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Old 05-01-2006, 05:37 AM
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NSRA & GOODGUYS: We are your meal ticket!

A few of my wrenching buddies and I were discussing how much NSRA & Goodguys charge to get into their "Mega-Rod-Runs".

I guess they way we see it, NSRA & Goodguys should let us rodders, the owner of the vehicles that are actually drawing the spectators to the event, in to these events for free. Let me see if I can persuade some of you to agree with us on this.

Lets use the attendance records from the 2005 Street Rod Nationals in Louisville as an example. It costs $35.00 to get in if you are a member, $63.00 if you are not. The NSRA stated that they had 11,261 street rods and 35,000 spectators in Louisville.

1.0 Assuming half the cars were NSRA members: 11,261 / 2 = 5630
5630 * $35 = $177,345 NSRA members
5630 * $63 = $354,690 non-members
Sub-total $532,035 entrance fee for street rod drivers
2.0 Assuming 1/3 of the spectators were NSRA members: 35,000 / 3 = 11,666
11,666 * $35 = $ 408,310 NSRA spectators
23,334 * $65 = $1,516,710 non-NSRA spectators
Sub-total $1,925,020 spectator fee

3.0 Total money made from street rodders and spectators:
$532,035 entrance fee for street rod drivers
$1,925,020 spectator fee
Grand Total $2,457,055

2.5 million dollars and that doesn't even include the money they made off of the 294 exhibitors and all the food peddlers. A pinstripper once told me they charged him $1500 to set up a 20' x 20' booth.
294 * $1500 + $441,000 in vendors fees.

GRAND TOTAL = $2,898,055

Why is it that the NSRA and Goodguys organizations charge us to allow them to make money off of our cars? Yeah, they have a great giveaway program, but does anyone really think the organizers are paying full price for these goodies. You can bet they are either given to the organizers, traded for entry fees & publicity or are purchased for pennies on the dollar.

To each their own I guess, building and driving the car is what I am about.

As for me I will continue to stick to the local cruise-ins and charity rod runs.

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Old 05-01-2006, 07:03 AM
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Even most local mom and pop shows charge rodders an entry fee to show their cars. Just not quite as steep as NSRA and Goodguys. So the practice of charging owners an entry fee is not at all unusual...just the amount is out of the ordinary.

There IS a major difference, however. Most local shows are sponsored by a local car club or local car enthusiasts and any profits (above and beyond the cost of running the show) go to charity. I know our club's Labor Day show is run this way and I'd say the vast majority of the local shows I attend are run for the benefit of some good cause. Not so with NSRA and Goodguys. The revenues from these shows goes into the corporate coffers.

It has always struck me as a bit peculiar that our sport operates this way (paying to put on our own entertainment) but it is a fact of life. The problem is becoming even more acute with our current gas prices. On average I have to travel over 300 miles round trip for every show I enter and I usually attend two shows per weekend from mid May to mid Sept. That puts my gas bill in the neighborhood of $2,600 for the "right" to show my car - and that does not include meals and lodging for the multiple day shows.

On the flip side of that coin, every mile driven with that $2,600 is a moment to remember. Lots of people take an annual vacation and spend $3-5K going on a cruise or European tour. I just spread my vacation money out over the entire summer - and I savor every minute of it. As the ad ought to say...driving a hot rod --- priceless.

As for the mega shows, I don't think it does a great deal of good to complain. If a rodder disagrees with the policy or the amount of the entry fee, or they don't feel the show is worth it, then they can vote with their feet (or their wheels in this case).
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Last edited by cboy; 05-01-2006 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:53 AM
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One thing that needs to be figured in is some of the costs.
I don't know how much it costs to rent the fairgrounds. I am sure it is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions for an event of that size. I believe that the liability insurance is not cheap either, it probably costs as much as the fairgrounds given the nature of the show.
Not all of the people working are there for free either, Cities sometimes charge for the extra police, fire and ambulance that are required to take care of the extra traffic.

I will not say that NSRA or Goodguys are saints at all, Goodguys for one are the worst kind of gougers. (I remember going to set up as a vendor and finding that goodguys had given another vendor half of our area. We had to fight like hell to get them moved). Another year we showed up to find 3 other vendors set up on our space we rented in advance. There was no room left for us. Goodguys also skims some off of every cup of soda, or beer and all the concessions have to grease up Gary M's hand too for every taco and peppersteak sandwich they sell..

We finally stopped going to the shows. It was costing more than we made to go. That included any sales we made after the show. (sometimes when we would ask where a customer saw our product they would say "at a show 5 years ago")

But to be fair any discussion of the profits of any organization should show the costs. I'm sure that the profits are still tremendous.

There has to be someone here that knows what those costs are.
later, mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 05-01-2006 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:37 AM
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Mike, that is exactly what I was going to say. Gary Meaders use to be in a small car club I was a member of in the early eighties. He is a geinus at business, and on the other trait he has that is needed in business, to be a risk taker. One of his Goodguys events is at the Alameda County fairgrounds in Pleasanton Ca. When he was in our club he talked the club into going out on a limb and renting these very same fairgrounds for our yearly rod run.

First let me explain, I was an 18 year old or so and had nothing what so ever to do with these plans, I was just "present" at some of the meetings. And he had left before I joined so I never even saw him there.

We had a tiny little car show at an in town strip mall and or at the city park for years. Then along came Garys idea of the "Pleasure faire" the "Nor-Cal Early Iron Pleasure fair" held at the Fairgrounds. By the time I was in the club after just one or two of these events it was the largest one day event in California if not the US, I don't remember. About 1000 cars were there, this was in 1982ish?

If I had any memory at all I could tell you what it cost because I was there when the treasurer reported. I do remember it cost a lot and that we only made a small percentage. If we would have been rained out, we would have lost thousands. As I remember the total GP was something like five or six thousand bucks.

All I know is this, the guy took a chance and started doing these Goodguys events, putting HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars on the line with each one. If it rains, like this past month at the Goodguys All American Get Together, he looses his ***.

It is like the "politics" at "real" car shows (I am talking indoor trailer queen never touched the pavement with it's tires car shows) where a guy will get the best location, and attention with all his customers cars and what not. Sure there may be a better car built by some no name in his garage, but it doesn't get noticed. Why? Because that well known guy has busted his knuckles and worked 20 hours a day leading up to every show in the past ten or twenty years. He is like the musician who eats oatmeal three times a day for the first years of his career before hitting it in the big time. Gary Meadors has paid his dues, he CREATED something where THOUSANDS of car lovers get together and enjoy the hobby. He has CREATED the opportunity for venders to make money, he has CREATED all of this with a HUGE possible risk.

Sure, I will bet he has rain out insurance and is making money hand over fist now, but it sure wasn't that way in the early days of the mega shows.

There isn't a car in among the thousands at one of these events where the owner hasn't spent $50 without even batting an eye for some milled aluminum bracket or vintage tail lamp at a swap meet, the $50 to get into this show should be just as easy to let go of.

All I know is, there are still small town shows to go to. Boycott the big boys and go to those to show your displeasure with the cost.

Brian
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:57 AM
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Back in the '60's I entered two different "T" Roadster Pickups in the Oakland Roadster Show, San Mateo Show and the San Jose Show. There was NO entry fee at that time. The cars did have to be pre-inspected and approved for entering the shows. No "Rat Rods" at those shows. My buddy and I drove his "T" to the inspection for the San Mateo Show in the rain. His car (built by he and I in his garage) won the Best In Class (see car and trophy in my photo album) and beat out cars built by the so-called pros (who by the way were totally P.O.)

Obviously car shows have come a long way since then. They are big money making events. What I do like about the current N.S.R.A. and Goodguys events is that they are outdoors and the cars (at least many of them) are driven to the events.

About the only outdoor events in the Bay Area in the early and mid '60's was when members of the Bay Area Roadsters drove to the drags at Half Moon Bay.

Last edited by Frisco; 05-01-2006 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:07 AM
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I went to the last G.G. meet in Famoso in March, approx. 7 hours of racing over a 3 day period. Sunday, the day I was there, racing til about 11 a.m., 3 A gas cars totaled in 2 races back to back, I'd say about $300,000 in damages, 2 41 Willys and a 67 Vette. We're leaving around noon, my buddy has to work at 3, no announcements made on the p.a. system, we see rigs leaving, the racers are refusing to race, water is seeping through the track. I stop at the gate, ask what's going on, get treated like a redheaded stepchild, told to bring my ticket back in October. I ask why no announcements to the affect, they're not sure what to do, MAYBE they will honor tickets next fall. I'm p.o.ed now, 2 Kern county sheriiffs are giving me the eyeball, I say something to the effect "You don't always need a gun to steal, do you?" and leave.
My problem is I absolutely love drag racing and cars, these 2 organizations are the only games in the area. What do you do? I plan a weekend around these and a vacation around a NHRA meet, I have noticed attendance dwindling at both NSRA abd GG meets the last few years. One of my street rod buddys thinks Gary Meadors is a real nice guy, he's a pretty good judge of charactor, maybe we can get someone to do some explaining why we, as the participants, vendors and racers, are paying so dearly. Dan
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:39 AM
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In defense of NSRA, they do push street rod friendly legislation. Several states have adopted legislation that allows you to license your street rod as the year it mostly represents.

VVince
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:59 PM
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Is this a thread that has been partially recycled by the op? Check out this thread:

NSRA and Goodguys: We are your meal ticket!

I don't think it really matters, It is a pretty old thread. I just thought I'd point it out.
Later, mikey
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:27 PM
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Yep, it is recycled from about 5 years ago, but the point is still valid.

I haven't been to a mega run for about 10 years and can't bring myself to do so. Its like selling out to 'da corporation, man!

For the record its not that we all can't spend the $65 entry fee, its the principal of the whole deal. Let the Hot Rods, the owner and his/her better half in to the show for free. Charge everybody else. Afterall what we 'brung is what everybody is there to see.

To each their own as it is obvious by the attendance numbers that there are a lot of people who don't share my views on this subject.

But you gotta wonder how much really cool old iron would show up if they didn't charge us rodders for admission.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:23 PM
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Its only 25 bucks if you pre-register for Louisville. Thats four days of "fun" for ONLY 25 bucks. Thats $6.25 a day. If you ask me thats pretty damn cheap, cant do much else for a days worth of fun for just over six bucks. It pays to do a little homework, and figure out what shows you want to attend, and pre-register and save some money.

And from a business stand point...its a business. They are in it to make money. Cant fault them for trying to do that. And like someone else posted, its very expensive to rent out a fairgrounds like that for over a week. Yeah, i meant to say over a week. For a four day show like louisville, they will start planning on sunday at the fairgrounds, and the huge vendors with semis move in monday, smaller vendors move in tuesday and wednesday, show thursday-sunday, move out sunday and monday. And along with the rent for the fairgrounds, they have to pay out an assload for insurnace (cause there is always an idiot that does something stupid and puts people at risk), police and security forces, electricity and telephone service, a janitorial staff, maintenance, etc etc etc. Louisville easily costs millions of dollars to just keep up and running.

Owning my own business makes me realize and sympathize with companies like this. My small business costs me about 200 bucks a day to just keep the doors open, 7 days a week, every day of the month whether i work or not. So to put on an event like this that involves hundreds of thousands of people (maybe millions), it obviously costs a lot of money.

Look at it this way, they are putting millions of their dollars up front for some of us to have fun. We just have to give a small amount back to them. I hate this saying, but its true, you have to pay to play. Dont be cheap about it.

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Old 05-02-2006, 05:33 AM
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$25.00?? You forgot about your $28.00 annual membership to NSRA, $28 + $25 = $53.00. If you don't pre-register it's ten bucks more & we are back up to $63.00.
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:22 AM
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We put on a carshow every year. It isn't as cheap as what you would think that it would be. At a local show you have to pay for the grounds rental, liability insurance, police department employees to insure that everyone stays in line, trophies, dash plaques, door prizes, electricity and water hook-up, plus your licenses, to hold the show, health department license and inspections, restroom facility fees, etc , etc..... AND at our local show we don't charge admission to the spectators, just to register a vehicle. Its not a big money market. Oh and if it rains...there is still a show, and not alot of people show up. So you have to eat the costs on rain day.
Now there is a BIIIG difference that GoodGuys has compared to the little guy, They have fulltime employees that they pay, and being that they are fulltime I am going to bet that they get medical benefits($$$) along with having to travel from one site to another with all of their equipment and goods.
I personally enjoy the GoodGuys show in Columbus, I actually plan a year in advance what my attendance schedule will be the following year at the show.
Personally I think that it is worth it to pony up the $60/year to attend the show for 4 days with my wife and children. And actually it is only $60 because I renew my membership every year($20)
So if you want to look at it like that
$60 gets broken down like this
$60 / 4 people =$15 per person
$15 / 4 days = $3.75 per day per person
I cannot take my family to go see a 2hour movie in the theaters for that.
Oh and someone else said earlier...The price of spending the entire weekend with my family looking at hotrods and meeting great people...Priceless!
I look at it this way, if you don't like the price, don't spend the money, you can just look through the fence and watch what drives by.
Later,
WEIMER
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:18 PM
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Good Lord. For that $28 membership, you actually get a pretty good monthly magazine and access to a network of street rodders (the fellow pages, its helped a few people i know), among other things. No offense man, but an attitude like that is down right cheap.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeroadster
$25.00?? You forgot about your $28.00 annual membership to NSRA
I do NOT have to pay the annual fee ... I am a lifetime NSRA member and been that way since back when it was $150 for a lifetime membership.

They are making MONEY $$$
No one works for free ...
Years ago, if you busted your tail and got your Hot Rod going ... and needed to sell it ... you might get 25 cents on the dollar . Now, if you build smart ... they can be a investment ... ( if you build a desirable model of car ... NO orphans or step-children cars ... )

You can thank NSRA ... and GG to a lesser extent ... for the increase in values. Quality of construction is up also ... due to the competition for ink and recognition created at the events ... covered by the magazines ... which does not go to small local events.

I prefer the NSRA events ... which cater to my taste in cars ... more than the GG outlook of " If it has the entry fee ... it is WELCOME attitude ... I prefer the pre 49 events ... and a lot of other folks must do also ... because in the Southland ... NSRA events draw more cars than GG events ... even through GG has a cutoff date of 72 and NSRA has a cutoff of 1948 .

Yes ... I know NSRA now has two events that allow newer stuff in ... but that is a experiment IMHO ... NSRA used to have a Van division ... 30 years ago ... after all It's all about the $$$ and Vans were HOT then ...

It all boils down to two different businesses ...
Go to the one you like ... if you like neither ... stay home ... there is someone somewhere waiting to fill the spot you are NOT in ...
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:44 AM
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Wow, what a tough crowd. I merely asked what everyone thought about and I keep getting zinged?

Kristkustoms that is twice you have called me cheap. I merely posed a question which it appears you missed the point of. It isn't the money, it is the principal, something that sadly many people seem to not have these days. As for the topic at hand you are hardly impartial, seeing how you make a living stuffing high end interiors into street rods. What the heck, you are also an exhibitor at the nationals in Louisville. Your opinion on this topic is biased from the start. However I value your opinion and good spirited debate. But you hardly know enough about me to call me cheap.

Deuce, it is not to my advantage that prices have increased. I have (2) cars that I built myself, a '31 Tudor Sedan and a '27 Roadster pickup. I didn't build either one based on its resale value, I built them 'cause I wanted them built the way I like them. For me building the car yourself is what being a Hotrodder is about. Damn sure more than buying a finished car. Hell, you don't even have to know how to change a tire to buy a street rod. All the higher prices do is run up the cost of every part that is needed. Two words for you on this: Barret-Jackson.

I guess what it boils down to is I have always had a do it myself attitude. In the past 40 years I have seen Hotrodders go from a bunch of talented do it yourself people who like to build cars to a bunch of "buyers" and "posers" that know very little about their cars.

To proove the point, go back in the archives and look at this thread from 2001. Back then the bulk of the opinions were 180 degrees from what are being posted today.
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