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AACA regions and chapters question


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What are the top 5 most active AACA Regions or Chapters in the USA?

I'm wondering if AACA has the ability to compile or determine such information. 
I know the definition of "active" is subjective, but I'm thinking in terms of club group activities, club outings, club driving tours, member participation, etc. Anything other than just gathering once a month at a local restaurant to have a cheap meal and call it a club meeting.

Dave

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The AACA doesn't have the information to determine

how "active" a region is.  A region's activities are totally

independent of the national organization's involvement,

though they're scheduled so they don't conflict with

national meets or tours that are close by.

 

I agree, though:  Car shows and car tours--and anything

educationally car-related--are far more interesting than

merely getting together for a meal.  And people should

drive their antiques, never a modern car unless it's winter-time!

 

Our region here in Pennsylvania may be like many

other regions.  We have an annual car show, and three

driving tours.  One of our driving tours is longer--

traveling maybe 100 miles each way to an interesting

destination--and sometimes is an overnight tour.

Last year we toured Nicola Bulgari's 150-car collection,

and earlier that same year met Jay Leno for a half hour

to discuss cars before attending one of his comedy shows.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Dave, you are right that is very subjective.  National does get to see what a lot of the regions are doing through their publications, website and roundtable meetings.  We also have dialogue though our magazine, Rummage Box and a new quarterly newsletter for our regions to help make them grow.   Our directors are also constantly talking to those folks. There are way too many regions to name and it would not be fair but we are fortunate to have a lot of very active regions and chapter.s 

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Davenc,

One way to  tell what you are sking is to gotothe AACA Hmoe page at the top left of the Forums screen.   Look under Regions an Chapters

and  you will fnd many of them have links to their Newsletters or a web site.   It is a lot of wrok to keep a web site current, but some do and

they can be very informative.  At least you can write to the ones close to you and ask for information on activities and kinks to local clubs.

 

 

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2 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

I would think that the Regional Groups that are in warm weather climates such as Florida and California are the most active. Pretty hard to organize an event in January, in Minnesota.

 

From what had seen the regions in Florida seem to close up from May through October, it is pretty hot and humid with daily unpredictable massive thunderstorms in the afternoon that seem to appear out of nowhere, plus many members are "snowbirds" so there are a lot less people are around. I thought the same as you and I was surprised

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Dave, it's probably best for you to formulate your own opinions based on the criteria you've set. 

Recommend you check the Regions and Chapters listed on the AACA website and look at the Region/Chapter individual websites.  Many of them also let you access their newsletters.  A truly active group will have a great website to inform and attract members as well as a great newsletter.  You can judge yourself by digesting that info.  We are indeed blessed with many active groups - I'm fortunate enough to belong to two in particular that not only host a great number (and variety) of local events, but also sponsor National events as well.  There are many others in all parts of the country.

Terry Bond

Proud member of Tidewater and Chesapeake Regions.

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The Kyana (Kentucky-Indiana) chapter of the AACA seems to march to the beat of a different drummer. When I asked about joining several years ago they said that they "were not accepting new members at this time." (Someone from the group told me that they were at their limit but that I should check back in a year because several elderly members were in poor health.) Then when I bought my '60 Edsel in November 2015 I contacted them and they said they only accept new members during the month of October and to try again in 11 months. When October finally rolled around and I went to one of their meetings there were only a couple of old cars there and the president of the chapter rolled up on his Harley. It was a clear and sunny day so I expected to see several nice classics there. I ended up not joining. Why can't the AACA get organized and make one set of rules for all chapters to follow instead of every chapter making up their own rules? :o

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Wow, I would think with the membership declining as it is, any chapter would welcome you with open arms. Why they would make it almost impossible to join is puzzling. Might be a small tight knit group of friends and want to keep it that way. I do know of one guy that joined a club and was a very energetic type of guy. He was only in the club for a couple of months and was proposing various club functions. One elderly member pulled him aside and basically told him to take it down a peg, "we like things just the way they are". That was his last meeting.

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After I joined the national AACA I contacted  a couple of times the nearest chapter to where I live, which is almost an hour away, regarding their meetings and activities.   To this day I have never received a response.   I guess some AACA chapters don’t need new members.   I would try another AACA chapter, however, the next nearest one is over two hours away.   That means the only option for me is exclusively national membership     

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It might be a good time for the AACA Directors to review these statements and issue guidelines on how chapters should handle prospective members. It's obvious, that in times of declining membership, most clubs would want new members.

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Our chapters are autonomous.  It is hard for us to dictate to a region or chapter as to how many members they can have.  In some cases it is predicated on meeting space.  Not all clubs have their own buildings and even if they do there is always the issue of parking, fire marshal, etc.  The Kyana Region is very active and you should really try again.  I would be glad to make an introduction. Their President may have ridden up in his motorcycle but he does have a lot of antique cars and antique motorcycles.

 

Regions should welcome perspective members with open arms and we constantly preach that!   Sadly, as I have written about a lot lately some people open their mouths when they should not.  The absolute easiest way to turn off a new member is not to listen to their thoughts.  New people also have to really learn the operations of their region and recognize that some folks in the region have invested years in building the club.  Trust me, I understand what it is like trying to bring new thoughts to a group that has a lot of tradition behind them.  

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After 47 years in the hobby, I have to agree that like any group we're  mostly a bunch of introverts.  Almost all groups, car or garden, don't handle new people well.  When we get a some extroverts involved, all functions of any club or group go better.  New ideas are often more fun than the same old thing..  

By the same observation, new extroverts in a group need to acclimate slowly to allow acceptance to be easier.

What kills off old regions is lack of new people and new ideas.   The old guard just keeps doing the same thing over and over again and the can't get new people involved in running the organization.  Eventually nobody wants to do the work involved to make it interesting to new and old members.

 

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Sadly, as I have written about a lot lately some people open their mouths when they should not.

My father was not into old cars.  They were just a mode of transportation to be replaced when they no longer functioned correctly.   I developed the old car bug on my own and bought my first car, and also a collector car in 1975.   A plain Jane wood wheel 1929 Studebaker Commander sedan.   I was very proud of that car – it was an extremely nice original car.   At the time I was a young naïve 17 year old with his first car who knew nothing about car clubs, swap meets, Hemmings, Old Cars Weekly, or anything else related to the old car hobby.   Back in those days, before the internet, our local newspaper was the place to go to find out about car related activities.   The newspaper had a column that was for advertising car events which is how I found out about a local Studebaker club activity.   I showed up at the appointed time and place proudly beaming from ear-to-ear driving my plain Jane wood wheel 1929 Studebaker Commander sedan.   The head of the local Studebaker chapter, I referred to later as the “Don” walked out to my car took one look at it and said to me “Non-desirable item” and turned his back and walked away.  His “posse” i.e. fellow club members followed.   I got in my car and left.   I still live in the same area, that chapter of the Studebaker club still exits, however, I have never associated with them since that day.   Yes, we need to be open and welcoming – it goes both ways.   I have since had several older gentlemen, in other clubs, who took me under their wings and mentored me in the world of collector cars.   They have since passed on and I will never forget them and will always remember them fondly.  

 

Here is a picture of me at 17 with my 1929 Studebaker Commander:

Profile_MH_02 2nd.jpg

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On the other hand, Mark, I joined the old California Region of AACA in the early 1960s as a freshman in college.  We met monthly at the AAA Bldg in downtown SF in the lunch room (free to us from AAA) and enjoyed discussions and old movies.  We had a Sunday tour each month from April through October.  I was subjected to a little good-natured ribbing because of my "modern" cars--a 1934 Buick and 1934 Chrysler (AACA judging eligibility extended only to 1937 -- except for CCCA-accepted cars--as late as the 8-page AACA National Judging Rules of 1969, picked up at the Philadelphia meeting that year), but the almost-all-older guys were most helpful in fostering my involvement and in mentoring me, and several even wrote me while I was in Vietnam 5-6 years later.  We had a mimeographed monthly newsletter.  Those great friends and mentors are all gone now, and I have been to many of their funerals.

 

I've now been an AACA member for over 55 years and am a 4-year member of the Redwood Empire Region (great people!) about 70 miles distant but I can participate in only about one tour a year due to distance and Bay Area traffic for my pre-war cars.  The closest to the culture of the old Calif Region I've found is in the Bay Area Horseless Carriage Regional Group of HCCA, founded in 1951, and centered only 10 miles away.  I'm also a member of two separate Nickel groups, both in HCCA.

 

Yes, things are different today..

 

I recommend that AACA regions periodically (maybe every 3 years) get a list of addresses (physical and/or email) of National members within a x-mile radius and send activity schedules in the hope of boosting regional memberships.

 

 

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Sadly when I read the comments by my members of active AACA regions, I simply can't relate. With no active region within a distance of around eight hundred miles, I simply have no frame of reference. The PNW is not an old car wasteland, but why my neighbors have chosen not become part of the international network, is frustrating. We have well established HCCA and CCCA groups in the region, but that leaves a huge unfulfilled gap for any post war owner, especially one wanting to enjoy his car the way the factory built it. Interestingly because our cars fair better, during their service life, then they do in many places, we have a nice supply of survivor cars, and a climate built for for summer shows and touring, but no AACA to lead the way.  

 

Paul talks about the positive infusion of an extrovert into a group of introverts. I rather see it as a bunch of individuals seeking direction and needing leadership. Controversy I can handle, differences in opinion I can understand, occasional back biting I can tolerate, but.... Please excuse my frustration born rant, had to get it off my chest. Enjoy what you have,  while you can, you may not like the alternative.  

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