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Rummage Box

Fall 2003

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Your Dream Car is coming to the auction...

By David A. Berg
Vice President-Regions

Finally! You see it, the ad, the picture, the description, it is coming. The car youíve dreamed about. Itís coming to the auction.

Many of us have experienced that thrill. So what do you do? Well, from having been there a few times, letís walk through it. If youíve wanted this type of car for some time, there is a good chance that you have become somewhat knowledgeable about it. Youíve read books, perhaps joined a specialty club and made use of the AACA Library. If you havenít done these things, you need to! But for our purposes here, letís assume that you have. There is nothing more advantageous to you in an auction than knowledge.

Now that you know about your ďDream Car to beĒ letís be sure you are in a position to capture this prize. From your books and printed results from past auctions, you should have some idea of what your dream car is worth. Are you willing to pay more than that? If youíre not, you might as well stay home. Everyone who wants that car, and most likely the seller, also know what itís worth. Oh sure every once in a while one will slip through the cracks but that is quite a rarity. You need to be prepared to step up to the plate for the ďRightĒ car. Can you? This is a very important decision. If youíve done your homework and know itís a $40,000 item and youíve only got $30,000 to spend, Stay Home! The only good thing that could happen is a miracle. The bad things are many. You could settle for a vehicle of lesser quality, you could buy another car that you didnít really want, you could watch your dream car sell to someone else (this will make you sick for months!) or you could step up and spend a lot more money than you can afford. Donít fall victim to these traps. Have your funds and/or financing in place before you leave for the auction.

Now youíre making progress. Itís time to go to the auction. Having made your travel plans, call the auction company to verify that the vehicle you want has shown up. Believe me this is easy not to do! Being a licensed auctioneer and of course a car collector for some decades, just this year I flew to Texas for a sale to bid on a particular vehicle. You guessed it! It was a no-show! Whose fault was it? Totally mine. A rookie mistake. Take a moment, make the call.

Youíve arrived at the auction. Look around for your dream car. Make sure itís what you want before you even register to bid. Assuming it is there and it is everything you hoped for; your heart is now pounding, you have to have it! Settle down and begin your strategy. Find out who the seller is; talk to him/her, learn all you can. Do you see someone at the auction that is particularly knowledgeable about this type of vehicle? Talk to them. Never be afraid to ask for help (itís not like directions!). Determine how much you are willing to pay. Factor in that most auctions have a buyers charge (an annoying sign of the times that is here to stay.) Also remember you need to get this dream car home. Most auctions have professional shippers on the grounds. Get a quote; these people can be very helpful. Establish your limit and stick to it. I know this is easier said than done. However if your limit is ďThe most you will payĒ it makes sense. Your limit should not be what you hope to pay or what the last one brought, etc. etc. It simply must be the very top of your scale.

Itís almost time now. Your dream car is in line; soon to cross the block. Spend time around it. See how it behaves in the line of traffic. Listen to it run. Is it leaking fluids? Is it running hot? Howís the oil pressure? These are all things you can determine with a simple ďEyeballingĒ of the vehicle. Do it!

Itís on the block; nervousness sets in big time. So many people seem interested. Block them out! Youíve done your homework. Youíve looked and learned and you know just what your spending limit is.

Listen carefully to what the auctioneer says. A lot of it is simple hype but there are key phrases. For instance items pertaining to the vehicles history such as flood damage, non-authentic this or that, or perhaps a title problem. Listen carefully. Pay special attention to phrases such as styled like, similar to, etc.; these phrases mean ďNot.Ē Listen carefully. ďA magnificent Duesenberg automobile styled like a LeBaron Phaeton;Ē what does that tell you? It says that the body of the vehicle looks like a LeBaron Phaeton, but itís not! Does that mean its been rebodied? Is that important to you? These are all things you need to be aware of. Their level of importance will vary between individuals. For instance a rebodied Duesenberg is still a very valuable and desirable motor car, however a street rod built on a 1933 Ford V-8 chassis that is styled like the 1956 Ford Motorama Prototype Show car is a different story. To those who listened carefully it is a description, to those who didnít it could spell disaster.

Now the bidding has started. Everything is in order and now itís just a question of getting it bought within your limit. You are ready! Go for it! And Good Luck!

A Personal Touch

by David Wunsch
Vice President Development & Support

Beginning this year our relationship between the National Level and Regional Level has a new direction. Two new Vice Presidents positions have been developed, one for the East and southeast and one for the Central and West. The titles for these two new positions are Vice President for Development and Support.

I am going to focus on the Central and West, as this is my area of responsibility. The four Chairpersons and myself are dedicated to build a relationship between the Regions and the National Level. Our goal is to contact each and every region this year with an offer to be your personal contact for information, support and guidance. Most of us are attempting to personally visit as many Regions as possible and if you would like, we will be happy to speak to your region.

In the last issue of the Rummage Box, Peter Brown detailed our areas of responsibility as the new VP's of Development and Support. In this article I want to share a couple of items I believe will assist Regions in their growth and development.

The first is an issue that came to light this year as I talked with our Regional Chair people and that is one of the IRS auditing some of our regions. You might think that the IRS is running out of business and corporate entities to audit so they are now picking on non-profit car clubs. In the past I have been treasurer of my local region and have visited with many regions that feel the need to invest some of their revenue in interest bearing accounts. For those regions who choose to invest monies, the banks and financial institutions will report earnings to the IRS. When the region follows this practice it must file a tax return on the earnings. Quite simply, to avoid audits and tax returns, do not invest in any interest bearing accounts. Keep your funds in a non-interest checking account. You should not keep large amounts of funds on hand since we are a not for profit organization. Remember you can always share your wealth with our National AACA Library & Research Center and/or the AACA Museum.

The next suggestion is one of personal experience and hopefully it will benefit those regions that are experiencing a decline in membership. A little more than a year ago our local region's membership was below 20. It now stands at over 80. How in the world did you do that, you ask? As Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.

Our region was at a crossroads. It was election time for officers and no one wanted the responsibilities. Two of our family members even confessed afterwards that they were going to drop out after seeing the direction the club was heading. At that meeting we all had a very heart to heart discussion on the direction each of us felt the club should take. Many ideas were placed in the pot. They ranged from free local membership for a year, (an effort to bring back the lost) and polling the members to learn what they wanted from the club.

Well to make a long story short, we finally did get people to volunteer for the officers positions and a new direction was launched. We dedicated ourselves to meet once a month with programs for the membership. Not all programs are car related and therefore are of interest to many spouses. Our board meets monthly to help insure the direction of the club and keep everyone on track. We invited other clubs, such as the VMCCA, and other non mark clubs to share in our outings. This proved to be very successful, not only having those join our club but to inject new activities into our membership and find the directions they wanted us to follow, and we are following their suggestions. We further developed a common goal of a raffle where we attend events to sell tickets and most important to share good fellowship.

It is my desire that some of these ideas and suggestions will help your region and keep it growing. Remember Peter Brown and myself along with a very dedicated list of others shown below are here to help you help your regions. Please feel free to contact any of the following:

  David Wunsch, Vice President, Development & Support
    Central & Western Divisions
    9346 N. Weather Hill Dr.
    Tucson AZ 85743
    520 744-2599 H
    520 744-2593 Fax
    520 906-0781 Cell Phone
    dlw@4eldo@comcast.net
   
  Peter M. Brown, Vice President, Development & Support
    Eastern & Southeastern Divisions
    2 Ironwood Lane
    Rye, NY 10580
    914 921-8447 W
    914 967-1037 H
    garyb@bestweb.net
     
  Ray Fairfield, Assistant Vice President
    6481 Jackson Oaks Dr.
    Morgan Hill CA 95037
    408 779-4677
    et2@ix.netcom.com
     
  Sharon M. Lee, Assistant Vice President
    340 Old Plantation Trail
    Travelers Rest, SC 29690
    864 834-8683
    sllee@mindspring.com
     
  David E. Chiotti, Chairman Far NW
    Santa Rosa Ca 95401
    707 539-6073
    dechiotti@aol.com
     
  Victor (Vic) Connell, Chairman South Central
    1801 Woods Loop
    Dripping Springs Tx 78620
    512 894-4267
    vdonnell@ccsi.com
    vdonnell@northropgruman.com
     
  Joanna Cooper, Chairman North Central
    424 N Date St
    Broken Arrow Ok 74012-3847
    918 357-1674 H
    918 251-5343 W
    jcaacaok@aol.com
   
  J Thomas Deering, Chairman, Far SW
    1330 Camino Meleno
    Santa Barbara Ca 93111-1009
    805 967-1957
    nomabird@webtv.com
     
  James E. (Jim) Gillenwaters, Jr., Chairman South Central
    7112 Regency Road
    Knoxville, TN 37931-2533
    865 938-1472
    jewgjr@esper.com
     
  Richard (Dick) McIninch, Chairman, Mid-Atlantic
    215 Stoney Creek
    Nellysford, VA 22958
    434 361-2568
    olcarfn@aol.com
     
  Eugene (Gene) Roy, Chairman, Far South
    2900 Little Meadow Rd
    Guilford Ct 06437
    203 457-1200
    cotejohnr@aol.com
     

AACA Advertising Part ii

by Joe Gagliano
Vice President, Public Relations

Youíre a Region or Chapter; youíre interested in attracting a few more membersÖ Iíve got an idea; letís do some advertising! This is a different type of advertising than you would normally do for an event such as a car show or flea market. Youíre not sure you can handle a public relations blitz or advertising campaign, mainly because you have limited or no budget, and arenít quite sure what to do. How do you get the message out? Letís talk about inexpensive, or better yet, free ways to advertise. Simplistically, advertising is nothing more that informing the public or potential customers (members) of what you have to offer.

There are a couple things you want to do first.

  • Identify who your prospective customer (member) is, create a profile. Just a couple obvious items need to be identified.

  • Live in your area

  • Love old cars

  • Likes activities and events Likes people and interested in making new friends

  • Looking for a family oriented club

  • Looking for help; finding a car, working on a car etc.

  • Under the age of 50, over is okay too!

  • Look for clubs, groups, organizations and other places where the folks you have identified as prospective members might belong, attend or visit. Here are inexpensive ways to get your message to your prospects:

    • Take advantage of local car meets, cruise-ins, flea markets, etc.

    • Set up a Region or Chapter table with AACA information and have some material printed up about your local club.

    • A secondary benefit is, it could also be a gathering point for your existing members to drop off parts or sit down for a few moments.

  • Have a club booth at Regional or National shows and events, there are a lot of folks that attend that may be National AACA members but are not a member of your local club. These events also attract new prospects for AACA membership.

  • Better yet, host a National event; this is an excellent way of promoting your local club while helping National.

    • It is amazing the people that will be attracted to the event that like old cars and are not members of AACA. These are people in your area!

  • Have your club do some form of charity or community service event.

  • Newspapers and other local publications like these sort of articles. A great source of future members may be from service clubs and organizations. Many of their members probably fit your profile and also perform community projects.

  • Participate in parades or festivals.

    • I know this is hard on old vehicles, but itís great exposure. Everyone loves a parade! Make sure your club name and contact information can be readily seen.

  • Write ups in local publications, newspapers, television, are the best form of advertising, itís free!

    • Special vehicles in your club

    • Vehicles of local manufacture and history

    • Participation in an event

    • Highlight a special member

Again, make sure you get the name of your club and a membership contact in the article.

  • Flyers on cars at shows, flea markets and other events

  • Through your actions, be friendly, understanding and helpful when people ask you about your car or club.

  • Consider placing extra copies of Antique Automobile magazine in local libraries.

    • Public libraries

    • Technical and vocational schools

    • High schools

    These donít have to be the latest edition, many of our members give these away, have your club collect them and place them strategically.

  • When you get the opportunity, stress a few themes:

    • This is a fun hobby

    • This is a fun club/group

  • Have your activities for the year available to demonstrate that you are an active group.

    • If possible, have copies of your Region or Chapter newsletter available to prospective members.

    • You donít have to have a restored, expensive, antique car, in fact you donít even have to have an antique car.

    • You can participate at local and national activities This is a hobby you can enjoy on a budget

    • It is a family hobby, bring your children and grandchildren

Hopefully, these ideas will get you thinking about ways to attract new members, Iím sure you probably can come up with your own list. Just remember that most people arenít going to walk up to you and say they want to join your club or AACA, they need to be engaged. As you apply these ideas, talk to people; explain why you joined the club, how much fun you have and how happy you would be to have them become a member of AACA. Advertising only creates the interest and identifies the prospect; you have to do the selling!

Ramblings from Enzo the Cat

Hi Folks!

Itís me Enzo, your favorite feline. This is getting to be fun. Anyone know a good literary agent? Maybe Iíll speak to my older brother Bentley, he seems to always get what he wants. I still havenít got my oversized litter box with the privacy screen though. Iíll bet Mom and Dad are waiting for a sale.

Speaking of sales. Are you a bargain hunter? Most of America is or at least attempts to be. Remember my friend I told you about in my last article, from down the road, Albert Felinestein, heís the smartest cat I know. Albert says that sometimes looking for a bargain is the worst thing you can do. I asked my studious furball friend what he meant. Albert explained, and always eager to learn, Enzo listened. Albert showed me that on everyday products, even expensive things like new cars, that bargains were a great thing. However on specialty items, such as collectibles, a bargain was often not a good deal. I was amazed how Albert went on and on, only taking short ďFriskiesĒ breaks. He explained that when buying things like collectibles you should buy the best quality that you can afford. He showed me examples like one fellow who buys collector cars for resale. He buys low-end vehicles and sells them on the Internet at what appear to be very favorable prices. The end result is that most people are probably sorry they ever saw those bargains. So I asked Albert, ďare all the cars on the Internet a bad deal?Ē ďOf course not,Ē he meowed back. You simply have to invest some time and effort to learn about them as well as their seller. When it comes to a collector car, it is a much better thing to pay too much for a high quality car than what appears to be a bargain for lesser quality. Walking away I was amazed at Albert, he knows so much stuff.

Thinking back, I recall my Dad mentioning a conversation decades ago with a Texas gentleman named Amon Carter, Jr. Amon, who sad to say is no longer with us, was a great collector in several areas. Amon owned a little company called American Airlines. Amon said at the dinner table at a convention that my Dad was fortunate enough to be at, ďNever be afraid to step up for the right quality.Ē Or as Dad likes to say, in the immortal words of Messrs Rolls and Royce, ďThe quality remains long after the price has been forgotten.Ē

So folks, there you have it, the ongoing ramblings of Enzo the cat. Say can I get an AACA membership? How about the new Museum, can I go there? I could help if they get a mouse problem. OK folks, time for me to go. Enjoy your cars and the rest of the touring season.

Sincerely.

Enzo

Who Am I?

By Russell J. Fisher
Vice President-Class Judging

It is Thursday afternoon about 2:00 PM. I am getting excited about this weekend. People at work think I am crazy driving over 300 miles, two nights at a hotel and after 3 hours work head home again. It is work to some people but to me it is a labor of love.

On Thursday night I drive about 200 miles and hope to run into some of my friends who also work on Saturday. Many a time we travel in caravans to stay in or out of trouble. Friday morning it is off again to make it to class for review of the rules and guidelines by an instructor. We take a test and chat with my fellow workers about Saturday. We always agree to meet about 8:00 AM. Friday dinner is optional but breakfast is a must.

Saturday comes and the excitement is in the air and work instructions are received in a brown envelope. The envelope is opened which gives my assignments by the appointed leader of my team. Last minute announcements are given by the head of the committee running the work detail. My starting time is 11:00 AM which gives about 45 minutes for some refresher courses from about 15 different subjects.

Today some 300 of us will go over 350 different items in 4 areas. I try to be fair, respectful and accurate in my work assignment. The items are owned by people whom want my input to see if the items were as they left the manufacturing plant.

My team finished the review and discuss the work and rate the items brought before us. We thank the people who let us have an opportunity to work today, for without them there is no work.

Our teamís leader signs off on our worksheets and goes to the pay window to receive our wages. I am thinking, let see, 600 miles round trip, $340.00, $75.00 a night at a hotel room, Meals about $65.00, but the breakfast was only $4.00. I would round that off to $700.00 total give or take a few dollars. You are probably asking what will I get for $700.00 of expenses and 3 hours work. The answer is a judging chip from my team captain. You see I am an AACA judge. My name is not important but the final results are. I hate Mondays because at my day job my fellow workers kid me again about a $700.00 judging chip that costs under $5.00. I just shrug it off and wait till it is Thursday again before the next AACA national meet.