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How To Attract Younger Enthusiasts To The World Of Historic Vehicles: FIVA Runs Symposium in Paris

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LONDON - November 23, 2016: Five days of festivities to celebrate World Motoring Heritage Year 2016 got off to a tremendous start at the Automobile Club de France in Paris on 16th November, with an International Symposium on Trade, Skills & Youth.

The Symposium was the first activity in the five-day ‘Paris Week’, 16-20 November, organised by FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) as the culmination of international World Motoring Heritage Year, under the formal patronage of UNESCO.

The Symposium was held to debate such important issues as training, education and apprenticeships, technical topics, and the need to engage the younger generation in the joys of historic cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. It took place at the prestigious, 125-year-old Automobile Club de France, with an opening address by President of the ACF, Mr Robert Panhard, of the famous Panhard family.

Part One of the day-long Symposium focused on the ‘Preservation of Skills’. It began with a short presentation on ‘Training’ by experts from French oil and lubricant specialist Motul, a company that has for many years made generous contributions to the preservation of motoring heritage in France.

Subsequent topics under discussion included the hugely successful apprenticeships in historic vehicle restoration that have been developed and launched by the FBHVC (Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs), as well as educational programmes across the EU and – looking at one skills area in more detail – paint processes and training. This latter topic covered such issues as how to pass on technical skills, environmental matters and the economic impact of good work. Contributing to the discussion were restorers, concours judges and the famous collector of important historic vehicles, Corrado Lopresto, as well as experts from German paint specialist Glasurit, who gave an overview of the company’s refinishing expertise that will be made available to the wider FIVA community.

Part Two of the Symposium was devoted to ‘Youth’, with a panel of younger enthusiasts (aged 23 to 33) from France, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and India in open debate on how to keep interest in historic vehicles alive among the younger generation. As a consequence, FIVA made a commitment to initiating activities such as workshops to help attract younger people to the historic vehicle movement, while there was also discussion on the potential for school programmes to spark students’ interest – and on how clubs and companies might attract more young people into the world of historic vehicles. The atmosphere was one of optimism and confidence in a bright future for historic vehicles.

FIVA is the only global organisation of its kind aiming to encourage the safe use of historic, mechanically propelled road vehicles, while remaining equally focused on preserving and promoting the very culture of motoring. In 2016, FIVA celebrates its 50th anniversary with the FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year programme under the formal patronage of UNESCO.