Bentley Drivers Club

Bentley Drivers Club

Author
Discussion

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Saturday 21st April 2018
quotequote all
Good afternoon,
This post is addressed to drivers of Bentleys who are not members of the BDC.

I am trying to get a feel for why some Bentley drivers don't join the BDC. Are we too snooty or exclusive? Too old? Are we too focussed on cars from the 1920s and 1930s? Maybe we are not active in your country. It does not matter whether you have experience of BDC or not, I would just like your perception of the Club in advance of a Board meeting in a couple of weeks time.

If BDC members would like to add their view, they are welcome, but it would be handy to be able to separate replies from BDC and non-BDC members, so write BDC member at the end of your post please.

Thank you all in anticipation of a flood of replies!

David.

Xtriple129

1,009 posts

113 months

Saturday 21st April 2018
quotequote all
I couldn't remember why I wasn't a member so I had a look at the site, then I recalled - £160 to join, forget it. I'd rather spend the money on some fuel and drive the old lass. Really can't see what it is you get for such an outrageous amount?

Of course, the answer is I am not rich enough to be a member. frown

Pericoloso

42,760 posts

119 months

Saturday 21st April 2018
quotequote all
Many single marque clubs have had their day.

Of course there will be many exceptions but free online forums and all the other social media is more relevant nowadays.

V8 FOU

2,717 posts

103 months

Saturday 21st April 2018
quotequote all
A good club.
But ( you knew that was coming!), too expensive to belong. A lot of unnecessary magazines, booklets etc. Image to most is a bit good old boy / crusty old gits etc more interested in dinners etc. Having said that the annual BDC meeting at Silverstone is good.
I think the club needs to modernise a bit to make it a bit more welcoming to potential members. It has an image of too many straw boaters and blazers for most. Nothing wrong with promoting the old stuff - love them, but far too expesive for normal folk.
Cut costs and membership fees, tell the world about you some more, more competitions on track and you'll be on a winner!

jeyjey

170 posts

53 months

Sunday 22nd April 2018
quotequote all
Not active in Ireland.

Fiammetta

199 posts

44 months

Monday 23rd April 2018
quotequote all
Not much to add except as an ex member of Ferrari owners club for 17 years ,I only had time to go to the annual concourse perhsps 1/2 dozen times .
Just too busy really .
In the end as said above the internet,Mr Google is your friend and has replaced any perceived benefits that membership of a “ club “ gives .
It’s just easier to be a member of a “ virtual” clubs and quickly find out anything from an armchair with a device in hand .

Don,t need another set of friends I,am only 55 and a bit young for parking up on a lawn of a country house and having pick nick s sat on fold up chairs out of a wicker basket .
You can,t drink ,or shouldn’t these days anyhow if driving .

Got plenty of hobbies / pastimes at the moment which fill my days .and I don,t think we spend enough time in the U.K. to attend anything anyhow .

One wonders if there’s any snobbery over Conti GT owners ? - with VW / Audi running gear

There was a bit of snobbery with Dino ( 6 cyl ) owners in the FOC and 12 cyl over V8,s from the “ old fossils “with proper 12 cylinder stuff .

None BDC member .

I can,t cross the 150 quid or what ever mental barrier to join at the mo .

Edited by Fiammetta on Monday 23 April 08:12


Edited by Fiammetta on Monday 23 April 08:15

Doofus

12,252 posts

129 months

Monday 23rd April 2018
quotequote all
It is very expensive, but regardless of that, I'm just not at all interested in car clubs.

Why would I want to drive to a field in my Bentley to spend the day looking at Bentleys, or spend an evening talking about Bentleys over dinner?

As above, I already have friends, and we have more in common that the car we own. Again, as above, I wonder if car-based social groups have had their day.


RonWarmington

1 posts

28 months

Monday 23rd April 2018
quotequote all
As current BDC Chairman, you'll appreciate that a certain bias will creep into my posts. Fact is, the BDC really IS an expensive Club to join and, at £110 p.a., not cheap to renew (unless you equate the annual sub to the cost of filling your car's petrol tank which, in my case is pretty well twice that amount !).

But... we have, right now, fewer than 4,000 Members - worldwide - and their subscriptions fund an absolutely magnificent Club. It's one that has a fantastic social network and 32 Regions around the world, running hundreds of events every year. Many of our Members have been with us for multiple decades (150 of them for over 50 years) and the Club is the epicentre of their lives. And there lies a problem... many of us are in our 70s and our Board has recognised the need to attract and retain younger members and so drive downward the average age. We're really serious about that and our efforts are starting to take effect. We are well aware that there are over 100,000 Bentleys out there that don't have leather bonnet straps... and we want their drivers to join us and have fun that goes beyond wicker picnic baskets and straw boaters (although there are times when those work for me!). Anyway, we appreciate the criticisms and input on PistonHeads and will happily stand and take whatever is thrown at us. So keep it coming, eh?

Ron.

Edited by RonWarmington on Monday 23 April 11:07

WelshBentleyBoy

325 posts

155 months

Monday 23rd April 2018
quotequote all
I have a Bentley Arnage but have joined the RREC as they are far more active than BDC in South Wales and they have a separate South Wales section which functions very well.
The BDC costs £50 to join + an annual £110.00 Dearer than the RREC

Whydon't the two clubs look at a merger!

Lockhouse

169 posts

155 months

Tuesday 24th April 2018
quotequote all
I’m a BDC member with a Conti GT which was my first Bentley. I’ve been a member for four years and have had interaction with people at all levels of the club – I could waffle on about both good and bad for hours.

The membership is generally older – these cars are expensive to buy and maintain and not usually bought by younger people who may have different priorities. Suits me as I’m no spring chicken but I’m in my mid-fifties and am often amongst the youngest at events.

I’ve heard about leather strap snobbery within the club but I’ve not personally experienced it. I have personally experienced the political machinations but that’s to be expected in any room full of “big beasts”.

The quality of the arranged events is outstanding. The regions do brilliant work. We’re going on two club motoring holidays this year. We wouldn’t be doing this if they were not up to scratch. The social aspect of the club is very important to us and in the time we’ve been members we’ve met some lovely people and made some firm friends. We go to probably ten events per year. Yes, they are slightly old-fashioned, we love them more because of this and would hate for it to change.

To sum up:  Membership is expensive but good value. In attempting to modernise the club it’s important to protect what’s already there. In my view seeking change for change’s sake is not the right way to go but appreciate the fact that owning a WO is now out of the reach of mere mortals. If we could increase the attraction to modern Bentley owners without sacrificing the quality, history or the “Britishness” of the club that would be very good indeed.

Just my two pennyworth.


lowest

295 posts

180 months

Wednesday 25th April 2018
quotequote all
Been thinking of joining but what are the benefits so I can weigh them against the cost which is less than 2 tanks of fuel.

jeyjey

170 posts

53 months

Wednesday 25th April 2018
quotequote all
The "merger" comment got me to thinking....

I know the AMOC and BDC hold some sister events (and I think we've invited BDC members along to some of our events in Ireland).

Anyway, a more formal link-up in Ireland might give the BDC more presence on the ground here....

V8 FOU

2,717 posts

103 months

Wednesday 25th April 2018
quotequote all
jeyjey said:
The "merger" comment got me to thinking....

I know the AMOC and BDC hold some sister events (and I think we've invited BDC members along to some of our events in Ireland).

Anyway, a more formal link-up in Ireland might give the BDC more presence on the ground here....
You'll have people from both clubs barfing their champers into their straw boaters......

Lockhouse

169 posts

155 months

Wednesday 25th April 2018
quotequote all
lowest said:
Been thinking of joining but what are the benefits so I can weigh them against the cost which is less than 2 tanks of fuel.
Ignore the "Never joined a car club...." comments on the thread.

It depends what you want out of the club. It is a hugely social club, that's true. However you reap what you sow. If you want social lunches, that's there. If you want Bentley racing, that's there in spades. I would say gatecrash your local BDC pub meet and chat to some members to see if it's for you or not.

PM me if you want to know who your local contact is and I'll send you the details.

lowest

295 posts

180 months

Friday 27th April 2018
quotequote all
Lockhouse said:
Ignore the "Never joined a car club...." comments on the thread.

It depends what you want out of the club. It is a hugely social club, that's true. However you reap what you sow. If you want social lunches, that's there. If you want Bentley racing, that's there in spades. I would say gatecrash your local BDC pub meet and chat to some members to see if it's for you or not.

PM me if you want to know who your local contact is and I'll send you the details.
I'd be looking more for discounts and technical advice, not really interested in the social side, what can the club provide from that side?

Speculatore

1,913 posts

191 months

Friday 27th April 2018
quotequote all
I use 'Pistonheads' as my car club. If I want to know about local events I just log on to the 'South Coast Forum'. The advantage of this is that 'A' the events are always local. 'B' there is a wide selection of exotic cars in the region and we have the benefit of being close to Goodwood and Beaulieu.


john headley

2 posts

27 months

Friday 4th May 2018
quotequote all
It appears to me that i will need to join in order to find out more about the club that I would like to know before joining, rather similar with RREC. There are already several open forums available

V8 FOU

2,717 posts

103 months

Saturday 5th May 2018
quotequote all
This probably sums up most people's perception of the BDC.....


waterden

29 posts

132 months

Saturday 5th May 2018
quotequote all
Ho Ho, but no red trousers in sight! Oh, I tell a lie! But to whom do they belong?

WightGT

Original Poster:

149 posts

102 months

Sunday 27th May 2018
quotequote all
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. It has demonstrated to the BDC Board that our image is dated and puts off potential younger members. All we need now is a Business Plan to move us in the right direction.
David.