By Colby Martin


Filling the Generation Gap
Solving the “Classic” Car Question: Who and What’s Next?

Can you believe that FM radio stations playing “oldies” now commonly include songs from the likes of Aerosmith, Journey and Madonna among their rotation? That chord was struck (pun intended) when I began realizing that I rarely heard the originators of rock ‘n’ roll on the usual play lists. You know, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and ’50s-era Elvis tunes. This realization helped shape my gradual move away from terrestrial radio and into other methods of enjoying music. Like most others, I tend to bounce between a variety of musical genres based on the mood of the moment. I admittedly still get a bit hung up on labels that define a particular style. But, I feel very differently when it comes to my beloved automotive pastime. Maybe that’s what a decade of working for a group like SEMA will do to a person. These days, I’m much more open minded to treatments outside my natural “wheelhouse.”

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lingering anxiety among members of the car community regarding the makeup of the next generation of enthusiasts and what they will drive/collect? This growing concern is spurred by the notion that today’s youngsters won’t carry the torch forward.

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This 1948 MG TC purchased by Richard "Dick" Fritz and his father in 1952 has a colorful history. “Not only has this MG provided a lot of learning experiences,” Fritz relates, “it has also introduced me to fellow enthusiasts throughout my days in high school, college, graduate school and the military.” The car was also responsible for introducing him to his wife —she happened to own an MG TD. The pair often make use of the state’s roads through tours with the MG Car Club (Rocky Mountain Centre).

Richard "Dick" Fritz’s interest in vehicles is primarily focused on vintage sports cars. The Longmont, Colorado resident believes he inherited a passion for unusual cars from his father, who owned Hudsons and Terraplanes back in the ‘30s. He had long admired post-war Aston Martins because of the marque’s history of hand-built workmanship. In 1967, he came across a ‘55 Aston DB2/4 that was for sale in Vermont. “It was one of the very rare ‘drop-head coupes’ and I could tell it had led a very hard life,” explains Fritz. “It certainly had lots of problems, and lots of potential, so I acquired it since I was single at the time.” He says that despite being temperamental at times, it keeps good company with his more reliable 1948 MG.

Dick has remained active with the Collector Car Council of Colorado (CCCC) for the past forty years, serving periodically as secretary. Founded in 1965, the CCCC had been known as the Old Car Council of Colorado prior to 2012. The group currently numbers about sixty member clubs and has since broadened its efforts to include newer collector vehicle clubs as well. Its website states that “although our name has changed to better reflect the diversity, interests and goals of our members, our ultimate objectives remain the same: to preserve, enjoy and protect all aspects of the collector vehicle hobby".

The CCCC has always put an emphasis on monitoring Colorado legislation. In fact, it retains its own lobbyist who is well known by legislators at the Capitol. He is consulted when any bills are proposed that might affect the car hobby. “The Council recommends that members join the SEMA Action Network (SAN) in order to watch legislative trends beyond this state’s borders,” says Fritz. Additionally, the group sponsors events that provide the opportunity to put hobbyists in a favorable public light. A great example is the ‘First Responders Tribute’ organized alongside Denver’s police and fire departments.

Keep defending our hobby in the Centennial State, Dick!



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