If I can chime in with something here, just as someone who has been kicking around these parts for a while...
I personally have never had any interest in track events. Am I interested in high performance driving and doing laps? Hell yeah. But these cars could not be any worse for that purpose. Even with the Duratec and a slightly upgraded suspension, my car is slow and handles like a boat. Not to mention how likely you are to break something if you drive hard. I can't be the only one here who feels my car just isn't cut out for that.
What has always brought me out to meets is the meet itself. I want to meet all of the people here that I've been talking to over the past few years, see what they've done with their cars and show them what I've done with mine. It's about representin'. Every day people make fun of our cars and think we're crazy for liking them so much. But when I'm doing 80 down the interstate in a convoy of well maintained and modified Tauruses, well... everything is right with my little world.
This meet sounds like an excellent idea. I think that a lot of members here are more interested in the social aspect than the track, and this would keep the costs low and encourage more people to make the journey. People tend to like "official" stuff, so if we have a space rented out for the event, it seems more "official" and gives them a greater sense of pride in the club.
Now finally, I'd like to say something about the new Taurus, which I had the privilege of sitting in at the 2009 NAIAS. It's a fantastic car, but let's be honest here... the only thing this car shares with ours is a couple of badges (and maybe a paint colour for the SHO
guys). I think it's a good idea to welcome these new owners, but much like the '01 and '02 Altima, I see no continuity here. It's so much bigger and more upscale than our cars, and the price certainly reflects that. Compared to other large sedans in its price range (Acura TL, Audi A4, etc) the '10 SHO
seems like a performance bargain with the quality and fit and finish to compete with the better of the imports. Someone like me is more likely to find their way into a Fusion than the new Taurus. It's Ford's new bread and butter vehicle for the average Joe. It's more "Taurus" than the Taurus.
But I don't think we need to attract membership from this market to survive. The Tauruses we drive are everywhere and they're going to be on the road for a long time.
I feel like I need a conclusion here because I've been writing papers non-stop for the past couple months, hence me not being here to often, so here goes. Long live TCCA!
And a quick note about the 'reliability' thing because I hear that so often. I don't get it. The last repair I have done on my car was over two years and 30,000 miles ago. All I do is change the oil!