Do you have children?
Do you own a classic car?
If the answer is ‘YES’ to both questions, then you really ought to combine these two great things in your life by taking your child / children for a drive in your classic.
All too often do I hear fellow classic car enthusiasts worry, that there will be no one to continue our hobby when we leave this world. The younger generation – our children – just aren’t interested in classic cars. Who will be the next caretakers of our beloved historic automobiles? In all honesty, it’s a subject which at times can worry me too.
But I’m confused. Because on other occasions I hear classic car owners mutter that there’s no way they will ever take their children for a drive in their prized classic car. There are – apparently – all sorts of reasons for this, ranging from “They just don’t enjoy it” to “I’m not having them eat ice cream in that perfect interior”, or more often the overly protective and wrapped in bubblewrap “I don’t want them in a car without airbags”. Another often heard rant is how classic car owners most certainly will never trust their teenage children behind the wheel of their classic, once they finally get their driver’s license. It’s apparently much too dangerous.
Well I ask you, how are we ever to expect our children to take any interest in our hobby, if we don’t make an effort to include them? While I’ve always been very careful not to force my hobby upon our two daughters, I do still make a point out of offering them to join me on small local drives in our little red “NullZwei”, as we call our BMW 2002. But recently I upped the game significantly. I decided to drive our classic 832 miles back to Denmark for our summer holidays. While I wasn’t at all sure what response I would get, I still asked our 9-year-old daughter (the eldest of the two), whether she was keen on accompanying dad on a proper roadtrip. Her eyes immediately lit up and the response was a very prompt YES! About a month before the trip, we started planning the drive together, and she was clearly as excited as I was. Luckily the whole trip turned out to be a blast! Not once did she complain “Are we there yet?” – instead we just bonded and had fun. By including her, she now also feels some degree of a ownership with our “NullZwei”, and I’ll argue that she even gets it when it comes to the appeal of classic cars in general. It’s now up to me to continue carefully nurturing this new-born interest, just as I would like to include our younger daughter too. Furthermore, when the day comes where they get a driver’s license, I can assure you that they won’t be bubblewrapped into some modern contraption, in which they will never truly learn how to drive, as modern technology dictates that the car should preferably do all of that for you. I’ll do my best to ensure that both our daughters experience the joys of a fully analogue car. If I have my say, their first car should perhaps be a small classic like a Spitfire, maybe a slightly newer but still very analogue first generation MR-2, or of course our trusty old 2002.
We all strive hard to preserve the historic cars which we so enjoy. Now let’s all take responsibility, and try just as hard to ensure that the next generation will continue to cherish classic cars, and act as caretakers for many more years to come…