CLAS­SIC PRESER­VA­TION

New Zealand Classic Car - - Local Report -

In these past weeks, there seems to have a push in the pro­mo­tion of elec­tric cars and how hugely they will ben­e­fit the en­vi­ron­ment — which, in truth, re­mains to be seen — as well as an am­pli­fi­ca­tion of the threat of global warm­ing: how rapidly our en­vi­ron­ment is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, how much of the ice shelf is di­min­ish­ing, and the record sum­mer tem­per­a­tures that have siz­zled the north­ern hemi­sphere — although, hasn’t the planet frozen over many times be­fore?

It all makes for a very de­press­ing read, but what sad­dens me the most is the fact that there seems to be not a sin­gle as­so­ci­a­tion, club, or­ga­ni­za­tion — call it what you want — that is rep­re­sent­ing the vin­tage / clas­sic car en­thu­si­asts. There’s al­most an im­pres­sion that we ac­cept that we have de­stroyed the planet and we are now ac­cept­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity — as if we are say­ing to the pol­i­cy­mak­ers, “Yes, we will go with the flow; have it your way!”

Could this be a re­flec­tion of the ap­a­thy and lack of vi­sion within these clubs and as­so­ci­a­tions? Are we deal­ing with com­mit­tees that have run out of puff, or maybe lack the en­ergy, or are too proud, to unite in one voice to pro­tect and pre­serve our pas­time? Yes, I can see that most of you en­thu­si­asts are nod­ding your heads in af­fir­ma­tion — I have seen it be­fore!

What are clas­sic car clubs do­ing, col­lec­tively or in­de­pen­dently, about our free­dom to drive our cars in the fu­ture? Will these same clubs tell us that we can’t use our cars once the Zero Car­bon Act comes into force, or that we will be al­lowed to use com­bus­tion engine cars only on week­ends?

Get­ting in­volved

Are clubs, or­ga­ni­za­tions, as­so­ci­a­tions, etc. get­ting in­volved in dis­cus­sions with the gov­ern­ment — do car en­thu­si­asts have a voice? Are car en­thu­si­asts be­ing given a fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion in this mad­den­ing rush to save the world from the harm caused by fos­sil fu­els — or so we are made to think! Why is it that only cars are be­ing tar­geted? Cargo ships, cruise lin­ers, yachts, recre­ational boats — what about their pol­lu­tion in the seas and oceans around the globe? What about air­craft — av­gas is the largest source of lead in the air, and it has been proven through var­i­ous health sta­tis­tics that lead in a per­son’s blood­stream con­trib­utes to learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and be­havioural is­sues, es­pe­cially in chil­dren! Maybe these in­dus­tries are very strong-gen­er­at­ing fis­cal tools that no one dares to touch!

Shouldn’t clas­sic car own­ers and en­thu­si­asts be sub­si­dized to keep their cars on the road and to main­tain them in run­ning or­der? The ‘planet res­cuers’ seem to fail to ac­knowl­edge that these cars are not just a set of wheels mounted to a metal body and driven by a mo­tor; they are not just a means of get­ting from A to B; they are our his­tory, our story, our be­gin­ning!

Clas­sic cars will al­ways be bought and clas­sic cars will al­ways be sold — they are an in­ter­na­tional cur­rency! If con­di­tions are not favourable in New Zealand, they will find a home else­where — but, at the same time, New Zealand his­tory will be leav­ing our shores!

In the scheme of things, our cars are too few in num­ber; they are used too lim­it­edly to rep­re­sent any en­vi­ron­men­tal threat. In re­al­ity, the en­vi­ron­ment will be more threat­ened when elec­tric ve­hi­cles dom­i­nate our roads, if that should ever hap­pen. For this rea­son, should clubs not be lob­by­ing for their mem­bers, to en­sure for them that clas­sic and vin­tage ve­hi­cles are ex­cluded from the Zero Car­bon Act?

Work­ing to­gether

Gen­er­a­tions should be work­ing to­gether, not in com­pe­ti­tion with each other. The whole point of a clas­sic car club is to re­main the hub of the clas­sic car com­mu­nity. ‘Self­ies’ should be cast aside — self-worth, self-im­por­tance, and self-es­teem. Clubs can lead the way in driv­ing this pop­u­lar­ity by utiliz­ing new dig­i­tal plat­forms; by pro­mot­ing them­selves to an even larger num­ber of en­thu­si­asts, with uni­ver­sal so­cial me­dia plat­forms and dig­i­tal chan­nels. Most clubs are in des­per­ate need of mod­ern ex­per­tise that may not al­ways be found in their estab­lished cir­cles. New gen­er­a­tion mem­bers want to con­tribute to the present and the fu­ture of a club, and that should be the heart of the ques­tion for ev­ery pro­gres­sive club: why should new gen­er­a­tion mem­bers want to join a clas­sic car club in the dig­i­tal age? When prospec­tive mem­bers see an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is sup­port­ive, open, help­ful, and act­ing ex­pressly in the in­ter­ests of the cars and the peo­ple who own them, they will feel far more con­vinced of the au­thor­ity and use­ful­ness of that or­ga­ni­za­tion.

This is the way for­ward; this is the way to en­sur­ing that our ‘ beau­ties’ can in the fu­ture be driven on the road with­out much fan­fare! We must unite and speak to­gether as one, seek­ing one rep­re­sen­ta­tion that truly has at heart the clas­sic car move­ment! There is no room for per­sonal agen­das or per­sonal gain — the clock is tick­ing. If we do not come up with a solid front, clas­sic cars could be­come mere show­pieces — mum­mi­fied bod­ies that have been de­prived of life purely be­cause the pol­i­cy­mak­ers de­cided to switch off life sup­port! Are we truly pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary go-to hub to en­able the pol­i­cy­mak­ers to make in­formed de­ci­sions about the fu­ture of our clas­sic cars? Maybe not!

New Zealand of­fers great crafts­man­ship and some truly spe­cial clas­sic cars; it is our duty, col­lec­tively, to en­sure that we pre­serve them and keep them tick­ing over for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions!

Un­til then, safe driv­ing!

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