Keith’s Blog: Let Them Sit in Your Car

You’ve probably read the same things I have. “Kids don’t care about cars.”

That’s just not true. While young people today have many more options for social interaction than we did when growing up, they still love cars.

I recently spent a weekend with a McLaren 750S Spider. I’ll share my thoughts about driving this extraordinary and exhilarating machine with you in my column in SCM next month.

I made a point of chatting with the people that gathered around the car wherever we stopped. If they seemed really interested, I would invite them to sit in the car. Then I’d offer to take their picture in the car. Young or old, I welcomed them all.

My offer never failed to bring a response of, “Really, you’re kidding?” following by a world-sized grin as they slid behind the wheel.  They probably wouldn’t have been as excited about getting into a Prius.

When I drove the McLaren to my ten-year-old son Bradley’s school to pick him up, there was an instant line of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders waiting to get into the car. I only had to take temporary possession of a few half-eaten bananas and crumbling chocolate cupcakes.

I encourage you to invite others to experience your special interest car, whether it’s a ’60s Triumph TR4, a new Alfa Stelvio or a McLaren.

You can provide them with an actual “hands-on experience” they are unlikely to forget. In the future, every time they see a special car, they will recognize it and appreciate it in a slightly different way.

That’s how we start to build future car collectors.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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8 comments

  1. So true, when my two year old grandson Adam says he wants to drive Pops race car you better believe I accommodate him. He grabs and twists the knobs and levers on that 62 Impala SS and I love every minute of it.

  2. Love it! I agree, let folks take a look, take a snapshot – it reminds kids to “work hard, and you can have one too” – thanks for sharing the pix, they’re great!

  3. Love it! I agree, let folks take a look, take a snapshot – it reminds kids to “work hard, and you can have one too” – thanks for sharing the pix, they’re great!

  4. My wife and I were stopped at a gas station in our 1956 TR3, as she got out of the car a couple of kids, 8 to 11?, that were in a Tahoe on the other side of us. “Did you just get out of that little car? Can we watch you get back in?” My wife is 5’11” and I’m 6′. So we spent the next 15 minutes letting the kids get in both the drivers and passengers side….now I wish we had taken some pictures! Great fun.

  5. Absolutely! Instead of “Do Not Touch”, the sign on my “57 TBird says “Get In, Sit Down, Make Engine Noises” Kids love it

  6. It’s exactly what I have done with my classic Mini. People love to sit in it. I have even taken the car out to give rides in it. They love it…. and I do too..

  7. Always let kids (and some adults) sit in my 275GTB4, DB4C, 599 and SLS. We let them start the modern cars sometimes too. They will never forget!!!!!

  8. Keith, I go to a lot of Chicago area cruise nights with my 1962 Porsche 356B Coupe and always let people who are really interested sit behind the wheel. I do this especially for kids and make sure their parents take a photo. How else can you peak their interest?

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