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Collector Car Hobby is Losing Old Timers

By Autosaurus Published: April 14, 2009

Is it just me?  I don't think so.  In recent months I've noticed on both the local and national level that the collector car hobby is slowly losing its old-timers.  Some of these folks were around when the hobby was relatively new-1940's and €˜50's-and represent what some people call "institutional memory."  They remember when Hemmings Motor News was a small, pocket-sized "magazine" published by Ernie Hemmings in Quincy, Illinois.  They remember a hobby without a collector car auction every weekend.  They remember when collector cars were affordable and the only people buying them were hobbyists like you and me, not "investors."   They remember when you could visit a junk yard (yes, that's what they were called) and find plenty of cars from the €˜30's, €˜40's and earlier, for needed parts.  They remember fellow hobbyists who would actually give you a part you needed for your collector car. (It happened to me more than once.)  If you know any of these old-timers I recommend spending time with them--soon.  Most of them probably have a few good stories to share about the early days of the car hobby.  I always come away from conversations with the old timers feeling just a little bit better.

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