Against the backdrop of blue Florida skies and the beautiful Ritz Carlton Resort, McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance, announced the 2009 Youth Initiatives developed by Hagerty Insurance. Surrounded by hundreds of significant collector cars and thousands of enthusiasts, McKeel introduced the 25 young judges who closely examined 7 of the collector cars on display at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance as part of the Hagerty Youth Judging Program, and the 3 vehicles they chose as their favorites.
The young judges, ranging in age from 8 to 12, judged the cars on items they could relate to and verify, such as engine bay cleanliness, paint finish quality, engine sound, and interior fit and finish. Each car owner was very gracious, answering questions, firing up the vehicle, and even allowing the young judges to sit in the cars and take notes. The winning vehicle, owned by John Rich, Sr. was a beautiful 1906 National Touring car, but the real winners were the kids who were exposed to some great vehicles and their owners at a young age.
“At Hagerty, we have always stood by the belief that today’s hobby depends on tomorrow’s collectors, which is why we encourage early exposure to the excitement and camaraderie the hobby provides,” said McKeel Hagerty. “Hagerty has always been committed to getting youth involved through our Youth Judging programs, and this year we’re expanding our efforts with our new “Operation Ignite!” program dedicated to igniting the passion of future collectors.”
Along with Youth Judging, other programs offered under “Operation Ignite!” include the second annual Model Building Contest, where Hagerty provides local car clubs with model car kits that are built by kids and then judged – first at a local level, then at Hagerty.com. The top 3 builders will travel with an adult to Pebble Beach for final judging; their sponsoring clubs will receive $500. Also new this year is a Design Contest, where teenagers will submit their interpretations of a contemporary 1959 Cadillac, with the judging also culminating with a trip to Pebble Beach.
For more information about Hagerty’s “Operation Ignite” programs, please visit www.hagerty.com/contest.