I'm such a dope. I thought I posted this last evening but I must have written it and then didn't hit post. Sorry.
Based on my conversations, it is clear that you should write constructive letters about your concerns staying positive and polite. This is probably the best bet for getting our voice heard. Outline specific concerns and perhaps suggestions on how to address our concerns would be best. I am URGING, that letters be written. But, if at all possible, NOT INDIVIDUAL LETTERS unless you are not affiliated with a club, then an individual letter would be necessary. It was agreed, that answers to the questions should come from the organizations.
THF may use it’s website to address the concerns and questions.
The mailing address is:
The Henry Ford
P.O. Box 1970
Dearborn, MI 48121
The email address is:
I hope this helps us, the shows and, THF.
Marty, That is the same email contact that THF gave me on Twitter. Since we are not affiliated with any club at this time I guess I'll go at it alone and email them myself.
Mike, that's the way to go if you are not affiliated with a club or organization.
If you are, then I strongly suggest that your group have a meeting, agree on wording and content and have all interested/concerned members sign it and either snail mail or email it.
I cannot stress how important this is.
It is my belief that THF has no idea of the extent of the discontent nor do they know of what seems to be at least a partial exodus from both events.
Write. Communicate. Let your concerns be know. But please, be polite, constructive and, if you can, offer suggestions
I wonder if this club is going to Make a list,or send a letter? If they are going to wait on Motor Muster results it might be a lost cause?? I think already many are making plains to go or do something else?? Bud.
Carl Pate, President, HCCA, former President, Early Ford Registry, and longtime Ford enthusiast and author, sent the following letter to THF. When I asked, Carl gave permission to print his letter on this forum. He also sent several attached letters from concerned antique car enthusiasts who had contacted him.
My point being others outside our forum have serious concerns too:
Carlton O Pate III
Horseless Carriage Club of America, President
Date: January 25, 2017
The Henry Ford
John Neilson, VP of Venues
20900 Oakwood Boulevard
Dearborn, MI 48124
Dear Mr. Neilson
I recently received the letter that you sent to Car Show Enthusiasts with a 3 page document that outlines the policy and changes for the 2017 Motor Muster and Old Car Festival. Because of my long term involvement and leadership in the old car hobby, I know that the challenges we all face can require that adjustments be made. But I can safely say that the changes your organization has made in one year to a long time event that has traditions is not being accepted well by the participants based on the communication I have received.
I have been a car enthusiast since childhood, car collector of early Fords (1903 to 1915) automobiles for years, a book author (Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia – The Ford Cars 1903 to 1909) / read in 18 countries), Administrator of a world-wide Century Plaque Program (Honors 100 year old vehicles), co-founder of an Early Ford Group, Member of Early Ford Registry, Model T Club of America, Antique Automobile Club of America and President of Horseless Carriage Club of America.
Though The Henry Ford has the right to set any policy for any program that it holds, the success of the event will be determined by the participants and then the visitors … I am not writing to tell you how to run the event, but from the woods there appears to be the start of a forest fire. In my years of involvement and leadership in the antique car hobby, I have never seen such lack of consideration for the owners of historic vehicles who contribute to the success of many events. Since receipt of your notice, I have received correspondence from many antique owners who are upset. Because of one member’s concern, he asked me to visit the Model T Ford Club of America forum: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/715450.html?1485095934. I thought about printing the comments until I found that this second set of comments was 44 pages long … So let’s see if I can summarize some of the major issues that participants / owners are concerned about …
· Application - The system last year worked fine; it was simple to use and an owner could register multiple cars with one connection. / The new 2017 on-line application system will not make applying easy for owners; it requires users to have multiple Internet accounts for multiple applications and it charges a non-refundable application fee. It appears the owners are being charged a fee to help pay for a new system that is not as good as the old.
· Vehicle Selection – The owners are not sure what this change means but like all the rest, it sounds restrictive and discriminatory … Who will the system let in? … Condition…Restored/Unrestored; Looks … Brass / Nickel / Other; Age … Vintage / Antique / Classic; Type … Bike/ Motorcycle/Car/Truck; Style … Convertible / Hardtop; Make …Ford / Other Makes with Limitations on Models; etc. …
· Fee Changes – The registration fees last year were $25.00 for the first car, $5.00 for the second car, $5.00 for the third car and any car after that was free. / This year the fee increase is more than 100% … $50.00 for each car, regardless of whether you are accepted or not.
· Admission Wrist Bands – Last year when OCF packets were given out, each owner got 4 wrist bands … Made sense since many of the cars seat 4 people. / In 2017, an owner will only get 2 wrist bands and they will have to pay extra for other passengers ... It is not the amount, it is the principle … The owner spends a lot of time and money getting his or her vehicle(s) to the event and then the leaders of the show ask the owner to pay more. The policy has a further limitation… the “special extra” wrist bands have to be purchased ahead of time. The easy solution for owners is to not bring a car and find another event to support.
· Other Limitations – One contact informed me that there now would be a limit on the number of bicyclists … Who tells some of the children riders in a group that they cannot participate? What is the problem that requires a limit for bikes?
We can understand that some changes may have to be made, but the size and number of changes this year leads a large number of owners to wonder …
· Why and What is the need for so many large costly changes that affect the owners?
· Who is in charge of the event?
· Does The Henry Ford (THF) want to continue the event and encourage participation by vehicle owners? The owners spend time and money to bring their vehicles to the village. Because of the cars (“history on wheels”), a larger than normal number of visitors are attracted to THF and Greenfield Village … I know from the experience of other museum and “village” events that the presence of moving historic vehicles can result in a 5 fold increase in normal attendance. Based on the changes being implemented this year, a lot of participant owners may no longer be “Enthusiasts”. If the leaders and directors of any antique car club organization made these changes to one of their events, the members would no longer support the event or the club.
In the past, I have supported the OCF event and over the years I have told others that “The Old Car Festival” event was one of the best I have ever been to. It offers the owners the ability to share our historic cars with others not so fortunate. When some participants offer rides to visitors, their interest in the vehicles and support for Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum increases. Based on the letter I received, my family has decided we will NOT attend the OCF this year and we regret that others will not get to see and learn about two of our early Ford cars. If the THF desire is to reduce participation, I and others will help you spread the word in the digital antique car world …
If Henry Ford were still alive, I am sure from my research that he would not have allowed the changes proposed that hurt the vehicle owners and discourage family participation at his family festival. If there is a problem, I suggest leadership find a solution that fixes the issue, don't break the whole car …
Carlton O. Pate III
Carlton O. Pate III
CC Evan Weiner, Chairman THF;
Patricia Moorandian, President THF;
Early 1903 Ford Automobile, Owner - William C Ford Jr.
Emails copies sent to the 54 Lansing to Dearborn tour contacts
PS Enclosed with this letter or attached to this email are some extractions from correspondence that I have received and read on the Internet. I have been advised that members of a touring group of vintage automobiles that has supported OCF for years are considering other tour options …
Rob and Carlton,
I think that is great. However, there is strength in numbers. I believe more weight will be given to such communications if there are multiple signatures attached.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but, I do not believe THF is fully aware of the extent of the discontent and possible exodus from BOTH the MM and OCF.
Please, meet, agree and, write letters as a group and, when possible, with multiple signatures, signed either in hard copy or electronically.
Be polite, respectful and, when possible offer suggestions. BUT WRITE, COMMUNICATE
I and my family will put together a letter and get it in the mail this week! Since we are not affiliated with any club it will be just us 4 signing though, we have many OCF friends that we meet there spread out in several states and Canada. Unless this effort by all those that participate brings about change, we will going ahead with our alternate plans for that weekend.
Marty, Thank you for getting back to me here. I will get a letter emailed this week, and I will have my father sign as well. I will nicely explain the things that we are upset about. Like I said as of right now are are kind of on our own, meaning no car club affiliation. I guess maybe because of too many different makes in the barn lol. We used to belong to the local VMCCA chapter in our area until most of the membership went to cars in the 1960`s on up. Which those too are all beautiful automobiles, but hard for a 1912 or a 1922 to tour with a 70`s car.
Rob and Carlton, That is a VERY nicely written letter and to the point. You hit most of the concerns my father and I had here. Like I said in the previous thread, unless THF bends on some of or all of these changes we too will not be attending. Sadly after 35 yrs of attending car shows at THF, we are already looking in to other alternatives. These changes affect us on both events as my family has 2 cars that we enter at the OCF, and two that we take to the MM (with a 3rd still in the restoration process)
I will get that letter off this week, ASAP
I attached Carl's letter because I felt he brought up several valid points, and clubs and individuals writing letters may choose to mention some of these points. While Carl isn't typically on this forum he did see the threads concerning OCF and MM and that prompted his letter.
Carl also posted several other old car owners written complaints so his letter actually includes several other owners brief comments and concerns. Carl closed his email to with this:
TO ANTIQUE CAR OWNERS - "I suggest you send letters to the President of “The Henry Ford” and SEE IF THE LEADERS CORRECT THE PROBLEMS …"
THE HENRY FORD
Patricia E Mooradian, President THF
20900 Oakwood Blvd
Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
My thoughts may be shared with anyone …
Carl Pate, Early Ford owner
Just curious, has your club or chapter written letters with group signatures? Has anyone sent an individual letter?
If so, is it something you'd care to share here?
I sure would like to know if my suggestion was taken to heart.
I intend to write one. I'll also check with our current Early Ford Registry president to see if he has sent one on behalf of the club. He was at OCF and Dearborn to Lansing tour, so I know he was concerned about the changes.
Many of the 1909 and earlier Fords at the festival appear to be in jeopardy of missing the OCF. It would be too bad if there are almost no pre-T Fords at OCF.
Rob, thanks. The only way to get our voice heard is to communicate. If we are as concerned as we seem to be, we need to make that known.
Keep me posted.
As many of us here that go to the OCF,I would have thought there might have been a form letter sent from this Club we could add our names too?? I wonder what the people at the International Club think but do they even have contact info? Bud.
I will be writing a letter for the MTFCA, and will post it here in a separate thread. It will allow any MTFCA member to sign on to it also for greater emphasis.
I'm traveling now and won't be able to do it until this weekend probably.
Thanks for your patience.
Keith Gumbinger, MTFCA BOD member and OCF participant for about 9 years.
Than you Keith!!! .
If I understand your thread you are putting a letter on this site that we can add our name to. If that is correct please include instructions on how to sign an on line letter from a computer. I'm not very computer literate but would like to be able to sign it. If it is not what you mean please let me know.
Thank you Marty and all the others who are coordinating the effort to preserve the OCF.
Dennis, Signing on to the letter will be easy.
I'm traveling now and composing the letter in the back of my head. Hope to write it this weekend. It will be a separate thread with an obvious thread name..
This is good to know. Does anyone belong to a multi-make or other single make club? They need to write, too. I don't think we want this to look like a Model T thing.
It's true there is a lot of us but the Model T built the place! I would hope someone builds a fire under the Model A people too!!Speaking of fire,What about the fire engine people? It would be a shame if [Same day service] did not attend!! Bud.
Oh, sure, Ken, mention "same day fire service" but ignore my 1923 American LaFrance!!!
They haven't lost a foundation yet! Marty,I think i have seen it and i think long long ago we camped close to each other? Did you at the time have a Dort?? It was always a great show to watch them pump the engines by the covered bridge! It could be all there is left are the memories but that was the best old car times i ever had! Good luck to us all! Bud.
When writing a letter to THF, it will be tempting to dwell on the disappointment of former and potential participants. I’m not sure this will accomplish much; the powers at THF have probably already surmised that their action is unpopular. But the letter could stress what THF is going to lose. I believe one loss will be the gaslight parade, if trailer and motor home parking are no longer allowed on site.
If I were taking a primitive car (the kind they want) to the OCF, I might be willing to drive it back and forth in daylight between the show field and my trailer, which was parked some distance away at a hotel or campground. But I wouldn’t be willing to do so at night, after the gaslight parade had ended. If I couldn’t lock my car into my trailer, and then either spend the night in my camper or go to my hotel in my modern, well-lighted tow vehicle, I wouldn’t stay for the gaslight parade. I doubt I’d be the only one who felt this way. If THF considers the gaslight parade an important feature of the OCF that it wants to keep, it will need to facilitate safe travel from the field to the trailers after dark.
Gil Fitzhugh the Elder
Gil, Your comments are well taken. I will refer to the problem of driving a T on Dearborn streets after the gaslight parade to illustrate the issue of allowing trailers and those who pull their trailers with motor homes to park close to Greenfield Village.
I understand that the nearest RV park is about 20 miles away from THF. If I have to park my motor home (and trailer) that far away, we simply won't be at the OCF.
Given facts like that, what will be left of the OCF?
I sure hope that the powers that be realize that.
Gil the Elder, I sent you a PM.
To which I responded!
Gil, this has been brought up before and is a point well taken.
Ken, I'm still not convinced that THF is fully aware of the extent of the discontent, so I'm not sure if "the powers that be realize that." That's why I am stressing that letters or emails be written in a polite, non-complaining manner with possible suggestions that meet their needs and ours.
I'm also concerned that the letters and emails will come mainly from the Model T and Model A people.
THF NEEDS to hear from the multi-make clubs as well.
I'm still suggesting that members meet and agree on a letter and then get multiple signatures on the letter. There is strength in numbers. Plus, we don't want to flood THF with individual letters.
So, if any of you are members of multi- or single make clubs, do you know if any letters are being written?
I know I'd like to know.
I can only speak for me and while i see much wrong with their ideas my problem is send your non refundable fee and take your chances! To attend we travel about 400 miles for the weekend and spend about $500.Yes it is fun but do they need to put everything on the car people? Marty,you had a meeting with them so please tell what their reply was/is? Bud. PS,It's not the extra 25. that will bother me,it's what is on the plate!! Bud.
Marty, I am working on a letter to THF right now stating all the reasons why we are upset. I do know a few other non Ford people who are upset as well. So like I have been saying to everyone, not just Ford people who are upset about these changes. Looks like a lot of people are upset about at least one of not all the changes. I am going to try to urge the others I know to write THF.
One more thing that my father and I are not pleased about. We read in the letter that you will not be notified whether you are accepted or not until one month prior to either show. Kind of makes it hard to plan on attending another event somewhere else if you do not get accepted. I would think they would know whether or not they wanted your car sooner than 4 weeks before the show.
Also since all of this started I have been doing a lot of research on other car shows similar to this one From my research it appears THF is charging one of the highest if NOT the highest entrance fee. Plus other shows are not charging for extra passengers in your car, and several of these shows are at car museums or historical places as well. . This is something that I am going to mention to THF. They act like n this letter that they are doing all of us a favor, when actually the car owners are doing them a favor. Really the more I think about it the whole thing upsets me. If they keep up this attitude I myself will probably never go back the the museum or the village again, not even a guest. I feel bad saying that because I always loved the place, but I also dont like being treated as we should feel privileged to be there. There are other museums and car museums in the country.
I will get the letter off and I am trying to be as nice as I can
Michael, You mentioned that they will notify participants one month prior to the event...How can someone make hotel or camping reservations in time to get a room or campsite (20 miles away) with only one month notice?
I will be posting a letter from the MTFCA to those at THF concerning the changes to the OCF. I will also be asking for all interested parties to sign on to this letter as a show of support.
This letter should be posted here in a separate thread in the next day or two.
Dennis, That's what I say, how can you plan ahead when they tell you if you're accepted or not 4 weeks before event? That's what the letter says though.
Well, it is heartening to hear that letters -- some with multiple signatures -- are being drafted, agreed on, signed and mailed.
This is the ONLY way THF will know the extent of our discontent. I would encourage you to be polite and, if possible offer suggestions that could meet our needs and theirs.
Bud, I did not have a meeting with them. I had a phone conversation with Sarah Gaynier. In that conversation, I asked her all the questions I believe I posted in an earlier thread. Although I got some answers, when I asked if I could share them she politely said (and I paraphrase), "No. The responses really should come from THF." I agree with that and see her (their) point.
This is one of the reasons why I am urging that letters be written, so you -- and I mean that inclusively -- can get answers.
I'm sure I am not alone in wanting to see the final drafts of letters whether individual or from a group.
Marty, I must respectfully disagree with your comment:
"This is the ONLY way THF will know the extent of our discontent".
They will know of our discontent when they fail to receive applications for the event. Then and only then will they realize the magnitude of their colossal mistake.
My thoughts are this is a way to cut the attendance in half and still make the same amount of money off the show. They clearly will loose 50% of the participation and by doubling the fees the OCF produces about the same amount of revenue. The goal is to knock the snot out of the number of cars attending.
Jack, thanks for "respectfully" desagreeing. That's something I rarely get -- respect!!!
I agree with you but, frankly, I'd hate to see that happen and would rather we can get them to change things so attendance does't drop.
Marty,Sorry to hear all you got was a phone call with nothing that sounds like they would make any change? With all the years you were involved i would have thought you should have been treated much better than that!!A few years ago when the new 2003 Model T's were presented to the Village Mr Bill Ford was on hand and i thought he took a interest? The Henry Ford and OCF are part of the Ford family's Roots so do they only want to be remembered for the Detroit Lions?? Bud.
Bud, That was a low blow about the Lions!
There is always the Red Wings, oh but this year not so much.
Her saying "no" to me sounds like they are going to change nothing. They will make the same mistake they made in the past when they went down to 200 cars. I honestly don't think this place really cares anymore, they're all out to make as much money as they can until people won't pay it anymore. I really think THF is losing interest in hosting car shows. Last year no ropes were put up,now this year the registration is being passed off to a company out of state. I know because I looked at cvents website. Its event planning company that does business all over the world. Like I said to me it seems like they are losing interest. Seems like they are cutting as much as they can as to what's handled in house and hiring a out of town firm to handle it for them at the car owners expense. I would like to know how much IF ANY of that $50 actually goes to THF or is it all going to cvent? My guess by looking at this companies website cvent is keeping that money and that's why it's non refundable. I'll still send this letter off but it's sounding more and more like they won't care anyway.
That's way I suggested for participants and wannabe participants who aren't going this year, to forego giving Cvent their $50 and donate it to the Piquette Plant for the roof restoration project. There, you know that the money is going to a worthwhile cause. To benefit something that we all, as Model T enthusiasts, care about.
Since the organizers of the OCF have not learned what can happen when making extremely unpopular changes (THF approved what Cvent is doing or gave them full control), then history is bound to repeat itself! How sad to a once great event......
Willis, I highly doubt THF is seeing much of that fee. I agree, if you donated to project like that at least you would know your money was being used for a good use. Have any of you checked out the website of the company thats handling this for them? Like I said I have http://www.cvent.com/
I pulled this off the about us section of their website just now.
Cvent: Transforming Meetings & Events
Cvent is the global meeting, event and travel technology leader. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys. Cvent provides hoteliers with an integrated platform, enabling properties to increase group business demand through targeted advertising and improve conversion through proprietary demand management and business intelligence solutions. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events.
On November 29, 2016, Cvent announced that it had been acquired by Vista Equity Partners. In addition, Cvent and Lanyon Solutions also announced the merger of their two companies, creating a global meeting, event and travel technology leader.
Founded in 1999
Headquartered in Tysons, Corner, VA
More than 2,000 Employees worldwide
Approx 28,000 customers in 100 countries
Over $50 billion total RFP value sourced
Thats who is handling the OCF and MM registrations this year, a large operation. I agree with you, I have no problem paying a small registration fee if its going to charity or a worthy cause (such as the museum or preservation).