1937 Buick Special

Me and Olivia

Me and Olivia
Click On The Picture For MOTAA Web Site

Me and "The Hell Bitch"

Me and "The Hell Bitch"
My 50th birthday gift to myself a 2004 Harley she is named after Captain Call's horse on Lonesome Dove.

I Want This Bike!

I Want This Bike!
Me On A 1942 Harley

My Favorite TV Show

The Location Of My Visitors!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Car Clubs Need New Lifeblood and A Shot In The Arm

This story is a little different than most I write. It is not quite as upbeat. I myself am at fault as much as anyone in what I am about to write about. Most of us join a club when we first get our antique cars. We join and we are all excited about showing everyone our “BABY”. We go to show after show, every cruise night, parade, picnic, and club meeting we can find. Then we join more clubs some local, some national. Then we start helping do shows. Then if you are like me you get the crazy idea to do your own show!
Then maybe your club nominates you to serve as president. You are so excited you do a good job (you think), you plan stuff for the club to do, you write stories, you do a web site. You go and go and go until one day you are just tired of going. Your car will not crank, it has nicks and pings and dirt on it. You don’t feel like you can really show it anymore in some of the past shows that it has placed high in. You are about to get in the rut that thousands of car enthusiast have found their selves in since car shows and clubs began.
You stop going to as many meetings and before you know it you missed a whole year of meetings. Your life is so hectic with work, kids, family, church, schools, and other organizations something has to give and since the old antique car doesn’t crank and look that great anymore the local car club that you are a member of and once took a very active part in is now suffering because you can’t help as much as you used to.
I myself am a member of the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association out of Shreveport. I am the past president of same club. I am also the Jr. Vice President of MOTAA. Over the last two years my attendance has become lax with my local club. I have also not been able to attend several MOTAA meetings like I should. The problem is life has gotten in the way of doing the things that I love and care about. I know many of you are in the same boat. You can only do so many things effectively!
My new job at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc. is very time consuming. I am now putting on monthly events for the museum as well as all my other duties of day to day operation of the facility. I don’t know what the answer is to dividing your time so that your club does not suffer. I want the old car hobby to thrive as I know all of you do. MOTAA has some of the same problems in a different way. The lack of renewals for membership greatly effects what the organization can do. This very magazine you are reading is paid for buy YOUR dues! It is important to renew memberships in your clubs even if you don’t go to club meetings and functions. The dues are what will keep the wheels turning in these operations even when you physical help can’t be around. So if you are like me and don’t make as many meetings as you should at least renew your memberships to all of your clubs that you were once a part of.
Another thing that is a big problem with so many antique car clubs is the age of the members. I am 50 and for a long time I was the baby of our club! I may still be. We have got to get younger folks involved in the old car hobby. I have loved old cars since I was a kid. I can stick my head in an old car and close my eyes and relive so many good memories. I am sure most of you can do that same thing. The next paragraph may give you an idea on something to do with the younger generation in your area to get them hooked on antique cars.
I know that many of you subscribe to numerous car magazines. When I was a kid Mr. Wayne Chance would bring me all of his Hemming’s Motor News Magazines. I would sit for hours and hours looking at cars and bending pages back and wishing. I would circle them and look at them just hoping that one day I would be able to own my own. If you have old magazines find some kids to give them too. You never know what might spark a kid’s interest. Take them to car shows. Especially the grandchildren, wives and other relatives that may one day inherit your car. Think about it, if they don’t have an appreciation and learn to drive that antique car of yours and mine, it will be the first thing sold after we are gone! I hope that last statement got some of your attention. It is something that I think about, every time I hear of an older club member passing on to the big car show in the sky. His or her spouse and kids may have never gone to shows, parades, and cruise night with them. They never learned to drive that Model T or A and they probably don’t know just the right technique to get old Betsy to crank.
This year at the Father’s Day show I brought my only niece Aubrie with me. It was her first time on the mountain. She even got to help with the show. She rode for the first time in a Model T. She got to meet Henry Ford III and maybe she gained a little appreciation for the hobby. She is also the one that will inherit “Olivia” the 37 Buick one day.
My local club the AACCA is at a crossroads right now, as I am sure many of your clubs are. Do we keep plodding along or do we just give up the ghost? I hope AACCA keeps plodding along, as one of oldest car clubs in the Ark-La-Tex. It would be a shame to let it die after so many years, just because of lack of support. I hate to hear of any club struggling but I know most of them do. So for all of you club members of struggling clubs, make a little effort more often to go to meetings and especially if someone has made the effort to plan something, get out and take part. It may be the last chance you have to get with your club before it is a thing of the past. So until next time keep it between the ditches and renew all of your club memberships!

Schelley Brown
Jr. Vice President of MOTAA