Young drivers and old cars

Like a lot of hobby groups the old car movement has for some years wondered how to best attract young people into the activity.  The ageing of the membership of many car clubs has put both organisational and financial strains on the active members, and all to often we all talk about cars that are no longer seen as the generation that inherited them overwhelmingly chose not to take up the hobby.  There have been a few efforts here at getting Gen X and Gen Y involved but none seem to have really succeeded. Of course some clubs are fortunate to have a few young adult enthusiasts follow in dad or pop’s footsteps and take the car, themselves and partners and children out with their club – but these are a handful compared to the numbers the old car movement needs for sustainability. I should add that pleasingly some 3rd generation enthusiasts have been reported becoming active in a few clubs so there is hope.

Also an initiative that has recently been reported should be considered by all historic car clubs and federations of car clubs – “Hagerty Hosts Inaugural Youth Driving Experience” -“35 young adults participated in a classic car driving experience designed to highlight the enjoyment of driving a vintage car. During the inaugural Hagerty Driving Experience, the 16- through 20-year-old participants enjoyed classroom and hands-on drive experiences at the Dearborn, Michigan-based Automotive Hall of Fame.”

Not a bad idea and maybe here in Australia it could be organised to compliment National Motoring Heritage Day.

Hagerty has other initiatives to encourage young driver into older cars: Youth Programs fuel kids’ interst in classic cars. So BRAVO Hagerty – if a company that specialises in vintage and classic car insurance in the US thinks this is an important issue what about the car insurers here in Oz getting involved and putting something more back into the hobby – c’mon Shannons and NRMA I challenge you to help the car clubs ensure that we have a succession plan for our cars and our kids.

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Old Tyres – A Warning

TYRES — A WARNING! When did you last check the tyres on your veteran or vintage car?  No, not just to see if they’re holding air or are getting worn but seriously check them for cracks, damage and AGE.

Collectable cars, motor bikes and antique tractors tend to have the same set of tyres for many years simply because they don’t do the miles our everyday vehicles do. And they go on year after year looking pretty good, tyre blacked for displays and holding air. They’re OK aren’t they!

But just think about it – HOW OLD ARE THE TYRES ON YOUR OLD VEHICLE/S?You bought a new set for that big rally in …..                                                                                   ah, when was it?……………

In 2007 in response to the incident outlined below the following article appeared in the FBHVC (Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs), Newsletter 04-07.  

Her Majesty’s Coroner for Manchester wrote to FBHVC – it is an important matter and we urge clubs to pass the warning on to their membership if they have not already done so.
The letter concerned an accident that took place last year in which the driver of an H registered MG B lost his life when a rear tyre burst on the M56. The driver was a skilled mechanic and a careful and experienced driver who was not travelling particularly fast at the time. The car was described by police as being maintained in excellent condition. The surviving passenger said that just before the accident the driver had commented that a ‘tyre wobble’ had developed and he was going to ‘drive through it’. The wobble went briefly, but then the tyre burst, causing the car to spin, clip a kerb and flip over.
Subsequent investigation showed that although hardly used the tyre was 25 years old. It was one of a set of as-new tyres and wheels bought at an autojumble the previous year for use for show purposes (at the time of the incident the car was on its way to an event at Oulton Park).
The British Rubber Manufacturers Association suggests that if a tyre is six years old and remains unused it should not be put into service. It also suggests that in ideal conditions tyres may have a life expectancy of 10 years.

The moral of the story is not to wait for legislation, but to make sure your own tyres are in good condition, never to use undated or obviously old second-hand tyres however good the tread and never to ignore a ‘tyre wobble’.  [Source: Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs –]

 How do you tell the age of a tyre?

Tyres are manufactured with a Tyre Identification Number (TIN) marking moulded on the sidewall that shows the week and year that the tyre was made.

For post 2000 made tyres the last four digits of the TIN indicate production date,eg. 1204 indicates a tyre made in the 12th week of 2004.

For tyres made pre 2000 the last three digits of the TIN indicate production date,eg. 375 indicates a tyre made in the 37th week of 1995.

Tyres made in the 1990’s have a triangular indentation after the last number eg. 10th week of 1995 would have the code 105Δ

For tyres made pre 1990  NOΔ used on pre-1990 tyres, thus you may have a 1980s or earlier tyre.

Bridgestone Aust. have an informative web page re. Aged tyres at and they state: “Warning signs – Regardless of their age tyres should be replaced if they show significant crazing or cracking in the tread grooves or sidewall and/or bulging of the tread face or sidewall.”

Oldcars found the above article in the Bulletin of the Vintage Motor Club, Sydney. 


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Orange NSW Veteran and Vintage Cars Only Rally

This report on the May 2011 Autumn Tour at Orange is reprinted (with permision) from the Bulletin of the Vintage Motor Club……….

The O.DA.M.C. Autumn Tour was commended to us as an excellent veteran and vintage cars only rally, hosted by the Orange District Antique Motor Club in Central West NSW.

Arriving at Rally HQ, the Orange Antique Motor Club’s converted old school house, on Friday May 6th  we were warmly welcomed, offered a snack and tea, handed our rally packs and then guided out to a lakeside stop near Mt. Canobolas. Were we impressed –  82 veteran and vintage cars all lined up and such a friendly bunch of people from all over NSW and Queensland. Everyone was talking about how great it was just to have a rally with only pre-1930 cars.

So many interesting cars to look at, and then there was the awesome natural beauty of autumn in the Central West. After the lake stop we toured in convoy to a winery and an olive grove – tastings included. Easy drive then back to the motels in Orange in the late afternoon light and plenty of time to get ready and chat before an easy walk to the Services Club for dinner.

Saturday was cool but fine and all 80 plus cars assembled, for photos and briefing, before the drive to Cudal for a huge country-style morning tea hosted by the school P&C, then more lovely country roads to Manildra and the historic Amusu Theatre. Having seen this  before most of our group settled in for a nice proper coffee and chat on main street Manidlra and a wander in the antique shop. The rally then moved along to Cumnock where we were again fed right royally by the Cumnock Show Society.

More looking over the vintage cars we still had yet to see close-up and then a very pleasant drive to Molong – we did enjoy the wonderful gelato at the local gelato factory.

Sunday night the Presentation Dinner at the Services Club was a most pleasant and well catered for affair, with lots of raffle prizes and awards to the owners of some most deserving cars. Every entrant received a nice presentation colour photo of their car taken that morning.

Sunday morning was quite cool but fine and the ODAMC members put on a great cooked brekky at their Club house. We were again overwhelmed by the friendliness of this group and their determination to ensure that everyone’s rally experience was a success. After farewells with old and new friends we left Orange about 9am. The journey homeward was a little slower than planned as the Olds developed fuel pump problems. Will we be there next Autumn Rally in two years time – you betcha! (extracted from VMC Bulletin, June 2011)

There’s 90 or so photos from this rally on Flickr at ODAMC Autumn Tour 2011 that brought out on the road a depth and breadth of makes and models not seen on rallies for many years.

This very succesful Autumn Tour seems to be part of a trend in veteran and vintage cars only rallies that is catching on all around the country. It’s not that V&V drivers don’t appreciate other old cars, in fact most of us have newer old cars in our garages, it’s just that a V&V rally is paced to suit the older cars and not the faster post-war cars that now predominate at rallies.  A V&V rally also gives those of us with vehicles with wooden frames, wooden spoke wheels and the other features unique to V&V cars a chance to talk to very like-minded and experiences restores and drivers.

Old Cars

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