Author Topic: The Self Starter: My thoughts  (Read 7345 times)

Offline Doug Houston

  • Posts: 852
  • CLC Number: 2257
The Self Starter: My thoughts
« on: September 12, 2010, 08:20:06 PM »
Here of late, my enthusiasm for reading the SS has waned considerably. I've looked at a couple of the most recent issues, and as I went through the pages, I found myself uninspired, unlike any of the issues of years gone by.

I have almost every issue of the SS, from the first issue, when it had been named: "The Standard", which I later named the Local   publication in the Detroit area. One issue recently, dealt heavily in the 1960 model year, as it was the 50th year issue. OK, but there was so much 1960, and about nothing else, I just flipped it onto a pile of other mags, and I'll probably never look at it again. A friend was visiting the other day, and the 1960 issue came up (His car is the cover feature on that issue). He went into long detail about how he [posed the picture (which is a rarity). I had to confess that the 1960 Cadillacs don't do much for me, and I was sorry, but that's just me.

A few years ago, there was a SS annual issue, with all sorts of stylists' concept designs in it.....as Cadillacs?  Summarizing, every designer's drawing looked like a road grader, with wheels from a big hay wagon. In my  mind, the worst waste of money ever made for a CLC publication. It's the only isue of the SS that I ever threw out. 

Looked at the GN issue again today, and the pictures are superb. Like many other club mags, the pictures occupied pretty much the full issue, so it was pretty acceptable. I find that a lot of page space was consumed by group pictures of people at the meet. Those pictures don't add much to the story of the meet, and could have been omitted, with nobody missing them.

Another older member and I hve been discussing that the newer era cars  have pretty well taken over, and even that he has submitted articles on earlier cars, he may never see them published. Based on that I've submitted my last article, at least for a long time. Steve must have one nice big backlog.

I write regularly for the CCCA Michigan TORQUE, and my stuff gets into print pretty quickly. As with most editors, the editor of that mag has little backlog, and he likes my material. So, you go where the action is. As long as I've been getting the SS, the issues in the future will probably lay unopened for a couple of months before I get to them.

The SS has grown new, while I've grown old. Neither of us is what we used to was.
 
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Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 08:46:59 PM »
They tend to pile up at my house till the wife threatens to toss them in the recycle bin.  At that point I will usually flip through them, it does not take long.  I cant remember the last time I read a compete article and its been even longer since I saved one.  Same thing happens with the local club stuff only there I usually see events that I missed that I may have liked to go to.  When people visit my house and there is a SS on the table no one picks them up and I do have car people over regularly, a few are even Cad owners.  For some reason I look forward to going to my dad's house so I can look at his Oakland Pontiac club's Smoke Signals.   Im not especially interested in the cars that tend to be featured (the muscle era) but I still find them interesting to read.  Not sure what misses for me in the SS.  I am fascinated with all things mechanical even if I dont ever think I am going to own one.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Otto Skorzeny

  • Posts: 3853
  • 1956 Coupe de Ville aka Bismarck
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 08:49:54 PM »
So what's your point, Doug?

It sounds like you're depressed that you're old or just jaded rather than a problem with the magazine.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 08:52:42 PM by Otto Skorzeny »
fward

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for YOURSELF

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Offline 35-709

  • Posts: 5365
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
  • CLC Number: 4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 09:34:06 PM »
At the tender age of 68 I devour my Self-Starter as soon as it arrives.  I have little or no interest in new cars of any make, model, or description but I enjoy the SS immensely.
Geoff N.
1935 Cadillac Sedan resto-mod "Big Red"
1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold - but still in the family
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod - Sold
1942 Cadillac 6269 - Sold
1968 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
1935 Glenn Pray - Auburn Boattail Speedster, Gen. 2

Online The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 12434
  • CLC Number: 18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 10:26:37 PM »
For some reason I look forward to going to my dad's house so I can look at his Oakland Pontiac club's Smoke Signals.   
Gee, I thought that would be a good name for the Lucas Electrical Magazine. :)

But, seriously, I read my copies from cover to cover, then again and again, but maybe I am getting older fast, and the articles on the really older cars don't really interest me that much, but I still read them, and learn things.   I was never really into "Old" cars, but really appreciate them, and for what they did to enable me to enjoy the ones I do like.

The Self Starter is up there with the Brass Bell, and I must admit, that some issues are less engrossing that others.

But, the issues with pictures of the GN, to me are "boring" as virtually all the car pictures are so much alike, but in a nice way, as I realise that the taking of the pictures cannot be all over the place, or the photographer would never get them done.

I do like seeing pictures of people, especially as down here, we don't get to see them very often, and it gives us "out-of-towners" a chance to put a picture to a name.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   Haven't got my GN Issue as yet.
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 11:00:29 PM »
I got an International tractor with Lucas electric on it and smoke is not a problem.   Lights and battery charging are a different story.  Luckily its a diesel so once its started it will stay running.  That part is Bosh but I guess a copy of an American design.

I really dont know why I find that mag so interesting.  I did grow up in a Pontiac house / family but somehow got a Cadillac bug.  My dad still does not understand where it came from but at least it was GM so I was allowed to park them in front of the house when I still lived there.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Doug Houston

  • Posts: 852
  • CLC Number: 2257
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 11:16:57 PM »
My Point?  I feel that the SS has lost a lot of the variety that it once had. I feel that the editors are concentrating on models that are sixties and newer, and forgetting that members are interested in stuff before the sixties. Maybe the articles aren't coming in that cover that period, but from some commentary I hear, they are, and are being brushed aside so as to favor later glitz, high scoring carsand forgetting that there are original and unmolested cars that would be interesting to see published. But, the editors of the SS, have fallen into a rut of concentrating on highly perfected cars. and would probably never hear of showing a nice, unrestored car. This is one of the things that's killing the CCCA. It has become a showplace for millionaire's jewel pieces, and nothing less than a 99 point car would ever be allowed in their magazine. A young admirer of classic cars of whatever marque gets the feeling that he could ever afford that sort of finery as a hobby thing. I simply feel that the SS is being pushed to a journal of highly perfected artifcts that should be parked in a jewel case instead of a garage, and kept for the sole purpose of readying for the next auction.

And these clubs are whining about wanting younger members!

In a publication of that sort,  you can't departmentize an issue with sections for every era, but the thrust of the mag is too much toward later eras than those that excite me, so my enthusiasm for the publication has fallen off quite a bit. 

Just understand.....I'm not looking for agreement or disagreement here. These are simply my thoughts

Again, that's me talking, and I'm not recommending or agitating for another format. I'm simply saying that the 'Starter has lost me. I'm not looking for it to change.
38-6019S
38-9039
39-9057B
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41 Olds 41-3929

Offline Rick Payton

  • Posts: 98
  • Name: Rick Payton
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2010, 11:22:28 PM »
I guess I am missing the point... I love the SS I think it is one of the main reasons to belong to the club... Here lately a lot of people are really down on the club and the now the SS. It seems to me if you are no longer having fun then you should go quietly in the night.... :-\
Rick Payton - President- US Distribution
WWW.FLATJACK.COM

1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1955 Cadillac Eldorado Seville
1955 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham #590
1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1964 Corvette Stingray
1967 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1986 Mercedes Benz 560SL
2006 Cadillac XLR
2013 Cadillac XTS
2015 Cadillac Escalade

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 11:34:31 PM »
Im not saying there is anything wrong with it either.  I assume there are people out there that enjoy it and if that is the majority then I guess the editors are doing their job well.

I wonder if Doug hit on what is missing for me in that much of the content is upper end stuff that is well out of my price range?  I should have a closer look at some recent issues and see if that perhaps is it. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Otto Skorzeny

  • Posts: 3853
  • 1956 Coupe de Ville aka Bismarck
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 11:37:45 PM »
I'd be willing to bet that most members of the CLC own the newer models you speak of and therefore find the magazine appropriate and interesting.

When people were collecting antique cars in the 1950s they wanted brass era cars. The 1930s models were just worn out used cars. Same with the 1940s.

In the 1960s and 70s the emphasis was on the 30s and early 40s.

Flash forward to the present. The common used cars of just 10 or 20 years ago are now what people are collecting. You mention getting young people interested in the hobby. I put to you that most young people will be more interested in a newer models simply because they can still be purchased and driven. Parts are available and these cars are vehicles they remember from their youth.

The younger members have no connection to the earlier models and thus less interest in them.
fward

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for YOURSELF

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Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 12:26:27 AM »
Hi Doug

I just wanted to say thank you for posting your thoughts - one of the purposes of the forum is about raising issues - some issues are sensitive but I think you approached it diplomatically; apologies for those that tackle the "man" and not the issue.
From your low CLC number, I take it that you've been a member for quite some time - if so, I for one, respect that.

Here are a few thoughts - do a survey? - form a chapter?  - get a perspective from Steve?

Thanks, regards, Ross.

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6655
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 12:45:03 AM »
If anyone wants to sell a large quantity of Self Starters let me know.

70's - 80's - 90's and early 2000's.

brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline Glen

  • Posts: 2789
  • CLC Number: 727
  • Name: Glen Houlton
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 02:25:27 AM »
I understand what you are saying Doug, and to a point I agree.  I remember when the cars of the 70s and 80s were new and it is hard for me to see them as collectable.   

Also I remember one of the national clubs (AACA or was it CCCA?) would publish magazines with almost no pictures of cars.  There would be a couple of pages of this region’s meet; a couple of pages of that region’s meet etc. until the whole magazine was all of people standing at attention looking at the camera.  Real boring.    At least have pictures of them doing something with the cars.  Sitting at a bar is not an improvement. 

I too like the drivers, the over restored cars show a lot of work but they are still over restored.  Kind of like a woman with too much makeup. 

Unfortunately that seems to be the way the hobby is going.  The older cars are deemed unsafe in their original configuration and are modified.  Mostly because there is no one that seems to know how to work on them any more. 

Fortunately there is this forum where there are still a few people that know the older cars.   
Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Offline Steve Passmore

  • Posts: 5768
  • Name: Steve Passmore - Sadly Deceased
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2010, 04:48:19 AM »
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Doug, its not that the SS has gone bad, just that people get older and their interests aren't compatible with what the younger guys want just as Forrest said, especially if a mag is aiming at younger members. I'm the Librarian and SW secretary for a club here in the UK started in 1966 catering for older US cars and the emphasis is to constantly move the time line later. Articles covering older cars does run out. I too flip through my SS and throw it on the shelf, don't think Ive ever read one twice. When I belonged to clubs in the 60s I had no interest in cars from the teens but I remember the same beef from older members who were.
 As the SS is the only benefit of CLSC membership when living outside the US I will not miss it. I have made some great friends in the CLSC (and some enemies) none of them because of the SS.
As Payton said, I think we should go quietly in the night.
Steve

Present
1937 60 convertible coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe
1941 62 coupe

Previous
1936 70 Sport coupe
1937 85 series V12 sedan
1938 60 coupe
1938 50 coupe
1939 60S
1940 62 coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe x2
1941 61 coupe
1941 61 sedan x2
1941 62 sedan x2
1947 62 sedan
1959 62 coupe

Derek Sherwood

  • Guest
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 09:28:54 AM »
About 10-11 years ago when I first joined the club, my problem was that few models from the "muscle era" and later were featured.

From a practical perspective, as a 20-something guy just out of college, those cars were the ones I was likely to see, be able to afford, and purchase.

I could count on the fingers of one hand then, and still can, the number of pre-1961 Cadillacs I ever saw advertised for sale, or in person, in my area.  I just saw my first LaSalle for sale three months ago. 

I was much more concerned with how to adjust the drum brakes of my 1968 Cadillac, or make a scissor top work properly, than with the finer points of a V-16.  I found myself giving the magazine a cursory glance, then tossing it with the others on my workbench.

I wrote a few articles that got published in the magazine. 

With the drastic (and, IMHO, ridiculous) increase in prices of all cars older than 15 years (Just saw a 1989 Toyota Camry the other week for $3500, and a 1990 Olds Cutlass for $1900) the chances of my ever owning anything earlier than about a 1980 decreased rapidly.  Just because it's over 20 years old doesn't make it "classic, rare, or desireable."  Gone are the days when I could purchase a '72 Eldo convertible that needed work, for a couple grand. 

It's hard to run a club about a vehicle that has had over 100 years of different models, and keep everybody happy with only one publication issued once per month, when each period of the company's history really could support a magazine of its own. 

I'm not a member anymore, but for other reasons than the Self-Starter. 

I have the same problem you are describing with the 8th Air Force Historical Society Magazine, which I subscribe to because Grandpa was a B-17 pilot.  There are a lot of pictures of people standing around at meets, reunions, etc., but now they are the 2nd and 3rd generation removed from the pilots and soldiers -- most of them are dead!  Why I would want to see a picture of the grandson of a guy who flew B-17s.  I could look in the mirror and see that.

They also mention a lot of stuff and allow for submissions, but it is done without historical context.  For example, a recent article including a coded letter from Curtis LeMay to Allied High Command.  Guess what, they didn't bother to decipher the code or explain what the letter was about, so I was left scratching my head wondering why it had taken up an entire page in the magazine.  I could have gotten much more out of it had there been some cursory explanation.

The older I get, the more I realize that Clubs are for socializing, and if I want to learn something, I either have to teach myself, or look at a book, etc.

Just my 0.02. 

Offline CEC #20099

  • Posts: 184
  • CLC Number: 20099
  • Name: c. chleboun
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2010, 10:04:49 AM »
CEC #20099
Doug Houston is a true elder statesman of the CLC. I had the pleasure of meeting him in the early 70`s, when he had a shop in Detroit. He also was involved in Press Cameras, Radios, Theatre Organ Music, as well as a few V16`s. His GN issue comments are right on. Is this a social club or a `greased knuckles` club? If you want to see a real nice magazine, The Buick Bugle`s current issue is on 1925`s. Pete Phillips does a great job of putting together themed issues, and getting them out quickly. Original cars are always shown. I wrote a 1920 Buick article for him a few yrs ago, & it was published in a few months, & he sent me a complementary issue first class mail, right off the press. The Self Starter does none of this.

I want these comments to be taken constructively, but I am sure I gored a few oxes. Compare the magazines, befote you spam me.  CEC.

Offline Bill Ingler #7799

  • Posts: 1651
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2010, 11:42:57 AM »
I agree with Doug and Forrest in that age of members and their cars is the driving force in club publications. In 1946 when I was 14 my dad and I started collecting cars. My dads interest was in the early brass car. My interest as I grew older was in the 40s car and my son`s interest today is with the mussel cars of the early 70s. I have restored many cars over the years and have belonged to many different clubs and it has been interesting to see the publications change as the club members got younger. Nothing wrong with that as it keeps a club growing with new members with newer cars. My problem with most of the publications except possibly the AACA is too many pictures and not enough articles on the mechanics of a car. As each year passes you will loose expertise in any club on their early cars and us older fellers give way to newer members with newer cars.  Down the road, I hope far down the road, the only thing left on expertise for the older cars is what has been published in the past. So if the club has a choice to publish articles written by club members or pictures, please weight your choice towards articles. Someone out there today or down the road will say after reading the article" Just what I was looking for, thank you" 

Offline Terry Wenger

  • Posts: 299
  • CLC Number: 1800
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2010, 01:15:26 PM »

I feel somewhat responsible for starting this thread. Doug Houston has a theory of how the Sixty-Special was named concerning the 1938 60 Series Cadillacs. He wanted to put this in the Self-Starter as an article adding information to my recent 1938-1970 Sixty-Special Article.

As members know, In the last 3 or 4 years I have had three major articles, The '34-'37 V-16's, The Last ('38-'40) V-16's and The Sixty-Special article. It took an average of 2 years from the time I submitted them to when they were printed. I also have smaller  submitted articles now waiting some months to to be published. As I restore my own cars, I feel, like Doug , that I can write about them. Based on my experience, I told Doug that it would be better to submit an letter to the editor, as it would be printed sooner than waiting months or even years before you see an article in print.

In past years, the Self-Starter editors begged for articles, now we seem to have a iarge backlog.

As to the later cars, I have owned '80's,'90's and a 2001 Cadillacs as everyday drivers but I summed my feelings up  in a reply I did in a recent thread about Elvis and his Cadillacs..... If Elvis Presley were just starting out today, What kind of cars would he have ?

How about that Slick?

Terry Wenger 
Terry Wenger CLC #1800
tewv16@sbcglobal.net
1932 355B TSD
1939 7557
1940 60S
1941 60S
1947 6267 Conv.
1949 6207X Coupe
1963 60S

Offline Doug Houston

  • Posts: 852
  • CLC Number: 2257
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2010, 01:18:48 PM »
TO PAYTON  1960:

Ya know, you have a point. after 51 years of membership, maybe I should slip silently into the night. There are times when I do feel in the way of you young hotdogs.

One thing that most of the membership doesn't understand. The membership number has no meaning at all. When I first took membership in 1959, the members numbered posibly, fewer than 300. It was only a year old.  The CLC never assigned membership numbers until 'way late, and just as renewals that came in whatever year it was. Just look at Norm Uhlir's number. He was one of the founders of the club, and his number would have been around 3 or 4.

So, if I don't forget to renew some day soon, Payton, ole buddy, I'll have help from Ma nature.
38-6019S
38-9039
39-9057B
41-6227D
41-6019SF
41-6229D
41-6267D
56-6267
70-DeV Conv
41-Chev 41-1167
41 Olds 41-3929

Offline mgrab

  • Mike Grabianowski, CLC # 25586
  • Posts: 99
Re: The Self Starter: My thoughts
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2010, 02:34:15 PM »
In my opinion it’s a true shame that the older vehicles are slowly but surely being forgotten.  Cars and Parts is now done, HMN is hanging in there but how long…..
I’m 32 but back in high school a buddy and I would frequent a local junkyard that was basically a hang out for “old timers” though predominately hot rodders.  The yard was LOADED with cool cars from the 30’s to 60’s and that was it.  We would go to hang around and I remember one conversation with the yard owner about an old neon recapping sign……I liked it a lot and he asked “why…you aren’t old enough to remember that?”  That’s when it occurred to me that I liked that stuff for different reasons than a lot of people.  Some people like things because they remember them and others because they just think it’s cool.  Why I do….no clue….my father hates cars….washing, working on etc.  “As long as it roles….” Is what I heard growing up.
As for the affordability factor….ya, there are a lot of guys out there (older) that make the older cars very unattainable for young people and thus uninteresting.  Once at Hershey I came across a vendor of Mopar parts (when I was a teenager) that loved the fact I was a young guy with a DeSoto…..he cut me a break on a lot of NOS chrome when he realized I wasn’t loaded.  You guys that hoard parts…….want young people to appreciate this stuff?  Then don’t make your fellow retirees the only people that can afford the stuff…
Mike
1941 Cadillac 6267D
1948 Packard Custom Eight Victoria
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan

 

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