The Rummage Box - April 1998
Published quarterly by the Regions Committee Antique Automobile Club of America
It is a tremendous honor and certainly a great pleasure to serve as AACA President this year.
As AACA enters its 63rd year with over 56,000 members worldwide, we are very excited about the status of our organization. Our Library and Research Center continues to grow and maintain the position as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country. The exciting museum project is moving steadily along, and through the very generous support of our members the construction phase of our museum project draws closer to becoming reality.
But most importantly, our ongoing programs to promote and maintain a strong membership in AACA must continue to be supported. The "I-Got-A-Member" program, the junior membership, and the youth award program are most valuable in attracting new members and retaining them through the years. We must develop additional programs to interest a new generation of antique automobile hobbyists. I feel that the future of AACA rests with our younger members. For this reason, throughout 1998 we will be exploring many ways for our regions and chapters as well as the national organization to interest more antique car enthusiasts in becoming part of AACA.
I have chosen my theme for this year - "Participate and Communicate in 98" - both parts of which are important to the well being of our great organization. So plan to become more involved this year. Attend as many national and regional events as possible. Help communicate the good word about AACA. By doing these things, you will increase your enjoyment of our great hobby and help insure the strength of our organization.
Newsletter Contest Announced for 1998
Vice President, Publications
The AACA Publications Committee for 1998 has been appointed and applications for the 1998 Newsletter Contest are ready to be mailed to all Regions and Chapters.
The Publications Committee encourages each local club to enter this contest. It's a great opportunity for your newsletter to gain some recognition and you have the opportunity to participate in the newsletter exchange with other clubs.
To enter the contest, complete the application when it is received from National Headquarters. An application will be sent to each editor listed on the Officer Reporting Form. If no editor is listed, the application is sent to the club President. NOTE: If you participated in the contest in 1997, a new application must be submitted for 1998!
A copy of each issue of your newsletter is to be sent to the following 1998 Publications Committee members:
President Thomas F. Howard
P.O. Box 22130
Knoxville, TN 37933
Vice President, Publications
541 Forest Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23322
AACA National Headquarters
c/o Jeanne Smith
P.O. Box 417
Hershey, PA 17033
Sterling E. Walsh
Asst. Vice President, Publications
17525 Grace Rd.
Hampstead, MD 21704
Earl L. Muir
RD #5, Box 82
Ligonier, PA 15658
Janet M. Ricketts
2941 Magnolia Trace
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
No other copies need to be sent to National officers. This may be a good time to review your distribution list and remove names that no longer need to get copies of your newsletter.
NOTE: If your budget prohibits newsletter distribution to each member of the Publications Committee, you must request a waiver of this requirement by writing to the Vice President, Publications. You must request a waiver for the 1998 contest even if your Region or Chapter was granted a waiver for 1997. Your request for a waiver will receive a written response. If a waiver is granted, you are still required to forward one copy to National Headquarters.
If you are an Editor and do not receive an application, please contact Jeanne Smith at National Headquarters. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to your participation in 1998!
Director, AACA Library & Research Center Board
Do you need to find the owner's manual to the automobile you're restoring? Curious to know how it was originally advertised or how Motor Age reviewed it? The AACA Library and Research Center has the answers! During 1997, the Center staff, led by Librarian Kim Miller responded to 1286 requests for just such information.
The L&RC has helped many auto historians discover the materials they couldn't find anywhere else. An extensive collection of early automotive books, periodicals, catalogs, and other materials is easily accessible. Additionally, the L&RC has recently added a COLOR COPIER to its inventory, to help provide you with accurate reproductions of original literature.
The L&RC is always looking for donations of suitable material. The following is a small sampling of sales brochures and manuals that the L&RC could use:
Do you wish to donate your services to the Library? Your help is needed to staff the Library's Information Table at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia each February, and at the Library Tent during the Hershey Fall Meet each October. Please consider joining the Friends of the Library.
All donations of time or material are gratefully accepted. For information, please contact the L&RC at 717-534-2082.
Getting Young People Interested and Involved
1997 Vice President, Membership
1. Visit one or two high schools in your area. Tell students about your region/chapter and AACA. "Adopt" a student and invite him, with his car, to your clubhouse or a member's home to assist and teach fundamentals in car maintenance such as oil and fluid changes, brake work, ignition problems, safety, etc. These kids often don't have the facilities or tools to work on their cars. Do this regularly, and follow up on them, making them welcome at functions or shows. If his car is modified, remember it's his and he loves it, and he can still learn much from us.
2. Encourage youngsters in your circle of members (including grandchildren) to plan, on their own, an outing or program for a meeting.
3. Display kids' hobbies and crafts at meetings or car shows.
4. Use "flashcards" to help kids gain recognition of vehicles of various makes and year models. Kids can help with this.
5. At fund-raising events such as garage sales, etc., give kids an opportunity to sell their own unwanted items, or items they have made. Use the monies raised from their efforts to fund a kids party.
6. Assign kids to be "pages" at your shows. They can hand out flyers, help with check-ins, serving food, running errands, assisting disabled persons, and general clean-up.
7. Sponsor contests and games, preferably car-related, for kids. They have good ideas - ask them.
8. Help kids organize a car wash for members' cars. They'll learn to be more careful and will learn about detailing. Use the money raised to support some special event just for them.
9. Be sure they have their own identity, perhaps with their own shirts, caps, etc. Encourage them to form a junior chapter, electing their own officers.
10. Regularly present educational programs geared to young people. Conduct Jr. Judging Schools, introducing them to AACA judging and the basics.
11. Consider purchasing a bike or pedal car and assisting youngsters with restoration.
12. Kids don't always want to do what the grownups do. Plan something that would interest and excite them when you are working up itineraries.
13. For all functions concerning kids, appoint one of them to be their photographer. Purchase an album just for their use. Help them maintain it, and display it at shows, etc.
14. Utilize your local library's bulletin boards for advertising kids' programs and clubs. Chambers of Commerce and civic clubs are good sources to get the word out that AACA loves kids. Place an ad in the newspaper reporting kids' events, and name names.
15. Ancient City Region, AACA, in St. Augustine, FL, started an excellent program. They put the idea to the Activities Director of their middle school for the "Sebastian Middle School Antique Auto Club." The club met every Friday during the school year between 2 and 3 PM. It was open to any 6th, 7th, or 8th grader, and was led by the Activities Director.
The students discuss topics of interest about antique cars and study different makes and models of the antique auto past. They play a simulation game where they are given a budget to buy a car. They must look through want ads and find a car they would like to restore, and then work out a budget to either buy or rebuild the car.
The Region members make visits to the school with some of their vehicles. They share information and advice, and encourage the school club to grow and learn. Other teachers and their classes have become interested, and the local newspaper gave them good coverage with an article and photos. Members gave demonstrations on how their cars operated. They invited the students to take closer looks, and they were given rides around the school grounds. This Region feels that as long as there are youngsters who love old cars, and if they are encouraged, we will see them follow us in our hobby for years to come.
President, Roanoke Valley Region
Winners of the 1997 I.C. Kirkham Membership Award*
Membership is a very important part of our antique auto hobby. Each year a percentage of members do not renew their memberships. If our region does not get new members, pretty soon our region membership would be down to nothing.
1997 was a very good year for membership increase in the Roanoke Valley Region. A lot of our members worked very hard at recruiting new members; we had 25 new members by the end of April and 50 by the end of July. The first thing we knew we had set our sights for 100 new members and, by the end of December, the RVR actually signed 103 new members for the year. Of this 93 were new members to National AACA also.
How do we make new members feel welcome? Each month when we have our dinner and business meeting, I make a special effort to spot and get the names of any new people so they can be properly introduced. When it comes time to go through the buffet line for dinner, new members are first in line.
Car shows are the best source of new members. I go to each vehicle and check the windshield card name. If the name is not in our roster then he or she is considered a very good prospect for membership.
It really takes two people to work membership at a car show. One person stays at the membership booth and the other person checks all the cars. If he finds someone who is interested in joining the RVR, he or she is taken to the membership booth to fill out the application. This allows time so that everyone can be interviewed.
While judging is a very important part of any car show, I consider new members equally as important. For this reason, our membership chairman is never assigned to a judging team. He or she stays with the membership booth and canvasses the show for new members.
* The I.C. Kirkham Membership Award is awarded at the AACA Annual Meeting to the Region or Chapter with the greatest membership gain according to a weighted formula that considers the number of new National members acquired and the percentage of increase in membership.
Membership Benefits of the AACA Web Site
Peter M. Gariepy
Editor, AACA Web Site
The AACA is a huge organization, with hundreds of resources and individuals who can help you restore your car, organize your club, put on a meet or tour, or just about anything else you would need related to our hobby. Sometimes finding those resources or individuals can be a challenge. That's where the AACA web site can help.
It contains listings of all national officers, directors and chair people, many with e-mail addresses. They are the perfect starting point for much of the information you may need. The site also contains dozens of other resources you would typically find in printed form, either in Antique Automobile or through miscellaneous publications provided by the National organization. They include the Judges Manual, Newsletter Editors Manual, List of Regions and Chapters, Film and Video List, Legislative Information, and current and past issues of the Rummage Box.
Having this information handy on the AACA web site will save you time and improve the quality and timeliness of information you provide to your local members. No more time spent searching through reams of printed materials, or having to type in information again, find it right on the web site.
Local regions and chapters can participate in AACA web site two ways:
1) Contribute to the site by providing current information for the calendar of events;
2) Create your own Region or Chapter web site with local information. For details on how to do either of these contact me at email@example.com.
The AACA web site can be found at the following URL: http://www.aaca.org. Some information in the AACA web site in for "club eyes only". To access this information you'll need to enter a user name and password. Here they are:
User Name: aaca
NOTE: Case is important. Make sure you type it all in lowercase.
If you have ideas on how to improve on the AACA web site, do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on the Internet.
[Ed: Five Regions have taken the opportunity to link their web sites with the AACA web site. The following are their comments when asked how the web site had affected their membership drives.]
Mark DeFloria, Secretary, Western PA Region, AACA: The Western PA Region has received two requests for applications from our web pages. These have been very recent, and to my knowledge not returned to the club yet.
The number of people visiting our site has increased dramatically since we have been linked to AACA's National web page. We are receiving a steady flow of e-mail and to a lesser degree signatures to our Guest Book. Everything so far has been very positive.
I originally developed our pages to advertise our Regions events. The prospect of receiving new members from our pages is very exciting.
Paula Rothmann, Web Manager for the Florida West Coast Region, AACA: As of yet we haven't received any new members from our home page but our page is still new we have received several hits to the page though and people asking information and will visit. I know when I started with the AACA I was looking for information out there on my car and couldn't find any. So I made my own page for people like me looking for information.
Randall and Nell Owen, Web Managers for the Northern Alabama Region, AACA: Although we can't say that we've gotten any new members through the web site as of yet, we have had a number of people e-mail us about the site. All have been complimentary of the site and are glad to know the region has its own web page. Several have asked questions related to building a site for their regions. Also we've had a lot of traffic from our local region members visiting the site for calendar updates, etc.
James Killian, Web Manager for the Central Alabama Region, AACA: Not Yet. But this, I believe, that will come to be more of an opportunity in the years to come. As the web is used more by the generation X members. In a club of about 40 members I can count only eight or nine that are on-line. As the generation X gets more into the antique car scene I am sure that we may pick up members via our web page. I also have our page linked from other antique car related pages.
Glenn Seymour, Internet Editor for the St. Lawrence-Adirondack Region, AACA: We put an offer to send a copy of the current newsletter to interested parties on our web site a while ago. We have gotten a half a dozen requests. Some were from people who used to live here in northern NY and were interested to see what was going on back here. A couple were from other NY State car clubs looking to exchange newsletters, and the most recent one was from someone here in St. Lawrence County who was interested.
So, in answer to your questions, we have not had a new member directly from the web site, but it has netted us a few inquiries and may yield more as more people get on the "Net." We get quite a few requests to exchange links with commercial outfits providing services to old car folks, and that will increase our visibility.
As far as we know, we were the first regional web site to be linked to the National site last April. This is a new technology, so I'm sure it will take a while before members really start making use of these new possibilities. There is a lot of material available about the hobby on the Internet and it is increasing each month. The international possibilities are particularly exciting.
We have fun with our site and it's always nice to contact others in this great hobby.
[ED: To visit these web sites, click on "Links" in the AACA web site. Contents include members' e-mail addresses, new member's car photos, calendar of events, restoration resources, and ... MORE!!!]
Plans in Place For 3rd Annual AACA Museum Exposition
President, AACA Museum
Circle May I, 2, & 3 on your calendar for the annual AACA Museum Expo to be held again on the Green Field in Hershey, PA. This year's expo will have plenty of new features plus several features held over from last year. This would make a great outing for your Region/Chapter to attend! No admission and free parking on the grounds is available each day
The activities get started on Friday, May I with the automotive flea market, car corral and craft sales. The car corral will have vehicles for sale up through 1987. The craft sales will have handmade arts, crafts, and giftware with plenty of items to select from. And the flea market will attract many of the usual vendors that come to Hershey in the fall, with the car part that you may be needing.
Saturday will feature the car show with 28 classes outlined. You can register your vehicle on the day of the show, prior to 11:00 AM, although pre-registration is recommended. Dash plaques to all pre-registered vehicles plus three awards to be made in each class of vehicles (through 1973). A display class of vehicles from 1974 through 1981 is also featured. All judging is by popular vote. Awards will be made at 3:00 PM Saturday.
On Sunday; a marque car show will be held with an incentive offered to the club with the most paid entries (other than AACA Clubs). Vehicles through 1980 will be displayed by club affiliation with no judging taking place at this event.
During all three days,. a NASCAR racer and a dirt track racer will be on display. Also, new this year is a display of farm tractors, machinery and hit-or-miss stationary engines. Raffles will also be held. All proceeds from this event are going to support the AACA Museum to he built on Route 39, just one mile north of Hershey.
Plan to come to this annual event and support the AACA Museum. There will be plenty to see, food vendors will be available on the field each day, and you will get to see many friends that you haven't seen since last October at Hershey!
Projecting an Image A few tips on how to show films or videos to your club
Video Operations, AACA Regions Committee
Several of you have told me that you think AACA's video tapes are a great idea for a small group, but they just haven't worked for your larger organization. It's true that watching one 19" TV set isn't an enjoyable experience for a group of much more than 25 people. The simple answer is to use more than one TV set, placing them in the meeting room where the most people can easily see them. You can connect your VCR up to as many TVs as you like with a simple antenna splitter and some coax cable which can be purchased at Radio Shack, or any Home Center.
The key point is to place your monitors so your audience doesn't have to look through someone's head to see the screen. Experienced audio-visual experts recommend putting them towards the comers of the room, rather than straight ahead. If you have a choice, borrow or rent at least 27" televisions. In this case, bigger is definitely better.
Sometimes the video format really isn't as easy to use as the original film. If that's the case, you're better off borrowing, renting, or even buying a 16mm projector and screen. If you shop around at auctions and flea markets, you can frequently find them in good condition for less than $100.00. Most schools no longer use films, so your local school district can be a good source for a "previously owned" projector. Check with them to see if they have a sale corning up. Generally speaking, the original 16mm film will always produce a better picture with more detail than a VHS video copy. Unfortunately, our club's films are deteriorating. The question isn't picture quality, but rather "Can I get the darned thing to run through the projector without turning into a pile of confetti?" There is an option however...the video projector. There are basically two kinds of these devices, tube type and LCD (liquid crystal).
The tube type projectors are large and cumbersome. Most common are the rear screen models found in many peoples homes. Unfortunately, they usually weigh in about 150 to 250 pounds which doesn't exactly make them portable. At least one AACA region has purchased one for their meetings, which is a great idea if you have your own Clubhouse. It also works if you always use the same meeting location and your landlord doesn't mind you leaving it there between meetings. It's not hard to find a brand-new rear projection TV for as little as $1200.00 at places like Sam's Wholesale Club. You might even get one donated by someone who is redecorating their home.
Also available are tube type front-of-screen projectors which are pretty common in school classrooms and meeting facilities. They can produce an excellent large image, but require a skilled technician to set up. Unless your meeting room already has one permanently installed or you have a friend in the video business, these projectors probably aren't the way to go.
Relatively new to the scene are Liquid Crystal (LCD) Projectors from manufacturers such as Sharp, Sanyo, Sony and NEC. Currently, the picture isn't quite as good as a tube type set, but. ..what they give up in quality, they more than make up for in convenience and portability. A typical unit weighs in at 15 or 20 pounds. It's about as hard to use as a slide projector. You simply place it on a table, plug in your VCR, turn it on and point it to the screen. Most have a zoom lens which makes filling the screen with a picture very easy. The only adjustments are ones you are already familiar with. ..Volume, color, tint, brightness and contrast, just like your TV. You can rent these projectors in most large cities. As they become more popular, the price is falling. Many businesses use them with laptop computers for sales presentations, so you might even be able to borrow one from work.
Whether you use film or video, there are a few simple rules to follow:
Chairman, Operations - Regions' Committee
Right now there are National AACA Members living in your backyard who don't belong to your local club. How can you make them into club members? You will have to reach out to them individually and show them the advantages of joining your local club, in addition to National AACA.
One way to find them involves the use of the AACA National Membership Roster that breaks down National Membership state by state. The roster is available from National Headquarters for $8.50 post paid. The 1997 roster was such a roster. AACA Headquarters still has a supply of these 1997 rosters available; contact (717)534-1910.
Now, take a map of the area surrounding your club. Be sure that it is a good scale map. Using a circle-drawing compass set to the map's scale, draw concentric circles at 10, 25, and 50 miles from a point an the map representing your city, town, headquarters or local meeting place.
Next, identify by name all towns that fall within the 10-mile circle, the 25-mile circle, and 50-mile circle. Make a list of these towns for each circle. You can find zip codes for towns in the AACA roster.
Then, go to the AACA Roster and turn to your state. Compare the lists you just made against the roster. Identify all National AACA Members living within your immediate 10,25. or 50-mile area. Cross off those names already in your club and you now have a list of potential members to recruit.
Finally, go after them: call them and invite them to a meeting or an event. Concentrate your efforts first on those inside the 10 mile circle. Then expand out. Your 50 mile circle may overlap another club's 50-mile radius and some of these people may already belong to another region. Don't ignore these people as dual membership may be of considerable interest to them. You may want to contact your neighboring club to let them know what you're doing so you don't develop any bad feelings between the clubs. Good luck and happy recruiting.
Open Calendar for Meets and Tours
1997 Vice President, National Activities
The Editors Desk
Pat Locke, Editor
The Rummage Box
In case you haven't guessed, this issue of the Rummage Box is devoted to increasing membership at the local and national level. Thanks to all our contributors for their insights and expertise. Remember, 90% of recruitment is retention, so pay attention to your new and existing members along the way. Your region/chapter newsletter is a valuable tool to this end. If you don't have one, think about starting one. Call Terry Bond, Vice President of Publications at (757)482-5222 if you need help getting started. Participate & communicate in '98.