midman

AACA Museum & AACA, What is Going On

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 but to hear this on the forum, today, right now, when, as you say, the negotiations have been going on for YEARS?  I just can't understand that...

 

David, the discussion is the result of a story that was published online at Hemmings today. 

 

What I cannot understand is this upset that, " the press put this story out without talking to the appropriate person." when the only two people mentioned in the article were the executive director of the club and the executive director of the museum and both read as though they are speaking to the author with respect to issue at hand.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a member I guess I'm entitled to an opinion. As some of you may be aware I'm not bashful about sharing it. As was stated it comes down to money. Of course it does. It would be nice if the museum was self sufficient but it doesn't look like that's the case. So the AACA membership has to ask itself if it wishes to pour money into an enterprise that will be used by an extremely small part of the membership or does it wish to use those funds for things that more directly benefit it's members.  The argument that the museum seriously fosters participation in the hobby is specious at best. Lets face it. It's an expensive building full of dead cars that an ever dwindling number of people are interested in.

All the other works of the AACA do far more to expand the hobby than ANY museum ever will.

Steve M, the AACA board, and myself have some policy arguments but I have always beleived they are acting on what they consider to be the correct course and in the club's best interest.

If the museum cannot or will not directly contribute to the clubs coffers than let them manage on their own..................Bob Beck

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 

I realize that I don't know all the ins and outs of keeping AACA and the museum functional, but to hear this on the forum, today, right now, when, as you say, the negotiations have been going on for YEARS?  I just can't understand that...

 

Trimacar,

 

I'm also one that fails to understand how this apparently years-long dispute has only now become common knowledge to the AACA membership.  Of course, it may have "muddied the waters" had the dispute/negotiations become known to the membership, but I would think that something of this nature should have been communicated to the people who make the organization possible.  It's a shame that things have been allowed to deteriorate to this point.

 

"Consequently, AACA will focus our energy and resources toward securing a new facility to appropriately house our Library and administrative

offices."  This quote from the AACA letter to members was a real eye-opener to me.  As someone who has only been an AACA member for a few years, I just assumed that the AACA offices, library and museum were all part of the AACA.  It seems that the AACA offices and library are now without a home which will necessitate the expenditure of considerable funds to find a new home.  Will this quest be funded via dues increases, assessments etc.?

 

Bummed out, I am:(,

Grog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 I can understand that "business deals" don't always work out.  Those of us who work on early cars, and restore them either for fun or for a living, know that the "business" of antique cars is a quicksand swamp, and it doesn't take much to put you under that swampy water. 

 

 

Interesting thing to say. What is that swampy water that you speak of?? Do I see a honest conversation bubbling up in the swamp?  Now please do not take my comments and put them with this AACA thing. I do not know enough about it to make a comment. But there is a bunch of stuff that needs to be talked about in this hobby/industry. You can start by telling us about the "swampy water" and the "business" of antique cars.:ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll toss my opinion in here...  I APPRAISE cars that are donated to museums including the AACA. Actually I hear the reasons given by those who intend to donate and nearly 100% assume their cars and ephemera will become part of the "collection" for ever more...  Totally false in EVERY CASE. What a shame, but not for me to give my opinion when performing my function as an appraiser. Now that this topic has hit home in this forum, I can let it all go. I TOO thought that a contribution to the AACA Museum was to support ALL OF AACA. No, I never really thought I needed to look closer at the relationship, heck, the publications I got from AACA asking to support "OUR MUSEUM" was enough for me.

So what next? I will NEVER DONATE any of MY cars to ANY Museum where they become dead as a rock or hidden away or heaven forbid, SOLD out to general public to become Rat Rods or parts cars. My cars will go to a real car-person ONLY. Our cars need caretakers that maintain then in RUNNING CONDITION and get them out to public events when at all possible. They are to be seen, touched, driven and admired. EVERY CAR I have and or am involved with I try to do a video of and post in online for others to see. If I cant get out there to a show, I can point folks to the video. I get PLENTY of thank you messages from viewers from all parts of the world. They all love these cars and I am happy to share all of them in any way I can.

NO Museums for me.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

 

"As to the person calling for my head.  All I can say is for 13 years I have given everything I can to this club and those that know me and have seen how many changes for the good have happened thanks to the team I helped assemble are very appreciated of the job we have done here.  Most of you know me from the forums and I have tried my best to respond and be straight with you.  Not everyone is going to agree with me or the club in their actions but if you think the club needs a new person in this office exercise your rights as members and contact our board members."

 

 

Letter to Members.pdf

 

It disturbs me to see someone take offense of the excellent work that Steve has done for AACA. Steve has unwavering support among the AACA Board. Steve has worked hard with the Committee that tried to work out details of joining the AACA Museum with AACA itself. (By the way, AACA allowed the Museum to use AACA as their name to help promote the Museum and our hobby in general) Myself and most of the Board asks Steve to handle the business part of our hobby, since he has dealing with businesses like this all of his life.

 

As far as this merger goes, AACA has been working on this for some time now. We need a new building, one for AACA Headquarters, and more importantly, a new LARGER facility for the AACA Library. The library just recently got a trailer load of car related items donated. It is busting at the seams. We CAN NOT wait any longer. It's business folks. We need to move now!

 

Wayne

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People it has been a long day for a lot of reasons.  I had asked for the story in Hemming's to be discussed with a representative of the board and not me.  I said some candid things and failed to ask that my comments be off the record.  Another magazine honored that request and is working with the chairman of our committee for responses.  He will get those.

 

Capngrog-we have a home now.  I wrote in my editorial a couple issues ago about the problem we face in a 1931 building that was not built to service our needs.  It is a valuable piece of property and will be a rather easy sell.  We have a major need to expand the library and we need more efficient office space and need a method of either a loading dock or freight elevator.  All the discussions we have had with contractors and our issues with zoning have finally led us to go in the direction of a newer bldg. rather than to try to remodel this place that has served us well. We are not located on the museum campus.

 

We all freely admit that no one ever told the story about AACA and the Museum's legal status.  People, including me, just felt that someday we would work things out.  Remember guys, the club started the museum and has funded them to a very large extent more than was evident in the article today.  Real tears have been shed, I have had to talk with our early Presidents of the club who gave their hearts and souls to the formation of the museum.  They are heartbroken.  There is no joy in "mudville".

 

While the decision is hurtful and has caused pains on both sides of this issue we are still hopeful that the museum is successful and that their leadership can find ways to make a great museum even greater over the ensuing years.  We, however, need to focus our members money for an entity that they have "ownership" in and that is their national headquarters and the best automotive library in the world (IM0).  

 

I have lived these discussion for many years now and do not expect everyone to completely understand.  There are many issues that are difficult to grasp but in the end each side had a chance to find a solution that they could live with but in the end it just failed.   

 

Wayne thanks for the support (you others as well) but having my head on the chopping block comes with the territory.  Happy to see you respond.  I know others who are not on here much are trying but dealing with the technology problems. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, lump said:

Wow. I have donated stuff to the museum, because it was a part of AACA. Wonder what happens to that stuff now? Can you imagine how people who donated entire cars must feel? Hope everything works out ok. 

 

 

I don't want to dissuade anyone from ever donating to a museum but realize that anything donated has a decent chance of getting auctioned off at some point,  often before the donator passes.  See the Crawford for some examples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ovalrace25 said:

...Our cars need caretakers that maintain then in RUNNING CONDITION and get them out to public events when at all possible.... 

NO Museums for me.   

 

Some good, moderating ideas here:

---I understand that our museum--different from most--keeps

the cars maintained and in running condition.  Some of our

local volunteers are dedicated to that task.  A few cars are

even taken out to Hershey and other area shows.

 

---Just because two entities differ in their ideas doesn't mean

that the situation has to become acrimonious.  "Agreeing to disagree"

can still be maintained with friendly cooperation, even if there are

two separate business entities.

 

---A new library and new national office would be great, if they are

improvements to what we have currently.  But only if the funding is there.

Buildings can easily last 200 years (500 if you ask the Europeans),

and even our oldest building has many, many useful years left. 

If buildings were obsolete after 80 years or so, ours would have

no value in a sale, and half of Pennsylvania would have to be town down! 

 

---Our Executive Director, in the office every day to serve the

membership, is a real car enthusiast and I think works hard for all of us.

Thanks, Steve, for being willing to discuss this on our forum.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, AJFord54 said:

So, let me ask this question:  

 

1.) I have a friend who recently donated an AACA Senior Grand National motorcycle.  I can't speak for him, but my guess would be that his donation was based upon the fact that it would be an asset of the AACA.  Can those that donated items, under the premises that the they would be such an asset, receive those items back?  I would suggest that there is going to be one hell of a lawsuit brewing.

 

I have never donated a vehicle (I do own a brick :-) )to them AJFord, but I do know that some items are "on loan". I am pretty sure that the paperwork that the donator signed described the conditions. Best to call the Museum.

Quote

 

2.) Next, the comment that all of the board members of the AACA and all of the board members of the AACA Museum are disappointed makes no sense to me.  If everyone is against it, why is it happening?

Again, it's a business decision. AACA needed a new building and we could not get the details worked out without causing serious issues.

Quote

 

Finally, on a rather "silly" note:  Will the membership still receive "free" entrance to the museum in the future?

Probably not, unless the Museum wants to finance it themselves. The Museum entrance fee now is partially financially covered by AACA membership dues. (a very nice arrangement)

Quote

 

I must say, I find it appalling that the 6000 or so "members" have never heard a word about this until after the fact.  How in the world could this ever have happened?  And PLEASE, do not confuse the situation by stating the we need a new building to house the library and executive offices.  That has nothing to do with the loss of the museum.   

It's 60,000 members and true it was not common knowledge. We always expected to unite at some time in the future. Don't forget, it was AACA members who put up the cash, donations, and support to break ground for the Museum in the first place. It's not like they did it by themselves.

Quote

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to read a history of the Museum, it's founding and ownership. I thought it was built on land owned by the AACA Hershey Region, and assumed it was a part of the AACA. It's hard to comment or have an educated option on on something I don't understand.

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to get home folks but in the Hemmings article the Museum has stated that AACA members will still get in for free. That was their decision and a nice one on their part

 

 Phil, the club voted to build a museum, played a major part in funding its construction, AACA staff played a huge role in making it happen, etc.  However, as stated the club was not a 501 (c) (3) so it could not take donations at the time so the museum was incorporated as a separate entity.  At that time the museum became separate from the club..legally.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mdsbob said:

What do you say Thomas Cox?

Bob, First I have to say that the Museum is in fact a nice facility. However, the real estate is not as free of encumbrances as you may think, due to local zoning requirements.  Second, there have been ongoing discussions over many years by many Board Members on both sides regarding a merger. The club prefers a merger in which the membership has equity in the Museum and at the same time allows their Board to run it independently as subsidiary. That was not satisfactory to the Museum Board.

Third, if you want a witch hunt then you'd better assume that none of us who volunteer at our expense to serve are looking out for the members interests...because all of our votes have been 100% unanimous. While you may be a cynic, I have to assume you know how hard it is to have 21 people support the same positions multiple times over several years....damned near impossible. Your club board has one thing in mind...the membership and our hobby.

 

Lastly Bob, I am incredulous that you would have the temerity to call for the replacement of our Executive Director. Steve does a great job for the membership. He is in large part the reason your dues are way beyond cheap in this hobby...why??  because the guy works 12 hour days and weekends pouring over every last detail of the business side of this club as well as serving our membership. I don't know of ONE Executive Director who ever actually answers the phone at times....Steve does. Hes never too busy or too good to do anything,...even servicing the plumbing on occasion. You Sir are way out of line, particularly when you do not know that of which you speak. IF you want to talk, you can message me with your number, and I will call you at my earliest convenience and yours.

Best,

Tom

P.S. Try being polite rather than calling people with whom you have no real familiarity by their last name. Your Executive Directors name is Steve!!

 

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never been to the museum, nor do I intend to. I have always enjoyed seeing the cars on tours running around the countryside together rather than see a static display in a museum. I feel bad for the people that have donated to the museum and now may face the possibility of their donations sold to keep the museum solvent. There are many museums that support themselves by buying and selling. It sounds to me, even though I am under informed, that someone at the museum is getting a little too big for their britches. What would happen to their bottom line if 60,000 member of the AACA decided not to go there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, 41 Su8 said:

...I feel bad for the people that have donated to the museum and now may face the possibility of their donations sold to keep the museum solvent.... 

 

There's no talk of that.

As someone mentioned in a prior posting,

the museum gets only 5% of its funding

from the national AACA.

This surely isn't good for the museum, but

it has nothing to do with liquidation or insolvency!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very difficult issue, and one certainly not taken lightly. Having served on YOUR AACA Board, the first, and best piece of advice I received was from Past President Dave Zimmerman - that which was also shared by Past President Janet Ricketts: "When a decision is involved, do what is in the best interest of the membership".

 

Comments per Steve Moskowitz:

Through the past years, representing your interests as an elected member your AACA Board, I want you to be aware that Steve Moskowitz has worked harder, and smarter, than so many other "Captains of Industry" with whom I've had contact in my professional career. His efforts are on your behalf. This man not only puts in the hours, but is always striving to bring about great things for YOU, the members of our great club. In my opinion, he honestly cares more than many of you can possibly imagine, and goes to great lengths to ensure the success, and the health of AACA and the residual for our members. Steve is available to the membership, is a REAL CAR GUY, and is one of the sharpest administrators I've had the pleasure of knowing - all this toward maintaining the longevity, and the health of AACA, many times to his own detriment. Any comments denigrating Steve's efforts or accomplishments are ill-conceived, inaccurate, or just plain malicious! Those comments are certainly out of place, and those making such comments should know better. The absurdity of calling for a resignation - especially when those yelling the loudest probably don't even really know, or understand the many layers of underlying issues - it is almost as embarrassing as our recent federal election verbiage.

 

The issue of the intended merger:

By now, you should certainly be aware that the museum was started as a separate entity with 501(c)(3) status, which AACA did not have itself at the time. The museum was also started with massive donations of cash and vehicles from AACA and its members, and the donations have continued over the years. The previously noted $80,000  is "Pocket-Change" in the overall picture of what AACA (the club) has given to the museum, especially when you consider that the club provides for the museum with annual auctions exclusively for the museum, and combined fund raisers for both the Library as well as the Museum. The individual items have most-all been listed, and AACA has, for at least the past Four and a half (4-1/2) years, attempted to find ways to accomplish the goal of a merger with the museum - one which provides for future growth of course, but certainly one which best serves the AACA membership by protecting the assets of the membership. It was always intended that the two organizations would become one, just as has been the case with the AACA Library. Hopefully you realize our Library is one of the most respected anywhere, and which has become the repository for some of the most important collections, and those donated by individual clubs.

 

As both Wayne and Steve had stated, in the end, despite our best efforts, these negotiations have not been successful. There have been many, many meetings, conference calls, discussions, between the board members in the attempt to find an amicable solution. Believe me, we are more disappointed with regard to the current situation than many can imagine - we're the ones who have been working to make this deal a success for you! This is simply a business decision in the best interests specifically of the AACA members, and of the hobby in general. This is a matter of careful business decisions on your behalf - not a matter of personal egos. Our AACA club prefers a merger in which the membership has equity in the Museum, but at the same time, allows the Museum Board to run the museum independently as a  subsidiary of AACA. We believe that is in the best interest of you, our membership. That was not satisfactory to the Museum Board.

 

Your AACA board is an all-volunteer board. We serve at our own expense, and are not compensated for the time and effort expended on your behalf (despite some thoughts to the contrary). Your board members will continue to do that which is in the best interests of you, the members. Please understand that there had to be a series of discussions which, by nature, had to be in private. Now that this discussion appears to be going viral, it is in the best interest of all involved to "TONE DOWN THE RHETORIC-PLEASE", and let cooler heads prevail. We all want what is best for the club, the members, and the hobby.

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, padgett said:

Try this.

Let's look at the bright side. Museums are a money pit and although ours was outstanding I would be surprised if more than 10 per cent of members have been inside more than once and yet 80K of their dues was being dumped into the museum yearly.   AACA will be a stronger club and have better facilities because of this decision.  THANK YOU Steve for all you have done for the club.  Bob Smits 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

I was just at the Museum on Sunday with my 4 year old daughter. We go a few times a year to "the inside car car" as she calls it. I had heard rumblings a few months back but was surprised by todays letter from AACA that conversations had deteriorated to this level. The disappointment being here for everyone, I think it's important to recognize that it doesn't have to be an end. Steve said the contributions are higher than Hemmings stated, and that it likely true as I'm sure many members made donations due to the association to the club. As an active user of the club, I don't see a reason to donate less simply because it's not being funded by AACA anymore (in reality, the only change that occurred at this point). The 5% stated in the article really wouldn't be devastating factor as $80k could be recouped through other fund raising I'm sure. As for the 60k members not going, that wouldn't really do much for the bottom line as we don't pay anything other than donations when we go, and it sounds like that part will even continue. We haven't heard the museums side either of course. While I get to use the museum often, most members probably rarely, if ever, get to. Also a decision to stop funding doesn't mean there won't be a future together. If it doesn't happen, it won't mean both won't go on to do great things for the hobby. Wishful thinking perhaps, but I don't know of a better way to take it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought but would they move to the Gilmore where other large clubs have made a home?????? But then again what would happen to the swap meet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Interesting thing to say. What is that swampy water that you speak of?? Do I see a honest conversation bubbling up in the swamp?  Now please do not take my comments and put them with this AACA thing. I do not know enough about it to make a comment. But there is a bunch of stuff that needs to be talked about in this hobby/industry. You can start by telling us about the "swampy water" and the "business" of antique cars.:ph34r:

That portion of my comment was directed to the business of restoring cars. There are some great restoration shops out there.  All in all, they want to deliver a good product.  Unfortunately in today's world, it's very expensive, and sometimes misunderstood what it really takes to restore a car.

 

Thus, there are good shops, there are mediocre shops, there are poor shops.  That's the swamp I refer to, one has to be very careful when paying by the hour, to make sure that money spent is well spent.

 

Antique cars is very much a business these days, not so much in the early days of collecting, when costs were reasonable, and expectations of quality were lower, more geared toward driving and functionality instead of perfection.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve: I know it is not you and feel you are doing a great job. OTOH ithis sounds like the old Washington Two-Step those who have lived near the beltway are familiar with. Club and members are not a factor when sizable assets are involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

.........But then again what would happen to the swap meet. 

No connection Joe! The Fall Meet is hosted by the Hershey Region.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are extremely disappointed that the proposed museum merger negotiations have failed. It was AACA members that created the museum idea, purchased the land, built the facility, stocked it with donated vehicles and memorabilia  and have helped fund its operations from its inception. The protection of our members equity and previous donations of vehicles and funding have always been paramount during our merger discussions. This is a sad day for us and I hope our members will come to understand the situation and support the decision of their elected Board to move on.

 

Bob Parrish

2016 AACA President

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the reaction to this whole thing rather fascinating.  I have never seen on this forum such interest in the Museum until everyone found out the home office didn’t own it.  Before all of this, there certainly wasn’t enough interest on the part of most of the people posting here to know they were separate entities, which was no secret.  When it was posted here a few months ago that the executive director abruptly departed it didn’t even generate a half-dozen posts.

 

So, when they existed as two separate entities and everybody thought they were one, and they had their own separate directors and related staff as overhead, and $80K from the club annually, and members didn’t have to pay $12 admission, that was okay.  Now it comes out they are two separate entities with their own separate directors and related staff, the club isn’t going to pay $80K per year, and AACA members still get free admission, that is completely unacceptable.

 

I can only imagine if the tables were turned and the Museum supported the Club and then picked up all their toys and stomped home when they couldn’t take over the Club and Library for a 5% stake.  Everybody here would be cool with that, right?     

In other words -- all this shedding of tears is worthless without numbers....

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I'm not an insider and only know what is published here.  I don't understand why everyone is beating up on the AACA Board when it was the Museum Board that walked away from a merger to bring everything back together.  If you want the Museum to again be a part of AACA, you should be contacting the Museum Board asking them to reconsider a merger with AACA.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.