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Rummage Box

Fall 2004

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From the President's desk

By Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr.
AACA President

It is September now and Hershey isn’t that far away. It’s hard to believe, but by the time you read this, Hershey will be gone, and maybe so will be the first AACA National Sentimental Tour! It’s been a great year because so many of you have taken part.

All year long I have sort of been a “preacher” for AACA’s future during my various visits to National Meets and Tours where I was asked to speak. A preacher you say? Yes, at each stop I’ve reminded our members of the need to sign up more new young adult members, and to take time to get to know better, those young adult members we already have. Who are young adults? They are members who are settled into making their mark at work, buying a home, raising a family, buying the family car, putting their children through all the levels of schooling. Usually they are, these days, members somewhere around 25 to 50 years of age. Why the great push for more new and active members in this age group? This is because my own generation is aging. It is time to be looking toward the next generation to carry the AACA into the future until our youth members themselves become young adults.

I know you may be tired of me talking about this issue, so I’ll move onto some other subjects. Let’s talk about the ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE magazine for a moment. I’ll bet you’ve noticed a few changes already, but many more are on the way over the next couple of years. These will be exciting changes that will give the magazine a whole new look, and you will notice a lot more interesting articles. There will be articles on all of the different vintage areas so that in every issue, no matter if you enjoy brass cars, vintage cars, Great Depression era cars, post-war cars, Fabulous Fifties cars or cars of the muscle era. You will almost always find something addressed just to you in our magazine. It may be “how to” or “where I found it” or “why I bought it” or “how I restored it” or “what and/or who was responsible for bringing it onto the automotive scene” or “why it disappeared”. The stories can be endless. We expect to have some color move into the interior of the magazine. Just wait, good things are on the way. If you live in Spearville, KS and have never met another member or attended a National event, there will be something in the magazine to make you breathlessly await its arrival each issue.

What would you think of a TV program dedicated to finding, showing, enjoying and restoring antique automobiles at their factory-fresh, restored to stock best? Yes, it is something we’re working on. Stay tuned in to see if we can pull it all off.

You’ll be excited by the changes in our Touring structure. There will be all the touring you can want, but not more than you can enjoy. I’ve always been a great believer that the Editor of the Region or Chapter newsletter is the person who has the greatest influence on making the local groups successful. We can expect no less of our national magazine.

Did you notice the new way of balloting for National Directors? For the first time, ballots were not to be mailed back to National Headquarters, but to an independent contractor for counting. And, the new by-laws call for three Election Judges to oversee the balloting.

Next year we have almost a full slate of National Meets and Tours. All but one available National activity has been filled for 2005 by our hardworking National Activities Vice President Sharon Lee and her team.

With each passing day I become more excited by all of the new promotions and changes the AACA leadership has accomplished as well as those that are in our sights. AACA is being led by our new Executive Director, Steve Moskowitz, with great new plans, new ideas, hard bartering with venders to reduce expenses. Again, stay tuned. Great new things are waiting in the wings.

I would like to personally thank all of the people with whom I have had the opportunity to shake a hand, talk to or listen to, be with and laugh with as I’ve traveled all over the USA during 2004.

Finally, I wish to challenge each of you one last time to sign up at least one new young adult member before this year is over.

 

Hershey Thoughts

By Joe Gagliano
VP Regions

Hello, its time for the Fall issue of the Rummage Box. I’d like to share with you the results of my casual survey of newsletter editors concerning the distribution of the Rummage Box. Thanks to all of you that responded. The bottom line is we have mixed results and requirements. Your input was split, with no particular medium of communicating being preferred over the others. There just wasn’t a majority vote for any of the choices. So we will keep it the way we have been doing it, and I’ll pursue what can be done to upgrade our mailings from bulk to first class.

Thanks again for your input and your dedication to our club and your members as newsletter editors.

Joe Gagliano

I am not sure how many articles have been written in our club newsletters about our infamous Eastern Fall Meet, or most notably referred to as just HERSHEY, but as I return from our 33rd annual pilgrimage there are a couple thoughts that came to me while working the membership trailers, I’d like to share.

First, how many new members we signed and existing members that renewed that don’t belong to a local chapter or region; secondly how many members and visitors from foreign countries we host at Hershey and our other events and activities.

Membership and participation in our national organization is truly a rewarding experience, our national structure, organization and available resources provide our membership great opportunities for friendship, activities, research, entertainment and competition. Similarly there is a tremendous source of these very same opportunities at the local level in our chapters and regions. Local clubs provide many of these same rewards and benefits and more, just closer to home! Interaction and exposure with chapter and region members provide grass roots knowledge and experience with local car buffs. Looking for a car, a mechanic or service becomes a little easier when you have others with the experience. Plus local clubs offer new friends, closer activities and fun. Unfortunately there are many members of national that don’t join local clubs. The challenge of the local clubs is to identify these folks, introduce them to your group inform them of the benefits of your group and convince them to join. There have been some recent articles that detail these steps to identify, pursue and sign up new members, I won’t repeat them, but would just like to highlight two of my favorites.

Have our national headquarters send you a list of members broken down by zip code, for the codes that encompass your region or chapter. Compare this list with your membership list; you now can determine those national members that are candidates for membership in your club. Send them a note, invite them to one of your activities, send them a newsletter and follow-up with a personal phone call. Make them welcome in your club.

Prepare 3X5 cards with information about your club, and contact names and phone numbers or e-mail address. Have your members place them on antique cars, they encounter at shows, cruise-ins, anywhere there may be an antique auto.

Very few people will walk up and ask to join your club, you need to do some real work and make an effort to sign them up. You need to identify them, contact them and sell them on your club.

One other thing, remember, its easier to retain good members than to find and sign new ones, make sure you are keeping them happy as well. Sometime you need to continue reminding (selling) them of the benefits of membership. Make sure you don’t get in a rut, make sure you have programs, activities and functions that will attract new members and retain them. When you get new members, make them welcomed and included in your organization. If you find you’re signing new members, but they only stay for a year or so, re-examine, they’re telling you something. Think about why you joined your club, think about whether some adjustments may be required, don’t discourage new ideas and suggestions.

Next, it amazes me each time I return to Hershey and experience the crowds and the sights, what a great hobby this is. I’d like to compliment the Hershey Region and the others that host our national activities and tours through the year. It is a lot of work, but can be very rewarding in terms of solidifying a club and attracting new members. Each year, I listen to the conversations in the flea market, the car corral and car show, and am intrigued by the languages that are spoken. Its fairly easy to identify Spanish, French, Italian, German and “the Queens” English, but there were even a few this year that I couldn’t recognize! Antique automobiles are a global hobby and AACA is truly a global club. We play the same important role in our regions and chapters located throughout the world, and for our member enthusiasts, as we do in the United States. I had a wonderful conversation with two new, young members from Argentina, at the membership trailer. They were definitely in our definition of “youth”. They restore cars and were in Hershey for the first time, and were enjoying the Hershey experience. They recognized the opportunities for cars, parts, services and fellowship from this event and our club. Both signed up as new members to AACA. In the recent past, AACA was part of the Tail Light Diplomacy with Cuba, Some of our Directors have met with some of our overseas chapters and regions. We are recognized in the world as a major influence on the hobby and the ongoing preservation of vehicles. There is much we share and can share with our international friends. This is one of those areas that AACA has the opportunity to grow and create affiliations with other country world clubs. When you have the opportunity, please extend the hand of friendship, warm fellowship and acknowledgement to our friends in the hobby outside the United States.

we did it, and you can too!

How to work with the SAN and effectively lobby your legislators

By Tom Cox

To many of us, it seems as though our hobby is constantly under attack from all directions.  Whether it's reformulated fuels, emissions testing or zoning laws, the constant barrage of regulation can leave you feeling less than enthusiastic about the future.  Take heart.  With a lot of determination, cooperation and hard work, you can change the destiny of the hobby, even when it involves one of the most onerous threats:  zoning.

Due to incremental growth, zoning laws are one of the least-anticipated obstacles to the continuation of the automotive hobby.  One day, you can't work on your car in the driveway, and the next year, you can't even keep your project vehicle on your own property without the threat of confiscation.  This year, Virginia hobbyists working with SEMA and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) took decisive action to secure the passage of responsible anti-zoning legislation, which would guarantee the right of hobbyists to keep at least two unregistered vehicles on their property as long as they are out of view of the public.  After three years of going to the Virginia General Assembly with legislation, the carefully laid plans of Virginia's four automotive hobbyist councils and SEMA started to take shape.

After having held local political forums to educate legislators on the needs of the automotive hobby, the four regional hobbyist councils were able to secure the necessary support of key legislators to introduce Senate Bill 204.  Senator Fred Quayle sponsored SB204, which was supported by co-sponsors Senators Brandon Bell, Roscoe Reynolds, and John Edwards.  Majority Leader Morgan Griffith of the House of Delegates, along with Delegates Orrock, Ingram, and others, backed the counterpart House bill.  Still, the bill had to navigate through the Virginia Senate and House, where significant opposition from local government officials and the Virginia Municipal League stood in the legislation's path.

The four councils, represented by Hal Hartel, Fred Fann, Bill Laurent and me, began networking with clubs throughout the state to drum up phone calls and e-mails supporting the bill.  Fortunately, we found an eager and well-prepared ally in the SEMA Government Relations Office in Washington, D.C.  At every step, Virginia hobbyists sent out action alerts in coordination with the SAN, producing spectacular results.  From all the resulting calls and e-mails pouring into Richmond, the legislators knew that we meant business.  For the next two months, I kept in constant contact with Steve McDonald of the SEMA government-relations office, who gave advice, strategy, and support for Virginia hobbyists.  Though the bill's fortunes rose and fell on a daily basis, it finally made it out of the General Assem-bly.  It now awaits the signature of Virginia Governor Mark Warner.

The lesson here is that perseverance, cooperation, and working with the SAN can result in big dividends.  Hobbyists can make a huge difference by organizing and developing statewide contacts with legislators.  If your state doesn't have organized hobbyist associations, consider becoming a member of the SAN to get the latest legislative information.  Join a club like the Antique Automobile Club of America, and then work on forming your legislative council.  It worked for us.  It can work for you too!!

[Editor's Note:  Tom Cox is President of the Southwest Virginia Car Council and Eastern Chairman of Legislative Affairs for the Antique Automobile Club of America.  The SEMA Action Network is indebted to Tom and the other Virginia councils for their tireless work and unflagging efforts in getting this hobbyist-friendly legislation passed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.]

 

Your 2004 National activities committee continues to wok for you

By Sharon M. Lee
Vice President- National Activities

 

The Fall Board Meeting in Hershey is behind us and many more applications were presented and approved for the upcoming years. The 2005 calendar has a lot of fun filled events waiting for all hobbyists to enjoy. The activity cards are printed and all you have to do is make your plans to attend and participate in as many events as possible to increase your enjoyment of AACA. There were a few changes proposed and passed by the board to the Policy and Procedure Manual concerning the National Meet and National Tour Guidelines, and these will be printed in the updated copy. Flea markets and car corrals are now permitted in conjunction with all meets including the Grand National beginning in 2005.

When applying to host a National Meet or Tour remember that all requests (applications) must be submitted to the VP of National Activities by December 31 of the year preceding the scheduled event to allow adequate time for board approval, advanced planning, advertising and notification of all concerned. Beginning in 2006 there will be two National Divisional Tours available to be held each year, with one in the Central Division and one in the Eastern Division in even number years and one in the Southeastern Division and one in the Western Division during odd number years.

While we have worked hard this year to fill the 2005 calendar, as well as receiving several applications for upcoming years, I still have a few open events for 2006 and beyond, and will gladly send you an application to host a National Meet, National Tour or Divisional Tour. Feel free to contact me at:

Sharon Lee, Vice President National Activities

340 Old Plantation Trail

Travelers Rest, SC 29690, (864) 834-8683

sllee@mindspring.com

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