In a joint initiative, local classic and vintage car and motorcycle clubs have created a Federation. They established the Federation of Manx Historic Vehicle Clubs to safeguard and promote the future of historic motoring in the Isle of Man.
Chairman, Norman Roper, said ‘The Isle of Man has a unique motoring heritage and it is our aim to help preserve it and promote our interest to future generations. There are many potential threats at the moment that could undermine the future of vintage motoring. For example, the EU directive to introduce ethanol into petrol is very bad news for old engines as it can have a catastrophic effect on the materials used in the fuel systems of old cars and motorcycles and on this, and other issues, such as the possible expansion of roadworthiness tests for vehicles, we intend to make sure our voice is heard.’
Since its inception some months ago, thirteen local historic car and bike clubs have signed-up. Between them they represent over 1,000-members who collectively own almost two thousand vehicles. There is enormous enthusiasm amongst members. At monthly meetings where the Federation’s strategy is formed, each member club is represented by two delegates and the meetings are absolutely packed.
The Federation has already been successful in being recognised for the purpose of consultation and has had its first meeting with Government when a small delegation comprising the Chairman, Secretary, Steve Woodward of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club and Tony East of the Vintage Motorcycle Club met with the Director of Highways for a very constructive meeting.
Norman Roper also added ‘We should also bear in mind that the classic vehicle scene in is not an insignificant contributor to the Isle of Man economy; considerable numbers of tourists come over each year from visiting car clubs and the numbers coming over to participate in the Vintage Motorcycle Club rallies such as the Jurby Festival is incredible!’
Vintage vehicles are in demand at the many cultural events on the island and we have set up a structure of communication with the film industry here to enable them to easily find any appropriate vehicles they may need. There are also a significant number of people employed, or in business, who are making a living here out of the historic vehicle market. It is also part of our mission to help these people to promote their services to the historic vehicle market and, where possible, keep trade in the Isle of Man’.
Anyone interested in the Federation can find further details at www.fmhvc.org.