View Full Version : Vintage Triumph Register, post your opinions

07-07-2005, 04:09 PM
Okay, I know there are a lot of opinions out there. And after all this is an open FORUM!!

I like to shake things up just before a National Convention, it gets people thinking and really P.O.'ed at me for whacking the hornets nest with a big stick just a folks are arriving then walk away.

Being a current VTR member, past web maintainer, continual sharp thorn and NOT representing the VTR in any way, I would like to hear opinions about the Vintage Triumph Register from North American enthusiasts. Tell this Forum your likes, dislikes, big beefs and little peeps, past and present gripes, long term hates, solutions, critcism, whatever you have to say positive, negative, what is right and wrong with the program or just D.G.A.S. and could care less, but just say it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/pukeface.gif

But just don't lurk and say nothing, apathy does nothing FOR this hobby, criticism heard and taken is always GOOD!

There are basically two "All Triumph" National clubs in North America. Post about both of them!

The reason I am looking for opinions is that it is time for VTR to get with the program, new officers installed who represent the interests of all North American Triumph owners, stand up for quality spares, organize around legislative issues, and who will work to promote and preserve North American Triumphs other than in their own special garages. Out with the old guard, in with the new. I am tired of hearing or reading that the knowledgable Triumph folks have left in disgust, and elitest attitudes that the only Triumphs seen should be perfectly restored ones. After all, Triumph was not created to be a boxed display, it was and is to be driven and enjoyed, something the local clubs seem to embrace well.

Some of this change has started already with a new VP and new web site, but this is only a slow start, a flash in the pan. In order for any club to survive needs the active help of the enthusiasts it is supposed to represent.

I'll begin with (more of) my not so humble opinions: /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cryin.gif

I strongly feel there needs to be a central repository of all things Triumph, All things North American Triumph, for all Triumph owners to add to and search for any information relative to their hobby.
VTR was chartered to do all that, once, as that repository for the factory sponsored Triumph Sports Owners Association (TSOA) when British Leyland went belly up in 1981.
VTR in a right world should be a support organization to all other local clubs in North America for any and all things Triumph, and ALL TRIUMPHS representing ALL Triumph Enthusiasts COAST-TO-COAST! Of course that means having special tallented volunteers step up, work hard and get recognized for their efforts.
Sure the VTR has a good Concours program in place to promote the best of the best Triumphs. Well freekin Whoop-dee-do and la-DE-dah!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif Once a year a stinking 100 cars out of literally tens of thousands get scrutinized. I love to see these cars just as much as the next enthusiast. It is fine to recognize great restoration achievements, but what about the other enthusiasts out there who count in much higher numbers?

VTR and ALL Triumph Clubs probabably need to open their eyes a bit wider and begin coordination with other British Vehicle Clubs with more visibility at ALL British Car events around North America. How else do you promote the hobby?

How does all this get accomplished? Is the structure right or wrong? What needs to be done to correct things? Is it broke or am I just a raving idiot (you can refrain comment on the latter statement please! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif ) ??

VTR member meeting is at the National Convention Thursday 28 July 2005 6:30 - 8:00 PM in Rockford Illinois. NEW people need to be there to make a difference.

FWIW, my own club's Annual General Meeting just happens to overlap the VTR membership meeting - what we were provided with schedule wise I am sorry to say - so do attend and let your opinions be heard!

The floor is now open ... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

Geo Hahn
07-07-2005, 04:37 PM
Because of where I live (remote area of the Southwest) and how I enjoy my car (driving, not showing) the national club scene is of limited importance to me. Even less so now that the internet has stepped in to provide sources of camaraderie, technical advice and searchable archives on many topics that previously were the purview of the nationals.

I have belonged to national Triumph organizations in the past much as I am sometimes a 'member' of public television... more as a matter of supporting something possibly worthwhile than with the expectation of any direct benefit. I may even belong to VTR or TRA again in the future. But for me the local clubs and regional events (and the individuals I meet thru them) are the only formal organization I really need to enjoy this hobby.

I wish the VTR the best of luck in finding whatever role works best for them in this current environment but as a non-member cannot really criticize anything they do or might do. I suppose I care about VTR like I care about who my sister marries -- hope it turns out well but I'm not really involved in the affair.

07-07-2005, 04:58 PM
For a start VTR can scrap the $30 membership fee and elitist attitude. How rude it was to block access to their on-line maintenance handbook if you weren't a paying member. The stuff was useful but not exclusive by any means. Now I come to BCF and search or ask for free. That's true camaraderie.

Mickey Richaud
07-07-2005, 05:03 PM
I plan on attending VTR 2005, my first one, and look forward to meeting lots of fellow enthusiasts. One thing I found interesting with regard to registration for the event is that if you're not already a member, the fee is higher, and it includes a one-year membership. Guess that's one way to increase the rolls!

Like Geo, I'm more of a local type, and everyone on this Forum knows I spend WAAYY too much time here. The benefit, though, is nearly instant response to questions from folks who have lots of experience. I also am not that interested in taking home a plaque or a trophy, but it is nice to know my car is appreciated and enjoyed when I drive or show it.

I guess overall a national "club" is not high on my list. Will have to reserve further comment until after VTR 2005.


07-07-2005, 05:23 PM
I think Geo summed up my views of the VTR pretty well. Local events and the internet are more important. I've been a member for over 10 years, and will continue to be just to support their efforts. I enjoy the quarterly magazine, but that's the only benifit of membership for me.

Even though I live about an hour and a halfs drive from Rockford, I won't be attending the National Convention. The biggest reason is that it's held during the week, not the weekend. It's too close to think about a hotel, and too far to drive to every day. The entrance fees are a little steep also for someone who doesn't race or rally their cars. If I could enter my cars for a day and check out the other cars, I'd probably attend. My cars are drivers. I would attend to bring the numbers up and share experiences with others. Awards don't interest me as much as driving my cars as much as possible while the weather's good.

One last comment: Nothing on the VTR website should be for members only.

07-07-2005, 07:49 PM
When I first started working on my car, I felt that the VTR would be a great source of information, so in a moment of weakness, I became a member, recieved the little quartely, and I did contact a few of the "experts" with a question or two. Somehow I got the feeling I was a theif in the night, stealing priviledged information. This is not something I can pinpoint, but just a feeling. I have since dropped my membership, simply because I felt that the VTR was primarily a 100% perfect car world and that a weekend driver with door dings and a leaking oil pan was frowned upon, here again this was just a feeling. Lets just say I didn't get a warm, fuzzy feeling when dealing with them. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif

07-07-2005, 08:06 PM

My 2 cents worth...

I was a member of VTR many years ago (20-25?). The only tangible benefit that comes to mind was a sticker to put on the windshield of my car. At the time I got the impression that VTR's primary function was to collect my dues.

Being a Westerner (Colorado then, California now), my perception is that VTR was then and is still today a distant organization with little activity, support for or involvement in things-Triumph in my part of the world.

The Internet has radically changed the world over the past ten years. We can now shop, communicate and interact globally unlike ever before. The VTR website was a good resource, but, as noted, is less useful now. I was semi-inclined to re-join, simply to support the effort to keep a "central repository of Triumph knowledge" up and functioning to the benefit all Triumph owners, be they VTR members or not. But, I'd certainly not do so now, considering the apparent attitude of the organization's "management".

(As an aside, I find it interesting that their classified ads are still publicly accessible, while the maintenance and repair pages are "secure" behind member-only, password "protection".)

I think I would be more inclined to join a local club with functions and events where I can participate. I have done this in the past, too, but am presently not a member of any car club. That's largely because it's really not a lot of fun if your one and only Triumph is up on jack stands undergoing a complete restoration.

A few of the club members locally were really into the restoration and mechanical side of Triumphs. That's my area of interest, too. But many others seemed to have simply pulled out their checkbooks and had cars restored to their specifications, never got any actual grease under their fingernails. That's okay. It's their choice, their car and their life. I just prefer trading stories and comparing notes with the guys in the coveralls, instead of listening to someone with a perfect manicure proudly display their latest concours d'elegance trophy. Still others seem to join for the parties and dinners, primarily. Also okay by me, if that's what they want. Please understand, I'm not really knocking the checkbook owners or the party animals. I appreciate their cars. Perhaps because I've been getting greasy under the bonnet of a Triumph most of my life, I *really* appreciate the cars where an owner has invested a lot of personal time and effort, whether it be to maintain it to precise, showroom-original specification or tweak, tune and modify to their own satisfaction.

It's not that I don't join organizations. I am currently a member of the North American Nature Photography Association, co-moderate a large and very active Internet discussion group and am a field contributor to a nature photography magazine. In the past I've been highly involved in trade orgnazations such as Boards of Realtors, Apartment and Homebuilders Associations, etc., on local, regional and national levels. I've served on and chaired any number of committees and have sat on several organizaions' board of directors. Heck, I was even on the BOD of my homeowners association, chaired committees and served as president for a couple years.

I strongly believe it's vital to be involved, to give back to your chosen profession, community and avocation, to help others who are new to the field, and to spread the word and share your passion.

One thing I find interesting is that the VTR - Vintage Triumph *Registry* - doesn't appear to actually have any sort of registry of Triumphs and their owners. Same seems to be true of TRA - Triumph *Registry* of America. Huh? Thankfully there is the International TR Registry (www.trregistry.com), although I wish it covered all Triumphs, not just the TR series.

If I were on the board of directors of a Triumph organization, I'd be looking at the possiblities of mergers, affiliatons and consolidation in an effort to bring some quiet to the center of the storm. It should be possible to strengthen ties, partnerships and mutual support between national and even international organizations; local chapters and regional clubs; "virtual" clubs, registries, forums and discussion groups; magazines and other publications; Triumph-related vendors of all kinds, all over the world; and other interested parties. We're in a new era of international communication and commerce. It's time to act like it, if these organizations' boards of directors wish.

I'm glad VTR is around and I truly hope it evolves into a great organization. But, it seems to be failing to meet a lot of Triumph owners' needs. If it were meeting those needs, there simply wouldn't be so many alternatives.


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif.
'62 TR4 CT17602L

07-07-2005, 08:58 PM
For a start VTR can scrap the $30 membership fee and elitist attitude. How rude it was to block access to their on-line maintenance handbook if you weren't a paying member. The stuff was useful but not exclusive by any means.


I find this website much more helpful.

And yes, I am a member of VTR.

07-07-2005, 09:07 PM
Making the tech info exclusive to paying members, information that was given for free, just plain ****** me off. I'll never join VTR although I did think that I would join once I finished my project 4A before this latest action by the VTR board. Not now.

I share for free any and all information that I can provide to fellow enthusiasts, that's what makes the hobby fun, the people and sense of extended family. Now that the VTR has made their club more of a business, it would be like going to work instead if having a BBQ for friends. You ruined it for me.

Clear enough?

07-07-2005, 10:34 PM
Glenn, I echo the sentiments of many, particullarly Alan, about the VTR catering to themselves, rather than the actual Triumph owners.
When I started worshipping at the "Our Lady of Perpetual Restoration" with my GT6, about 1990, I contacted them as a possible source of help, as I was new to the GT6.
The response I got was a form to fill out, to be returned with remittance, of course, for membership, before they would even deign to discuss anything Triumph related with me. That pretty well soured me on the whole VTR concept.
Generally, I'm not a "joiner." I've found car clubs, per se, to be elitist groups, with way too many of the checkbook types, who wouldn't know a valve stem from a valve cover, to be comfortable for me. To echo many sentiments, this forum is a prime example of people who actually care about their cars, work on their cars, and drive their cars.
I think that the VTR has totally lost sight of the fact that just because I have installed a header on the GT6, that doesn't make me a heathen, or that Halogen headlights are not as Lucas intended.
Thanks, but no thanks.

07-07-2005, 11:35 PM
I was excited to start my repairs and clean up of the TR3 I bought last year and searched all over the web to find buddies to talk with and get input. The VTR was the first place I went to-- frequently for the first couple weeks but I got only a little feedback and a nice certificate. I found this British forum and have enjoyed getting advice, hearing stories, sharing accomplishments, curiosities and frustrations. I do like the idea of having a big national organization as a resource for parts, lobbying for appropriate representation, announcements, etc, but not likely to be an active participant unless it is more user friendly, perhaps with local chapters like some forums.

07-07-2005, 11:50 PM
I'm a member of the VTR thanks to spending 8.7 million dollars at the Roadster Factory rebuilding my car (OK, not quite that much, just seems like it!!). I tried to use one of their resident "experts" in matters of TR-6 originality and the email address they have listed for the guy is no good anymore! Enough said. I find this site and my local club much more informative and if TRF doesn't pay my membership next year, I'm gone!

1970 TR-6

07-08-2005, 12:42 AM
OK, here’s my take on this. I’m 36 years old and I’ve been a car enthusiast since I knew what a car was. I’ve had several older cars, mostly Detroit iron, but I did have a 69 XKE for a short while; until I figured out that there was no way on God’s green earth that I could afford that beast. Anyway, fast forward 10 years and I’m looking to get back into the hobby that I dearly loved but because of work and family, had to give up. I bought my little Triumph nearly a year ago; Mostly because it was very unique, and I couldn’t afford a 68 fastback Mustang in anywhere near the same condition.

I was a member of the regional Mustang club when I lived in Charlotte a few years ago. I had a Paxton supercharged 2000 Mustang GT with nice suspension package and Corbeau seats. But let’s face it; the emphasis was on anything 1970 and below but with all the great new models that focus was slowly equalizing. With all that being said, it was a very diverse club, with young and old and I’ve have to say that the “do-it-yourselfers” like myself greatly out numbered the check book owners.

Now that I have the 6, one of the first things I did was to join to regional Triumph club. They’re mostly an older crowd, and I’ve found everyone to be very friendly and helpful. In the past, these clubs were a big part of maintaining these cars. They were the keepers of the knowledge so to speak, and the social aspect, although a big part of these organizations took second place to the knowledge repositories that these clubs possessed.

Enter the Internet, stage left. Organizations like 6-pack.org and britishcarforum.com form that provide answers to virtually any question under the sun. In order to protect their intellectual property, the old guard clubs lock up their intellect and reserve it only for members. The only problem with this is its too late; the other “free” knowledge outlets have for the most part surpassed the old guard.

I actually do understand why these older clubs locked up their websites. They’re clubs after all and they need members…dues to pay for things; websites, t-shirts, and mugs just to name a few. However the business model is outdated. In order to attract new members, all these various clubs need to unite; 6-pack, VTR, all the regionals and everyone in-between. They need to embrace anything with the Triumph nameplate on it and in any condition and with any type of modifications. Younger guys for the most part aren’t interested if the spark plug wires are the correct vintage, they wanna hear those pipes scream like a banshee. There needs to be more focus on the regional social gatherings and tech sessions rather than one big national get-together, that most people could care less about much less make it there. With more local events catering to all cars of any level of modification you’ll attract more members. Moreover, on the national level, a nice big fee web portal with forums and knowledge base articles that will again, entice new members.

Now… all these newly consolidated members creates one big side affect; Buying power! Through surveys on the local level the national club could leverage the results to get more and better products. And instead of having to pay for memberships to two or three different clubs you have one… everyone wins. I would gladly pay and support a single yearly fee for this and I’m sure others would too. A larger consolidated club would build respect with other clubs as well. I’ve never a heard of a Triumph and Mustang club putting on a show together, but I’m SURE it would get tons of foot traffic

There is strength in numbers and since there are less and less of these cars surviving every year, working together is the only way our parts suppliers not to mention our cars will survive.

07-08-2005, 02:25 AM
The thing that has always struck me about the national Triumph clubs is how the emphasis is on "showing" and "going to show."

I'm not much of a concours guy.

Seeing as Triumphs, especially the TRs were sports cars that were intended to be RACED, I see no reason why the VTR can't take a page out of the Porsche Owners Club of America and organize and promote the sporting use of Triumphs.

It is very clear from going to the Northwest Historics Vintage Races last weekend that TRs are still raced, but the emphasis and spotlight are on Porsches and Corvettes. All you need to do is look at racing pictures from the 50s and 60s, and TRs dominate the racing landscape.

VTR does nothing to promote this history and continue to support Triumph racing and rallying success (except for talk about the one TR2 in the Great Race.)

Furthermore, the VTR provides little web information -- very few pictures, information. BCF is a much more important resource for owners of Triumphs.

Just my 2 cents.

07-08-2005, 09:14 AM
VTR does nothing to promote this history and continue to support Triumph racing and rallying success (except for talk about the one TR2 in the Great Race.)

Furthermore, the VTR provides little web information -- very few pictures, information. BCF is a much more important resource for owners of Triumphs.

[/ QUOTE ]

I forgot to mention the racing/autocrossing. YES we need more of that; Our cars where made to run! Car shows tend to get boring, the drives are nice but again it's nice to have something new.

And you're right, most of the information on VTR's website is very dated, and the car sections are marginal at best.

Paul Johnson
07-08-2005, 09:15 AM
It's looking more and more like most agree that this forum is the cat's whisker, as the Brits would say.
(Maybe we should all send Basil a few bucks a year and get a little decal to put on the windscreen.)
The technical information is more valuable here than any other site I've seen, cars or bikes. But we also get the human interest and sense of adventure, not only for our marque, but others as well. As to VTR, I've checked out the local chapter, and if they represent the whole, then I guess I'm not of high enough quality or something. Too bad, as a 45 year owner/enthusiast and ten year employee of BL, seems like my credentials ought to be good enough. Well, you guys here are first rate; think I'll go drive my car now and get it dirty after yesterday's rain.
(The attachment, if I did this right, is the ID post I use for a local non-affiliated car gathering every fall. Needless to say, some are amused, some not.)

07-08-2005, 09:54 AM
Exclusivity comes with a high price. Folks who can't gain access to the web site, or who may be snobbed at shows, or who don't wish to join for a big fee are all potential Members. Some of these may have great leadership potential for the club. To alienate such potential is an great loss to the club, and to the marque.

Our hobby is peopled by older enthusiasts. The average age here, and in many LBC clubs is well into the forties. If we are to perpetuate the hobby, it's essential to attract and nurture new blood, constantly. Big Membership fees and closed doors to information are not the way to accomplish this.

To change this stale management style at the VTR will require new leadership and new ideas. Not easy to come by.

I wish the VTR much luck. But IMHO, if they wish to survive, new tactics and new leadership may be required.

07-08-2005, 10:52 AM
I am a VTR member, more for the publication, I am also a member of BMWMOA. I have gone to one VTR national and planning on the current one and have gone to a few British car shows and some Old car shows. I would like to see more driving events at these, standing around for hours get boring. The car clubs should look at some of the motorcycle events and get out and around the area where they are. I go to the National more for the driving events and to meet new people. I see that there is more bashing about the VTR what about TRA are there no members here, at lest the VTR National goes around the country where the TRA has not until this year.

Donald Woodward

07-08-2005, 01:23 PM
I am encouraged by most of the posts here. Many people seem to be on the same page as I am in their view of thier Triumphs. I have not found a huge benefit to joinging VTR. When I first encountered my 250, I found the buying guide at the VTR website to be very helpful in identifying the condition of my car. Since then, I have referred other to the buying guide. This seems to be the most useful resource. Other than that, I can't say what I could see out of dues to them, or 6-pack would benefit.
I am a member of the Delaware Valley Triumphs club, and have found the experience to be great. I have had members come over my house to give some help on working on the car. Every month at the meeting, they are dying to hear my latest progress report on my barn find. They offer tips and well needed encouragement.
The local club is certainly full of "gray hairs". They pointed this out to me, huge curiousity that I was, 31 and all, with full dark brown hair! WHy would someoen so young get into these cars? I think it comes from reading too many Peter Egan articles in Road and Track.
The focus of my local club is certainly not on concours winners. A handful of the members have restored their cars to orginal spec. Many others have restored theirs as they see fit. (A beautiful Jaguar Green TR250 with 3 Weber carbs, or a Mustang Yellow solid axle TR4A with cruise control and Cd player). Most have their cars in good running order, improving things as they go. A few others have borderline condition cars, and that is fine. The president of the club has a red TR2 that was entered as "Diamond in the Rough" in the last show. My club would be happier to see my rough 250 on the road more than anything else.
If I was to join any other membership, it would have to be TRF club, with the discounts and all. As far as younger people, I am not sure what VTR offers at all. Another badge for the hood. I was surprised that they don't even have a discussion forum like this. I guess they dont want people sharing the knowledge that they charge for now. (and is readily accessible here or through the local club)

Car shows are boring. Sitting all day in one spot, with a vehicle that was meant to be on the road. The best thing about being around these cars is the smells and the sounds. I am not talking about wax and leather treatment. I'm talking about leaky oil burning on an exhaust manifold, or the sound of a TR6 through a Monza exhaust. I wonder where sitting around all day showing off pride an joy came from? Its an odd thing to do with a car, drive it one spot and have it sit in the sun for hours??

07-08-2005, 03:20 PM
GREAT!! please keep up the feedback. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

On the Conventions, let me distinguish them from the regular one day "Shows on the Green".

VTR Conventions fortunately are always hosted by a "local" active car club and as such, the days are filled with what are called "moving events" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

These are Gymkana or Funkana - slow speed driving contests for points through an obstacle course performing various tasks between the driver and navigator;
Time Speed Distance (TSD) rally competition which is usually 40-50 miles where you complete the course on public roads and make the closest Time, correct speed, and most accurate distance for points and prizes;
A "Fun rally" also covering 20-50 miles but is set to engage the driver and navigator primarily to follow a specific set of directions and landmarks, noting obscure observations for points and prizes.
And of course, each of the conventions has an Autocross event for stock and modified cars where you pull on your helmet (or borrow one) and make for the best speed run at the best time for your class and overall for awards.
Most clubs host other driving events such as planning the "long way round" to various eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinners, evening Ice Cream runs and casual drives through the local countryside and best driving roads they have to offer.
Then there are BBQ's, many Technical sessions presented by experts in the field. Some moving events include drag races and speedway runs if available in the area.

So there is quite a lot difference between a "Car Show" and a Convention.

But of course, none of that has anything to do with VTR other than VTR covering the liability insurance for the whole event. VTR has little to do with what occurs there, Conventions are all about the fun the local club plans and very little to do with the one day show that wraps up the convention. Fortunately the car show itself occupies only about 4-6 hours, and most folks get itchy after the judges have passed through jump in their Triumph to go sight see and D-R-I-V-E.

As a plug to the Illinois Sports Owners Association, any of you attending the convention for the first time will have a blast if you participate in the other moving events and sessions, guaranteed. The ISOA folks are a great and crazy group of Triumph owners, as are the other local clubs who have hosted the various National and Regional conventions, AND Triumphest in the West Coast. Again, the local clubs really seem to embrace the "driving and fun" parts. The 4 days you spend at a convention will pass faster than the time you spend at a 1 day car show due to the fact you are always driving somewhere or doing something. It IS a vacation destination in itself.

Without discounting the earlier questions that need input and opinions, so where does that leave the VTR and the Triumph Registery as to their place? As I said before, VTR is the official repository for Triumph information for enthusiasts as chartered by TSOA. It is to Promote and Preserve "all Triumphs" as per their bylaws. In my opinion, the VTR has lost its aims, goals and direction. There once was a time when there were more VTR members than in the local clubs. This has reversed as the sum of the local clubs is far more than VTR's members.
Should VTR have it's own membership base, or should all Triumph clubs support the VTR in a function of being a central database repository for all things North American Triumph with all the members of the local Triumph Clubs having access to VTR benefits?
What then should be the function of such an organization, and how would it be funded to keep the information current, accurate, provide support on parts and legislation and available to North American triumph Enthusiasts?

More Please, from the floor !!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

07-08-2005, 03:55 PM
As someone who is very far away from a British car club, much less a Triumph club, the national club scene seems distant and unimportant. I turn wrenchs on my Triumphs, and other cars pretty much by myself. I go to a few car shows that are close enough to me to attend, and have never entered a car, especially not my beat up little Spitty. Some people at such events are curious about what my car is where it was built how old it is ect. I enjoy answering their questions, but so far my boss is really the only person I've met that has alot of knowledge about these cars. For someone to talk to about Triumphs, I have this forum and my work. Granted it would be nice to belong to a large national club like VTR but with meetings in Rockford, Ill. I'd never make it. For a person like me a local club would be great. So why doesn't everyone just move to southwestern Oklahoma and we can make our own club and form a new Triumph order.

07-08-2005, 05:27 PM

As a semi-"triumph owner" (hey, my driveline's TR6) watching from the sidelines, mind if I chime in? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The problem as I see it is much as has been said by others: there is too much fragmentation. TRA for the TR2/TR3 guys, 6-Pack for the 250/6 owners, not to mention the plethora of local clubs. A centralized club can only scale so far before people fail to see the point of their money (ie TVRCCNA works as a central organization because there's "only" 400+ members IIRC, but how many thousand TR owners are there in the US).

Now, what if the VTR went back to its roots as a repository. Follow the model of UFWDA (https://www.ufwda.org/) in the Offroading community. VTR would sit as a national coordinator/repository above the local clubs. Clubs like Delaware Valley Triumphs could elect to join, and if they do then $5 (or $10 or whatever) of each members dues would be sent to VTR, which provides a central repository for information, legislation, or whatever. The club memberships do not eliminate individual memberships for those who are not members of clubs, but they allow a wider variety of people to become involved.

Another thought on the lines of providing value to the membership is for VTR to become involved in more events than just the convention. For example, TVRCCNA is broken into regions. Many members can not make it to our national meeting in NJ amd thus lose interest in the club or question its value. To combat this we have discussed the addition of regional events where a TVRCCNA Region would ally with a local show (such as possibly The Original British Car Day for the Mid-Atlantic region) where in addition to the standard show the TVRCCNA Region would sponsor awards for TVRs. This model is used successfully by the North American Spitfire Squadron (NASS) which held a show in conjunction with the Indy british car show in Brownsburg, IN last year. There were almost as many spitfires/GT6's as other british cars and it drew a lot of attention to NASS as well as helping publicise the show.

Echoing the sentiments of others, the closing of the technical articles was rather upsetting for me as well. As I've said in other posts here, I'm a TVRCCNA member. The articles were helpful, but not necessary. I might consider paying $5-10 for article access as an "Affiliate" instead of a "Member" if new articles were being written, but a full membership is kind of pointless for me, especially since I can't even tell if I would be welcome at VTR 2005. One option that might be considered would be cross-licensing articles with other clubs. For example, TVRCCNA will be launching their new site soon which will have a members-only section that may include some articles (the webmaster is still figuring out the capabilities of our new host and what the members want). If it does have articles VTR could agree to trade access with clubs like TVRCCNA or 6-Pack that also provide information that may be of interest to its members.

Basically, to sum up my haphazard thought train: The collector car hobby does not seem to lend itself well to a centralized national organization since the popularity explosion of the internet. Clubs like VTR (and TVRCCNA) need to work hard to come up with value for their membership, and one way to do that may be to decrease operating costs (by decentralizing into supporting a local club) and accordingly decrease income such that the value to the enthusiast increases.

Geo Hahn
07-08-2005, 07:19 PM
...Granted it would be nice to belong to a large national club like VTR but with meetings in Rockford, Ill. I'd never make it...

[/ QUOTE ]

Well I think the 2006 VTR is in Dallas, which is as close to Lawton as it will ever be (and probably as close to Tucson as it will ever be too). 500 miles is about my limit unless I'm real sure I'm going to be well-treated when I get there so won't make that one either.

07-09-2005, 12:03 AM
I have on two seperate occasions requested info via email from the VTR. I was totally ignored both times. The info I requested was how do I join and what are the benefits. I believe in customer service and if this is the way they act before they have my money, how will they act after???

07-09-2005, 04:57 AM
...Granted it would be nice to belong to a large national club like VTR but with meetings in Rockford, Ill. I'd never make it...

[/ QUOTE ] Well I think the 2006 VTR is in Dallas, which is as close to Lawton as it will ever be (and probably as close to Tucson as it will ever be too). 500 miles is about my limit unless I'm real sure I'm going to be well-treated when I get there so won't make that one either.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not to steal any attention from this year's VTR Convention... but yes, next year's convention is in Dallas. As a (relatively new) member of the host club, Red River Triumph Club, I can tell you this is a bunch of nice folks and we'll do our best to make *everyone* feel welcome.

But as much as I'm looking forward to that, I'm not yet a member of VTR. I just haven't seen the value in it (other than the requirement to be a member in order to attend the conventions, if that counts). Like someone else said, the tech articles were useful, but the information is not unique to VTR.

On the other hand, I have found the local VTR affiliate club to be quite worthwhile. But like with this forum, the value is in being able to talk with others who are rebuilding, maintaining, and driving their Triumphs.

I would love to see the VTR become a more relevant club, but I'm not quite sure how that would happen. One thing someone mentioned earlier that caught my attention, is some sort of rating or oversight of parts suppliers. Of course, just one of the multiple difficulties there is keeping information current.

As for TRA, even though I own a TR3, I was more interested in more general Triumph, or even British, clubs. But at least this year's TRA meet was opened up to all Triumph models.

I've rambled on long enough...

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif Keep drivin' 'em!

07-13-2005, 06:53 PM
Then has anyone had any problems with support from any club officers or vehicle consultants, or other support or non-support issues? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif

I seriously want to know if my $30 can be better spent elsewhere, like in my gas tank!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

There are a lot of folks reading - under 425 so far, not a lot of talking - less than 25 - so this has got to be a record, Triumph owners without an opinion on something?? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Look at it this way, your opinion counts just because you a Triumph enthusiast in North America, not because you are a VTR member or not. VTR is an organization chartered to support all Triumphs in North America! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grouphug.gif

The VTR national meeting is in 2 weeks. Come on, Spill it!! Where's the BEEF!!
<font color="red"> Are they doing the bloody job or not!?! Why or why not?? </font>

07-13-2005, 09:03 PM

I hate to say it but it seems to me that there just aren't that many VTR memebers on the forum, and even less who seem at all interested in becoming members. So opinions about the organization, how it is run etc., aren't relevant to the majority of us here. As for next years meeting being in Dallas, while that is close enough for me to actually attend I still wouldn't join, because where will it be the year after that, and so on and so forth. Being semi close to me one year and then being 2000 miles from me for the next ten years doesn't increase my intrest in the organization.

Geo Hahn
07-13-2005, 11:25 PM
...There are a lot of folks reading - under 425 so far, not a lot of talking - less than 25...

[/ QUOTE ]

Actually, that first counter increments every time someone (like me) takes another look to what else has been said.