Vacation time is here, with motorways, autobahnen, autoroutes, autostrade, and autopistas once again busy at weekends. Happily, there are more travel options than in Summer 2020, and cars and motorcycles are clearly the preferred means of holiday transport because – with the virus still around – they bring the least hassle. The camper, in particular, is proving more popular than ever, offering lots of freedom to young and old. Meanwhile, club meetings and events are starting to re-emerge, with interest in historic vehicles clearly undiminished.
All this gives us, the FIVA General Committee, sufficient inspiration to face the future with confidence – but with a plan. This was discussed extensively in Turin in mid-July, at our first physical General Committee meeting for a year. Our leitmotiv is to uphold not only the culture of mobility but also the social life that has characterised the automobile and motorcycle since their earliest days. Around no other industrial product is there such an active club life.
We can’t ignore the fact that we – FIVA and its members – must put even more effort into lobbying. The transition from fossil to alternative fuels is irreversible: as FIVA we accept this, and indeed support the drive for cleaner air. But what we are working on is a unified positioning to gain global recognition for our sector and its great cultural, social and economic significance.
Without young people there is no future, which is why ‘youth’ will continue to be a spearhead of our policy. Most importantly, we are not just talking about young people, but embracing their values to help rejuvenate the image of the historic vehicle world.
It’s evident that good communication has a key role. We’ve expanded our efforts in this regard considerably over the past year, including a record number of press releases to raise media awareness, but the hugely successful symposium in Bucharest in late July, titled ‘Restoration: Art or Science?’, illustrates another key part of our strategy. The symposium confirmed that professionals and collectors see FIVA as the leading authority on historic vehicles, and it also demonstrated the enormous achievements of an active ANF. The symposium was widely admired not only for its content, but also for its organisation in the very capable hands of the Retromobil Club Romania.
Club president Gabriela Măgureanu and her team put together a state-of-the-art meeting in a short time, a quality we hope to emulate at our General Assembly in Sofia, in cooperation with our Bulgarian ANF. That GA, according to our plans, will take place on 20 November 2021. We are aiming for a ‘hybrid’ meeting – both online and face-to-face – for maximum participation. Before then, there is much work to be done by all of us. Protecting, preserving and promoting mobile heritage is what we all do, internationally and nationally, day in, day out.
Tiddo Bresters – FIVA President