Let's start a car club - discuss
Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:59 AM
Unfortunately, due to differing rules in each state and club plates being state specific, I am only looking at a Victorian Club. There is no reason as to why others in the other states can't research their states requirements. I think the Qld boys have already done this???
My thoughts, to get the discussion kicked off, are that the path of the Ferals is followed closely. That is to say, 4 or 5 members form the hub of the club and hold the executive positions. All other members then join as 'associate' members without voting rights (but all other rights and benefits).
In that way the club stays the same. It prevents the "anal bureaucrat" from building a self serving empire as I have seen happen in other clubs.
What are the benefits?
Cheaper club membership - as there is no need to acquire assets and our only ongoing costs will be renewals, Inc fees and the website costs (if Gav is happy to give us a section of the forum for an on-going fee?) Not building an empire, just getting like minded people together to enjoy their cars.
No need for RWC or only a very occasional need for engineering reports (if the build is way out there) in order to get club plates. As the vehicle only needs to be declared 'safe' by a member of the executive (as per the current Victorian Law)
No requirement to attend X number of events/meetings (as is the case with most car clubs in Vic)
As a club we may be able to negotiate with an insurance company for discounted insurance - I know AROCA do this - or cheaper parts/services etc with various businesses. At the moment I haven't really found "I'm a member of an on-line forum." carries very much kudos or weight.
CAMS affiliation - issuing licences and running track days??? What's the interest level in this? I don't have any recent experience in running track days. It would obviously put up the annual fees of membership. It's something I would be interested in being a part of, but again Discuss ...
Would joining the forum require or guarantee membership of this car club? Absolutely not for either case.
Would not being a member of the club mean that I can't come to social events such as Tas, Christmas party, Bright, Thredbo etc? Absolutely not. The club should be set up so that there is not an overflowing bank balance and therefore in most cases attendees pay there own way.
I would like to emphasise that these are my thoughts. Nothing has started, nothing is set in concrete, nothing has been signed. I have spoken with a few Victorian members about this. That is as far as it has progressed so far.
I would like a PM from members interested in being part of the founding executive. A brief CV (My name is ....... and I'm an accountant/have a car restoration business/have been restoring cars since I was 12/am a good public speaker and spread love and goodwill wherever I go etc and would be happy to nominate for Treasurer/President/Vice President/Competition Secretary/Secretary. The club will stay small with no large monthly meeting on a wednesday nights for the bureaucrats to shine, so the workload on each position would be small. I suspect that 99% of the management of the club could be run on-line/by phone/at the pub for tea etc
So let the discussion begin.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:36 AM
Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:46 AM
I can see where this is going and don't mind one bit. But there will be a lot of guys saying , if it ant broke don't fix it. Just putting that one out there.
I understand Gordo, but they shouldn't really be scared of change.
It would really suit the guys modifying their cars - particularly in the rural areas, where they can't find an engineer or the local one is too conservative etc. No engineer (except extreme cases) and no RWC could save members $1000's of dollars. They only have to make sure their vehicle is 'safe'. There are enough experienced and honest guys in this club to ensure that is the case.
It would also suit the guys who aren't interested in paying $200 odd dollars to join a club and then have to attend 3+ meetings (again rural issues but also work and family commitments etc)
Taking CAMS out of the picture: it is $80 to start the club and I'm not sure on the costs of incorporation yet. But at this stage I estimate that with say 50 members, it will cost $10-20 each member per year. maybe make the fees $40 and $20 each member goes into the forum account? Just ball park at this stage. I suspect that CAMS affiliation (to get competition licenses will add another $10 each)
Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:50 AM
There is obviously a lot of work that needs to go into this but will be well worth it when its all up and running.
You have my vote and support,
Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:29 PM
So I would like to see the real benefits of becoming an official club and whether it would really be worth it.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:46 PM
Jump say 5 or 10 years, what is in place for succession of the core group?
The rwc/safety thing, is open to flaunting of rules, ie get it registered in a no fuss lo expense way, then as time goes on further mods are done, that may contravene safety and insurances, ie third party injury.
How is it to be policed? Currently engineer types are now photographing or documenting modds appled for, so there is no future comeback if it is altered and an incident occurs.
Case in point, EPA loud exhausts and the original exhaust fitting shop ( canny shops will take pics to cover their arses)
It would be a goid idea to make, and then list up all the costs to set up, and annually run, a club, that way the annual fees to members have factored in the associated costs.
After all, when a long established club has thousands of dollars sitting in its bank account, that the past and present members have contributed to, and allwing for future event/club costs, why horde the funds.
Say a long time past member, who say paid in 10 years of fees, he gets no benefit if he elects to not continue, bit unfair?
Any club should be for current interests, and some future planning, not a dinosaur. Internet/web based club in this day and age is valid, old style club based on papertrails is passe.
And whats with so many clubs not prepared to take a calculated risk and put on events of all types for its members?
Those that have a good strong membership base do, and they do it well, but those with sub 100 members tend to be highly cautious in taking a calculated risk. It is goid as a membership drive and an awareness thing too.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:15 PM
Cheaper membership - Prob $30 v's NDSOC of $65
Cheaper Rego - club plates (45 or 90 day log book scheme)
No minimum number of events to attend - save time
No requirement for RWC or engineer's reports (except in extreme cases) - save $$$
Z car decisions made by Z car owners - save feeling like a poor cousin
The ability to 'host' events and invite others - spread the love
More funds available to Gav to develop/enhance the forum as he sees a need
The possibility to obtain club discounts from various business'
Some effort from a few
I really can't see much change in the way the forum runs. The club would not be formed to 'replace' the forum, but rather to enhance it. Much of this is pending Gav's support and permission to use the forum for club purposes. There would be no requirement to be members of both. I wouldn't want to have any 'club' exclusive events (other than club executive meetings)
I don't see anyone waking up the morning after a thinking all the world's problems have been solved, but I don't see anyone waking up and chewing their arm off either.
It's worth pointing out that I'm not suggesting that the forum 'become' a club. I'm suggesting that we form a club and that members of the forum who are interested join said club. The club would not replace the forum, but rather run parallel with the forum. I am also not proposing to start a splinter group or a clique or anything divisive - just an option with benefits.
With only 4 or 5 executive positions and 5 or 6 executive members there is a build in short term succession plan. Further down the track, the executive may be able ti invite a member from the associates to join the executive.
The purpose of incorporation is to protect members regarding liability for issues. If members further altered their vehicles (and lets face it they are all constantly evolving) something could be added to our club rules that allow a further inspection if a level of alteration has occurred. However, if after being inspected for club plates a then standard car was found to to have a merlin engine installed, the club, it's executive and it's membership are protected by incorporation.
The executive selected (and the greater membership) will/would not accept sh!t cars being 'deemed' safe. That benefits nobody.
Many of the costs are dependent on the number of members and on what services or extras the members want. It is not possible at this early stage to accurately state the fees. I have put up my estimates and that's what they are and that is as accurate as I can be for now.
In addition to occasional track days, I would like to see a casual drive for lunch once a month - Baxter burgers, GOR, hanging rock, Dandenongs whatever and garage days/group builds akin to Lurch's instruction days or my help day. I believe that it is a good and regular mixture of these types of events that gets increased membership, active membership and satisfied membership.
I don't believe that a long established club should ever have thousands of dollars in the bank. If that is the case, then membership and event costs have been way to high. I don't want a club that is about asset growth. I don't want a club that becomes more about developing buildings and building bank balances than about building and driving cars.
Please keep the comments coming. This is day one of a journey.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:19 PM
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:19 PM
All very good points and I'm liking the idea. Sadly I wouldn't be able to utelise the club, but I think it would be worthwhile for the Mexicans.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:23 PM
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:27 PM
My main concern is that unlike a job (where you get paid and are required to tow-the-line), car club committee members are generally volunteers and, in most clubs I have been a member of at least, they struggle to get people to be on the committee. And the clubs which do manage to get volunteers, the volunteers often suffer at the hands of those quick to criticise but aren’t prepared to help themselves.
The other thing that tends to happen is, that sometimes those who are motivated enough to volunteer usually have their own personal agenda and as a result put that ahead of the ‘majority’s’ view. But then use the excuse that they are a committee member and therefore 'if others don't like it, they should join the committee'. It is not easy for some people to do what the club members want them to do (as a representative of the club) even if they personally don’t agree with it…
Like Scott, I won't really be able to utilise the things on offer (since I'm not in Vic), so take my view with a grain of salt.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:34 PM
That is the reason for forming a core group of 5 or 6 people that hold the executive positions. It should mean that the club stays on track and sticks to the original ideals.
Both monarchies and dictatorships work well with good leadership.
Just a reminder: please read the first post link - particularly the first on from the Ferals.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:44 PM
I proposed to become affiliated with the NDSOC, as its the biggest and oldest Datsun sports club in Australia. But it was rejected by members here. What you are proposing here has some merit and should be investigated.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:52 PM
Also, it depends on what you believe the clubs whole philosophy should be built on;
- A club built and run by a handful of people and others can join but only if they are happy with the structure and outputs of the club
- Or, that the committee is there to enact the wishes of the club majority (which is why IMO clubs having 'votes' on key decisions not just voting to elect committee members is important
I'm not saying which model is right for the proposed club, merely trying to give some food for thought.
Please don't take any of this the wrong way, what you are proposing sounds fantastic and I would be very interested in joining if I was in Victoria.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:23 PM
I don't disagree with you. There is no point in me starting a club without input and support - I'd likely be the only member. One of the purposes of this discussion is to establish what members want in a Z club.
It is my view that the club be formed to satisfy the greatest interests and therefore the greatest membership and participation. As such the executive have to listen to the membership and and adapt where possible to the greatest desires. By staying with a core group on the executive I see that the club can grow and adapt but still hold onto the values on which it was established.
I've been involved in clubs where committee positions became a contest of who was more popular rather than better for the club. Often these people come in spend a year changing as much of the core values of the club as possible and then move on. It can take decades to undo the damage - if at all.
I am making some assumptions on the make up of the executive. The executive would need to make a long term commitment to the club. It shouldn't be a 1 or 2 year 'thing' and move on. There are many people here who have already given many years of their life to the marque and to the forum.
We do need to discuss how to in the future bring people from the membership into the executive to replace people who chose to move on.
I haven't taken any of what you have said the 'wrong way'. I want as much discussion as possible. If this club gets up and going, it needs to address the concerns and represent the wishes of those that participate.
This is day one. So far three of the five people posting can't join??? Well that's not true actually. I can't see why interstate people can't join, they just wont be able to get all the benefits from the club. (Unless they move to Australia's 'Most Livable City')
One thing that needs to be discussed is: Are we looking at the Vic Z Club or the Aus Z Club, where the other states can start similar clubs and affiliate with us? I haven't even looked at what that entails.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:35 PM
Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:58 PM
On the subject of the fees and "accumulated assets"
I can only speak for the NDSOC and shed some light on the fee structure -
The majority of the $65 annual fee goes towards the publishing of the monthly club magazine and in comparison to similar car clubs is on par or cheaper than many. The remaining fees pays for CAMS affililation, Public Liability Insurance and affiliation with the AOMC (this allows the NDSOC to issue club permit plates)
As to "accumulated assets" - having a healthy bank balance provides a club with the ability to host major events and buy merchandise and give something back to members in the form of event discounts and freebees etc.
I find it interesting that many on this forum have expressed great interest in the upcoming 2013 Nissan/Datsun Nationals which will be hosted by the NDSOC -
How do you think the NDSOC could possibly host such an event if it did not have considerable funds in the bank ?
With track hire, insurances, CAMS permits, event merchandise, venue hire etc there will be outgoings of approx $20k before any revenue comes in from entries...........hence why any club must have solid financials if they are to host any event.........which in turn benefits the members.
Given that $65 per year is less than a tank of petrol ........... I find it hard to fathom how anybody thinks that is over the top
On the subject of permit plates, the premis of your argument seems to be around allowing heavily modified vehicles onto the permit scheme that is primarily for standard or lightly modified vehicles (read the AOMC guidelines), Vic Roads and the AOMC are already clamping down on such practices and this has the inherent risk of jeopardising the permit plate scheme for all clubs.
The NDSOC policy on modifications is strictly in line with the guidelines and whilst some clubs may allow some deviation from the guidelines this is again puting the entire scheme at risk in the long term.
(as a foot note- The NDSOC has over one hundred vehicles on the permit plate scheme, the majority being standard or lightly modified, as such we as a committee must act for the majority and not jeopardise the permit scheme for a few who wish to "bend"the rules" for their own benefit)
And finally............the current NDSOC committee is made up of six Zed owners
I'm sure I'll be flamed at some point .........but so be it
Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:21 PM
I have a foot in both camps here. So can understand both sides. I don't think that $65 membership for NDSOC is unreasonable at all. Considering just the Xmas party this Sunday, where I bring my wife and kids to a catered event for example.
But as the club mags state each month, the biggest cost is the magazines and postage. We are surely getting left behind here aren't we? Maybe making it a digital version that gets emailed or hosted on the website will suffice? If you want to print it out? Print it out!
I also feel that the best club meets were the ones held at the Jag Club rooms. There were always 70-80 people there and lots of new people. As opposed to just going to a club or pub, where you get the same faces and no (or very little) new ones. If you want a pretty magazine, get a subscription. Save the money from the mags, spend it on putting the club meetings in the right environment.
A perfect example of why break away groups like this are started is Benny's Green Z.
He approached the NDSOC to get club plates and was told he would have to do this and have to do that...... For a mint 240Z? are you kidding me? NDSOC is where it belongs!
Don't get me wrong. I love the NDSOC. Its been a part of my family my entire life. And I don't want anything bad to ever happen to it.
Anyway..... Rant over
Also overheard parts of conversations, yet was not included in, at Gordo's on Saturday. It now makes sense as to what is what about. But feel ostracised as to why I wasn't asked........ :'(
Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:47 PM
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