Author Topic: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?  (Read 11235 times)

Jean

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What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:12:41 AM »
Yes. Alastair and  I are often asked this.  Why bother to register my car? Why bother to tell anyone when it has passed into other hands, sold overseas or been scrapped? What's in it for me?
I know many folk think we are just being nosey or that it is an intrusion to know who owns what where.  Just think about the network of enthusiasts we have helped to build up since 1980, the number of cars that have been saved, the number of friendships forged.  The amount of history and information that has been amassed.
All we ask is Register your car for a very small fee and you have free access to all our archives and we will introduce you to owners of like cars and leave the rest to you.  We only divulge names and addresses with the owners permission, so you can be as secretive as you wis,h keeping track of the rare cars is the important thing.

Please let us have your opinions.  Jean
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Register of Unusual Microcars

Jim Janecek

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 04:57:38 PM »
hmmm, I just asked Alastair this question but never got an answer.

From a non-UK perspective, what is the benefit?  I'm serious.
I think the Register serves a valuable purpose, particularly for UK residents,  but I have been unable to convince anyone in the States that it is worth their time or bother.
Now that a large number of very unusual microcars are set loose from Madison GA, it would seem like a good time to get some of them on the Register.
I cannot come up with a simple one-sentence reason why they should.
They want to know in advance what to expect in return for providing their information.  Is the new owner of the Fuji Cabin or Kroboth going to find useful information after registering? 

I don't say this because I think the Register is a bad thing or outdated. 
This is the feedback I get when trying to get people to put their cars on the Register. (I should note that I have not put either my PTV or my Goggo Transporter on the Register, so I am a prime example.  I intend to but never get around to it.)

If I am not the only one asking this question, then I think this is something that really needs to be addressed.
Enthusiasts are able to find like-minded individuals around the world these days without resorting to lists and printed matter.
I think one thing that would make it easier is to allow web-registration and payment. 
I have the old ISETTA REGISTER archived and made public on a web page (not really up to date though, and with no personal info posted) and there is a simple web-form that is filled out and submitted.
There is no payment involved, I think if there was, I would get a lot fewer submissions. Of course I have not tried it, but I wanted to keep the barrier to entry as low as possible. 

I would make a web-form for additions to RUM but the current form involves sending a photo, sending an envelope, payment etc. I need to know more about how to adapt this to make it web-accessible and simple for people.  I've asked about this already and received no response.
I would come up with a sample form and say "how about this?" but if there is no interest to begin with, why should I bother?

I have also offered my opinions about the future of the website and forum in the past as well and as far as I know it went nowhere.

I used to offer up suggestions for the continued improvement and success of the old Microcar & Minicar Club in the USA.  I was willing to do any of the work if no one else would, but my pro-active suggestions were all summarily dismissed as "things are fine, why change them?"
Until things were not fine.
Then the board members would tear their hair out and wonder how they let things get to this point.
Then someone else would implement one of my suggestions and "save the day"  Of course I never got credit for suggesting it in the first place.
I was viewed as a troublemaker for bringing up potential problems or even suggesting that there was one.
They were all REACTIVE.  They only acted when there was a crisis.

I would like to see more people outside the UK put their cars on RUM.
I'm stumped.

Jim Janecek

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 06:50:15 PM »
One conundrum I personally face is that I know some of the history of the previous ownership of my PTV 250
From Spain to me there are actually a FEW owners in between.
I am quite certain that none of them ever put the car on the RUM.
Can I fill in the gaps and make note of those owners in the Register?  I think it would be useful for the future as I will not own the car forever.
However- is it my place to supply information on previous owners to "fill in the gaps"?
If it is my place to do so, what prevents me or others from adding false information that messes up the provenance of the vehicle?

Or should I just keep that information private and pass it along with the vehicle when it changes hands?  ???

mharrell

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 11:06:33 PM »
...I have been unable to convince anyone in the States that it is worth their time or bother.

Jim, there are a few of us....

The short answer is continuity.  It would be nice to know the history a car; this often isn't possible, but at least pay it forward.  I only recently discovered that the KV I bought as a parts car from the Bubble Car Museum's auction back in 2008 was, in fact, the very same car driven by Thomas de Sousa in 1991 when he was seven years old and that he has posted a couple of videos of the experience on his microcar site:

http://thodes.over-blog.com/article-kvs-initiation-au-mirocar-en-1991-114719251.html

http://thodes.over-blog.com/article-ma-premiere-lecon-de-conduite-j-avais-7-ans-107118913.html

That sort of knowledge delights me to no end, but it is entirely hit-or-miss without a registry.
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Bob Purton

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 11:17:22 PM »
This isn't going to be what Jean or Alistair want to here but the actual register is of little importance to me, I dont recall personally ever gaining any benefit from it although I'm sure others have,  the archive however is of great value and i very much appreciate the hard work of Jean and the others who have helped to amass it. Rumcars to me is a great little community of enthusiasts and an excellent magazine even though due to my precarious work situating right now temporarily prevents me from subscribing. If people dont want to register there cars there is little anyone can do about it and is not worth worrying about. Some, like myself just enjoy the hands on side of the hobby, others like Stuart love the paperwork, I'm repelled by that side of it. We are all different I guess. I would love to see the website refreshed though. The mistake made there was leaving it to a teenager!
I agree with JIm that if people could just register there cars on line with no fee or postage involve a lot more would do it. I'm a computer dunce so dont look at me for help on either of the two a fore mentioned topics.
What does everyone else think?

Jim Janecek

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 12:18:10 AM »
The short answer is continuity.  It would be nice to know the history a car; this often isn't possible, but at least pay it forward. 

That is basically it, in a nutshell.   I think.

Big Al

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 06:51:43 AM »
hmmm, I just asked Alastair this question but never got an answer.

From a non-UK perspective, what is the benefit?  I'm serious.
I think the Register serves a valuable purpose, particularly for UK residents,  but I have been unable to convince anyone in the States that it is worth their time or bother.
Now that a large number of very unusual microcars are set loose from Madison GA, it would seem like a good time to get some of them on the Register.
I cannot come up with a simple one-sentence reason why they should.
They want to know in advance what to expect in return for providing their information.  Is the new owner of the Fuji Cabin or Kroboth going to find useful information after registering? 

I don't say this because I think the Register is a bad thing or outdated. 
This is the feedback I get when trying to get people to put their cars on the Register. (I should note that I have not put either my PTV or my Goggo Transporter on the Register, so I am a prime example.  I intend to but never get around to it.)

If I am not the only one asking this question, then I think this is something that really needs to be addressed.
Enthusiasts are able to find like-minded individuals around the world these days without resorting to lists and printed matter.
I think one thing that would make it easier is to allow web-registration and payment. 
I have the old ISETTA REGISTER archived and made public on a web page (not really up to date though, and with no personal info posted) and there is a simple web-form that is filled out and submitted.
There is no payment involved, I think if there was, I would get a lot fewer submissions. Of course I have not tried it, but I wanted to keep the barrier to entry as low as possible. 

I would make a web-form for additions to RUM but the current form involves sending a photo, sending an envelope, payment etc. I need to know more about how to adapt this to make it web-accessible and simple for people.  I've asked about this already and received no response.
I would come up with a sample form and say "how about this?" but if there is no interest to begin with, why should I bother?

I have also offered my opinions about the future of the website and forum in the past as well and as far as I know it went nowhere.

I used to offer up suggestions for the continued improvement and success of the old Microcar & Minicar Club in the USA.  I was willing to do any of the work if no one else would, but my pro-active suggestions were all summarily dismissed as "things are fine, why change them?"
Until things were not fine.
Then the board members would tear their hair out and wonder how they let things get to this point.
Then someone else would implement one of my suggestions and "save the day"  Of course I never got credit for suggesting it in the first place.
I was viewed as a troublemaker for bringing up potential problems or even suggesting that there was one.
They were all REACTIVE.  They only acted when there was a crisis.

I would like to see more people outside the UK put their cars on RUM.
I'm stumped.


Did I just write that in my sleep? I know just how you feel! Save I have all but given up the attempt to do anything with microcars and cannot see a organizational vehicle that is prepared to actually take responsibility to make a difference. That is not to say all is bad or that certain people and organizations do not create great things. Its the lack of a co ordinated vision and to grasp what could be.
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Big Al

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 07:46:36 AM »
To the thread question itself.

I am having discussions at this moment about registers and important files/tooling related to several types of car. Now without making any kind of specific case out of an situation clearly Peels are the obvious micro example of what can happen if the original cars are unprotected and the information relating to them can be traded to find the 'missing' cars. I have owned an original Trident that was cloned on the assumption it no longer existed as everyone was pretty certain where it actually was, scrapped. Wrong car! Fortunately my buyer was convinced having seen several other alleged 'real' cars, one at auction - the fav place to wash the dodgy. He was convinced that mine was the real one and the others were not! He bought my car, since put next to post production examples it is actually easy to tell a wrong one in nearly all cases. The tricky ones are when a real car has been split two or three ways. I offered to get the car listed and attempt to straighten things out but he preferred not, since his entire car collection is a secret.

So there you have one car that trips up on much of what are, are not and could be the problems of registers.

Firstly the information can be used to manipulate the records of certain cars or to create new or extra ones.

Secondly the information can be used to disbar genuine cars, maliciously

Thirdly the records can be used to obtain rare cars from source. Even a list of likely addresses to which a theft can be attempted.

Fourthly, and perversly, a well run register immediately combats the above, as it has the relevant information to identify real cars and track them. That includes stolen cars when they turn up later, for what good that might do. Even that Peel will reappear at some stage, when it changes owner.

Put another way, a secret is only a secret of no one knows about it. For as long as I have had cars I have had some of them remotely stored. I refuse to leave that chance of the info, as to what be where, to a third party. It has worked as I have only had one car stolen when under my control as opposed to quite a few in the relatively short time of the process of removing vehicles bought from various clearance sites not totally under my control. Once I have things more under my control, with cars stored at home therefore, I will be far less concerned about sharing information.

Fifthly, there will always be reasons why people will not want to have their cars listed. Despite the frustration this has to be respected as like my secret buyer he has very good reasons why that have little to do with cars specifically.

Sadly this suggests only edited highlights of a register can thus be placed in the public domain.

It suggests that the team running the register need to be the right sort of people, honest and trustworthy. Problem is how can you ensure that to be the case over the longer count of years. Once the information is given it cannot be taken back. Certainly it does tend to rely on a benevolent Godparent to oversee and sometimes to finance the operation. What happens when the Godparent can no longer be interested?

One way, in Britain, is for the information and valuable assets to be made into a Trust. That is a self managing and financing entity who picks its own management as trustees. If it obtains gifts it can benefit from gift aid and manage its assets to cover its costs. The closed management allows it the ability of some continuity of the people running it to keep the trust assets safe, used, and fairly administered. The Trojan Trust is such an entity.

This is not an answer but just observation with my bias on registering my vehicles.

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richard

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 01:56:42 PM »
Hmmm moot point this. Jean asked the question and asked for input. Firstly jim asks from a non uk viewpoint - can't see why any difference . Secondly the register gets mixed up with the magazine . Surely the register could run at almost no cost - if it was would more cars be on it ? Those that pay subs actually pay ( quite a lot ) for a quarterly magazine - has this been overtaken by the internet and forums - edwin could never have imagined its impact.lastly on really rare cars I imagine that the owners and the net hold more info than the rum archive . Well you asked
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john Meadows

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 07:40:09 PM »
As you all know I started the Frisky Register over 30 years ago and it has taken all that time to research and sort out the jumble of information that had gone before both in books and on the net.

Its been a big (but enjoyable) job and yes, I do have a vested interest but it has developed into a resource for Frisky owners (jokes on the back of a £10 note to.....) and the self help amongst them has proved invaluable.

Recently Mark in the USA has been able to produce items that have long since been totally unavailable, a real bonus to all FriskySport owners that would not have ever happened without the central point of contact, and its international, with owners in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and the USA becoming involved.

Looking after one marquee is a lot of work and requires team work within that marquee. Operating a register of all makes of micro must be a gargantuan task!! 

I always believed the  Register of Unusual Micro cars was there to mainly cater for those that do not have their own specialist Registers/ Clubs to back them up and this would save duplication of effort and lighten the load and responsibility on Jeans team.

One day we will all need some obscure piece of information and then the Registers/Clubs come into their own, so its in all your interests to give them your support now.

Regards
John
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richard

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 10:54:04 PM »
john looking after one marque is enough for most . looking after a marquee quite another are you "canvassing" our opinions :)
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NickPoll

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 08:09:12 AM »
 Bob said " I would love to see the website refreshed though. The mistake made there was leaving it to a teenager "
Is it Jonathan that is responsible for updating the site ? I thought Jim was the only one who could do that. Please let me know if I'm wrong and I'll stop Jonathan's pocket money until he does it.                Nick.
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Bob Purton

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 09:14:31 AM »
Bob said " I would love to see the website refreshed though. The mistake made there was leaving it to a teenager "
Is it Jonathan that is responsible for updating the site ? I thought Jim was the only one who could do that. Please let me know if I'm wrong and I'll stop Jonathan's pocket money until he does it.                Nick.


It was a long time back now Nick, but as I recall that was the arrangement, Jonathan volunteered to redesign it although Jim would have to implement it.
It was also a long time ago when I was a teenager and I do remember it being a time many distractions, exams, mopeds, Girls, well I think it was in that order anyway! Things have changed a lot since then, its probably now girls, mopeds, exams!  :D

NickPoll

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 09:21:59 AM »
No, it's mopeds, mopeds, mopeds.                         Nick.
Messerschmitt Tiger 500, KR201 roadster, 1955 KR200, 1958 KR200, 1959 KR200, 1964 KR200, Nobel 200, Morgan Super Sports, Goggo Coupe, Isetta 300, Velorex 350, Bond mk D, Lomax.

john Meadows

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Re: What is the point of the Register of Unusual Microcars?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 09:31:14 AM »
sorry Richard, this was not done with in tent
John