President's Message

President Message 7
By the time you read this Hershey 2021 will be in the history books. I hope everything went well and everyone had a good time. As I sit here one week before the AACA Fall Meet I wonder how things are going to go. There are many changes coming to the Fall Meet in particular and our hobby as a whole. It will be great to see young people interested in antique cars and when I say young people, I don't mean me. (57).

But I do worry what the future of our hobby is going to look like. Will younger people be able to buy gas and oil and parts that they need to keep these cars running. For about 25 years, I have been in acquisition mode. That means I have been buying cars and projects and hiding them away so that when I retire, I will have plenty of time and plenty of things to work on. Now I find that that plan may have been a mistake. I have a barn so full of projects that I can't even walk around in it without tripping over parts. And, it seems like I have less time than I ever had before.

Now what do we do? Concentrate on one vehicle? That's fine if you're starting with one car; it's easier to spend all your time working on one keeping it going. Thin the herd? That's harder than it sounds. We have a tendency to fall in love with each vehicle. But now it seems like all I've been doing for the past 15 years or so is saving cars that I did not want to see destroyed or lost forever. I felt like a superhero by rescuing them and saving them for future generations. Reality has set in, and now, I feel like the cars are wasting away in my possession. I have only exchanged someone else's yard for mine. 

It's also getting harder and harder find good people who are qualified with the skills needed to restore these cars or even keep them running. Some of us are more mechanically challenged than others. It is unfortunate to say but, I tend to break more cars than I fix. Just finding a shop that can rebuild my starter/generator is like mining for gold. 

I think we need to do a better job of sharing information about how to work on our cars and what shops people have found that do quality work. Smaller regional events can help people get together more often and even work on each other's cars.

As a club we need to foster our enthusiasm for this hobby in young people. We will discuss a scholarship fund at the Hershey Fall Meet. We talked about this a few years ago and many people were excited about the plan at that time. Unfortunately, we ran into some sticking points with the college we were working with and that put the whole endeavor on the back burner. Theresa Jensen’s idea to revisit a scholarship program is a great idea. Let's figure out a way to make it work. I am also looking for suggestions for ways the club can educate more people about our hobby and the great Dodge Brothers legacy. As we start to put our cars to bed for the winter, let's plan some projects we can do inside and get our cars ready for next season. Then get our cars out to some local shows and share them with the public. This hobby will only survive and thrive if we make it happen.