(Editor’s note: During the month of February, the ClassicCars.com Journal presents a series of stories exploring car clubs and what they offer to the collector car community. If you have a car club story to share, see the note at the end of this article.)
From the time I bought my second car, a very rusty 1968 Porsche 912 Targa, I have been a member of a car club, though at first it wasn’t by choice.
I was in high school and working at a Porsche shop and the boss made me join the Porsche Club of America when I bought the 912. He said that I had the car so I should take advantage of being a member of the club.
While, sadly, I have not had a continuous PCA membership since 1983, I am a member again, and have been since around 1999.
Back in the 1980s the club was 100 percent person-to-person with phone lists, monthly meetings with strong attendance, and the only publication was Panorama. There were no websites, no online newsletters, indeed, no internet. What the PCA did have was a number of welcoming and fun members who would explain how to fix my car, give me ideas on things to do with my car, and even come over to my house and help me when I was stuck on one of the many projects that 912 offered me.
Today we have so much online but the idea of what makes up a car club is exactly what it was back in the 1980s, only enhanced with the technology we now have. There are e-newsletters, websites, tech forums, even online videos and presentations. But at the core the club is a group of people who are brought together due to their common interest with a car.
It matters not whether you meet them in person or just meet them in a forum, the sense of community of a car club is strong, and I have made scores of friends from the ranks of the clubs I’ve joined as I’ve bought and sold various makes and models.
Car clubs are the heart and soul of the hobby and are the beginning point of my lifelong love affair with collector cars. The cars are the catalyst but it is the people I have met at club activities that keep me buying classic vehicles and coming back to events.
Among other things that car clubs tend to offer are national events. I have been at a number of these, and if you truly love a specific car marque you owe it to yourself to attend a national meet. These include the Porsche Parade, the New England MG T Register Gathering of the Faithful, the Rolls-Royce Club national meet and the Aston Martin club national meet.
To use a music reference, these events are a bit like a Lollapalooza for the featured marque, with guest speakers, dinners, tours and rallies, tech sessions, autocrosses, concours and more. These are the most marque-specific immersive experiences you can imagine, and having the opportune to attend is reason enough to be a member of the club.
No matter what kind of car you own or what cars you collect, I guarantee there is a club and I urge you to join and get ready to see a bunch of great, well, at least interesting cars and to make scores of new friends that are just waiting to meet you.
I have put my money where my mouth is. I am currently a member of the BMWCCA, PCA, MG Club, and BMW Motorcycle Owners Association, among others. It has been membership money well spent and has led to uncountable great experiences.
Do you have a car club story you’d like to share? Just go to this link, fill in the information and submit your story to be considered for publication in our Car Club Series.