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Rummage Box

Summer 2002
 

 

The assets of the AACA

By Jim Raines
President, AACA

We the members of AACA have a nationally known Library and Research Center, and we have a beautiful national headquarters building filled with the computers and equipment necessary to help us get the work done. We have broken ground and started the building of our museum, and already have many fine vehicles for display.

These are all wonderful assets, but the most valuable asset we have is our volunteers and members. I have been amazed since joining the National Board to find out the dedication and time spent by your National Board of Directors. It is almost like having another full time job. Our Division Chairpersons have done an outstanding job keeping the lines of communication open between our Regions, Chapters, and National AACA. Our Meet and Tour Chairpersons and their helpers have put in countless hours, putting together events for us to enjoy. Our judges have turned out to make our meets successful. Our members have been available to teach seminars and judging schools. They do all of this without pay, taking money out of their own pockets for the love of the hobby. Our committed members help keep AACA running smoothly and they do all of this while supporting their families and working in their local Regions and Chapters.

The next time you see one of these people, please thank them for their hard work and dedication, and please remember what we need the most;

“We Need You in 2002!”

 

new rummage box - a change of pace

by Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President - Regions

In April you received your first 2002 issue of the Rummage Box. I think you will agree that our new Editor, Brooke Davis, has put together a new combination that is exciting.

Our printer is the same one who produces the award-winning MEMBERS PARADE newsletter for the Hornet’s Nest Region. This printer is able to produce quality photos, and when combined with enamel paper, I think the Rummage Box takes on all of the professionalism of any “house organ” produced by large companies in the business world. This printer also mails the Rummage Box directly to you from his Charlotte, N.C. location. This makes it possible for us to be pretty much on time, every time, since we do not have to move materials from place to place before mailing.

I would like to take just a moment to express my thanks and appreciation to Editor Brooke Davis, for his efforts on the Rummage Box, and also for his willingness to step up to the task. Like John Hart before him, and all the Editors before that, Brooke is giving a lot of time and effort to this task. At the same time, I want to thank John Hart for giving four years of his life to this effort – John, a job well done.

Getting involved

by Terry Bond
Vice President, Legislation

In talking with AACA members about legislative issues there is a general feeling that unless you are an "expert" on emissions testing, vehicle license laws, or even the legislative process, you shouldn't bother your elected representatives. After all, you don't want to seem "ignorant" or have to be put on the spot defending your opinion, right? Well nothing can be further from the truth. First, let’s look at the knowledge factor.

Information about hobby legislation is readily available. The Internet is a wonderful tool. Each state has an Internet legislative tracking system. As you will read in the current issue of "Antique Automobile" magazine, we hope to link each of these sites to the AACA Website to make it even easier for you to get current information. In every case you have the ability to search for legislation by typing in key words. A recent search by "Antique Automobile" in one state turned up pending legislation on antique auto registration that was very favorable to our hobby. See, not every piece of legislation is bad! There are other sources too - just look at the legislative information in Hemmings Motor News for example. The latest issue has reference to several sources for information about everything from emissions testing to vehicle registration. So, with the touch of a button you can instantly obtain all the knowledge you need. Now, what to do with your newfound knowledge. Those same websites contain information about your state legislature. You can easily find out who is on which committee, and even simple contact information. Often, an e-mail link is available directly to the appropriate individual. The conventional avenues of correspondence or phone calls are also available, and again, the sites I've surveyed so far contain complete contact information and even hints on how to address your letters!

So what do you say? Well, there are some general rules of thumb when communicating with your elected representatives - keep it short and sweet! Stick to the point. Be informative, not threatening. Identify yourself clearly as a constituent! Be respectful and properly address your correspondence. Express your opinion and indicate clearly your support (or non-support). Include information on how you can be contacted for follow-up.

I've found that our elected representatives are genuinely appreciative of our input. They are not expert on every subject and rely on constituents to keep them informed. They are there to serve you and count on (and appreciate) your knowledge and opinion. They are very busy and often formulate their own opinions and cast their votes based on the input from individuals like you. They will acknowledge your contact and you will be pleasantly surprised at the positive response you will receive. The computer age has made it easier than ever before to obtain the knowledge you need and provides a simple method to participate in your local, state of even national government. Try it - you'll be glad you did. Especially, when the winning vote is cast based on your input.

An Old car run

By Jeff Locke
Eastern Division Chairman-Regions

We want to encourage clubs to plan an event for the really old cars out there. By older cars we’re talking about Model A's & T's and other early cars from the teens and twenties. Most of our older cars are in the hands of our older members and sometimes we don’t see them as often as we would like to. With today’s highway speeds and careless drivers it’s difficult to get these older cars to come out because of legitimate safety concerns. Yet, we owe it to our younger members, as well as the vehicle owners and the general public, to help bring out these historic vehicles. How do you do it?

Here’s one way – plan a Saturday mid-day or a Sunday afternoon drive in the country, or on other back roads. Set it up for top speeds of 30 mph to encourage the Model T's and other old cars to participate. Ask the Activity Chairman, or a committee to call each member with an older car and ask him or her to participate, or, as President you may wish to do that yourself. Design it for about 30-40 miles in total length, even if you have to turn around and cover the same roads going in the opposite direction. Plan a stop for a meal at a local church. Yes, a church. Contact a church in your proposed tour area and obtain contact information on the men’s and women’s groups…one of them will probably be very happy to arrange a very inexpensive picnic stop. Encourage the entire church membership, with their children and grandchildren, to attend and GIVE RIDES IN OLD CARS! Everyone will love it -- church members and car owners alike. Maybe you can have the owners talk a little bit about their cars. Explain how they start, run, or how you got the car. Take lots of pictures and do a follow-up article in your newsletter. Also, give a set to the church as a thank you. Be sure that all of the car owners get a picture of their car carrying people, especially the children.

Now I can just hear you saying, “there’s no suitable area nearby” and/or “it won’t work because the older cars will still have to drive through congested, high speed areas in order to get to the tour area”. TRAILER THEM OUT TO THE TOUR LOCATION! Exactly, get your younger members with trailers paired up with the owners of the older cars and get the trailers to transport the old cars to/from the tour area! Then, be sure those younger members get to run the tour as passengers in the car they transported or; better yet; let them drive the old car sometime during the tour. This will also help bond the younger and older members. Everyone’s involved, and that makes everyone happy.

Try it. Let us know how it works for you.

 

The Press release

By Joe Gagliano
Vice President, Public Relations

One of the best ways of attracting new members and informing your community of your clubs activities, while promoting the old car hobby is through the use of publicity. There are several ways of obtaining free publicity or with little cost. Local newspapers, hobby related magazines and newspapers and participation in local events provide these opportunities. How should you pursue these?

First, someone in your club should be assigned as your local PR person. This could be your President, Secretary, or someone in your club with a way with words. You can also receive help from one of the Chairman of Public Relations assigned to your Chapter or Region.

Second, identify the type of publications that are within your geographical area that would be interested in your news. Check out where in there publication your news will most likely be placed, make contact with the editor or columnist and determine if they will use your information and in what format they require it to be in. The most common form of information transfer is the Press Release.

Third, create a Press Release. Here are some guidelines:

Use 8 ½ x 11 paper

Use a minimum of one-inch margins on each side of the page.

Use a Bold typeface for the headlines to draw attention.

Capitalize the first letter of all words in the headline (with the exception of: "a", "an", "the", or prepositions such as: "of", "to", or "from"). The combination of upper and lower case makes it easier to read.

Complete the paragraph on one page instead of carrying it over onto the next page.

Use only one side of each sheet of paper.

Use the word "more" between two dashes and center it at the bottom of the page to let reporters know that another page follows.

– More –

Use three-pound symbols immediately following the last paragraph to indicate the end of the press release:

 # # #

There are seven basic elements that every press release should have in terms of content and how it appears:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: These words should appear in the upper left-hand margin, just under your letterhead. You should capitalize every letter.

Contact Information: Skip a line or two after the release statement and list the name, title, telephone, and fax numbers of your club spokesperson (the person with the most information). It is important to give your home number since reporters often work on deadlines and may not be available until after hours.

Headline: Skip two lines after your contact information and use a boldface type.

Dateline: This should be the city your press release is issued from and the date you are mailing your release.

Lead Paragraph: The first paragraph needs to grasp the reader’s attention and should contain the relevant information to your message such as the five W's (who, what, when, where, why).

Text: The main body of your press release where your message should fully develop.

Recap: At the lower left hand corner of your last page restate your activity or newsworthy quality.

1. Make sure the information is newsworthy.

2. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.

3. Start with a brief description of the news, and then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.

4. Ask yourself, "How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?"

5. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.

6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.

7. Deal with the facts.

8. Provide as much contact information as possible: Individual to contact, address, phone, fax, e-mail, and Web site address.

9. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.

10. Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.

Although the above guidelines may be a little too technical in nature for a club PR opportunity it does provide some guidelines that may be helpful to you and your club.

REMINDER - OFFICER REPORTING FORMS AND ROSTERS DUE

 By Richard McIninch
 Operations Chairman, Regions Committee

This is a reminder to all Regions and Chapters that your ORF's and Rosters are now past due to National Headquarters. AACA needs these for their records, to update the club listings in the "Antique Automobile" and to give to our insurance company that covers your Region or Chapter functions. Also, you don’t want your Region or Chapter to miss the various mailings from Headquarters such as the Rummage Box. If you have already sent your ORF and Roster in -- "Thank you." If you have not yet done so, please let this be a reminder to you.

Remember too, if these documents are not sent in, your Editor will not be eligible for the newsletter contest. So, please, take the few minutes necessary to do this small thing.

Next year, the system for these forms and rosters will be simplified, as both will be due on the same date--March 1, 2003. Please mark this on your Region or Chapter calendar. Thank you for your help and cooperation.

 

hosting national meets and tours,
brings regions and chapters together

By John L. Walker
Vice President, National Activities

It was in 1989 that several of us in the Scranton Region decided to apply to host a National Tour. We discussed it, and it seemed the best to try for the “new” tour, the Founders’ Tour. Previous to this, Scranton Region had hosted a National Meet and the first Grand National Meet several years prior. We brought the topic up at our general meeting and surprisingly it was passed by a unanimous vote. It was then time to apply to see if we were accepted.

Several months went by, because the application had to be brought to the AACA Board for approval. Fortunately, the application was accepted and we were on our way to hold the 1993 Founders’ Tour. We were all excited and I was asked to be the “Tour Chairman”. We knew it would be much work, but we also knew it would be fun.

When the word got out that the “Scranton Region” was going to hold its first National Tour, people who were not really active in the Region now had a renewed interest. Many committees were set up and work started to progress. People offered help who had never volunteered before. Our Region took shape doing this endeavor with much enthusiasm.

A few years went into planning this event. It took a lot of work to pull it off, but it was also much fun doing it. The moral of the story is that there are many Regions and Chapters out there that may need something to light the fire back into their group. Hosting a National Meet or Tour might be the right medicine to kick your local club back into gear. If your Region or Chapter wants to get its feet wet in a National Activity, try hosting a Divisional Tour. These tours were introduced several years ago to promote touring to people who couldn’t afford a major tour or couldn’t expend the time on one. When I look at these tours, I see also an avenue for a Region who may be small or inexperienced in a National Activity. These tours usually last a few days, as small as two, and can be limited to a vehicle type. The local Region or Chapter dictates the style of these tours. This type of tour is an excellent way for a Region or Chapter to get involved in a National Activity that is not as complicated as the “Big” meets and tours sometimes are.

So I suggest to all Regions and Chapters, lets get your members motivated. Propose hosting a National event sometime in the future. Right now, we can lock upcoming events up to five years ahead with the exception to the Divisional Tours, which are approved with less lead time. Drop me a note, call, or e-mail and I will get an application right out to you. If you want to read about what has to be done for a Tour or a Meet, check with your President and read sections four and five in the AACA “Policy and Procedure” Manual.

If this is unavailable to you, I can send the section you need to you.

Don’t delay, summer is coming and now is the time to get motivated and enjoy our hobby to the best of our ability. There is more satisfaction when you see people enjoy themselves because you did a great job

The next generation

By Fran Shore
Coordinator of the Youth Program

Several Regions and Chapters have a few young adults holding important officer positions or handling committee responsibilities within their organizations. To those Regions and Chapters, we say congratulations for being in the forefront of acknowledging these capable young people.

Several months ago, there was a thread on the “Discussion Forum” of the AACA Website where people gave their ages and an interesting explanation of how, when and why they became involved in the antique automobile hobby. The reasons that were gleaned by studying this thread were that a family member or neighbor had given them some shared time in their youthful years.

Talking to just one person in the 20-40 age group may not only make another friend, but also ignite in them the desire to be part of this hobby. Try including them in a club activity or invite them into your garage to assist with a project. You may also find a new future leader of your Region or Chapter with just this bit of interest and effort.

We all appreciate and enjoy the “show cars”; but the cars in the Driver Participation Class can be a more affordable way for some younger members to enjoy their cars by driving them. This way they can be on the show field. We need to get this information to our young adults in our newsletters and publicity.

An inexpensive birthday or Christmas gift to a young adult child or a grandchild could be an AACA membership. A local Chapter or Region could give a gift or sponsor someone as a Junior or a Student Member. Such a person may become a contributor of time and leadership in your Region or Chapter. There are so many activities happening at the local level in which these young adults can be included. Planning these activities so they use less time and money is important so as not to infringe on their busy lives.

Do you remember how you became interested in antique cars? We all know that it is a contagious hobby. This contagion brings new interests and friendships in a hobby that will last a lifetime. If each one of us encourages one young adult, not only will the AACA become stronger; but also you will have grown in friendship and the shared insight that younger and older companionship develops. Hulon McCraw reminded me that the word youth begins with the letters that spell “YOU”.

bug tussle treks on

By Chuck Conrad
Texas Region Member, AACA Regions Committee

If you’d like to find an easy and fun way to increase interest in your Region, you need look no further than hosting an invitational tour. It doesn’t need to be fancy, expensive or elaborate. It just needs to be fun. The key is to invite people who are not current AACA members to join your club in a day or two of good old car excitement. Invitational events are a great way to expose others to what your AACA Region or Chapter offers. A little hospitality can go a long way towards boosting your membership.

The formula has been very successful for the Texas Region, which has hosted our “Bug Tussle Trek” for nearly 35 years. We simply invite anyone who is interested in attending this whimsical overnight tour to come along. No one is bothered by what kind of cars our visitors have. They don’t even have to qualify by usual AACA standards. As a result, we get an amazing variety of vehicles attending the tour. You’re likely to see anything from a 1905 Oldsmobile to Viet Nam era military vehicles and anything in between. You name it -- it will show up. Maybe you’ll see a pre-war Rolls-Royce. You’ll definitely find a Packard or two, and certainly several Model A’s and T’s. There will be an abundance of cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as well as a few modifieds and street rods. No matter what their specific interest is, these people are all car enthusiasts, and they are welcome. The common theme is they love old cars.

A normal Bug Tussle Trek usually consists of nearly 150 motorized devices driving from the northern suburbs of Dallas to the nearly imaginary destination of Bug Tussle, Texas. Along the way we stop frequently at several small towns. It seems our arrival is a well-anticipated event for many of these rural communities and they often roll out the red carpet for us.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Texas geography, Bug Tussle can be found on some maps, but not very many. It is little more than a crossroads in the prairies of Northeast Texas. Essentially 150 of us drive our old cars in the 100-degree heat of August to a nearly nonexistent destination. Getting there by obscure country roads becomes part of the fun. The successful completion of our mission calls for great celebration when we finally arrive at the host hotel. Car games, Bug Tussle Cheerleaders, and a well-stocked hospitality room are the order of the day. Of course we have a generous evening banquet, including some well-deserved awards and plenty of tire kicking in the parking lot. The next day, we send everyone home with a traditional “Water Mellon Bust,” where everyone gets his or her fill of this delicious but messy summer fruit.

It’s amazing how many people have discovered AACA this way. Bug Tussle has turned into a great public relations tool for the Texas Region. Try a similar activity for your club. You’ll be amazed by the results. Better yet, you’ll have some fun.

The AACA Chairman, Regions for your Division has a short Bug Tussle video available, which will give you a glimpse of the kind of fun we’ve been having with this whimsical event. You can borrow it to show at your meeting at no charge. Just ask, and join in the fun.

It’s 10 O’CLOCK, DO YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWERS?

By Fran Shore

The answers can be found at a place called Hershey. Not in a candy bar; but in a beautiful brick building. This place can provide as good a “pick-up” as the sugar from the Hershey bar. You can live in Alaska, Germany, Australia, California or two miles down the road and the AACA LIBRARY AND RESEARCH CENTER is available to each of you.

The AACA Library and Research Center is a valuable resource for all of us connected to the hobby. The most outstanding benefit is that every member, no matter where they live, can use it.

There is so much wonderful information available for the restoration, history, or any information needed for the person's car or interest. As well, information on antique toys and other collectibles of that type are available. There are over 30,000 advertisement pages about cars, books, catalogs, service manuals and so much more. Any of this that you need, or are interested in, can be copied for a nominal fee per page and sent to you. To do this, contact Kim Miller, AACA librarian whom is accessible for the retrieval of information. Via phone: 717-534-2082, mail:

Kim Miller
AACA Library and Research Center
PO Box 417
Hershey, PA 17033
or E-mail: libraryaaca@aol.com 

A reminder note in your newsletters or at your meetings can share this information with your members.

The material for assistance for restoration, history of your automobile or whatever you need is there for you. To keep this viable, we always need to contribute a little financial support. There are items for sale that you would enjoy as a sign of this support. There are beautiful pins, cookbooks, books about Carl Fisher, and metal signs featuring the AACA Library with an antique car in front. An inquiry for any of these items can have them on their way to you or your members in no time.


 

Damage free towing

(Bob Blake Photo Collection)