Internet shopping, social media, email and texting have contributed to a new generation of shut-ins. We “socialize” on facebook and twitter but have lost that person to person interaction that creates true friendships and lasting bonds.
When Oxford Motorcars' Head Mechanic, Joe Manzi, decided to create a new Car Club, I doubted if there were enough people who would actually leave the house to socialize with strangers on their weekends. After much deliberation “The Rhode Island Vintage Car Club” was born. In Joe’s eyes, all vintage cars are beautiful so why discriminate against certain makes and models. We planned a Cars & Coffee event here at Oxford Motorcars, with the hopes of a decent turnout for our new member registration.
As the food arrived at 10 am, the doors opened to the public and I couldn’t get the coffee station set up fast enough. Delicious bagels, muffins, fruit and coffee (provided by Bagels, Etc. in Barrington) quickly began to disappear. In a matter of minutes our showroom, already filled with cars, was now filled with people! People who didn’t know each other but left their warm homes to come out and enjoy the company of beautiful cars and others who appreciate them. My little registration area quickly became inadequate as people began filling out their forms against the walls and columns. I had to run to my desk to print more registration forms three times!
I underestimated how passionate an individual can be for something. Some people are passionate about shoes and purses, others may be more focused on exercise and health, but what drives the audience we hosted is just that … what drives! Cars of all makes and models dating as far back as possible bring out a spark in each person who attended our most recent event. And it’s not just the cars themselves but the memories they hold. Conversations of excitement and nostalgia filled the room and it was clear that The Rhode Island Vintage Car Club was a great idea. Providing people from all walks of life, with a genuine love of cars, the opportunity to interact with each other is well worth the time it takes to set up the food.
A couple who traveled from New Hampshire could be seen conversing with a father and son from Massachusetts about a gorgeous 1968 MG BGT. A man from northern Mass told me about his wild memories with his TR250 from his college days. Parents even brought along their little ones to tell them about their memories with some of these vintage beauties. All in all the event was wonderful and achieved everything we hoped it would.
After our wildly successful new member registration, The Rhode Island Vintage Car Club (RIVCC) now has over 40 members. The RIVCC plans to host more Cars & Coffee events, car cruises and even a few car shows this year. With no membership fee, this social club will certainly continue to grow and hopefully help create some lasting friendships along the way. If you weren’t able to attend our registration and are interested in joining, please contact Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.