Do you want to join a car club?
Now that you own your special car, discover the benefits from joining a car club. There are thousands of them around the world looking for enthusiastic new members. They are all organized on a voluntary basis. Some clubs are specialized to one model of car, others focus on classic cars localized to a local region or state, others to competitive motorsports or gentle touring plus many other categories. You are sure to find a club to suit your needs and interests which will help you in the joys of long distance driving. It doesn’t matter whether you own a classic or vintage car, a favourite car from your childhood, a sports model, a 4-wheel drive, a classic ute, truck or even an old fire engine, so long as you have a vehicle which is reliable and keeps you safe on the road and which you enjoy driving.
Websites, online forums, motoring magazines, word of mouth, community events and car display days are just some of the avenues to discover where these clubs exist. I am sure you’ve driven along a country road on a sunny weekend and seen a group of Minis, Morris or Mustangs, sports or vintage cars driving towards you with happy people on board. That is a sign of a wellrun Club.
Rather than considering yourself as the owner, you are in fact the custodian of your vehicle. It is your responsibility to maintain and improve it. As the present owner, you treasure and enjoy using your car and keep it at its best so that it can be sold or passed onto the next future custodian. A great way to assist you is via car club membership.
Before you choose and commit yourself, you may like to ask yourself these questions;
- What do I want from this Club?
- How will this Club help me in my motoring hobby?
- Will I be with like-minded people?
- How can I learn from this Club?
- How active are the members?
- How do they share their knowledge?
- Do they have a local community presence?
- What will they expect from me?
- How much is their membership fee?
- What skills can I contribute?
No matter whether you are outgoing or shy, a driver or an engine aficionado, competitive or a dreamer, you will be welcome. Most car clubs are still predominantly male, but believe me, there are plenty of women who are interested in motor cars and long distance driving. If you have other skills such as writing, organizing, public relations, event organizing, publisher, video maker, photographer, accounting, librarian, you will find your niche and probably be invited to be on a committee if that is your desire. Remember it will be voluntary. No matter what your background nor how much time you have to give, the fundamental characteristic is enthusiasm.
Car clubs consist of an eclectic group of people from all walks of life and all ages with varying degrees of mechanical and motoring knowledge. Motoring is a hobby and like all hobbies, you needs to find time to enjoy it within a busy life. But members will delight in sharing their knowledge especially to beginners and new members, teaching you how to maintain the engine, radiator or axles, discover a new car oil or duco polish, best ways to handle road conditions, future events. Clubs usually produce a regular hard copy magazine or newsletter and maybe an online forum for you to question and learn. Sometimes they may hold technical sessions or have demonstrations where there is a hoist or garage. Or some may be very casual and just meet up for a weekend venue for a drive and social event. You can learn a lot in a chat over a cup of coffee.
Driving in a carclub group is a great way to explore the world around you, have mechanical knowledge and skills from other members for support and even share tools or car parts when necessary. Cars don’t like being left in a garage for months on end; their batteries go flat. So with car club events on offer, it is a great way to get your car on the road, enjoy both the driving and camaraderie. Many members belong to their club for years and the friendship network broadens both locally and internationally as you meet friends of friends in the motoring world.
Car clubs are often invited to static displays at community events or for charity fundraising. Long distance driving events are good opportunities to support a charity either by sticking decals onto the car, giving interviews en route and raising awareness. If you drive a classic or vintage car or a highly decorated modern car, often pedestrians will wave and smile at you or crowd around your car when parked in the street. Leave the bonnet open and watch the instant attraction. You are creating joy for others and it is a great way to start a conversation.
On a car club event you are aiding the local economy with needing accommodation and food outlets en route. Car related suppliers are supported e.g. for tyres,windscreens as well as the auto professionals; mechanics, auto electricians and panel beaters. Places of interest in country towns with galleries, historic buildings and museums as well as community markets are often visited with entrance fees or purchases. Car clubs do assist the local economy.
Of course, you may be a loner and not consider yourself a ‘club person’. Perhaps it is something you’ll do later when you have more time. Or at the moment you have a friend or two with whom you go on a long distance drive. But there are many advantages to joining a car club and you may be pleasantly surprised. There are 1000’s of car clubs to choose from. They can expand your motoring knowledge, provide friendship, travel opportunities and enjoyable ways to be part of the community whilst helping the local economy. A whole new world on wheels for you.
Until next month, safe driving.