Here at ACC, we spend a lot of time talking about the next generation, and for good reason: our kids are the future of our old car hobby. But the one thing that always seems to come up when older car guys start talking about kids is, frankly, something I’m tired of hearing about: the smartphone. The sentiment is almost always the same: today’s kids are too busy using their iPhones or Androids to care about anything else — especially old cars.
I don’t think that gives kids — or phones — enough credit.
I don’t disagree with the notion that the next generation is more plugged-in than ever — the world is a much different place than it was in 1950, 1960, and 1970. But the truth is that we’re ALL more connected today, thanks to our devices — not just the kids. I can’t help but wonder how many of the guys complaining about kids and phones are doing so with iPhones in their pockets.
Car culture may not be as ubiquitous as it once was, but it’s far from dead — just look at the over-the-top machines the Big Three are building today. Modern car kids, fewer as they may seem, are a passionate bunch, and they’re using their smartphones as powerful tools to learn and communicate about the cars that speak to them. A quick look at Instagram proves my point: Searching for #Mustang brings over 4,000,000 results. #Corvette brings 1,400,000 images. #Charger returns 958,000 images. #Chevelle brings back over 250,000 images — all posted, liked, and commented on by a primarily younger demographic.
Sure, social media and online forums aren’t the same thing as hanging out the window of a ’58 Chevy as it slowly rumbles up G street on a summer night, but does that really matter? Isn’t car passion a good thing regardless of how it forms?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.