Driven by Nostalgia: A Study of Classic Cars’ Social Representations Among Italian Youth

Francesca Setiffi, Vincenzo Scotto


The article will investigate images and social representations of classic cars and the possible stereotypes among their consumers. This study involved a group of 49 students from the Universities of Verona, Venice and Padua, all between 19 and 32 years old, who participated in the Drive your Heritage hackathon at the Classic Cars and Motor Show (Auto e moto d’epoca) in 2017. Initially, each student was asked to take three pictures depicting objects or people in the ‘world of classic cars’ for creative stimulus and to introduce them to the research topic at hand. Subsequently, structured interviews were conducted to uncover possible trends among car owners. The data analysis, which was based on studies about social representation (Secondulfo, 2012, 2015), yielded two main findings: 1) the presence of nostalgia about an unlived past, which results from a shared family memory or is learned through mass media (films, comics, cartoons, etc.), and 2) that stereotypes about classic car owners among the young people in our sample are based on exclusivity, luxury and care for cars.


social representations, nostalgia, classic cars

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Scientific Magazine classified for ANVUR (Resolution n.89 del 6th November 2012)

Scientific Magazine class A according to ANVUR (Resolution of 11th August 2020)

ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola