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Street rods? At Fall Hershey?


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I'm hearing rumors about a separate area in the car corral for street rods, hot rods and cars not owned by AACA members. Apparently it has appeared on the Hershey Region Facebook page, which I can not access from where I currently am.

 

Say it ain't so!

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OK, a little calm needs to happen here.  Yes, there is a new area that the region is developing at the most remote area of the grounds surrounding the Giant Center.  It is not being promoted by AACA in any way.  It is somewhat like a portion of what happens at the Charlotte Auto Fair which admittedly is a region event but with an AACA show.  The region feels there is unused space that could generate revenue and ease problems in the car corral.  If you read the Facebook page announcing this it is obvious that it is not an AACA sponsored idea.  The region will be putting out more information in an attempt to clarify all their thoughts on why they are doing this and how it is being managed.  However, the area for modified cars is NOT part of the car corral.  That wording is being corrected.

 

No payment. no literature and no publicity about this concept will be coming from national.  We respect the region's leadership need to make tough decisions to ensure that the overall financial stability of the fall meet is not impacted.  Now that they have a multi-year contract to continue the event they also have to deal with significantly increased costs to operate in a sound financial manner.

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While I have zero clue to the cost/expense of running the fall meet..........and like many others always assume it's a cash cow.........and it's probably not and running in the red is the fastest way to ruin the event, the idea really bums me out. That said, if the money left on the table from the unused space is actually used and put torwards the event..........I guess it will happen. 

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ANY speculation that the event is a cash cow these days is very, very incorrect.  Expenses have increased dramatically and the region does not share in any parking, concessions nor do people pay to get into the event.  Any event or business must be profitable to survive and although many will find this one a tough pill to swallow it is a pill worth taking if the region is able to combine cost cutting with new ideas (if they work..no guarantees that this on will) to ensure the event is around for decades to come.

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Steve.......that's why I framed my statement the way I did. Looking around at Hershey just putting up the no parking signs and barricades would probably make one pass out at the cost.....add in the help, parking, bathrooms, and then all the hidden costs like insurance, PA system, legal costs for the contracts on the food venders...........and all of a sudden money evaporates faster than one can imagine. When one considers there is NO fee to enter, it's an impressive achievement. Each year for the last twenty five we wonder out loud as we arrive when there will be an entree fee. Someone last week told me the Carlisle tickets were 60-80 dollars for the event. I have no clue as it's been 30 years since I attended there. Overall the fall meet is still one of the three must do events I do every year. It sure has changed in the fifty years I have been going there. I do miss the mud.......the old days were truly hardcore........but I shall attend every year as long as it is possible for me. I will make one request, and I know it's economics that come into play........more food venders this year please. I am aware that the pandemic drastically altered the people who vend food, and something like 60 percent disappeared over the shut down. I will keep my fingers crossed. 👍

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I have pushed for more and healthier fare vendors.  Will continue to do so but HE&R has sole responsibility in this area.  Between lack of workers and the increased fees to food vendors it is a problem.  We had two restaurants close here in Hershey in the last few months.  Thy were profitable I understand but just got burnt out by the lack of loyal help.  That's our new world.  I understood your comment but wanted to make absolutely sure people understand the pressures of the event.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, Steve. 👍👍👍
 

last year we actually thought about packing a cooler and bringing her own stuff on the field now. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Well better to have an area with something automotive related if not stock, than another field of campers with nothing for sale.  I bet more than a few members have a non original car in their garage and will atelast check out the area. 

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18 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Well better to have an area with something automotive related if not stock, than another field of campers with nothing for sale.  I bet more than a few members have a non original car in their garage and will atelast check out the area. 

Perhaps someone from the hotrod side of things will see something they’ve never known about in regards to original senior cars? I myself have mainly attended street rod, muscle car and racing events. I’ve found that there’s an entire world of amazing cars that are now orphaned brands. 
 

Now to be different, is to be original in my opinion. Everyone has seen a hopped up whatever with a SBC or LS in the engine bay. I’ve become a huge fan of cars from 1935 and prior and love all the different designs and engineering. Several things I didn’t even know existed before joining this forum. I didn’t know how interested I’d be until I learned more about them. Hopefully someone from the Hotrod crowd will find something new to them that’ll drive their car passion in a different direction?

 

After talking with some members here I’ve realized a relaxing pace of a senior car tour better fits where I’m at in life rather than a drag race. I just hope no hot rod guys get stupid with burnouts and ruin things for others. 

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2 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

OK, a little calm needs to happen here.  Yes, there is a new area that the region is developing at the most remote area of the grounds surrounding the Giant Center.  It is not being promoted by AACA in any way.  It is somewhat like a portion of what happens at the Charlotte Auto Fair which admittedly is a region event but with an AACA show.  The region feels there is unused space that could generate revenue and ease problems in the car corral.  If you read the Facebook page announcing this it is obvious that it is not an AACA sponsored idea.  The region will be putting out more information in an attempt to clarify all their thoughts on why they are doing this and how it is being managed.  However, the area for modified cars is NOT part of the car corral.  That wording is being corrected.

 

No payment. no literature and no publicity about this concept will be coming from national.  We respect the region's leadership need to make tough decisions to ensure that the overall financial stability of the fall meet is not impacted.  Now that they have a multi-year contract to continue the event they also have to deal with significantly increased costs to operate in a sound financial manner.

I would like to take a minute to Thank You for the above post and the other posts you have done in this thread.

 

Hopefully in the future the leadership of Hershey Region and AACA will see fit to communicate to AACA Members and the public about changes regarding Fall Hershey (like you did above) in a more proactive manner. A little bit of an explanation about a change/decision (like you did above) goes A LONG WAY to allay fears, prevent rumors and misunderstandings and foster a communicative spirit among all involved. BTW, better communication in the future should include Hershey Region doing some posting here on the AACA Forums regarding Fall Hershey and not just on Facebook as not all AACA members use Facebook for any number of reasons. Limiting announcements to just a few communications channels for an event like Fall Hershey is probably not the best idea if the intent is to get a message out to as many eyeballs as possible.

 

Thanks Again,

 

Charlie

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Steve Rossi who is brand new to the AACA board this year is a life long Public Relations leader and has worked for Chevrolet, Mercedes and Ferrari among others.  He is also a prolific contributor in our magazine.  Steve has offered his service free of charge to the region to help them with their communications.  They have accepted.  I think both the region and the club will do much better in the future in our respective communications but remember, for the Region they are all volunteers and you guys are stuck with me!  I greatly appreciate the last few posts which show a good amount of maturity.  We have enough histrionics going on in this country and our hobby should be as peaceful as it can be.  It seems appropriate to see how this new idea works and then opine on it.  As to the burn-outs, etc. I can pretty much guarantee that is going to be either nil or we will be seeing some folks dealing with the Derry Township police!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am thankful that the national and regional club/s exhist.

 

What ever develops, I plan to attend this, my 60th year at Hershey, and then keep on enjoying it !

 

 

 

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In the Region that I belong to we have had some folks become members that at the time did not own a AACA class vehicle and owned street rods only. We welcome them into our club and most of them now own a AACA class vehicle. Most folks do not know how great it is to belong to such a  club as AACA. Once they see what AACA is all about most will be life members. When we had a car show we allowed street rod to come to our local show but parked them all in one lot. Big Mistake! Now we park them as they come in the gate and want them parked beside our AACA members cars. Now our club members have a job to talk to these owners and invite them to join AACA. A lot of them that I have talked to has never heard of AACA before. So I think having the Non AACA members and the street rods at Hershey is  an outstanding idea and a great way to increase membership. Thanks to the Hershey Region for thinking out of the box.

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The AACA officers/board of Directors and the Hershey Region will take all options into account - I am sure do not want to neglect anyone, disappoint anyone BUT will always keep the focus on the preservation of cars/vehicles  they recognize. Not every decision they make will please everyone all of the time. That is understandable. ALL participating need to follow the rules that have been set by the host club and region. No excuses.

On 6/3/2023 at 10:33 AM, 42cady said:

Most folks do not know how great it is to belong to such a  club as AACA.

This is so very very true.

Walt

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I, for one, do not like this. I have watched many other regional shows bring in modifieds and hot rods to make their show more profitable and have watched them turn into complete hot rod shows within 5 years.  So the cars will not be sanctioned by the AACA. Does the Hershey Region take the space rental? Car owners don't have to be AACA members? Then why force the regular car corral vendors to be members? There will be only cars in the Fall Nationals this year, but mark my words, in a few years there will be a section for parts vendors who are not AACA members selling hot rod parts. Steve, you compare this to the AACA show in Charlotte in the Spring. Given all the hype about the Charlotte show, I drove the 750 miles a few years ago because I wanted to be part of it. Upon getting there, all I found in the flea market were hot rods and appliances. I exaggerate a little, there were also some lawn mowers. It's not all gloom and doom, because in 5 years I'll be able to bring my lawn tractor and put it in the flea market for sale...

 

Frank

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I'm a strong supporter of AACA's mission and

do not like the idea of dilution.  There can be

all sorts of excuses and rationalizations, but

the fact remains:

 

Street rods and modified cars sometimes take

the history we're preserving and destroy it.

They have no place in or relation to the AACA, and

the Hershey Region should not be bringing them

to our national meet!

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I have no problem with them being there, showing them alongside AACA cars on the field is a different story though. Smaller shows I am sure benefit from being open to all types of vehicles but at a large national meet its not necessary. Cars have been hot rodded from the beginning so I dont see it destroying any history, it adds to history. Race cars are highly modified and yet are acceptable. I see some guys that are building speedsters which look to me like a highly modified hot rod which seem to be widely accepted. Its kinda hard to pick and choose which one is right and which one is not.

 

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37 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

Cars have been hot rodded from the beginning so I don't see it destroying any history, it adds to history. 

I was at Nicola Bulgari's collection in Allentown, Penna.

He had an extraordinarily well preserved c. 1935 Ford coupe.

It was amazing how pristine this original car was--an

outstanding example for restorers to see what they really

were like in 1935.  It was the ideal HPOF candidate.

 

The Bulgari collection saved it.  The prior owner was going

to make this outstanding car into a hot rod.  Not all hot rods

start with derelict cars.

 

And the Hershey Region should not be spending their time

in any degree working counter to the mission of the AACA.

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Everyone has a right to their opinion.  The fact is that this trial idea is being used to strengthen the entire show so those of us who believe in the AACA mission can still enjoy the hobby the way we want.  This is a car corral, nothing else and is in the farthest corner they could find to separate it from our normal week's venue.  AACA is not changing its rules and regulations nor is the region.  This is a separate venture not sponsored nor promoted by national.  We will simply have to have an open mind and see how this all goes.  The national board is very committed to our mission statement and we have no plans to be all things to all segments of the car hobby...we are about the preservation of history.

 

As others have said, some of these new people may actually get interested in stock cars after seeing how many cool cars we have on display.  It has happened..I am living proof of that!

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33 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

we have no plans to be all things to all segments of the car hobby...we are about the preservation of history.

THANK YOU for stating that and making it clear to all reading this. Most of us realize that but there are some (understandably) that are questioning and thinking "ok whadda they gonna do next to ruin it all"  this says it all.

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I recall a few years ago, a big motor '50s Ford hot rod pickup truck somehow got itself into the car corral a few spaces down from us. He spent most of the day firing up his giant engine and revving it to 5000 RPM before some Hershey volunteers finally asked him to leave. As he left, there was more engine revving and tire spinning. Holy crap it was annoying.

 

It's also what you get at every cruise night with guys showing off their horsepower. It's irresistible for them.

 

I'm not sure I prefer the sound of open headers and blower whine to dragging soda cans and the gentle chug-chug-chug of brass cars motoring past. Will there be rules about firing up loud engines and displays of power? How will they be enforced? By whom?

 

I'm willing to be open-minded about this, but I think it's a very slippery slope. My experience running a large car show for stock vehicles says guys with modified cars don't like being excluded and once they have an opening, they'll abuse it.

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Matt - very interesting perspective especially your last line.

I too remember that big hot rod pickup truck that was near you at Hershey - totally annoying and just showing off the owners need for attention  from a crowd that could care less.

Walt

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  • 1 month later...

There has been so much discussion, especially within the NJ Region to which I belong, about dwindling membership and the "greying of the hobby". I own 2 HPOF vehicles and I fully support AACA's goals. HOWEVER, allowing non-AACA cars onto the show field, as long as there are rules and restrictions attached, can only help the hobby in the long term. It will introduce these owners to AACA and what it stands for, and as others have pointed out, could result in a larger audience for flea market and car corral sales. Think about it! So many of the old-timers in my Region, guys who are now in their 80s and 90s, had hot rods in their youth. Let's not be so quick to criticize what the Hershey Region is trying to do, which is expand the potential audience for the AACA.

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I have sat on my hands and bitten my tongue on this, at least on this forum, since this became an issue several months ago.


But, the time has come to “pipe up”.

 

There are PLENTY of other events and clubs for people who have non-factory-stock vehicles to take part in.  And frankly, it pains me that in my area, in other places I’ve been, and what I’ve seen posted on line—and that includes the fare that you’ll see during the typical Mecum or Barrett-Jackson auction, that I would guess only a quarter to a fifth of the vehicles there would qualify for current AACA standards.    In other words, 75 to 80 percent—or more—of the vehicles have been, to use my (clean) term, “monkeyed up”, and are not even worth looking at to me.

 

Call me a purist, call me what you will. But as mentioned previously by others here, I am a champion of the AACA “mission”, and would find it horrific to lower the standards that have been adhered to since the inception of the organization.   
 

There are way too many experiences I’ve had throughout my life where, just letting the camel get its nose under the tent, leads to an incremental but eventual dilution and decline of standards (I also have another more crude and colorful phrase that involves a swimming pool, but again, I’ll spare everyone).

 

It would actually break my heart if street rods, resto-mods (a term I liken to “half-pregnant”), and other forms of vehicle disfigurement would become “acceptable” on the Show Field at Hershey.   It would destroy the event, IMHO.

 

Those are my honest feelings.  But I’ll stand by them, 100%, regardless of the feedback.

Edited by starfireelvis
Typo (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, RichardR said:

...allowing non-AACA cars onto the show field, as long as there are rules and restrictions attached, can only help the hobby in the long term. 

I'll have to disagree, politely but strongly.

There is often a temptation for an organization

to get more numbers (or money) by diluting its mission.

One can think of many instances.

 

The area already has a very large street-rod club

called the Blue Moon Cruisers.  Those who like modified

cars can participate with them.

 

If we have street rods in a corner of the car corral,

will our magazine feel pressure to cover that part of the

meet with a photo or two?  That would put pictures of

street rods in the AACA magazine.  Will the street-rod

grouping be larger in coming years?  If it's there, the

organizers want it to do well.  Then, will there be a section

for them on the show field, akin to Driver Participation

Class?

 

Then, with street rods at Hershey, will they appear in some

manner at other national meets?  Since they are ALREADY

nosing into our meets in some manner, will the local regions

feel pressure not to exclude them in their local tours?

 

The national office may say no, for now, but keep an eye out

and see.  ALREADY I HEAR THAT MORE THAN ONE OF OUR

DIRECTORS WOULD NOT MIND MODIFIED CARS IN THE CLUB. 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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52 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

If we have street rods in a corner of the car corral,

will our magazine feel pressure to cover that part of the

meet with a photo or two? 

I have seen modified cars in the car corral for years. Just sayin'...

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I agree with most of your statement. However I am not sure what you mean by 'akin to DPC'. Driver participation cars deserve as much or maybe more respect (depending on how one looks at it) as the 'show cars'. DPC requires the cars to be AACA compatible and the participants actually use their cars as intended by driving them.

Edited by TAKerry (see edit history)
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On 9/12/2023 at 9:45 AM, John_S_in_Penna said:

Will the street-rod grouping be larger in coming years? 

If it's there, the organizers want it to do well.  Then, will

there be a section for them on the show field, akin to

Driver Participation Class?

That hypothetical possibility doesn't denigrate the DPC.

Looking far ahead, we could see a separate grouping

for modified cars, random and not organized by class,

beside the classified show cars. 

 

If modified cars get a foothold, they could expand.

As they are there to expand the event's numbers and 

money, the organizers WANT them to do well, and not fail.

Who knows what the success of modified cars could

lead to 10 or 20 years from now?

 

A bigger question:

Do our AACA by-laws specifically state our club's mission

to be authentic cars?  If not, did they ever?  The by-laws

were modified a year or two ago.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Ugh, think of the absolute TRASH that will show up when you let modified cars on the show field. Have you seen some of the "cars" that show up to local cruise nights? That's the crapola that will fill the show field against an ever-diminishing number of Duesenbergs, Simplexes, Locomobiles, Packards, and other great cars. Two years of that junk sitting on the field and nobody with the good stuff will show up anymore.

 

Sorry if this sounds like I'm being a snob, but every one of you knows exactly the cars I'm talking about.

 

Letting in modified cars isn't salvation, it's the event's express ticket to irrelevance and death.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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  I have really mixed feelings about this issue. I grew up when muscle cars were inexpensive used cars. Me, my brother and all my buddies were driving Chevelles, Road runners and GTOs to high school. I was deep into muscle cars until they became collectible and unaffordable. I then got into street rods and I still go to some rod runs and I still enjoy a well done, tasteful hot rod. Hot rodding certainly has a history of it's own going way back to the first speedsters that were created specifically to go fast. Even the manufactures themselves have supported racing and hot rodding with factory made go-fast parts. I am a guy that really never paid much attention to stock, per-war cars until I started coming to Hershey and joined the AACA. You could say that I am somewhat of a convert to the AACA and historic preservation.

  With all of that said, I guess time will tell. I can hope that some street rod guys could get converted, or like me, at least gain a greater appreciation for non-modified, factory stock automobiles by being allowed in. I also know the kind of stuff that Matt refers to in his post above. Seeing the absolute JUNK that shows up at most rod runs would be really disappointing to see at Hershey. I personally would have no problem whatsoever seeing historic or at least historic style hot rods (think 40's-50's built) hot rods that were built using factory parts and old-school ingenuity but that is not what will show up. Knowing that, it would probably be best to stick with what the AACA has always been about; stock, non-modified automobiles.

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

A bigger question:

Do our AACA by-laws specifically state our club's mission

to be authentic cars?  If not, did they ever?  The by-laws

were modified a year or two ago.

 

 

Here you go, John

 

AACA Amended and Restated Bylaws 2022

 

I skimmed this document quickly and I did not anything specific regarding the club's stated mission.

Maybe I missed it, maybe I didn't.

 

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OK folks, I am trying to maintain my composure after a very trying month for me personally.  We are making a mountain out of a molehill as they say.  I have explained things the best I can but all this supposition about the club's future is just that...people trying to take 2+2 and get 5. There is NO discussion on the national board of changing AACA's mission.  So what if there is a person on the national board that likes modified cars?  MANY of our members have both kinds of cars in their garages.  It simply is not germane to our future.  We continue to reaffirm what we are all about but people want to drag us down the rabbit hole.

 

I would simply ask you to give this idea which I am personally not in favor of, a year to see how it affects us and the region.  I think you will find out that is idea will have little affect on national or our beloved "Hershey".

 

Trust me, I am not trying to be dismissive of your rights to speak your mind but there are comments here that simply obscure what is really happening.  If you are really concerned attend a round table, national convention or write our President.

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