1925 Gray

Motor Muster and Old Car Festival part 2

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A lot has happened since this topic was posted and I'm curious as to haw many people who have gone to either event still plan on going.  There are a lot of people who either have gone in the past or who had planned on going that are not going now because of all the changes.  There is talk of holding a similar event in 2018 at either Frankenmuth, MI. or at Crossroads village (very similar to Greenfield Village) in Flint.

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The event is not close to me, so I do not go every year. But Motor Muster was always one of my favorite events. I was thinking that I haven't been there in a few years, and should go again. Then I read about all the changes. While I wasn't certain that I was going to go this year before, now it is definitely crossed off the list for this year. Seems like whenever there is a good thing going on, someone that thinks they know better has to step in to screw it up. I am hoping that they will rethink some of the changes for next year so I can go again. But it sort of seems like they aren't that concerned about whether the changes will kill off the event. I read somewhere that they make more money on weddings, and want to go more in that direction (yet I still can't see bridezillas saying Greenfield Village is where they have to have their wedding). Still it seems a shame that they can't set aside just 2 weekends a year for what was always a very well attended and enjoyable event. If it wasn't for Motor Muster, Greenfield Village would have been a been there, done that, thing for me years ago.

 

If they keep the event as is with all the new changes, I would be interested in going to the events in 2018 at either Frankenmuth, MI. or at Crossroads village in Flint instead.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Thanks for the response, Linc400.

 

Below is sort of a progress report on both events which I posted on another forum.

It's kinda long but worth the read.

 

I'm still curious as to how many people will be bringing cars to either event this year.

 

 

 

A couple of friends of mine met with John Neilson and, in a nutshell, the outlook is not good. 

I don't want to beat a dead horse but I thought I would share with you what I know. 

Before I go into some detail, let me cut to the bottom line: they were left with the impression that THF doesn't care about either MM, OCF or, the participants. 

(I'll try to put conversation notes in narrative form, so bear with me.) 

MM and OCF, according to Neilson, do not make money. THF makes more money on weddings on the weekends and the shows interfere with that, (My side note: For past participants or visitors to the shows, you may have noticed some weddings taking place during either show.) 

Neilson said they may be looking to combine MM and OCF into one show (My note: thus, freeing up a weekend. But, if they are having problems with the number of cars and trailers at two shows, what makes them think one big show is going to be easier? This also, I speculate, would severely limit the number of cars if the show takes in vehicles 1976 and older.) 

Lansing to Dearborn: It was started as a way to publicize OCF. Although my understanding is at first LTD was excluded from OCF, Neilson said they are welcome, just not their trailers. LTD offered to solve the trailer issue for THF (essentially doing THF's work) if they could could get a price break from the $50 registration fee. Neilson, apparently, pretty much said "no", that if they do it for LTD, THF would have to do it for others. Consequently, LTD is doing their own meet and tour and will NOT be going to OCF. 

Neilson: THF does not want to be known as an old car museum. They want to be known as an innovation organization (My note: it is my understanding that the name "Henry Ford" will be dropped from the name of the institution.) 

Neilson wants participants to dress in period costume and stay with their cars and "narrate" them. (My note: this may be why the Pass In Review, in my opinion, a key part of both events, is 50% by invitation and 50% lottery.) He wants more "engagement" and is looking for ways to pull in more young people, not car people, through the gate. Neilson said most visitors are participants or their friends, and that hurts the gate. When asked how he wants to draw in more young an non-car people, Neilson said he has no idea. 

As for the $50. non-refundable fee, Neilson said that when they initiated the a $25 fee, participant attendance fell, but then rose. Neilson anticipates the same thing will happen with the new fee. He said that if people were really "hung up" on the new fee, maybe something can be worked out. 

Now, on to what I know apart from the above meeting. It is my understanding, that very few, if any, past or new participants from Ohio will be going to either MM or OCF.

LTD, as mentioned, will not be going and is creating it's own event. 

There are some folks who are talking to Gilmore about creating a sort of OCF at that location and Gilmore, apparently is VERY interested. It won't be this year, but, perhaps next year. 

Letters have been or will be sent from various clubs, both single and multi-make clubs, to Neilson and others at THF regarding the changes. 

I attended an old car meeting the other night where and lot of members had previously attended the OCF and it was asked, who will be going to the OCF this year. Two people raised their hands. 

It appears there is a general "boycott" of the events. 

This is something I sincerely hoped would not happen. I really wanted a meeting of the minds between participants and THF regarding both events so as to keep the events basically unchanged. 

This may sound over-dramatic, but the entire situation makes my heart bleed. Those of you who have been going to both or one of the events, will understand this. 

I have offered my services to those trying to "replace" OCF with Gilmore to organize and, although I retired from narrating, and as a narrator, should they do a Pass-in-Review. 

Sorry for being long-winded, but I thought you should know. 

Sigh.


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I started a thread on the AACA site here a while back when I first spotted the issue on the Model T club forum.  A lot of the people who attended the event previously were Model T folks as well as AACA and HCCA members.   Although I've never been to the event, I'd always heard it was really great and unique.  I had hopes of being able to attend someday as Michigan is my home state and where I first fell in love with early cars.  However, it now looks like the powers that be are trying to kill the event.  I don't know why they just didn't cancel it outright rather than trying to institute those crazy changes to squeeze it into what they wanted.    So, it indeed looks like there is interest growing in holding a similar kind of event in a new location and I'm glad to see that.   They can do what they want there but certainly can't kill the enthusiasm of these old car folks!   I hope everything works out and an alternative location is arranged.   Maybe I'll get there someday but have no plans to try and attend the event at HF that's for sure.  

Terry

Edited by Terry Bond (see edit history)

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This is a drag.  Motor Muster is my favorite car event of the year and I'll sure miss it if the wind's blowing the way it seems to be.

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60FlatTop;  Acronym explation:

 

MM = Motor Muster

OCF = Old Car Festival

GFV = Greenfield Village

THF = The Henry Ford

LTD = Lansing to Dearborn Run

 

Did I cover all of them?

 

Hope that helps.

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HS! I never would have got them all. I am a member of the Cadillac LaSalle Club and until I joined the CLC could have been Campbell's Lettered Chowder. Come to think of it, with a few X's thrown in that could be the new Cadillac model line up.

Bernie

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1925 Gray,

 

Nothing seems to have changed and they appear to be sticking to their guns so, I have no plans on attending/participating. Neilson has brought down the greatest spectacle of old car events! Previous participants will speak of this for decades to come.....      How sad!

 

Gary

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For the first time in over a decade we will not be attending the Motor Muster with a vehicle.  We normally brought two vehicles  We will be going to the Eyes On Design show as volunteers.

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And the Motor Muster took place this past weekend.  Vehicles were down significantly with a lot of empty green grass spaces.  Everyone that I spoke to was disappointed and thought it was a problem.  Well, except the two HF staff at the People Choice Award table they thought it was good that there was less traffic & congestion in the show and more parking available.  Not sure if they were referring to inside the show or for the general public.  Of particular, several persons mentioned how vacant the Green looked in front of the Martha-Mary Chapel.  Even the bicycles were downsized, they were told only 40 could be displayed.

 

One of my friends explained the show was missing pizazz, excitement or something else which made this show special.  Don't get me wrong, it was still great but not like previous years.  As some of us talked, we also realized 'the Strollers' were also absent - couples dressed in period attire who would walk around the Village.  The Rhythm Society Orchestra again hosted a great USO Dance but a lot of us felt the feature dancers from local clubs overwhelmed and intimidated general attendees from participating. 

 

A few participants mentioned how when they attend the show, friends, relatives (particularly their children and grandchildren) will come to the show.  One person told me 10 to 12 would usually show up. Between gate fees, buying food, drinks, ride tickets (train, Model T, bus, carousel), frozen custard, etc. a lot of money is spent there.  This year, only 2 passes were given to participants down from 4 in previous years - or 6 going back earlier - even when the free passes were used, a lot of other people still paid to attend.  By discontinuing the passes the Village likely had decreased attendance overall and hit them in the other areas I mentioned.  Others mentioned they buy Annual Memberships in order to attend the Motor Muster, Old Car Festival and other special events.  If the events aren't so special anymore or worse, discontinued, they would likely not renew. 

 

The good thing?  With many vehicle owners boycotting the show, I was told everyone who applied was accepted so nobody got hit by the non-refundable $50 vehicle registration fee.  I guess that's good news.  Back to the ladies at the People's Choice Table, they mentioned there would be changes again next year.  Didn't say how or what so we'll have to wait and see.  Hopefully changes to revert back to the 'good old days'. 

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I attended Motor Muster yesterday...what a sad state of affairs.  The car count was down at LEAST half, probably more like two-thirds.  We're usually there for hours, but I think we only made one loop through the show field this time.  Even the crowd was down; I found a parking spot easily, whereas normally there are people parking on the grass and anywhere they can find an opening.  Every president, CEO, and Board of Directors throughout history have found a need to put their stamp on things through change.  Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad, but humanity is progress-minded, even when it seems like lateral or backwards progress to many of us.  This one certainly hasn't worked out for car people who enjoyed the show.  My wife buys me a membership every year, largely because of MM and OCF; therefore, if the current trend becomes policy, she can save her money for car parts for me. :)

 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by an organization that changes the name of its prime institution to "The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation"; never mind that many of the fantastic displays within were not concocted on our shores.  

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1 hour ago, CarFreak said:

...Back to the ladies at the People's Choice Table, they mentioned there would be changes again next year.  Didn't say how or what so we'll have to wait and see.  Hopefully changes to revert back to the 'good old days'. 

 

No, the show can't return to its past success

until the THINKING behind it changes.  High prices,

aloofness, selectiveness, and lack of caring must change.  

Family-friendly prices, family-friendly fun, and

interesting cars are what will bring success to an event.

 

I have never been to this show, but I'm always glad

to know about excellent car events.  Let's hope the 

Gilmore Museum or some other venue--some place

that cares about cars, car owners, and the enjoyment

of the hobby--will reorganize and rejuvenate this show.

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I sent an inquiry to The Henry Ford Museum

via the "Contact Us" page on their website,

addressing it to "Group and Event Services."

 

I said I had heard good things about past events,

and asked why the event had declined so suddenly

and so noticeably.  Maybe they will answer.

Maybe it will get them thinking.

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Received today.  Good to see someone is starting to listen to comments and hopefully some changes can be implemented ASAP for the Old Car Festival.  

 

A message from The Henry Ford.
4ba4574a-294b-496a-a86e-e3d992f75f28.jpg
Dear Car Show Participant,

This year, The Henry Ford implemented changes to our long-running, very popular, mission-driven car shows, Motor Muster and Old Car Festival. Over the years, these programs have grown significantly in terms of participation. Most recently, we’ve had as many as 900 vehicles for each event. However, that unbridled growth posed an increasing safety hazard for participants, visitors and staff, and completely overwhelmed our available parking, staff and other resources necessary to support these events. We needed to right-size these events to address these realities while preserving and strengthening the quality of the visitor and participant experience. To do so, we introduced a number of new practices and procedures that we believed would assist in those efforts.

The changes we introduced this year, unfortunately, disappointed many. While we were and remain committed to evolving our car shows to be successful within the practical constraints and concerns identified above, we could have done a much better job of communicating and explaining the need for these changes. That miscalculation on our part had a negative impact on our participants and guests, and for that, we are truly sorry.

We’ve received candid feedback from many of you, and we thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. One immediate step we are taking is to make the application fee refundable and to offer each participant up to four guest passes, at their request. We will be working in the coming days, weeks and months on next steps, and we will be corresponding with each and every one of you in the very near future.
 
Your support and your involvement with The Henry Ford is vital to our continued success. I hope you will continue to stand with us as we work to rebuild these events. 
 

John Neilson
 
Vice President of Venues
The Henry Ford

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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 10:21 PM, CarFreak said:

Received today.  Good to see someone is starting to listen to comments and hopefully some changes can be implemented ASAP for the Old Car Festival.  

 

A message from The Henry Ford.
4ba4574a-294b-496a-a86e-e3d992f75f28.jpg
Dear Car Show Participant,

This year, The Henry Ford implemented changes to our long-running, very popular, mission-driven car shows, Motor Muster and Old Car Festival. Over the years, these programs have grown significantly in terms of participation. Most recently, we’ve had as many as 900 vehicles for each event. However, that unbridled growth posed an increasing safety hazard for participants, visitors and staff, and completely overwhelmed our available parking, staff and other resources necessary to support these events. We needed to right-size these events to address these realities while preserving and strengthening the quality of the visitor and participant experience. To do so, we introduced a number of new practices and procedures that we believed would assist in those efforts.

The changes we introduced this year, unfortunately, disappointed many. While we were and remain committed to evolving our car shows to be successful within the practical constraints and concerns identified above, we could have done a much better job of communicating and explaining the need for these changes. That miscalculation on our part had a negative impact on our participants and guests, and for that, we are truly sorry.

We’ve received candid feedback from many of you, and we thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. One immediate step we are taking is to make the application fee refundable and to offer each participant up to four guest passes, at their request. We will be working in the coming days, weeks and months on next steps, and we will be corresponding with each and every one of you in the very near future.
 
Your support and your involvement with The Henry Ford is vital to our continued success. I hope you will continue to stand with us as we work to rebuild these events. 
 

John Neilson
 
Vice President of Venues
The Henry Ford

 

I also got the same message. 

 

Oh well, I know a lot of people tried to explain to the HF staff right after the first letter was sent out the importance of a customer friendly event, but even in this letter they said that they needed to downsize the show.  They obtained their objective.  I do not see why they are so concerned.  Instead of managing the popularity of the event and find parking, shuttles, etc.., they made the overall show nothing special.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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 I first visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (It was not "The Henry Ford" then) in 1966. My dream as an 11 year old was to someday be able to attend one of the Old Car Festivals. To be able to participate with a suitable vehicle was also a dream gotten close to reality. It took 50 years but last September thru the generosity of Larry and Joyce Shramm, my wife and I were finally able to experience this unique event. It was truly one of the highlights of my life. How we were saddened to see the changes that were to be instigated for the coming events. I hope the recent communications are a step back in the right direction.

 Larry

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Interesting. At least they admit they screwed up, and are taking some steps to correct it. Hopefully they will have this more straightened out by next year so that I can start going again.

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I can understand downsizing the OCF and even stopping the camper overnight parking mostly, but what is the point of not letting the the Lansing to Dearborn people and cars participate?  They are the old cars of the Festival.  Hopefully the event will carry on, it always was my wife's favourite.  Gary

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During the Motor Muster, I spoke with 2 women sitting at the People's Choice voting table.  They indicated participation of 500 vehicles.  Based on this letter stating recent counts were 900 then that would be right in line with quite a few people saying it was 'about half as many vehicles'.  Sitting around discussing the problem during the weekend one of the topics was 'how will they admit the changes were a mistake and save face?'.  My comments to the Admin included that the special feeling, the excitement and pizazz were missing.

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I first noticed this late last evening on the Model T forum.  I guess it took first hand experience seeing the results of their hard-headed, heavy-handed approach before they came to their senses!  I'm glad they are going to give it a re-think and maybe it's not too late to save the event.  I have heard so much about it in the past, it's been on my bucket list, so won't scratch it yet.

Terry

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Our first Old Car Festival was 1991, then it was less than 200 cars and entirely parked on the Green.  It was a great event even at that.  Where else can you see a Dodge Brothers, Dort and Duesenberg and speak with the owners and maybe catch a ride?  We shouldn't give up on the Henry Ford.  Gary 

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Photos of my first and second trips to the Old Car Festival....in the book called, "Automobiles of the World" by Wherry. I was 6 or 7 years old. The first and second photos are of my brother and I standing at the fence with our light colored shirts and suspenders on. To the far right. The third and fourth photos are of me and my fat head standing to the left of the girl in the shades....

Picture 19116.jpg

1.jpg

Picture 19117.jpg

2.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Even the renaming of the museum to "The Henry Ford"

makes no sense.  The name is a meaningless breach of English.

The Henry Ford what?  Hospital?  Library?  Birthplace?  Factory?  Home?

 

Would anyone rename Buckingham Palace, so the tour guides

would take you to "The Queen Elizabeth" ?

Or rename Monticello, so that people would

have to say, "I'm going to The Thomas Jefferson" ?

 

Oh, for some good old common sense!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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