Saving classic cars for your kids - Revcounter 431

By: Guy Allen

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All about kids, cars and cardigans

Our favourite shed-dweller – Glenn Torrens – last issue set off a bit of a mail storm with a column on why you shouldn’t save your classic cars for your kids, but should get out and use them now. He’s right.

There is a whole bunch of good reasons why. For a start, the little perishers might not even like cars. Now before you blame this on the plague of smartphones that has taken over our planet, I’m here to say that’s not the cause. Some kids will like cars, others won’t – in any case I still see plenty of younger folk turning up at car shows, or engaging in their own modest restorations when I visit assorted sheds around the country.

Then again I know a family where the elder patriarch is a dyed-in-the-wool historic-car nut and had all sorts of plans for his grandkids to inherit some very nice machinery. However as they matured they showed zero interest. It’s no-one’s fault – that’s just how it is.

I have experienced some happy examples, too – definitely due more to good luck rather than good planning. My kids grew up with two parents who loved their cars and motorcycles, watching over the years as we gradually restored the much-used family pet, the Kingswood, back from a rolling playpen to a reasonably presentable car.

We also took them on a lot of adventures with cars and motorcycles, so they were (mostly) associated with good times. That said, if one or both had turned their backs and walked away and got interested in other things, so be it. So long as it wasn’t chainsaw-juggling.

In their turn, they got married and ‘corrupted’ their husbands. We now we have two sets of in-laws who are accepting enough of the interest in classic cars – one daughter bought a Mustang, the other a Corvette – but are less than amused that their young sons are now also riding motorcycles. Neither came from a petrol-head family, so I suspect a bit of head-shaking went on.

Of course there will be times when other priorities take over. The Mustang has now gone in part to fund a house – maybe one day it will be replaced. We’ll see. If they feel the need to play with an older car in the meantime, they can always raid our shed.

I reckon GT was spot-on when he said not to plan your shed and your life around what your kids may like. It’s a nice thought, but you might as well just get out and enjoy the toy.

Will the next gen follow in our tracks? Hopefully, but don’t burden them by planning your life around it. As youngest daughter Ms A is wont to say: "you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it wear a cardigan!" Which is another way of saying, no matter how hard you try, nature will take its course.


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