Be prepared for a good blast of opinions.
Hot rodding started with budgets. Guys with a little bit of money wanting to be faster than their neighbors. Cheap came from wrecks in a wrecking yard, late model engines into older cars. Buying the oddball parts and making them work. Something that is more difficult to do in these days with electronics, computers, specialty items.
Generalizing today's kid always bothers me. Sure they have different interests. Look around though, there are plenty of kids hot rodding their cars. Sure, many are doing it on Daddys' dollar. But keep in mind, there are plenty of kids out there making their own way. I wonder sometimes how many of us older guys would have the passion for cars if we would have had computers, video games, cable TV, etc. when we were kids. I was a pinball, pool and Foosball freak when I was a kid, I spent a lot of hard earned change on those games.
Guys with money buying their cars. Good for them. It makes the hobby more affordable for the rest of us, keeps shops open, and they could be spending their money on a new boat, Rolex watch, airplane, you get the idea. Pretenders sometimes, yes. Not too many real rodders are fooled by them, though.
Bottom line for me, passion for the auto is cool to me, no matter who, what or where. I belong to a car club, we share our passion for cars once a month and at our get togethers, shows, and cruise nights. I don't belong to the book of the month club.
I guess you could say there are various degrees of the passion for a car. Sometimes life gets in the way, raising a family, buying a home. Every extra dime I made working 2 jobs as a young man went to pay bills. Go to a car show, look around. The guys with nice cars are generally older guys, the kids have gone away, they have a few bucks extra to spend and an understanding spouse.
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not." - Mark Twain