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Car event steers teens to acquiring licenses

November 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Believe it or not, fewer teens are racing to get their drivers licenses these days when they turn 16.

According to the Department of Transportation, only 49 percent of 17 year olds have their driver's' licenses. That's a 25 percent decrease since 1978.

Hagerty Insurance held a classic car event in Redondo Beach on Saturday to try and re-introduce a love for driving to young motorists.

"Most people, they couldn't wait to get their driver's license because it was symbolic of personal freedom to get out of the house and they were becoming their own person," said Jonathan Klinger, public relations manager at Hagerty Insurance.

Classic car owners at the event generously loaned their cars to young drivers so they could get behind the wheel of some truly vintage vehicles with manual transmission.

"If you walk through a new car dealership, more than 90 percent of the vehicles being sold they're automatic transmissions, so young people, they aren't growing up around vehicles with manual transmissions like earlier generations did," Klinger said.

Most of the teens at the event said driving these cars gave them a whole new perspective.

"I feel like you have more control of the car. You get to drive it the way you want it to," said 19-year-old Kevin Islas.

ABC7's car specialist Dave Kunz was in attendance with his 1968 Ford Mustang GT.

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