We had a couple of really nice classic car shows in the area over the weekend--a show hosted by our "oldies" sister station at Fox Valley Technical College on Saturday, and the annual Pierce Park show on Sunday. Seeing all of those classic vehicles got me to thinking: What will car shows be like 25 or 30 years from now?
Will middle aged men swoon over rows of Saturn SL2s? Will they point to the interior of a minivan and say to their sons "Wow, that has the seatback DVD player just like the one we had when I was a kid"? Will we hear "Man, there was nothing better than an Infinity Q45 when I was growing up"?
I see that some car clubs are now allowing "tuner" cars into their shows now. Is that to attract the younger generation? Or is it a harbinger of doom for the car show itself--as ugly tack-on body parts and whiny exhaust systems are what is going to pass as "classic" in the future. For all we know, there may not be any regular leaded or unleaded fuel in the future to even power the classic cars of the pre-1980's era. I doubt we'll be able to trailer them from show to show using our electric micro-cars.
There are few models that exite anyone anymore. Mustangs and Corvettes will always turn heads--but can you think of anything else on the road that really gets your heart racing? And the whole automotive experience is changing as well. The aforementioned DVD player and internet connections make it seem more like your driving your living room down the street. And forget about the bonding experience of fixing your own vehicle. Open the hood on even the most basic car today and you would have no idea where to begin on repairing anything. Some dealership mechanics have told me engineers don't even think about home repair when designing engine systems today. That's another important revenue stream for the company. And so we get air filters and oil plugs that you can't reach with a double hinged arm or by putting the thing on a hydraulic lift.
So enjoy the car shows while you can. They won't be getting any bigger or any better in the future.