Six ways to make cars your hobby in 2022

by Antony Ingram
4 January 2022 4 min read
Six ways to make cars your hobby in 2022
Photo: Matt Howell

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines for the past couple of years, twiddling your thumbs while you wait for the world to come to its senses, then perhaps 2022 can be the year when you finally join the crowd and make cars one of your hobbies.

We can’t guarantee 2022 will be any less crazy than the past couple of years, but there’s at least a fair chance you’ll have more fun if you join the millions worldwide already enjoying the appeal of four wheels (sometimes three), an engine and the opportunity to hit the road and meet new faces while exploring different places.

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It’ll be old news to some of you, but even if you’re already a fully paid-up member of the hobby, you’ve still got an important role to play in protecting its future. So if you’ve already ticked off each of the ideas below from your own list, why not use 2022 as an opportunity to introduce a friend or family member to cars and the wider community – and help find ways of making the scene more fun and accessible to everyone.

Join a club

Micro Maniacs Club is for microcar fans
Photo: Micro Maniacs Club

It’s a common misconception that you need to be a classic car owner to join one of the hundreds of classic car clubs out there. The reality is many will welcome new members in with open arms simply for being interested in their make or model of choice.

As a way of learning about a car you’re intending to buy, or simply socialising with those of a similar mindset, a club is a great way of doing that. Plus, when you do finally buy that classic, there are usually incentives for club members, and in paying a club fee you’ll be supporting the network that helps keep classics on the road.

Visit a show or museum

Young guns blaze at the 2021 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional
Photo: Matt Howell

After a couple of years of lockdowns and restrictions, the ability to get out there on a weekend to visit car shows and museums feels all the more precious. So in 2022, providing the world doesn’t once again fall silent, why not put a few events in your calendar?

Naturally, Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional will return once again in 2022, but we’ll also soon have a list of the dozens of other shows taking place across the year, catering for virtually every make, model and genre of classic out there. And if you type “car museum” into Google Maps, or care to browse our suggestions for 21 great days out, you’ll quickly find a list of museums near and far to get a taste for cars or motorcycles.

Catch some racing

Photo: Drew Gibson

Static exhibits are alright for some, but for others there’s no better way to enjoy cars than some high-octane racing. And even if you’re not out there on track yourself, regular events by the likes of the Vintage Sports Car Club, Classic Sports Car Club and more general racing clubs like the British Racing and Sports Car Club mean there’s something on almost every weekend during the warmer months.

Goodwood’s Revival and Member’s Meeting are the headline classic racing events of the year, but things like the Donington Historic and Oulton Park Gold Cup are worth visiting too. There’s plenty to do even away from the track – the paddock is a great opportunity to get close to the cars, bikes, and those who race them – including our friend, Maria Costello – and few things in motoring smell as good as a freshly-raced machine…

Talk to a friend

2021 Regent Street Motor Show
Photo: Matt Howell

The car community thrives as much on the people who get stuck in as the vehicles themselves. Chances are you already know someone who owns a classic vehicle, so why not ask them to tell you more?

As if you need any more reason than that, then it’s worth pointing out that the last few years has been fairly rough for a lot of people. With cancelled events and restrictions in the ability to meet with other people, we’ll all welcome a little more interaction in 2022. By sharing those experiences you may be doing a lot more than just helping the community thrive.

Drive one

Young Driver classic car experience
Photo: Young Driver

People take different things out of the classic car hobby, be it nostalgia, the social aspect, or the restoration and preservation of the way things were. But plenty of us get a thrill out of driving and riding vehicles too, and there’s probably no better way of getting someone new to the hobby hooked than putting them behind the wheel.

The great thing is, there are numerous ways to do it. Several companies let you hire classics for all kinds of purposes, and others let you get behind the wheel as part of an experience, such as the Young Driver programme for 10-17 year olds, or the chance to “Drive Dad’s Car” at the Great British Car Journey museum.

Buy one!

Hillman Minx
Photo: Damien Cross

Before you say it, we appreciate this involves a little more capital investment than the other suggestions here, so it won’t be for everyone. But if you’ve been interested in the car scene for a few years now, why not make 2022 the year that you finally take the plunge into ownership?

We always encourage driving your classics rather than treating them as wheeled investments – between us, in regular use you’ll find a BMW M3, Hillman Minx, Jaguar XJ-S, Mazda RX-7, MGA, Peugeot 106 Rallye, Subaru Impreza Turbo and more – but with the values of many models rising, you may wish to get into your perfect plaything before it’s no longer possible. At the other end of the scale though, we can heartily recommend the joy of running an unexceptional classic – cars that are often unloved, but still fun to drive and importantly, affordable to buy. Whatever your preference, there’s nothing quite like having a classic to call your own.

Read more

The classic vehicle community is thriving
Goodbye 2021, part 1: From Auctions to MGFs in our A-Z
Goodbye 2021, part 2: From Noble to Z-cars in our A-Z

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