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mrcvs

How to go about searching for a specific car...

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And the last I checked, the Mecum auction charges

$30 admission at the door, or $20 in advance.  And

that's just to look at the cars, not to bid.  They're

doing it for the money, while Macungie is staffed by

dedicated, generous AACA region volunteers.

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I get it that it is staffed by volunteers, most who are very nice folks, and it is terrific that it is local and a wonderful way to spend a few hours.  I just see low foot traffic and not much young blood, so how do we change that?

 

Maybe the Harrisburg venue did draw some of the foot traffic this year?  Maybe you can charge $30 to get in the door somewhere, but that's the high end stuff.  Do I appreciate the high end stuff?  Sure!  But for me, in a household with a mortgage and student loan payments, an old car is going to be at the lower end.  I'm middle class, I have no choice.  My old cars are wants and not needs.

 

Having said all this, and my wife wouldn't agree, I think it was worth it just to see Nelson Rockefeller's 1960 Chrysler limousine and to learn about Chrysler's venture in Italy to produce the Chrysler Norseman, a concept car that went down with the Andrea Doria in 1956.  I appreciated that.  My wife, not so much.

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Back to the Jeepsters: I had one for 25 years or so. They are great antique cars. Floors can be rusty but they patch easily. The overdrive is simply and makes even the four cylinder peppy. Parts are still available and usually aren’t expensive. They are a lot of fun to drive and garner a lot of attention. As far as spousal enjoyment, my wife liked riding in ours as long as I didn’t forget and leave the side curtains at home. Zeke

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9 minutes ago, zeke01 said:

Back to the Jeepsters: I had one for 25 years or so. They are great antique cars. Floors can be rusty but they patch easily. The overdrive is simply and makes even the four cylinder peppy. Parts are still available and usually aren’t expensive. They are a lot of fun to drive and garner a lot of attention. As far as spousal enjoyment, my wife liked riding in ours as long as I didn’t forget and leave the side curtains at home. Zeke

Okay, very good.

 

How's it ride, especially with what is observed to be a low seat set atop of a gas tank?

 

I'm trying to encourage this interest before it fades.  We will have to see what tomorrow brings.  She might very well change her mind.

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Jeepster gas tanks are at the rear of the car. The ride is okay. We aren’t talking about a Lincoln or LaSalle here. Remember the origins of the Jeepster. You can feel the road but the ride is head and shoulders above a Model A Ford. I should clarify that my Jeepster was a 1948. The sixties version was a different animal from the 1948-1950 units. Zeke

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14 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The Mecum auction is not high-end material.

Could it be a matter of folks are willing to pay more because they can take something home with them?  $20 or $30 is a small percentage of the purchase price of a vehicle and you can own said vehicle forever.

 

$9 for the car show and all you have to show for it is faded memories.

 

I suppose if I had the space to collect many vehicles and a pocket full of cash, and the cars at Macungie were all for sale, the $9 to get in would be the admission price for a very fun day.

 

I might be very pedestrian, but I'd start wheeling and dealing on the unrestored 1912 Model T.

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But where o where are you going to keep the jeep ?  -   Carl 

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I've always looked for specific cars: year (range) make, model, options (AC a must), sorta color (not black or metal flake) and every time I look, I find but mainly because while prefer local (title and license are cheaper, condition is usually better), I look everywhere. Current DD is high production - over 20,000,  usually are less.

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47 minutes ago, C Carl said:

But where o where are you going to keep the jeep ?  -   Carl 

Indeed, that's an issue.  It will have to be parked on the street and probably in a few days even getting an early Jeep might be out of the question when she worries about "what will the neighbors think".  I'm trying to encourage something my wife is lukewarm on right now, which is better than before.  As she has a Jeep Wrangled, she was interested in the early Jeeps at the show.

 

I hate to have been so down on the Macungie show.  It's a wonderful thing for what it is, but I did state what I noted and thought and heard from others.

 

Seems like they increased prices to offset decreased attendance.  That doesn't work.  The State of Connecticut has tried for years to increase tax revenue by increasing the taxes on those remaining, and it drives more folks out.  Same thing here...

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On 8/3/2019 at 9:15 PM, mrcvs said:

Could it be a matter of folks are willing to pay more because they can take something home with them?  $20 or $30 is a small percentage of the purchase price of a vehicle and you can own said vehicle forever.

 

$9 for the car show and all you have to show for it is faded memories.

 

I suppose if I had the space to collect many vehicles and a pocket full of cash, and the cars at Macungie were all for sale, the $9 to get in would be the admission price for a very fun day.

 

I might be very pedestrian, but I'd start wheeling and dealing on the unrestored 1912 Model T.

 

 

That mecum fee is for observation ONLY. To be a bidder costs between $100 - $500 depending on your ticket choice plus the 10% of the purchase price.

 

That being said, my wife and I both started attending Macungie only a couple years ago having just found out about it. We thought it was well worth the price of admission. The show we have trouble paying $10 per person is the new hope auto show. Not nearly enough cars there. For the number of cars that you get plus the swap meet, plus the fact that you can't put an event on like that for free, it's perfectly fair. We only wish we could have shown our car there before moving out of state.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2019 at 7:38 PM, mrcvs said:

I just see low foot traffic and not much young blood, so how do we change that?

 

I submit that if admission were free, those problems would still exist.

 

Like it or not, the next generation cares far less about cars than we do. They complain about the high cost of entry (to the hobby, not to a show) and there is truth to truth to that. Popular cars regularly sell for stupid money. High schools have long ago dropped classes like auto shop (and wood shop, etc) in response to budgetary problems, so they lack the facilities and tools to learn the skills needed to execute a project car (as opposed to buying one already done). Compounding this, the next generation doesn't care about driving the way we did at their age. The fact that many wait years after they are old enough to get a license is telling. I was at the DMV the day after my birthday. Kids today don't need cars to "see" their friends, and frankly, their parents or Uber take them anywhere they want to go.

 

At the last few Carlisle swap meets there was plenty of foot traffic (despite escalating entrance fees) but no sales. Our generation is selling off projects we'll never get to and the next generation isn't buying them. Sorry, but get used to this trend. We're the last generation who will be so into cars. There will be members of future generations who are fans, but they will represent a much smaller percentage of their generation than we did. How many horse and buggy fans do you know today?

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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On 8/3/2019 at 2:43 PM, joe_padavano said:

 

Apologies for veering off topic here, but seriously? Been to a movie lately? How much do you pay each month for cable? I find it hilarious that we alternately get people here who complain when participants in a car show are charged, and then we get complaints when spectators are charged. Try organizing your own show or swap meet, pay for a venue, pay for insurance, pay for advertising, pay for security support, pay for trophies, and then let people in for free.

 

As for the millennials, I have little sympathy for people who happily pay $7, $8, or $9 for a coffee-flavored milkshake from Starbucks every day on their way to work. That's not the reason why they don't care about the car hobby.

WELL said, Joe! 

 

My family and I produce the CARS & PARTS SWAP MEET & CAR SHOW events in Springfield, Ohio. They happen 4 times per year, with the spring event being the largest. Our COSTS to produce that spring event are in the lower 6 figures. And if we get rained out...we're left holding the very expensive bag! Fairgrounds rental: Roughly $25,000. PLUS electric, water, and gas if used. PLUS about a dozen off-duty sheriff deputies (some of them 24 hours a day), about 50 staff members, STAGGERING insurance costs, over 30 grand in advertising, golf cart rentals for staff (about 45 units), radio rentals for staff (about 50), traffic cone rentals (about 100),  plus all the equipment we must own and maintain all year  (hundreds of signs and other traffic control devices, golf carts, mini trucks for parts hauling, etc, etc), office staff for answering phones year around, and, well, you get the idea. 

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And after running this event for nearly 35 years, I can tell you that a few folks griped when the admission was $2. When we had to raise it to $3, a few folks got really upset...but most paid and entered anyway, grumbling all the way. Then when we went to $4, same thing. And again at $5, $6, and today at $8 attendees complained (our parking is free, by the way). But we have not ever noticed a sudden reduction at the gate immediately after a price increase. Just as you can longer buy a 57 Chevy convertible for $2,500, the cost of car-hobby life has risen. (And during this same time, our costs for renting that fairgrounds went from $3,500 to $25,000. Anyone can do the math). 

 

As for young people getting involved, in the chapter of AACA that I grew up in, people started asking me as a young adult what was needed to be done to attract young people to AACA monthly meetings, parties, and tours. I told them that we needed to have activities that young people like; such as swimming, volley ball or similar games, evening activities, and music when fit their tastes. But members quickly pointed out to me that many of our members were getting quite old, and wanted sedentary activities so they could participate. They needed places with easy access, no stairs to climb, and wanted any event to start early and end early in the day... Our holiday parties went from having games, prizes, visits from Santa Claus and late-night dancing to afternoons at a quiet restaurant, and some very quiet vintage music. Perfect for our much-loved and respected seniors, but hardly the kind of environment that would attract a young family with kids (or grandkids)

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21 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

I submit that if admission were free, those problems would still exist.

 

Like it or not, the next generation cares far less about cars than we do. They complain about the high cost of entry (to the hobby, not to a show) and there is truth to truth to that. Popular cars regularly sell for stupid money. High schools have long ago dropped classes like auto shop (and wood shop, etc) in response to budgetary problems, so they lack the facilities and tools to learn the skills needed to execute a project car (as opposed to buying one already done). Compounding this, the next generation doesn't care about driving the way we did at their age. The fact that many wait years after they are old enough to get a license is telling. I was at the DMV the day after my birthday. Kids today don't need cars to "see" their friends, and frankly, their parents or Uber take them anywhere they want to go.

 

At the last few Carlisle swap meets there was plenty of foot traffic (despite escalating entrance fees) but no sales. Our generation is selling off projects we'll never get to and the next generation isn't buying them. Sorry, but get used to this trend. We're the last generation who will be so into cars. There will be members of future generations who are fans, but they will represent a much smaller percentage of their generation than we did. How many horse and buggy fans do you know today?

 

I wouldn't say that's entirely true. A lot of my peers and those younger than me are interested in cars....just not the cars that typically frequent aaca events. Take radwood for example, that show has absolutely EXPLODED since it's debut. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug and there's a lot of people wanting to buy and collect and drive the cars of their childhood. I have a few friends who like the old muscle cars but most people I know are into cars of the 80s/90s and predominately imports.

 

To be honest, when I was first getting into classics I was drawn to the muscle car era and liked some of the cars of the 50s as well. I wasn't a fan of the 40s as they were too rounded and I saw cars of the early teens as incredibly boring / uninteresting. Since spending more time in the hobby however, my appreciation has grown to include everything. I own a '51 but the next car on my list is a 39. I'd love to own something from the late 20s as well. I've actually shifted away from muscle cars and find them to be boxy and boring now.

 

As much as I hate seeing cars of my childhood at shows (cars of the 80s/90s were largely terrible, boxy and under powered) there's still a place for them because of who they bring with them to the show. A lot of people that I've worked with over the years have never heard of a dusenburg or a cord or a kaiser, auburn, graham, etc. However, spending time around these cars can lead to appreciation of them. When a honda CRX shows up at a show because it's of age how about not publicly announcing that it's junk (you can think it all you want). That person that you're turning off to the hobby because of their interest in cars now could be interested in the cars that you appreciate later.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, thej63 said:

 

I wouldn't say that's entirely true. A lot of my peers and those younger than me are interested in cars....just not the cars that typically frequent aaca events. Take radwood for example, that show has absolutely EXPLODED since it's debut. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug and there's a lot of people wanting to buy and collect and drive the cars of their childhood. I have a few friends who like the old muscle cars but most people I know are into cars of the 80s/90s and predominately imports.

 

To be honest, when I was first getting into classics I was drawn to the muscle car era and liked some of the cars of the 50s as well. I wasn't a fan of the 40s as they were too rounded and I saw cars of the early teens as incredibly boring / uninteresting. Since spending more time in the hobby however, my appreciation has grown to include everything. I own a '51 but the next car on my list is a 39. I'd love to own something from the late 20s as well. I've actually shifted away from muscle cars and find them to be boxy and boring now.

 

As much as I hate seeing cars of my childhood at shows (cars of the 80s/90s were largely terrible, boxy and under powered) there's still a place for them because of who they bring with them to the show. A lot of people that I've worked with over the years have never heard of a dusenburg or a cord or a kaiser, auburn, graham, etc. However, spending time around these cars can lead to appreciation of them. When a honda CRX shows up at a show because it's of age how about not publicly announcing that it's junk (you can think it all you want). That person that you're turning off to the hobby because of their interest in cars now could be interested in the cars that you appreciate later.

 

I have no problem with the types of cars people want to collect - Power Tour had a full spectrum from restored pre-war to musclecars to modifieds to street rods to 80s to brand new. So long as people are having fun with them, that's great. The fact remains that the number of people interested in cars, period, is declining, and even at an event like Power Tour, the typical participant was between 50 and dead. I didn't say that NO younger people are interested, but you can't deny that the attraction is not there to the extent it was in the 60s and 70s. Sorry, but while there was a lot of foot traffic at Carlisle, few were buying, and far fewer were buying parts for projects - and this is from a spectrum of vendors, not just my personal experience.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

 

I have no problem with the types of cars people want to collect - Power Tour had a full spectrum from restored pre-war to musclecars to modifieds to street rods to 80s to brand new. So long as people are having fun with them, that's great. The fact remains that the number of people interested in cars, period, is declining, and even at an event like Power Tour, the typical participant was between 50 and dead. I didn't say that NO younger people are interested, but you can't deny that the attraction is not there to the extent it was in the 60s and 70s. Sorry, but while there was a lot of foot traffic at Carlisle, few were buying, and far fewer were buying parts for projects - and this is from a spectrum of vendors, not just my personal experience.

 

I agree. So many events anymore, swap meets, car shows, whatever, are just old dudes looking for something to do to kill some time. They wander into my showroom every day. They're certainly welcome, but they're just marking time. Not many guys left hunting specific parts for a project at swap meets or looking for another car to enjoy (they're definitely looking for investments, though). A great many guys at car events either didn't bring a car or drove a late-model and parked it on the show field anyway because, hey, why not? Who's stopping them? Here's a show I went to recently that was hosted by the fantastic Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum here in Cleveland. See anything you'd get out of your chair to look at? Our all-original 1932 Packard had people three deep around it all day. It was the only pre-war car without a modern V8 in it. People ignored everything else, but they liked that Packard a whole lot.

 

1072918542_2018-07-2110_40_26.thumb.jpg.8814b3e19ff470d632802d128aec70e1.jpg

 

 

Here's the CCCA Full Classic section from the annual Arthritis Foundation show in Columbus each year (usually a pretty nice show):

 

Vacancy.thumb.jpg.a63a8171924ee8ad1ffd42ecb3fbf186.jpg

 

Sad. My Limited was there, but it was parked with the Buicks in the background. On the other hand, there were more PT Cruisers, Mazda Miatas, C4 and newer Corvettes, Mustang/Camaro/Challenger/Chargers than I could count, all manned by white-haired people. The handful of young people were driving late-model Japanese cars with big tires, ridiculous negative camber, and huge stereos. That's all OK but it sure gets boring.

 

Boring. That's our hobby's problem. We've totally driven ourselves to boring by insisting on "trouble-free" and "reliable" and "comfortable." I want an old car but I want to actually drive it, so in goes the Chevy V8/automatic transmission (which they then don't drive anyway). Bo-ring! I want a Corvette but I want A/C and a good stereo and my wife needs power steering and an automatic, so we bought this garden-variety C4. Bo-ring! I need creature comforts because we're driving a long distance so I have this '90s Oldsmobuick. Bo-ring!

 

Cadillac V16 shows up at our show this year, which is full of high-quality yet Bo-ring! cars and promptly gets People's Choice. My '41 Limited goes to the Buick-Olds-Pontiac show populated with '70s and '80s leftovers and gets People's Choice. 1932 Pierce-Arrow shows up at a cruise night and gets two awards because the judges handing them out had already seen everyone else's cars and were bored with them.

 

We've defaulted to boring because it's safe and comfortable and easy. That's why events suck, why tours suck, and why young people couldn't care less about the crap that's out there. If you want people to be interested, give them something interesting to see and aspire to. Not a 1987 Ford Taurus just because it's technically over the age limit. I'm sick of hearing that the interesting stuff is just too dang hard to drive and doesn't have A/C--it seems that we as a people have become so soft that even walking has become a chore. What's next?

 

image.png.9a2159a8c88bdf19012774662625cb6e.png

 

Feh.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2019 at 6:40 PM, mrcvs said:

I should add one of the vendors was complaining about the low foot traffic because of the too high admission fee.  Lower the cost by at least 50% and triple the amount of foot traffic.  So it's not just me...

 

 If people don't want to spend $9 admission does the vendor really think they are going to buy anything from him when they get in?

 

Did you actually see people turn around and not pay to enter?

 

If you were fine paying $5 admission then the actual complaint is that it is $4 to much, and that is not a lot of money especially in this hobby. 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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21 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

 If people don't want to spend $9 admission does the vendor really think they are going to buy anything from him when they get in?

 

Did you actually see people turn around and not pay to enter?

 

If you were fine paying $5 admission then the actual complaint is that it is $4 to much, and that is not a lot of money especially in this hobby. 

Well said, John 348. And as someone who has produced swap meets for over 40 years (both as a volunteer club member and as a professional), I can assure you that there are always vendors at swap meets griping that their sales are poor due to: A- Poor attendance, or B- high admission prices,  C- weather, D- too much competition, E- the "wrong" kind of shoppers, who don't buy the "right" kind of merchandise, or F- shoppers who are all cheapskates, G- no shoppers who want the brand of car parts I sell, or....well, you get the idea. Yet I have stood shaking my head at auto parts auctions as certain bidders paid WAY too much money for low-demand items, and then seen those same guys show up at our swap meets trying to sell those goods at even higher prices. When sales are poor they launch into the type complaints I listed above. Often those type vendors only last a few years. Yet, during those same years, I have also watched some very small vendor operations grow and prosper...eventually becoming thriving full-time businesses. 

 

At our events we hear complaints about every kind of cost on the fairgrounds. We have even had otherwise intelligent people insist that we should start monitoring the prices that vendors have placed on their items, and force them to lower the costs or get out!! Yet, we offer a free parts-hauling operation at our events, using golf carts and mini trucks to haul customers' purchases out into the parking lots to their vehicles. And they keep us busy all day long, every day. SOMEONE is able to sell lots of parts, and SOMEONE is buying their stuff. 

 

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