Published: June 28th 2010June 28th 2010
By way of an introduction...this is my first entry into "blog" world, and I am excited to share the experiences of our journey!
I am Joanne Pistorius, and my husband, Brando, and I have set off on an adventure driving our 1930 Packard from Tampa, Florida, USA to Montreal, Quebec Canada, over 1700 miles one way. We are doing this to gain awareness for our Rotary Club (Tampa-Hyde Park), our Rotary Fellowship (Antique Car Enthusiasts ACHAFR) and the charity we support, the Kids Wish Network.
Along the way we wanted to give other local Rotary Clubs the opportunity to get a little publicity, so that more of the community neighbors would gain awareness of how many wonderful community service activities the Rotary Clubs participate in, and how vital the community service organization is to all of our towns. So many people do not know what Rotary International does around the world, even though there are over 2 million Rotarians, and it is over 105 years old. We hope that our tour helps people ask more questions about what Rotary is, what it stands for, and maybe even how others can get involved.
We also hope more people see
this grand old car, and how sturdy and dependable an old car can be. More generations need to stay interested in these cars, or we will have no one left to preserve this important part of our history and culture.
I have been a Rotarian for over 20 years, and I love it. The members of my club are friends, colleagues, and actually more like family. I helped charter the Hyde Park Club in Tampa in 1993, and have served as President twice. We are a small club, but we get a lot of excellent charity work done. We also chartered the first all girls Interact Club at the Girls Academy of the Holy Names High School. Since Rotary was an all male club until the 1980's, I think that was a pretty interesting milestone too.
Originally my vocation classification was "Computers" as I owned my own business selling computers from 1989-1999, then 10 years later I changed to "Real Estate" when I married Brando in 2000, and we started our own Real Estate Company, Transflor Realty. A couple of years ago, when Florida real estate became the kind of business you really could not make a living
in, we changed our hobby into a fulltime experience, and I changed my classification to "Antique Cars".
Brando has worked on antique cars since he was a young man in South Africa. He was a member of the Pretoria Olde Motor Cars Club, which hosted a “Cars in the Park” Rally that had over a thousand classic cars in attendance. He has restored dozens of cars, doing most of the labor himself. When we married, pretty much every year he would buy a "project" car, restore it, play with it for awhile, then sell it for another "project" car. We even took our daughter Amanda to her high school prom in a 1929 Packard.
When the real estate business evaporated a couple of years ago, we decided to step up the process from one project car every year, to maybe one every few months. We are not dealers, and have no aspirations of becoming dealers. We just like pursuing our pleasures on a full time basis, which is travel and antique cars. If we can make a few bucks on our investments to cover our living along the way, all the better!
I was surprised to hear
about Rotary Fellowships only a couple of years ago. Having been a Rotarian for so long, I had no idea that they had groups of folks who shared like interests and hobbies around the world within the Rotary International membership. I soon found out there are over 54 different Fellowships within Rotary that have been active for 25+ years, and one specifically for old cars!
I contacted the President of the Antique, Classic and Historic Automobile world Fellowship of Rotarians (ACHAFR), Colin Weeks, in the United Kingdom, and quickly thereafter was recruited to organize the North American Chapter of the ACHAFR. Suddenly now I am President! I wanted to gain awareness of the car fellowship with more Rotarians, and so began the planning for our "Ride-Along Tour".
The Antique, Classic and Historic Automobile Fellowship of Rotarians (ACHAFR) - North American Chapter, inaugural rally was to be a fantastic 6 day "Ride-Along Tour" from Tampa, Florida, USA to Montreal, Quebec, Canada ending at the 2010 Rotary International Convention. We stopped at a Rotary Club each day along the route for a meal (and a "make-up") at the meetings, show off the car, and talk a little about our ACHAFR-NA
Kids Wish Network Fundraiser
Please support this great charity!
fellowship. We invited other car enthusiasts to join along, whether they were Rotarians or not, hence the term "Ride Along". Unfortunately many who had good intentions to join in and ride along, also saw the journey as a very long and potentially difficult trip. Luckily my husband has a "no guts - no glory" attitude, and we persevered!
We saw some of the most beautiful parts of America, traveling a route that you could not find with the standard interstate drive. We encountered our share of challenges, and we met some of the friendliest people on earth. I started a daily blog on our club website, www.achafr.com but the space required for all the photos was making the site overloaded, so I am transferring much of the information onto this separate blog site www.mytb.org/JPistorius. I hope you enjoy it!
There are more photos below