JUNE 2024.

It’s June and winter is with us. Despite the shorter days, driving in winter provides some of our best opportunities to enjoy or historics and classics. A sunny day, the sunroof open (or if you are English, the sunshine roof) or the top down on a roadster, classic rock on the playing and a quiet country road – you’re in classic car club heaven.

With the weather in mind, MCMA always has a mid-week run on Wednesdays for members to enjoy and two or three weekend events each month. Additionally, we have our weekend runs and overnighters to ‘get you away from it all’. Finally, our club has an annual tour and this year it is to The Southern Highlands and The Illawarra. These runs and events give members a chance to share the joy of historic motoring and to socialise with like-minded people.

We have been emphasising work, health and safety during the first half of the year. If is now time to put into practice what has been planned. In my report in May I detailed how on mid-week runs and weekend and longer runs, this will operate in the future. This King’s Birthday Long Weekend is our first opportunity to test the weekend plans with our back-up vehicle and first aid/response preparations.

Our membership for 2023-24 has almost reached 260. This is very healthy as our club continues to grow ever-so-slightly each year. The advantages of our $50 annual membership fee are enormous with all of our runs and events planned for the membership. Furthermore, many of our members are able to have their fee reimbursed through subsidised barbeques and Christmas Parties, one in July and one in December.

Members are reminded to support local automotive businesses and to mention the club when they are buying products or paying for services. There is an opportunity to report their pleasant experiences at every club meeting. Our local businesses rely on us just as we rely upon them. We don’t need to be reminded that some of the skilled services we require for our vehicles are becoming very difficult to locate. This, as we well know, will become more difficult in the future.

We are all concerned with road safety and the factors that contribute to it. We are also becoming aware of suggested moves in NSW and interstate to assess older drivers more strictly. As a result, I have seen that seniors’ representative have made allegations of ageism. As we continue to age, many of us are approaching or have reached the compulsory driving licence health assessment (from 75 years) and the compulsory driving licence driving tests (from 85 years). This can be a stressful time for drivers and their families. Some of us are hearing of some distressing experiences that older drivers are experiencing. This is compounded by some of the unrealistic questions that people are asked in their health assessment, and the inconsistent expectations of the driving tests. I believe it is time to collect are much information on these unrealistic and sometimes inconsistent expectations and forward them to our representative automotive bodies to take the lead at state level. I also believe that there is a role for clubs to support their members as they approach health and driving assessments. In this regard, I hope to start this process by inviting a retired aged assessment specialist to give a presentation at our July of August meeting.

I hope that you all continue to enjoy historic motoring and you do so in the company of others. That’s how we share or interest and hobby. Please drive with care, courtesy and consideration – these expectations haven’t changed since we all received our licences all those years ago. I hope to see you on a MCMA run/ event or two, during the second half of 2024.

Kind regards,

Ian Scanlon

President: Maitland Classic Motor Association (MCMA)