Start­ing HAN­DLE

James Wal­she reck­ons now is the right time for clubs to unite

Practical Classics (UK) - - CLASSIC WORLD -

Be­hind ev­ery panel of shiny paint­work and twin­kle of sparkling chrome at the NEC was an owner – be they cur­rent or in the case of the auc­tion area, prospec­tive. And be­hind ev­ery owner is a club. Or so you would think…

‘I don’t bother with car clubs,’ I heard one gen­tle­man bark loudly to his friend. ‘It’s all pol­i­tics and squab­bling.’ Un­for­tu­nately, this is of­ten true and who would blame him, if that is his ex­pe­ri­ence of an or­gan­i­sa­tion sup­pos­edly ded­i­cated to the plea­sures of own­er­ship?

I wit­nessed the ar­rival of a non-mem­ber at a club event last sum­mer. He was im­me­di­ately set upon by mem­bers who crit­i­cised his ‘in­cor­rect’ choice of wheel trim. We sub­se­quently watched his sad de­par­ture. An­other one lost.

It was a de­light to see so many happy faces at the NEC this year – club mem­bers who had given up their week­ends to vol­un­teer at stands where they were able to share their pas­sions with other club mem­bers and the pub­lic. It’s not al­ways the case. When mod­ern clas­sics (usu­ally owned by younger driv­ers) are ex­cluded from shows, it’s ev­i­dent some mem­bers of the club com­mit­tee are say­ing a big fat ‘NO’ to en­thu­si­asm and money.

Be they mar­que-spe­cific or re­gional, the ex­per­tise, wis­dom, sup­port, friend­ship and ful­fill­ment you gain from be­ing part of a club is price­less, but the sur­vival of our hobby de­pends upon di­plo­macy, po­lite­ness and for­ward­think­ing. If your club is im­mersed in squab­bling and pol­i­tics, write to the com­mit­tee. Don’t be an arm­chair critic. Get off your bum and get in­volved. Of­fer a pos­i­tive so­lu­tion. If you run away or moan on the in­ter­net, noth­ing changes. To change the club, you’ve got to be a part of it.

‘Don’t be an arm­chair critic. Get off your bum!’

Saab Own­ers Club wel­comes all­com­ers.

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