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fordee9r (Ron Springstead)

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

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Is this what you had in mind ? This is a true story of my first ride that I wrote many, many, well lets just say several years ago. <P><BR>My First Ride by Bob Cirilli<P>Back in October of 1981, I ran across a dream in the form of a 1929 Pontiac Roadster. A dream because I wanted an early roadster since I was fourteen years old. Well, two months passed before I decided that I would make an offer on the dream. Much to my surprise, the offer was accepted and I was soon to be the owner of a like new 1929 Pontiac Roadster. It was a very cold Wednesday that I headed up the mountain to Somerset, PA in a tilt bed truck praying it would stay cold so my dream didn’t get more than dusty on the way home. Much to my surprise It got to it’s new home without a big event. (Unless you call my pants getting wet once or twice a big event.) The weeks passed as I occasionally dusted, examined, and started my dream car. February 27th arrived and I made my usual visit to where the car was stored and found a rather dead battery. My first major mechanical feat began. Out came the carpets, insulating paper, floorboards and finally the battery. That night the battery sat in the warmth of my basement devouring a full charge.<P>Sunday, February 28th, back in storage. The battery when in easy, the floor boards next, but before the insulation and carpet I’ll just see if it will start. A touch of the starter and there it was purring like a kitten. Gee, it’s fifty degrees and the sun is shining and I’m ready. I hop in like a kid at Christmas. I even remember to invite my wife. Slipped the gearshift in reverse, let out the clutch and we’re off. Somehow I never thought this day would come. I was having the time of my life, up and down hills, on the flats, and muscling the steering. Now I really know what the Toyota commercial meant when they said, “Oh what a feeling.”<P>I suddenly realized I was being selfish and I should let my wife Dee in on the fun. She agreed it might be nice so I stopped the car, set the hand brake, got out, Dee slid over, I walked around and got back in. “Is this first?” “Yes,” I said, “just let the clutch out smoothly.” She did and we were off. She tried not showing it but she was having fun.<P>“I smell something”, she said. Then smoke began pouring from under the floorboards. “What should I do?” “Turn it off”, I said as I got out and could see my dream going up in flames. No screwdriver handy, oh! A dime, perfect for getting the floor boards off. Dee was wisely going through the rumble seat looking for a fire extinguisher. Finally off came the floorboards. It’s the hand brake! I never released it.<P>I grabbed a rag and furiously smothered the fire. I had to catch my breath and realized that my heart was furiously thumping. Moments passed as I regained my composure. We got back in the car and worked our way back to some level of confidence. Everything was fine, but not at all what I expected of my first ride.

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Ron ~ Maybe in my haste to be diplomatic and non confronational, something of which I am rarely accused, I misunderstood the type of stories that were being sought. confused.gif" border="0 I assumed that you were seeking National Tour organizational horror stories. <P>So, instead of avoiding any stories that might embarrass anyone, I will begin with a fairly recent occurrance. Depending on the response, more such experiences may follow.<P>It appeared that the tour was created by combining parts of several old tours in the area and making one new tour out of it. rolleyes.gif" border="0 This led to some closed routes with no directions around them. blush.gif" border="0 Road construction of MAJOR proportions which could not possibly have begun anywhere close to the tour date. mad.gif" border="0 We finally realized that we were in big trouble when the increment mileage on the tour book was not related to the total mileage traveled. When you travel 2.6 miles forward and the total mileage goes from 78.2 to 74.9 you begin to worry. shocked.gif" border="0<P>Of course we all found our way home, but not without some very creative map reading. smile.gif" border="0<P>Moral: <B>NEVER</B> go on a tour without a <I>GOOD</I> map of the area you plan to tour.<BR> cool.gif" border="0 Best are county or area maps followed by state maps. AAA Eastern, Central US, etc maps are worthless for that purpose.<P>Ron, is this what you were looking for in the form of horror stories. I didn't mean to get preachy back there. I was just trying to be "nice". <P>hvs

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Now to briefly answer Hal's tour questions from earlier in this thread.<P>Major AACA tours like the Glidden, Vintage, Founders and Reliability are 5 days long. AACA Divisional tours tend to be 3 days long, but their length is determined by the host Region or Chapter. There have been some longer and shorter than 3 days.<P>Each tour has its own year of eligibility restrictions. Reliability - 1915 & earlier. Vintage - 1927 & earlier. Glidden - AACA [odd numbered years]1935 & earlier, VMCCA [even numbered years] 1942 & earlier. Founders - 1936 up to 25 years old.<P>Divisional tours set their own year limits, but must be at least 25 years old.<P>Non nationally sanctioned tours can be whatever the sponsoring group wishes, so this discussion will be limited to National Tours.<P>For many years now the "HUB" tour has prevailed. One reason for this is the increased size of the tours which makes moving from place to place every night more difficult. So now we set out from and return to the same hotel every night. A workable exception has been a two city tour whereby you spend a few nights in one place and then move to another in the middle of the tour. It can be fun, but it requires a lot of effort on the part of the organizers.<BR>Also if your trailer is in one city and you have a permanently disabling breakdown in another, getting back to point "A" isn't easy.<P>Now this is just my personal opinion, but I think some of the adventure has gone out of "organized touring" and people just don't want to put forth the effort needed to participate in a progressive tour. Also many of today's tourists have never been on a progressive tour or even know what it means or entails. Enough on that!<P>Finally, what do you do on a tour? You drive, sometimes too far on one day. You eat, sometimnes too often and too much. You socialize, with old touring buddies and new ones you meet on the tour. You <B>FIX</B> cars, yours, your friends and those of tourists you have never met before. Everybody lends a hand if needed or requested. It has been said that most breakdowns occur on the first 2 days of a tour and by the end of the week all the cars have been restored. smile.gif" border="0 <P>You also do all the activities scheduled by the host group. Museums, car collections boat rides, shopping stops [please hosting organizations, we do not need an outlet mall stop on each and every tour] parks, historic villages, factories and many other points of interest in the tour area.<P>This could turn into a book, but Terry Bond has said AACA is working on a Touring Brochure which I am certain will say it better and more completely than I have here.<P>hvs

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Ron,<P>I think you originally wanted likes and dislikes about tours we have been on. I have only been on 2 National AACA tours - the first one I went I was Tour Chairman. The second one was the Reliabilty Tour last year. Sugarloaf Region did an excellent job with the tour. The routes were terrific not to mention the covered bridges and the ford through the stream. The one thing I did not like was on Wednesday they arranged for a bus tour to Baltimore (this was optional but knowing the area I was hesitant to go off alone). Maybe I have traveled too much in my youth, but I didn't travel all the way to MD hauling a trailer to take a bus ride. I would have much preferred to have a day in the old car - even if they duplicated a tour route. They were perfect.<P>I just feel that are plenty of bus tours leaving from the Raleigh area that I could take to Baltimore. When I go on a old tour, I like to drive the old cars. Once again, maybe I have traveled too much in my youth as my Dad was in the military and we traveled alot. This of course is just one tourist's opinion.<P>24T42

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I have been on at least 20 tours put on by the N.J. region. I have not yet been on a national tour. The N.J. reg. tours last 9 days and have had anywhere from 28 to 42 cars. Some have been hub tours, some have been traveling tours, some have been a combination of both. I have enjoyed them all. Perhaps the smaller size of these tours as opposed to national tours makes them more managable. However the suggestions on this thread are good ones. Generally these tours have a maximum of 125 miles a day. Usually shorter. It depends on how many stops are on the way. Some activities are planned as group activities but there is much free time to persue individual interests. We very rarely convoy its just too difficult so if we do its only for short distances.

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Judy ~ I could not agree more on the undesirability of not touring on <B>EVERY</B> day of a tour.<P>Having lived much of my life in Baltimore, I opted out of the bus trip to Charm City. We took the day for a trip to Gettysburg. If there is something in the area of a tour worth a bus trip, perhaps it should be scheduled as a extra day before or after the regular tour.<P>Many years ago there was a Glidden Tour that was set up with 3 days [MWF] alotted for touring, with the remaining 2 days off. confused.gif" border="0 What a waste. mad.gif" border="0 You talk about hauling a trailer a long way for very little reward. If there was not enough in the area to fill a tour, then why was the tour awarded to that group in that area? It was not an AACA Tour.<P>hvs

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24T -<BR>I agree with you that off day activities that don't include antique car touring are sort of a short change for some participants. Not to be defensive here, but the 2000 Reliability Tour book had a separate page of "on your own" self directed tour possibilities for the Wednesday off-day. These included several major historic sites that were easy drives like Gettysburg National Monument (hvs went there), or Anteitum National Monument, or an antique shop tour around Frederick, or a non antique tour to the Mall in DC via Metro. We could have gone a little further and provided maps, but the hotel had maps available for anyone who asked.

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Yes!!! These are the types of stories I was looking for! Each one contains a little tibit that future tour directors can use to plan better tours!<P>I'm sure there are more out there that can be told without naming the particular Tour or its host Region.<P>Keep them coming!!! grin.gif" border="0

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OK Ron, here is another thing that is a major detractor from a good tour. <B>INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS!!!</B> shocked.gif" border="0mad.gif" border="0 <P>From time to time tourists find themselves routed onto Interstates. There seems to be a belief in some quarters that because a certain era of cars {Founders} can drive at Interstate speeds, that it is OK to route them that way on a tour. <B>IT'S NOT!!</B>.<BR>Its unsafe, frightening and just plain dumb. It isn't too good for public relations either, when our old cars get out there and drive 20 or MPH below the posted limit. <P>There was one brass era tour where the cars were sent onto an interstate. mad.gif" border="0 Imagine the terror of driving a 1914 Buick of 22.5 HP on an interstate in the northeastern US at rush hour. I got more shaken fists and middle finger salutes in that short stretch than you usually see in a month. We ran the car so hard to keep up and eventually get off that we burned out part of the ignition. <P>That night after looking ahead at the future day's routes and seeing another excursion onto the Interstate, shocked.gif" border="0 we decided to skip that day entirely and take the tow vehicle and see some of the local sights. Beat the hell out of what was otherwise in store for us.<P>I have lots more dos and don'ts from my touring experience, but this thread should have input from a varied group of tourists in order to be of maximum benefit.<P>hvs

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I disagree with what has been said about bus runs. When visiting downtown areas of large cities they are preferable to driving a number of antique cars into congested areas. Interstates also do not scare me when driving a 50 or 60s car. I use them regurlarly when going to meets or when on tour and I need to make time. I do keep up with the traffic easily. It is also easier to keep a group of cars together on an Interstate however prudence dictates that this be done during slack traffic periods. A good solution is to have both a back road and a highway route in the tour book if feasible. Both of the above were used this year on the N.J. Region tour. The bus tour was to the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

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Al ~ I had just about completed a rebuttal to your post on interstates and bus trips when AOL cut me off and wiped it out. That was probably a good thing since some of my answers to your points were getting a bit testy. So now I have another chance to post a more measured response. If AOL buzzes me again in the middle of this, I will post it in pieces.<P>First, Interstates on national tours are stupid no matter how much you like to drive YOUR cars on them. Since all cars are expected to follow the tour route, no one has the right to put someone else and their car in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation. PERIOD!!!.<P>Second, what kind of a tour is planned so that everybody must be kept together? Is someone afraid they will get lost if the whole tour is not lined up in front and behind them, and bunched up nice and close. Why not lock bumpers and let the lead car do all the work and save the rest gas?<P>Finally as to bus trips. There is nothing wrong with using buses as part of the day's tour to get into a heavily congested area. On this year's founders Tour we drove 30 some miles to the busses, rode then to Niagra Falls and back to our cars and then drove back to the hotel.. we drove our cars 60+ miles on the day we rode the busses. The same thing was done a few years back when we went into Pittsburgh on a Founders Tour. Drive-Ride a bus-Drive.<P>What I am objecting to, and I believe I made it quite clear, was that is was not a good procedure to take a day out of the tour for a bus trip somewhere without ANY driving of the tour cars. I stand by that.<P>I thought this response might be a little less direct, but I guess it isn't. Granted it is only MY opinion, and is therefore subject to instant dismissal, but your ideas do not fit well with National Tours. They may be OK for local Region tours because people do not drive thousands of miles to participate, but when you drive 1800 miles to get to a tour as some of us do, it is a little late to drop out when you discover that the tour is on interstates.<P>Please recall what I said at the beginning of this thread. A tour should be designed for the pleasure and benefit of the average tourist. If you want to drive your modern iron on the interstate, don't force others to come along.<P>hvs<p>[ 08-20-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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I hope this thread gets a lot of input. For that to happen though, egos will have to be checked at the door. The likes and dislikes offered here are not a criticism on any Region, tour, and/or tour chairman or director. They are being offered as suggestions or ideas for future tour planners to consider. They will not be required and can be acted upon, or not, as deemed appropriate by a hosting organization. However the suggestion being made are by those who have gone on past tours and who will probably be touring in the future.<P>Planning a tour can be a lot of work but also very rewarding. I can speak from personal experience having served as Tour Chairman of the 1999 Vintage Tour. In planning a tour, one must keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect tour. When you take into considerations the logistics of planning such an event, it is almost a certainty that something will go wrong or someone will be unhappy. You have a large group of people and cars to make accommodations for, a large variety of tastes and interests to satisfy, a lot of meals and points of interest to plan for a week, routes to map, etc. A lot can happen. <P>I liked Howard’s definition of touring – “ a short drive between feedings.” For me, I love to tour and when I do it is not about the places I see and visit. For me, it is the experience of sharing my love of the antique car with people who share the same passion. It, therefore, makes little difference to me if I go into the city to see the world’s greatest museum. I would rather be on a back road and having a picnic by the river. To me it is about the time I spend with the car and friends. The places you go and see are the icing on the cake. They are not my main reason for touring – it is the cars, the people, and a shared common experience. Yes, I agree that a bus trip is the only way to visit a hectic congested downtown metro area. But my point is – why not find something else to do that will not take you into the city. <P>Also when planning a tour please remember your target audience. What age car are you planning for? Yes, side trips can be great but are they appropriate for the age of cars on tours? Since I have already stated that I did not like the bus tour on last year’s Reliability tour let me take a minute and elaborate. Yes, suggestions were made and maps were available. Had I not gone on the bus trip I would have liked to have done something in the old car, which for us was a 1915 Ford Model-T. I went to Baltimore because the idea of driving alone, without the trouble truck and other tourists in an unfamiliar area was frightening. This was a wise decision as while on this tour we lost a wheel. But because it happened while on tour, Sugarloaf Region came to our rescue and within 20 minutes of losing the wheel, we were loaded on the trouble truck and headed back to the hotel. I would hate to think what would have happened if we had been out on our own. <P> p5230100.jpg <P>Did I take the bus trip? Yes. Did I have a good time? Yes. Did I almost not go on the tour because of it? Yes. If the same tour were offered next year, would I go? Yes. I have often sung the praises of Sugarloaf Region’s here in NC on the great tour they provided. The bus trip, for me, was in my opinion the one weak link.<P>As I said earlier, I hope no one takes anything said here personally. I know anything said about the 1999 Vintage Tour will be taken by me in a positive light. Anything said will help me plan the next tour whether it is a National tour or just one for our Region. I hope other past tour chairman will do the same. However, I am afraid that there will not be many posts as most everyone that tours knows the amount of work involved and does not want to appear too critical. Please prove me wrong! <P>Well, I have rambled enough for tonight.<P>24T42<p>[ 08-20-2001: Message edited by: 24T42 ]

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Judy ~ Since I am the one, who up to now has cited most of the tour "problems", I will no doubt be the one called a "critical SOB". I am not citing these instances for the sake of finding fault, rather it is in the hope that we might all learn something from our assorted experiences on tours. I have been doing National Tours, both AACA and VMCCA for 20 years at the rate of from 2 to 5 a year. That adds up to a lot of tours and you cannot help but experience both good and less than good.<P>I took issue with Al a bit ago because he appears, based on his stated ideas on touring, to lack experience participating in National Tours. Nothing personal, but I felt that such thoughts should be challanged for the good of touring. Everyone is free to take either side and it matters not. Just be sure to mention in your tour flyers if it will be an Interstate Tour.<P>As for the 1999 Vintage tour in NC. One of the best I have participated in, and you know I "calls 'em as I sees 'em." Good fun, good routes, good food and a good time was had by all even though I did almost run over the Governor on the day we parked the cars on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh.<P>Of course it had to be good. We were in KK land.<P>hvs<P>PS I lost the transmission in my Suburban tow vehicle on the way to the tour and broke a spindle on the trailer on the way home, and I STILL thought we had a wonderful time.<BR> smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0. A well planned and well managed tour makes adversity fade into the background.<p>[ 08-20-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Howard, as you know my dad and I both had '63 Chevy IIs on the tour. Yes, Dad drove his on a bunch of interstate road getting to the tour (I cheated. I trailered wink.gif" border="0 I'm not getting into <B>how</B> you get your car there). There were two evenings on the way back to the hotel we left the tour route and headed back on the interstate with both cars. <P>What I wanted to say here is although our cars are interstate capable, it is <B>much</B> more enjoyable to stick to the secondary and back country roads. Touring should be at leisurely pace. Not having to drive fast just so you don't get run over.<p>[ 08-20-2001: Message edited by: novaman ]

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David ~ I agree. There have been several times I too have bailed out while driving a modern car on a tour and taken the intrestate home. rolleyes.gif" border="0 <B>BUT -</B> that was <B>MY</B> choice. I was not sent there as part of the tour route.<P>Also as you said, what can be interesting to see along an interstate while going hell bent to keep from being run over at 80 MPH.<P>It occurred to me that on the same tour with <BR>your '63 Chevys and my '51 Chevy there could have also been a 1936 American Bantam, that would have been eligible for a Founders Tour. How would you like to drive that on I 90?.<P>So back to where I started, <B>NO INTERSTATES ON THE DESIGNATED TOUR ROUTE, PLEASE!</B><P>hvs

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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

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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

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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

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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>

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Judy - - - we will ride with you and Barker anytime - anywhere.<P>I am the chairman for a divisional tour that is to be held next week. After it is over I will have some thoughts to pass on.<P>Dan

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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