The large Motoring organisations have their place in the complex world of unfixable -by-the -roadside vehicles, in which we travel nowadays. Their scope of operations is impressive, with special vans for draining fuel tanks inadvertently filled with incorrect fluid and even the normal patrol vans are amazingly well kitted out. Having dropped Mrs Our Man James’s Ford Fiesta into a giant pothole, whilst trying to avoid white van man, who was taking up more than his fair share of usable tarmac, a call to one of these Motoring Organisations was essential as one wheel was totally buckled and the tyre thereon destroyed.
Excitement at the prospect of trying the special ap on the mobile telephone was quickly quashed when contact could not be achieved, but a call to the telephone number on the back of the card was more successful, until the operative on the other end was unable to locate us. Being about 2 miles from the centre of Winchester we were declared untraceable, but after pleading to be put in touch with the local patrol man direct, we soon had him by our side. What happened next was amazing. We had already established that our near new Ford Fiesta carried no spare as it was thought that a can of foam would be adequate to solve most flat tyres. So our hero produced from the back of his van, some equipment with which a replacement wheel and tyre were conjured up, not something that you could use normally, but perfectly adequate to reach the nearest Tyre Specialist. Being closed at the time, said hero followed us 15 miles to said Tyre place, removed his temporary wheel and replaced our bent one, ready for rectification the following morning. Bravo we thought apart from the bill for £600 odd the following morning to fix the problem including new wheel and tyre plus a proper get you home spare wheel, in case this happened again.
Anyway this just demonstrates that it pays to be a member of such a motoring organisation. When living with a Classic Car, there can be restrictions from these organisations on the age of the vehicle they are prepared to help. Worth checking on renewal of your subscription, particularly if the car is over 15 years old.
Owners of these older vehicles are thus advised to join the Club that caters for their particular vehicle. This will provide technical help and spares where possible and attending their meetings will greatly improve one’s social life.
Besides these One Make Clubs are other great Clubs such as The Vintage Sports Car Club, which offer help for a myriad of vehicles and run superb events throughout the year for certain vehicles.Even older vehicles can join the Veteran car Club and for the racers there are a number of specialist Clubs available.
Our man James has been a founder member of his local Club, which met once a month at a local pub. There are many such Clubs dotted about the Country, but this one is special. This Club actually was disbanded some years ago, as no one could replace its esteemed Chairman. There was no Secretary, no Committee and no subscription, but it worked really well. each month someone would produce a quiz, organise a Road Run, or there might be a Speaker and there was an annual Barbecue. As most of the Membership were somewhat past their ‘Use By’ date, it is not always possible for them to remember the Club had been disbanded, so every first Wednesday they meet at the same pub and chat about all things Motoring.
So, do try and join some Car Club. It will give you confidence to really enjoy your Classic Car.