As the title might suggest “there goes the neighborhood”, the younger generations peaking interest in the classic car market couldn’t be any further from the truth. Millennials are looking to get in on the classic or collector car market that the baby boomers have dominated for decades. This youth market is craving the authentic and analog experience that today’s auto-ipod-mobiles just can’t deliver. When it comes to these classics, millennials aren’t looking to protest their EPA ratings or create Instagram photo ops, instead they’re looking to drive , restore and revitalize.
Recently, Hagerty, the specialty insurer for the classic car market has released some findings noting that Gen Xers and Millenials are seeking out more quotes on classics than ever before. In fact, a shift has occurred since 2014 where over 50% of the classic car market was owned by baby boomer to that very same majority now being in favor of millennial interest these days. That’s not to say that that the collectors out there aren’t keeping their cars, but rather that the younger generation are looking to take these cars out on the road and enjoy a piece of history.
Just so we’re all clear here, when we’re describing Pre-Boomers we’re talking about those individuals born prior to 1946 and Baby Boomers were born just after the second World War up to 1964. Gen Xers are those individuals who were born mid-60s though the 80s. Millenials are generally classified as those individuals who were born in the late 80s to the conclusion of the millennia and many are the offspring of Baby Boomer parents.
Honestly, it’s not really a surprise that the younger generations would overtake the interest as they do make up a significant portion of the U.S. Population. What’s interesting to note is that even with the new resurgence of the modern muscle car in today’s market, the younger enthusiasts are still interested in originals and are willing to pay a premium for the experience.
There’s a limit however to the age and style of these vehicles as it relates to millennial interests. For example, millennials tend to shy away from any vehicles dated prior to the second World War. This means vehicles like the Ford Model A, which is the most popular classic among Pre-Boomers, has very little interest from the younger crowd and most likely because they’re so drastically foreign to them. Late 1960s vehicles and their styling however seem to be transcendent across generational gaps while 1970s and even early 1980s vehicles are at the top of many millennial wish lists.
Hagerty has also pointed out that there’s been an interesting shift among younger enthusiasts in the truck and SUV segments. I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that those K series, F Series, C Series and Apache trucks have all started commanding a premium these days. That’s due to a shift in younger interest. In fact, Generation Xers and Millenials are 35% more likely to be interested in truck or SUV over pre-boomers and baby boomers. Believe it or not, the 1985 Chevrolet K10 pickup is the second most popular classic vehicle for millennials based on Hagerty’s data, second only to the Ford Mustang.
One final major distinction that we drew from Hagerty’s report probably comes at no surprise to those who grew up with the Fast and the Furious franchise. Millenials have large place in their heart for Japanese vehicles. In fact, they’re almost 4 times more likely to request a quote for these classic imports than their Pre-Boomer counterparts. German cars such as BMW and Porsche however seem to remain popular across all generations.
At the end of the day, regardless of who has the majority interest in this market, we're just happy that these cars remain on the road as way to bridge the gap between generations.