Jump to content

"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Tour!"


Recommended Posts

hvs -<BR>Tell us what you really think about Interstate antique car touring. wink.gif" border="0 <P>I believe that everyone who designs tours ought to take into account vehicle capabilities, roads appropriate to the era, fun routes and stops, and a leisurely touring experience. I believe that that would exclude the interstates. If you need to follow an interstate route to expedite a tour, there are almost always nearby service road connections to route a tour over.<P>24T -<BR>I still think your description of losing your T wheel was one of the best ever - 'As Judy describes it, "we were coming up to a stop sign and the car went ?ping-ping-ping', the brakes gave out and we went about 30 feet across the intersection." "Barker did an excellent job keeping us from turning over. We ended up in the middle of the road facing traffic balancing on three wheels. It was an exciting little ride, just like Disney World," she added.'<P> cool.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ted,<P>It was definitely an E ride and one I might add I am not anxious to repeat. It did win us the hard luck trophy though. Also, a honor one wishes not to win. In thirty years of touring in antique cars, this is the only time that we had to come in on a trailer. Now that's not a bad record. Unfortunately for Dan & Judy Binger they decided to ride with us that day. Will they ever again ride with us? I guess this will have to be decided at a future tour.<P>24T42

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howard,<P>Thank you for the kind words (blush, blush). I know you have toured a lot so your opinion means alot to me. Don't forget you also had problems with your antique car. I believe you didn't go on tour Tuesday so that you could fix it. But like you said if you have a good time details like that tend to fade in time.<P>I promise you if I ever do another tour I will try and get KK as an official sponsor. When I planned the tour I didn't know then that KK's were the official unofficial tour food. My theory is you almost ran over the Governor because you were donwind from the KK bakery and I hadn't provided any during the week.Well, that's my story.<P>Thanks again. <P>24T42

Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel it is up to those of us that have a worked on a National tour to help those who are thinking of doing one. With that in mind, I will offer one more suggestion here and then I will be quiet – promise!<P>The success, or failure, of any tour is the tour book. If you do not have clear, simple and concise directions even the best of tours will wind up in the toilet. Please remember that most of the people on tour have never been in your area and not familiar with the local landmarks or topography. <P>On the 1999 Vintage tour, I designed a tour book that used pictures as well as written directions. This book worked well for us. The following link will take you to an example of our tour book. This is from the Tuesday route. (When converting the files to html some of the alignments got messed up, but I think you can still get the idea.)<P><A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/bntc/99vtour.htm" TARGET=_blank>1999 Vintage Tour Book</A><P>This type of book is not hard to do once you have the template set up. The graphics can be found in most good clipart packages like Corel. They were standard clipart that I shrunk down to icon size. The template is devised of a table with 5 columns.<P>Column 1. The tour instructions were numbered sequentially. This comes in handy if you have to duplicate a portion of a route. Instead of printing it twice, you can simply state repeat steps 10 through 15. This also came in handy if someone breaks down. Since most do not know the area, it was easy to note when calling the trouble truck that you broke down between steps 15 and 16.<P>Column 2 was reserved for a graphic picture of the type of traffic signal at the intersection. This can be a one-way sign, railroad crossing, yield, stop sign, stop light, etc.<P>Column 3 was reserved for a graphic depiction of the intersection or upcoming turn. For me, 97% of all the intersections we went through were either a cross or a T intersection. There were only a few that did not fit into this description and had to be drawn to fit the situation Items I showed on the picture were – <P>1. Names of the street currently on and opposing street<BR>2. Indicate by using an arrow what should be done at the intersection – i.e. go straight, turn, etc.<BR>3. Indicate gas stations, restaurants, and rest rooms and which side of the road they were on<BR>4. Highly recognizable landmarks<P>Be careful in your choice of landmarks. We were on one tour one time that directed you to turn at the planter that contained 5 marigolds. Everyone missed the turn because the marigolds were not in bloom when the actual tour was run only when it was planned. Make sure you use things that are permanent and not seasonal.<P>Column 4 was for a brief written description. I usually did this in two short sentences. The first gave the mileage you are required to go – Go 7.4 miles. The second part just stated what you should do like - Crossover I-40. Keep the instructions as brief as possible. Sometimes too much information is not good. Often when I am navigator, I miss a turn as I read through a paragraph of descriptions only to find out in the last sentence that we should have turned left at the light.<P>Column 5 was used for special notes or any additional instructions or cautions. Here again I named the available gas stations and restaurants, noted local landmarks, and pointed out things to look for along the tour route. To get a list of notable items to see along the route, I had the host region run the route using the tour book. I asked each car to fill in the last column with things they had spotted along the tour. Since everyone is interested in different things, this provided me a varied list. I also made special notes of any old cars found along the roadside. This would allow the driver ample time to slow down to check it out.<P>Once I had the routes planned and mapped, I asked people that had not participated in the route planning to run the route. Often what seemed clear to me needed a slight revision.<P>This is only one example of a tour book. It worked well for us. We had some solo veteran tourists that said it was the only time they were ever able to navigate for themselves. I hope this information helps future planners. <P>24T42<BR>Judy Edwards<BR>1999 AACA Vintage Tour Chairman<BR> <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/bntc/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/bntc/</A>

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this thread is going great and there are a lot of informative details coming forth! Keep the problems, solutions and comments coming, but allow me to ask two questions. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>First is the host hotel/motel. The largest one locally, a Best Western, I've heard will want about $90 per night. Is this in line with what lodging has cost at recent tours?<P>Second, is when you have a large separation in years of cars (teens thru '60's), is it better to group like cars together (in terms of roadspeed) or just let the chips fall where they may? confused.gif" border="0 <P>Keep the comments coming... this thread is getting more informative with every addition! grin.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron ~ #2 first. I feel you should let the chips fall where they may. You will most likely find that they will fall into neat little groupings. They will probably run in groups according to age, established friendships etc. Trying to separate them by age would almost mean 2 separate tours. Just my opinion.<P>Hotel rates depend a great deal on the geograpphic area of the tour. A tour in the state of New York just isn't going to have cheap hotel rooms. We paid about $90 on the Founders Tour in Rochester. It is nice however, if you can pick a host hotel that has some economy motels within reasonable proximity. Rochester did.<P>hvs

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron,<P>For the '99 Vintage Tour we were based in Fuquay-Varina NC, which is right outside of Raleigh North Carolina. Hotels here are usually at a premium and booked solid. In a thirty mile radius, we have three major universities - Duke, UNC, and NC State. Add to this the demands of industry and Raleigh being the capital city and getting rooms is tough. By moving the tour out of Raleigh into a small town, I found they were willing to bend over backwards to help in way they can (I will save this fro a differnt time).<P>The host hotel was a Holiday Inn Express. There was no restaurant but they did offer a continental breakfast each morning. We were given a rate of $49 per night plus tax for any room in the hotel including the suites. At this price, they would not give me any complimentary rooms. We had to pay for three required suites out of our tour budget. Ouch! <P>I will leave the question of how to handle a mixed tour to others more qualified. This questions nevers comes up as the Brass-Nickel Touring Region focuses its attention on cars made in 1931 or earlier. Later models do travel with us but they are warned that all of tours are arranged at Model-T speed. They can come with us if they want. If they do, they give up the right to complain about the speed of the tour. Our unofficial motto is "The Brass-Nickel Touring Region - the AACA Region that moves at Model-T speed."<P>24T42

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had an interesting conversation with our good friend Neil, who helped Ivan handle trouble truck duty for the Founders tour. I wanted to tell them about this thread so perhaps they'll kick in some thoughts from that point of view, but to summarize, it seems that a lot of the individual breakdowns on a tour are maintenance related. It points out a need to give some prep time and attention to the vehicles before ever leaving home. Now thats an individual thing, but it is so important Im going to add a few lines on the topic to our new "Touring Brochure." I also think its worth a reminder from tour organizers to remind participants early-on that they need to perform routine maintenance - change hoses, belts, top off fluids, check brakes, steering, etc just to help prevent problems. <P>I think one of the best things is to have a roll back available to either shadow the tour and be a presence. Its very reassuring to know that if you do break down you won't be stuck roadside or in a dangerous situation. Please keep in mind that the trouble truck is not there to do routine maintenace on your vehicles (that should have been done before you left home). <P>Another helpful hint is for tour organizers to line up some potential resources for emergency repairs,or spare parts- perhaps even after hours. Most every club has some sympathetic mechanics in their territory that can be relied on to assist in emergency situations. Neil told me about a kind Ford dealer that ended up replacing some leaf springs on a 63 Ford on the tour - now thats extra special service! <P>One thing that is often overlooked is Checkpoints. There should be some kind of a checkpoint near the end of the days touring so you ensure that everyone is accounted for. There will always be those who decide to turn left instead of right, or as in my case, make frequent unscheduled stops at the local antique markets, but there should be some way to determine if someone has gone missing. <P>And, its important to allow for a little free time in the evenings to do some en-route parking-lot maintenance if necessary, or even just to wash the dust off. <P>As far as the bus-tour thing goes, I think it all depends on the attraction and the situation - but if at all possible, driving the old cars is what its all about. Perhaps one day can be set aside and three or four "optional" events can be scheduled. <P>Its also worth reminding folks to be security minded. There is a criminal element out there that might view us as ideal targets - strangers in town, lots of money (Gee, if you can afford an antique car you gotta be rich!) So, its advisable to stick together in groups, stick with the suggested tour routes, and schedules, and be cautious. Id also suggest staying with the recommended motels - host or otherwise. Some folks like to save a few bucks by picking a motel "around the corner" but its not always the best choice unless you really know the neighborhood. <P>Keep the thoughts and ideas flowing!!!<BR>Terry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finding time to wash the dust off for most on the Founders Tour didn't seem to be a problem. Most of them I think got back washed the car, got themselves cleaned up and went to supper. My room was right were the garden hose was. It was a regular parade there. cool.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here we go with page two. Ron, it looks like you started a winner here!<P>Terry, you mentioned the trouble [or recovery] vehicle or vehicles on tours. May I respectfully suggest that you put in the publication you are working that not only should the trouble truck be the last to leave in the morning as well as the last one to leave each scheduled stop, <B>BUT</B> it should follow the tour route thoroughly, completely and accurately. <P>I know of an instance where the trouble truck & trailer decided not to take a little side road on the route and instead took the direct route into town. Result --- A car broke down on that little side road and a tow truck had to be found.<P>hvs<p>[ 08-21-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to start out by saying, "There will never, never ,never by a perfect tour!" You will never be able to please everyone, we're all too diverse. However, you can surely eliminate a lot of problems by doing your homework. There have been some great points mentioned and I would like to and some additional.<P># 1. Keep in mind the tourists have probably never been in your area. What you take for granted, they are seeing the first time. Give them time to absorb these items. This means, while they are capturing all the sights and arguing over the directions in the tour book with their significant other, they are trying to follow directions and looking for little cutesy landmarks you have pointed out. The driver is watching traffic, listening to directions that don't make sense until he gets a mental picture of the description and trying to sightsee at the same time. Most of the time they are driving nearsighted, trying to focus on all these items and not giving any of them the proper amount of time to digest in their mind; subsequently arguments ensue(anybody that hasn't had this happen, I'll kiss them on all four cheeks). Try to put the descriptive segments of your directions, unless it's an absolute must, to areas in the directions where you have a long driving run. <P>#2. Have one(1) person write the directions even if there are different day chairman. You may use one term for a "T" intersection and another may call it a "Y". The point is, once you establish certain terminology or phrases, they will be carried all the way through the directions the same way. Don't say things one way one time and another way a different time. For instance; traffic light, turn left. Later in directions, turn left at the traffic light. TOO WORDY!!! Standardize everything you can. Make it easy on the tourists. Remember, they're your guests. They're not familiar with your area, don't confuse them any more than they already are. You want them to like your area to the point that they wouldn't mind living there, not that they can't wait to leave! <P>#3. Not everybody likes the same things to do, so give them options. Some people couldn't care less to see " Ole Aunt Martha's Country Floral Garden & Winery". Have various places and points of interest pointed out, but don't expect everyone to stop at them unless it's a mustsee. Usually by the end of the day the brain has seen enough antique glass plates and Elvis memorabilia. <P>#4. Have plenty of restrooms everywhere. Nobody likes to wait in line for anything; they may miss something. The same goes for food lines. Depending on the size of the tour(the amount of people attending), have at least four(4) serving lines. Ask the caterers if they're capable of that. If not, get another caterer that can. Absolutely do not eliminate coffee and doughnuts at the morning break. Most of the people think their $125-150 registration fee was for this and get really testy if you cut them out. Don't forget, they're your guests, they expect these things. A lot of people use this as their breakfast.<P>#5. Keep in constant touch with your host hotel/motel and your banquet facilities, but don't be a pest. If you expect them to alter something that has already been set up, expect to pay for it. They don't work for nothing and have bills and a budget to keep just as you do. I worked with 5 different managers at the host hotel. Remember, each new person may have no idea what you're doing and what has been negotiated. You may have to go over every detail with them. If your banquets are at the host hotel, have a club function there to see how they handle it. If not feasible, try to attend a wedding or some other function as an observer to see how they handle it. It may give you some ideas. Bear in mind, with these changes, prices may be altered, so build in approximately 10% to cover cost increases. <P>#6. You will run across hurdles as time goes on. Have a contingency plan developed. There's always another way to do something, think and plan them out beforehand. Remember the acronym, KISS, keep it simple stupid. Some things may not work no matter how hard you try. Use your brain not your emotions to make final decisions. You may have a Russian spaceship landed upside down in your backyard that is a mustsee. But, if it's full of nuclear waste, don't try to force it in. I hope people understand what I'm saying here. In other words, USE YOUR HEAD!<P>#7. Others may disagree with this, but don't ask visitors what they want to see in your area. You know your territory the best. It may not be feasible to do what they request for various reasons, and now you feel committed to do so. It could make what was to be a pleasant experience, a nightmare. <P>#8. Go over your tour routes, go over them again, go over them again and on the very last week before the tour, go over them again. You'll be surprised how many little things will change and will need to be pointed out. If you travel into an area that has another region, ask them to help. Ask them if there's a better way to get from point "A" to point "B". You know your area, they know theirs. Make absolutely sure you travel the routes the same day you plan on running those routes and run them the times you figure the tourists will be travelling them to observe traffic flows, snags, snafus and whatever else there may be. It may be a heavy truck route the day you plan to run it. Now, think about adding 150-200 antiques that don't know where they're going. It could get real messy. As stated before by Howard, "STAY OFF THE INTERSTATES". My cars can run 70+ mph, but when Irene's mad at me for not listening to her read the directions three times, there's going to be problems. Remember, that 18 wheeler, with 80,000lb gross weight, that has to be 20 miles down the road in ten minutes to meet his delivery time, doesn't give a damn that your not from the area. He will though, when you slam on the brakes because you missed your exit. Know compound the fact that 5 of you just past up the turnoff and want to pull off to maybe backup to the cutoff ramp. Also keep in mind the locals aren't used to seeing a bunch of old cars on the road and they're gawking at the new sights just as you are. One other thing, plan routes where groups of cars can get off the road. There will be breakdowns or some goofy reason why a group will want to pull over. Stress to drivers not to bunch up, so the locals or faster vehicles can pass. These tours are not meant to be a procession. Remember, we're on vacation, but the locals are going about their daily business.<P>#9. You as host members will be asked what you may think to be some of the dumbest questions in the world. It may be about something you explained in the directions, at the banquet, or whereever. Answer them with a smile. The husband may have been burping or blowing his nose while you were explaining it and the wife was sent to find out what to do. You will also receive some odd requests from various people, about everything imaginable. Try to fill their requests graciously. They don't realize 35 other couples wanted something special too.<P>#10. If you run into a snag, don't try to solve it immediately unless you absolutely have to. Most of the time, they iron themselves out and there not as bad as first appeared. Plus, by giving yourself a little time to think of a resolve, you avoid making more problems develop. Many times the problem is not as bad as someone reported. They just got a little excited and blew it out of proportion. Get your facts before you react. When you do have problems, share them, if you need to, with only those that need to know and can help. Some people go on these tours just to hear dirty laundry. It gives them gossip to spread. They may be having a great time, but they're just waiting to hear about someone else's misfortune. It only takes one to make others think things are going bad and the tour is "ALL SCREWED UP."<P>#11. Put the best person you can in charge of your chairmanships. Don't put someone in a position because you think they deserve it. The better people you have in positions, the better the tour will go. In your planning stages, if you have someone causing problems and thinks they should be in charge, graciously remove them from their position. There cannot be two people to make the final decisions. There can be only one in charge and to take the blame for things going wrong. If you put someone in charge of a position and they're doing what you want, be prepared to take the heat for a problem if one arises. Don't leave them hanging out to dry, or others will think the same will happen to them and won't support you. Give your chairmen latitude to do their job, however, keep abreast of what they're doing. Loosen the reins so they can be creative. It's easier to pull them back a little if need be. You are focusing on the entire tour, they are concentrated on their position and may come up with some really neat ideas. <P>Much of this is common sense when you sit down and think about it. Go on various tours and jot down things that you liked or things you would do differently. What works one place may not work some place else, but you may be able to use portions of the concept. Enough said for now, I'll try to add more later. There are plenty more issues, these are just off the top of my head. <P>One last item for know, don't focus on giving out all kinds of little trinkets. They're cute and we like to receive some things, but honestly, how many more coffee mugs do I need? Does anybody use half the trinkets they get in the goody bags? Give the tourists a better meal somewhere or a cheaper rate on an entrance fee into something. Give them there moneys worth, not a bunch of toys they'll throw in a drawer or in the garbage can. cool.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

<B>TEREK --- YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!</B><P>One post saying so much, so well and so thoroughly.<P>Terry is making a mistake if he doesn't incorporate your guidelines directly into that book he is putting together.<P>Now are you firm on that <I>NO INTERSTATES</I> position? rolleyes.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a fascinating thread with lots of good suggestions, however I interpreted one of Ron's requests as wanting to read comments related to some of the misfortunes we have had, like -<P>The time Al T. ran out of gas and drove into town in his Vette on a gallon of deisel he "borrowed" from a barn. Sure cleared out the mosquitos in that town!<P>Or, the time I missed a turn and found a service road to get back on the route. Only problem was that it turned out to be a bike path and at the end was a curb instead of a ramp - getting down off a curb with a '61 Cad and those lower fins dragging ain't fun. Don't understand why the tour planners didn't warn us about bike paths!<P>Or, the time we apparently had to get on an Interstate for a very short stretch and the next instruction was to get off at the "EXIT". Every driver yelled, "What exit?" - every navigator yelled back, "It just says "EXIT", it doesn't say a street or road or number!" The yelling continued until all of a sudden we saw a sign "EXIT" - that's all it said - no street, road or number. (Incidently, I agree that you should avoid interstates if at all possible - we had a tour sown here in Alabama and told the tourists that if they even saw an interstate they were lost. Unfortunately, not many areas have that luxury.)<P>Or, the time I violated the most basic principle of getting the car ready and assumed there would be someone with more expertise to help me get it started at the tour. Spent the better part of Sunday with lots of help - no luck mad.gif" border="0 Ended up as a passenger on that tour blush.gif" border="0 <P>No amount of planning can eliminate some of these embarrassing moments. But they will happen and make for great stories over a cold one at the end of the day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry 24T42, but I'm not sure what you're talking about. confused.gif" border="0 Maybe, since we exchange newsletters, you picked up on something that you perceived as a problem that I missed.<P>Our Region looks for any excuse to drive our old cars that we can. It may be an "Ice Cream Tour" after our monthly meeting instead of pigging out on cookies and soda for refreshments or it may be a "Breakfast Tour" before going to a local car show.<P>If I've missed the point of your post, please enlighten this dummy. rolleyes.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Judy ~ No one <B>PROMISED</B> ice cream. It's just that we all went to the ice cream social <B>EXPECTING</B> ice cream. Honestly I'm not sure that it was billed as an ice cream social. Maybe we just assumed that it was. Anyway that may be one of the longest running tour stories when talking about tour "Remember whens. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0 <P>hvs<P>Ron ~ It was an event that happened 13 years ago on a tour. It has been a 13 year running joke among those of us that were there. grin.gif" border="0 Nothing to be taken seriously<BR> smile.gif" border="0 ~ hv<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ted, those are good points as well. Howard, forget the accolades, just send money! Give me a little time to think about this and I'll come up with some thoughts. Ron, you forgot to mention about the beat up old '33 Chrysler somebody I know owns that crapped itself on the DelMarVa Tour. Thanks to some great friends, ingenuity and some spare parts to get it running again. Just had to get out, open the hood and disconnect the "hotwire" every time I wanted to shut it off( oops I gave out who owns it). I also remember not too long ago sitting in the motels room that distributes our favorite beverages, discussing some major world problems with the National Presidents spouse when a fellow came in looking for the tour chairman to solve a catastrophe. It seems "Big Red" needed some new spark plugs and nobody had the testicular fortitude to break the old ones loose. Oh, the things your asked to do when you're tour chairman. Sometimes it's great to know you're needed for something! rolleyes.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0<p>[ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: Alan Terek ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another idea. Wouldn't it be a good idea if somebody from the host club was to drive the next day's tour route say in the afternoon? Looking for new road construction, fresh tar, bridges that might be out, new tanktraps frown.gif" border="0(i mean major potholes), signs that are missing due to a storm or someone's vehicle took it out, or any other items that the drivers should be made aware of.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to Alan's ideas from experience - give the day tour directions special oversight and controls. The procedure that I found worked best was to have the day tour developer write up the directions; have someone else on the tour committtee drive each day's tour and make corrections to the instructions; and (I agree with Alan) for consistant directions, have one person write up the final tour instructions - but have that person be the final quality check by actually driving each day's tour the third time. I found that on four days of tour instructions, I got totally lost at least once for each day because of errors - and I had detailed maps and knew where I was going. Also, I agree with Alan that the routes be driven just a few days before the tour again, plus try to establish a contact to check road construction projects in the area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, fordee9r, here goes. My first Glidden Tour, French Lick, Indiana( I should have known with a name like that), as I pulled into the registration parking lot I got a flat tire on the tow vehicle. What a way to start a week of fun and excitement. Did you ever try to change a 9.50 X 16.5 tire and not get dirty? Got through that, got checked in and ready for the first day of touring. YeeHa!!!<BR>Monday morning, What's this, rain? Where's the umbrella? What do you mean you left it in the tow vehicle? I'm not going out in this unless you go get the umbrella? Are you really sure you want to drive in this all day? I'll just stay at the hotel and you go by yourself. <BR>I'll bet you can't guess who made those comments? rolleyes.gif" border="0 <BR>Ok, we're on our way, finally.<BR>What's the matter with the car? Uh, I think we have a flat. Sh.., do I have a jack? I think I packed one. Ok, there's a place to pull off and change it. Son of a bit.., there's no handle for the screw jack. ...Ah, Irene, can you get out and give me a hand? WHAT, IN THE RAIN? ARE YOU NUTS? <BR>I need to lift up on the car while you take this screwdriver, stick it in this slot and turn it...to the right, to the right...CLOCKWISE!! Let me pull up on this block of wood, that I was using for a wheel chock. Is it STILL raining? Geeze! Ok, I got it up on this block of wood and piece of log, I'll get the jack wound up to the axle so you can sit in the car and stay out of the rain. I'll let you know when I need you. Ok, come on out and turn the screwdriver while I lift up on the car again so we can get the blocks out from under the tire....grunt...TO THE RIGHT!!! Hour and a half later, tire is changed. We're on our way. Irene asks, " What's this thumbs up, thumbs down thing mean? I thought people were supposed to stop."<P>We'll skip to the last day and not talk about 6 or 7 of us driving back Tuesday night in a driving rain, 9:00pm, with no defrosters, lousy wipers, trying to follow a very dim tail light, 20+ miles.<P>Final day, good golly, only 10 miles to go,we finished our first Glidden...what's that, do we have another flat? Fortunately, this time we're with some friends and the tire is off and ready for the spare before I can get it out of the sidemount.<P>Hey, what the heck, it was our first tour. Boy, were we having fun!<P><BR>Tallahassee Founders Tour, as Ron and I were driving back from a long day, seems Big Red blew a waterpump that day( Thank you, Arlen Banning), we came across a monsoon. We're driving about 25mph with maybe two car lengths between us. The wipers had no chance of clearing the windshield. As it wiped, you had a split second of visibilty. We're travelling a two lane road, beautiful area, lovely homes, etc. All of a sudden a car coming the other way runs off the berm. The driver over compensates and comes across the road missing the back of the Vette. Oh boy, here goes a trip to the hospital. There's no way Ron's going to miss that car. What? How did that car get between us and end up in that persons front yard without hitting anything? THANK YOU, GOD. When we got back to the hotel and changed our shorts,it was time to settle the nerves.<P>That same tour had some "kid at heart" adults(sometimes known as drunks) circling a restaurant parking lot 7 or 8 times in a convertible "blowing a Buzzy horn". Hmmm....<P><BR>Ron and I have run out of gas so many times going to, while on and driving home from tours we now have dubbed ourselves as the " Gashouse Gang". We're looking for new members. Requirements are you have to had run out of gas at least three times. I'm still trying to top the time Ron ran out of gas and got picked up by the Swedish Bikini Team...or was it the St. Pauli girls?<P><BR>Then there was the tour where two juveniles were going around with squirt guns. As they passed other cars they would sqiurt the drivers and speed off.<P>The Gatlinburg Glidden had it's moments also. Tuesday morning we were to travel to Asheville, N.C. and stay overnight there. This means packing clothes, snacks, tools, parts and whatever else you may need; a load for a rumble seat convertible with a rack and no trunk. Bob Cirilli and I were travelling together, however, as we started up the first mountain, Bob's '29 Pontiac, a beautiful car, wouldn't run. We go back down the hill and start checking things out. After I don't remember how many trips up to the tow vehicles for extra tools, parts, manuals, etc, we determine we can't fix it. No problem, we'll load everything in our car and Bob and Dee can ride in the rumbleseat. C'mon, it will be fun!! We had lunch at the host hotel, purged our luggage, etc. to make room for Bob and Dee's luggage, strapped everything on the rack, stuffed things down by their feet and put what we could fit in the front seat, off we go. Did I mention yet that morning Tennessee had some escaped convicts trapped in the mountains and shut down the tour route? Well, by the time we came through, tour signs were down and nobody was around to follow. We had no map and no idea where we were let alone how to get to Asheville. After finally finding a place to ask directions, we end up on a dusty, dirt mountain road swerving around bulldozers and earthmovers. Keep in mind, Bob and Dee are in the rumbleseat. Somehow we made it to Asheville about 8:00 that evening. <P>Howard, don't you have a story for us? Wasn't it on the '99 Founders Tour you had so much fun that while driving home you unloaded the car from the trailer and had Judy drive about 500 miles? I'm trying not to steal your thunder. grin.gif" border="0<P><BR>With the Buzzards Breath Divisional Tour coming up next week, does anybody want to expound on Bruce's Bar? <BR> wink.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0<p>[ 08-23-2001: Message edited by: Alan Terek ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

<B>BOY HOWDY for Bruce's Bar ! ! ! ! ! ! ! </B><BR>Bruce's Bar is a unique place in Severence, CO (a small farming community) that attracts very unsavory characters like bikers, hunters, truckers, and ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE ENTHUSIASTS. At Bruce's the floor is uneven, the silverware doesn't match, there's ice in the urninals, and if you say excuse me, you could be asked to leave. Their specialty is Rocky Mountain oysters. If you need to know what that is, Al will explain. A group of the BBTR have been there several times. We keep returning and as a matter of fact, the divisional tour will stop there on Tuesday. As tour chairman I was threatened with unnamed harm to my body if we didn't include this lunch break.<P>Al, I think they still have the same shirts for sale that you bought Irene and she made you return it.<P>Dan wink.gif" border="0tongue.gif" border="0wink.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Al ~ I'll save the trip home story from the '99 Founders for later as there are funnier stories in the book. Now you have to remember that my tour stories span 20 years and 2 wives. As Judy often says when I tell one of those remember when stories, "That was with the other wife." rolleyes.gif" border="0 This one was on a Reliability Tour shortly after we were married.<P>We were driving on a country road at about 35MPH in the "14 Buick with Father Ron following in his '11 Hudson. As we went along the car seemed to be losing power no matter how much gas I gave it and I said as much to Judy. confused.gif" border="0 About this time Judy looked around and said, Oh look, Ron's waving at us." I said something like, "That's nice."<P>A little bit further on she said, "Now Ron's waving and yelling something at us." Again, "That's nice. I can't hear any thing with the wind and the car noise."<P>Then she said, "Don't you think we should slow down and see what he wants?" That was easy since he was speeding up and we were slowing down steadily.<P>Finally he was close enough to be heard above the din and Judy turned to me and said, "Ron says we are on fire!" shocked.gif" border="0 She swears I said, Do you think we should stop?" I don't think I said that, but in any case we stopped. The left brake was smoking rather vigerously, but there were no flames. I had adjusted the brakes that morning and gotten that one too tight. On that car there is about 1/2 turn separating no brekes from fire.<P>Anyway, for almost 10 years now, "You're on fire --- Do you think we should stop?" has been a running Barnett/Scotland joke on tours.<P>There are lots more in the book, but how about some from other tourists.<P>Al, I was at French Lick and Gatlinburg. Too bad I didn't know you then. The police cut the tour route just before we got there and we spent a lot of time milling around in some small town with 100 other cars waiting for them to decide how we were going to get to Asheville. Your route was more creative than ours. <B>BUT</B> we found the ice cream store in that little town. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0<P>Howard

Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that Malcolm Creighton is one of our tour planners, I can promise that there will be ice cream or custard somewhere on the 2002 Founders Tour!<P>Based on the "Roving Judge" reports he submits to the Beam (the Wis Region newsletter) whenver he attends national events -- and he attends a LOT -- he has a real talent for finding the best wherever he goes.<P>And I think it's an excellent idea to try to have a host club member run the next day's tour a day in advance, to check for unforeseen obstacles, road construction, etc. I'll suggest that to our committee.<P>Jan K.<BR>Wis Region

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have really found it beneficial to read all of the comments posted on this site. We have been working on the 2002 Founders Tour for over a year and have utilized many of the ideas you've all expressed, but there are always new ideas to be considered. One question I have for Terry is regarding check points--can you explain how this would work? If there isn't a structured time schedule and participants are free to indulge themselves in additional points of interest, even off the scheduled route, how can this be managed? <P>One plan we are considering is offering options for those who do like a planned activity in the evening. We do not expect everyone to want to do something every evening, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out something to do on your own so we are offering some options. <P>We can assure you that we plan on driving the antique cars each day for the tour and we have planned shorter days for the opening banquet and the closing banquet. Attire for the opening banquet will be minimal business casual due to the location of the banquet at Monona Terrace. The closing banquet will be business casual or casual--it will be in the hotel. We will include this information on our registration form.<P>Many of the participants on the 2001 Founders Tour expressed wanting the opportunity to spend plenty of time at some of the attractions. This will be up to each participant depending on what time they want to return to the hotel.<P>Our hub hotel rate will be $95 and there should be room for all who want to stay at the hub hotel. Baymont and Fairfield Inn are located in the near vicinity and I am working with them to get an established rate.<BR>The hub hotel was chosen because it could accommodate 250-300+ people and because it is the only hotel in the vicinity with ample parking for our antique cars, motor homes and trailers. The hotel is providing security for the vehicles while on premise along with a place for washing cars. <P>We will not be travelling on the Interstate. I agree emphatically with other contributors to this thread that interstate driving is not very much fun in an antique car. Our hotel is in a western suburb of Madison with proximity to country roads in every direction.<P>Any suggestions are welcomed as all of our plans are not finalized yet. Our intention is to introduce many of you to the beauty of Wisconsin and our heritage. We plan to make this a terrific vacation for all of you!<P>Sharan W. <BR>2002 Founders Tour Chair

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sharan ~ Some of us old pharts have been retired for so long that when we were working, business was business and casual was casual and never the twain shall meet. Exactly what is business casual and what are its varying degrees ? smile.gif" border="0 ~ hvs<P>Terry ~ I think this KK thing is progressing beyond the long running joke stage. Get that permission and see if they can be declared "Unofficially official". wink.gif" border="0rolleyes.gif" border="0cool.gif" border="0 Howard

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howard, I guess I wasn't too clear in my former post. I would not advocate having the offical route for a national tour on Interstates. What I was suggesting was that alternate routes could be mentioned if for some reason (breakdowns etc.) time had to be made up. I also did not mean that tours should be convoys. They are very difficult to do. I was thinking of groups of 3 to 4 cars which some people seem to prefer. You are correct in assumeing that I have yet to be on a national tour my former profession precluded this. However I have been on 23 tours of 9 days duration or longer and about 3 times that many weekend tours. I have also run many of these weekend tours. I thought that input here might help other regions and wasn't confined to national tours. Sorry if I caused any confusion. Al

Link to post
Share on other sites

Al ~ Sorry if I was a little hard on the Interstate issue. As you can tell I am very strong on that subject and I seem to have a lot of company. <P>As an alternative to actually including some "Interstate alternatives" in the tour route, why not provide everyone with an area map so that if they want alternatives they can find them themselves. That way nobody is responsible for leading anybody into trouble.<P>I once considered putting on an 8 day tour out here in the wilds of Wyoming and everybody said I was crazy. Where do you find people willing to devote the time and effort to putting on a 9 day tour?<P>I think we are now both headed in the same direction.<P>hvs

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - Al, thanks! Some super stuff, Im typing as fast as I can! So much great info that I even forgot I had to write Krispy Kreeme and get their permission to include them in the brochure. This is a great thread!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why stop at getting KK's permission to use their name. Tour organizers could go for sponsorship: "KK - the official AACA tour donut". Maybe even have them provide, for free, the morning pastries. smile.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

An example of what can happen to a tour in the last days before the tourists arrive. shocked.gif" border="0 <P>Today is Friday the 24th and the Western Divisional Tour in Ft. Collins starts on Sunday the 26th. This afternoon I took a trailer [with car] to the host hotel in preparation for the tour. The hotel is on a divided highway with a crossover into the hotel. At least there was a crossover last week. <B>NOT THERE NOW!</B>. <P>This will be a minor inconvenience, but it is an example of how quickly things can go downhill on a tour route.<P>I post this to re-enforce the oft repeated suggestion that someone SHOULD run the next day's tour route the day before. Even that cannot assure that the road will not be shut down as of 5:00 AM on the day of the run. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>hvs

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the posts to this thread have begun to slow down, all I can say is THANKS to all who have contributed! grin.gif" border="0 <P>There has been a lot of good information presented here and I can only hope that there is still more to follow. smile.gif" border="0 <P>I will print out every page and can only encourage anyone interested in organized touring to do the same. wink.gif" border="0 <P>Before this thread comes to an end, PLEASE post YOUR insights to tours, both good and bad, for all of us to learn by. We really want to hear your stories! smile.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wisconsin Business Casual:<P>I think we have a more relaxed version of Business Casual here in "fly-over" country. For example, we typically see a nice pair of pants or slacks (no jeans), combined with a comfortable shirt or blouse (no t-shirts). A man may wear Dockers with a golf shirt, for example; a woman may wear slacks with a summer sweater set or light blouse. Jackets are truly optional and ties have virtually disappeared. Shorts are usually allowed for the women if they are tailored and part of a shorts set. Of course, ladies may still wear dresses, if they want, and men may "dress up" more than suggestions made here. Comfort is the order of the day.<P>We plan to include minimal dress requirements for the banquets, which should aid you in packing.<P>One other thing to consider: July/August are typically our hottest months (80+), but they have also been known to be cold and rainy. You may want to bring something for any eventuality. Or you could help our local economy by purchasing it after you get here! smile.gif" border="0<P>Jan K.<BR>Wis Region

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here's some more thoughts on putting on a tour. These are in no particular order, just a lot of little footnotes.<P>First and foremost , HAVE FUN! Don't make it a chore, but enjoy it as much as you can. The benefits will pay off, as will be pointed out later.<P>Diversify your menu. If yuo have chicken for the opening banquet, don't have it once or twice more for lunches and meals. This leads to the next item.<P>Don't skimp on quality. For a dollar or two more, you can have prime rib and people won't remember the tour cost an extra two dollars, but they'll surely remember they had chicken at the banquets.<P>You will have certain members wearing 6 or 7 hats, take the pressure off them where you can. For instance, if you can get one caterer to do all the coffee breaks, do it. It will take a burden off your day chairman and it will establish consistancy in your service. You won't have a day where the coffee taste like it was strained through someone's socks or like they used the grounds from the day before. I'm not promoting Krispy Kreme doughnuts, most areas have a doughnut shop that is much better than KKs. Once again, don't cut quality and make sure you have enough.<P>Make sure you set up a budget and keep adjusting it as you go. If you need help with setting up a budget, I'm sure Bob Cirilli would be happy to assist you.<P>If you can and you're travelling into their area, have another region set up the lunch. It gives them a chance to make a few dollars and it takes some more pressure off your people. This isn't mandatory, it's just good PR with another region.<P>Try to incorporate a region function with an evening activity to get the members not participating a chance to meet and talk with the tourists. This really developes a lot of enthusiasm for people who have never been on a tour. Also, invite other regions that are helping out to the activity.<P>Stress to the tourists not to bunch up. Average speed for a Founders Tour is 35mph. I thought this seemed slow when I first heard it, But it's amazing how close it works out. For a Glidden or Reliability, adjust down accordingly. If you have 15-20 cars driving this slow, the locals get pretty testy when they can't get where they're going.<P>Don't be afraid to try something new. This is what sets the tours apart from each other. The Del Mar Va Glidden had a "lady's day" where the ladys drove to the coffee break. It was really neat! Long days work sometimes, but try not to put them back to back. People want to get back and relax.<P>There will be some people that want to be the first to everything. Don't let it upset you. Prepare for them.<P>Ask hotel to save old towels so people don't steal them from the rooms.<P>Open banquet room so people can go in and sit down. Tell them they'll drink more if their feet aren't hurting.<P>Notify businesses you're coming through. You would be surprised how many antique shops, restaurants, etc. close on certain days or they may need to add extra staff. Try to alert police departments, schools(if in session), fire departments, etc. List their phone nembers in the tour book, along with a drug store or two. Most people have cell phones but no local phone book. One emergency will reap the benefits of those numbers.<P>Sell ads in tourbook and promote those businesses. Don't be afraid to tell people to patronize them. These businesses are funding part of the tour.<P>Find good garages to work on the cars.<P>Let people do dinner on their own. They'll want to relax and spend time with their friends.<P>Try to have tow vehicle leave about two hours after last vehicle. Most people will be stopping and the tow vehicle will pass them up. When they come out to leave, someone may have a problem and the tow vehicle is way down the road.<P>I had forgotten about this until I talked with Doug Drake and he told me he needed to catch up on his sleep. If you are tour chairman, be prepared to get about 4 hours sleep the week of the tour. You will get to bed late and be up very early. Trust me. Load up on your vitamins.<P>Make sure you have people very proficient or at least not intimidated by a computer. See if hotel is willing to print newsletters for you. Ours did and it saved someone from running out late at night to get them printed.<P>If you did your job right, you'll feel a little depressed Saturday morning when everybody heads home. <P>Remember, to be a successful tour, you don't need to do great things, just do the little things great. grin.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan ~ That info on the dress code was really helpful, and as you said will simplify things in the packing dept.<P>We just got home from the Western Divisional Tour hosted by the Buzzard's Breath Touring Region, and based on the attire at our opening breakfast and closing banquet, your suggested attire would be considered FORMAL wear. wink.gif" border="0 Of course our banquet is the BBTR traditional, pizza in the parking lot cool.gif" border="0 and at the breakfast, two people with ties had them removed with scissors, shocked.gif" border="0 another BBTR tradition.<P>Seriously, thanks for the answer. Us old pharts need updating from time to time. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>hvs

Link to post
Share on other sites
grin.gif" border="0 WAIT A MINUTE!!! grin.gif" border="0 <P>I just got done skimming over this thread before I print it out for my "Touring File" when I realized that something is still missing. frown.gif" border="0 <P>A few posts back, Howard promised the story about the trip back from the '99 Founders Tour and it ain't here! shocked.gif" border="0 <P>Can we really let this thread end without Howard having the last word? confused.gif" border="0 <P>If you don't want to see Howard have the last word, there's still room for YOUR tale! grin.gif" border="0 Thanks again to everyone who posted!<P><BR>Whoops!!! rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>I just realized that before I offered this post, Howard already HAD the last word!!!<P>Oh well... the ball's in your court now Howard! grin.gif" border="0<p>[ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: fordee9r ]
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would bring this thread back up to the top, because I think there is, or will soon be, a lot more "stuff" to go on here.<P>The Divisional Tour in Colorado just ended, the Vintage Tour in PA begins Sunday, the Glidden Tour starts on the 23rd. and the tour in Mobile is on Nov 1st.<P>If there are no suggestion coming out of those tours there certainly must be some "good stories."<P>Ron asked what happened on the way home from the '99 Vintage Tour. It wasn't on the way from, but on the way to. It's a pretty long story so I will save it for a post after someone else contributes to this thread.<P>That means if you don't want to hear it, don't post anything. rolleyes.gif" border="0 ~ hvs<p>[ 09-07-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...