President's Message

President’s Message January-February 2023

What to do with your car?  Drive it, of course, but what does that mean?

The main reason for having an antique car is to drive it and share the experience with friends and family.  Some vehicles are just for show, and we call them “Trailer Queens” because they are babied, pampered, trailered from car show to car show, and never get to see the open road.

In my experience, that has never been the mainstay for the cars in this club.  Our Dodge Brothers cars are meant to be driven, and it gives us great satisfaction to go down the road and see people wave and react to our vehicles.

What else do we need to do with our cars besides drive them?  Maintain them!  There always seems to be a small project to make your car a little better or a big project to make it safer or to get it back on the road.

What else can we do?  Take them to car shows!  When people attend car shows, they’re looking for something unusual.  I don’t know how many shows I have been at where people will say, “Wow! I never knew Dodges were that old.”  Or “This is really nice; it must have been expensive.”  This starts another conversation.  We also have an opportunity to educate the public about the Dodge Brothers’ story and why it is so vital to the automotive industry.

There are yet other things we can do with our cars.  In my last President’s Message, I touched upon my experience of using my cars in a movie.  This has its pluses and minuses; you must weigh those for yourself as everyone’s experiences will be a little different.  I have had cars in four documentaries, moves, and TV shows.  Each one was a different experience.  Some were very good, and some weren’t so great.  The important thing when working with a production company is to get everything in writing first.  Negotiate a price that covers all your expenses.

I suggest you do the project within a 200-mile radius of your home.  Shipping your car across the country for someone to use as a background prop on a movie set is hardly worth it.  You want to ensure that you are on the set with your car either as an extra, driving the car in scenes or observing behind the camera.  The only real reason to use your car in a movie is to show off your vehicle (you’ll never get rich renting your car).  It is fascinating to learn how they do things on a set.  You will never watch another movie or TV show the same way again.

Something else you can do is loan your car to a museum.  This can be beneficial in a couple of ways.  1. The public can see your car for an extended period of time.  2. Your car can be stored where it would be protected and enjoyed for six months or so over the winter.

Look for a museum in your area, so you can visit the car often.  There are many kinds of museums, not just car museums that might be interested in displaying your vehicle.  Look for a military museum or a local historical society museum.  They may want to tell a story about the time period of your car.

Cars don’t like to sit; they want to be driven.  I drive my automobiles whenever and wherever I can.  I enjoy sharing my vehicles as often as I can and with as many people as possible.  All these ideas can help our club tell the story of the Dodge Brothers and their fantastic automobiles.

Speaking of sharing our cars—the AACA Fall Meet at Hershey was great fun this year.  The change of the car show from Saturday to Friday did not make that much of a difference.  There were fewer cars (just over 1,000), but everyone seemed to have a good time.  The Dodge Brothers Club dinner and meeting were lightly attended.  This could be because there are fewer of us attending Hershey from the past few years, but we would like to rectify that next year.  I’d like to see as many people as possible come out for the dinner.

The national meet and tour is coming up this June in New York.  If you still need to fill out your application, get to it.  We need as many cars and people as possible to participate.  The 2023 Finger Lakes Relaxation Tour will be a great meet with lots of exciting places to see and things to do

I am worried because we still need to schedule national meets for 2024 and 2025.  Ideally, I would like the 2024 Meet to be somewhere west of the Mississippi and then come back east in 2025.  At this point, I am willing to work with members from any area.  If we want a Dodge Brothers Club Meet in 2024, we must start planning now.  Any volunteers?

Mark Ounan, Dodge Brothers Club President