I have just received news, on VERY good authority, that major changes FOR THE GOOD are coming to both events.
At this point, I'm not at liberty to give details, but let's just say THF management has, for lack of a better term, seen the error of their ways. So much so that I want you to go to the THF site in a few days, then go to Motor Muster and look for a letter of "apology"!!!
Our letters, comments, emails, visitors (the public) etc. coupled with the reality of what MM turned out to be, has made the difference.
John Neilson apparently was at the Motor Muster and saw the empty fields. Numerous comments (I don't want to call them complaints) were received not only from participants that were there, past participants that came as visitors, employees and, visitors about the lack of vehicles and the pretty much dismal atmosphere.
THF management has had meetings since the MM about the event. Now, they will have a meeting with club representatives, including Model T clubs, during the week of July 9 to discuss why management made the changes and then they will ask club representatives what they want to bring the events back to "normal." I have been asked to attend the meeting and I will. Club representatives will, or at least should, bring details back to members. The management has taken it upon themselves to call for the meeting. That, in and of itself, says volumes about their sincerity and desire to make changes based on what is suggested by vehicle owners.
I think we need to maintain, and I encourage, an attitude on our part of gratitude, much like the Prodigal Son returning. The last position we need to take is an "I told you so" attitude.
I think it speaks volumes that THF is willing to change things and is willing to apologize. They should be commended, not chastised. Much as we complained about the changes, I think it would go along way to send a letter, email, phone call, etc. of thanks once the "apology" letter comes out.
A message from The Henry Ford.
View this email in your browser
Dear Car Show Participant,
This year, The Henry Ford implemented changes to our long-running, very popular, mission-driven car shows, Motor Muster and Old Car Festival. Over the years, these programs have grown significantly in terms of participation. Most recently, we’ve had as many as 900 vehicles for each event. However, that unbridled growth posed an increasing safety hazard for participants, visitors and staff, and completely overwhelmed our available parking, staff and other resources necessary to support these events. We needed to right-size these events to address these realities while preserving and strengthening the quality of the visitor and participant experience. To do so, we introduced a number of new practices and procedures that we believed would assist in those efforts.
The changes we introduced this year, unfortunately, disappointed many. While we were and remain committed to evolving our car shows to be successful within the practical constraints and concerns identified above, we could have done a much better job of communicating and explaining the need for these changes. That miscalculation on our part had a negative impact on our participants and guests, and for that, we are truly sorry.
We’ve received candid feedback from many of you, and we thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. One immediate step we are taking is to make the application fee refundable and to offer each participant up to four guest passes, at their request. We will be working in the coming days, weeks and months on next steps, and we will be corresponding with each and every one of you in the very near future.
Your support and your involvement with The Henry Ford is vital to our continued success. I hope you will continue to stand with us as we work to rebuild these events.
Vice President of Venues
The Henry Ford
Here is the letter
This is the first I've seen of the letter. It was posted on their site sooner than I was told. I say, good for them and John Neilson. That, in my opinion, took courage to recognize and acknowledge the issues and apologize for them. Kudos to THF and Neilson!!!
Profound thanks for all you have done to bring this "turn around" Marty !
Thanks, David, but it wasn't just me. It was all the concerned letters, emails, comments from particpants (past and present), visitors and employees that helped. I was just the messenger. well, okay. Maybe I did do a little intervening. I'm looking forward to the July meeting to learn more and have some input.
Thanks, David, but it wasn't just me. It was all the concerned letters, emails, comments from participants (past and present), visitors and employees that helped. I was just the messenger. Well, okay. Maybe I did do a little intervening. I'm looking forward to the July meeting to learn more and have some input.
Mr. Nelson at THF is being conciliatory and very gracious and everyone at the MTFCA should reciprocate in kind.
Very Good!!!! Now for a personnel one for me and perhaps some "out of state people".... Campers.. I've got a motorhome with a 16'trailer.. I'm coming to Michigan in 10 days for family and would hate to miss this now they are coming to their senses.. I just want to know about camping, anyone I can contact?? Dave from Florida
Ron, Exactly!!!!! Just what I said in my first comments. Thank you.
Well, let's wait and see what happens from the meeting concerning camping first? Not holding my breath just yet!
Certainly a step in the right direction, though.
I'm absolutely pleased by this news. People make mistakes, even people running high level events. Marty and Ron hit the nail on the head about the gracious apology and the good first start from THF. That's a long way from the up yours stance we perceived just a short time ago. The floodgates are open to move forward now. Ears are listening for our needed improvements so lets stop bashing and make this the best OCF ever! I think Henry lent a helping hand.
Unbelievable is right !
All I read is a parroting of the message/s sent to THF clowns.
There is no acknowledgement of their arrogance or and apology
for the replies/statements subsequently made by them. THAT is
when I know they have integrity and will stand by their word. This
is just a CYA maneuver to fix a mess they made without really
making amends. Until such time, I am of the opinion that heads need
to roll and get a genuine old car interest motivated management in
A half @ss apology & all is forgiven ?
This will happens repeatedly unless you reach an understanding in writing that is binding.
I've often heard the phrase, "I made a mistake," in the center of what is supposed to pass for an apology. -In this case, the interchangeable word, "miscalculation," was used—and it is to laugh. -A mistake is when you misspell Chanukah. -When you do something arrogant that you realize will hurt other people, knowing full well, but not caring, that you'll certainly tick them off mightily, with the confidence that it doesn't matter because they'll be helpless to do anything about it, that's something else.
In this case, what I'm hearing is a flimsy excuse closely followed by a statement proclaiming the offender's good intentions. -It's what my Dad used to refer to as "deli-counter damage control." -In other words, somebody is slinging the hash and slicing the baloney, hoping we'll buy it. -The offense is compounded by this insult to our intelligence.
Whether to forgive is another matter entirely, one to be decided by the offended party and that's all well and good—but what I'm talking about here is a matter of recognizing a situation for what it is. -Were I a regular participant in the annual event, my first response would be to the effect of something else my Dad would say: "Don't talk to me like I'm stupid."
I really don't have a dog in this show (something which may change in the future), but I read this and I didn't see anything that even remotely said they'd changed their minds nor that they were asking for anybodies forgiveness for being (for lack of a better word) "asshats".
I read their initial letter and you're right their arrogance was drippingly clear, they're right and your not...it's our way or the highway, don't call us we'll call you...maybe. This letter says much the same thing only it's worded to the effect that they didn't get you (whom they see as numbskulls who desperately want their services, whatever that is) to understand their position...something which has not changed according to that letter. All they did was dress up a letter informing you they've thought things over and will refund admission fees, in real flowery speech yet still preserving their initial changes,
i.e. "The changes we introduced this year, unfortunately, disappointed many. While we were and remain committed to evolving our car shows to be successful within the practical constraints and concerns identified above, we could have done a much better job of communicating and explaining the need for these changes."
Does that sound like they're going to change anything to you? Doesn't to me. They're still limiting attendance, they're still limiting parking (and you guys were right they could've contracted with outside parking facilities but they didn't want to let go of the coin to do so) the only thing they've copped to was returning your admission fee (maybe, probably not this year though since they took a big hit in the coffers).
Or how about this line...."We needed to right-size these events to address these realities while preserving and strengthening the quality of the visitor and participant experience. To do so, we introduced a number of new practices and procedures that we believed would assist in those efforts." Translation...we're not changing anything that we've proposed, we're just going to let you think we are. The first part of this paragraph that I didn't include was a pity party on how overworked they all are, didn't think that was really relevant to anything other than making you feel sorry for poor overworked them...and as anybody knows whose put on or worked on a swap meet of considerable size...it's a lot of work done by amateurs, whilst these guys are "professionals"...yeah right. :P
Their stance on these events hasn't changed, just the words they are using to "explain it" to you. I'm with Bob on this, what you just read is flowery looking garbage...pretty to look at, but smells to high heaven.
Just my 2 cents.
Ain't life grand???
Sure cannot please everyone can we (they)?
No wonder there are wars on this planet....
Can't we give a "peace offering" a try - at least??
Honestly, I have no part in this - never been, but sure do have it on my "Bucket List" - and until the recent letter from Mr. Neilson I thought I'd never have the chance. Maybe I do. We'll see.
Peace and Goodwill to All.
I think a lot of people are getting ahead of themselves here. To say, the "floodgates are open", "kudos to THF and Mr. Neilson", "they seen the error of their ways", and more is way too early!
ALL THAT THEY HAVE CHANGED (for now) IS, THE $50 FEE IS REFUNDABLE AND THAT 4 GUESS PASSES CAN BE REQUESTED PER PARTICIPANT.
Nothing else has changed. Meaning, NO MOTORHOMES OR CAMPING! Is that fine with everyone? For me that part hasn't mattered because I haven't camped nor own a motorhome but, for many of you, I know you do and this has been a deal breaker for you.
As I said earlier, let's wait and see what comes of the July 9th meeting before this is one big circle jerk.......
As I see it, they only want to change back the bare minimum to bring back some people, NOT ALL!
As a mechanic, I have hated motorhomes for decades, but I bought one specifically for the OCF. I will not attend the event, unless camping on-site is allowed.
Small steps, small steps, a beginning . . . let's give them a chance and see where it goes. Negativity know is not where we need to go. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail on ALL sides and a new beginning will come out of this.
For cryn' out loud just set limits if it's too crowded. X amount of cars, X amount of campers, etc. If they wanted to correct this they could. The MM seems to have sparked a bit of a roll back but not much.
I don't think I'm being Pollyiana-ish, but I do like to look at a glass as half-full.
If you look at the tone and tenor -- and, yes, arrogance -- of their first communications and compare that the this most recent letter, I see a big change. (THF recognizes the attitude of those first letters was off base and turned people off.)
That, coupled with the fact that THF wants to meet with representatives of various clubs to talk about making changes, in my opinion, should, at least, allow us to give them the benefit of the doubt.
They made a mistake. They admitted it. They apologized for it. The are willing to make amends for it.
I might be wrong, but I think the least we can do is take it as sincere and work with them.
For what it's worth, if you consider the reasons they stated for cutting down on the number of cars (too crowded, safety driving, lack of parking for modern vehicles) they were right. I know there may or may not have been other nefarious reasons, but anyone who attended last year would have to agree - driving around the village was hectic due to the extreme number of cars, cyclists and pedestrians and the lot where the trailers were parked was a bit insane! They parked everyone so haphazardly and tight, I had a devil of a time loading my T onto the trailer and pulling out. So I would agree that there should only be a set number allowed to participate to decrease the stated reasons. How they went about it was bad, and I think they realize it now.
I am not a participant, but I have attended the Old Car Festival many many times. The last two times, I noticed that it was actually too crowded, and was becoming dangerous for pedestrians to move around the village. So their basic concern is legitimate.
Their approach to solving it was one sided and arrogant. Now they have had a disastrous Motor Muster and probably are anticipating an even worse Old Car Festival unless they actually engage the participants in working out solutions. Yes, eliminating the non-refundable fee is a great first step.
I found their apology letter amazing, given how reluctant most large organizations, and leaders of large organizations are, to ever admit a mistake. I think the key is the last line in the letter:
"Your support and your involvement with The Henry Ford is vital to our continued success. I hope you will continue to stand with us as we work to rebuild these events." It is the first real recognition on their part of how crucial the participants are in making the event successful. And the closing part about pleading to work with them as "we work to rebuild these events" is an admission that they broke the events, very badly, and they now recognized that without the support of car owners, they will be NO car shows at the Henry Ford.
You also have to look at the backgrounds of most of the management of museums across the county. They are HISTORIANS, and that is their educational background. They are not experts in consumer relations, psychology, marketing, etc. So it is not surprising that they sometimes make really obvious errors in fields they are forced to deal with, but are unfamiliar with.
I totally agree with Marty that the key now is to stay positive, and engage with the museum to work toward a better solution. Yes, they made a series of terrible mistakes, but their letter shows a willingness to learn, correct, and move forward. That should be encouraged, or we will be just as guilty as they were initially of being inflexible and refusing to reason together.
Bump to get rid of the spam
Considering it's just a little over 2 months away, it's probably too late for most folks to change their plans. Sounds like "too little, too late." Most folks plan their travels much earlier than this.
Marty,I think the management realized that they made a huge mistake. This meeting is what they should have done after that first letter stating changes was sent out after first of year. This is a step in the right direction tho. I just wonder if it's all for not for those of us that did not register for the OCF this year. Or do you think they'll open the registration back up to get some of the cars back? Just a thought.
Marty, One thing I will add is that thier $50 per car entrance fee was a bit steep. I've did a lot of research on entrance fees to other shows around county and THF with this $50 was the highest. Like I said months ago they need to realize the expense and time we all take to bring these cars for their guest to enjoy. Just my two cents here.
In my opinion, the overcrowding problem can be cured by being more selective with what cars are allowed. It's gonna ruffle some feathers, but it needs to be done. To me, there were plenty of cars at the OCF in the last three years, that didn't belong. Again, this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
Like many others, I had planned on attending this year before the changes. But I also have now made other travel reservations, so it is no longer an option. I would not be surprised if they had a 75% drop in participating cars for the Old Car Festival this September.
While it is indeed already too late for many potential participants, it is possible that they might be able to come up with some temporary solutions that would at least improve the total numbers of cars yet for this fall for those who might still have flexible plans. That is why it is so important to keep the lines of communication open and positive.
Crazy idea .... put limits on attendees. You can only sell so many tickets
for an airplane flight or a movie theatre, why is this confusing ? Allow only
so many of certain types of cars to get a better representation of ALL makes
and years, and if walk-in attendance is too overcrowding, limit the gate.
Too damned easy.
As for offsite parking, ... is this some sort of joke ? How hard can it possibly
be to find bulk parking in the Detroit area ?
Because the answers to their stated problems are too easily resolved, I still
don't buy their apology. They got a stiff kick to the nuts by a united old
car hobby not showing up to attend. You can bet they never thought they'd
get that kind of pushback ! Hold your ground until they own their sh!t, ... I
mean REALLY own it and give an honest apology for being douchebags. If
people flood back with them just tossing out a crumb, they have retained all
power and will just do it again.
David, I agree it's good to keep the conversation going with them, even if it's next year for some
As a participant the last six years, the OCF was the best two day event I ever attended. It was not a car show, but an event where you could dress in vintage outfits, drive vintage cars and feel like being back in the early 1900s. I never felt that there were too many cars or people. Perhaps the ropes that were sometimes used in front of the cars could have been better used to discourage jay walkers at some of the more crowded locations. I really enjoyed giving rides and being seen driving along the routes. The torchlight parade, with the crowd overflowing into the street allowing only one lane for the cars to pass thru, that was truly special. There are several locations such as the proving grounds that could be used for RV and trailer parking, if they cared enough to ask. They have given us crumbs thinking it will make everything OK and save their pocketbook this year. Until they solve the RV and trailer problem, I will be staying home.
Detroit from what I understand should have plenty of parking,nothing running up there.
sounds like they need to invest in more facility's to allow the event to grow instead of neutering it.
C'mon guys, this is a positive move. As to they're not doing enough to please everyone, it ain't all said and done yet! The first two measures, (application fee & passes), are just the first steps and the easiest to remedy. The upcoming meeting/s will hopefully smooth out the rest. Motorhomes, and all the rest, will certainly be a topic. Let's be patient and see what develops.
And, to the Detroit bashers, this event is in Dearborn, MI, not Detroit, MI.
I see that the proving grounds and Ford's Dearborn Campus have been repeatedly raised as potential parking venues by several contributors to this forum.
As one who lives here, I know it's not possible. Last week, a co-worker had to ask Security how to exit the campus because of all the construction going on here. If you think you see parking lots on the track, those are not parking lots. All the paving is prepared surfaces for purposes of testing. They are also doing some major building construction there. I don't see any way where Ford would agree to allow antique vehicles and trailers into an area where vehicles regularly travel at speed.
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are not part of Ford Motor Company. In the past, Ford has done what they could to help our hobby. With all the work going on at the track and engineering campus, I think Ford is thinking of safety when they don't offer parking.
These are my personal observations and opinions and I do not represent Ford Motor Company or the Henry Ford.
Jerry, I hope you are right. As a guy whose work and livelihood has often
centered on high stakes negotiation, I brace for the worst and hope for the
best. In other words, I expect the opposition to be the worst possible weasels
to ever walk the earth (they often are) and hope they are good people who
genuinely want good things to happen, will own their mistakes, and do the
right thing to correct wrongs, and above all, operate in a manner that clearly
demonstrates good faith to ALL observers. This has been the serious fall down
in this debacle ... an outright contempt for Henry's original idea for THF, the
OCF, and above all, the participants' value in bring the real "life" to the event.
Caving in when the weasels toss out a bone or two is bad negotiating tactics,
and most people will fall for that age old trick. You only get one shot at the
bargaining table. I hope we have some hot shot negotiators on the old car
side of the table. Let's see some genuine good faith and ownership of the
arrogant and hopefully move on to an even better OCF.
I may be off but I think they just don't care. True from the pictures and descriptions MM attendence was down in both crowds AND cars. In my opinion there is no reason to change their policy on the fee unless they have not received enough applications. This seems to be an effort to make sure they have enough cars without changing anything else.
"Henry Ford implemented changes"
"we introduced a number of new practices and procedures"
"changes we introduced this year"
"need for these changes"
"rebuild these events"
I see a changes mentioned a fair number of time without addressing what those changes are or at least acknowledging what they have heard complaints about. If parking or camping was an issue I would have thought they might have mentioned at least once that they were working on the problem. If it was too crowded they may have mentioned a cap on the number of cars.
It seems they are trying to bend only in ways that will not affect any of the changes they made to the event. Whether or not they refund money doesnt change the event and allowing people to request passes doesnt change the event either. I hope I'm wrong as I would like to go to this event in the future, time will tell.
There will definitely be changes. However, if they didn't care, they wouldn't bother opening a dialog.
"Whether or not they refund money doesn't change the event and allowing people to request passes doesn't change the event either." Of course it does! It will directly impact the number of participants! Other "adjustments", whatever they may be, will also change the event, hopefully for the better. However, I suspect if you want it to be business as usual at OCF, and exactly as it always was, you may still disappointed. However, WE DON'T KNOW THAT YET.
Until we talk with them, there will be lots of unanswered questions. In the meanwhile, let's not fill in the answers by ourselves and, let's not fill them in with worst case scenarios.
I think since this letter came out they will be watching the applications to see if they increase before the July 9h meeting. If it does, they will stop anymore changes. If not, then they may admit to more of their mistakes?
Just my take on things.
Refunding money/giving more passes will most definatly impact attendence. I was under the understanding they were talking about the event rather than attendence. If the problem is simply too many people its easy to put a cap on the number.
As the Henry Ford is as much of as behemoth as anything else in the area. . Major changes in processes they have put in place are difficult to make immediately. The two changes they made àre easy, and can have an immediate effect. I see it more than am olive branch, when connected with offering up dialogue with model T clubs. Too bad it wasn't done BEFORE the initial letter and changfes were done, but I'm not sure their use of 'miscalculation'was used lightly.
Certainly, nothing good can come of ignoring their offer, and becoming arrogant, ourselves.
I can only wish my car would be good enough to make muster for an event like this... but if it happens, I hope to at least drive it there!!
Kudos to those in our T community for keeping after them and attempting to make this a win-win for us, and THF!
David C Jahnke, not everyone at THF are historians, as you state. However, the top person at THF has a marketing background.
David Dewey, in my conversations with THF, they recognizes that many, many people have made alternate plans because of the changes and, I believe, fully anticipate registration to be off from previous years.
Michael Trzcinski,I agree that the meeting should have taken place before making the initial changes. My guess is they had very little idea of how important these events are to participants and visitor. I hate to say it, but in the 35 years I worked the OCF, I can remember management being there only twice. To his credit, John Neilson, as I understand it, was at this past MM. As for current registration, I'm sorry but I have no idea.
Burger, Sorry, but I couldn't disagree with you more. I stand by what I've said in prior comments: They made a mistake. They admitted it. They apologized for it. The are willing to make amends for it. I might be wrong, but I think the least we can do is take it as sincere and work with them.
Chadwick Azevedo,I believe they do care. If they didn't care do you really think they would want a meeting THEY ASKED FOR to make things better?
I'm really having trouble understanding the negative comments and mistrust. What if you made a mistake that impacted many people, realized what you had done, went to those people, hat in hand, apologized and offered to make amends but those people snubbed you and called you names? My guess is you'd feel pretty bad.
There'll be changes. They may not take us back to the OCF of 2016 and before, but I'll bet the changes will come close. After the meeting, I'll be giving you a report on it.
I think we need to go into this by taking the high-road,without finger-pointing, or saying ,"I told you so" and work this out. We've said they wouldn't have a car show without. Now, they realize it.
As always, I welcome your comments.
Respecting your long association with this event:
The changes made were done WITHOUT first consulting the folks bringing the cars - which in turn - brings in the money.
Those folks are clearly viewed as a resource to be used in any manner the management deems appropriate to increase profits.
The reason The Henry Ford was established was not to make a buck ...
The reason it succeeded for so many years with the auto events was volunteers.
Both those things have changed - one in direct response to the other.
Perhaps I was not looking at the entire background of everyone associated with The Henry Ford management, but in the case of John Neilson, my research prior to posting indicated he had a M.A. degree in American history from New Mexico State University and a B.S. degree in Recreation & Park Administration from the University of Wyoming. I was also speaking from experience in dealing with both local and state historical societies on a variety of projects.
The key point I wanted to make, however, is that rather than jump to conclusions about experience or motivations, I think it is very important to continue the discussion. I also pointed out that his apology was unusual and not expected, and that he seemed sincere in his desire to try to discuss options for the future.
I respect you greatly and trust you to go into the meeting with the absolute best intentions for the participants and what the Old Car Festival is all about. By the time July 9th is here we will be down to the crunch time for those of us that are EVEN able to change that weekend's plans! I trust that you WILL be able to report back on this forum the results of this meeting and not come back and say that, you are not at liberty to say.
Thank you for your time and patience,
"The reason The Henry Ford was established was not to make a buck ... "
Well, I'm sure that from the start, they didn't sit down and intend to operate at a loss.
THF was Henry's toy. Gather up cool old stuff and have a giant "train set"
layout in full size. He had more money than he could ever spend. Why not
have some fun ?
Today, the dynamics have changed and loss/profit rank higher than personal
interest and passion. We all know that drill.
Marty, ... I really hope you are reading them right. It has proven to be good
judgement in my experience to get a greater showing of good faith before
getting too optimistic. We know their weasely side from brilliant displays of
bad faith. I'd be a little "guarded" before I trusted them to not pull the old
Lucy/Charlie Brown football gag again.
My perspective regarding the OCF is less generous than many other individuals' views.
The unbridled arrogance demonstrated repeatedly by John Neilson with respect to the changes at MM and OCF has been nothing short of remarkable. While there are many examples that support my view, one includes the manner in which John Neilson rather casually tossed in the trash a relationship that THF had with the Lansing to Dearborn Run participants that spanned 30 or 40 years, or maybe even more. In addition, John Neilson repeatedly over a period of months failed to respond to letters. And when he finally did respond the message was something along the lines of....we understand that you don't like the changes but that's too bad as we are not going to change the path down which we are headed. He also, to the best of my knowledge, failed to follow up notwithstanding his promises to do so with individuals who took the time to meet with him to discuss this matter.
Only after the weak showing at the recent MM did John Neilson decide to take any corrective action.
Make no mistake about it.....any changes that might result going forward are not for the benefit of the car owners. Rather they will be for the benefit of THF.
I suspect that the MM did not produce the financial results THF was seeking, so they must make changes. If THF had ANY interest in doing ANYTHING for the benefit of the car owners they would have done so months ago.
If you think I'm off base, study some of the documents available online with respect to THF. John Neilson is charged with generating revenue from various venues. His job responsibilities include nothing about making antique automobile owners happy.
I've been on the road for several weeks now participating in various brass era car tours. The OCF was often discussed briefly. Even after John Neilson sent out his most recent letter regarding this matter, the vast majority of the people with whom I have spoken have moved on with no plans to attend the OCf either this year or in the future.
Last year we had three Model K Fords at the OCF, an unusual sight. This year there won't be even one Model K in attendance.
Time will tell. But as others has stated or alluded, a simple "gee I made a mistake and am sorry" isn't likely going to cut it.
"I'm really having trouble understanding the negative comments and mistrust."
Different people take things different ways and have different emotions and different feelings and responses to them. To some, the way THF has treated them, hurt their feelings. The minor concessions offered of late are then taken as the proverbial olive branch and then they feel better. Others were pissed off, felt they were dealt an injustice, and want justice done. These people see the lack of revenue from the MM and OCF as "Justice". It's really no different than when some business treats you unfairly and you "Vote with your wallet".
Not saying one is better than the other, just trying to explain why some feel the way they do.
I see being punitive towards THF as being no better than their arguably disingenuous apology.
I frankly do not care what their original motives were, nor do I care what their current motivations are, (it's just to make money? Well duh. Of course it is. They're not running a charity). All I'm concerned with is the good of the show and making it palatable for those who wish to attend it. THF does not have to kiss my ass for their past transgressions. They simply have to make the application and event respectful of my exertions to attend. They have not done that to date, but apparently are working to do so. Again, I don't care what drives them. I am not so very delicate that my feelings can never be repaired. I do not choose to remain "hurt", as so many seem anxious to do these days, in all manners of ways. Life is too short to remain "offended" over some dumb ass's blundering moves in revising a damn car show. Life goes on folks. Wanna be angry, then go ahead, it's in vogue these days. I wanna have fun.
The Glass is half empty...either fill it back up or drain it completely....that's the only way to stop the discussion!
Use a smaller glass.
I will not plan on attending till heads roll at THF. It looks to me like the yuppies running the show got scared by their lawyers and "fixed" the show(s). There was a reaction they did not plan on- i.e. a rather crappy show.
Now they want to "fix it" so it will be bigger and provide more revenue. But of course, they will have to consult their lawyers before any changes are approved.
It will never be the same as it was. It will just be "fixed" differently to provide a better revenue flow and to appease the "car guys" to get some better participation from us.
As for me, the "Henry Ford", Motor Muster and OCF are off my list.
Marty, Could you find out of they plan on opening registration back up this year? We may be open to giving them a second chance if they reverse some of the changes they made. Thanks
Sorry, wasn't trying to ruffle feathers. Just trying to explain why some folks feel the way they feel. Not saying anyone SHOULD feel that way. Just explaining why they do.
I will not be astonished if regardless of outcome, THF head(s) roll over this. This is a PR fiasco, where long-term damages should be anticipated. If I were Mr. Neilson, I would be dusting off my CV.
I don't do car shows anymore. I may go to SEE a car event on occasion,
but entering and being in a car show is something I will not ever do again
as a pursuit of fun. I spent 30 years doing the old car show scene, and got
to know the ropes very well. I founded a large car club, organized and put
on large events. One thing I learned is that there are TWO types of people
into old stuff, ... those passionate about the history and those interested in
using the vehicles as tools to bring attention to themselves or to make money.
These two things are often the same in some people.
This whole issue is just another example of these two factions grappling for
control of an event. For decades, OCF has been about history. Now the money/
attention grubbers hold the reigns. Some times even hard core adversaries
can be brought to a new understanding and good progress made. I would
not bet my life on it, but I hope this event gets back on the right track of hist-
-orical focus. I'd really like to see what it was all about.
I just read the application and it now states 'refundable application fee', so I assume if you are not accepted that you will receive a refund. You would think that they would only charge your card if you were accepted, and not prior to that.
While this is a serious case of "jumping to conclusions", a common marketing
ploy is to offer a refund, as stated, but in the fine print, it requires some sort of
follow up like a rebate. Many people do not get around to it, are too lazy, or miss
a deadline and the other guy gets to keep the money. Danger, Will Robinson !
If registration is down as bad as it appears, there may not be any registrations rejected.
Jerry, your second last post nails how I feel. At this point I'm never going back but, if they fix the problems I will. They provide me with an unequaled venue to enjoy my car for a fair price, my car helps to boost the gate, concession and restaurant revenues, that's fine. I don't know these people and they are not my friends, I will not feel insulted forever. Just fix the fee and parking and get it over with.
Another problem. In recent years they have closed certain streets to the cars at OCF such as in front of the Wright Cycle building. Why? This just creates more congestion.
Dave, So the registration is still open?
I heard registration was re-opened till mid July.
Go to The Henry Ford website. Registration is still on.
That's good to hear Dave. Means we have time yet, if we like what changes they make after this meeting lol
Way too many old friends and people i respect are staying home and so will we! If in the future they make good honest changes in advance maybe,but if not we will remember it for what it once was! Bud& Diane DeLong.
Michael, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner regarding registration, but it seems you question has been answered.
I have been in the car hobby and collecting cars for over 60 years -- I started in high school, honest! And, for the most part, have found old car folks to be some of the nicest people around. This holds true even more so for the Model T crowd. Just a great bunch!
However, I am really appalled at a lot of the posts on this thread: the naysayers, those not willing to forgive, hope and move on.
I know for fact that some of the powers that be at THF reads this forum and, frankly, I'm embarrassed for some of you.
Unless something really egregious is posted that needs addressing, I'm done with this until I post the results of the meeting.
" The Powers That Be " have no power without the VOLUNTEERS who provide the cars - who bear the expense to purchase & maintain & transport the cars to the events that the paying public view.
The VOLUNTEERS are NOT employees or docents of The Henry Ford.
The VOLUNTEERS have been treated like SH!T.
Yeah, but Jim ! The volunteers should be grateful that Mr. Neilson and company treated them like sh!t !
You & I have met and sat down to eat a couple times.
I do not tolerate arrogance.
If someone treats me like sh!t - I do not interact with them again.
When this subject first came up - I spent hours doing research on the origins of THF - the history & the association with the Ford Motor Company.
I read a quite lengthy doctoral thesis on THF - I posted a link to it on another earlier thread - I have educated myself independently & objectively on the history of the organization.
I have great respect for Henry & Edsel and for Ford Motor Company.
I drive a Ford truck everyday - my brand loyalty was determined objectively thru trial & error.
What is happening right now with this situation is such an insult to The Founding Ford Family Legacy - it is Utterly Disgusting.
It reflects a larger cultural shift towards Disrespecting & Diminishing earlier generations - attempting to move them into the Shadows and Obscurity.
To all of you Old Car Owners - you hold the power here.
Use Power Wisely.
There is no event without your participation.
Marty, Thanks for all that you have done for us us at the OCF and MM. My father and I just had a discussion last night about how I remember you being the narrator when I was a little kid. Back in the days when they would give you a ribbon on the activities field. Now that's going way back! Like I said my father and I are willing to give THF a second chance if they come up with a compromise. We have always loved the OCF and later the MM.
The grouches can sit at home on the porch, comfortable with the fact that they are sticking it to the man.....
Me, if accepted, will have a ball at old car fest driving around the unique grounds with my wife and family...
Funny how some of the loudest jeers come from those who have never been there and were not likely to ever go anyway...
Well said Gus - one doesn't even own a T.
Well, I have an email friend who actually volunteers at THF and attended the meeting. He is allowing me to post his note to me about the meeting. It seems a lot of us "got it right" about the whole fiasco, and the higher ups at THF are NOW very aware of it! Here's his note, I think it sounds pretty positive. Because my contact actually volunteers there, I am leaving the identity secret, I know that may upset some folks, but I think in this situation, it's valid.
"The meeting lasted almost an hour and a half. I truly believe that they are going to change things around for the better. Proof of their commitment was the fact that they actually PAID us to be at the meeting. They're serious. Motor Muster, although not a complete disaster, wasn't NEARLY what was expected, or was in the past. From the CEO on down, they learned their lesson. The higher-ups were all there listening to us presenters and drivers. Many suggestions were given, including "run any new ideas before us WAY before any changes are made"! Any one of us could have told them that messing around with tradition is a bad thing. Car guys have LONG memories. Some will never come back, no matter what is done. I plan on "working" the event, including driving a T. It was great fun seeing a traffic jam of pre-1933 cars!
As far as camping and parking goes, the reason for the whole thing is FoMoCo's cutting down of previously available parking for campers and trailers. Their facility is right across the street, and they're developing a new area nearby and need the lots for their own use. There was nothing that could have been done about that. Alternative parking is being looked into, although it was also searched for months ago. The group almost unanimously told them that better communication is absolutely necessary for any event, and with the shuffling about of positions of importance, transition from one person to the next left a LOT to be desired. In other words, internal communication as well as communication with participants was sorely lacking. Other suggestions were given, including grouping registration on-site by year of automobile rather than alphabetically by last name.
Gas lit cars will have little trouble navigating Dearborn streets. Folks around here are used to seeing such vehicles on the roads during events at THF. The ones I talked to in the past were looking forward to "bending" the rules a bit. The Dearborn cops I know are also car guys. No hassles there. Tow vehicles and rigs are allowed on site for loading and unloading but with limited parking, they cannot stay during the event. It would have been nice for them to have told people the reason for changes. It was interesting to note that the higher-ups kept stonewalling any questions on the $50 fee. It was a BIG mistake, and they know it. That's why they relented on the non-refunding and number of passes given. The marketing folks really heard about that. Participants who wish to dress in period clothing are encouraged to do so.
All in all, it was a very interesting meeting. Although letting a historical presenter speak is like opening the flood gates. They heard an earful, and have scheduled another meeting later this week for those who couldn't make it on such short notice. We were given only one day's notice, but the meeting room was packed. That showed them the seriousness and commitment we as presenters and drivers have to the place."
Previously I weighed in that it was the Henry Ford Museum's party and they can run it the way they want to. I strongly believe that and respect their decisions.
Being a FORD guy, I found it unique that they were going to limit T's and A's at the Henry Ford, but again it is their decision.
During the last few years the event grew tremendously. Many more cars and all kinds of associated issues, parking, congestion, safety and adherence to good practices.
You mention volunteers, but last year the trailer parking was severely congested. Something had to be done, and it was. Trailers were directed to parking spaces by VOLUNTEERS and the car drivers ignored the directions and parked in other locations. Trailers were blocked in, inaccessible and blocking key emergency access lanes. Likewise congestion inside the Village was great.
Several intersections were literally stop and go. This created safety concerns for both motorists and pedestrians.
Marty and the other T club representatives will work out a solution that is amicable to all. Yes, maybe some of the previous actions were harsh, but something had to be done.
A good friend with a significant car collection refuses to attend any show, parade or event in which he is expected to pay a registration fee. He states that the performers should not have to pay to perform. I respect his decision, but find it extreme and believe he is missing a lot of fun. But each to his own.
Thanks very much!
Sounds good except for the part about, "Gas lit cars will have little trouble navigating Dearborn streets" Should read, "Gas lit cars will be run down by Lincoln Navigators". Yes some streets there are good but, the one that leads to those hotels near Fairlane that many of us use is downright scary. As I mentioned before, they need to park us on the proving grounds. We've all seen it from the village. I know they test cars there on that weekend but I don't think it would kill Ford if they had to shut it down just once.
To be clear to some people, this is an "Old Car Festival". Meaning any make car built before 1933 that is not modified (has correct engine, running gear, wheels, fenders, etc.) is accepted. This is NOT a Model T & A only event. Though Model Ts & As have dominated the event through the years by probably a half to two thirds, that is very representative of the times back then. For me, this is what has made this such a great event! The diversity, to have a feel of what life was like then. Just my view.....
I said I wasn't going to post anything until after the meeting unless is was so egregious that it needed addressing.
Well, David's post is the exact opposite and I gotta say something.
I completely agree that THF should have had a meeting BEFORE making changes. When they wanted to start a companion show to the OCF, which is the MM, the came to me and asked how to do it. The first thing I suggested was meeting with club reps to see what they wanted because without them, there would me no companion show.
Communication is ALWAYS key.
Understand Willis and knew that beforehand - but this is a Model T website. Was simply expounding upon Gus' very accurate observation. As Marty pointed out earlier, a lot of people visit this website (and are reading this particular thread) - not necessarily people who are members of the forum. Given it is a Model T site, it would be natural for those individuals to believe that everyone posting (especially those jeering the loudest) is a Model T owner - and that is not the case.
Marty, I'm not certain what you mean by my "post is just the opposite." I have a friend who works at THF and attended the meeting, and I posted the comments on the meeting.
I have no "skin in the game" as I live way to far away to drive one of my cars there for the event, just wanted to post a report from someone "on the spot" that I thought was pretty level-headed about it all. My friend is a very sharp "cookie" who does not rant or rave that I am aware, so I think the report should be valid, at least from one perspective. And I actually waited a half-day in hopes that Marty would post his report of the meeting.
I can understand your friend's view of not paying for shows.
I, as well, will not pay for shows except for this one event. But, there comes a time when you will go only so far, such as in an auction. There is a point at when a person will back down. It is a shame that our fun and willingness to display and interact with the public about our hobby comes at a price. But, for some hard working folk, we have to put a price on that fun as our budget allows. Then when you factor in all the labor of getting your old car ready plus your tow vehicle, supplies and such, it can be staggering! I need play the lottery more.......
Oh, how I'd like to retire and do the things I really like!
Seeing someone get uppity over Model T ownership as some sort of
"badge of honor" is on par with getting uppity over having a belly button.
Whoop-dee-doo ! Doesn't everyone have one ? Compared to other T
era makes, the answer is yes.
Hey, I like my T as much as the next schmuck, but getting holier-than-
thou over those who own other makes isn't just arrogant, it's stupid.
David, what I meant was it is the opposite of egregious or negative. The meeting was a good thing and I thank you for posting the information.
Whew!! Thought I'd done something wrong -- again! I seem to manage to get my foot in my mouth a lot lately.
For Instance, I thought of posting Burger,
"Pardon me, would you happen to have some Grey Poupon?" just to provide a bit of levity, but then I thought, "Rats, that might be taken the wrong way" And then I thought, "And that ad was so long ago the joke might not be understood." Oh well, I have great respect for the folks here, so if anyone ever thinks I'm putting someone down, let me know, 'cause that's not in my nature! Although I guess it happens now and then. Oh look, A squirrel! Hey, let's go ride bikes. . .
Can't believe it's time to say this, but everyone have a safe 4th!
Don't blame yourself, I don't know what Marty's talking about half the time myself.
Test please ignore.
(Message edited by 404_not_found on July 01, 2017)
Mimsey were the borogroves. Got it???
Don't like to nitpick, Marty, but I think you mean "borogoves."
I decided to vote with my actions. This show is a family and friends favorite so I went ahead and applied for entry. If the want my car fine. If the do not I have a '13 engine to install. Either way I win.
Does anyone know if the $50 entrance fee is staying?
Friday is the meeting so, should know all by then.
Thanks for the info Willis
Willis, with all due respect, Monday, July 10th is the meeting according to the letter I received.
My apologies, my eye sight is not what it used to be!
I'm open minded and I might consider attending and or participating at some point in the future. But, when the folks at THF threw away their long standing relationship with the Lansing to Dearborn Run, they also threw away my interest in hauling my very rare Maxwell LC twelve hours each way to participate. At the same time, I lost interest in renewing my membership to THF. They've done nothing to earn a donation from me this year.
I was really looking forward to participating in both the Lansing to Dearborn Run and the OCF this fall, but thanks to the choices of THF, that's no longer possible.
With the letter i read i thought even just tow rigs would not be allowed to stay on site?? Well with a little luck people will ask questions instead of acting like lap dogs waiting for a bone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud.
That's the idea Bud. I'm very much lead to believe that this will be a two way conversation.
Thank you Jerry!!! Bud.
I won't be able to be at the meeting on July 10th, but my impression is that they want to work with us to make everything work for all of us. The biggest problem to overcome now is parking, and they are working on it. As many of you as possible should go to the meeting and have an open mind on how we can all work together to save this wonderful event.
Just to clarify.... I thought the meeting on the 10th was for club representatives.... or is it 'as many as possible to attend???
Dennis, I just read their email letter again, and it's addressed to the MTFCA. In it they invite us, or a representative if we are unable to attend, to be there.
Myself and other Directors from the MTFCA won't be there as we're heading to Whitefish, Montana for the tour there starting at the end of next week.
If you are interested in attending, call Beverly Jordan at 313-982-6100, ext. 2349.
I've sent her a copy of the letter we sent on
February 14th from the MTFCA listing many suggestions to improve the OCF for both them and us. The biggest problem is parking, and how to deal with exceeding the maximum capacity for the OCF.
Parking can be divided into 3 groups:
1. Those of us with motorhomes pulling trailers, often quite long.
2. Those with a pickup tow vehicle pulling a trailer, open or closed.
3. Those who live in the area and drive their antique car to the OCF and leave it on the museum grounds Saturday night and maybe have someone drive a modern car to use to go home on Saturday night and return on Sunday.
These three groups could have separate parking areas as their space and security needs are different. Also, the POEE lot we used to use is no longer available as Ford is using that building and parking lot 24/7 now.
The meeting is by invitation only. It's basically the presidents of local car clubs/chapters and representatives of national organizations. That is my understanding.
Keith adds above that an invitation may also be requested. I had not heard of that as an option, but apparently he's checked into that.
I just now read a e=mail that said the 50.00 already sent/spent for the motor muster and the OCF is being dropped to a refundable 25.00 and up to 4 passes! Change is afoot! Bud.
I just received this email. I edited out the phone numbers. If I understood it corectly, it looks like they are going above and beyond. I did not see any info about parking, but that might just be something that can not be resolved within the new constraints Ford Motor Company using some of their parking they previously did not puts on the event.
Dear Car Show Participant,
The Henry Ford remains committed to our goal of producing best-in-class, mission-driven car shows. We know the recent changes we introduced to Motor Muster and Old Car Festival disappointed many of you, and we’ve spent these past few weeks working hard to course-correct our missteps. We’ve been speaking and consulting with many of our participants, our employees and our guests, and the feedback we’ve received has been extremely helpful and we thank you.
We would like to share some of our plans moving forward:
All application fees for this year’s Motor Muster and Old Car Festival will be refunded within the next few weeks. If you registered for OCF, we will refund fees already paid. In addition, the application for next year’s events will return to a refundable fee of $25, and each participant will be offered up to four guest passes on request.
If you need to reach someone directly during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, please call Odelle Cadwell at 313.xxx.xxxx ext. Xxxx or Kristi Best at 313.xxx.xxxx. You can also email us directly anytime at email@example.com, and we’ll respond as soon as we are able.
Your continued involvement with and support of The Henry Ford is vital to the success of programs such as these. We thank you for your time and dedication, and we look forward to working with you on creating many more memorable experiences for you and your family to enjoy.
Patricia E. Mooradian
Christian Overland John Neilson
Executive Vice President Vice President
Matt Anderson Jim Johnson
At the risk of being criticized for not being a past participant, I do wonder if these concessions would be being offered if everyone took the advice of those saying don't boycott, etc?
At the risk of being flamed, the show was worth more than 50 bucks to attend as a participant. I never liked or understood the non refundable part, but the price was still worth participating in the best car show I have ever seen.
Many people correctly said there is no show without participants, but to pretend the participants don't get anything out of it is absurd. And not having the show hurts us, the participants. It is a lot of fun, and something I look forward to every year.
The way that letter reads about refunding everyone's money for ocf this year and the new application fee will be implemented for next years events almost sounds like they're not having it this year. It will be interesting to see what they say at this meeting Monday.
They know the MM was a disaster and are now willing to work together with the participants to save the MM and OCF. They are working on the parking problem, but the POEE building and parking lot are now used by Ford 24/7 and not available, period. The Ford test track is also not available, period.
They are working on this parking problem and capacity issues for both events, at least to make this years OCF somewhat ok. They want to work with us to figure this out and have us back for next years events. We should help them with this to the best of our ability because these events are the best there is.
I hope the meeting on Monday goes well and is well attended. I wish I could be there, but we'll be on our way to Montana.
Hopefully they can figure out the parking issues. That's going to be tough for them I know. There isn't much parking available around there that is not already in use