Chapter 9 Classic Cars and Happiness: a Profile of Participants and Their Family, Community and Cultural Health

In: Perspectives on Happiness
Bryon Martin
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Research concerning happiness is well documented in the scholarly literature. Happiness is a human goal and achieving it is high on the list of human needs. However, few studies have been devoted to happiness and the involvement and participation in classic car recreation. Activities such as restoration, cruise-ins and shows, and family activities are all contexts in which the classic car enthusiasts are active. A dearth in the literature exists in regard to the systematic evaluation of how happiness is a sought and/or achieved by these participants. The current research has been undertaken to develop a social-behavioral profile of classic car enthusiasts and to ascertain the motivations and benefits of participation in the unique activity of classic car recreation in the scope of happiness. Specifically, the research aim, through a qualitative interpretive and phenomenological lens, was to identify the predominant themes that arise from structured personal interviews with and survey data collected from classic car owners. Results indicated participant involvement in classic car leisure activities contributes to happiness in numerous ways. Themes gleaned from this current research include service to community, family bonding, connection with history, identity formation, socialization, and happiness. Further examination of these themes is the aim of this research and the analysis may shed light on how and why happiness may be achieved through participation in the recreation activity of classic car collecting, restoring, and showing.

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