This will be an exciting year for the Club as it is our 25th anniversary; the first meeting of the Club being held on 24th September 1979. This is a milestone in the development of the Club, which will soon become evident to you by a number of changes that are taking place as well as a diverse range of activities and services, which will hopefully appeal to all interests. These changes are in response to an examination of the workings of the Club, which I undertook a few months ago with input from Committee members, as well as reflecting your aspirations from the recent membership survey.
What is the Classic Car Club?
Good question – and unless you have a copy of the Articles of Association you may not be aware of our primary aims and purpose. Simply put, the Club aims to promote interest in Classic cars and motorcycles in Hong Kong by carrying out various activities which include supporting suitable community and charitable events. Our intention is to provide the type of activities and services catering to a wide range of interests, in a way that projects us as a genuine classic car enthusiasts Club. We are conscious of the fact that cars registered with the Club cover a span of some 70 years and it is important that in planning events and services we take into account the challenges posed to owners in preserving and running older and less well-known cars, in addition to those newer cars.
A person does not have to own a classic vehicle to join the Club, but obviously those who do join should be genuinely interested in such vehicles and supporting the aims and purposes of the Club. Most of our events stipulate that participation is only open to Classic cars over 20 years of age. The Committee however at its discretion and by exception may permit more recent vehicles to participate in events their rarity and uniqueness will add value to (rather than detract from) the event itself. At present the Club has very few Classic motorcycles and this is one area where we would like to expand.
One area where you have probably already noticed change is the structure of the Committee. The first change is to appoint a Vice Chairman. With a Club of some 400 members plus an increasing volume of work, it is important that there is good continuity in the development of the Club in the future. I can think of no one better than Clement Chen to take on this post, in addition to his other responsibilities as Treasurer.
The second change is to increase the number of sub-committees. By spreading the workload members who are willing to assist, I hope that we can plan greater and more varied events than hitherto has been the case. In fact this already seems to be working as we have some 14 events at various stages of planning! Our hard working Communication Co-ordinator, Roger Lai, will send details of these to you nearer the time. In response to the recent membership survey some 30 members offered to assist in planning events in some way. If you would like to assist in any particular area then please contact the Chairmen of the sub-committee concerned or myself. (Details at the front of the newsletter).
Another area of change is the newsletter with Ian Foster, who has much talent in this area, taking over as Editor, assisted by Aaron Liu our grahic designer. We hope that you like the new format and I am sure with the combined talents of Ian and Aaron, with translations provided by Roger Lai we will further improve the newsletter in the future.
Presently the Club’s Racing Sub-committee organizes racing in Sepang Malaysia for those members who have suitable vehicles, not to mention the skills required to undertake such activities. Such vehicles require extensive modifications, and with the resources and skills required, in reality such events only attract limited, but loyal, participation. This in no way devalues the importance of such activity but it is felt that there is a need to cater to broader racing interests if possible. Consequently therefore the Club is now examining with the HK Automobile Association if it is possible to arrange the type of events in which less experienced drivers can participate with minimum modifications to their vehicles. Even go-kart racing is being considered. Simon Westbrook is examining this and will update you on progress in due course.
Services to Members
As I mentioned in my earlier letter to you, one new service that we plan to introduce is to provide a reference point on the availability of specialist services to help you preserve and maintain your classic cars. This will be undertaken by Nick Ratcliffe who has prepared an article in the newsletter on how this will work in practice. Nick will also be the contact with other Clubs in the region and hopefully will be able to produce the details of some overseas events open to public, which should be of interest to those of you travelling to those countries.
China and overseas Drives
In the past years, we have had a number of very successful drives to the mainland and last year the Macau Grand Prix event. Such events take considerable planning and resources and we will, therefore, be seeking your views in future regarding your expectations in this area. In particular, we are keen to ensure that such activities are practical, affordable, suitable for both older and newer classic cars and not over-ambitious in the time required away from the office.
The 25th Anniversary
As I mentioned this will be a particularly active year for the Club and we are planning a major car show, at Chater Rd on 17th October and a Dinner on 24th September. Please keep these dates free in your diary. We are expecting a very exciting year and if you have any views or wish to assist in any way please do not hesitate to contact me or other Committee members.
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