Welcome To The Western Reserve Chapter Web Site

WESTERN RESERVE CHAPTER HISTORY

Submitted by Dave Payne

 

The roots of the Western Reserve Chapter, AACA actually took hold way back in 1969.

In the Fall of 1969, Mr. Bud Klinger, a member of the Vintage Chevrolet Club Of America, called for a meeting of anyone in the area that owned old Chevrolets, or had an interest in them. The meeting was held in the basement of the Geneva First Federal Savings & Loan—a location that later Western Reserve Chapter used for many January events.

Bud Klinger and his wife Chaired the meeting—it was their sole desire to form a local chapter of the Vintage Chevrolet Club (VCCA), as the closest Chevrolet chapter was in the southwest Cleveland area.

Two of those in attendance were Bob Neubacher and Dave Payne. I had met Bob only one time before, at an Ashtabula Downtown Merchants Fall Festival car show in 1968. In any event, it turned out that Bob and I had gone to that meeting with exactly the same idea in mind. Bob got up and declared that there were just not enough people in the area that were interested in Chevies only. He felt, and I agreed, that we should form a club of all antique car makes. Bud Klinger was still in favor of a Chevy club, but was willing to go along with the idea.

As I remember, he appointed Bob (Neubacher) to seek out other people in the area (Geneva and West) and I said I would locate people from Ashtabula and East. We ran several articles in newspapers, and did several photo sessions, with articles featuring Dick Mead, Joe Hassett, Bob Neubacher, and Dave Payne, and their cars. This was the winter of 1969-70.

The initial meetings were held in the meeting room of the Ashtabula Telephone Company, Park Avenue, with Dick Mead as acting Chairman, since he worked there.

By the second meeting, we had over 50 people in attendance, some from Painesville and Mentor. We had originally figured on an all Ashtabula County club—but quickly added Lake and parts of Geauga Counties, the area that our Western Reserve Chapter encompasses today.

The fledgling club grew very quickly, with one of the primary goals being to select a name for the group.

This club was to be strictly local, with no other affiliation.

The second or third meeting at the Telephone Company we chose a name. Submitted by Joanne Ray, and overwhelmingly approved, the club became the Yesteryear Auto Club—with annual dues set at $5.00. The very first time that we were approached with the idea of joining AACA, the Ohio Region, and forming a new chapter thereof, was in 1972. Up to this time, many of us had never even heard of AACA!!

There were many people who did not want to join a larger organization, and some therefore dropped out completely.

Some of us decided to pursue the idea of joining AACA. At that time it took seven members to form a chapter. After Ohio Region announced to National the intent to form a new chapter, seven people signed up as Charter members of the Western Reserve Chapter, in the late Fall of 1972. One of the stipulations of the Region forming a new chapter, was that Bob Babcox become the first Chapter President, since he had the most affiliation with the Ohio Region at the time.

The other Charter members were: Ed Robison, Rod Stemem, Bob Neubacher, Dave Payne, Norm Thorpe, and Paul Herr from the Northern Chapter, who handled all of the paperwork for submission to National. On November 5, 1972, we held our first meeting at Unionville Tavern, where we were presented our Charter by Howard and Gladys Wyles, President and First Lady of the Ohio Region, and who were members of the Northern Chapter.

At that time, no one in the infant Chapter knew anything about putting on an Ohio Region Meet, except Bob Babcox, Rod Stemen, and Bob Neubacher. We were all a little horrified to find out that the very first Meet we were given to host was the Winter Assembly in January 1974. However, it came off with very few hitches, and was the first of the Region Meets held at Quail Hollow Motel, Concord Township.

The Chapter has come a long way since those days, guided by the following Presidents: Bob Babcox, Joe Hassett,  Bob  Neubacher, Dave Payne, Bill Shreves, Charlie Paine, Joe Britcher, Earl Masiello, John Ray, Mike Danzig, Ralph Bowen, Tom  Bates, Barbara Paine, Joe Britcher.  Subsequent Presidents include:

1988    Don Blaney                 

1989    Dave Payne

1990    Donna Bowen             

1991    Tom Bates

1992    Royal Woodworth        

1993    Ralph Bowen

1994    Ralph Bowen               

1995    Shirley Payne 

1996    Shirley Payne               

1997    Gary Hendrickson

1998    Bob Marhefka

1999    Bob Hegfield

2000    Walt Elliott

Ashtabula, Lake, and part of Geauga Counties

Western Reserve Chapter meets monthly with a different member hosting each month.

 

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Western Reserve Hosts a local car show as part of the Chalet Debonne Winery schedule of events during August.

Western Reserve also Hosts Sunday's Car Show during the Annual Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival (    which  has gained national attention)

GAS HOUSE GAZETTE

Host annual Swap Meet each year, in late March or early April

 

 

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