AACA, and the hobby is strong

An open letter to members and friends

By Douglas D. Drake
AACA President

This year is flying by, and Joyce and I have had a great time meeting with the l000s of members across the country at all of the Meets and Tours hosted this year. It is truly a pleasure to meet the wonderful members that grace the AACA organization.

As I write this letter to each of you we are all saddened and outraged by the terrorist acts that stretched across this wonderful country. My prayers are out to the many families that have been affected by this evil act and I know that America will come out stronger with a more careful eye on this type of action. As President Bush has said, we must get back to our life as we were and not let the terrorists control us. Within AACA, "Let our Wheels Roll and the Engines Roar", and help us continue to educate the world on the history of the automobile.

I am happy to report that AACA is strong and growing. Every one of the 7 AACA tours was filled to the planned level and most were over‑subscribed. Within 10 days of mailing out the information the late October SE Divisional Tour in Mobile AL was filled. The Glidden Tour in Mackinaw City boasts over 320 cars and the Founders Tour was over‑subscribed with over 220 cars. The Meets have met all our expectations with members traveling great distances to join in the fun.

The new Driver Participation class that was introduced this year has enjoyed great success. This class is for the 80% of our members who enjoy driving their vehicles and joining in on the fun offered at National Meets. The car, once entered into a Meet, is certified as not being chopped, channeled or modified. Once it is reviewed, the owner gets a round car badge to display like the National First Place oval badges. At each national meet that the car is entered the owner gets a small round medallion for a display board. The neat thing about this new class is your car is not judged. It only cost $12 to enter into the Meet, and you are able to go onto the show field with your car and enjoy the Meet and give everyone an opportunity to enjoy your vehicle. This has been the largest class at almost every Meet this year.

The adding of l0 more eligible years to the Historic Preservation of Original Features (HPOF) program has brought out more automobiles then ever before as our members show us they want to preserve these original cars. I am excited at each Meet to see what HPOF automobiles are entered ‑ they are wonderful!

The Division Chairman program that was introduced this year has been beating its expectations. Many Regions and Chapters have been talked to three or more times and almost all have had at least two contacts. The roll of the 20 Division persons is to ask each of our member clubs how the AACA can help them. We have had a lot of feedback that members who are officers of the clubs welcome this support. It is important that we work together to bring our vast resources to the aid of any club that is struggling and needs to freshen its activities or add to its objectives. A special thanks to those 20 volunteer Chairpersons who have made this new program a success. We need you!

Now to get down to this year's business at hand: our focus on youth. My slogan this year is 'We'll be There". As many of you know my objective has been two‑fold. The first part consists of those 20 new Division Chairpersons who we just talked about. To each of the Regions and Chapters they exemplify the "We'll be There" slogan.

The second part of my objective this year is the focus on "Youth, Youth, and more Youth". We need younger people into our hobby and the "We'll be There" slogan provides a special identity to our youth. They will be there to carry on AACA when our generation is not. During the year I have found that my faith in our youth is justified. At every National Meet and Tour this year I have held a program called, "The Automobile and its Parts" (In fact we have held one at every National Meet for the last four years). With this program we talk with our youth about what makes the car run. We look under the chassis and we talk about the different parts of the car. We look at engines and talk about what makes them run. What we have learned is that our youth is very interested in learning about the automobile. I have worked with no less than 350 young people this year at our national events. Ninety‑nine percent of the youth that I ask if they would like to join in on the program say, "yes". I have found that today's youth are hungry for more knowledge about the mechanics of the automobile then you would ever think. These kids, ages three to 19, are not just family members of our fellow hobbyists, but often they are kids who are attending the meet as a spectator with their family. I have also found out that they are very sharp and have the ability to grasp the technical aspects of the automobile. What better way then to talk about what happens under the hood than with an antique car? We all know that it is impossible to easily talk about what's under the hood of our modern iron, yet the principle is the same when we talk about our old cars. This year we have asked each club to put in place a young people program and I am happy to report that the list of clubs is growing. We have a youth program guide of projects to help you get kids into the hobby. It does not need to be a Region and Chapter thing. It is each and every one of us that can bring a youth closer to our hobby. Ask your neighbor child, grandchildren, or your own children if they would like to see what is under the hood or under the car. Talk about the different parts. I assure you, that you will be amazed at their interest.

Besides the above programs, we have some exciting things we are working on at the national level involving kids of all ages. We have two particular programs that have the potential to touch hundreds of thousand of children. Unfortunately it is too early to talk about them. I would like to be sure we can launch the program before we talk about the details. I keep my fingers crossed, hoping we are successful.

AACA has several scholarships available to youth who are involved in the hobby. The AACA National office has the scholarship information packet and application form. These are also in the Policy and Procedure Manual (the last section in the Manual) which each Region and Chapter President receives. Applications are due to us by Dec 1st of each year.

In closing, I could go on and on for awhile longer, but will save it for a future communication to you. Remember, we need the youth in our Club and the youth needs us, so talk to them about our hobby and your car.

Yes, AACA is alive and well and I am proud to be a part of this premier club of the world.

"We'll be There" — "God Bless America"

Do Your Members ever ask: why must I belong to AACA?

By Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President-Regions

As the AACA Vice President of Regions I have four Chairmen who work with and offer assistance to Region President's in each of the four geographical Divisions of AACA.

Over the past several months some Region and Chapter Presidents have asked us about what they can tell their members as to the reason that individual members of the Region or Chapter must belong to AACA.

Well, of course the first reason that comes to mind is that this is part of the AACA structure By‑Laws. However, that, alone, doesn't t satisfy a lot of people who counter with, "Why?"

The second thing that comes to mind is a very strong point. It is that our National insurance that covers all Regions and Chapters requires that all members of the covered Regions and Chapters be members of the National AACA. Liability insurance, that is truly adequate, is not easy to obtain for large events like car shows. Properly set up, each event that any Region or Chapter has is automatically covered for liability insurance over and above that provided by an individual's personal car insurance.

That could be personally important to you. the member of the local Region or Chapter. More recently, an insurance company has offered, at small cost, insurance to cover the Regions and Chapters and their officers against suits for other possible liabilities not covered by the general policy. Such coverage would not have been made available had not the Regions and Chapters been a part of such a large Club.

And finally, the inexpensive insurance we all can acquire on our antique vehicles became available in the early 1960's because of the expansive growth of the hobby during those times. AACA was a spearhead organization in that time of hobby growth and continues to be the hobby's leading Club.

These are, perhaps, technical answers to the question, but there is much more. I could go on here and build the value case as to why each member benefits from belonging to AACA, over and above the insurance question, but I've got a better idea. In the July 2001 issue of The Vintage Headliner, the monthly newsletter of the Palm Beach Region AACA, located (where else) in Florida, there is an excellent article by Martin Zobel, Vice President. Here's what Mr. Zobel has to say on this subject:

Why AACA?
By Martin Zobel

I have heard many comments surrounding the question, "Why do I have to be a member of the AACA to belong to the Vintage Auto Club of Palm Beaches? The main answer to this question is "club standardization."

Total membership worldwide of the AACA is 63,000 in 339 Regions and 68 Chapters. For each of these, AACA has one basic set of rules for all affiliated clubs.

AACA has better chapter training for officers of local clubs than other national organizations, bar none.

Need help in restoring a car? AACA has 3,964 catalog books to help you restore to original condition any car that was ever made. (Note: Well now, the number of books is probably not exactly that, and certainly, there are not books to help restore every or any vehicle ever made, but certainly a large number of them....Earl Beauchamp, Vice President ‑ Regions).

In the year 2000, AACA offered five tours, ten national meets and one Grand National. These events provided opportunities for members nationwide to begin the new century enjoying their vehicles.

Want to have a shot at judging automobiles? AACA has guidelines for judging cars that all other national clubs recognize and at least basically follow.

How about the Antique Automobile magazine? It's worth the annual AACA dues if nothing else was afforded you.

Local clubs can receive technical assistance and information on national activities from AACA, and let the Vintage Auto Club of the Palm Beaches do the rest.

Lets brush the chips off our shoulders and all together push for the perfect combination of fun and fellowship.            .

The AACA website: www.aaca.org

By Raymond Fairfield
Chairman-Internet Committee

If you haven't already done so, you owe yourself a visit to the AACA's website, at www.aaca.org. Our Webmaster, Peter Gariepy has done a fabulous job of establishing and maintaining AACA's newest communication tool with our members. But our website is more than a communication tool: it's also a powerful resource for members, Regions, and Chapters. The website provides access to the AACA Library and Research Center, Museum, Videos and films, speakers bureau, and discussion forums. You can use the website's discussion forum to talk to other club members about all aspects of the car hobby. All the club directors and officers are listed (most with links to their e‑mail address). Club merchandise is shown. and links to other related websites and over 60 member Regions and Chapters are there. The entire judging manual is now on the website.

Regions and Chapters wishing to have their club website linked to the AACA website need only contact Peter Gariepy and request that it be done. Regions and Chapters wishing to establish a website can also call Peter for advice and assistance. Peter held a seminar at the Annual meeting this past February in Philadelphia, demonstrating the AACA website and the simplicity in setting up one's own website. Space is available on the AACA server for member Region/chapter websites.

As mentioned above, research requests for the Library and Research Center can now be accessed from the website. Simply print out the form. fill it out, and mail it in. The full resources of the Library and Research Center are available for your use.

Region/Chapter Website Contest

The Board of Directors has approved two awards for Region and Chapter websites. These awards are similar to those in place for AACA newsletters. The awards are intended to recognize the efforts of AACA Regions and Chapters to improve relationships with their members and other antique automotive hobbyists through the use of internet communications. The Internet Committee regularly reviews all Region and Chapter websites that are linked on our website.

Eligibility for the AACA Website Contest includes the following:

  • The website must be primarily operated and maintained for and by an AACA Region or Chapter.

  • The Webmaster must be an AACA member

  • The website must be hosted by the AACA server or linked to the AACA website http:/www.aaca.org.

The contest awards will include, in order of precedence (with the award for excellence being the highest)

  • Website Award of Excellence

  • Website Award of Distinction

  • Website Award of Merit

Criteria for the awards will include value to the Region/Chapter, originality, interest, presentation and layout, content, update frequency; and effective use of internet technology to accomplish the purpose on the website. The awards will be certificates presented at the Annual Meeting to the winning Regions and Chapters. These certificates will be similar to those presented for the newsletter contest.

There will also be a Master Webmaster Award for outstanding individual efforts in developing the Region/ Chapter website. Recipients will be selected only from websites that receive the Website Award of Excellence The actual award will be a plaque suitably designed to commemorate the website achievement.

A single individual Annual Award will be made to a Webmaster selected for overall contribution to the general welfare and spirit of the AACA similar to the existing Ann S. Eady Award. The permanent trophy for this award will be a large advertising spark plug, and will be on permanent display at the AACA Headquarters in Hershey, PA. This award Will be called the Spark Plug Award. This award will also be made at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Your Internet Committee consists of the following members:

Ray Fairfield, Chairman

Peter Gariepy, Webmaster

Ron Barnett

Terry Bond

Janet Ricketts

Brenda Shore

Should you have questions or comments regarding the AACA's website, please contact one of these Internet Committee members.

AACA and You

By Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President-Regions

In this very issue, Martin Zobel of Florida and myself have expressed views on some of the values of belonging to AACA

In past issues of the Rummage Box this year, both President Drake and I have written about new and improved areas that AACA has initiated to benefit you, the membership. Having read those articles, you would now be aware of the introduction of 21 new Chairman supporting five of the Vice Presidents, to help make their areas of responsibility more available to Regions, Chapters and members throughout the Nation. In addition, a Youth Development Chairman was appointed in an effort to develop interest by younger persons

There are 21 volunteer National Directors, with the support of our National Headquarters personnel to deal with all of the needs of our 63,000 members in addition to the newly implemented support programs, seminars at the Philadelphia Annual Meeting and in‑field seminars held each spring. For some number of years AACA has offered scholarship programs and this effort was strengthened this year.

Over the past six years AACA has developed a Website on the Internet that has grown to be significant. There is an article in this Rummage Box that discusses our Web site at http:/www.aaca.org.

There is a legislative program in place, led by the Vice President ‑ Legislation. There are avenues within the AACA structure to pursue and resolve grievances between, most often, buyers and sellers at AACA events.

Although a member may never attend a National Meet, the respect for the AACA judging program is significant in our hobby. The ongoing effort to improve and refine this program within AACA filters down through the hobby as well. It has an affect on programs of other clubs, regional clubs and chapters. It provides a basis for Regions and Chapters to develop judging in their local area.

Among those refinements in the AACA judging system has been the inclusion of the Historical Preservation of Original Features class some years ago, and now, this year, the introduction of the new Driver Participation class. This class isn't referring to the driver of the car or to cars driven to work every day (although that could be the case we suppose), but is meant to provide a place for vehicles driven on tours, restored to a point satisfactory to the owner and so forth.

Imagine the workload at National Headquarters to provide support to all National events; produce the high quality Antique Automobile Magazine; and service members, Regions and Chapters with a myriad of club merchandise. They further service members by handling new members, renewals, and follow‑ups. They support programs such as the Senior Awards, computer recording necessary to deal with these, "I Got A Member" and so many other programs developed over the years to better service you, the members.

An article like this could go on and on, with each Director, each person who labors to serve you within headquarters, or each committee member adding his or her part to what I've written. Needless to say, we can't do that, but let's leave you with this thought. All of these people, all of these programs within the National AACA are like the palm of a hand as they apply to the Regions and Chapters. Regions and Chapters are the fingers of the hand. If the hand gets broken, the fingers can't work. Each finger would lose its root. That is a very colloquial effort on my part to explain the value of National to each Region and Chapter.

Finally, a large number of major individual and Region/Chapter products are available to each and every member of AACA Following are some of these:

  1. top quality insurance for Region & Chapter events and officers;

  2. college scholarships;

  3. a program of Junior Membership;

  4. low cost student membership;

  5. six issues of Antique Automobile;

  6. up to ten National Meets and seven tours;

  7. the Rummage Box newsletter for Region & Chapter Presidents and Editors;

  8. a Speaker's Bureau available for meetings;

  9. manuals to help Editor's and Region Officers, and a youth program guide;

  10. merchandise from AACA Headquarters;

  11. a National Award program for vehicles, individuals. website and newsletter editors;

  12. a support program for each Region & Chapter;

  13. the Library & Research Center;

  14. Iow‑priced member advertising;

  15. and, one of the lowest cost national memberships in the hobby.

66th annual meet:
February 15-16 in Philadelphia

By Michael J. Jones
Annual Meeting Chairman

This coming February the Antique Automobile Club of America will host its 66th Annual Meeting at the Wyndham-Franklin Plaza hotel in downtown Philadelphia. After that many meetings, one might ask‑‑"What could you possibly do that you haven't done before?"

The new annual meeting committee, now in its sophomore year, has been addressing that very question in an effort to make the meeting more interesting and more informative for the membership. We have added new judging schools; new seminars and more trade show exhibitors. In addition, Marcy Jones is working on improving and streamlining the registration process.

Last year we added a "Brass Era" judging School, which turned out to be an overwhelming success! This year we add a Mustang Judging School. These 'new" schools, of course, are in addition to the traditional schools offered in the past.

Dot Bonghi, our Seminar Coordinator, has plans for new seminars on Stanley Steamers, Curved Dash Oldsmobile's and Antique Horseless Carriage Manufacturing. All of above will be in addition to the many popular seminars on critical restoration methods and antique automobile maintenance

Our Trade Show, headed by Ray Fischer, promises to be bigger and better, as we will not have to compete with Atlantic City in 2002. A listing of all past exhibitors and potential new trade show participants will appear in future announcements.

The General Membership Meeting will be held on Friday afternoon and the AACA Museum Auction will take place immediately following the Regional President's Dinner. On Saturday morning First Lady, Joyce Drake is planning a wonderfully entertaining brunch for all of the wives in attendance. The City Tours available Saturday are always a big hit with out‑of‑town members. The grand finale will be our annual National Annual Awards Reception & Banquet being held that evening.

Watch for more information in the Antique Automobile magazine and plan to be with us in 2002! It's your meeting and we want to make it educational and fun for everyone. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments I may be reached by mail at P.O. Box 848, Valley Forge, PA 19482. Phone (610) 666‑5950. My e‑mail address is MjonesO217@aol.com.

it is scholarship time

By Douglas D. Drake
AACA President

The Antique Automobile Club of America will present two different $750 scholarships to college students this year. Please look around for youth in your Region or Chapter who are active in the hobby and in college (or will be in college in February 2002).

The rules require that these youth must be in college during the month the award is given. Scholarship awards will be presented at the February 2002 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. See the chart we have inserted into this issue of the Rummage Box for more information about these awards. Application forms are in the last section of the AACA Policy and Procedure Manual that is sent to each President of each Region or Chapter following the Annual Meeting. Or, call headquarters for an application. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2001

Please consider providing the attached chart insert to your membership,
concerning our AACA scholarships.

Western region & chapter response

By Thomas Deering
Chairman, Regions - Western Division

During 2001 I have been one of the four Division Chairmen, whose job it is to contact an assigned group of Regions and Chapters. My responsibility is the Western Division. I have been encouraged by Region and Chapter responses. They seem to like the newly implemented Divisional structure. My job is to provide help where desired. If I don't know the answer to a question, I am able to get it, sometimes overnight. My e‑mail is: nomadbird@webtv.net

There is a new success story on the West Coast to report to you. Enthusiasm is contagious. Maybe some of my assigned Regions and Chapters or others may read about this one and be enthused at what an idea can bring. Here in California, Robert Tinkey has formed a fresh new Region in the Modesto area. It is called the Modesto Central Valley Region and they are off to a great start. Many will make new friends. Already, the group has hosted a great get‑together in Hollister and made plans for active enjoyment of their collector cars. In fact, l was fortunate enough to drive my Thunderbird 526 miles round trip from Santa Barbara to Hollister to enjoy that activity.

down the road

By John L. Walker
Vice President - Membership

I have been involved with the membership committee and have attended roundtable meetings for the past six or so years. I have heard many comments and ideas from the general membership during these forums. Many of these ideas have come true during the past several years. The roundtable meetings that are held throughout the year are very important to the National Directors. This enables them to hear what is on the mind of the members of our club. Many directors attend these meetings and respond directly to the people who are raising questions and offering suggestions.

One topic that seems to arise at many of these forums concerns how the Regions and Chapters are trying to gain new membership and/or replace dwindling memberships. This seems to be a huge problem for many Regions and Chapters throughout the country. What seems to be happening is that many of our senior members are gracefully aging and have become unable to do the large tasks of a Region. I have attended many Meets and also have been involved in our local Region's Meet and personally know the hard work that is needed throughout the year. There is a vast amount of work involved to hosting a local or a National Meet. One thing we need to focus on is to encourage new membership to join us in our great hobby. Remember that work is much easier is when there are more hands involved.

The following are some concepts that have proven to be successful for Regions and Chapters in the past for increas­ing membership.

  1. Have your local printer print postcards identifying the membership chairperson of the Region or Charter. List the persons' address and phone number. Also, list the time and place of your next meeting or activity. Invite a potential member as a guest to see if  can encourage them to join your Region or Chapter. Place these cards on antique vehicles that attend cruise nights or even if you see an antique vehicle parked on the street. Believe it or not, there are many old car fanatics out there that have no idea of the AACA

  2. There seems to be a generation gap that we are missing in our club. The age bracket of 25‑50 seems to be small in our organization. We want to entice these persons into our Regions and Chapters because they will be the next generation that will take over for those who just may want to retire from the hard work involved in putting on an event. The Regions and Chapters must have activities to entice young families to want to participate and enjoy. At National, we have instituted a cap on any children's meal not to exceed ten dollars. Many of the Regions and Chapters have also followed this policy. Many of the parents will be more prone to attend banquets with a children's meals offered.

  3. Accept the newer vehicles with open arms to participate at your events. Over the years I see less and less of the older iron on the show fields. It is hard to believe that next year, 1977 vehicles are eligible to participate at National events. Many of the younger members can afford this age bracket of antique vehicles. Many of these people started to drive vehicles during this era. I am proud to say I am even one of them. I learned to drive on a 1975 Buick Regal. Cars like that one have now been accepted into AACA for over a year. It may be hard to look at these vehicles and believe they are antiques, but they are. I have heard from some of my elder friends that they remember a time when a Model A was not welcomed as an antique. Now we see less and less Model A's around at the local meets. We must remember, people with these newer cars have the same love as those with the older iron; they love the preservation provided by the Antique Car history.

  4. Have fun and exciting meetings and activities periodically. Most of the successful Regions and Chapters have many tours and parties throughout the year. I could write another article on ideas of how to accomplish this but for now, use your imaginations. Don't wait for someone to volunteer to host an event. Most people will be honored to chair an event when they are asked but will not just freely volunteer. Also make these activities affordable for everyone to enjoy. Many successful Regions and Chapters co‑op their clubs treasury for their membership to participate in these functions. They can do this from the proceeds they acquire from past shows and swap meets.

I have listed just a handful of ideas that you can try at our local Region and Chapter. I hope you have success in growing your memberships. The Regions and Chapters are the backbone of the AACA. They play an important role in the longevity in our Club's existence. I will always remember our part Founding Member, Ted Fiala's comment. "Let the AACA never run out of gas." Lets let his dream be a reality for many generations to come, well into the future. Enjoy the hobby and happy motoring.

youth activity photos needed for Philadelphia

By Jim Cook
Chairman, AACA Youth Program

Dear Fellow AACA Members,

Many thanks to the Regions and Chapters that have submitted information about their participation in programs which involve our youth. For those Regions and Chapters that have not, well now is the time. It is really exciting to read about these programs ranging from scholarships, your Region or Chapter's version of "The Automobile and Its Parts", donating the profits from your car shows to terminally ill children, . . . etc. Keep up the good work! A detailed list of each club's youth activity will be sent to you this fall.

I now have a favor to ask of your organization Perhaps you have had the opportunity at one of the Award Banquets to see the Power Point presentation (a computer generated digital "slide" show). Photos are taken during AACA President Douglas Drake's presentation of "The Automobile and Its Parts", held for the youth at each National Meet. It starts at 1:30 and is scheduled for thirty minutes, however the youngsters are so engrossed in learning about the automobile parts and their function that the program usually runs one and a half hours. These photos are then shown in series. one after another, during the banquet that same night.  It makes for one impressive show. The above photo was one taken during one of Doug's presentations and is but a small sample of those shown at the banquets

Well, we would like to make a similar presentation at next years Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. This is where the favor comes in. If you will take several photos of some parts of the youth activity of your Region or Chapter and send it to me by e‑mail or snail mail, we will make a Power Point presentation at the Philadelphia annual meeting that includes your Region's or Chapter's photo. Digital photos are preferred, but a 35mm photo will do the job. Be sure to identify the event and the people in the photo. Our objective is to make your program known to others within the AACA. We will make a header for the photo that has your Region or Chapter's name. This is a terrific chance to get recognition for your Region or Chapter by your fellow peers, and to see other groups like yours in action.

Thank you for your continued support.

judging school not for judges only

By David Wunsch
Vice President, Technical & Programs

Over the past five years I have been involved in Judges Training and have spoken to many apprehensive participants showing their vehicles for the first time. Their apprehension stems from not knowing what to expect when the judging team arrives to evaluate their vehicle. I have stopped and visited with first timers when I noticed their convertible top being down when it should be up; or when they may have an accessory on their vehicle that could be easily removed; that in place would have cost them points.

Even though we are always looking for new judges, I would encourage all vehicle owners to attend a school, and apprentice training programs, to learn how we evaluate vehicles and see how the system works. Judging schools are offered at most every National Meet and are open to anyone without pre‑registration. Schools are most generally on the Friday prior to a National Meet and the apprentice programs are on Saturday mornings beginning when judging starts. At the schools you will learn about Authenticity, Condition, and Maintenance, as well as how the system works. The AACA Judging Policy is explained in detail. You will receive the current issue of the Judging guidelines. You will receive information on how owners are to supply proper documentation and how to display and reference documentation when a question arises from the judging team.

In the apprentice program we teach the value of a point when taking deductions and how to determine when and how many points should be taken for each component. Our apprentices  evaluate three different vehicles during the program to gain experience in the judging process.

I invite anyone who would like to learn more about our judging system to come and attend a school and apprentice,  and who knows, you may like it enough to become a judge and enjoy another part of the hobby within the hobby.