Challenges that hinder me recruiting for AACA


These are not complaints or things I think need changed just challenges.


 Jay Wolf


1. Meeting location the meeting are held about 70 mile from me, so by the time you stop and eat you have driven 150 mile round trip.


2. Meeting time and time change, meeting are held Wednesdays 7:30 PM (8:30 PM my time with time change) so by the time we have a meeting and program and interact it is well after midnight by the time I get home and Thursday is a work day for most.


3. Street rod mentality of area. If you canít drive it 80 mph with the air on, what good is it.


4. Lack of appreciation of original correct cars at local and area shows. Local show judges donít appreciate what it takes to keep something original and not just replace something with something that will fit and maybe work better.


5. You have to join 2 clubs. National and region, sometimes it is overwhelming.  Our club had addressed this with juniors and students as they can have a free membership in our region.


6. Lack of National AACA show in out area. People donít know what AACA is?


7. AACA has decent magazine, but not impressive for $30 a year and it is bimonthly not a monthly like most clubs. $6 a copy is a little high?


8. Competition of local clubs that donít have the vehicle restrictions AACA does.


9. Our region is very small so very few people know members.


10. In the summer we have meeting at national meets, so a lot of out ďmeetings are in the fall winter and weather and slick roads are a hindrance for the drive to the meetings.


11. Apathy, even the interest people find some reason that this is not a good week to attend; their cat had a hairball or something. I have one person who has told me and planned to attend five+ times only to cancel out the day of the meeting when I call to make arrangement to give him a ride.. I finally quit calling him figuring if he canít even make one test meeting what is the chance of him coming to any other meetings.


 12. Cost the Average per capita income is very low in Southern Indiana (That is why Toyota built the Tundra plant here).

To give you and example Knox County the county I live in 50% of householdís annual income is under $15,000 (2000 Censes).The state of Indiana had average per capita income of $24,320. To give and comparison The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had average per capita income of $49,184 over twice so, $30 a year dues is easier if you make $50K.Knox Countyís average per capita income was $18,749 most Southern Indian Counties are similar. Loverís draw area from KY is also very low in average per capita income.

So we do have a financial issue working against us.


13.Most cars in the area are modified. At the Huntingburg show aboutone fifth of the cars were AACA eligible.

For two reasons: Choice and Cost.




Robert Reinke


1.  Less population in the central states.

2.  Less $ per capita.

3.  Few automobile factories and automobile factory workers.

4.  A lot of people went west to seek adventure and new life and to leave
the old behind.

5.  The east was settled first and has more history.  I think the mentality
is different the further west you go.

6.  The west coast is 3 hours behind the east coast  -  so membership
should be 3 hours behind. ?? O.K. skip this one


John Nikodym 

 My challenges to getting new members agree very much with the ones that you have listed. 

One biggie is distance and number of interested people.  Population in Nebraska is quite sparse compared to the eastern states.  Our local region currently has about 20 members of which maybe half are somewhat active and the distance from farthest members is 200 miles +. 

A centrally located meeting still means that most members will have to travel at least 80 miles one way. 

Many meetings/activities are 100 to 150 miles from me. 

I also see the lack of appreciation of original cars/ hot rod mentality as a major factor. 

On the other hand I do feel that many people do not know anything about AACA.  

We also live in a "poor" area in that household income is not real high which limits the number of potential members. 

As far as lowering the cost of joining....If they cannot afford to pay dues they cannot afford to play with cars either/ People find money for what they are interested in.   

I do agree that students could be offered a price break to get them interested so when they do have an income they are already involved in the club.  I agree with Bob Reinke's thoughts about concentrating efforts on youth. 


 Chuck Crane

1.  Distance is an issue given the size of Texas; most members have never visited another Region meeting as they're at least 150 miles apart.  People do make it to the annual Texas Tour which is primarily sponsored by AACA groups (not National)-we just finished the 52nd one held in Galveston last weekend.

2.  Few members have ever attended a National Event as they're typically a thousand miles away.  Same is true of the Annual Meeting which is always held in Philadelphia in February and never moved around the country like other national clubs do.

3.  AACA is relatively unknown in Texas-There have only been a few National Meets, primarily in the Dallas area.  (Central Texas AACA is sponsoring the 2006 National Spring Meet in Waco-first time ever in the central part of Texas).

4.  AACA tends to attract older people so their cars are seldom seen except on tours-not many go to cruise nights like the street rodders do.

5.  National has a good youth program, but we have no real sales material to attract the empty nest 45-50 year old set who have the money and time to play with old cars.  Contrast that with Goodguys (we belong to that organization as well) and you see stuff on them in Hemmings and other publications.

6.  I think there's a perception that to be in AACA, you must have an absolutely perfect stock car capable of at least a 1st Junior in shows-never a driver-just a trailer queen.  Very few (including the members of my Region) even know about the Driver Participation Class (DPC) or HPOF for original vehicles.

7.  Although the dues are an issue, I agree with John Nikodym that people find the money for what they are interested in.  I do think that West Peterson's work on the new Antique Automobile helps raise the value received from the dues to National.

8.  In my area there is a view that National does nothing for the Regions.  We engineered a January visit from 2 National Directors-the first in the 45 year existence of the Gulf Coast Region.

9.  It's getting tougher to find a "Sparkplug" in the Regions who knows National Officers, Judges, or Shows/Attends National Meets or Tours.  Maybe each Region needs to appoint a Liaison to stay in contact with the Division chairpeople (or use posts on the website like are done for the Editors) so that the linkage can exist and provide new info for discussion at club meetings.

10.  Lack of tolerance by our members for modified cars-we lost 3 good members because one lady let them know that they should "be with their own kind" and not with AACA-even though their cars were not radically modified.  Those individuals told me that they liked to drive their old cars and made drivetrain changes for reliability and comfort.  They definitely understood that these could never be shown under AACA and fully appreciated why AACA takes its stance on Authenticity.  But they were made to feel unwelcome.

11.  An observation from attending 2 Goodguys National Shows in Des Moines and Columbus, Ohio last summer (we're vendors in arts/crafts) is that many of the cars are rock stock except for wheels and with that simple change could actually be competitive in AACA.  The Des Moines show had 2100 cars, the Columbus show over 6000.  What are we missing here?

12.  It's a tough nut to crack in the Midwest and the West since there are few regions and shows-contrast that with the many regions close together in the East where you can probably attend a sizable AACA Region sponsored event nearly every weekend-within easy driving distance.


Joe Goss

1 There are a lot of local clubs that have good activities.

2 There are many car activities in the area.

3 There is not enough time to want to add more clubs such as AACA into everyone's schedule.

4 Good or different events are what draws interest. ( Build it  and they will come)

5 VMCCA has a lot of activities and folks join to be able to participate. Some activities came under their wing for insurance purposes that now gains them new manditory members.( Example - Grand Indiana Auto Tour)

6 We all weed out clubs and magazines and such every once and a while. What makes our decisions?

7 Is there some special event such as Hershey to keep us in?

8 Do we really like the activities that club does?

9 Do we have special friends in the club that keeps us there.

10 Would a local affiliation help?

11 Might AACA be an umbrella club with local clubs  under it. and not be overly restrictive to these clubs.

12 Could membership be non-exclusive?

13 We gave a try at doing the local AACA region, White River Valley. They were good people and put effort in good activities. There were just too many other things going on also, so we dropped out and I could not even tell you if they are still active. 

14 Printed material such as the "Antique Automobile" might draw some people if it were available for prospective people to see.

15 AACA has a great web page which sort of acts like that umbrella I mentioned earlier.

16 Maybe some cards like business cards with the web site and contact information might help spread the word.

17 Maybe a link as a 'click and send to a friend' on the web site would help.

18 In thinking of the 'send to a friend' link, Ebay has such a feature that links to the item and allows the sender to send a personal message. Such as one might say, 'Make sure to see the discussion forum', or This club has a great magazine, sponsors the big Hershey meet, or has a tour coming up that we might like"


Myron Smith

My comments are name recognition.  It would seem to me that AACA should be the most recognized group name in the world of old cars.  It isn't.  Nathan & I went to the swap meet at Lawrence KS a few weeks ago which is an AACA sponsored event.  I went to it for years myself as a spectator and was not introduced to AACA by being there.  This year we got into a lengthy conversation with a vendor, who had vended for years and he had never heard about AACA until we were talking to him. 


We were in the Speedway Motors Museum yesterday.  And on one of the Model T speedsters, there was an AACA logo, but it was subtle.  If Nathan had not seen it though, I'd have missed it.  Seems like we need to do a better job of marketing, and hand to hand recruitment.  Also could emphasize the value of AACA.  Went to part of a marquee regional event this weekend, the cost for this event was reasonable, but the meet registration for one of their national meets,  I thought was outrageous. 

    There is also to be a another national marquee event in our home town this summer. We had considered going to it, that was until we found out the cost of registration, and it wasn't within our budget.  Our mgmt is to be complimented on their frugality.


Eric Miller



1)                  I live in California which is a large state to bring a lot of people together since cities are so spread out similar to Texas.Fortunately, there are dense populations of varying economic status in Los Angeles and Northern California to have good attendance at local meetings.


2)                  One of the biggest problems in California is that there is so much to do.Due to nice weather 99% of the time (except for floods, earthquakes, fires, etc.!!) and entertainment, beaches and other distractions, there are numerous activities people can choose from to enjoy.Some weekends there are many different events that one has to choose regardless of whether they are all car related or not.This also coincides with the West not having many years of classic car exposure due to the development of the West later on than the East Coast.


3)                  Hotrods seem to be a big attraction out here.Many well attended events are hotrod oriented with a sprinkle of classic car attendance, such as Hot August nights in Reno.


4)                  A lot of the increase in Hotrod attraction are young kidsÖthe ones we are trying to capture to increase classic car interest.Hotrods are considered drivable cars for the most part.People donít want to have to trailer around cars as they are cumbersome, difficult to drive, and consume even more gas.Many of the older classics have problems with reliability that precludes them from going a far distance for fear of something that will strand them


5)                  The AACA requirements:Maybe there should be two separate qualified groups with different standards to accommodate some of the cars that might be partially modified but far from being Hotrodded.This at least would not preclude as many individuals and discourage them in AACA participation and encourage them to go elsewhere to display there cars and participate in other non-classic events.

Also from Eric

I strongly believe, however, just as a general overview, the differences in West Coast and East coast is night and day.  I was back east in New York and other spots and it is a whole different class and mentality with so much nostalgia and history unlike the West.  The development of classic cars pervaded those state more intensely in the East than the Mountain and Western states in the earlier years and has affected the generations below it differently.