Promoting the automotive hobby and encouraging the younger generation to work on cars is at the core of what Vehicle Nanny is all about. This hobby enabled a rewarding career for me, so I see a great opportunity for those interested in cars of all ages.
I’ve attended too many weekend car shows and cruises where the “old guys” in their 1960s muscle cars look down on men and women in their 20s and 30s who show up in a 1980s sports car. What those old timers forget is that their Dads likely thought the Camaro/Chevelle/GTO was nothing compared to the 1946 Plymouth Deluxe they enjoyed and coveted.
Today’s youth deserves a chance to explore those cars that bring back memories for them, and to find an avenue that gives them that exposure.
What’s Next for Vehicle Nanny?
Vehicle Nanny launched in December 2019, and has seen strong growth in readership on the website and followers on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I’ve learned that the more popular topics are the human interest stories rather than the repair stories; however, my article on how to make a stylish roof rack on a budget drew over 5,300 views from Pinterest alone. Fun!
I want to increase my reach and align with another organization that is also focused on nurturing the automotive hobby with today’s youth. Surprisingly, there are not that many groups devoted to this function other than some technical training schools. Those tech schools are great for those kids that have already found their interests, but I was looking for something to create the initial spark.
I found the perfect program through Hagerty Insurance, the collector car insurance company.
Hagerty Automotive Youth Programs
Hagerty Insurance has been providing specialized insurance for classic and collector cars since 1984. Since these cars see limited on-road use, insurance rates are more agreeable and allow the owner to set the coverage based on vehicle value. I have been a customer since 2004 and know how great they are from a customer perspective.
I have also learned how much they give back to the hobby in terms of events, research and other entertainment activities. Of particular interest to me is their Automotive Youth Program.
Hagerty Youth Programs are designed to provide young people unique access to experience and learn about fun vehicles, which will ultimately help ensure the sustainability of the car culture. Since launching in 2007, more than 16,000 young people have taken part in Hagerty’s suite of programs including Youth Judging and Driving Experience, which puts young drivers behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with manual transmissions to teach the art of shifting gears on their own.
The Youth Judging Program is hosted at more than 100 classic car and boat events throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Designed primarily for youth ages 8 to 14, the Youth Judging Program brings the world of classics to a kid friendly level. The Young Judges are guided through the show field as a group to pre-selected show cars and interact with owners, allowing the judges to learn details, history and fun facts about each. A simplified score card that highlights five basic categories and is rated on a scale of 1-to-5 is used.
Here is more detail on their other key programs:
Hagerty Driving Experience
Introduced in 2011, more than 1,000 young drivers have been introduced to the excitement of driving classic cars while teaching the basics of driving a manual transmission. The Hagerty Driving Experience is designed to teach young drivers, ages 15 to 25 how to operate a manual transmission – all while behind the wheel of exciting classic cars.
Hagerty Test Garage
The Hagerty Test Garage exposes young adults (ages 12-18) to a variety of automotive skills through a fun, hands-on experience that also introduces them to the importance and career opportunities in that trade. Subject matter experts (like GM Design legend, Ed Welburn) provide unique perspective into the programs.
License to the Future
There was a time when driver education training was provided at little to no cost through your high school. Those programs have evolved into private company offerings that cost at least $400 or more. That is unaffordable for many future drivers, so Hagerty covers the expense for a number of would-be drivers as part of the License to the Future program. Last year, they supported 65 teens in this endeavor.
Interested teens apply for this support by either creating a one-minute video or a 300 word essay explaining why they are excited to learn how to drive.
There are many other events sponsored and hosted by Hagerty. You can see some of the past events HERE.
More Than Just Cars
The automotive hobby can bring a lot of joy and satisfaction, which by itself is great. It can also provide a productive outlet for those needing direction in life. Case in point is my young friend, AJ.
AJ’s Project Fiero
In case you missed it, I shared a video about AJ’s Project Fiero in September. It showed 17 year old AJ at the height of his restoration of a 1986 Pontiac Fiero. AJ is an intelligent young man who needed some direction with his time outside of school. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, so I wanted to be sure AJ had something fun and productive to keep him busy!
Since starting this project, he has learned a lot about project management and how to budget time and resources. More importantly, he has made productive use of his time after school and is staying out of trouble! I enjoy nurturing his passion and am really proud of his growth. From this great experience I feel the need to do more.
Vehicle Nanny Supports Hagerty Youth Programs
I found a program that nicely aligns with the philosophy of Vehicle Nanny, and am devoting my support toward the Hagerty Youth Programs.
You will see regular updates on the Hagerty events on VehicleNanny.com, Vehicle Nanny Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Where possible, I will also support local events held in the Detroit area.
There is also a fun way you can support these youth programs as well!
Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store
You can show your support for the automotive youth programs through the purchase of any item in the NEW Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store! 100% of the profits from the sale of every item will be donated to Hagerty for their use in these programs.
I think you will find a nice variety of branded swag in the store (a couple examples shown above), and I will be adding other fun shirt designs soon. This is all to help a worthy cause–the future of our youth!
Thank you for all of your interest, encouragement and support since I launched Vehicle Nanny. I am very excited to be able to give back to an activity that has brought me so much joy and satisfaction over the years.