It was minus 9 degrees yesterday and more of the same is coming today. I am starving for a car show or other activity to go to. Even though I am working on cars every day in the shop, there's still a desire to get out and network. OLD CARS WEEKLY has one of the best events calendars around, but there's not many listings for Wisconsin shows at this time of year.
There was a toy show in Milwaukee last weekend, but I'm not a serious toy car collector. I have enough of them that dribble in, but I'm not passionate enough about that branch of the hobby to drive 250 miles round trip.
This weekend the Fox Cities British Car Club is having a tech session at their Oshkosh club house on MGB rear brakes. I'm going to try to make it as tech sessions there are usually very good. But the real car shows won't start until the Milwaukee World of Wheels in mid-February. Fortunately, after that things will really start rolling.
In the past few years I have heard some hobbyists say they were going to less shows because of gas prices. The way I see it, that's just a reason to go to shows a little closer to home. Any old car swap or show is cheap entertainment and if you get a part you need or learn something you didn't know, the payoff for going to shows is even higher.
One thing I have noticed is that most shows are put on by car clubs and a lot of clubs seem to be running out of steam. Younger members are hard to come by and older members are overworked because of it.
Maybe the hobby needs a national effort to build up club membership. The hobby magazines could list clubs at the end of each article and do stories about the reasons to join clubs and be active in them. Maybe some lower-priced ads for clubs would help too.
It's always been a two-way street. The clubs help the hobby and the hobby helps the clubs. And I think each of them need the other more than ever these days.