Clubs Good or Bad

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Car Clubs - are they a good thing or a bad thing:

Submission by ReaperHR:

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by ReaperHR

Car Clubs - should I join one? will they give me information to help me keep my car on the road? is it a waste of money and time? All these questions and many more are asked by many owners of any automobile, not just rare or classic cars. On this page I will try and help with the decision of whether you should join a car club, what you can expect etc

So far I have been in two car clubs and have friends associated with many varied clubs. A car club (especially where these old classics are concerned) is usually set up to help its members keep their cars on the road or to get that non-daily driven car club rego so that you can enjoy it occasionally being on the road. Afterall, a group of people should be far more effective than one person working alone.

Many clubs from my experience though rapidly head down hill, their committees soon become blinded to the needs of their members, they forget what truly makes the club a club, and that is the members and their cars. They become solely intent on displaying cars, getting more members on paper and getting more discounts at more stores, as well as the occasional sponsor. Where they fail is that most of the things they do end up being no better than a member can do for themselves. What's the use of a 10% club discount when a member can buy parts for trade price or less simply by buying it through their workplace?

I personally believe that clubs are a bad thing, and are only for people that need companionship (and for committee members to feel some self importance). Some clubs this isn't true and they are still there to help their members, the older and more rare car clubs come to mind, those catering for the more rare cars know how much good members and their cars are worth. Clubs that cater for the more common cars though rapidly can lose touch with their members, what's a member matter when another will join and replace them next week anyway?

My experience has been with 2 car clubs in Qld for the cars in the range of EJ to HR between them. Both clubs appeared good on paper but both clubs were let down by the attitudes of a few people who pulled all the strings. One club was run by a man who could not accept the blame of not being able to manage his own books and send cruise details etc to new financial members. The other club was run by a few individuals that were more concerned with what their wives thought than what the car enthusiasts wanted. One club was old but not very successful whereas the other was new and was attracting a lot of early interest.

I can see both clubs needing a complete restructure before they can be of any real benefit to any old holden driver. Selfishness and lack of respect was rampant in the management of both clubs.

So before you join a club and spend some of your hard earned cash becoming a financial member you need to ask yourself a few questions: 
  • Will they offer you anything that you can't already get for yourself?
  • Is the money going to be worth it?
  • Are they active?
  • Do they have a decent member base?
  • Do they have decent management and not just people who think of you as one more number down on paper?
  • Will they care about what you will bring to the table?
  • Do you need them or do they need you?
  • Do you need more friends and possibly even some more enemies?
  • Can they offer you anything that you can't already get for far cheaper or even nothing?
You may notice with many of those questions that they are along the lines of "What can the club do for me?". You need to ask yourself that question the most. Many of these clubs offer nothing that is not already available for free from sites like oldholden.com. If you have mechanical problems you are infact more likely to get decent advice and help from a fellow member of oldholden than from a member of your car club. The thing to remember is that many people who join car clubs do so because they need help with their car, how are they going to help you with your car when they need help themselves?

Now some car clubs are good, very good infact, and there are some very decent people getting around as members of car clubs. But a club is like a small slice of society, where there may be one or two people in a more common car club (with say over 100 members) that can (or will try to) help you a site like oldholden.com gives you the benefit of getting the sight of literally thousands of people per day, at a minimum that can give you ten times the experience to draw from (and likely far more than that).

So in the end my view is to give a car club a go if you really think you need it, if you don't then simply put don't bother. For those people with the more rare cars (F-series or say sandman panel vans, or monaros) there are some very good clubs available, for the rest of us there are sites like oldholden.com.

Don't spend your money and waste your time when a club will offer you less than you can get for free from oldholden.com

ReaperHR

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