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Annual Grand National rule changes for 2019

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I just read the lastest copy of The Judges Newsletter online add saw the upcoming rule change for 2019 regarding the eligibility to submit a Senior car for the AGN.

 “Any car receiving its Senior Award prior to the registration deadline for the Annual Grand National Meet may now compete for a Grand National Award in the same year the Senior Award is received.”

This is a welcomed change and thanks to all who were involved in this rule change. 

 

 

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Say this isn't so! I had not heard this but if that is the case a guy could join AACA at Philly, show his car at the Winter Meet, get his Jr. then go to Charlotte and get his Sr. then go to the GN Meet in May and have his car go from nothing to GN 1st in 4 months.  Then he sells the car and we never see him or his car again,  as a long time member of AACA, I don't see that as a good thing, all he did was use AACA to quickly enhance the value of his car. AACA won't even recoup the price of the trophies he won.

Edited by real61ss (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, real61ss said:

Say this isn't so! I had not heard this but if that is the case a guy could join AACA at Philly, show his car at the Winter Meet, get his Jr. then go to Charlotte and get his Sr. then go to the GN Meet in May and have his car go from nothing to GN 1st in 4 months.  Then he sells the car and we never see him or his car again,  as a long time member of AACA, I don't see that as a good thing, all he did was use AACA to quickly enhance the value of his car. AACA won't even recoup the price of the trophies he won.

I agree with both of you, if just one or two people did that.  But, some people have  unlimited means don't forget.  So once one figures out the deal, more will come.  That doesn't seem fair to Joe Average.  This is true because the Grand National First you have to score 380 but also be within 5 points of the highest car.  It probably depends on the Class, but it's conceivable that people with the means could be able to bring out new professional restorations every year that could score 15-20 points above the 380 and a hapless Joe Average could never catch up.  That said, I think it is a stretch that this could occur often enough to get up in arms about it.  I guess, given the choice, and being a traditionalist, I would have chosen to leave well enough alone.The system has worked since 1980.

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Tommy, that is a concern but another concern was arbitrarily making an owner wait a year to show his car.  The board did not think that this was us putting our members first but the club first for the very same reason you brought up.  Hopefully if there are some people who had the ability to make the shows in one year they would also want their Senior Grand National.  We will have to watch this seriously.  Earl, the rule since 1980 served the club but it also generated a lot of complaints.  We hear it all the time in this office and so did the board.  If we do not listen to our members we are not doing our job.  Change is inevitable.

 

Earl, we see every day that Joe Average can compete with a professionals restoration.  Besides, If Joe average restores a car it is just as likely to stay in top shape in a year as a professional restoration and maybe even more so.  The playing field does not change by this rule.  Good cars will still win.  If I got my Senior in October and then went to the following year winter meet 4 months a way is it that different than getting my senior in April and having a may or June AGN  one or two months later?   Does 30 to 60 days make that much difference?  We will find out as our computer systems save a lot of data. 

 

AACA must continue to build value in the club so that we are far more than just a car show/judging/touring club and that we provide the best magazine and the most benefits to a member possible.  New ideas like the Zenith and a few more under discussion will get us toward our goal.  We need to give this idea a chance and see how our members react.  If the board read the reaction wrong it can change at any time.

 

By the way, this was not my idea, I initially was leery of it but now think it is worth trying. Anything that puts the member first is good by me.

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Steve, i appreciate your response and i will abide by whatever rules the board decides to have, this one just took me by suprise because i had not heard any talk about it. It does shorten the time frame for a car to reach the GN level thought because the car that got its Sr. at Hershey in Oct. had to have recieved its Jr. somewhere earlier that summer . Its all good, we shall see how it works out 

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Tommy, it was a motion brought up at the last board meeting and passed unanimously by the board.  It was quick!  The board felt it the right thing to do.  You always support us so we will just have to see.  Hopefully, it is seen as a positive by our members.  It will be out in Speedster this month so if it is an issue we shall hear one way or another. 

 

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I agree with the change and here's why. There are certain well heeled collectors in this hobby who restore one car after another, often with no hope of financial gain. Generally they like to show and enjoy receiving a First Junior and a Senior Award but by the time their car is eligible for the Annual GN their interest has moved on to their next restoration. Also, having to wait until the next year to show a car at a GN discriminates against the members who live outside the US. It is just not economical to show a car for its First Junior and Senior and then either store the car in the US until the next year or ship the car "home" then ship it back for its GN appearance. I know the above scenarios only affect a very small percentage of our members but to those members affected it has been a pain.

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7 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Tommy, it was a motion brought up at the last board meeting and passed unanimously by the board.  It was quick!  The board felt it the right thing to do.  You always support us so we will just have to see.  Hopefully, it is seen as a positive by our members.  It will be out in Speedster this month so if it is an issue we shall hear one way or another. 

 

 

I certainly hope this "quick" decision also considered the downward trend in the number of AACA National Meets (only 4 National Meets in 2019 and 1 was just added recently) and how that might impact this rule change? Also, were Dual Meets (Grand Nationals on Friday and National Meets on Saturday) during the same weekend discussed before the Board voted on this? If so then great. What is the new policy in this regard? If not, the next big complaint and push from AACA members will be to move the National to Meet to Friday and the AGNM to Saturday for Dual Meets so people do not have to "wait another year".  Wow that could potentially mean a car goes from Junior to Senior to 1st Grand National in less than a two months by going to Charlotte or Auburn and a Dual Meet. Hmmmmmm.

 

You might also want to include the impact of this decision on future Dual Meets in your upcoming Speedster notification as well. Otherwise, you and the board will have some "splaining" to do when the next Dual Meet occurs. That is, unless Dual Meets do not happen again (due to all the work they entail for a host region.)

 

Whether or not this decision is the start down a slippery slope or not remains to be seen. Some of us have concerns that it is just that. Only time will tell what happens. Everyone should hold on for an interesting ride. 😉😀

 

 

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The board voted several years ago with exception of Puerto Rico for obvious reasons that the AGN will be a stand alone meet which it has been now for a couple of years and is scheduled so for several years hence. 

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10 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

The board voted several years ago with exception of Puerto Rico for obvious reasons that the AGN will be a stand alone meet which it has been now for a couple of years and is scheduled so for several years hence. 

 

Thanks, I must have missed the announcement regarding this Board decision. 😁

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Bigger issue to me in Houston is having to drive 1,000-1,500 miles if I want to participate in a Grand National, and then having only one a year. So if I happen to be too busy at work to take a week off, another year is gone.   

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What's next - Driver's Participation Class at the AGNM?   Sorry - I don't care for the rule change but no one asked me so doesn't matter.

 

Bob

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Having had a somewhat unpleasant conversation with a trophy hound at the last meet that I attended, perhaps it's not a bad idea to be able to let them progress through the system faster and be gone.  It could make the shows more enjoyable to those who are there for the right reasons.  It's not just AACA, other clubs are facing the same issue with trophy hounds.

 

Credit should go to those in charge for attempting to improve the situation by making the rule change and committing to monitoring the situation.  As the rule has changed, bear in mind that it could change back, too.

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All I can say is to be able to achieve the Grand National Award in the same Year as Senior and Junior diminishes the rewards of the achievement. To walk up the latter of success should remain a timely process requiring one to work up to it and to preserve the vehicle over time.   I look forward to each step on a yearly basis and it keeps me involved in the Hobby that I love. 

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19 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

The board voted several years ago with exception of Puerto Rico for obvious reasons that the AGN will be a stand alone meet which it has been now for a couple of years and is scheduled so for several years hence. 

With the change of the  year's wait now no longer existing, no longer having dual Meets is a good thing.  Dual Meets came about in the beginning because of a flood in ND that caused one or the other to be canceled and it was picked up by a Region in Iowa who was already scheduled for one or the other.  I can't remember which one had the Grand National already scheduled.  I'll guess this was about 1997.  A lot of people liked the dual Meet so it was done again a couple of times.  But, like everything else, what works for some people, doesn't work for others.  I have go opinion on this, except to say the Board has to make decisions based on the information they know, and we don't know.

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11 hours ago, Writer Jon said:

Having had a somewhat unpleasant conversation with a trophy hound at the last meet that I attended, perhaps it's not a bad idea to be able to let them progress through the system faster and be gone.  It could make the shows more enjoyable to those who are there for the right reasons.  It's not just AACA, other clubs are facing the same issue with trophy hounds.

 

Credit should go to those in charge for attempting to improve the situation by making the rule change and committing to monitoring the situation.  As the rule has changed, bear in mind that it could change back, too.

What exactly are the "right reasons" to attend a show as you see them?

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9 hours ago, Doug Novak said:

All I can say is to be able to achieve the Grand National Award in the same Year as Senior and Junior diminishes the rewards of the achievement. To walk up the latter of success should remain a timely process requiring one to work up to it and to preserve the vehicle over time.   I look forward to each step on a yearly basis and it keeps me involved in the Hobby that I love. 

It's pretty hard to preserve the car to Grand National standards for a very long time....possibly two or three years.  We restored a car that walked right up the latter to a Senior in two years.  But, because of where we live now, we were unable to get it to a Grand National because my trailer wouldn't haul it and it was too far to drive.....an illness in the meantime notwithstanding.  Grand Nationals are one year west of the Mississippi and one year east of the Mississippi.  The last Grand National Meet in Florida was, I think, in Melbourne, FL.  Had the car been eligible I could have driving to that one.  The result is we never tried for a Grand National.  By not having to wait that  year it might help to get the car to a Grand National before you start driving it.  Having to wait 2-3 years or more you have to put the car in moth balls and not drive it.  We determined that was unreasonable, so we started driving the car on Tours.  After the first time you do that,  you can pretty much forget a Grand National because today the show cars are too good.  That said, I did win a Grand National Senior with the car in the picture here 18 years after after winning a Grand National First and driving it on several tours.  So, it is possible.  Again, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for the another person.

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The only thing that has changed is you don't have to wait until the next year. The same level of competition still occurs, just without an arbitrary wait involved. I remember having to wait what seemed like a long time to take my 1929 Model A Phaeton to its first Grand National Meet. With that car, I took it on several tours between Grand National Meets. The car won a Repeat Senior Grand National after having attended those tours. I will admit that it took a lot of work to maintain the car at that level while still driving it on tours. It was fun, but I did later sell since it was getting more difficult to get my disabled wife into it. I now am having a lot more fun driving a DPC 1937 Buick Century. It takes a lot less work than maintaining a car to Repeat Senior Grand National level. 

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I do have to wonder what impact this decision will have on attendance at the 2019 AGNM in Auburn. Since that is the first AGNM to be held after the decision goes into effect. Will it open the floodgates? Will this meet see 500-600 cars like the last two Eastern AGNM or will the attendance be lower like the typical Western Meets? Should be interesting to see. Having never been to Auburn I would imagine that the facility can easily had 500-600 entrants with almost as many car trailers and tow vehicles if it has to. Time will tell I suppose.

 

This decision and the decision about no more Dual Meets brings up a much bigger question for the AACA Board of Directors....

When is the Board going to start asking for input from AACA Members in a more predictable and manageable way that better reflects the wants and needs of the membership? Unless I am mistaken, the AACA Board appears to make decisions based on complaints, feedback or requests from the membership once that feedback gets to a certain number. If that is actually the case, how does that number compare as a percentage of the 60,000+ members? Is is 20%, 30% or 1-5%?

 

Has the AACA Board ever considered a yearly questionnaire? Send a paper copy out each year with the club magazine in the issue when the Boards Elections are held. Put an electronic copy on the AACA Club website where members can sign in and fill out the questionnaire once if they choose to instead of mailing it in. This could be the means by which the Board asks the membership is THEY want to change the requirements for the wait period for a Grand National. This would be where the Boards asks the membership if THEY WANT to have Dual Meets or not. Doing this will undoubtedly give the Board MORE ACCURATE FEEDBACK than they are getting now to base their decisions on. This would also give AACA Members a voice in the way the club is run. Obviously, not every issue the club faces should be put in a questionnaire to it's members but there are some that could warrant this type of feedback. 

 

Some might say that the response rate from a questionnaire might be low or cost too much to do. To me, it is a cost of doing business much like when a company sends out proxy voting materials before an annual shareholders meeting to ask shareholders to vote on issues impacting the company. Regarding potential low response rate to an AACA questionnaire... Even with what some might consider a low response rate that response has to be 10, 20 or 50 times higher than the current feedback the Board gets. The biggest plus of all is that the AACA Membership is given the perception that the Board is LISTENING to the membership which right now is probably not the case if you ask some AACA members.

 

Lastly, please take this post as a suggestion to improve the way the Board communicates with the AACA membership which is what I intended. It is not a criticism of the Board. They do a GREAT Job for AACA Members.

 

Charlie

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First, I respect everyone's opinion.  But I think hand wringing is not really looking at the reality of this decision.  First, who is harmed by it?  You may not like the idea but is any member losing anything as a result of it?  How many people in all reality are going to be able to make three trips in one year in a short span of time?  There will be some with conflicts.  Some will not have the vacation time and distance may be an issue for some. It is not automatic that everyone will take advantage of this change.  Some won't and some cannot. 

 

Members will still have the opportunity to wait a year if that is what they want.  They now have OPTIONS.  Forcing people to wait a year without a solid reason to do so is not fair and just because we have always done it this way does not make it right today.  The main reason as far as we can tell is the club trying to keep members active for more than one year.  AACA needs to give members more and better reasons to stay active and hopefully they will continue with Senior Grand Nationals and the great new award we have for repeat Senior Grand Nationals. 

 

Just my opinion and as I said I had concerns at the beginning but I think the board got this one right. They listened to a lot of members at meets and made their decision accordingly.  The only goal here by the board was to give our members a better club experience. 

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Charlie, first the board did a questionnaire about a year or so ago using Survey Monkey.  We have a subscription to it and can and will do more in the future.  AACA has been highly taxed over serious issues in the last 2 years and much time has been diverted to other needy causes.  I do not disagree with you for a minute that getting more input form members is a good thing.  However, you cannot ask the members to vote on everything.  The board is elected to make decisions in the best interest of the members and future of the club.

 

Surveys are interesting.  You can write almost any survey to get the desired answer you want.  You also can get people answering questions that in all reality they never are involved in.  Most members are not into judged shows so the critical answers need to come from primarily those that have some skin in the game.  Surveys can be tricky and can give you bad information.  After all supposedly the focus groups (not exactly a survey but the same premise) on the Pontiac Aztec said they like it! :) 

 

Yes, your board should listen and what you do not see is the letters, phone calls, emails and personal visits these folks use in making their decisions.  They spend thousands of dollars of their own money to attend events and promote AACA and engage with members.  They are elected to serve you as I said previously.  All board members have their address and email published so you can easily make your thoughts known to them.

 

The change from dual meets for the AGN was not a change in reality, I did not explain that well.  AGN's were stand alone and for many years until as Earl said their was a need to have a dual and that practice has continued on and off since.  The club has had enough interest by regions to put on a AGN by itself so it just reverts back to the original idea.

 

OK, need to get back to other things.  I just did not want to ignore you guys on this thread.

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 12:18 PM, jrbartlett said:

Bigger issue to me in Houston is having to drive 1,000-1,500 miles if I want to participate in a Grand National, and then having only one a year. So if I happen to be too busy at work to take a week off, another year is gone.   

Yup I agree.  If they really wanted to make it good for Joe Average car owner, they'd go back to the dual meets in the west.  People complain about the numbers dropping at the meets, they complain about AACA not having a strong presence in the west, and then they take away the dual meets.

 

Have I made every dual meet??  NO!!  But I've made one in Colorado, Florida and Kansas and that's quite a haul from New York.  When you have some of these judges who are retired that are living on a fixed income, and then you have working stiffs who have to take vacation time off of work, it allows people to get two meets in for a minimal cost. 

 

If you're trying to build AACA in the west, the best way to build it is to provide an incentive for people to bring their cars out to the west.  That promotes AACA, it helps the local regions out there, and it entices the folks out in the west to get involved and shoot for that Grand National win.

 

The bottom line is that there are more working stiffs that pay dues than there are money people.  Our dues are not based on what you make so that $40 is a lot more money to the working stiff than it is to those who have money.  For some it takes a while to round up the dough to go to these meets, so let's not change the rules to accommodate those who have money.  If you turn your back on the working stiffs, you'll lose the club.  The working stiffs contribute more money as a whole then the few people with money who do nothing but complain.

 

 

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On 6/27/2018 at 4:02 AM, Restorer32 said:

What exactly are the "right reasons" to attend a show as you see them?

I missed the question until now.  I go to show off my car, catch up with old friends, make new ones, and learn more about cars in general.  I got trophy burnout years ago.  Which is why my cars are DPC or show-only when I bring them.  I see nothing wrong with the awards programs, as for some that's important.  But it seems like more and more people participate shows solely to validate their checkbook restoration and/or high-dollar car purchase with an award.  There is no joy in receiving an award for these people, it's an expectation or a right for them.

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I will have to strongly disagree with you. We have some of those "checkbook restoration" customers and I can tell you most are just as fanatic about their cars as the fellow who restores a Model T in his garage. And most are very knowledgeable about their cars. They do expect their cars to win because they spend inordinate amounts of money to make their cars as accurate as possible. We took a long time customer to his first Hershey, in fact his first experience with AACA. He had gone thru well over 100 cars in his hobby experience and has had at least cars professionally restored. The joy in his eyes when his car won a First Junior was the equal of anyone's. And No it wasn't a high dollar car, just a meticulously restored car from the 1940's. 

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