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lgray001 Avatar
lgray001 Larry Gray
Lexington, VA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR7 "POS-2"
1979 Triumph TR7 "The Money Pit"
I guess I'm just whining, but my club dues are coming up and I'm thinking of not renewing.

The members of this British Car Club, are all older people, like me. The reason I joined in the 1st place was to meet people and learn new skills.

This club has an annual car show and a winter party. They have a few driving events and a trash pickup.

It seems as though no one works on a car. They all take them to someone for maintenance. There are no younger members (less than 60). There are no monthly or bi-monthly club meetings.

I tried to interest the club president in having a tech meeting, he said, "Yeah, we had one a few years ago". He said I could try to set one up, so I contacted a local sports car restoration company and he said he'd host one. Contacting the president and club officials, I asked for a date to set the meeting; I did that again, and again, and again. I finally gave up.

I also suggested a mentorship meeting at a high school or trade school. Same results. This is with three different presidents.

I've gotten more comradery and information from this forum where there is no face to face contact, than I've had in three years club membership.

I'd like your comments.

Larry

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POW Peter Wirth
HEBRON, NH - New Hampshire, USA   USA
I feel your pain Larry. My club has grown from a few original like minded British car nuts to a club with enough members now so we have chapters having separate meetings. Within the chapters there are folks like yourself and those that can and do just throw money at there car. Keep in mind Larry, you are probably not the only one who feels like you do. It could be touchy but maybe you could find out who in the club may also feel like you and start an informal drivers and hands on gathering of your own. No dues, no formal meetings, just like minded enthusiasts. - Pete

Sierra 6 Avatar
Sierra 6 Steve W
Buckeye, AZ, USA   USA
Wow ! You have certainly put in the effort. Must be different regions / owners / involvement in the hobby.
The local club I belong to is very active with driving events and lunches / dinners, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, my Wife and I still work and most of these events are scheduled during the week.

Is this an all British club, or Triumph specific ?

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lgray001 Avatar
lgray001 Larry Gray
Lexington, VA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR7 "POS-2"
1979 Triumph TR7 "The Money Pit"
All British club.

lgray001 Avatar
lgray001 Larry Gray
Lexington, VA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR7 "POS-2"
1979 Triumph TR7 "The Money Pit"
I know I can't speak for the members, but at the functions I have attended, only one member has mentioned working on his car and unfortunately he lives 100+ miles from me.

gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
Larry, How many members in the club? It's possible that the active members are suffering from burn-out as a result of the demands of putting on a show each year. This is not uncommon. I belonged to a club that was, at one time, centered around the use of our Triumphs. Over the years, that changed to putting on a car show, and minimal driving of the cars. Eventually, I left that club, as I have always been one who enjoys driving my cars, first and foremost.



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

Xseries Brian Ridley-Jones
WATERLOOVILLE, Hampshire, UK   GBR
Dam - I would like to buy you a beer and come to your next meeting, but sadly the cost of shipping my car to the USA and then a flight over would not make it economic. Is there a more active all marque club ? Near where I am there is a Classic Car Club that caters for ALL cars over 20 years old so 1920 Fords through 1960s Jaguars to 1980 Rolls Royce and Triumph, BMW, Citroen 2CV, Fiat, Buick etc etc all turn up. I must confess I do not work on my own car anywhere near as much as I did back in 1984!

Brian

brucejon Avatar
brucejon Gold Member Bruce Jones
Santa Cruz, CA, USA   USA
1960 Triumph TR3A
1963 Triumph TR3B "Tupperware TR3"
1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII
1972 Triumph TR6
I belong to two clubs. One, everyone works on their cars. The other, only one or two, the rest pay mechanics, and events are more high end. It is amazing the difference, rach has gi8d peiple, but different priorities. Me, I think I like working on it as much as driving it.



60 TR3A (red), 62 TR3B project, 72 TR6, 69 Mk3 Spitfire EU setup
https://spitfiremk3.wordpress.com

LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, CO, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
1979 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
I used to belong to two different MG clubs but both 250 miles from me. Too far to reasonably attend their monthly meetings or activities. That was well and fine until one dropped their web site and I got zero in return for the yearly dues. A year end report of any activities or where the meagor dues went would have been nice..but nothing. So I dropped out of both. 6 years ago I had coffee one morning with another out of town MG owner and a Spitfire owner. The MG owner said that we should form a club in our area. I told him that if he wanted a regular club with dues, officers and a book of rules I wasn't interested in forming one. If on the other hand he wanted a "group" with none of the afore mentioned I was all in. I already knew of quite a number of British car owners in my area. So we went with that. We found a place to have breakfast and have a standing breakfast meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month. We schedule a number of drives over the course of the Spring Summer and fall. When you go to breakfast there may be 3 people there or there might be 25...you never know. I put together e mails, addresses, cities (as we are scattered all over the western half of Colorado) and phone numbers. I started sending out emails fairly regularly to try and find out what things the people would like to do...I got little response. A good majority do their own work if it isn't too serious.... others do zero work and I have had more than I can count at my place to have me either work on their cars or help them. We do have a few mid 20's fellas in the group but for the most part most are at or very near retirement. To encourage people to drive their LBC's I created an annual driving mileage award that has gotten small participation. Early on I asked people to pick a month and create an group activity... most did nothing... a couple did just what i hoped for... others came up with ideas but expected someone else to do all the leg work...yes it takes work to put things together. Others wanted some events that would have required insurance.... which would have meant dues and money.... nope.

I have been the facilitator so to speak for the last 6 years. It's time for somebody else to take the helm but no one will step up. One of the original fellas tried for a bit several years ago but it just as well have been nobody. He refused to reachout to any new owners that we might come across and didn't do any work.... and yes it is work...even for a non group. We manage to have some good times and help for working on the cars can be found... maybe not locally....but it can be found. Had a group of maybe 10 or so that showed up at my place to help (and I use that term loosely) install a sway bar on the front of a fellas MG TD. So all I can say is you want something to happen? You have to make it happen..... you pick the date....check and make sure that you aren't conflicting with possible car show...or drives if you have any and throw it out there. People either show up or they don't. Thats all you can do.

Take the bull by the horns... make it what you want... We started out thinking we needed a web site, so somebody created one...nobody used it. What we also did was create a group face book page and it's fairly active. We have roughly 60 members of our group but our FB page has over 250 from people all over the world. Two or 3 in our group can usually be counted on to be at all of the drives and whatever events we have. Myself and another fellow take lots of photo's and videos and post the on the page and youtube as well..... I have also been doing a year in review for the last 4 or 5 years....the reason is to try and encourage others to get out and join us... maybe you could do the same? Best of luck.

LaVerne Avatar
LaVerne LaVerne Downey
Fruita, CO, USA   USA
1954 MG TF "Green Hornet"
1969 MG MGB
1979 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
Might add ... we did a group effort to create our own car badge... some also got hats,signs etc... Older Triumph owners will get the meaning behind the group name.


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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Larry,

My feeling on the subject of club membership is if they have a magazine or newsletter I'll support them with my dues. But there's nothing like in person events, it's easier to ramble and go off topic face to face than it is on the internet. I've found the informal monthly coffee and donuts or pizza meetings the easiest to do and usually the most fun.

DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, CT, USA   USA
As a club newsletter editor I am pleased to hear that receiving a newsletter is a valued part of club membership (Kevin's post) and the lack of communication (LaVerne's post) is a big negative. Putting out a newsletter, especially during the winter in the Northeastern US when there are few events to feature, can be a lot of work but I believe that it is an important part of a club's offerings to its members.

That said, the real benefit of a club is the face-to-face activities that Kevin identifies and in that respect a club ends up being as enjoyable as its members make it. I am usually disappointed at the turnout to a lot of events organized by the two clubs I belong to. It can become a vicious circle: nobody comes to the events so nobody organizes anything. I organized a tech session last year hosted by a nationally-renowned expert in his field and was disappointed when we got 8 people including me from the two clubs combined.

I still think it's worth persevering. If things have reached something of a low ebb it can be difficult to turn the trend around. I ran a tour to a winery that didn't attract a lot of people but those that came enjoyed it. Word does get around if events were fun and you can build up something of a regular group of people who turn out for things, but it won't happen overnight.

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Neville,

TWOA puts out an excellent publication and I look forward to it's arrival. It's full of tech tips and wedge happenings, exactly the stuff I like. Also don't worry to much about lack of attendance for club events, it's the norm, in my experience, don't take it personally. I feel your disappointment about putting on a big tech session and almost nobody showing up, a few years ago the JHPS(Jensen-Healey club)got Lee Mueller to speak at a club meeting and about 7 or 8 guys showed up. Just in case you don't know him, Lee Mueller was Joe Huffaker's hired gun back in the '70s and won national championships in both the Jensen-Healey as well as the TR7. What they did though that was really smart was video tape it and put out a VHS(yeah, it was awhile ago)and make it available to JHPS members.

TR8todd Avatar
TR8todd Todd Kishbach
Mass, USA   USA
1977 Triumph TR7 "Rally Fraud"
1978 Triumph TR8
1979 Triumph TR7
1980 Triumph TR8    & more
I pretty much gave up on the club thing a long time ago. There are a bunch of TR8 owners around here that I get together with for both car and social events. There are also a bunch of other sports car guys around. Grassroots Motorsports website is a great place to find local like minded enthusiast. On any given warm weekend, you could see a Mazda rotary, a right hand drive JDM car, Porsche, lesser British cars, etc. parked in my driveway. My garage has become some kind of unofficial hangout spot. Many of those guys were met thru the GRM site. Sure beats hanging around with some stoggy old guy talking about his XJ6. In full disclosure, I'm 53 so that kind of puts me smack in the middle of my older Brit car friends and the younger GRM crowd. There are other avenues to meet sports car people that want to participate in more than just parking their cars on a grass field.

DerbyRam54 Neville Wardle
Branford, CT, USA   USA
Kevin, the Wedge Owner's magazine is truly an example of what a car club magazine should be. I downloaded the free sample and thought it was excellent. I ran a couple of TR7s back in the 80s until they succumbed to rust, sadly my Navigator does not like the wedge at all. She's very supportive of the hobby and is happy to get her grubby clothes on and help work on cars but she thinks the wedge just looks too modern. At least she agreed to the purchase of a Stag, which at least has a sort of sibling engine.

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