Classic Car rebuilding is indeed falling by the wayside, assuming by classic car your considering cars from about the early 1970’s and going back as classic cars. Usually a car that is 25 years old would be eligible for collector plates.
Lets face facts, 1982 didn’t produce any American made cars that could be called collectible classics. Of course this is a generalization and there may be one or two that would be considered possibly collectible. But for the most part, the past 25 years has left us with a bunch of cars that all look the same and are less them spectacular in performance or appearance.
Availability of good old muscle cars from the 60’s or 70’s is a factor in lose of interest. What few can be found are usually so badly dissolved from rust that it becomes very costly, or even impractical to try to bring them back.
The average high school kid of today doesn’t’t have the financial means to attempt this level of project. Realistically if a kid is going to get interested in classic cars it will be while he’s in high school, and now he is priced right out of that market.
Tuners, Honda Civics and similar cars are what the young mechanically incline person is going for today. Restoring classic muscle cars has become a past time of the aging Baby Boomer trying to recapture his youth. They’re the ones with the resources to attempt such a project.
Of course they want that 69′ Camaro they had way back when. That’s why if you have enough money, you can buy every part to build a complete 1969 Camaro. Just like what came off the assembly line, only no rust and complete with up to date reliable running gear, disk brakes, etc. etc.
Today’s cars will never become classics. Plastic cars that all look the same just don’t warrant the attention. There is no style, nothing to make one stand out from another. They just don’t catch your eye.
If you go back to 1970, every teenage male could correctly identify every American brand, model and year of car seen on the road ranging from 1950 to current year. Without fail, we knew them all.
Today’s teenager can tell you the characters on the current video game, if your lucky. A car is just transportation to them. To us Baby Boomers a car was our life.