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Old 11-06-2019, 06:35 PM   #1
Mulletwagon
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Default Club Thinning

About ten years ago I am told our local club had over 100 members. Some five years ago we were down to about 60. We currently number just 33 and enthusiasm seems to be declining. Model As will continue to outlive their owners but there does seem to be a trend. While the younger folks fill the Corvette and Mustang clubs, Model A clubs have always been the venue for the more seasoned automotive enthusiasts. I suspect “The Greatest Generation” passed their Model As to the much larger “Baby Boomer Generation” and clubs expanded. Following generations are smaller and may explain why Model A interest is in at least minor decline. The average age in my club’s membership is about 75 and we cannot seem to attract anyone younger than 60 or so. Just wondering if we are the exception or are other clubs having a similar experience.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Club Thinning

We are about 75 members with a lot of new ones, but the club works hard at getting new ones. New blood, new ideas, and the new members go on more tours than the average member. We have a pkg we pass out and approach anyone with an A. We even have three out of state members. Form a group to go out and find new blood. It’s out there. The A’s are out there and someone owns them.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I think the availability of good Internet resources (like this one) has reduced the benefit to joining clubs. There are obviously still benefits, but I think a lot of folks are deciding it's not worth it. For me, I couldn't make the time to drive 1-2 hours to the meetings, do the meeting, drive back, etc.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I too feel the same way as alexiskai. I live south of Gainesville Florida and the closest club would be 2-hour drive away. Being a member of these forums is a way guys like us can still keep in touch and enjoy the Model A hobby.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Club Thinning

We are facing the same issues declining # sand lack of interest in the A. My kids were raised in a model a now in their 40s and have no interest. Life is too busy you cannot use an I phone on it and it is too slow my opinion. I have bought and sold A's for over 30 years and never seen the price so low. We live in a shaded environment here because all of us have a special feeling for the old girl. I see lack of interest and no desire, I wish it were different I am afraid we will continue to see the decline.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I am in two car clubs and they are both using social media to make the younger people aware of their existance. The response has been very good. In one club, we have a nucleus of younger guys and their enthusiasm is bringing things back to life. It's a pity though that so many of the older members just don't care and don't support these young, enthusiastic guys when they organise an event. My wife and I certainly do because we understand that without them, the club has no future. It is interesting to note that many of them have cars older than a Model A, some more than 20 years older.
Some of these youngsers have openly said that they didn't want to join a club of old farts but when they saw we had younger members too, they joined. I believe that if a car club can reach a critical mass of younger members, it will feed itself and be sustainable into the future.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Our Model T club (Rose City Model T Club) is holding around 100-110 members/family's. Even with the passing of some members we seem to keep around that number with new members. We do have a Facebook page and if you google us we also have a web page. While not a member of the Beaver Model A Club I think their numbers are holding steady with over 100+ members(I think is around 120 to 140). There are also 2 other clubs in Vancouver Washington which is in the Portland Vancouver area.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:02 PM   #8
sethkestenbaum
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Member recruitment should never be a "wait and see who knocks at the door" process. The clubs need to actively recruit high school and college kids as "student members" who aren't currently Model A owners but one day may be and who might want to get their hands dirty learning about the cars. Clubs also need to be active in doing practicals with members and student members on how to fix and maintain the cars. People who don't know how to fix a car are likely intimidated and hesitant to buy a Model A. Most of the club members I know grew up with Model As. This is not a growing demographic. As I once mentioned at a club meeting when we spoke about our club's shrinking size, "most of the clubs are shrinking... and not because members are retiring to Florida." This was followed by a suggestion that the more senior owners try to proactively identify the "next possible owner" of their car and start training them years before the car trades hands.... even if the next owner isn't family and might not eventually buy the car. Just doing things like having a neighbor and his/her kids help change the oil or do maintenance will bring attention to the hobby and create positive experiences. I think things like this, over a long period of time, is what will save the clubs from disappearing. For the record, the 20 year olds LOVE Model As. If you can get them hooked now, they will join the clubs in their mid-30s.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Club Thinning

so Mullet- yes this is going on everywhere.


some of the clubs become nothing more then coffee and cookies, due to age.


the more successful clubs pull in the young and approach the club with hands on, on the A's in the club.
Reading bylaws and having a coffee can be done at a quilting club.
not that there's anything wrong with that..............
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Personally I drive 1 hour each way for our club meeting every month. It's worth it for the fellowship of the other members...
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Age is definitely a factor. I'm 65 and am the 3rd youngest member in my club. So I can see where the "Old Fart" comment comes from.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I am a member of the Fort Worth Club and the Dallas Club. I am much more active in the fort worth club out of proximity and it's just my preference. I am 26 and I am the president. I have been on and off the board for 10 years. I am the chairman of the 2020 MAFCA Awards banquet next December. I have hosted a regional convention. I also own 2 Model A's. I was born into it, but I've continued it by choice. I grew up in the Fort Worth club and my grandparents' friends brought their grandchildren too. Some of my best friends are the people I grew up with in the Model A Club. I would recommend bringing your grandkids and having your friends bring theirs too so they aren't the only young people there.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
I am a member of the Fort Worth Club and the Dallas Club. I am much more active in the fort worth club out of proximity and it's just my preference. I am 26 and I am the president. I have been on and off the board for 10 years. I am the chairman of the 2020 MAFCA Awards banquet next December. I have hosted a regional convention. I also own 2 Model A's. I was born into it, but I've continued it by choice. I grew up in the Fort Worth club and my grandparents' friends brought their grandchildren too. Some of my best friends are the people I grew up with in the Model A Club. I would recommend bringing your grandkids and having your friends bring theirs too so they aren't the only young people there.


Jordan, You will be adding one more to the Club soon as we will be joining the Fort Worth Model A Club.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Club Thinning

It's not just the Model A clubs (although ours here in Riverside, CA is gaining members). Clubs all over, no matter what the interest, are dying. The younger generation "socializes" on iphones and not in person. So, if you go to a historical society meeting, and Elks Club meeting, or just about any other, you will hear the exact same comment - getting younger people to join is extremely difficult. I know - I belong to about 25 historical societies in our county and region, and I hear the same thing from all of them.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I would like to see our club use a number of these suggestions to recruit new members
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Club Thinning

I am seeing a lot of folks selling their cars.
Basically age and lack of succession in the family for their cars.
Many are very desirable body styles. I expect a decline in prices due to the supply and demand factor
Another problem is the thinning of craftsmen to do the work.
Skilled folks will have to step up for fabrication , upholstery and the like.
Many previously available crafts, parts, etc are disappearing.
IMHO

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Old 11-08-2019, 12:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Club Thinning

Club I am in has a yearly repair meet in early spring. For me it would be nicer if it was monthly during the driving season and might help draw in younger people with low skills.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Club Thinning

How about asking some young people what they want!
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DNLs1930 View Post
Jordan, You will be adding one more to the Club soon as we will be joining the Fort Worth Model A Club.
We look forward to having you! Already planning a lot of tours for next year so you'll have to join the fun!
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Club Thinning

A sign of the decease in Model A club membership is the amount of "complete Model A chassis" for sale in these pages. The younger generation is buying restored Model A's and using the bodies, selling the parts. The people who were raised with the cars and form clubs to keep them the way they knew them are slowly going away.
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