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AACA membership is not required to use this forum... BUT...


Mike Macartney

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I do feel a little bad about not being a member BUT. . . .

I enjoy, very much, reading the posts in the forums and I do contribute to the forum and have been posting details of the restoration of my 1914 Humberette.

BUT - Living on the other side of the big pond  I will not be able to join any events, don't need a magazine, etc, etc. I would be happy to pay a small contribution but I feel the $40 is a bit too much.

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21 hours ago, Pfeil said:

Where is this $40.00 coming from? Is someone contemplating some sort of fee for the forum?

 

Cost of AACA membership. A banner at the top of the page has been suggesting joining AACA to help maintain this site. It is NOT saying it’s mandatory, just a suggestion which seems fair.

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Membership in big, multi make, multi decade clubs like the AACA are often a dilemma for those of us at the fringes. Either as defined by geography ,  area of interest, affluence  or as is often the case all 3 to one degree or another.

As I understand the AACA ; feel free to correct me if I am mistaken , it is a club that is mainly about event's, judged shows, the Hershey Swap meet, and secondarily , but still very important things like the AACA library.

These activities take place primarily ; but not limited to , the Eastern part of the U.S.A.

And over the decades the democratic focus has shifted to increasingly newer cars. It is a natural consequence of a large membership .

I haven't been a member for at least 5 years now so my impression may be a bit out of date. But from what I saw in the very nicely produced club magazine there was a definite slant towards newer collector cars, more likely than not in

glistening , showroom condition.

In my position as a person primarily interested in British Sports Cars and mid age , Brass Era cars it is easy to see that I am at the fringe of the AACA's vehicle coverage.

My geographic location is in a generic sense similar to Mike Macartney's , that is a very long way from the location of the vast majority of AACA events.

And my $ situation is pretty so - so, and slowly but surely  declining. Add to that the extra cost that is added to a Canadian or Oversea's membership.

For some this is a small enough factor that it does not influence the membership question. But for some of us every $ counts if we are going to continue in the hobby.

These forums are great ! There are some very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and involved people on here. 

But the club as a whole unfortunately poses a problem for some of us at or near the fringe. 

It's not just club memberships that I have been having to make hard choices about ; several 15 years ago down to one today, but any purchase that does not meet the criteria of contributing to my main stream.

Far fewer books, photos, and even eliminating some of the events I at one time automatically went to each year. No advertising , far fewer tools, no interesting nick nack's. Just a cut to the bone hobby expense.

Definitely not my preference, but I am increasingly left without option's. The virus may be the icing on the cake.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I belong to a number of car clubs. While I am not actively involved in AACA shows or events I do feel that membership is valuable due to the sheer variety of cars covered by its charter. Unlike many I still read magazines and AACA's is one of the best thanks to West Peterson. I have been an active member of this forum since 2007 and follow the AACA Facebook page and all of this helps feed my car obsession so I feel membership is a very small price to pay.

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"As I understand the AACA ; feel free to correct me if I am mistaken , it is a club that is mainly about event's, judged shows, the Hershey Swap meet, and secondarily , but still very important things like the AACA library.

These activities take place primarily ; but not limited to , the Eastern part of the U.S.A.

And over the decades the democratic focus has shifted to increasingly newer cars. It is a natural consequence of a large membership ".

 

AACA is about a lot of things including tours, shows (Hershey is our largest), our incredible library, magazine, online magazine, Facebook pages, Regions & Chapters, restored cars, un-restored cars, drivers and all cars from the beginning to 25 years or older.  We maintain a lot of activities designed to promote the health of the hobby from legislative actions, this free forum to many including all the other clubs listed on our forums and a FREE library which will approach 3,000,000 documents this fall.   Yes, we are strong on the East coast but have representation and events all over the US and many countries outside.  We even had a tour in Canada last year.   We do our best to not focus on one era of the hobby which makes us unique in the years and  makes covered.

 

Peter posted a plea for people who enjoy and regularly use the forum to consider becoming a member to support the mission of the club which is essentially to protect our hobby.  Naturally, this forum will remain free to all, those that support us and those that do not.  We do have some forum members who choose not to join but do make donations to us or the library.  We are appreciative.

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It is always easy to find a reason not to support something. In all the years I have belonged to AACA ( joined in 1965) I have been on one of the Glidden Tours that AACA hosted ( because I worked on it to make it happen and it was close by) , have not participated in any national meets by registering and bringing a car ( time needed to do so and the cost was at the time it happened a factor) But think about the mission of AACA and how if it were not here we 1) would not be reading this now 2) the recognition of importance of the preservation of vehicle history would not be what it is today - I am taking about by the non car collecting "normal" everyday citizen who may see a 'old' car going down the road 3) the ability to access original period automotive/vehicle data  etc etc.

SO what does take place may not be in your backyard or state or country - do you benefit from what AACA provides??  For the cost of membership it is the price of a tank of gasoline, or a family dinner at the local fast food joint . How much each year do you spend on car wax and chrome polish, or tv reception? Has to be more then $40.00 

Yes, there has been an increase in the focus on later model vehicles - my personal interest is pre 1950 but define "old". When I bought my first old car in 1964 it was a 1931 Plymouth sedan - car was only 32 years old. Sure it looked a lot older then a new 1963 car but doesn't a 1988 car look a lot different then a 2020 current set of wheels?

If you want to see more in the AACA publications about older cars then sit down and prepare something and submit it! West will most likely be happy to have it and try to see it eventually gets in the club publications or direct it to where it can be accessed.

Just be happy that AACA exists, is here and try to put a few dollars etc. away so you can send in your dues. You are using the things that AACA pays to have available, isn't it time to contribute ?

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Without trying to provoke a firestorm, strictly playing devils advocate . For a Canadian, membership in Canadian $ is about $70.00. Easily 2 tanks of gas for my little car. And bear in mind a Dollar in Canada is just as hard to earn as a Dollar in the U.S.A. just quite a bit less purchasing power. 

The hobby in Canada is in trouble, and the low value of our Dollar definitely plays a role. Just look at all the cars sold out of Canada each year.

I agree that the magazine is high quality and represents tremendous effort and dedication from the people who put it together. I own a run of the AACA magazine from the early 1950's all the way up to about 2012. But at some point they became 

less applicable to my specific interests , the cost / benefit relationship became unsatisfactory.  I came to the conclusion it would be best to drop my membership.

I would like the times to allow the sort of club membership, magazine subscriptions and other activities  I was able to enjoy 10, 15, 20 years ago. But in my case that is not possible.

I have suggested in the past that something like a internet only " associate " membership at a substantially reduced cost would be a better fit for at least some people outside the mainstream of AACA activities but so far that idea has not seen any support that I am aware of.

I have been told in the past that the expense of producing and mailing the club magazine is a major cost that the club membership covers. 

Even a great collection like the AACA library is of little value to someone like me. I am interested in many vintage cars but really only willing to pay for information specific to my car, a very obscure brass era car.  Visiting the library in person is out of the question due to cost of the

travel , 3000 miles in round figures each way, and $30.00U.S. per hour for staff research is equally out of my reach. So while I really like the idea of a major automotive history library, if it is essentially inaccessible its hard to justify financial contribution.

Just throwing out some ideas / and my 2 cents worth of opinion.

 

Greg

 

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Mike, I agree with Steve, in that the magazine is worth the price of membership. I know you live in England so it might cost more for the mailing but it's well worth it. Give it a try.

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Greg, zero issue with your thoughts.  Soon our new library catalog will be online and  you might be surprised how much very early material we have with a ton more on the way.  The only time we charge is  if staff have to spend serious research time.  Also, members get 1 1/2 hours free research time each year.  

 

Part of our mission is to provide services to the hobby and doing so at no cost seems appropriate for us which is the reason these forums exist.  Be nice if everyone would support us with a donation of some type but  no strong-arming here..  Hope we never have to have a low cost associate member to use this service. 

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Just a word of thank's for the willingness for the forum to accept those of us on the "fringe." The forum has become the de facto gathering place for like minded car people, from all over the world. I hope those of you who have AACA  support, understand how very fortunate you are. I've gotten old hoping that something would take hold here, but.... So for those of us on the "fringe" who will never go to a meet, never see a tour in our area, can't use the resource facility or interface with any single AACA member, and speaking for myself, I have to use what time and resources I have left to enjoy the hobby. For the years that I was an AACA member I really enjoyed the magazine, but at some point it just was not enough. My limited resources needs to go to the organizations that I can rely on to support me.

 

Bill  

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Well gee.

I'd like to renew my lapsed membership.

I just tried again a few minutes ago, on line. Clicking on the "renew" icon on the home page leads one through a byzantine labyrinth of confusing and circular dead ends terminating at tee shirt sales or some such.

I suppose I could take my time to make a phone call, chase down the correct person, fumble for my credit card, while trying to put on my glasses, etc etc etc, but why should I have to.

Most entities that value their customers arrange, nay encourage, them to buy with a click or two.

Easy peasy.

Seems a strange way to run a business.............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, playswithbrass said:

Actually a Canadian dollar buys a normal amount in Canada. It buys different amounts when exchanged into a foreign currency

 

I agree completely. However in my case a good 75 % of my hobby spending over the last 20 years has been has been U.S. vehicle sellers, U.S. parts venders, U.S. literature sellers, U.S. swap meet sellers , Ebay USA Etc.

I always look on the Canadian market first, but rarely do I find what I either want or need. The swap meet scene in Western Canada is OK but limited. In my case mostly tools, a few books and magazine back issues.

Every now and then a part or two but really pretty slim pickings for what I am looking for. Washington State meets and the Portland Oregon meet  have been far more productive for my situation.

So the Lion's share are foreign currency transactions. 

Greg

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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When I began enjoying this forum years ago, I joined at that time. A few years later when I retired I did not renew my membership as I was cutting expences. I kept visiting the forum and occasionally contributing and nothing change. I was still welcome here and nothing was ever mentioned. A couple of weeks ago I saw Peters note about contributing or joining. Then I considered the benefits of associating and communicating with fellow car buffs. Where can you get this kind of enjoyment and information for less than $4.00 a month? I rejoined last week and consider it a well spent $40.00 considering the pleasure I gain from it. A couple of cups of coffee a month  is all it costs.  I do not have an antique car now and will not likely attend any events or meetings, but the small cost is well worth it to do my part to keep the forum healthy.

 

If you are trying to renew an expired membership, just enter the  new membership section. Your old info will be there.

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Errr. Ahhh. Not so. There are 2 icons that say Renew or New member/renew. Both take you to what appears to be a "store" page and asks you to either log in or set up an account. And so starts the aggravating journey down the rabbit hole of passwords, email addresses, pin numbers, etc etc etc only to end up where you started.

Amazon can flawlessly juggle about a gazzillion orders a day with just "One Click".

Can't be that hard.............Bob

 

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It was a couple of steps but I followed the path and joined as a new member (yeah hard to believe I wasn't one before) without much trouble.  It was a tad confusing being sent to the store but I figured it out.  I figured it would just be a direct link to joining but as mentioned wasn't too difficult.  At least I think I'm a member or Maybe I just ended up with a coffee mug for 40? ;)  Oh well,  either way it was a little money for the cause.  

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27 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

It was a couple of steps but I followed the path and joined as a new member (yeah hard to believe I wasn't one before) without much trouble.  It was a tad confusing being sent to the store but I figured it out.  I figured it would just be a direct link to joining but as mentioned wasn't too difficult.  At least I think I'm a member or Maybe I just ended up with a coffee mug for 40? ;)  Oh well,  either way it was a little money for the cause.  

 

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11 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Without trying to provoke a firestorm, strictly playing devils advocate . For a Canadian, membership in Canadian $ is about $70.00. Easily 2 tanks of gas for my little car. And bear in mind a Dollar in Canada is just as hard to earn as a Dollar in the U.S.A. just quite a bit less purchasing power. 

The hobby in Canada is in trouble, and the low value of our Dollar definitely plays a role. Just look at all the cars sold out of Canada each year.

I agree that the magazine is high quality and represents tremendous effort and dedication from the people who put it together. I own a run of the AACA magazine from the early 1950's all the way up to about 2012. But at some point they became less applicable to my specific interests , the cost / benefit relationship became unsatisfactory.   came to the conclusion it would be best to drop my membership.

I would like the times to allow the sort of club membership, magazine subscriptions and other activities  I was able to enjoy 10, 15, 20 years ago. But in my case that is not possible.

 

And just what prevents you from making a donation to the club that represents what it is worth to you? Is it worth 10 cents a days to you? Five cents? Two cents? I have run a hobby forum for 15 years and offer memberships that basically cost 3.8 cents per day (and eliminate 99% of the advertising in exchange). I have members who are on the forum for hours virtually every day who indicate they don't feel the need to support the costs and effort that keep it online for them to enjoy, often because some say they have ad-blockers that are free. 

 

If the AACA can''t support the costs of the club's forums and shuts them down, what are you going to do with all the spare time you then would have? LOL...

I used to belong to 15, may as many as 20, collector car clubs and, like you, I've cut it back to a much smaller number, maybe six or seven, largely based on the quality of information I receive from the club magazine. The AACA will absolutely be the last to go.

If you think the AACA's annual are dues are excessive, I would encourage you to check out what the other collector car clubs ask and to assess what services they bring to their members. The AACA may be least expensive of all the clubs of which I am a member and may provide the highest level of services.

The other point I think you may be missing is that AACA is of a size that it can have a major impact on any future legislation that may negatively impact those of us who enjoy old cars. As individuals, our influence in such matters is essentially non-existent. Maybe, as a Canadian, you weren't taught Benjamin Franklin's famous quip made at the time of the American Revolution:

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

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 I have explained this before. I will explain this again. We DO recognize the system could be better BUT thousands and thousands are able to navigate it just fine. In any event it is not like a normal storefront as it is tied to our database for a lot of reasons and therein lies the complication. You have one software that needs to talk to an Access based software to generate information for labels and to renew membership without a ton of extra work for the staff who are already buried with work. I have stated previously it is in the process of being overhauled. By the end of June we are moving all our IT programs to new servers and to upgrade technology with a new version of our "store".

 

What seems massively simple to some of you is not, as you do not have the information to know what the problems are. The club is investing a ton more money in upgrading our entire IT infrastructure and that is no small process. Rush too quickly and you get "garbage in, garbage out."  Membership renewal online WILL become simpler now that we will be in a new contract with new software. 

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Steve, I'm going to pile on here... I have one complaint, and only one. Not sure you can fix it... Seems I can never get enough time to read all the threads and enjoy all the photos and content here...please call my boss and recommend that I have two hours a day at the office dedicated to surfing the site...

 

Thanks,

 

Ed

 

PS: I view this site more than any other that is hobby related. It works fine, and all the people here who volunteer their time are much appreciated. I have been in the hobby almost 50 years, and the AACA has always been an important part of my hobby. So, I'll just settle for "THANK YOU AACA FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE TO MAKE MY HOBBY TEN TIMES BETTER THAN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN WITHOUT YOU!" Steve and the crew at National are a dedicated bunch of people. I know, as I talk to Steve fairly often, at all hours of the day and night, as well as weekends. No better people anywhere in the hobby.

 

Ed

 

 

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Thanks Ed, I appreciate the friendship, all you do for others on this site and getting to hear from someone who has had so much experience with so many cars in this great hobby.  The club and yours truly is not perfect, but we ARE here everyday trying to do the best we can for our members.  

 

As to talking to your boss, well I think I know him pretty good now and I sort of doubt, as great a guy as he is, that he is going to give you any more than the 6 hours a day of leisure you already have! :) 

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25 minutes ago, edinmass said:

... I know, as I talk to Steve fairly often, at all hours of the day and night, as well as weekends.


The obvious solution to your problem is to simply forget Steve's number. That should free up a lot of time for you and for him! LOL...

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The three reasons I'm a member:

 

1. This forum. If you use it, if you benefit from it, if you enjoy it, you should support the club that pays for it. Is there a better resource for restoring and maintaining antique cars anywhere? No. No there is not.

 

2. The magazine. Still the best of all antique car club publications, period. Great variety, in-depth details, excellent photography, and a knowledgeable staff putting it together. I know there are people who delight in finding mistakes, but they are quite rare in West's book simply because you have an expert at the helm. It is by far the most polished and professional of all club magazines. I think its production values are superior to even publications like Car & Driver at this point.

 

3. Hershey. Need I say more?

 

If you have a toy car in your garage and complain that the cost of a tank of gas ($40) is just too much to spend on a club that supports it, you should probably re-evaluate your priorities.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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In answer to GWELLS comment, I must confess I had not considered a simple donation as opposed to the standard membership. That was along the lines of what I was trying to get at regarding the concept of associate membership. The AACA Library as Steve Moskowitz has explained above is moving in a direction that will be of greater service to people limited to online access. 

 

I will be contributing to the AACA, just not to the extent of a normal non-USA membership.

 

Don't worry about Canadians being unfamiliar with familiar US concept's and expressions. Our two cultures have a few differences but very many similarities. We may not know all the nuances of American history as it is not studied in nearly as much detail in Canadian schools as it is in the U.S. But we are educated (or at least my generation was) in all the key points of North American history. 

 

Greg

 

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To add to what Staver said, the Pacific NW, including British Columbia, should be seen for it's unified cultural uniqueness. The border is just an artificial impediment that most of us grudging accept for what it is, Corona19 not withstanding. We have much more in common, then we do with people from other parts of the continent. 

 

Bill

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I've spent a fair amount of time in CA, mostly the Eastern half, although I did buy myself a nice  full length racoon fur coat in Saskatoon one winter. Normal winter wear up there but raised a lot of eye brows around rural PA. Scored a box of Cuban Monte Christo cigars in Thunder Bay  and the best steak I've ever eaten was in Edmonton. 

We spent quite a number of 3 week summer vacations in French speaking Mt. Saint Pierre, Quebec.

My experiences with the local people has always been nothing but pleasant. We were always made welcome and included in the local goings on. Great people, great country, great times...............Bob

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I really should never have made the Canadian reference in the last part of my last post.

 

That was an extraneous part of what I was trying to say, which is that a group of people with common interests (i.e. the AACA) is much effective in combating those who, intentionally or not, work against them, than are individuals working alone. And that supporting and/or being a member of the AACA is important for that reason.

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WOW - I woke up this morning to see in my email there was a reply to my original post. When I opened it I did not expect to find 2-pages of replies and comments. I apologise if I have opened a "Pandora's box".  I think I have now been persuaded to either join or donate. The AACA was the first forum I have ever joined, (about 18-months ago), and have met a number of members who are now good friends. Also, the information I have learnt from following posts has been considerable. Thanks to all 'members' and 'forum followers', you are a great bunch of guys.

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Neither of you have any reason to apologize for starting or contributing to the discussion. Comments and questions promote dialogue, and while we can celebrate our shared love for our hobby, it's equally important to recognize how we're different.

I believe that If there is one caveat, it's that rather then learning from the discussion, we become more polarized.

 

Bill  

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I’ve been in the magazine circulation business for 50 +years (that is scary to think about) and know the renewal process is never what everyone wants.

 

We handle over 100 publications and you would be surprised at how many people send in a change of address but no name or which pub they subscribe to. No matter what a membership program is set to handle members will want something else or think they can do it better. If you think any computer has made your life simpler and easier to accomplish EVERYTHING you do you are a very rare exception in today’s world.

 

This club has a phenomenal way of solving the problem of on line renewals, they have great super friendly people you can talk to and solve the problem. It’s a great benefit for a few bucks a month on top of all the other things you get with membership. I know my charges would far exceed this amount if I had to give that type personalized service for my customers.


Join the club, it’s well worth it. 


dave s 

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