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Author Topic: BBC TV Top Gear programme on Lancia!  (Read 20468 times)
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ColinMarr
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« on: 10 September, 2009, 10:00:47 PM »

I heard on the grapevine today that the BBC is producing a film for Top Gear on the history of Lancia. The story is that cars including Aprilia, Aurelia, Flaminia and all the ‘moderns’ have been booked for a film shoot next week.

Sounds good, but, I also hear that the liaison between the BBC and the car owners has been done through an organisation known as CLS, rather than the LMC. If true, how can this come about? Surely the LMC is the natural reference point for a thing like this!

Colin
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ncundy
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« Reply #1 on: 10 September, 2009, 11:53:34 PM »

I also know of this.

It comes about because one club seems to think we still exist in the quill and ink era and another has engaged with rather more modern means of spreading the message and because one club rests on its laurels and another gets out there and uses the collective enthusiasm of its members. I wonder what next years AGM will provide in the way of "progressive strategy"?

I hope that it will at least showcase a positive committee sponsorship of things like the the forum, the members database, the availability of the LMC library and a rather more imaginative way of attracting members.

We have circa 1400 members and an attrition rate of 100 members a year. There are certain fixed costs which need to be covered that are not dependant on membership numbers. The time is approaching pretty quickly when the committee (not the members - who will vote with their feet) have to make some decisions.

It just goes to prove (again !!!!) that its not what you did yesterday but what you intend to do tomorrow that brings reward.

Oh, and a note to the committee - the last lot of minutes that were placed on the forum were in the "Harvey days" (I remember them with fondness  Grin) - when will we see some more ? A small point but perhaps relevant - the troops would at least like to feel the generals are listening, even to the merest moans.
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« Reply #2 on: 11 September, 2009, 07:22:57 AM »

Yep, I knew of this too and share Neil's thoughts.
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« Reply #3 on: 11 September, 2009, 09:42:05 AM »

yep me too, I was asked last Fiday to find 3 Beta's

also agree with Neil comments,
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ColinMarr
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« Reply #4 on: 11 September, 2009, 09:42:31 AM »

Hands up all those who knew about it and were asked to keep quiet about it, so that the competitor club could gain maximum advantage in putting one over on the LMC?

I despair!

Colin
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« Reply #5 on: 11 September, 2009, 10:56:32 AM »

Lets face it, JP is in PR and he's good at this.  Example - last year on this forum we effectively agreed with John Simister that Auto Italia would do a 30th anniversary feature on the Delta, and we being naive, left it there expecting JS or AI to get back to us when they needed us.  Meanwhile JP is tapping up the editor of AI and getting in ahead of us - consequently CLS get the glory, despite the fact that they had to look to us to find the standard 2wd cars (which were incorrectly identified in the article as being CLS members cars - and if we complain about the misrepresentation to AI we just end up looking churlish), and despite the face that we could have sourced better cars than CLS supplied.

But the truth of it is this - we do have too many people in this club, and in positions of power in this club, who are still in the quill and pen era, and embrace change only when 'shown the instruments'.  Meanwhile the people who do grasp new technologies are seen as troublemakers, or wild youngsters to be patted on the head.  Moreover IMHO the presence of the quill and pen brigade in positions of power is the main reason why we have two Lancia clubs and not one, and we don't have JP using his PR dark arts for our benefit rather than CLS's.  And yes, I will go on the committee if it takes that to change things, and we can get a few more of similar mind alongside me.
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #6 on: 11 September, 2009, 11:36:28 AM »

I'm not sure whether the "wax tablet and stylus" viewpoint still presides in some areas!

Chris for Committee!
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« Reply #7 on: 11 September, 2009, 11:53:51 AM »

The first I knew about this is when I was approached to provide some interesting ‘facts’ about Lancia in particular the ‘firsts’ (as a previous Press & Publicity Office of the LMC they perhaps thought that they would get some help). I also have seen evidence that when the BBC Top Gear researcher approached a senior member of the LMC the impression he was left with was and I quote “I got the impression that his contacts weren't hugely enthusiastic about helping us out”. Hence the BBC turning to the CLS, despite that I do know that some well known members of LMC as well as the CLS and Lancia specialists have rallied around to supply cars and to help the programme makers put Lancia in as positive light as possible allowing for the fact that we don’t have final editorial control. Before I get jumped on – I am not a member of the CLS and my only interest is to have the Lancia marquee portrayed in a good light.

As for some of those who are supposed to be looking after the LMC and promoting membership – well words fail me – well almost, we miss out on some good publicity because someone or some people it would seem could not to be bothered. Perhaps I should not be surprised!

With membership falling, I think that you would agree with me that the senior members of the LMC and the committee should be doing everything possible to promote and advertise the LMC. One reasonably easy way is to send reports of our events such as the LMC Track Day at Goodwood and the AGM to the leading classic car magazines and press with photographs, arrange for advertising to appear next to articles about Lancia etc etc. But of course that means someone on the Committee willing to take on this role and coordinate our approach to the press or even use VL to advertise for an active Press & Publicity Officer to do it for them! I notice that we don’t seem to have anyone listed as a Press & Publicity Officer in VL any longer, perhaps some on the Committee agree with the view the previous Press & Publicity Officer held when he wrote to quote: “"People who are into cars and fancy a classic Lancia will know where to find the Club." If they do hold such a view then I don't hold out much hope for the LMC's survival!

There are a few (and some of those ARE on the Committee and other hard working LMC members) who want to move the LMC on and improve the service to members and improve its image and standing and are working in their own time to provide just an improvement. Unfortunately there are some whom are content to sit on the sidelines and seem only to want to impede progress (although why I have no idea) the trouble is that such an attitude does nothing to encourage ordinary members to volunteer their services, expertise and time!

I had hoped that with the new members joining the committee in recent years that things would improve, so I was disappointed when I heard that Harvey had resigned (and I don’t know why, frustration perhaps?) and with it his attempts to improve communication with the members via his regular ‘Committee Notes’ – why the chairman did not have the wit to get someone else to (or even take on it himself) and get the committee notes published is beyond me – but it does not encourage one to think that communication with the ordinary members has a high or any priority at all!

Chris
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ncundy
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« Reply #8 on: 11 September, 2009, 12:10:19 PM »

Posted twice  Tongue

Included in post below now !
« Last Edit: 11 September, 2009, 04:49:31 PM by ncundy » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 11 September, 2009, 02:53:46 PM »

I was neither asked to keep it quiet nor approached by anyone. I happened to be at a party with someone who said they worked for a
production company and were doing some work on it. Couple that with the fact that all the latest magazine tests (and some yet to come) have been put together by CLS, the bullish statements on what they are doing and are going to do + the appointment of John Davenport as their new President, you don't have to be Einstein to work it out.

I also think it is a bit unfair to suggest that there is some kind of deliberate collusion going on. It is a matter of fact that the normal
members voice has been completely ignored over the last few year - in deference to the direction (and associated culture) being driven by a select few. Those with ideas aplenty, professional skills to bring to bear and enthusiasm to burn have largely been ignored, sidelined, obstructed and frustrated at every turn - even when they have already put in many hours of their own time.

When this happens you naturally gravitate to those who appreciate and recognise your efforts. This should not be taken as an opportunity to judge those who choose to share their allegiances (and I suspect these allegiances are moving towards the marque and away from the club), but as demonstration of what CLS do very well.

Whilst the manner of the split may stick in some throats (regardless of the reasons, real or imagined) do not allow that to bias an objective judgement of what CLS are doing. For a small group it is impressive and we should learn from it not complain they have no right to do it. The LMC has no devine right to be the first port of call, we must earn it. When there was no competition we had it easy. Now there is competition and it is pretty good.

Sticking our heads in the sand and allowing the agenda to be driven by legacy personal issues (both in terms of the relationship with CLS and how we treat each other internally) is self defeating and cutting off our nose to spite our face. But this is what is happening.

I suspect that next year it may well be that several of the 100 people who leave will will be seriel contributors to this forum. No doubt some will see that as a victory.

And Colin, thanks for posting in the members section. Obviously those usually too paranoid to respond to "internal club matters" when visible to all will now grasp the opportunity to engage in a proper discussion  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: 12 September, 2009, 08:29:31 AM »

I am afraid that I too agree with the sentiments in the above posts. So, for change to happen, more of us "like minded" souls have to put ourselves forward to make things happen. However, it isn't as easy as it seems. After the AGM I put my name forward to be co-opted onto commitee (following the request at the AGM for interested parties to come forward). Since the week after the AGM when my e-mail was acknowledged by the secretary and was being "passed on" I have heard nothing. Not even the courtessy of a phone call, an e-mail or a letter.

Rather than getting dispondent, I think it has increased my resolve to get in there and do everything possible, by whatever means possible to shake the cobwebs out and drive this beast forward. Idealistic?? Possibly, but got to be worth a try. So, all it needs now is to actually hear from a club senior 'official".

On another note, worrying that in my immediate circle of friends who are club members at the moment, 6 have no intention of renewing their membership next time around, as they feel that the club now has both no relevance to their ownership of Lancia and the club has no desire, from the top, to actually drive the marque forward and survive.

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« Reply #11 on: 12 September, 2009, 09:25:07 AM »

Your wrong to say the 'Club' and I take it you mean LMC has no relevance. It is the original social centre for all Lancia owners and will Im sure support the brand and their buyers into the future. By the way, with the replacement Ypsilon just around the corner plus maybe a Fulvia, the line up of three cars if you include the Delta, plus a general improvement in the economic climate makes a more compelling case for a UK come back.   
The problem LMC faces, is one of old age. Not its members but of the club itself. Had LMC created itself just a couple of years ago instead of in 1948 technology would, as with CLS have been at the forefront of its management style and stubborn Lambda or Fulvia owners (if they exist) would not have had to accept change. And of course use of the internet as a prime means of communication with all its associated cost reductions would also be naturally accepted as would an online regular publication.
Instead of taking stock LMC is dragging its heels, not sure which way to turn. In pure business terms, it lacks leadership. Where is the five year plan, where is the budget, where is the list of jobs to tackle and where are the young volunteers to make these things happen. Here on the forum we have at least two such people ready to have a go. And the committee already benefits from new blood. The fault must therefore lie somewhere in the higher echelons of control who, for reasons difficult to understand are resisting or maybe are incapable of vision. Without change now the LMC will disappear down the plughole.
In closing I have to also say that a club exists for its members enjoyment, they pay their subs and get on with having a good time.



 

     
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« Reply #12 on: 12 September, 2009, 10:14:55 AM »

Continued.....

However, the RUNNING of a club is something different. It needs business attitude. Someone, normally the Chairman, with the asistance of his club secretary needs to hold a firm grasp of the financial situation, understand assets, revenue streams, contingencies, cost cutting, projected income and expenditure. For any advice they should be able to fall back on either the Vice Presidents or the President himself. Between them they finalise a presentation of facts put forward at the next general committee meeting. In other words all who appear listed in Viva Lancia plays an active roll while at the same time fully understanding the situation. An example of this not happening is the complete misuse of the Ted Bates Lagacy. This is no time to waste money on a book. Sorry but there are other ways of presenting a history while at the same time giving Ted the chance to see (if he is watching) how his not insubstantial amount of money has helped secure the clubs future by investing in technology. And why is LMC paying to have certain tasks carried out that should be cost free? For goodness sake, save the money and instead spend it training committee volunteers to make them more effective. Anyway, I have said enough.
LMC needs to trust the next generation and give them the freedom and the budget to effect change. There is no other way. And to pre-empt the obvious comment, yes, I would be willing also to help.     
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« Reply #13 on: 18 September, 2009, 05:54:17 PM »

It would appear that the Top Gear researcher initially contacted several people, one of whom contacted Paul Baker and suggested Paul got in touch with TG which he did straight away. A list of required cars was established and Paul spoke to a number of suitable car owners the next day at the Italian Club event in London and over the following weekend. The response from car owners was rather negative; can't do it that soon/midweek, it's too far to go, not letting Clarkson near my car, Top Gear don't like Lancias etc.

On the following monday, Paul spoke to the researcher again who was no longer interested and although vague, seemed to think he had enough cars from other sources.

So it would seem that a lack of enthusiasm on the part of ordinary members of LMC led to this situation, although if YOU had been asked would/could YOU have made your car available?
Ironically some LMC members cars do appear to have been provided via CLS contacts!

I suggest we should learn from this and instead of calling for a post mortem and blame apportionment exercise, which won't achieve anything, why doesn't somebody volunteer to compile and maintain a list of people with cars who are prepared to make them available for media requests. Appoint 3 or 4 people to also keep the list or put it somewhere on the forum/website so that in the future we all know where we have a one-stop contact list.
This sounds spookily like a Press & Publicity Officer's role so how about one (or two) of the critics out there volunteering to take on that very important job. If we'd had someone in that post who'd fostered good links with the magazines and tv programmes things might have been different.

Let's also keep this in perspective, if the programme shows Lancia in a good light then we will probably benefit. There may be a small reference to CLS in the credits but who reads those? and there may be a face in the crowd that only lancisti would recognise, so what? If you google lancia club uk we come up first !
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« Reply #14 on: 18 September, 2009, 06:26:11 PM »

Martin,

A timely first post – welcome to the Forum!

Of course, had the opportunity to offer cars for the event been posted on the Forum the result might have been different. No doubt some members would not want to lend their cars, but some might. That is one of the beauties of the Forum - it gives almost instant access to the membership at large, or at least to those that have signed up to it.

Like you, I hope the programme is good and shows Lancia in a favourable light.

I am sure you are right in saying there is an opportunity for members to volunteer to take on jobs like Press Officer etc. But, isn’t the onus of responsibility on the committee to let the membership know where there are gaps and where particular skills are required?

Colin
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