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Dynaflash8

Young Adult Members

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BruceW said:<P><blockquote>I think the reason that the AACA has the reputation as a rich mans club is the past emphasis was on judging to exacting standards. For many years it seems the main reason for being in the AACA was to have a Senior car Only in the past decade or so does it seem that other activities such as tours have really been promoted in earnest. If you can't or are not interested in having a show car, there are other activites to participate in such as the national tours.<BR></blockquote><P>Most AACA events are sponsored by the local chapters and regions. Those local organizations do pretty much what they want, including tours and fun shows.<P>This is not new. Nearly a quarter century ago, when I was activity chairman for the Chesapeake Region, we had some sort of event about once a month during the "car season". Streetcar Museum, "shopping center" meets, tours, etc. Only one show was judged: The big fall event in Laurel, Md.<P>If I recall, we had a couple hundred members at the time. Some you only saw at monthly membership meetings. Some only came on tours. Some only came to the shopping center meets we used as fund raisers. Some only came to judged events. A small few came to everything.<P>By the way, we also had members who did not have an old car. We also had a member or two whose car(s) we never saw. They were always "under going restoration". smile.gif<P>So the minimum cost of entry into the AACA is simply dues. The next step up is a low cost "driver" for the local tours and fun shows. And, of course, the sky is the limit for those chasing a national prize.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Tod: You forgot Reisterstown Road Plaza smile.gif... it was a judged Meet. You must get more active in a local club on the West Coast, Tod. You have a lot to offer in age and experience. I keep telling you this. <BR>A "low-cost driver" at for local shows? Remember what the real estate salesman may have said about your first house. "It's a great starter home".<BR>I suspect you will soon see more areas where "starter cars" (equates to "low-cost drivers")are encouraged, as AACA seeks to lower costs to attract young adult members.

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I read most of the posts about attracting new members. Interesting discussion. I'm 35, married, have all the typical payments, 2 kids, dog, picket fence, but I am a car nut.<BR>I bought a 'basket case' 72 Eldo conv. 8 years ago. I believe in restoring when practical and rodding when necessary. There are several issues that should be considered when you talk about 'the state' of the hobby.<P>1. Car nuts are still out there, this will not change. Look in the parking lot at he mall. You see kids hopping up Hondas and Trucks right and left. As strange as it may seem, they too will wnat to restore a 30 year old Honda (Z cars are already popular)<P>2. Cars today are too complicated to work on yourself part-time. This makes re-inforces the idea of disposable. No attachment; no sweat equity.<P>3. Most junkyards crush their cars in a timely manner. Carbs, intakes, and bolt-ons are immediately stripped and sent to refurbish houses. Parts are getting scarce, originals and repo's are expensive. Travel, internet searches, and 'Hemmings' is must to find most parts. <P>4. Most cars at car shows are immaculate. My dad (72 yrs. old) always complains that they never looked that good in the first place (especialy the paint). My point here is that the standards are so high I would be embarrassd to show up in my Caddy with the 20 foot paint job. Encourage a builders and drivers class. Projects in the works, so to speak. Awards do not have to be given for these people to show up, we just don't want to be embarrassed.<P>Because of #3 and #4 the pre-60s cars out there are already trailer queens or hot rods. Either way they are big bucks and not daily drivers. The ones you do find, people will not let go. I personally know where a 64 stingray (sitting in a backyard), a 28 Rolls (hasn't started/moved in 20 years) and a 47 Ford (backyard) exist but the owners won't sell because "it will be worth something someday". People see the out-ragous sums of money being paid for a better-than-showroom car and think that the rusty hulk out back is worth at least half of that.<P>If costs were equal (which they practically are) would you rather restore a 40's car to its original condition (poor brakes, no luxury items that my generation is used too and takes for granted, and somewhat under powered engines for todays interstate driving) or create a hotrod that has disk brakes, some luxury items, and makes a personal statement? In today's world of employees just being another number, cube farms, and all new cars looking alike. Is it any real wonder that people today are modifying their cars more than ever?<P>Late 60's car were known for muscle. Thats what people wanted. If it was popular then, it will be popular again.<P>There are few, if any, cars of the 70's and 80's that are desireable IMO. I consider my car a relic of a distant mindset (bigger is better)but not really desireable.<P>You don't have to change anything to get more members. You just have to be more understanding to the roadblocks to getting into the hobby. <P>I'll summarize for the managment types:<P>1. Money -- Add up the cost of a 'builder', the truck, trialer, and expense to go to meets. What middle age person can afford this? Local meets and 'drive-ins' will get attendance up...<P>2. Standards -- Most car shows have impeccable cars. You got to let the beginners save face. Ground-up restos should be the exception, not the rule.<P>3. Judging -- Have some non-judged catagories; not everyone is there to win a trophy. Once again, let the beginners save face. For some of us, we can only work on our cars one or two days a month max.<P>4. Time -- we may make more $$, but I doubt our quality of life is better. Stage cruise nights, picnics, or other half day events. A full day of only doing one thing or nothing, hasn't come my way in ten years (I'm 35). If I don't have time to play a round of golf I sure can't get my car ready for a show...<P>I would join in a heartbeat to learn from old timers and the more experienced, but I don't think my car is "worth" your time. Have open arms to rodders, rice-burners (16- 22 yr. olds today, and current projects and I think you will find the hobby is more alive and kicking than you expected.

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I haven't read all these posts, but I would just like to say that I am only 18 years old and am very involved in the old car hobby. My specialty in fact is in Early Ford V8's from 1942-1948. It is the "old guys" in clubs like the Early Ford V8 club and AACA that have got me involved and kept me involved. I think it is important to keep the hobby alive, so we need to get as many young people involved as possible. It's a great hobby, even if it is expensive, but what isn't these days! My '48 Mercury Coupe cost $1865 new, and now a similar car would run $18000!

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I have been reading the posts about the younger generation. I consider myself a member of the younger generation, I am 27 years old. Many of the posts mention costs. Not only of the auto itself, but also the cost of attending shows. <P>I have a 1914 Model T Ford. I built it when I was in high school. Most of the parts came from the "old timers" in the club. Model T's of the 20's are less expensive than many cars of the 1950's and 60's. I sold a running 1920 Model T for $2000 a year ago. New parts are readily available through several catalogs. Though not always fast cars, they are very reliable. Mine will cruise at 40 MPH, which makes it very practical for travel on back roads. <P>No matter what the condition, a Model T will always draw a crowd at a show. It may even win a prize (if that is your "thing"), depending on the number of cars in the class. Another low-cost advantage to a Model T is that many local shows let early cars in for free.<P><BR>

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It is a sad thing when people want help and can't get it. That is a good way to attract members. Most people with Classic or Antique cars. Either purchased them with the intentions of fixing them up maybe even a show car. Or they got them from Friends or relatives. Where do they go for help?<BR>Most times they would show up at car shows and look/try to talk to people with the same car or make. <BR>If you don't talk to them and offer advice or help them Volia! Lost potential member.<BR>I didn't join the Austin Area Car Club because it was the thing to do. But because of the people! Young people do seem to have less time to work on cars. I wish I could find a nice person who would love to help and learn like I did from a friend. But, The cars are getting harder to find and Then there is the Time Effort and Money stuff.<P>------------------<BR>Gatomon

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Blackcat, I don't quite get the point of your post. The previous two, JAL48 and Chris, those were great thoughts. And the one before that from 72Caddy, many great thoughts, but possibly a couple of misconceptions. Many of us DO drive our pre-1950 show cars.....I have driven mine over 10,000 miles since it won a Grand National First in 1982, and it just won a Grand National Senior this year after a professional detail man worked it over with soap, water and wax. At 62 I didn't feel like it. And, I just don't see why it's necessary to update. There are FM chips for the old AM radios, shifting gears is fun, there's nothing like the whine and speed of an old overhead valve straight 8,and having the wind in your hair rather than the AC in your nose is also a pleasant change of pace. As for cost, as I look around, it looks to me like pre-1950 cars are coming down a little in price while post-1950 cars are going nuts. Finally, don't knock your '72 Caddy, I'm in this hobby almost 40 years and I'm restoring a 71 Riviera boattail to go with all my pre-1950 Buicks. But you really had some great points and I've copied them down<p>[This message has been edited by Dynaflash8 (edited 10-20-2000).]

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Are you not trying to Attract new members?<BR>What brought you into the hobby? Who was the force or influence that got you here? Think about it? Didn't we all seek Help or Knowledge from someone? Most of us Found that at a car show Or met someone with a like interest. Then you found out about the Club! Being a person who is willing to Help/Guide a perspective member Are You Willing to go the extra step to get them into the club? This site is a good start. Go out and find the people. Advertise! Promote small shows! Have tech people for different makes. Most people with classic cars are looking for help with a problem or where to take it for work. Clubs have a vast amount of experience and Knowledge. If you help a younger person He is more likely to join the club and tell his friends!<P>------------------<BR>Gatomon

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Blackcat: I've done all of that and more. Of course I started collecting by cutting out car pictures before I was 12, and got my first old car at 16, and joined AACA at 23. I didn't get much help from the older fellows then, but did find a place that gave credance to my interest. Then I offered to edit the club newsletter and was accepted by the older members for my work, even if they thought my car was too new and told me so. I agree that the technical advisor is a good idea that a lot of one-car clubs do, you are right. Most of us older guys try to help any younger ones that are interested, but I'm trying to figure out if young adults are as interested as 30 years ago and what things that might attract them better than we currently do if they are interested (short of modifying). I just brought an interested young adult who has restored a '64 car quite nicely into the judging program, at Hershey. Us old guys really are trying....and learning, and I appreciate your thoughts

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