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I see in the latest CCCA Bulletin that the Classification Committee is considering accepting the Packard 120, Lincoln Zephyr and the Cadillac 61, but doesn't mention the Buick Century.  The Buick Century outclassed all three of the others, especially in 1941 when Buick had a Straight 8 with dual carburetors that generated stock 165 hp, while Cadillac achieved 150 hp.  It shard the body with the Cadillac 61, outpowered the Cadillac and won recorded pre-NASCAR races.  The Lincoln Zephyr had a small V-12 that had no power.  I know, I owned one.  The Packard 120 was on a par with the Buick Special, to say nothing of the high powered Buick Century.  In 1936 Ab Jenkins ran a 1936 Buick 100 mph on the proving grounds track.  As a kid I remember my Dad running away from a Packard 120 in a (illegal) road race while driving a  1939 Buick Special.  A 1939 Buick Century coupe, driving by race car driver Mark Light, won the first recognize oval track race at Langhorne Speedway, running against such well known race drivers as Joey Chitwood, Henry Banks, and others, including the owner of the 1950 Indianapolis car.  Why is and has Buick always received the short shift by the CCCA Classification Committee?  Buick lovers have had to struggle and prove the quality of each level of Buick entries from the very first days of CCCA to achieve recognition for the Roadmasters and Limiteds, while from 1936-1942 outpacing most of those that were recognized.

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With all due respect......way too many cars have been added to the list since 1986..........and the club was for EXCLUSIVELY high end cars when founded. You can make an argument that Auburn’s should not have been let in at all. That said, they let the 41 Cadillacs in, and things stayed stable for a very long time. As the founding fathers died off, the new generation of officers in the club let in stuff that should have never been considered. The cat is out of the bag. A series 61 Cadillac is not much of a car............just like the Chrysler Town and Country’s were middle of the road platforms that were too modern, and mediocre. They got expensive, and that’s how they got their way in. Another bad choice. I have opinions of the Buick’s, but will withhold them................and, for the record I like all cars. I have a Ford T parked next to my Pierce 12. But just too many cars have been let into the CCCA. It has not and never will add to the membership of the club............all it has done is take an exclusive organization and dilute it into something it was never meant to be. And for the record.......I knew many of the founders very well.......including the one that is still living at 105 years old. I am the youngest life member in the history of the CCCA.........as you must have ten consecutive years before you can apply for a life membership. I became a life member in my 20’s. 

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EdinMass: When I was 14 (1952) I was interested in the CCCA and read every one of the columns about Classic Cars in Motor Trend.  I bought his books, but the day he said no Buick was ever a Classic car I lost interest for many, many years.  I joined AACA in 1962 and went on to become a Life Member, National President in 2004, and served 15 years on the National Board.    In 1973, 74 or 75 I convinced both the AACA and CCCA to accept the 1931-1942 Buick 90 as a Classic Car.  I agree with everything you said about the club being meant for only exclusive cars, and there were many besides big Packards.  I'm not arguing for the Century, unless you put it up against those other cars they mentioned in the Bulletin, but I am arguing that Buick should never have been pushed into the background, and shouldn't be again..................if and when the Lincoln Zephyr, Cadillac 61 or Packard 120 are accepted, and I'm not saying that I'm for that either.

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9 hours ago, edinmass said:

With all due respect......way too many cars have been added to the list since 1986..........and the club was for EXCLUSIVELY high end cars when founded. You can make an argument that Auburn’s should not have been let in at all. That said, they let the 41 Cadillacs in, and things stayed stable for a very long time. As the founding fathers died off, the new generation of officers in the club let in stuff that should have never been considered. The cat is out of the bag. A series 61 Cadillac is not much of a car............just like the Chrysler Town and Country’s were middle of the road platforms that were too modern, and mediocre. They got expensive, and that’s how they got their way in. Another bad choice. I have opinions of the Buick’s, but will withhold them................and, for the record I like all cars. I have a Ford T parked next to my Pierce 12. But just too many cars have been let into the CCCA. It has not and never will add to the membership of the club............all it has done is take an exclusive organization and dilute it into something it was never meant to be. And for the record.......I knew many of the founders very well.......including the one that is still living at 105 years old. I am the youngest life member in the history of the CCCA.........as you must have ten consecutive years before you can apply for a life membership. I became a life member in my 20’s. 

 

Eddy,   you know I've been a diehard hold the line guy from day one.   But if they let in the Packard 120,  they should absolutely let in the Century.    Hopefully you and I will be long gone by the time they get around to accepting the Model A Ford.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

Eddy,   you know I've been a diehard hold the line guy from day one.   But if they let in the Packard 120,  they should absolutely let in the Century.    Hopefully you and I will be long gone by the time they get around to accepting the Model A Ford.

 

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

EdinMass: When I was 14 (1952) I was interested in the CCCA and read every one of the columns about Classic Cars in Motor Trend.  I bought his books, but the day he said no Buick was ever a Classic car I lost interest for many, many years.  I joined AACA in 1962 and went on to become a Life Member, National President in 2004, and served 15 years on the National Board.    In 1973, 74 or 75 I convinced both the AACA and CCCA to accept the 1931-1942 Buick 90 as a Classic Car.  I agree with everything you said about the club being meant for only exclusive cars, and there were many besides big Packards.  I'm not arguing for the Century, unless you put it up against those other cars they mentioned in the Bulletin, but I am arguing that Buick should never have been pushed into the background, and shouldn't be again..................if and when the Lincoln Zephyr, Cadillac 61 or Packard 120 are accepted, and I'm not saying that I'm for that either.

 

 

I agree the BIG Buick's are classics.......hell, they are better drivers than the Cadillac's! I just think they should have held the line on the series 90. I understand the 80 is very close. BUT REMEMBER, Cadillac kept complaining that the big Buicks were digging into their sales territory. The subject became a problem in 31-32 and then again later in the 30's. Sloan had to tell the Buick devision to knock it off. The big series Buicks are one of the most misunderstood and under valued cars you can buy. I like them, and have driven many of them............will make you want to light your Cadillac V-8 on fire.

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This has come up before and it'll come up again. This is just the board grasping at straws in the face of dwindling interest in the club and shrinking finances. They are under the misguided notion that adding cars will also add members, which isn't really sound logic. I don't believe any of the cars on the proposed list should be admitted, and even though I'm very grateful to my friend Earl's untiring efforts, I'm not entirely convinced the Series 70 Buicks belong there, either and certainly not the Century. 80/90 cars, sure, but the rest aren't in the same league. Also bear in mind that I actually own a Century, and becoming a Full Classic would make it more valuable overnight.

 

And seriously, the Packard 120? This car? Next to a 1934 Twelve Dietrich dual cowl phaeton at a Grand Classic? Pffft.

1.jpg

 

By going downmarket, the club will also have to confront another facet of the hobby that many other clubs are completely unable to handle: modified cars.

 

Up until now, very few Full Classics were turned into hot rods simply because they are typically more valuable and desirable in restored condition, and the guys who built them didn't particularly care about the CCCA. But there are thousands of modified Buick Centurys, cheap Cadillacs, and Packard 120s out there. Will you let those cars into the club? Will they create a modified division to accommodate them (hell, they could be dues-paying members--isn't that the goal?)? You'd better brace yourselves, because a WHOLE BUNCH of those guys are going to crash the party. Are you going to let them in and take their money to expand the club roster and fatten the coffers or are you going to reinforce the already heavily skewed perception that the CCCA is the rich snob club?

 

Are you ready for this?

d31bf2d2b19effbe483c5a839ac0f0a6.jpg

 

Or this?

ebay983277.jpg

 

Or this?

TF09_r006_01.jpg

 

Or this, which is fiberglass but is nevertheless titled as a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr?

9b6ac778ac094d75f39504f89d62caa6-700.jpg

 

No. No you are not. You won't put up with those guys any more than you like staying at the Holiday Inn and eating at restaurants where they don't force you to wear a jacket.


The problem isn't finding different cars with different owners who want to join the club. This club's problem is accessibility. I'm actively involved with the hobby, the CCCA (I write the goddamned magazine for the second biggest region), I served on the board of directors for a decade, and Melanie and I organize events for the club and our region. I make a good living and own three Full Classics, yet I still can't afford to attend most national-level CCCA events. Hotels that are $500/night? $250/plate meals with two kids who won't eat anything but cheeseburgers and mac-n-cheese? Mandatory packaging of tour expenses so that a five-day car tour with a family of four costs $10,000 or we skip everything but the driving and eat fast food in the parking lot when everyone else is inside at the expensive restaurant or enjoying the pay-to-play tour stop?

 

If the board is wondering why nobody wants to play with them, it's because they don't care to make it accessible to people with jobs and lives and kids, which is almost everybody in the world. When my family has arrived for CCCA national events, we've been asked to leave because they don't want our kids there. I've taken my 1941 Buick Limited to a Grand Classic and been told to park it in the lot around back because it's not a "Full Classic" (although I would bet that a Packard 120 could slide in even today simply because most members only recognize the Packard grille shell and don't care what it's attached to). We've taken our kids to CCCA awards banquets and sat for three HOURS waiting to eat while everyone got drunk and food service started at 10 PM. These are most certainly NOT family-friendly events and I do not believe they were ever intended to be.

 

Want to bring in new members, younger members (I'm 50 and I'm by far the youngest guy at most events), paying members, people who will continue the club into the future? Stop being the club for wealthy white people who specifically design all the events to keep everyone else out like a country club. Sure, a multi-millionaire won't sweat the expense of a $15,000 tour. Good luck keeping everything going once all those guys are gone. Old, rich, and white isn't the future of anything. But old, rich, and white IS the club. They like what they like, they want what they want, and they're willing to ride it all downhill into the abyss because, hey, fark it, they'll all be dead before any of what they're doing matters anyway and wow, didn't they have a grand time?

 

You don't need to bring in less expensive cars to expand the club, there are plenty of affordable Full Classics already. You need to make being an active participant in the club itself less expensive and more welcoming to younger people and families with limited time and finances.

 

Period.

 

But I think we all know exactly what the club won't do.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I see both sides of the coin:  

 

Side one:  They want to increase membership.

 

Problem with side one: They just add cars and really do nothing truly constructive to increase membership.   Perhaps just too much an overwhelming task to go out and get members - I do not know.  But they keep adding cars and the membership keeps dropping - and I am seeing such as Chrysler Town & Countries at meets, but they are in the hands of existing members who want something more easy to drive.  There was also not a flood of pre-1925 new members joining.   An, there is only so much publication band width and ... - so when you cater to one it waters down another.   When I had the 1941 Cadillac, I was always asked if I was a Cadillac Club member - my reply was "no as the club covers too broad a band width and I am mainly interested in pre-WWII cars."   And possibly a "dark side" in that often the case of bringing in cars gets very political with someone wanting to drive up values - that it just cuts through our membership like the great divide every time we consider. 

 

Side two - Yes, a 35-37 120 Convertible is a pretty neat little car.

 

Problem with side two - Having done a 1941 120, the cars are not the best quality - it is VERY light / "tin-ie" in the sheet metal and definitely not even close to the quality of what is currently a CCCA Packard. I have worked on 35-37's too - sporty, yet not what the Senior cars are in quality.  And if you bring in lesser priced cars then it opens a floodgate of all the other comparable priced cars rejected over the years (ex. LaSalle's a bunch of Chrysler's, Franklin Olympics, and ...).

 

Sidenote:  It does not take too long to hear that it is a Club of snobs (Matt touches on that above) - so you can add cars all day long, but if it boils down to that then you still have same problem of fewer new members than hoped for. 

 

My suggestion was to start a Club within the Club for Junior cars (their own newsletters, tours, and ...) - but even then it may be more than people can handle administratively.

 

My story:  I have been attending CCCA events since 1975-ish.  When I officially became a member it was 1989, when I started law school and wanted a diversion from my head in a law book.  At that time we jokingly called it then the 30 under 30 (ie there were 30 members under the age of 30), then it was the 30 under 40, then the 30 under 50, and it is now like the 40 people under age 60.  Personally, I love the Club - people I have known most of my whole life, great publication, cars I love, and ....  Critically, I think CCCA needs to be the best at what they are already good at (the phrase that comes to mind is: Before expansion you need to "own your own backyard").  

 

Add'l discussion point I will not discuss - There are also a lot of elderly people in Club that have trouble driving large cars 

 

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

 Lincoln Zephyr

Not much to these cars - they are basically a scaled up Ford (albeit a really good looking scaled up Ford) with a V-12 power-plant (and having spent time with a lot of Continentals, I have the same opinion there too as to quality, just that they have very "classic"/elegant looks). 

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2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

I see both sides of the coin:  

 

Side one:  They want to increase membership.

 

Problem with side one: They just add cars and really do nothing truly constructive to increase membership.   Perhaps just too much an overwhelming task to go out and get members - I do not know.  But they keep adding cars and the membership keeps dropping - and I am seeing such as Chrysler Town & Countries at meets, but they are in the hands of existing members who want something more easy to drive.  There was also not a flood of pre-1925 new members joining.   An, there is only so much publication band width and ... - so when you cater to one it waters down another.   When I had the 1941 Cadillac, I was always asked if I was a Cadillac Club member - my reply was "no as the club covers too broad a band width and I am mainly interested in pre-WWII cars."   And possibly a "dark side" in that often the case of bringing in cars gets very political with someone wanting to drive up values - that it just cuts through our membership like the great divide every time we consider. 

 

Side two - Yes, a 35-37 120 Convertible is a pretty neat little car.

 

Problem with side two - Having done a 1941 120, the cars are not the best quality - it is VERY light / "tin-ie" in the sheet metal and definitely not even close to the quality of what is currently a CCCA Packard. I have worked on 35-37's too - sporty, yet not what the Senior cars are in quality.  And if you bring in lesser priced cars then it opens a floodgate of all the other comparable priced cars rejected over the years (ex. LaSalle's a bunch of Chrysler's, Franklin Olympics, and ...).

 

Sidenote:  It does not take too long to hear that it is a Club of snobs (Matt touches on that above) - so you can add cars all day long, but if it boils down to that then you still have same problem of fewer new members than hoped for. 

 

My suggestion was to start a Club within the Club for Junior cars (their own newsletters, tours, and ...) - but even then it may be more than people can handle administratively.

 

My story:  I have been attending CCCA events since 1975-ish.  When I officially became a member it was 1989, when I started law school and wanted a diversion from my head in a law book.  At that time we jokingly called it then the 30 under 30 (ie there were 30 members under the age of 30), then it was the 30 under 40, then the 30 under 50, and it is now like the 40 people under age 60.  Personally, I love the Club - people I have known most of my whole life, great publication, cars I love, and ....  Critically, I think CCCA needs to be the best at what they are already good at (the phrase that comes to mind is: Before expansion you need to "own your own backyard").  

 

Add'l discussion point I will not discuss - There are also a lot of elderly people in Club that have trouble driving large cars 

 

 

 

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I didn't write any of that above, but it has my car picture beside it.  John Mereness wrote that I suppose in reply to my earlier post.  That said, I have to say that during my discussion aimed at the Buick Century, I neglected to mention the LaSalle which is certainly on a par with the other cars mentioned.

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

This has come up before and it'll come up again. This is just the board grasping at straws in the face of dwindling interest in the club and shrinking finances. They are under the misguided notion that adding cars will also add members, which isn't really sound logic. I don't believe any of the cars on the proposed list should be admitted, and even though I'm very grateful to my friend Earl's untiring efforts, I'm not entirely convinced the Series 70 Buicks belong there, either and certainly not the Century. 80/90 cars, sure, but the rest aren't in the same league. Also bear in mind that I actually own a Century, and becoming a Full Classic would make it more valuable overnight.

 

And seriously, the Packard 120? This car? Next to a 1934 Twelve Dietrich dual cowl phaeton at a Grand Classic? Pffft.

1.jpg

 

By going downmarket, the club will also going to have to confront another facet of the hobby that many other clubs are completely unable to handle: modified cars.

 

Up until now, very few Full Classics were turned into hot rods simply because they are typically more valuable and desirable in restored condition, and the guys who built them didn't particularly care about the CCCA. But there are thousands of modified Buick Centurys, cheap Cadillacs, and Packard 120s out there. Will you let those cars into the club? Will you have to create a modified division to accommodate them (hell, they could be dues-paying members--isn't that the goal?)? You'd better brace yourselves, because a WHOLE BUNCH of those guys are going to crash the party. Are you going to let them in and take their money to expand the club roster and fatten the coffers or are you going to reinforce the already heavily skewed perception that the CCCA is the rich snob club?

 

Are you ready for this?

d31bf2d2b19effbe483c5a839ac0f0a6.jpg

 

Or this?

ebay983277.jpg

 

Or this?

TF09_r006_01.jpg

 

Or this, which is fiberglass but is nevertheless titled as a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr?

9b6ac778ac094d75f39504f89d62caa6-700.jpg

 

No. No you are not. You won't put up with those guys any more than you like staying at the Holiday Inn and eating at restaurants where they don't force you to wear a jacket.


The problem isn't finding different cars with different owners who want to join the club. This club's problem is accessibility. I'm actively involved with the hobby, the CCCA (I write the goddamned magazine for the second biggest region), I served on the board of directors for a decade, and Melanie and I organize events for the club and our region. I make a good living and own three Full Classics, yet I still can't afford to attend most national-level CCCA events. Hotels that are $500/night? $250/plate meals with two kids who won't eat anything but cheeseburgers and mac-n-cheese? Mandatory packaging of tour expenses so that a five-day car tour with a family of four costs $10,000 or we skip everything but the driving and eat fast food in the parking lot when everyone else is inside at the expensive restaurant or enjoying the pay-to-play tour stop?

 

If the board is wondering why nobody wants to play with them, it's because they don't care to make it accessible to people with jobs and lives and kids, which is almost everybody in the world. When my family has arrived for CCCA national events, we've been asked to leave because they don't want our kids there. I've taken my 1941 Buick Limited to a Grand Classic and been told to park it in the lot around back because it's not a "Full Classic" (although I would bet that a Packard 120 could slide in even today simply because most members only recognize the Packard grille shell and don't care what it's attached to). We've taken our kids to CCCA awards banquets and sat for three HOURS waiting to eat while everyone got drunk and food service started at 10 PM. These are most certainly NOT family-friendly events and I do not believe they were ever intended to be.

 

Want to bring in new members, younger members (I'm 50 and I'm by far the youngest guy at most events), paying members, people who will continue the club into the future? Stop being the club for wealthy white people who specifically design all the events to keep everyone else out like a country club. Sure, a multi-millionaire won't sweat the expense of a $15,000 tour. Good luck keeping everything going once all those guys are gone. Old, rich, and white isn't the future of anything. But old, rich, and white IS the club. They like what they like, they want what they want, and they're willing to ride it all downhill into the abyss because, hey, fark it, they'll all be dead before any of what they're doing matters anyway and wow, didn't they have a grand time?

 

You don't need to bring in less expensive cars to expand the club, there are plenty of affordable Full Classics already. You need to make being an active participant in the club itself less expensive and more welcoming to younger people and families with limited time and finances.

 

Period.

 

But I think we all know exactly what the club won't do.

 

In reply, I only wish to mention that AACA, with which I have vastly more experience, accepts all of mentioned cars and many more, and has for years.  However, sofar over a long period of time, they have kept hotrods out of their National activities.  That said, their "Driver's Class" can come pretty close.  And, also, when I was young, modified cars could not belong to a Region club and/or participate in any Region club activity, and that has changed in every Region club.  AACA came close one time with a disputed Class 37, but after much clamor it was withdrawn.  All of that said, Matt may very well be right.   The tide probably can't be blocked at the shore only but so long.  I do disagree abut the 1941 Series 70.  I don't know about the 1940, but you can't skip a year.  The 1941 Series 70 was virtually the same car as  1941 Cadillac but with a more powerful engine and more advanced engine technology.  In truth, the 1942 Buick  70 was also met the same plateau; however, I've always believed in going for the stars and let someone else worry about the satellites. 🙂  You can't just pick and choose.  If a decision is wrong, it's all wrong and vice versa.  Various cars were on the same plateau of price and quality and should all be considered and accepted or not accepted.

i

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On 8/1/2020 at 10:50 AM, Matt Harwood said:

 

 

And seriously, the Packard 120? This car? Next to a 1934 Twelve Dietrich dual cowl phaeton at a Grand Classic? Pffft.

1.jpg

 

 

 

You don't need to bring in less expensive cars to expand the club, there are plenty of affordable Full Classics already. You need to make being an active participant in the club itself less expensive and more welcoming to younger people and families with limited time and finances.

 

 

Individual Dietrich next to much lesser cars already happens. 

 

Seems to me that they must hold the line and become smaller, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that choice if it can be sustained.  I don’t believe the classification changes in the last twenty years moved the needle at all.  They seem to think that they did not change enough?  Do they think that if they let in the series61 Cadillac 20 years ago they would not be in this position?   I still think they would be.  
 

otherwise they should just change the mission and the name of the club to the Classic era Car Club of America.  CeCCA. All cars 1917-1947
 


 

0277F677-5A0E-43B3-8E95-C69F0E78F581.jpeg

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Matt has succinctly pinpointed the CCCA membership problem, accessibility for those of less-than millionaire status willing to accommodate the exclusive country club game that's on offer.  Broadening the approved list of car is going to do nothing to rectify that situation.

 

Additionally, I was a member for 28 years, found with only a couple exceptions a dismissive and condescending attitude by other CCCA member when my situation wasn't on their financial or social level.  Someone needs to emphasize that every club member is an ambassador for the club, too many of their member are very poor ambassadors for that club in their attitude toward others.  No one expects CCCA members to fall all over themselves when they meet another member but a bit of common decency would be nice.l

Edited by 58L-Y8
and condescending (see edit history)
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Since it is such a common complaint about the club there must be some truth to it but most of the guys I know don't qualify as millionaires,  let alone multi ones.    Now the clique thing is probably very true and we all need to go out of our way to welcome anyone new that stupid enough to get involved with cars. 

 

 

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Will the club survive if it doesn't encourage and welcome younger people - kids of current members. Kids need to see they are welcomed and there are fun activities they can participate in , THEY WILL BE THE FUTURE OWNERS OF THE CLASSIC CARS. cultivate and generate their interest NOW. What Matt Harwood states is the truth - encourage don't discourage.  Adding more cars to the roster of what is/isn't a full classic is not the solution . I contributed to the CCCA magazine for 32 years , was a member for 46 years, got at least a dozen people to join and started one of their regions and edited that regions publications. I am no longer a member.

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I have found the members of the South Florida Region friendly, welcoming and accepting of my 1941 Buick 71 Roadmaster.  They all know I'm a died in the wool Buick man.  Maybe they respect my willingness to hold tight to what I believe in.  I'm sure there are those who come across in a different way; however, my wife and I have enjoyed good, friendly spirit among all the members of South Florida Region that we have met.  They are a good bunch of people.

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When the CCCA  Grand was in Baltimore I wanted to attend a few events that my young Son and Wife might enjoy, including a reception in the roundhouse of the B&O railroad. Those few events  would have cost us over $1000 with us driving from home every day. $1000 was way too much money for a young family just starting a business.  But I agree, the club has been watered down to where "What's the point?" in keeping our membership other than a nice magazine.

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12 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

When the CCCA  Grand was in Baltimore I wanted to attend a few events that my young Son and Wife might enjoy, including a reception in the roundhouse of the B&O railroad. Those few events  would have cost us over $1000 with us driving from home every day. $1000 was way too much money for a young family just starting a business.  But I agree, the club has been watered down to where "What's the point?" in keeping our membership other than a nice magazine.

 

It is expensive.  That is a legit complaint and definitely not as kid friendly as it should be.  The magazines have always been GREAT and Jonathan Sierakowski taking over the publications I would expect them to stay that way.   I also have high hopes for Steve Babinsky as President.  I have always had good interactions with him.

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I certainly didn't mean to imply that I don't like the people--for the most part, the folks I've met have been pretty nice, especially in our local region where we have many close friends. But there's a tangible sense of detachment throughout the club, because most members are not working day-to-day jobs or figuring out their household budget to get through the month or wondering how they can get time off work for a tour or if the kids can afford to miss school. I get it, poor people problems.

 

Unfortunately, they don't understand CCCA events being unreasonably expensive any more than they probably know how much a pair of kids' sneakers cost. The members aren't doing it on purpose, but it's happening nonetheless and the board has known this is a problem for many years. I am certainly not the first to bring it to their attention. Nevertheless, the decision is to just keep doing business as usual because they're afraid they'll lose members if they try to make things more accessible (which, to many, means "less exclusive" and that's not what the club is about). It's the same thing that happened when Babinsky tried to make the judging standards a little more stringent so the trophies would mean something and everyone lost their minds--What?!? Take away my participation trophy? But... but... but I spent $100,000!

 

I like Babinksy, too, and have a lot of faith in his thoughtfulness, reasonableness, and dedication to the hobby in general. But he's up against a lot of inertia, and the sad truth is that most of the members don't want kids around, don't want to stay in chain hotels, and don't want to make events more accessible, even if they can't or won't specifically verbalize any of those issues.

 

So the default fall-back solution is (and always has been) simply, "Let's add more cars to The List and hope that more people join the club."

 

This is why they fail.

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I agree Steve Babinsky is a great guy and enthusiast of classic cars, and the publications of CCCA under all the editor's were first rate , top class - I worked with Bill Jackson, Bev Kimes , Ron Verschoor  and it was a great experience to work with them. I know Jonathan Sierakowski for some years and he too , is going to produce a fine publication. I wish the club well in every respect I just hope that they can be more accommodating cost wise for more of the members activities and take Matt's observations and comments  seriously. The cars under consideration for acceptance were discussed at length 5 years ago as well when I was on the their Classification committee and a national CCCA board member. They were not accepted then - what changed? I love those particular cars! I owned a 1941 Packard 120 for 40 years but it wasn't and isn't a full classic.

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I was a judge at a CCCA  event in West Chester, PA some time ago.  A fight broke out,  almost to the point of fists flying,  between an owner and a judge regarding his lack of any way to dim the lights on his Duesenberg.  He swore,  literally,  that his car came from the factory without a way to dim the headlights.  I enjoyed the show,  liked most of the folks I met but I still felt like an intruder into their inner circle.  There is a need for a club like CCCA.  I hope it survives.

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The kid issue is pretty easy to understand.   Everybody that has had kids knows that for 20 years or so  your life revolves around them.  Completely.   Then as they hopefully launch you are afforded lots more freedom and you forget what it was like a few years earlier.   It is two different worlds.   Almost everybody planning events is in the post kids world.

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29 minutes ago, alsancle said:

The kid issue is pretty easy to understand.   Everybody that has had kids knows that for 20 years or so  your life revolves around them.  Completely.   Then as they hopefully launch you are afforded lots more freedom and you forget what it was like a few years earlier.   It is two different worlds.   Almost everybody planning events is in the post kids world.

 

Then they can't stand around scratching their heads wondering why young people with families can't/won't/don't join the club or participate in their events.

 

I don't need them to do anything special to accommodate my kids, but don't give me lip service about being family-friendly and how you want young families to attend, and then when the friendly family shows up, say things like, "I didn't know we were going to have to deal with a couple of booger-factories on this tour--they better stay away from my car," or ask us if we would be willing to drive our own vehicle instead of riding on the motor coach (for which we paid $300/person because they "package" the day's events which includes a "mandatory" bus ride) because the other members are uncomfortable being around kids. Don't charge a 7-year-old the same $200 for lunch that you are charging an adult, because he's not going to eat it anyway. Fine, you don't know whether my kids are well-behaved or not (they are, for the most part--they're just regular kids), but making it seem like they're lepers with open sores isn't the best way to get them to want to be future members or for us to want to be an active part of the club.

 

Waiting around for empty-nesters to power the club into the future isn't a viable business plan.

 

Adding Packard 120s to the roster isn't going to change any of that.

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I met Matt's kids at the 2015 CCCA annual meeting in Savannah, Ga. . they were the most well behaved and courteous young people you would ever want to meet.

 

Most kids aren't aggressive especially when their parents are around and they know that the cars they are near are someone's prized possession.  They well understand from hearing how their parents and grandparents react to the cars at an event to show respect. Talk to the kids- ask them if they would like to sit on a running board or even ( if you dare!!!) behind the wheel. You will give them a lifelong memory of that event , your car, and you too. You were a kid once too - how did you react when someone was nice to you ?

A friend here collects 1965 Buicks, he has 3 sons who came over with him ( at my invite) for a visit, they are in their early teens or about to be. I asked them to sit in both my 1940 Roadmastrer conv sedan and 1930 Packard touring car in both front and back seats before they left. You should have seen the wide eyed reaction from not only the kids but from their Dad. Totally respectful and the smiles were on all of us.

Has anyone seen any younger person who was at a multi hour/day car event have a tantrum and absolutely ruin a car? 😬

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11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

To QUOTE Matt Harwood:

 

QUOTEI certainly didn't mean to imply that I don't like the people--for the most part, the folks I've met have been pretty nice, especially in our local region where we have many close friends. But there's a tangible sense of detachment throughout the club, because most members are not working day-to-day jobs or figuring out their household budget to get through the month or wondering how they can get time off work for a tour or if the kids can afford to miss school. I get it, poor people problems.

 

I like Babinksy, too, and have a lot of faith in his thoughtfulness, reasonableness, and dedication to the hobby in general. But he's up against a lot of inertia, and the sad truth is that most of the members don't want kids around, don't want to stay in chain hotels, and don't want to make events more accessible, even if they can't or won't specifically verbalize any of those issues. UNQUOTE

 

MY TURN:  I've only had one interaction with Steve Babinsky, and that was when I was trying to get the 41 Buck 71 Roadmaster accepted.  I found him very helpful.  That said, I will admit I probably wouldn't spend $1000 to attend a Grand Classic, but I spend $1000 to go to Hershey and Philadelphia with AACA, so if I wasn't as old as I am I'd probably pull the car trailer to those far away places from Florida.  Finally, I've been on three tours with the South Florida Region.  Most of their members could, I'm sure, buy and sell me, but they happily stayed in chain motels and ate at farirly ordinary restaurants.  So, if they do it here, I see no reason they wouldn't do it anywhere.  Yes, I was worried I wouldn't fit in, so I restored a pretty good car so as not to be embarrassed, but in retrospect I think now that probably wasn't necessary.  And, I don't think the fact that I'm a past National President of AACA gained me one inch in making these new friends.  I think these people would have happily been our friend if I was just Joe Blow from Kokomo.

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I grew up in the CCCA.....literally. Joined as a teenager, with my father telling me not to bother. He said I wouldn’t fit in, and had no business hanging around with them. I found the opposite. The first two grand classic meets I attended at the Henry Ford Hotel while I was a freshmen and sophomore in college were fine. I slept in my 35 dollar Ford Interceptor unmarked police car with 300,000 miles on it. Went to the truck stop to shower and shave. Didn’t need to worry about wrinkled shirts or suits, as I put all my clothes in several paper grocery bags. Found a nice quiet spot on the north east corner of the parking lot that was secluded and not visited by the security golf cart. That would have been back in the mid 80’s. Everyone was very kind to me, and I quickly  made friends with several well known collectors like Tom Lester, David Holls, and Dick and Linda Kuhn. I was such a country hick, I drove up to Tom Monahan’s house and asked to see the Type 41 Bugatti Royal. He let me in, and left me to lock the door behind myself as he and his wire were leaving for the afternoon. Imagine trying that today. I wasn’t very bright back then.........and not sure if much has changed. But I always found older collectors regardless of wealth or social status willing to share cars with people who were sincerely intrested. I have photos of me sitting in the Type 41, taken by my Koadak 115 camera on a time delay shutter. 

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13 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I grew up in the CCCA.....literally. Joined as a teenager, with my father telling me not to bother. He said I wouldn’t fit in, and had no business hanging around with them. I found the opposite. The first two grand classic meets I attended at the Henry Ford Hotel while I was a freshmen and sophomore in college were fine. I slept in my 35 dollar Ford Interceptor unmarked police car with 300,000 miles on it. Went to the truck stop to shower and shave. Didn’t need to worry about wrinkled shirts or suits, as I put all my clothes in several paper grocery bags. Found a nice quiet spot on the north east corner of the parking lot that was secluded and not visited by the security golf cart. That would have been back in the mid 80’s. Everyone was very kind to me, and I quickly  made friends with several well known collectors like Tom Lester, David Holls, and Dick and Linda Kuhn. I was such a country hick, I drove up to Tom Monahan’s house and asked to see the Type 41 Bugatti Royal. He let me in, and left me to lock the door behind myself as he and his wire were leaving for the afternoon. Imagine trying that today. I wasn’t very bright back then.........and not sure if much has changed. But I always found older collectors regardless of wealth or social status willing to share cars with people who were sincerely intrested. I have photos of me sitting in the Type 41, taken by my Koadak 115 camera on a time delay shutter. 

 

Did you ever return the Elephant ornament?

 

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8 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Did you ever return the Elephant ornament?

 


Never occurred to me to take it. I know where one of the originals is, as I was admiring it last fall on a garage tour. I was pondering if all the earned income I have made over the past fifty years would be enough to purchase it. I would expect the answer is no.

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22 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Then they can't stand around scratching their heads wondering why young people with families can't/won't/don't join the club or participate in their events.

 

Waiting around for empty-nesters to power the club into the future isn't a viable business plan.

 

Adding Packard 120s to the roster isn't going to change any of that.

My parents will tell you the Kids always came to AACA and CCCA events - I was the CCCA person starting at like age 7 (in 1973) - My parents are Sports Car people and they started with CCCA via my interest.  Of course it helped to have relatives with CCCA cars and live in a community that was a hub for car activities (example: within a block from our house was a 1933 Buick 90 7 Passenger Sedan , 1928 Packard European bodied Convertible Victoria,  a 1936 Packard Standard Eight Convertible Victoria, and a 1931 Marmon V-16 Sedan).  

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4 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

My parents will tell you the Kids always came to AACA and CCCA events - I was the CCCA person starting at like age 7 (in 1973) - My parents are Sports Car people and they started with CCCA via my interest.  Of course it helped to have relatives with CCCA cars and live in a community that was a hub for car activities (example: within a block from our house was a 1933 Buick 90 7 Passenger Sedan , 1928 Packard European bodied Convertible Victoria,  a 1936 Packard Standard Eight Convertible Victoria, and a 1931 Marmon V-16 Sedan).  

 

It has changed, John. It isn't the club or the hobby you and I enjoyed in the '70s and '80s with our parents. I recall doing all those same great events with all the same great cars and everyone driving the cars was the age I am today (50), everyone had kids, everyone worked to make it fun, and it was wonderful. The reason I love touring as much as I do is because we had wonderful times between, say, 1978 and 1986, before I could even drive. I still love waking up early before the day's events start and going out to the parking lot to see all the sleeping cars covered in dew. I love listening to all of them coming to life as we get ready to move out. I love catching a glimpse of another car just around the next bend as if I was discovering something new.
 

Today all those people who made those tours so special have gotten older and no longer wish to do the events like they used to. They say they love kids and want them to take part in the hobby and enjoy the cars, but when kids show up, well, it doesn't seem to work that way. They want it to be easy and catered and organized by someone else so all they have to do is show up and write a check.

 

It isn't the club (or the hobby) we remember when we were young. Not anymore. And unless you have kids that you've tried to bring to a national CCCA event, you're missing my point entirely. I don't particularly care if kids aren't welcome in the CCCA or at their events, I'd just like them to stop pretending that they are. That's better than letting us think they are welcome then treating us like assholes when we show up while simultaneously charging us huge amounts of money just to make us feel like assholes.

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22 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

It has changed, John. It isn't the club or the hobby you and I enjoyed in the '70s and '80s with our parents. I recall doing all those same great events with all the same great cars and everyone driving the cars was the age I am today (50), everyone had kids, everyone worked to make it fun, and it was wonderful. The reason I love touring as much as I do is because we had wonderful times between, say, 1978 and 1986, before I could even drive. I still love waking up early before the day's events start and going out to the parking lot to see all the sleeping cars covered in dew. I love listening to all of them coming to life as we get ready to move out. I love catching a glimpse of another car just around the next bend as if I was discovering something new.
 

Today all those people who made those tours so special have gotten older and no longer wish to do the events like they used to. They say they love kids and want them to take part in the hobby and enjoy the cars, but when kids show up, well, it doesn't seem to work that way. They want it to be easy and catered and organized by someone else so all they have to do is show up and write a check.

 

It isn't the club (or the hobby) we remember when we were young. Not anymore. And unless you have kids that you've tried to bring to a national CCCA event, you're missing my point entirely. I don't particularly care if kids aren't welcome in the CCCA or at their events, I'd just like them to stop pretending that they are. That's better than letting us think they are welcome then treating us like assholes when we show up while simultaneously charging us huge amounts of money just to make us feel like assholes.

My 100 year old grandmother referred to them as "the old people." 

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Just a vignette that might be illuminating.  When a Caravan was held here in Western New York about a dozen years ago, shortly thereafter I had a visit with another local CCCA member who also happens to be a retired new car dealer.  I expressed surprise that when I had gone to view the Classic participating in the tour, that his was absent.  He told me that when he added up the total cost to participate with his wife for the five days, it would come to between $6000-$7000, that he could not afford or justify that.  My conclusion was that if a retired new car dealer who had been in that business for thirty years and done very well financially didn't feel he could afford it, I was deluding myself that any meaningful participation on my part was impossible at my level.     

 

The publications are first rate, I've learned a great deal from them over the decades.  They fed my historian's interests perfectly, including many of Walt's Coachwork features.    I'll just look for piles of back issues at Hershey now to satisfy that urge...

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So when was the last time that the "list" was expanded ?  Last I heard Buick 80 series were added, but so few 80 series Buick vehicles survived I assume it does not make much of a difference. If the club can expand the list can they also delete vehicles that were added in the past?  

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They added the 70 Series Buicks two or three years ago thanks to the efforts of our friend Earl Beauchamp. That added a significant number of cars. Before that, it was the 1915-1924 expansion that happened perhaps 5-6 years ago. So it has expanded several times recently where a great many cars were added. Yet the number of members continues to decline. 


More cars doesn't solve their problem. 

 

As far a removing cars, I guess they can do whatever they want, although kicking people out of a club who otherwise didn't do anything wrong doesn't really do anything to make people want to be a part of that club. Why join if the people in charge might decide your car doesn't measure up after all and kick you out?

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Packard 120’s are wonderful machines. They drive great, are easy to handle and look like a junior a Packard, which they are. I look at one frequently in the garage and it is no where near the quality of a senior Packard. Everything is smaller and of less quality and mass than it’s bigger brother.  I assume that the Lincoln Zephyrs and Buick’s are also fantastic cars.... but just because the 120, Zephyr  and Buick are fantastic cars shouldn’t make them a CCCA classic. These cars were built for a cheaper price point when new because the big expensive classic car market was quickly disappearing in the 1930’s and the manufactures had to do something to survive. The quality of the more common place  and pedestrian cars was also rapidly improving and closing the gap on the production classic cars during the mid to late 1930’s so Packard, Lincoln and Buick had to go downstream to compete.

 

I know of a bunch of local guys who have CCCA classic cars who either were previous members of the club or don’t want to join, both for various reasons.  To sum up their reasons you have to realize that all car guys are cheap, me included. Everyone knows what I mean because the first thing people ask is what something cost to fix or repair, what it costs to make, what it cost to paint, chrome, clean or what it costs per hour. It’s human nature to talk cost. When regions want to charge fees for every club activity, including going places that are free like garage tours,  then it puts a bad taste in people mouths. When the boards act like they are running a Fortune 500 company and constantly talk about how much money is in the kiddy, how much profit they have , what the interest rate on the investments are and how they are going to hit up other members for advertising dollars at meetings when they are buyIng themselves dinner with the clubs money then it is a turn off to a lot of members. It is common knowledge amongst the local car guys what the group think is, and it has been that way for a long time.  You also have to remember that car guys are worse then old ladies when it comes to gossip so the word on the street is around.
 

I think the perception of the club has drifted away from being a car club and more to being an elitist organization. Peoples perception 
is their reality,  and when people are led to believe that their cars are not worthy enough to belong to the club , or their economic status isn’t on par with the wealthier members then they do not renew and won’t  come back to the club. If the club doesn’t fix the perception problem of being all about the money, acting like an exclusive country club and and having the perception of being less about a car club than a for profit business organization then I don’t think adding more car models will increase membership. 
 

Not all car people or members have the means or time to enjoy pricey activities of tours, but they enjoy the classic era of cars and the CCCA has to go out of their way to realize and embrace that. The classic cars also have to get out on the street more often, driven and shared with other car people to open their eyes that they are not old clunkers and can be reliably driven and that a classic car can be obtained for a reasonable price.

 

My two cents.

 

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On the subject of cars such as the Packard 120, Buick 70 and 80, Chrysler CP and CQ, etc. being granted Classic status, I once suggested they create a new category  "Worthy Contemporaries" for cars near to the Classics in many aspects but not entirely on par.   Such cars, as long as unmodified, would be welcomed to participate in tours and be displayed but not eligible for judging and awards.   That suggestion garnered stony silence.

 

Tph479 is spot-on, car guys are cheap at every financial level.  They seek perceived value, something in return for their expenditures, be it cars, parts, restoration services or club experiences.  The follow-on comments by the gentleman cited in my prior post was that for the cost of the five day Caravan tour, he could do a variety of improvements to his cars which he could enjoy just as much driving to and participating in local shows. 

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