A lot of clubs now regularly send me their news-letters and magazines and I must say the majority of them are beautifully presented and full of interesting information. It’s also good to see that VBOA Matters is being included as I believe its important club members know that we are working on behalf of the 24 UK and 8 overseas clubs that make up the VBOA.
In 2005 we are definitely more than just “the people who run Billing”. Of course, the VBOA National Rally in association with CCC Insurance remains our main event, but this year we are moving into new fields. The new Spring Autojumble and Spares Day held on March 6th is an experiment which grew out of a club suggestion and if we survive the event financially, we would like to see it grow to a permanent annual fixture in the club calendar. The only disappointment to date is that we have entries from the trade and autojumble regulars, but next to none from individual club members. Encouraging individuals to clear their garages, make a few bob and hopefully satisfy other member’s needs in the process, was the nub of the original idea. If it catches on and becomes a regular event, perhaps that element will come on stronger in future years.
The other new enterprise is courtesy of our overseas members. Last year the Danes initiated a Continental Tour in the image of the Vauxhall Centenary 1000 Mile Tour. This year the Dutch have stepped forward with a great itinerary for a May Tour. As an example of how new ideas catch on, at the last count they had nearly 60 cars entered, with big contingents from the UK, Switzerland and Holland, plus others. The organization so far has been superb. The UK entries come from the Droop Snoot Group, the VOC, VODC and the Viva OC, so the range of cars is also remarkable and no one should feel this kind of event is not for them. For what’s being organized, the event is also great value for money. And just to finish blowing the Vauxhall Owners Club Holland trumpet, they have launched a new web site which is an example to all who run a motor club.
Back at Billing, letters have gone out and adverts have been placed to get trade, craft and autojumble stand reservations. The early response is encouraging. We are also deeply engaged in approaching owners of Vauxhall and Opel competition cars (past or present, or both!) to form the Vauxhall sponsored competition car display which will form a centerpiece for this year’s event. A number of key cars have already agreed to appear and we are running others down to their current homes and owners. To make a credible, even historic, display, it’s true we need iconic cars like Old Nail, a Clelland BTCC Cavalier and the 1922 TT Vauxhall, but we also need club member’s, or friends, cars. Nova and Corsa autocross or rally cars, Astra ditto plus race, Manta 400, Firenza, Vectra, a Thruxton droop snoot, replica BTCC cars? We need to hear from you if the event is to work as I believe it can. It may be a bit over dramatic to call it history in the making, but I repeat that the intention is to get the largest collection of Vauxhall and Opel (and Bedford for that matter, if anyone has an old TM truck racer salted away somewhere) competition cars ever brought together in one place. Good replicas are fine, just give us the opportunity to choose your car for this display which is bound to attract major press attention.
Outside of these events we have the responsibility to liaise with Vauxhall Motors/GM to ensure the owner’s clubs are not forgotten, but are seen as a rich source of information and inspiration for the current company. A recent “win” has been the consolidation of the Vauxhall film archive into a video tape format so that clubs can acquire and use them for club purposes. Barry Harvey is in detailed negotiation with Vauxhall to get the process formalized and clubs will be informed of what’s available and how to get it shortly.
Finally, the VBOA Annual General meeting will be held on April 10th (not the 3rd as previously advised). If you have any ideas for, or concerns about, the VBOA, please let your representative know.