During a recent trip to the west coast I had one of those “ahhhhh” moments. You know the ones…. usually you’re just minding your own business when everything suddenly becomes crystal clear. It’s like getting hit between the eyes by a 2×4 or slamming the wall backwards at 140+ mph in an ASA racecar (that’s the day I realized there might be a less painful way for me to make my living rather than being a race car driver). During this particular trip I had the opportunity to visit several different types of motorsports events, much as I do throughout the year in various parts of the country. Being a “marketing guy”, I always try to pay very close attention to the demographics of the crowd that attends the event. It’s amazing how much you can learn from simply “people watching”. It was this crowd studying that led me to my big moment of clarity.
As I was navigating the aisles of one particular car show, I was shoved aside by an 8-10 year old little boy on the shortest possible path to check out a really cool ‘71 Camaro. While I was less than pleased by this little demon’s lack of manners, I couldn’t help but laugh and think back to the days when I “was” that little boy. Later during that same trip, I was attending a stock car race and everywhere you looked there were young boys and girls running around like little lightning bolts (yelling parents almost always a step or two behind looking like they had just run a 5k marathon). My point is that today’s youth are still very much in love with the speed, beauty and passion of the high performance automobile. Often times, we start to believe the stereotype that today’s youth are no longer interested in getting “grease under their fingernails” and couldn’t change a flat tire, much less a camshaft. While things are certainly changing fast and many of today’s kids may not have the mechanical aptitude of previous generations – the important thing is they still share our passion for high performance automobiles. Forget the stereotype, I’m here to tell you that being a car guy, a hot rodder or a racer is still “very cool” in the minds of the next generation. Rest assured these boys and girls will carry the torch into the future – even if they have to pay someone else to light it and tune it for them.
Vice President of Marketing
COMP Performance Group™