LETTER FROM THE NEW PRESIDENT - June 23, 2014
Our AGM is behind us for another year and we have some changes on the executive. I am now the new President. I will do my best to ensure the smooth running of the club and fill the big shoes of my predecessor!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the club for their votes and encouragement.
We enjoyed a great day at RambleRama, Sat. June 21 and our club won 6 trophies. With 11 cars in attendance at the show, this was a very respectable win! Congratulations to all.
I heard a comment the other day that our club is considered "stuck-up". Harm responded that we look at our club as a family and the criteria is quality not quantity. We enjoy doing things together - not only to display our cars - which we love, but also to get together as a group and catch up on each other's lives and just enjoy each other's company. I really like this definition of our club. I hope we continue on in this vein.
If the weather stays the same as it was this past weekend, we can get out to lots of cruises and shows. I hope everyone has a great summer and I hope to see many of you over the season.
Best Regards, Jodee Scott
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT - May 18, 2014
Well it’s been quite a ride for Barb and I the last couple of months and I just realized that I haven’t done a president’s message lately.
To start with, for those that don’t know, Barb and I sold our house in Wyevale effective May 8 and now are living in our RV until we get possession of the farm we are buying in October so all our possessions are in storage. Quite a shock to the system to move from 3000 sq ft house to a 250 sq ft RV!!
As you should have seen in the minutes of our spring planning meeting, we have a busy summer of car related activities, some of which we are planning as “club events” and some of just general interest for members to consider attending. The main point is to get out and enjoy your cars and show the AMC colours to the car world.
Many of us are planning a trip to Charleston, stopping at the NASCAR Hal of fame in Charlotte on the way down. If you are thinking of going down, let Ken Edward or me know and we will share our itinerary and see if it works for you.
At the planning meeting we announced that we will be replacing some of our executive this year so if you have someone in mind or would like to volunteer for a position, let us know so we can put names forward for voting at the AGM meeting at Jeff Sprats place after Rambler Rama show in June.
LETTER FROM THE CHAPTER DIRECTOR – Nov 8, 2013
First of all, I would like to apologize for not being in touch with you over the last couple of months. My Mother had a stroke and subsequent fall August 30 and we have been dealing with that since. She is doing well and is home now.
Our club had business cards printed up to hand out to folks interested in our cars. I was in getting my regular car undercoating for another Canadian winter and noticed their calendar, which featured “Classic Cars”, had a 1967 AMX as its November car! That started a discussion and one of the other customers there mentioned his brother had 2 AMX’s. So I gave him my card to give to his brother. I began to wonder how other clubs encouraged interest or membership in their clubs. If you have something you would like to share with the rest of the clubs, please let me know and I will pass it around.
My brother-in-law and I recently moved a couple of 1969 Rebel SST’s for a very good friend of ours from Ada, OK to Yerington, NV. We actually drove from Ontario, Canada to Carson City, NV to accomplish this move and to meet our friend for the first time. It was a great trip and a wonderful visit. Along the way we saw several American Motors vehicles, some who needed restoration and others in great condition and even a daily driver Eagle Station Wagon in Oklahoma! We even popped into a local cruise night in Albuquerque, NM – no AMC’s there, though we did turn a few heads when we first arrived, with the 2 Rebels on the trailer behind us. I was thinking this is another great opportunity to ‘introduce” your car club while folks are admiring your baby. One of the great advantages I point out to interested folks is the opportunity to network with other clubs for parts, restoration techniques and suppliers, not to mention the wonderful social aspect of a club.
Well, the Christmas Season is soon upon us and for my part I am really looking forward to our car club’s Christmas Party on November 30th. We always have a wonderful get-together with great food and lots of laughs. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!
MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT – January 3, 2013
By John Vander Muelen
First, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2013. The cataclysmic events predicted for December 21st didn’t materialize so we now have more time to enjoy what has often been described as extensions of our personalities, our cars. Blessed with a second chance we can get enthusiastic about the upcoming driving season. It won’t be long before the snow melts, the air is warm and the open road beckons. I can feel the wind in my hair already, AMX ventless windows up or down! Each spring is a renaissance that carries the unlimited potential for automotive experiences in the new year. For those of us who are lucky enough to have a heated work area, winter gives us a chance to make some repairs and upgrades. Speaking of heated work areas, had I been in a position to advise the founding fathers on how to divide North America I would have said , screw the 49th parallel, divide it up vertically, that way we would at least have had Florida or California.
Speaking of “pony cars,” bad news for GM Camaro workers. Despite the Oshawa Autoplex having one of the lowest defect rating of all GM North American plants, the decision was made to shift the iconic brand to Michigan in the near future.. oh, by the way, the Camaro was to be originally called the “Panther”. In a rapidly changing world it was a political move….coincidentally coming on the heels of “right to work” legislation. Right to work translates out to union busting and lower wages enabled by a larger labour pool to draw from. That puts the great historic auto manufacturing state of Michigan in the same league as South Carolina.
Anyway, on to happier news. Classic (fine or distinctive) cars including our own American Motors lineup are still very affordable. Prices are up and down with the economy, parts are readily available. Some of our more unique treasures are gaining more recognition. Hemmings Motor News, January 2013, does a complimentary spread on the 1977 Pacer and one of our members has expressed preference of a Gremlin over a Porsche. Now that’s loyalty!
The location of this year’s convention is a special treat, having visited Auburn several times and as recently as last September. The cars in the Auburn/Cord/Duesenburg Museum are impressive and elegant. Grand luxury marques with imaginative mechanical engineering. A 1936 Auburn Speedster recently sold for $605,000 at the Pebble Beach Auction. Toyota Corollas they’re not! A thorough Museum inspection and informative history analysis can take up the best part of a day.
The way the weather has been lately it promises to be a short winter and its half over already. The Toronto International Auto Show is just around the corner and cruise nights aren’t far behind. Twenty thirteen promises to be a banner year.
Christmas Message from the President - December 19, 2012
Well, it's that time of year again! We look forward to the holidays, being with family and friends and enjoying each other's company. Soon the days will start getting longer again (although it doesn't seem like it right now). As I look back over the last year I think it was a year of 'firsts'. Ken Perrier's first full year with his X on the road; first convention for him in a LONG time; first chance for us to attend Mosport - sorry - "Canadian Tire Motor Sport Park" and drive the track with our cars; first event with air planes, and most recently - first sit-down Christmas dinner with all of us at one table at our Christmas party this year. I can't help but be amazed how long we have been together! Sure there has been a few name changes for the club but even as AMO Plus, it's been since 1999!!
I hope the season finds you healthy, happy and with time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.
All the best to you and your family!
Summer Message from the President - July 12, 2012
Enroute to AMO International Car Show
I'm dictating this to you as I'm following Ken Edwards and Roberta Sommerville in Roberta's 1978 Pacer and new member, Henry Joneit, in his Mazda 3 (cough, cough). It's. About 8:00 pm and the sun's starting to go down, the air is cooling off, driving thru the mountains of New Hampshire, about an hour from Andover, Massachusetts. I really have to apologize to everyone. It's been quite some time since I've talked about driving our Hornet to a meet, yet when it came to going to the convention, we always seemed to find a lengthy reasons to load the Hornet on the trailer. They were all quite sound - poor gas mileage, no air conditioning, seats that need reupholstering and a pesky little oil leak from the main rear seal. So we would usually head off in the air conditioned comfort of our truck with our beloved Hornet in tow so we could drive it around the convention. This year was going to be no different, until Ken Perrier asked if he could borrow our trailer. I thought - what the heck, the meet is only 12 hours away - let's drive the car for a change, knowing full well all the challenges with the car listed above and then throw in a draggy brake that Ken diagnosed as a bad flex hose on the brake line. Sure, we're only getting half the mileage as Bert's Pacer (and we won't even talk about Henry's Mazda). It's good thing we have to stop every 2 -3 hours for fuel and oil as my ass couldn't take these seats any longer than that! And, if we'd brought along a spare oil filter, we could have spun it on and called the trip an oil change! BUT, its all worth it when you pull over at a stop and you have multiple people come up and ask about Roberta's Pacer or the Hornet, and where we were headed. Or as we drive through the Appalachian Mountains via the interstate and have people pass us and give the thumbs up. Don't get me wrong. There are very good reasons for trailering your car, but if you have the chance - drive it - especially on a long trip like this one.
The other thing I'd like to mention is that I received notice that I was successful in my bid to be on the board of directors. The term starts in January and I would like to thank you all for your support.
Spring Message from the President – March 14, 2012
Wow John, you’re a hard act to follow and thank you for your "Vice President’s message" to start off the New Year.
As I sit here this morning it's +11c at 8:30 am, March 13!! I'm itching to fire up Barbie's SC and go for a spin but cooler heads prevail. But if this is any indication for our coming year then look out, it should be a great one! I have already been contacted by a few members wanting to plan our caravan to Connecticut and the National Convention. I will send out more information to those wishing to join the “caravan” as plans are discussed. Many dates for the upcoming shows are now being confirmed and I don’t know about you but I am already having conflicts in my calendar with what I can and will be able to attend.
Speaking of which make sure you attend the spring meeting at Ken and Roberta's. We will be looking at events for the coming year, talking about another order of club shirts among other topics and updates, and of course having a great game of cards after. If you have any topics for discussion please let Jodee know so she can include them in the agenda. I am looking forward to seeing you there.
So in the mean time do what John suggested in his message, get all that cleaning and updating done to your beauty so he/she is ready for when the nice weather is here to stay and if we do get another reminder of winter, yet just remember that we had it very easy this year!
See you in a few weeks!
Harm van der Veen
PS I've decided to put my hat in the ring for a position on the Board of Directors of AMO and would appreciate your vote. Keep a eye out in the next American Motoring for the ballads.
A Brief Message from the Vice President
January 1, 2012
First I would like to wish everyone all the best for the New Year. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet all of you personally in the future, our membership being spread over a large geographic area.
We’re living in interesting and uncertain times. Depending on who you listen to we’re either slowly coming out of the recession (government sources) or its 1933 all over again and we’re entering a period similar to Japan’s lost decade. The year 2012 will be pivotal in the economy, the auto industry undergoing somewhat of a renaissance, the centre of manufacture shifting to Asia, new computer aided technologies, such as self parking, flywheel powered alternators, lightning –bolt ignition (Mercedes), engine blocks made from carbon- fiber-reinforced epoxy, 7 speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions coming on stream… etc…you get the picture Makes me wish for my 67 Rambler American back. It was quite adequate and did everything a new car does for a fraction of the repair cost.
So, forget the doom and gloom. Don’t quit your job before you have another one and spend the winter months enhancing your AMC classic. Auto events are scheduled earlier every year and becoming more numerous. In the GTA, Durham and Kawartha regions one can attend a cruise most nights of the week and a Show & Shine every weekend. Bottom line is you want to be ready. For inspiration attend the Classic Car Collector Auction being held at the International Centre April 13, 14 & 15. Sitting in on the auction gives one insight on what criteria makes a car valuable.
If you think about it, we’ve lived through an automotive Golden Age. Although auto technology advanced steadily during the first half of the 20th century it was the years from 1951 to 1976 that produced many unique automobiles. In the pre-AMC family the 52 Hudson Hornet and 51 Nash Healy are considered milestone cars.
By the mid seventies, insurance rates and the oil embargo had severely impacted the auto industry, downsizing began and performance dwindled. Never before had we the choice of so many colours, body styles, prices, options and performance packages. The appeal of these vehicles is that they were affordable to the baby boomer generation, new, and the majority still within reach (forget Hemi-Cuda Convertibles!)
The classic car is the ultimate man-machine interface. An extension of your personality. You can admire it, put it on display, park it in your living room, polish it, drive it, win awards with it and meet new people in the process.
So, now that we realize what treasures we own we can look forward with anticipation to an active 2012….and with the ominous Mayan Calendar predictions for Dec 21st of this year we may want to make an extra special effort!
By John vander Meulen
Message from the President
December 6, 2011
First off, I'd like to extend Season's Greetings to all our members. Hope you're not getting too caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas purchases and that you take some time to enjoy what's really important - friends and family! We certainly can't complain about the fall we've had. Many have been able to drive their cars much longer than normal, but by now I believe they are all put away for the season.
In my last message, I hinted that there was some interest in doing a winter show and Ken Perrier recently reiterated that at the Christmas party. We need to get some feedback from those who would like to put a car in or even assist at the show so that the owners can take a break. I'm hoping Ken Perrier will volunteer to co-ordinate this as I'm sure he's anxious to show off his pride and joy. It's been a long time since we've done an indoor show, but they are fun. You meet and talk to lots of people and it breaks up the winter withdrawal from your baby!
We've had the website now for a few months, and Jodee and I were just wondering what you think of it. If there are any suggestions for change or, more importantly, if you have anything you'd care to share with us, please contact Jodee. The nice aspect of the website is that there is no "press date" so it can be updated anytime which makes information more current than the old paper newsletter.
Just an aside, if you have an opportunity to watch Cars 2, take it! I don't know how many of you have watched the original Cars, but it is a funny show. The animation is amazing and it's a way to escape reality for a couple of hours. Cars 2 is no exception to that. The added bonus for us is that Gremlins and Pacers are predominantly featured in the movie. I wish it was in a better light, but you still have to chuckle. When you watch it, pay particular attention to details such as tires and wheels. It's amazing that they got it "correct".
Again, in closing, we wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday. We look forward to seeing you in 2011