Younger car enthusiasts modifying classic cars
With more than 9.4 million pre-’90 vehicles estimated on US roads today, SEMA says more consumers and businesses report that they are modifying classic cars with modern parts and technology. While a significant number of consumers and businesses continue to restore classic cars to their original factory specifications, a growing number are customising the vehicles to include upgraded engines with enhanced performance, increased efficiency, and modern-day comforts (a practice often referred to as restomodding.
The Classic Cars, Modern Markets report from SEMA Market Research reveals new data on market sizing, purchasing habits, and vehicle usage of classic car vehicle owners and explores how modern consumers feel about, work on, and engage with their fellow enthusiasts about classic vehicles.
“Classic cars and trucks have been a key part of the specialty automotive aftermarket since it began, and for many people who own older vehicles, fixing them up or modifying them into something new is a passion project that can span decades,” said SEMA Director of Market Research, Gavin Knapp. “This report will help businesses understand this unique customer base, how to reach them, and where the current and future opportunities are for the vintage and automotive restoration aftermarket.”
The report, which researched classic car owners and businesses, found:
- A growing number of businesses (62 per cent) see restomodding on the rise and, on average, say that half the work they do on classics is part of a restomod job.
- Younger classic car owners are more likely to seek a restomod build, with 38 per cent of owners under 45 going for a restomod, compared to 22 per cent of older owners.
- Owners tend to view a classic as a long-term investment, with 44 per cent saying they want to keep the vehicle forever.
- While 50 per cent of owners use their classic vehicles for running errands, classic vehicles are much less likely to be used as commuter vehicles with 15 per cent of classic car owners doing so (compared to 64 per cent of the general population).
- 80 per cent of classic vehicle owners are comfortable doing at least some of the work on their vehicle on their own.
- Unrestored ‘60s muscle cars and pony cars remain popular barn finds among collectors, but the emerging market for ‘70s and ‘80s vehicles represents an important opportunity.
- Classic vehicle owners are not shy about going online to learn and shop for parts, especially younger owners.
To learn more about the current state of the classic vehicle market and where the opportunity is for your business, download the Classic Cars, Modern Markets report for free at www.sema.org/market-research