Your humble reporter has visited many car clubs in the past years and I bring you the written account of all experience summed up on the road.
There was much enjoyment, excitement, but also bafflement.
Car clubs are mostly organizations made by enthusiasts and car lovers, who are usually in to the same brand, of a type of a car. Sometimes it can be a particular style, like old timers or race cars, other times it can be their common passion and interest in a particular series.
These organizations are usually non-profit and there to accommodate enthusiasts of all sorts, amateurs or professionals.
Anyone can participate and get a taste of what the club offers. That freedom of participation allowed me to get the first hand experience at some of their manifestations and happenings, held all throughout the year.
This time I present to you the BMW car club of America.
It is naturally based in the U.S. and comprised of enthusiasts and owners of BMW cars. As far as I was able to assess, the whole club is organized into five regions, with over 60 chapters, and they boast with over 75000 members! That’s within the U.S. alone. These figures make this club the largest BMW organization in the World.
Getting in to this club was surprisingly easy and without any complication. As a reporter/researcher, I had my pass, but really all you need is a BMW car and maybe a few forms to fill out online.
Being a member provides you with various benefits, such as education and personal invitations to numerous happenings all across the states.
The BMW Car Club of America holds those different events and happenings around the world all the time, like: rallies, high-performance driver’s education, autocross, owner education, etc…
While most of the happenings speak for themselves, the owner education event is held to help educate owners on matters such as automotive maintenance, mechanical repair, and collecting vintage models.
It really is a first hand opportunity to get the highest professional education and understanding for your machine, deepening your relationship to your car even further.
The first BMW Car Club of America was founded in 1969, in Boston. IT was firstly meant to support BMW owners, providing them with education, but also discounts and special offers. The club then grew, expanding in to various subsidiaries and branches.
The current headquarters of the BMW CCA is in Greenville, SC. It is governed by the elected board of directors. There are further five regional vice presidents that represent the organization’s interests in the chapters.
Each of the chapters functions as an individual and independent corporation and has the minimum standard of service to the membership. Probably the most interesting thing about the hierarchy is that almost all the chapters are geographically placed.
What really surprised me is that the BMW CCA also has a foundation to its name that serves as a charitable organization with the goal of preserving the history of the brand in the U.S., as well as the club’s history.
It also expanded on to Driver Safety School Programs, or Street Survival as it is more commonly known.
The education was mainly aimed at young drivers, 16-21 of age.
The club also has its own magazine, the ‘Rounde’. It is a monthly magazine, much better organized and wider than a plain newsletter, which is what most car clubs go.
The magazine covers the club’s history, the history of the BMW, but it also reviews current models and trends in the automobile world.
All in all, it was really an incredible experience to witness firsthand how far can a simple car club organization go, and how big and important its role can be for the car owners, as well as the traffic in general.