DIVISION TOURS - PLAIN OR FANCY

Ed Baines
President, AACA

While we have the Founders, Glidden, Vintage and Reliability Tours, the Touring Committee felt we had the need for shorter and less expensive tours, so the Divisional Tours were born.

First, let's examine the reasons for the formation of these tours. The plan is to have the Regions or Chapters hold the tours for only two or three days, so they might attract:

Let's say that you would like to conduct one of the Division Tours and you belong to a small Region or Chapter and you would not have a lot of help conducting the tour. Here is how you could put on a "bare-bones" tour -- no frills, simple and inexpensive.

Saturday

7:00 AM to 9:00 AM Hand out registration envelopes with tour directions and tour plaques. 9:00 AM Tour Begins. A 50 to 100 mile scenic tour with several interesting stops along the way. 7:30 PM ice cream social on the parking lot or in the hotel (Or a porch light parade).

Sunday

Again, a 50 to 100 mile scenic tour with several interesting stops.

The tour described above is truly a "plain Jane" tour, like buying a new car without accessories. While there would be nothing wrong with running the above tour, a few "accessories' could be added. Maybe a Friday night hospitality hour or a Saturday morning breakfast. A banquet on either Friday or Saturday night would be possible.

Being able to be versatile is the beauty of conducting a Division Tour. You can make it as plain or as fancy as you want. But a word of advice, don't try to compete with a five day tour. It is designed to be a two or three day tour, keep it simple and inexpensive. In reality, a Division Tour should be an expanded version of a Region or Chapter "weekender".

Who could be invited to participate? Again, versatility! Conventionally, any car 25 years of age or older, or how about a Model '`A" tour or cars from 1929 to 1942. You can be versatile but don't be too limiting or you may end up with 25 cars instead of the 40 to 100 you probably should have.

Finally, I've tried to reason why people go on tours, and I've decided it is mainly for two reasons— antique cars and friendships. On the old car side, it is the enjoyment and challenge of driving an antique car on a tour. The thrill of driving through a small town and having people admire your car, and especially the guy who stops mowing his lawn so he can wave and smile at everyone as they pass. You think you can read his mind, for he is surely thinking, "Boy, that looks like fun, I wish I could do that". Friendship is hard to describe, but it is a powerful force that makes a tour so much more fun. We enjoy being with friends we don't see everyday and having new friends because we are with people who share our love for the antique automobile hobby. The combination of these two ideas are probably the basis for any successful tour— have everyone do some driving but arrange time for some hand shaking, story telling and reminiscing.