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I often hear that there is a fading interest in autos & things automotive. (especially among millennials). Is this really correct ?
A few years ago when I lived in Northern California, there were a few good automotive events that I would attend. The Monterrey Historics was the best & probably still is. Then I moved to Michigan and I mentioned to a friend that during the season, when it is not so dammed cold, you could attend one or two automotive events every weekend. He corrected me and said that you could go to an auto event of some kind almost every day of the week if you wanted. I now know that what he said is correct.
There are so many car shows, cruise-ins, cars & coffee, races, track days, swap meets, concours and open house days at Roush and Lingenfelters that you can only attend a few of them. Look at all the sports cars, hot rods, rice rockets, rat rods, muscle cars and different special interest cars that are running around. And a huge aftermarket industry to support them.
There may be less interest in cars among the general public, but there seems to be more cars and car events than ever before. If people are buying less cars (I am not so sure about that) resulting in less traffic on the roads.
I am good with that. Mass transit for the masses, not for me!
"These are the good old days" Carly Simon's line right ? Or what am I overlooking ? :confused:
 

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The cost and complication of driving cars, especially sports cars, has increased while the disposable income of younger generations, compared to previous ones, has decreased, dramatically. I don't envy the younguns.
 

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I actually think there are more hard core enthusiasts as a result of the explosion of internet exposure to the culture and its many facets. But enthusiasts have always been a tiny fraction of the population. What has fallen dramatically is the general population’s interest in cars and driving. That doesn’t automatically mean fewer enthusiasts though. Perhaps even the opposite as it moves more and more outside the mainstream.
 

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The cost and complication of driving cars, especially sports cars, has increased while the disposable income of younger generations, compared to previous ones, has decreased, dramatically. I don't envy the younguns.
I would not say that they have a less disposable income. I would say it is more accurate that they put forth way less effort than the previous generation to get a good career, and then have no concept of how to manage their money.
It's amazing to see how many of these idiots have $700-$1200 smart phones, drink coffee at Starbucks and shop at Trader Joe and Whole Foods.

When I was in college and post college, I drank water and ate ramen noodles instead of amassing 10s of thousands of dollars of debt. I also went to a college I could afford and came out with a useful degree.
 

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I don't think our views are at odds, even if we disagree on yours. The reason they have less disposable income may well be, what you say, that they make less effort to get a good career.

Personally I think they have fewer opportunities and face greater competition for those opportunities. There were labour shortages and houses prices were in thousands, new cars were in hundreds when their parents were young.

Laws were sketchy and policing was lower, no speed cameras or breathalizers. Older generations had it easy thanks to the generation before them. Our generation hasn't done as well by the younger generation.

We have made a world that is far more difficult to succeed in and not by accident. The rich get richer and you know the rest.
 

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4CALFA is my neighbor and I think he is right that there is an amazing amount of car activity here in S/E Michigan but that has to be because Detroit area has always been a car fanatic paradise because of the Big 3 car companies located here.

People aren't the same...everybody is an individual. When I was a teen back in 60s, My brother and I and my buddies were all into cars...mostly sports cars that we couldn't afford but also hot rods built from model Ts and As. Needless to say when I had kids (5 of them) I expected them to be likewise. My oldest son (45) is a car nut. He has owned some classic muscle cars, drag raced, Built cars from scratch and was a team manager for a lower level NASCAR team for a couple of years, and very knowledgeable about sports cars and classic muscle cars. My oldest daughter knows a lot about cars also but to her they are appliances. My middle daughter is working on a masters degree in NYU and to date hasn't gotten a drivers license...can't see any need in NY. My next son is a mechanical engineer and currently about to buy a used SUV work car and likes driving but not into speed sport but does enjoy going to car shows. My youngest son is a sophomore in college and he doesn't have a license yet either since he lives on campus and very limited places to park it. But he will drive soon. He loves going to classic car shows as well as sports car shows. All of my kids love to ride in the 4C and other cars I had before.
My oldest son is into ALFAs (loves GTVs) since that was the first car he experienced as a baby and on for the next 40 years. I had a 1970 ALFA duetto bought new. For a three years that was our only family car. Couldn't get away with it today but he used to sit in a baby seat and later car seat stuffed behind the passenger seat or strapped into the passenger seat (pre air bags and more stringent child seat laws) how did they and us parents ever survive our youth ? I was of the generation (born in 1947) when cars didn't have seat belts. First car my dad had with belts was a 64 Ford Fairlane. Prior to that the "car restraint" system in cars was dads arms stretched out across your chest to hold you in place ☠?☠
My wife's late father worked his entire career at GM Tech Center as a Mechanical Engineer....was director of new drive train development and also trouble shooting same. He obviously was a car fanatic but my wife likes driving but only as an "appliance". Her favorite memories of going to the Detroit cars show was to see the flower and water fall displays.....not the cars so much ? She does love to go for rides in the 4C but has never wanted to drive it...guess to intimidated.
 

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I see lots of young people interested in cars. Many too young to really spend money on one, but the same ones keep showing up to meets and frequenting facebook pages for groups. Lots of young racers, too. Perhaps they are not representative of the mainstream, but if everyone loved sports cars they wouldn’t be unique. Be it because of movies, TV, internet or the real thing, there is a youth car culture and it is very much alive. And that is a good thing.

I do believe that younger generations (Millennials and subsequent, and yes I am generalizing here) tend to value experiences over assets. I know too many who’s investment horizon extends only as far as their next amazing trip about which they can blog and post selfies from, when it should be more based on saving for a family, perhaps buying a property, child’s education, or even starting to get serious about thinking about retirement goals. It is not for me to judge that behaviour, but it seems incompatible with owning a sports car. So perhaps the shared car or public transit features more in their future than in mine. Maybe that is why Porsche and Volvo (and shortly others) are getting into the car subscription business. For an exorbitant fee, you can change cars as often as you like instead of buying or leasing.

As people congregate more into urban areas, mass transit and ride sharing becomes a practical option. Never going to work for me out in the sticks. And I’d hate to break it to my horse that I’m going to have to ride him the 3 miles to the main road where I would have to wait for a bus to take me into the city and back every day! That ain’t progress. ;)
 

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My 4C is paid for thusly:

No cable TV (I use Roku and free services).
No annual Disney Trip or other 5 grand vacation package (I like cheap weekend road trips).
I do most every project around the home myself.
As a personal tenant, I don't go to drive thru windows, fast food restaurants or convenience stores for food.
I bought the 4C after someone else took the initial depreciation hit.
I waited 35 years.

I manage millennials. I have been managing them and the prior generation, and they are suited to leasing cars and indulgence in 20 dollar burgers, craft beers and don't know how to do car or home projects.

In the USA, sports cars died because most people are fat, too.

Cars died, because of human girth, shallow indulgence in daily disposable crap like coffee and 300 dollar cable bills and mechanical ineptitude.

Sports car culture became a thing via the web, but this is not data that shows its a good business model. It flushed out the sub culture, not the majority.

I don't care to hear anecdotes about some millennials that are opposite of what I described. I'm done with them and their defenders.
 

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Philster You sound a bit like me. Perhaps both are candidates for the Creative Anachronisms Society ?
I agree that modern day people don't believe in long term investment and life planning, I also go with the fix it yourself model...and....., who needs a $5 cup of coffee life style, And wait until you can afford to buy something rather than paying extra interest just to have it immediately. That concept allowed me to pay cash for all of my cars and able to retire at 56...and pay for my 5 kids college education. Luckily they all learned from the example I set and are doing very well also. The only thing I bought on credit was my first house. There is nothing wrong with working very hard....and holding two jobs if you need more money as I did. I also didn't need a new car every couple of years....most of my cars were kept 20 years or more....one ALFA was kept for 40 years before getting the 4C.
I think we both may be outliers though.....
 

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Got another member of that mutual agreement society, have we? Don’t mind the odd cup of coffee when out for a drive with my wife or the 4C lads. It’s simply a substitute for alcohol. Well, not really but definitely no alcohol before or on any drive. The 4C was/is my first and only big spend on a car and, like you two blokes, a cash purchase. A kind of retirement gift to myself. No cable or expensive phones. I take the third owner hand-me-downs from my elder son and wife. Same goes for this iPad and my laptop....starting to sound like a Monty Python sketch.
 

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True sports cars are inconvenient by nature, during a time when overindulgence of conveniences is part of the main message droning continuously from the Propaganda Ministry.
I’ve got two great gauges for noticing when I’m putting on weight: 1. When my 30yr old leathers feel tight. 2. When I start feeling it’s an awkward struggle when getting out of the 4C. Reasons enough to keep on top of the weight. You see, the 4C is a healthy lifestyle choice. Another reason to purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
4CALFA is my neighbor and I think he is right that there is an amazing amount of car activity here in S/E Michigan but that has to be because Detroit area has always been a car fanatic paradise because of the Big 3 car companies located here.

People aren't the same...everybody is an individual. When I was a teen back in 60s, My brother and I and my buddies were all into cars...mostly sports cars that we couldn't afford but also hot rods built from model Ts and As. Needless to say when I had kids (5 of them) I expected them to be likewise. My oldest son (45) is a car nut. He has owned some classic muscle cars, drag raced, Built cars from scratch and was a team manager for a lower level NASCAR team for a couple of years, and very knowledgeable about sports cars and classic muscle cars. My oldest daughter knows a lot about cars also but to her they are appliances. My middle daughter is working on a masters degree in NYU and to date hasn't gotten a drivers license...can't see any need in NY. My next son is a mechanical engineer and currently about to buy a used SUV work car and likes driving but not into speed sport but does enjoy going to car shows. My youngest son is a sophomore in college and he doesn't have a license yet either since he lives on campus and very limited places to park it. But he will drive soon. He loves going to classic car shows as well as sports car shows. All of my kids love to ride in the 4C and other cars I had before.
My oldest son is into ALFAs (loves GTVs) since that was the first car he experienced as a baby and on for the next 40 years. I had a 1970 ALFA duetto bought new. For a three years that was our only family car. Couldn't get away with it today but he used to sit in a baby seat and later car seat stuffed behind the passenger seat or strapped into the passenger seat (pre air bags and more stringent child seat laws) how did they and us parents ever survive our youth ? I was of the generation (born in 1947) when cars didn't have seat belts. First car my dad had with belts was a 64 Ford Fairlane. Prior to that the "car restraint" system in cars was dads arms stretched out across your chest to hold you in place ☠?☠
My wife's late father worked his entire career at GM Tech Center as a Mechanical Engineer....was director of new drive train development and also trouble shooting same. He obviously was a car fanatic but my wife likes driving but only as an "appliance". Her favorite memories of going to the Detroit cars show was to see the flower and water fall displays.....not the cars so much ? She does love to go for rides in the 4C but has never wanted to drive it...guess to intimidated.
I have always believed in paying cash and not taking out car loans, or any loan for that matter. Unless it is for an emergency of some sort and you have no other option.
If you are a car enthusiast it is probably best to have two cars, one for everyday commuting and another for fun. At first, that may seem like the more costly approach, but in the long run it will turn out to be cost effective.
If you have just one expensive car that you use as a daily commuter you will just run it into the ground and by the time it is paid off, it will be time for another. That is a financial trap that will just repeat itself over & over again. It is easy to find an inexpensive used daily commuter that you can pay cash for, do your own maintenance, keep it for years till it dies and then get another.
I used to commute between Napa & San Francisco about 3 times a week. I could not understand why I would see drivers in Porsches, Corvettes, & BMW's crawling along at
15 mph in stop & go traffic. That seems to be such a waste. Does it make any sense to use one of these cars in that manner?
Of course, if you have a lot of money none of this will matter, and more power to you. You probably worked your ass off to attain that position.
 

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Never borrowed or used credit for cars. Only ever driven what I can pay for out of my own money. Yeah, I've driven a lot of sheds in the past, damn right. That makes me appreciate my nice cars now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Never borrowed or used credit for cars. Only ever driven what I can pay for out of my own money. Yeah, I've driven a lot of sheds in the past, damn right. That makes me appreciate my nice cars now.
Yep !, been there, done that. And I really do appreciate what I have now.
 

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If the only thing standing between you and a career is a new car or good used car at a great interest rate: BORROW... especially if the rates are 1.9%, etc.

If you're going to need new suits for a new job: BORROW.

If you borrow as an investment (both of the above are the purest forms of investment) and money is near free, you'd be insane not to borrow. When borrowing for sheer excess and pleasure like a 4C weekender? Still not a bad idea if the money is cheap and the chunk of cash you would have dropped on it is growing elsewhere.

So, just chiming in to counter the 'never borrow' advice.

Borrow wisely is more complex and nuanced, but is probably the better rule of thumb.
 

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If the only thing standing between you and a career is a new car or good used car at a great interest rate: BORROW... especially if the rates are 1.9%, etc.

If you're going to need new suits for a new job: BORROW.

If you borrow as in investment (both of the above are the purest forms of investment) and money is near free, you'd be insane not to borrow. When borrowing for sheer excess and pleasure like a 4C weekender? Still not a bad idea if the money is cheap and the chunk of cash you would have dropped on it is growing elsewhere.

So, just chiming in to counter the 'never borrow' advice.

Borrow wisely is more complex and nuanced, but is probably the better rule of thumb.

Maybe for some but BORROW, BORROW just isn't me, never has been. I'm a WORK and SAVE guy.
 

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Maybe for some but BORROW, BORROW just isn't me, never has been. I'm a WORK and SAVE guy.
I agree....although i would add the most important one....invest in the future. That can include more education, gain new skills, suitable clothing for the job, reliable transportation, but also put money into investments for the future. A little investment out of each paycheck now can make huge differences in things like a comfortable retirement, not living from hand to mouth, etc. You won't miss the money now when investing but will reap the rewards later.
 
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