it.
I will second Mr. Dumb Person (misnomer?). I have no means of getting to work _other_ than either one of my Model A's. I am 47 and work as an engineer in a tech company in Silicon Valley, where most of my colleagues drive BMW's and Tesla's. As stated before, until I bought my first Model A five years ago, I had never even changed the oil in a car before. Maybe I am the exception that proves the rule, but with me this hobby is going down fighting!
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Folks, I think getting out and driving our cars is the best way of sparking interest in Model A's. I look at myself as a Model A ambassador. I was about to get into my car and drive off from the hardware store when a guy stopped to look at the car. Next thing I know I was driving Bob a retired police officer and a recent widower for a quick drive. When we parted he had me take a picture of him standing beside the car. His parting words were,thank you I can't wait to send this picture to my daughter and "oh by the way can I have your business card.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Recently bought a Model 'A' at age 63 and share many of the thoughts reflected in this thread.

My Model 'A' was purchased from a real nice 95 year old guy who restored 34 Model 'A's in his life and he really knew his stuff. When I picked up the truck I was grateful that he spent the entire day going over the truck with me and he allowed me to record video of the day which is good since my memory is terrible. It's great footage and I've learned a lot from it.

Even though it's a different world I am optimistic that there will be others getting into this hobby with the same attitude. Keep in mind there are some things in this different world that work in our favor too. In addition to learning from club members, all the online knowledge and videos that are out there make it easier to learn about working on these cars. Youtube has great information about working on Model 'A's (especially Jack Bahm's informative Model 'A' videos). And this forum is another helpful resource.

Regardless, the future should be interesting. I'll be having fun.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

I got back into Model As a few years ago around age 60 because I finally had time, a garage and a little extra money. It has been great, but I have gone a little crazy, buying a second Model A, two V8s and now a Model T. If he can, I think my son will want to keep one of my Model As. He really likes them. I hope so.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:34 AM   #16
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

All good points above, but I don't think you should use a club's membership as a barometer. The reason I say this is think about why someone needs the/a club. Quite honestly, I do not need either club. The majority of the hobbyists today feel the same way. Unless you are attending a club sponsored function, most hobbyists do not see a need other than receiving the magazine. Finding parts can be done more efficiently on the internet. Asking questions about certain details are more quickly and efficiently found on the internet. Receiving a magazine every two months is way too slow for most hobbyists.


The way I think you judge the interest in the hobby is to follow the social media pages specifically for the different marques of vehicles you like. Look at the profile of the persons who are asking questions or showing off their car online. You will quickly see if involves WAY more folks than only the Social Security eligible crowd.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

I got an A when I was 12,(still have it)and have only known a handful of people involved in clubs.At the ground level,or where I am,there is a lot of interest in the A's,but no desire to be part of a formal organization.It used to be a good way to meet and hang around with other like minded people,but that is easier now by just sitting in front of the screen.I have zero interest in driving around as a group,same thing with shows.I like to go to some,but not to compete.I was actually in my early 20's when I was soured on the Model A clubs by the older members.I did belong to both MAFCA and MARC,but I dropped them years ago.I am not a clubby type person,there was just no reason for me to belong.If I belonged to a club for everything I play with,it would be more than a full time job.Antique tractors and equipment,old VW's,Studebakers,old guns,antique and modern motorcycles,old garage equipment,signs,toys,etc.I've met some A people that meet informally,nice bunch of people,but they meet for coffee on Friday mornings.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

I second the comments of B. Terry.

I have owned Model A’s for almost 60 years, and have never been a car club member.

Just don’t have the time. If something needs attention that I can’t do. I pay to have it done. I treat our Sport Coupe like our everyday driver. No shade tree mechanic work.

My feelings are that a properly restored or a well maintained car will always have a market. Just look at all the new owners on The Ford Barn. They want to drive them and have fun.

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Old 11-05-2018, 08:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

often discussed, seldom concluded and yes, Model As will be around forever.


Packards, Pierce and a whole lot of more expensive cars? Maybe not so much.


Yes there is a generational change occurring. Tech and money have new meanings today.


Young peoples interest has often changed and is changing. Wont really matter to most of us.


Go have fun and dont be too concerned.....
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: Membership dropping, interest too???

Now taking this in a slightly different direction...

I currently have two model As in a stable of old iron. One is a restored 29 Tudor, the other a hot rodded 29 cc pickup. Hands down, the hot rodded pickup gets way more attention when out driving, than does the stock restored Tudor. People don't tend to notice the stock Tudor as much, but I get tons of thumbs up and comments about the pickup. It is very clear when looking at the pickup that it is a model A, but with a fancy face.

I also drive 3 different Studebaker's, a 54 starliner (hot rodded), a 63 Avanti, (stock), and a 62 Champ truck. Once again, the hot rod gets all the attention, and it is in crappy paint and primer, but it has a certain look, that people seem to like and comment on.

Does this mean we all should be driving hot rods? I don't think so, but I do think it means we should consider the hot rods our friends, as they help keep interest up in the old car community. I hate car shows, and only do one local club, but frankly that club is more of a social thing than for information or contacts. But, when driving in a line with them, they really only just 'tolorate' my hot rod 29 pickup, even though it often draws the most attention. That's OK, I rather like bringing up the rear, and stopping to help the stock As when they break down.

So what's my point? Not much, but I'll happily accept all those tools from the guy who has no family members interested in inheriting them, but he is only 75, and I am 78, so I may have to give him mine first. I hope he has a BIG trailer. Really, since none of my family shows any interest in mechanics, I don't care who gets this stuff when I expire.

PS. Based on the fun I have with my hot rods, I'm currently building a 26 T roadster hot rod! Who says I am too old for fun? (Sure hope I'll be able to crawl into it!)

PS. I ALWAYS do ALL my own mechanical work, on both the old cars and my moderns. That is my real fun!
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