With every special interest club, there are always the 10 %ers. That is, in any organization which exists because of the single common interest, only about 10 % of its members are actually active in its clubs activities. This is also true of our club. With more than 420 members of the Iowa BMW CCA, only about 40-50 are regular attendees of our planned events and activities. Some members only attend one event each year. Why is that? We have just concluded our Annual Planning Meeting which a very few members provided input for our activity calendar for next year. So, what is holding you back?
When I was a new club member about 15 years ago, I was initially slow about attending my first event because I would not know anybody. But the members at my first event greeted me and were happy I was there. Therefore, I have been coming back ever since. So, what is holding you back?
We often have one or two new members at our events, and I think they usually have a good time and are welcomed warmly. So, what is holding the other 90% back? We have publicized our events via our newsletter Newswerks, email blasts and Facebook accounts. So, what is holding you back?
We are just a little over two months away from our signature event of the year, our Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet. As customary, it is held in eastern Iowa every third year, and this year is the year for eastern Iowans to show us your support.
So, what is holding you back?
I thought this year would be the year which I would not need to get any cars ready for winter storage. My plan was to sell the 1999 M3, the 1989 325is and the 2001 740iL in order to purchase an E92 M3. Two-thirds of my plan worked well. By the end of last summer, I sold the M3 and the 325is so no storage fees were incurred last winter. The 740iL became my winter car and the plan was to sell it in the spring. After putting much time and money into the 740iL, I was not willing to give it away due to the thousands of dollars spent to keep it reliable for our many trips to Cedar Rapids, Storm Lake and Okoboji. But then, a perfect E92 M3 came calling, and now I am back in the “winterization” business preparing the E92 M3 for storage.
Following are some tips I have used over the years to prepare my cars for winter storage. I now have the benefit of indoor heated storage, but my procedure is as comprehensive as when I stored the 325is in an unheated garage in previous years. The first step is to wash, wax, clean and vacuum the vehicle inside and out. I apply leather, vinyl and rubber protectant to all appropriate surfaces. Then remove all wheels and clean them from the inside out and apply wheel wax. I usually paint all the lug bolts. I inspect all suspension and brake parts and apply rust resistant paint to any part of the undercarriage which may show signs of rust. Add a bottle of Sta-Bil to the tank and fill it with fresh gas. The final step is to fill all the tires to the maximum listed on the tire sidewall to prevent flat spots while sitting for several months in storage. Drive it to the facility and connect the battery to the battery tender. It is very rewarding for the first ride of the spring to be in a clean and shiny car.
I have been working on my own cars from the time I was 14 years old, which is now more than forty years. Like me, many of you have also worked on your favorite automobile because of the enjoyment obtained from this pastime. But many of us also work on our beloved cars to make the hobby more economical and possible to enjoy our cars. For many of us, when we were young, it was a necessity to do our own work because of the lack of funds. But for many of us and as we have grown older, our car hobby is enjoyable and we have continued to do much of the work ourselves.
A commonly held belief is that it is always more economical to do the work ourselves. Although that may be the case most of the time, it is not always true. Recently I purchased an E92 M3, which had been my plan since I sold my E36 M3 and my E30 325is. As always, when purchasing a pre-owned car, I immediately change all of the fluids and any worn parts.
I purchased the required 10-60 BMW oil and filter at our local dealer with my club discount. But due to timing and lack of time, I decided to have the first oil change at the dealer while I was in Des Moines. When it was time to pay for my oil change service, I was surprised to learn it was about $20 cheaper for the dealer to change my oil than it was for me to purchase the products and do it in my driveway! I asked my service advisor how this could be, and he explained to me their oil price in bulk is much more economical than the the price I will pay over the counter.
An old myth was dispelled that day, sometimes the dealer service is more economical that doing it yourself.
Follow the link to get your copy of the Newswerks. It may also be found in the Newwerks archive on our website. July_August Newswerks
For all 67 chapters of the BMW CCA, virtually all officers, leaders and events are run by volunteers. Here in Iowa, we have been fortunate to have a steady and willing group of people who volunteer their time and abilities to make our events happen. But as time becomes a more precious commodity for all of us, we need more people to think about helping with one or more events each year.
The Iowa Chapter, unlike many chapters, has had a history of a stable Board of Directors and volunteers. This group has worked hard to provide a wide variety of events to our members, which has made us the envy of many chapters in our region. In large chapters, such as the National Chapter in Washington D.C. or the Golden Gate Chapter in San Francisco, each with more than 5,000 members, it becomes easier to fill positions and have volunteers organize and run their events. But with about 500 members here in Iowa, the group of folks who have time and energy to provide leadership is much smaller, which is why it is exciting that we have been a leader in our region with the number and type of events we are able to provide.
Most recently, our Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet was held at the new BMW of Des Moines. It was a great evening organized by Alison Bell and Rick Talbot. Our guest speaker was James Clay, a person whom I have been working with for the past three years, and could finally fit in his schedule after spending the last month in Daytona. James, owner of the BimmerWorld Racing team and BimmerWorld Parts, driver of one of the 328 four-cylinder turbo cars, gave an outstanding presentation with a great question and answer session getting into the mind of a driver and owner.
Next time you see any of our Club volunteers, please thank them for their time making our Club the successful organization it is today.