Author Topic: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded  (Read 11255 times)

mharrell

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The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« on: June 17, 2010, 12:44:02 am »
This announcement just appeared on one of the Yahoo! microcar groups so I thought I'd spread the word here, particularly since the forum for the (still very much extant) Vintage Microcar Club is currently offline [Hi, Jim!].  The former URL microcarworld.org is now just a web placeholder, though the "associated" blog may still continue at minutia-microcarsminicars.blogspot.com.

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It is with sad feelings that after 18 years the Board of Directors of the Microcar & Minicar Club have decided to close the Club.

With retirement, changes in personal interests, and the ever increasing difficulty of supporting a vibrant active national club using solely 100% volunteers, the Board has decided it is in everyone's best interest to disband the club.

All members in good standing will have the remaining balance of their paid dues refunded.

We wish to thank all of you for your generosity and support of this great hobby over these past 18 years. Owning, driving, restoring, and best of all, communicating with our members from all over the Globe under the large umbrella organization we called "The Microcar and Minicar Club." has been a joy for all of us to have been a part of!

We would like to personally thank each and every one of you for your support over the years! Much was achieved during our 18 years of existence. That success was only possible from great enthusiasts such as yourselves! We can't thank you enough!

Happy Microcaring and Minicaring;

The Board of Directors
The Microcar and Minicar Club

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197? Lyman Electric Quad (two), 1978 KV Mini 1, 1980 KV Mini 1, 1981 HMV Freeway

Big Al

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 08:32:53 am »
Bummer!
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Jim Janecek

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 01:18:25 pm »
The "bummer" is that this actually happened 5 years ago and it took this long to make this announcement.

Also a "bummer" is the scorched earth policy that basically kept all control in the hands of one rather anti-social, stubborn and manipulative person.
That is why it is "disbanding" rather than being passed on to another person or group.

Having actually BEEN on "The Board of Directors" at one time (for several years), I was dismayed to find that the "Club" was considered to be run for "The Board of Directors" and that "members" were just something that were put up with.
"Members" were not informed of meetings and were not welcome at them.  "Club Picnics" were held that were for Board Members only, no "outsiders".

I tried for many years to get them to incrementally adapt to a new world of communication and new collectors and enthusiasts but was not only rebuffed each time but ridiculed for attempting to do anything different.  As a Board Member, I felt it was my job to ensure that the entity continued on no matter what.  This was view was perceived as a "threat" and that my real reason was to "hijack" the Club.
I suppose there is some truth to that since the "Club" was apparently intended only for the benefit of The Board of Directors.....

I tried to get the magazine to move to a digital format for printing, not only for longevity but for cost savings as well.  Of course they scoffed and told me that there was no need for any change as their current Printer would be doing the magazine for a long long time!  
About a year later they were scrambling because their "Printer" had decided to close up shop.  "Emergency meetings" were held and the "problem" was eventually "solved" (not by me of course!)

~Six years ago - at a Board Meeting - I brought up the subject of contingency planning.  Among other things I asked; what would happen -God Forbid!- if anything happened to the current editor of the magazine?
Without missing a beat, the Chairman (and also Treasurer) replied: "Well, that's it!  That's the End Of The Club!"

Bummer indeed.  ::)

« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 01:23:52 pm by JimJanecek »

Bob Purton

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 03:28:49 pm »
That was a good rant Jim. You must feel better having got that off your chest! :D :D

Big Al

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 09:11:19 pm »
Clubs have a life span. They are most fun when new or when being relaunched. They get baggage and middle aged with success collecting people wanting to belong but not offering anything in return. Then the get old unless there is a turnover of people running the thing. This shows as not wanting change, grumpy cliques and half the committee never using the thing the club was for. Happens all the time. My advice is to look at a club before joining very hard to see where it is on the cycle. Now if it is not new or relaunching with some fresh faces I am normally not interested. I belong to only two Microcar Clubs now.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Jim Janecek

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 11:30:31 pm »
You are spot on with regards to the lifespan of Clubs.
I expect The Vintage Microcar Club to suffer a similar fate at some point. Nothing lasts forever.

Hey Al, were you aware that you have been listed as a "Club Rep" for The Microcar & Minicar Club for several years?
That is out of... oh maybe 8 people total.

P50

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 06:44:42 am »
Too many clubs spoil the broth!

I wouldn't say all clubs will die.  One of the best is the MOC.   (easy Al...!)

A fine read and good parts availability to keep a KR running.   Getting those parts can occasionally prove interesting!

Another angle is being responsible for the whole shebang.

Mr Boyd does a fine job iro the Scootacar    http://www.scootacar.org.uk/  The site is now rather good.  (My old Mk1 NBJ805 is featured..)  He's the main man.

Finally one useless effort was the Isetta IOC joke. Well it was a few years ago.  I had a Brighton car which needed parts.  Could I get them? Could I ****.    I couldn't speak to anyone by phone.  Had to write a letter. What a pathetic way of getting parts.  So I duly did explaining in great detail what I wanted.     Guess what?  got all the wrong parts.  Another letter, weeks pass,  some right, some wrong, bits arrive blah blah. I also detected a lot of poison from that club's forum.  That only takes one ill and severly twisted man and several i.d's.       So I flogged (to my eternal regret) the car.  I assume the club's improved but damage done.    I won't be owning another Isetta.  We'll leave that to Bob and Thumper!




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Big Al

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2010, 12:25:37 pm »
Yes I was aware I was listed in there. I attempted to make contact a few times and sent a few items for the mag. No real interest and no feedback. However it was fine to be mentioned as it bought interesting Americans to my door who I helped and thus I know more people than I would otherwise have done.

I have restored and run Schmitts for yonks without being a member of the spares cartel. I am now able to be an MOC member again. It is not for me to knock the MOC. They do some things very well. I think that the resurgent MEC speaks for any criticism I might have of the MOC better than what I could say here as I have tried to do something about it. It is quite clear if you could put the best of the MOC and MEC together you would have a brilliant club. How to do it?
Maybe I am an awkward sort of bloke but I just have real problems with some clubs and the effect they have on people. Individually the members are fine. Put then in a field with the club and its like being a black cheerleader at an Afrikaans convention with the same guys. I am not talking about just microcar clubs here though looking across what we have there are clubs in various states of the cycle. Ultimately it is a people thing and if you get the wrong blokes in charge it can poison things even if they might genuinely be trying to do their best. What is tragic is when the genuinely do their worst!
Once I was a committed club person. The years have taken there toll, partly as I get involved in running things. I am no longer a great club supporter and prefer to do my own thing with selected buddies rather than tow a party line or do things 'because we have always done it that way'. Over the years I have seen so many talented peeps attempt to get into things to be rejected on some level or other and disappear. I now find I am meeting more of these non aligned folks by being not aligned myself. There is a lot going on out there which closed clubs just completely miss out on and in doing so the folk with talents they could use if they had the imagination to see it. It is only the MEC really keeping me in the Microcar mainstream I think now as interest spreads far and wide. i will always have the core collection but once I have got property settled down I could go off in a new direction completely. In part that is a club issue as they are not moving with the times nor are many events ones I want to attend anymore.

Stephen is an interesting case. He does not offer a club in terms of mags, rules etc. He offers the support of a centralised hub of information run by an enthusiast. That includes Scootabout. You get what your given and are thankful for it. He has my vote as one of the best Micronauts over the years.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

richard

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2010, 02:40:53 pm »
i made my views on the moc quite clear , it may have been 10 years ago but i will never forget how unhelpfull 3 or 4 very well known comittee members were to me . i got rid of the car because of their attitude. then again bob benefited by ending up with it  :)
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Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2010, 03:19:19 pm »

Stephen is an interesting case. He does not offer a club in terms of mags, rules etc. He offers the support of a centralised hub of information run by an enthusiast. That includes Scootabout. You get what your given and are thankful for it. He has my vote as one of the best Micronauts over the years.


 Agreed! On exactly the same level as RCN, Scootabout is the one micro mag, (alongside the aforementioned RCN) that I really do sit by the letterbox of a morning waiting for it when I hear its on its way, & the fact its only one per year does actully add to the event of reciving it.

 Looking around at most of the micro Clubs/Registers etc, I do belive it is often a Register which does the better job over a Club. A Club is so many times polutted by too many folk all wanting the top job or the reflected limelight, whereas a Register, let us be frank, is usualy a bonevelent Dictatorship, and I say that in the best possible way. In the way meaning that if you want to know something or have something done, go to the bloke who loves the car above all else. 

 I am first to say that I alone rule over the Invalid Carriage world, becuse I do belive I know that world better than anyone else. It sounds big-headed yes, but nobody has yet tried to overthrow me, so everyone else would seem to be in agreement so far. Stephen Boyd holds the crown for Scootacars, and I personal, hope he does for a further thirty years to come, becuse he is the one person we know we can trust to see Scootacars right past. present & future.

 Another classic case is David Hambleton of the Trojan Museum Trust. He is one of the most single-minded people I have ever met in persuit of his aims, which is nothing less than the permanant survival of the entire Trojan world. The fact he is doing it almost totally single-handly & getting there whatever is thrown at him speaks volumes.

It's a strange quirk in the world, but true: so many times a commitee of dozens can't get things moving, but one dedicated man can move mountains anywhere.   

Bob Purton

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2010, 11:22:14 pm »
I would agree with a lot of that Stuart but we shouldn't be too hard on the clubs, after all some of these officials have been working with the clubs for a long long time, in fact from long before you and I were on the scene. Single mindedness is all very well but most enthusiasts "have a life" as well, family commitments etc. Everyone has a different experience to tell about there dealings with clubs, a lot of it is good but we just tend to remember the bad stuff more! If it were not for the clubs most of the rallies that we have enjoyed over the years would not have happend. I tend to like registers too for the same reasons you have stated. I wouldn't disagree that you are also the font of all knowledge re Invalid carriages but before your head swells too much have you considered that there may be other reasons why nobody has tried to usurp you as top man? For starters its a very specialised field and to put it politely, interest is very limited. Anyone who gives of there time for the interests of the hobby be it a register or a club, be him a anorak or a casual enthusiast, all are to be comended. Lets make sure we don't become so negative about the clubs that we talk them out of existence!

marcus

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 08:10:34 am »
True. Some clubs might get into a bad rut as Jim described. Most struggle along trying to find enough volunteers to fill posts and keep things moving. However flawed some clubs become, they are still usually central to peoples' ability to keep old cars going, with spares and advice, as well as information and rallies. All classic car clubs and their members also have to try really hard to get young people interested. Mot of us on this forum are most keen on 1930s-19703 era cars and some of that is down to nostalgia for the cars we used to see when we were young, or which our parents and grand parents used to have. For those too young to know about 50s-60s micros there is bound to be less interest, because there is no family connection to them so they have to see the cars in use and be attracted into ownership, or all the micros just become museum pieces rather than Living History.
Pat of the fun of owning my Trojan in London is that when ever I stop somewhere people of all ages come over and start asking me about it, many of them would never even hear about bubble cars if all of them were stuck in museums, and clubs play a vital role in keeping them on the road.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Big Al

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Re: The Microcar & Minicar Club has disbanded
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 09:31:45 am »
I would suggest several microcar clubs actually fail the De Mowbrey test as they do not help preserve and put cars on the road - unless you wish to join or agree with the clique that seem intent on running things. Could this be why our market prices in certain marques are dragging behind those elsewhere? The attitude puts people off ownership and if there is a ready market paying a premium price abroad the cars leave. In effect these selfish people are destroying their own hobby but are to enmeshed in the need to stay part of the 'gang' to respond to the genuine needs of car owners. Case in point, why is the MOC even debating selling one of the most original cars left when it should be accessable to members so as to research the correct way to restore their car? Makes no sense on any level, especially if the car was used as the resource that it is. For real Schmitters the car is beyond value. Fortunately many of the MOC can see this hence there is discussion but quite what the proponants of selling are thinking I cannot guess. Oh dear, I had a go at the MOC but in fact not, it is a few wrong thinkers who seem to be creating unrest. If they sold the car however I would have to say the club would loose the right to call itself a serious club but would become a business pure and simple where they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs