Arizona fifth-graders prove that kids still dream of driving

The winning Hagerty Test garage submission

We make no secret here at Hagerty that driving is important to us. We believe that if you love cars, “autonomy” isn’t some future buzzword to be feared. To us it means you enjoy getting into an old car, turning the key, and taking control. That’s true driving autonomy.

At our recent Town Hall discussion in Scottsdale, Arizona, entitled “Why Driving Matters,” Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty spoke on the topic. “My earliest dream was when I’d be able to get behind the wheel,” he said. “Originally that meant go-karts and motorcycles. Heck, it meant the riding lawn mower. I just wanted to drive. And it’s really ended up defining my life.”

Across town, Hagerty employees promoted that same kind of life-changing definition for local youth. As part of several activities with the Hagerty Test Garage NextGen AutoFest—a mock auction, lesson in racing history, and restoration demonstration—we held an art contest for 115 fifth-graders from Tavan Elementary School. The premise was simple: express visually “Why I’m Excited to Drive.”

We were blown away by the submissions and the creativity put into each piece of art. In the end, our panel voted 11-year-old Hãli Rosberg’s piece the winner. It depicts her hand, clutching a set of keys, with her dream car in the background, all against the backdrop of a setting sun. “I’m excited to drive because I will be able to go where I please,” she wrote. “I’m also excited to drive because I want to get my dream car, a gloss-black Mustang GT with flames. It gets me revved up and makes me want to drive even more!” The kid’s got taste.

Last year, more than 2300 young people took part in Hagerty youth programs across the country, including in Scottsdale. Programs like Driving Experiences, Youth Judging at concours, NextGen AutoFest, Test Garage, and the Hagerty Family Car Fest are all designed to get kids engaged in this wonderful hobby. The art contest was just another of those efforts. With the notion of autonomous cars gaining more traction in the news, it is more crucial than ever for Hagerty to get involved and let kids express their own ideas about the automobile and what it means to them.

“Does driving matter?” McKeel Hagerty asked at the Town Hall. “I think it does. And it’s really the question of our time right now.” We’re thrilled so many kids are ready to answer it.

Hagerty’s youth initiatives continue in 2018. Learn more here.

Jonathan Klinger looking over the art submission at the Hagerty Test Garage
Sabrina Hyde