Saving cars for the next generation - What Do You Reckon? 429

By: Glenn Torrens

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Despite being a non-dad, Glenn Torrens doles out some solid parenting advice

Who has an early girl tucked away for the next generation, asked a bloke on a Holden Commodore Facebook page.

"I had the unexpected opportunity to buy this Calais back in 2014 for my son who was only two years old at the time," he continued. "It has been locked away ever since. The plan is to give it a quick resto and hand him the keys for his 25th birthday."

However, reading this bloke’s proud mention of the locked-in-a-shed Calais reminded me of the dozens of stored-for-later and father-and-son projects I’ve seen, heard and read of over the years.

And most of them seem to end in disaster.

I’ve seen the dismay on the faces of parents who have, for years, stored a ‘special’ car only to discover they’ve been laughed at behind their backs by kids who have absolutely no interest in a 50-year old relic…

The kid wants a Qashqai or a Mazda 3.

Or maybe the kids won’t be interested in our car hobby at all, just like many of us are not into Star Trek, collecting coins or stalking steam trains.

One of my best mates has a teenager. My mate and I have tried our best to include the kid in our hobby. With more than a dozen road-registered cars and 4WDs between us, we have a stack of interesting stuff to tinker with. We’re are doing everything from rebuilding engines and suspensions to installing aftermarket EFI conversions… far more than just washing our cars on a sunny Saturday morning, which was a rite-of-passage for me when I was growing up.

We’ll give the kid a task and it’s go-go-go for about 10 minutes… then things go quiet. Recently, he was asked to wash a car and he didn’t even get the bucket filled, let alone ask for the detergent, before he’d drifted back to sitting in a corner looking at his phone. There is no effing way this kid is thinking about building a mad Bug or dropping a V8 into a Commodore with dad and Uncle GT. It’s just not on his radar.

So, for all those proud parents out there who think they are doing the right thing by buying a cool old car and storing it in a darkened shed until little Jane or Johnny gets P-plates, be prepared for a massive disappointment.

But here’s an easy fix that makes everyone happy: Ol’ mate with the old Holden Calais – and anyone else with something nice but unused in a shed – should get it out, patch it up and cruise it right now. I reckon kids will be more likely to grow into adults that appreciate our car hobby if their childhood memories are of happy family trips to the beach, grandma’s house and car shows instead of vague flash-backs to an old shitbox under a dusty blanket in the garage.

And by cruising it now, mum and dad get to enjoy it too!

 

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