About ten years ago, a veteran New York Times Automotive writer Robert Yeager has begun to notice an interesting trend emerging in the collector car market. “I started writing about auctions and the growing importance of the Internet,” he said Car and driver. “And one of the people I interviewed at Bonham’s, this big auction house, pointed out that they really started selling a lot of cars to young people.”

When he compared this anecdotal information with other sources of data, he found it to be true.

“The hobby of enthusiasts was dominated by older people, mostly men. But the whole world of collector cars was changing, and buyers were getting younger. And it was really getting very dramatic.”


This led Jaeger to propose, sell and write a book on the subject, The Next Generation Guide to Collecting Cars: How to Buy, Sell, Live and Love a Collector’s Car (Books, $29.99).

Motorbooks The NextGen Guide to Collecting Cars: How to Buy, Sell, Live and Love a Collector’s Car

The NextGen Guide to Collecting Cars: How to Buy, Sell, Live and Love a Collector's Car

Motorbooks The NextGen Guide to Collecting Cars: How to Buy, Sell, Live and Love a Collector’s Car

The book is very much an instructional manual, providing, as the title suggests, step-by-step information on how to find, purchase and care for any vintage car. It also offers a detailed guide to specific up-and-coming models from America, Japan, and Europe, mainly models from the last decades of the 20th century that are now popular with millennials and Gen Xers. And it adds some car stories, especially some stories of women in the hobby, many of which have not received the recognition they deserve.

Moreover, the book focuses on the ways in which we as humans relate to our vehicles or the vehicles we desire.

Phil Linhares with his 1949mg tc in Oakland, California on February 2, 2021.


“Cars are an intimate part of our lives. They represent all kinds of important human connections with the people we love. And they follow us throughout our lives, so there’s intergenerational interaction between family members or groups of friends,” Yeager said, noting that he’s a grandfather himself and hopes his grandchildren will share his passion for cars.

In keeping with our often insular age, the book also offers advice on how to find a car community in person and/or online to support interest in young classic cars. Although Yeager designed pre-war Ford hot rods and owned several 1960s Alfa Romeos, including 2600 spider, GTV and Giulietta — it now has a couple of cars that fit the bill. “I have 1996 Lexus SC300 Coupe with 250,000 miles on it and it drives like a tank,” he said. “And I have 1972 Mercedes 450SL with 46,000 miles and all original and just wonderful.’

1996 lexus sc400

John Roe|Car and driver

Yeager sees his new book as an entry point for new or curious participants in the hobby Lemons and Redwood cohorts, among others. “This is a book for what I think about [as] sluice collectors. People in their thirties, forties, as it were, are starting,” he said. But this is not to the exclusion of other groups. “I think the experienced motorist will also like the chapters on how to buy, how to sell, how to live with a car,” he said.

What’s more, he’s proud of the book’s focus on automotive love. “Another thing I really wanted to emphasize in the book is love,” he said. “I don’t think the publisher was really on board with it at first, but I was happy to see the word love got on the cover. A lot of people have talked to me about how much they love their cars, how attached they are to them. And I’ve had the experience of crying myself when I’ve sold a car, so I think that’s definitely the place.’

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