Passing on the passion: young people embrace classic vehicles in their own way

The first global symposium on the challenge of attracting young people to the historic vehicle community was held in Marrakech, Morocco, on 14th  May 2022. Supported by FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles), the event identified key steps to safeguard our automotive heritage for future generations.

According to FIVA, as historic vehicles have grown older, so too has the average age of the people who care for them. Yet ‘passing on the passion’ to the next generation is a vital step if classic cars, motorcycles and utilitarian vehicles aren’t to disappear from our roads forever. Hosted by the Fédération Royale Marocaine des Véhicules d’Époque (FRMVE), the FIVA-supported event gave senior enthusiasts the chance to hear directly from young delegates, representing 10 nations – America, Japan, Slovenia, India, Romania, Brazil, France, Belgium, Turkey and, of course, Morocco.

Bernarda Sjekloca from Slovenia

Interestingly, countries that are relative latecomers to the historic vehicle community often have the most forward-looking ideas when it comes to involving young people – and three key steps were:

First, historic vehicles need to be more accessible to young people with limited financial means – a challenge that can be addressed through clubs and informal groups. Prithvi Nath Tagore from India presented a video compilation of young people in India, many of whom spoke of how clubs gave them opportunities to enjoy cars and motorcycles they were unable to afford to own or maintain by themselves.

Secondly, social media are of far greater importance to young enthusiasts, with meet-ups and events often arranged at very short notice via the online community, and group chats and debates on the topic of historic vehicles growing rapidly. Traditional enthusiasts need to embrace the online world if they are to secure the interest of the younger generation.

Finally, a hot topic was the controversial subject of ‘restomods’: old vehicles that have been restored but modified with modern components. A panel discussion between three young Moroccan enthusiasts, including 14-year-old Saad el Ouzzani, and Italian classic car journalist Luca Di Grazia concluded that this approach shouldn’t be discouraged. Restomods are not historic vehicles as FIVA defines them, but having fun with low-cost, modified classics could well lead to an appreciation of more ‘authentic’ historics in the future.

Another boost to the conference was the contribution of Hiromu Ryan Rose (US/Japan) and Can Luca Ursal (Turkey), future talents of the automotive industry. Their vision includes a future inspired by our motoring heritage. 

Addressing the symposium in Marrakech, Tiddo Bresters, president of FIVA, stated, “I’m very happy to learn from the youth of today: it is for them to tell us the direction we need to take to ensure their interest in historic vehicles.”

Historic Vehicles — Passing on the Passion was organised by Lamiaa Zinoune of FRMVE. Such was the success of this first ever FIVA-supported “youth symposium”, it is now planned to make it an annual event in Morocco.

Main Image Caption: A Mini Moke with its passengers made up of symposium delegates at the rally preceding the symposium.

Image Credits: Abdessamad

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