Birds of a feather flock together, or so they say. Golfers have their immaculately manicured country clubs. Female Bikers have their own clubs, men has their own clubs to to co-ed.
When I sat down to write this article about what’s the right club for you, I were able to think of many reasons why you would want to join one. Interestingly, I couldn’t think of any reasons why you wouldn’t want to join car club, unless you are a loner and not a person who wants to be around alot of people all the time. Here are some of the great benefits you can expect from a car club membership – such as:
- Meeting new people who share the same interests
- Getting maintenance tips and technical advice
- Adding to the enjoyment of owning a corvette
- Keeping informed on classic car events and activities
- Raise funds for charitable causes
Most car clubs are built on some type of formal structure, each having their own rules and bylaws – although some are more casual than others. Elected officials responsible for keeping the synergy of the club alive include a president, treasurer and secretary that work on a volunteer basis. Larger organizations will have additional officers responsible for directing activities, publishing a newsletter and website/forum.
You should expect to pay some type of “dues”, typically on an annual basis. Dues are used to pay for the expenses of running the club such as postage, printing, insurance and a website. Other costs you might incur from being part of a car club are for member merchandise, proudly displaying the club’s name and logo such as T-shirts, jackets, hats and car decal.
I suggest that you do some “car club shopping” to find an organization that is right for you. When considering joining a club, ask about their activities and how frequently they occur. The most common car club activities and events are:
Most clubs will have monthly meetings, but the agenda is more important than the frequency. Meetings that don’t provide value to its members will slowly lose attendance. Find out if the club you are considering includes educational speakers or product demonstrations at any of their meetings; that would be a good indicator of a club that offers well thought out gatherings.
Clubs will often have members meet for a brunch at a restaurant within close proximity of most of their members. This can be fun for all family members, and restaurants frequently offer discounts to club members.
Almost every club should sponsor or host a car show at least once a year. Although organizing the show takes a lot of time and work, the benefits can be very enjoyable and rewarding. The proceeds from these shows can be donated to a charitable cause or used to fund other events throughout the year. Car shows attract a lot of local attention and create a wonderful opportunity to increase public awareness regarding the preservation of these historic vehicles
Rallies can be great fun for those with a competitive spirit, and clubs that organize them at least twice a year will keep members motivated to stay. Cars are instructed to drive predetermined routes over a certain period of time while obeying all the posted speed limits. Along the way, there may be several checkpoints where your time is recorded. The car with the best time, and hopefully best driving etiquette, is the winner.
Many local clubs will host Cruise Nights that are sponsored by restaurants or local merchants. These are fun social events that can be held as often as every month. This is a great way to raise public awareness of the club and attract new members. Merchants who sponsor the event are rewarded with additional customers coming through their door – who only stopped by because of all the fabulous classic cars lined up in their parking lot.
What ever your interests are regarding car club activities, the members may be what makes or breaks your decision to join. You’ll know soon enough if there’s a feeling of camaraderie with other members that motivates you to polish up your classic once a month for a meeting. Our experience with car clubs is that it’s a great place to meet interesting people that don’t get bored with all the “car talk”. They actually want to hear about how I fixed the relay that kept my ignition light on after I turned the car off which was draining my battery. It just doesn’t get any better than that!