Letter received today from the Henry Ford regarding participation in the Old Car Festival. In the future, all participants will be by invitation only. They are going to give preference to theme cars and a tertiary priority on the sheer number of similar type vehicles (those common fords).
If they want to cut down participation, just raise the entry fee!
Jon,When one think's about spending 15 or 20.00 to go to a local car show where they have 6 classes for Chevelle's the Old Car Festival is the best bargain ever!! I guess i kind of feel sorry for those who might not make it. Bud.
Gilmore Car Museum is going to do a prewar meet in May with A Tour and pass and review along with displays with no judging, All the details haven't been completed yet. Here is s perfect opportunity for anyone that wants to participate can participate. No imitation required. I don't have the details but the museum alone is worth the trip and the grounds are absolutely beautiful. Here is an excellent option if your not invited to the OCF.
Yup, I got the same letter today. I'm not sure what it all means but if you participated in 2014 AND 2015 then you are automatically invited. Too bad they have to limit things. I wonder what that means if you skip a year?
Looks like May 21 is the date at the fabulous Gilmore Museum. Rick
Mark is right about the Gilmore Red Barns as it is a great place!We were there a few years ago and there was a flee market and on site camping! Please keep us posted Mark.Thank's in advance Bud.
Don, I got the same letter today but I'm not so sure about being "automatically invited". The letter says, "…this is your invitation to apply." That, to me, means, you still need to be approved/invited. I hope I'm wrong and if anyone thinks so, please say so.
I haven't missed an OCF since 1963 (even cutting a European trip short so I could make it) and have narrated the Pass-In-Review since1981. Last year, I heard through the Museum grapevine there might be changes, so this year being my 35th year narrating and with the changes, I told the powers that be at the Museum that 2016 would be my last narrating both Motor Muster and OCF. I think I made a good decision.
My now adult kids would be devastated if we couldn't bring a car to the OCF. They grew up with it and not being able to go would be heart breaker. My 2-year old granddaughter is already enamored with old cars (she loved our recent tour of the Piquette Plant) and not being able to bring her and continue a family tradition would be … I dunno, just awful.
You are right Marty, I'm not the best proof reader. This change is a big one if you ask me. First you have to be invited and then they want to approve what model car you bring. It may be more hassle than what its worth to take a car. Really puts a damper on the whole thing.
Don, as far as I'm concerned, it is a MAJOR change. And, as I read the letter, there is a lot to read between the lines and, so to speak, unsaid. OCF has been an institution, a major force in our lives. For my kids, it always heralded the end of summer and going back to school. Not being able to attend and bring a car is -- I can't express the familial loss it would be. For us, it not exaggerating to say it would be like not celebrating Christmas as a family.
One more thought as to how important OCF is to my family: my daughter even scheduled her wedding around OCF so she and my family could attend.
Well here's the thing Marty. They complained that the amount of trailers, motorhomes and fifth wheels in the parking lot had overwhelmed them. But what I couldn't help but notice was they had no organization as to where to park. When I pulled in it was as if they dropped their hands and gave up on any sort of orderly parking. And I was one of the earlier rigs. They have the room but not the system to utilize it. So I suppose its just easier to eliminate a percentage of those that want to bring their cars.
Don, I'm sure that's part of it.
I've been a consultant to the Museum since 1981. There was a time when OCF participation was down to a couple of hundred vehicles. Through hard work, the OCF team managed to get participation to where it is now. Maybe they created a monster! There is an incredible amount of underutilized room at the Village. The problem is, labor. There just isn't enough labor to handle the amount of vehicles. I know it is a major undertaking to handle OCF. But, on the other hand, now that they charge, they make more money. And with the Gaslight Parade (which I pushed for for years) guests come in just for that on Saturday night.
I'm not sure what they mean in the letter by guest expectations, how the event has gotten so big that it's hard for the guests to navigate and the participants to maneuver through (I'm paraphrasing). It seems to me that the more participants and guests they have, the more money they make.
The letter states that, "The car shows are important and foundational to this organization." If that's the case, then leave it alone. Add more personnel -- voluntary or otherwise, use more of the space available, maybe make a three day event. Don't spoil the oldest, continues car show in the USA and exclude long time participants and, possibly, unusual and rare cars.
Amen to that!!! Bud.
I have not received my letter as yet.....my first ocf was last year had a great time and was pLanning on being a regular.....does that mean I am not invited?
Exactly. There are many local A and T clubs in that area that might step up to the plate and assist with free manpower. I think this may be a classic example of shooting ones own foot. However, last year was the first year that the engineers building was returned to service. The parking lot for the trailers and such was occupied by the employees that work there. I was given a heads up that this was going to be a problem for future car shows. It was also the reason they would not let us in the gates until that parking lot was clear. That means they had very little time to organize the parking. In fairness to them they probably did the best they could do for such a sudden and large amount of participants. But to limit certain people because of their model of cars is not a good thing for the festival. It will turn it in to a stuffy crowd in the long run.
I got my letter early today but didn't want to say anything until others could chime in first. I too am really troubled by this change - although I have only been attending for less than ten years, this is truly the highlight of my year! Our local tours are nice and I always enjoy taking my '14 out whenever I can, but the OCF is beyond anything I could ever possibly imagine; it's an old car lovers paradise! Looking at all the cars is a thrill, but to actually get the opportunity to drive your antique vehicle in a setting that is authentically historic along with other antique cars is just fantastic - an opportunity that is unique to our State and frankly, a rare experience. I totally understand the need to limit the entree's simply based on the logistics; you can only squeeze so many cars in. But the thing I'm worried about is the second part of the letter - the one about accepting cars based on uniqueness. To quote "But our focus will be on variety over the sheer number of vehicles of a similar type, with unique vehicles given precedence." So I've been invited to apply based on last years participation, but are they saying that even though I can apply, I may not get accepted because there are too many 1914 Touring's and they would prefer a car that is more unique? And if they reject me because there are too many 1914's, then that would exclude me from any future invitation letters because I failed to participate the previous year. If I'm reading it correctly, that would be the case. Can you imagine going to the OCF, once you've known the joy of driving your car there in the past, and just walking around watching everyone else having the time of their life??? No thanks.
Got my letter today also. WOW what a disappointment. I'm a newbie, This will be my 9th year I hope! I can't imagine not being able to go it is the highlight of my Michigan summer. I bring and encourage friends from out of state to come! Some have come back on thier own during the year just to see the Museum. What a loss to GFV & THF for the exposure alone. Hope they rethink this "brainstorm" really!
PLEASE DON'T MESS UP A WONDERFUL THING
Where's the Gillmore.
Richland Michigan just north of Kalamaoo.
Sound like it just got to big good fun enjoyable shows do maybe they need add an Ford only show and say Pre ww1 show and Pre WW2 and Pre view man show
I have always wanted to go but living on the west coast probly never will
Wow, the OCF has grown a lot in the last few years, but isn't that what it's all about? Like others have said, more cars more folks coming to see them. I wonder if the Motor Muster is getting scaled back/invitation only??? I would say the Old Car Festival is now at it's prime. Jim Derocher, AuGres, Michigan
Yup, JD the motor munster is included according to the letter...
I've had a car at the OCF for over 35 years and my kids and now grandkids can brag they never missed a single show. Over the years, I've heard the Henry Ford talk of changes and I confess I'm not too worried. I've seen the Motor Muster disappear for a brief spell and I saw it come back new and improved. I've also seen the demise of the winter Sports Cars on Review which was held inside along the Street of Shops. Things change but I realize the Village can't change the OCF without throwing the baby out with the bath. I believe that every participant also is responsible for bringing in several paying visitors who end up enjoying the food services as well as the show itself. Then on the way home, they're tasked with buying the obligatory hats, toy cars, and shirts for their kids. This show is a major income generator. If you change the formula too much, people won't be coming to see their friends and their cars. While I see many people walking the show, I also see many camps where car owners sit under their folding ramadas and receive a gaggle of guests through the day.
My vote is to give the Henry Ford a chance. The letter we received was a "stay tuned for further developments" and I'm willing to wait and see. I survived the loss of the complimentary coffee urns with doughnuts in the morning and I've managed to maintain my weight in spite of the loss of the Saturday night dinner at the Swanee Pavilion. This show has changed through the years and this is yet another change. I do miss the sundae shop though.
In other news, I notice that the Hyatt-Adoba-Royal Dearborn Hotel is in the process of changing ownership again.
These are my personal opinions and I do not presume to represent the Henry Ford.
We got there in the morning on Saturday and parked where we were spoted but later a person parked so close it was impossiable to use our side door on the trailer!! If the people who parked so close it would have been nice if they would have thought as they were on the end and could have gave room but they were jerks who thought it was funny!!! You and your car used to get a invite and then you were to send current pictures to be approved so maybe this has came back?? If invited to come again it will be our 18"th time and our oldest grandson has never missed a year. Two years ago with troubles with my tow pick up and the storm i found Tom Miller to represent the Henry Ford Very Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
So, if you didn't receive a letter you are out?
I tend to agree with Tom Miller and Bud. Especially regarding the Ice Cream Sundae Shop.
Yes there were a tremendous number of T's and A's at the show. Pass In Review even takes the T's in groups.
There was a time in history when a very high percentage of the world's cars were FORDS.
But Tertiary...have the managers gone upscale and forgotten what paid for the place?
I am getting old. I looked up the definition of the word Tertiary, and I still don't know wtf THF meant. Maybe henceforth I shall be tertiary?
Well, they certainly need come up with a procedure on how to park all the trailers and tow vehicles! It was so obvious that they were unprepared for the volume of vehicles that arrived despite having a clue when, in the application they asked what your tow vehicle would be.
There are a handful of vehicles that shouldn't have been approved over the last few years. One that comes to mind is the Model T speedster that is painted purple and neon green. How is that approved when the application says period colors? Clearly, the owner, a young woman, knows someone connected to the event! That is just plain wrong with the history of the OCF. I have seen a Model T with hydraulic disc brakes on the rear wheels at the OCF. That also, is NOT suppose to be approved either!
I do believe, they need to increase the Gaslight Tour route as it used to be years ago. Instead they shortened the route which just adds to the congestion!
Will be interesting to read the follow up letter.............
It meaning a third priority.
Mark Eyre -- Please post specifics on the Gilmore event here when the plans are finalized.
Living on the west coast, I don't often get to Michigan. I have participated in the Old Car Festival in the past. While I like the Henry Ford, I like the Gilmore Museum much better. I have been to Gilmore for a few Classic Car Club Events and attended the HCCA national tour that included the Gilmore Museum. The Gilmore Museum is definitely more of a car collector's museum. I think the Henry Ford has become more of an amusement park. I would definitely consider another trip to Gilmore. I know they have added a few more buildings since I last visited and would like to see them. I think having a pre-war car show at the Gilmore is a brilliant idea-especially if it includes a day or three of touring. When I attended the HCCA national tour, I was shocked by beautiful areas that surrounded Gilmore. I found that the area around Gilmore is just great for brass car touring-lots of winding roads, lots of water, lots of small hills, hardly any traffic, and about as picturesque as anyone could hope for. I would certainly make an effort to attend this new event.
John, based on what the letter says I would think that if you don't receive one, you are indeed SOL.
I missed last year and no letter yet. I guess I'm one of the SOL crowd.
The hydraulic disc brakes I can understand. It's a safety issue that most casual observers will not detect. The purple speedster was out of place, as was the half assembled speedster with a body made from Home Depot 2x4's, and the speedster with the '34? grille shell. I am not against these cars, as they are part of our hobby, I just don't think they belong at the OCF. The way I see it, tightening the admission process should help with the overcrowding.
Information on the Gilmore car show can be found at:
I'm with Ed, and I consider myself pretty wood-savy; so here's what I found, and it echos what Willis stated:
third in degree, order, place, or importance (formal)
1. Bird’s innermost flight feather
BIRDS a feather on the innermost rear edge of a bird's wing
2. member of lay group
CHRISTIANITY in the Roman Catholic Church, a member of a group of the laity associated with a religious order
So, depending on it's use, I'd say that Model T's are for the birds, or we are third down on their priority list. or should that be ?
I interpreted it as primary, secondary and tertiary. Tertiary being third and last on the list.
I am not WOOD-savy.
Henry is rolling over in his grave hearing that someone from the Henry Ford is denigrating his beloved Model T. The T should be primary and everything else tertiary...Did they forget whose name is on the door? Bad as Henry being taken to the graveyard in a Packard!
Don't know a whole lot about birds and churches.
We should also remember that the Henry Ford probably has a mandate from the government and there are certain criteria that it has to fulfil to maintain its status. If that involves making sure that the educational side is paramount rather than a show then that is what is going to happen. Does the Ford Motor Company own the Village or some other foundation? Remember the problems the HCCA had when they could not prove they were fulfilling the criteria for the tax free status they were claiming?
I believe the Village and Museum are owned by a foundation and neither the FMC or Ford Family, However the Ford family remains active in its doings.
Don Booth: If I remember correctly, the OCF was started by the local Veterans Motor Car Club of America and the Horseless Carriage Car Club Chapters using the Village as the venue, of course with the permission and blessing of the Village. I believe Barney Pollard may have been a driving force in starting OCF. The first was in 1950. The VMCCA and the HCCA would host alternate years and run the OCF with minimal, if any, help from Village/Museum personnel. As it grew, the Village helped out eventually taking it over as a special event.
My point is, OCF was started and run by volunteer (free) staff. It would be nice if the Village would allow the "free" staff again to help out and keep OCF as it is, but I doubt they would allow that, understandably.
Bill Elliot: As you know, I, too, have a 1914 T. There has always been and will always be a majority of Ts at any given car show (probably). But that's indicative of history: the sheer number of Ts outweigh any other make. Model Ts have always been a challenge for those of us who helped organize OCF (although I no longer help.) Where to put them? Do you limit the number approved? How to handle them during Pass-in-Review? (etc.) The Village wisely decided to let all and any Ts in PROVIDED they met the criteria of being historically correct, per the museum and Village charter that they are first and foremost an educational institution. When I was part of the approval process, I along with others, were pretty strict with that policy. Granted, that's been relaxed over the past few years.
You and I, and other T owners, just might be rejected because there may be too many Ts of any given year. It will be interesting to see how this is handled.
I completely understand and am sympathetic to the problems of logistics, staffing and, space. But on the other hand, where else can you see so many historic vehicles -- including a seemingly disproportionate yet accurate ratio of Model Ts drive around an historic area?? Personally, I think the visitors love the number of cars. I think most people either wander around enjoying the event and taking it all in or go right to their era of interest.
As for Pass-in-Review, long ago I started grouping cars as they come up to the reviewing stand, yet making sure the owners and their vehicles got their recognition. When I can get ten Model Ts grouped with a Dodge Brothers and/or a Chevy, I point out that this is what a traffic jam looked like in the teens and 20s. So, there is a way to handle it.
Two things to remember: OCF is the Henry Fords to do with what they want BUT on the other hand, if it wasn't for participants, there would be no OCF.
Sorry for the length of this but I feel it's important.
They should just increase the entrance fee. $25.00 is very cheap in today's standards. I pay more than that for local events. This is a 2 day event so I would have no problem paying a minimum of $100.00 per car. That would decrease the amount of participants and help pay for the added workers. Also couldn't the workers park someplace else just for that Friday so the trailers and whatnots can park their rigs earlier than 6pm. After all this is a "once a year" event and they have plenty of time to work out the logistics.
Marty you are right on as usual. Another suggestion would be to limit the number of cars one participant can display. I know there are a few more than a few that bring 2 or more cars to the show. Although most are static displays it would be a fair way to go rather than alienating newcomers or those that have supported the Festival. I hope they take a fair approach to whatever they decide. The spooky part to this letter is it seems to eliminate newcomers and the once in a lifetime car owners. To me that is not a good way to go about it. Just my 2 cents...
Right on, Don, but it's also potentially spooky for the faithful guys like you and Marty who may be eliminated from future OCF simply based on the fact that our cars are too common and not unique enough. After we apply, and they decide there are too many T's of a particular year and we get rejected, then doesn't that automatically prevent us from being invited the next year based on their own criteria? After all, they did say that from now on, if you haven't attended OCF the previous year you won't be invited. My wife (the level-headed one) says I'm too paranoid, that just because I may get rejected this year because of too many T's, they will still send me an invitation the next year and I will automatically be approved because I was rejected the previous year. I don't know, I still feel like Charlie Brown and I'm gonna get the ball pulled from under me at the wrong time!
Time will tell, just what is up. I keep going to Tom Miller's thread for the cool calm back to reality approach. He always knocks me back to earth knowing I tend to worry too much. Its nice to have him on this side of the globe again.
Myself i would limit to one car and there should be no such thing as a static display at the OCF!! If there is a need i would gladly fess up more money for the OCF.The car's should be driven and if possiable shared with others,be it pictures,car games,hitch hickers,and the Gaslight Tour!! Another thing that might help are people getting their car's judged just for the parking place?? As allways Jon Crane is right as along with other very early Fords the Model T built the place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!25.00 and 5.00 for the next i think should be over?? Cost too much you say?? What are people who travle spending for the Best Event of The Year?? I hope Don Booth gets the Come On Down call as the Videos are Great!!!!! Bud in frozen Wheeler,Mi.
I'll be 51 this year. If I get to attend OCF again, it will be my 50th. (Missed only one cause it rained all weekend. Not my call, I was under mom & dad's care at the time.) Point is, I would be heartbroken. Simply put, it's been part of my life and one of the "best" things I do all year.
I guess, like all of us, I'll be in "wait and see what happens" mode.
Man, I might be ousted. That sure sucks. I have entered a different car every year as a lame attempt to keep fresh entries there.
Aaron, I would think you are a shoe-in since you bring a variety of different and "unique" cars as opposed to the ordinary and mundane Model T!
Penalized because we own the Car of the Century? The car that put the world on wheels? The car that changed the face of this planet? The car that built the Ford Motor Company? The car that made Henry a millionaire so he could afford to build the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village?
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. I wonder if anyone at the Village reads this forum? I wonder what other marque clubs are saying about this?
Marty, you can bet they're reading the forum. And I suspect that there'll be a diminution of their diminution in the near future. OK, that's too many big words for me this early in the morning!!
My wife and I have been going to OCF for 5 years. We took our '31 Model A for the first 4, and participating at OCF only made my desire to buy a Model T stronger. I was able to purchase a nice T last year and selected a '14 partly because I wanted to have gaslights on the gaslight tour. (I felt like a poser using the A's electric lights)
Last OCF we took both the T and the A, and between my wife, my brother, and I both cars were moving for most of the show. We gave more kids and others rides than I can count, and taught some people to drive down on the green. People loved to watch a hand crank start. Interacting with the visitors is a rewarding experience for both us and them. Seeing, hearing and smelling the cars brings history to life. The experience makes a static car display seem like a grainy photo compared to reality.
I am a car person, have been all my life and have been to many shows. After attending OCF for the first time, I realized how special it was. I have never looked forward to an automotive event more than OCF. 10 times the entry fee be a bargain.
Thanks Bill. I'm thrashing this winter trying to get a 15 speedster done enough to drive for the show, but not sure how they will react to partially finished cars. I have seen a few unfinished cars there that presented very well and pulled in quite a bit of interest, so I have hope.
BTW, I did get the "letter" last night. I'm taking their points as:
1) we are going to enforce the rules we set a long time ago.
2) every car will be selected by our board and no more automatic passes.
3) those that have helped us in the last two years have first priority and are invited to apply ( remember that is 1000 entries...)
4) secondary are the theme/topic cars ( I think one year was Cadillacs, another was Dodge Bros., etc. Others I can think of here are entries like camping trailers, antique outboards and the like ( which are educational and neat in their own right)
5) The tertiary part... These are entries to fill the grounds to the number of cars they want to have there. I'm thinking these are entries that were part of the initial invitation but we're not selected (refer to item 3).
Apologies for the long post, but I can see what they are trying to do with the show now.
Is this what Yogi Berra was speaking about when he said "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded"?
Maybe someone with people skills could contact the Special Events people to find out what both model T clubs could do to help?? Everyone under the sun has some sort of car show but once seen i would think anyone having a car/truck/motorcycle 1932 or before want's to enjoy the OCF over and over! Bud.
Got my letter so I guess I'm not SOL....yet
How is the T rebuild coming.
Keep in touch.
WELL THAT's GREAT!! Both my wife and I was in the OCF throughout the 70s and 80s with the antique bicycles. We were planning/ hopeful we could get out 12 accepted this year as we are now both retired and wanted to start the yearly road trip from Florida to Dearborn..Does anyone have a email contact that I can write to?? Dave W.
Got my letter today even though I'm in Canada. I guess I move from SOL to POL, (Possibly Outta Luck).
I have been going to OCF since the 60,s and marty is correct the VMCCA was involved as a member i worked it for several years. The rules they state are basically the same rules as before perhaps now they mean it all we can do wait and see.
Looks like Ill be bringing my T to my hometown of Kalamazoo next year for the Gilmore show. I was really wanting to take it to the OCF, but after reading these posts, I won't be getting an invite. Too bad, I was just at the Henry Ford and the Piquette plant on Monday.
I read, and wonder, and hope. I have never been there, but it is one of the handful of meets on what could be considered my bucket list. I do really want to get there at least once, whether I can afford it or not.
I have really been hoping to get there in time to watch Marty B do the announcing, but doubt I can make that happen. This year is again not shaping up well for such an adventure.
I will watch and listen with interest, hoping things can come together for it. My hope would be first to get there with the '15 runabout. I hope there are not too many of those (UH, ha ha, right). I suppose my mostly '13 (era correct) speedster would be my second choice (at least IT has gas headlamps). Maybe they would prefer I drive the '24 coupe? (That could be a lot of fun!) The gasoline carriage could become my best chance, however, it is probably a few years away from running yet.
Drive carefully, and do enjoy! W2
Talked to someone from the Gilmore yesterday.
They indicated you could apply online at the end of March