The AACA grows

An open letter to members and friends

By Douglas D. Drake
AACA President

As we move into this New Year we should each take the opportunity to inventory our lives and be grateful for the many wonderful things we have in this country and world. I know that during this past year, everyone in our hobby who Joyce and I have been with, talked to, or shared the joys of friendship with have developed a new realization of the freedoms we cherish. I think all too quickly we have learned to appreciate the ability to partake in our wonderful hobby that gives each of us the ability to share our interest of cars, meet new friends, and gain a better understanding of what our country has to offer. We are so fortunate to live in a country that gives us the opportunity to do what we want.

During the past 10 months, Joyce and I have traveled over 35,000 miles visiting all parts of our wonderful country while attending AACA National events. In looking back at the many (100+) attractions that were part of the 18 National meets, tours and meetings, we soon appreciated what this country and our membership has to offer. The hosting Regions and Chapters of AACA worked very hard to show everyone who attended their National event a good time. I invite each of you to take this wonderful freedom that we share and get to know your country a little better. One of the best ways that I can think of how to do that is to join in on AACA National Meets, Tours or other events in 2002.

It amazed me that each day we participated on one of the events this past year, Joyce and I always remarked to each other how wonderful the friendships grow and how our minds expand with new found knowledge from visiting the sights, memorabilia, and treasures of both public and private collections of just about anything around our country. Many of the places that are often not open to the public were made available to AACA members attending these events. Once you have the opportunity to visit these special places, you soon have a greater appreciation of the world around us. Almost 30% of the attendees of our seven National Tours and ten National Meets had never attended a previous AACA National event before. The discussions, letters and messages I have received from these new attendees told me they felt welcome, enjoyed the activities and want to come back to another AACA event. Why don't you try one out in 2002?

As I look back at this past year while serving as your President of the AACA. I feel rewarded with some great accomplishments that our club has experienced. We have increased the total number of Regions and Chapters, and doubled the number of Junior AACA memberships. We have successfully launched our new Student AACA A membership. It offers a full membership to students 16 to 25 years old for only $12 per year. The new  Drivers Participation Class had a great start.   This Class allows everyone to bring and have certified their non-modified, 25‑year old driver car onto the AACA show fields, and feel fully welcome. Each non‑modified and certified car receives a special badge at that first event. We established a new group of 21 Divisional Chairpersons this past February who worked directly with each Region and Chapter to led how AACA can make them become stronger. That program has given us direct communication with our Regions and Chapters. We had a full schedule of tours and meets in each of the 4 divisions, My thanks go out to every AACA member who made all of the above things happen, and happen in a quality and friendly way.

I here been overjoyed with the excellent response to my youth initiative this year. The response was so overwhelming from the Regions, Chapters and members that the program is only going to get stronger. We are there and we are going to keep it going. I am convinced that each of you will get more enthused during these next several years. Together, we can each have a part in ensuring a continued interest in our hobby by being completely involved with youth across the country. And remember, youth to us is 40 years old and younger. You will see a lot more about we are doing in the future. We are about to roll out more new initiatives in the next several months. Stay tuned ‑ we need your support and interest.

Within the inner halls of our organization the AACA Library and Research Center, Inc. has continued to become stronger, and a self‑sustaining entity. It has expanded to a second floor this year and has gained its mark in the country as a well‑established and respected center for research. Please utilize it, and if you have a personal treasured collection of books, magazines, prints or automobile literature needing to find a warm new home, please consider a tax‑deductible donation of that literature to our Library. Our AACA Museum, Inc. has also made great strides this past year in preparing the Museum grounds for building our 4.7‑million dollar main museum building, on which  construction will start on April 2002. The Museum is in the process of hiring a Director of Museum Planning and Development, to see that our short and long‑range goals are accomplished. We already have a storage building sheltering over 75 cars. The objective for our AACA Museum, Inc. is to open in 2003. During all this development we must continue raising money for a much‑needed operational endowment fund, and for the expansion of the museum building to the final planned, fully operational facility. Similarly to the Library, the AACA Museum, Inc. is a tax deductible entity that can use the donation of more cars for our collection, cars to be sold for fund raising, and money donations for the building development and operational endowment. If you have it in your heart to donate money or cars, please contact us.

In closing, I invite you to join in to the many AACA activities that are offered to you, and open yourself to meeting more friends with the same interest you share.

Active young adults can be so important to aaca

Let's Introduce You to One

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

You may have seen some of my writing, where I've emphasized our need to interest more young adults with families to become active in our Club at the Region and Chapter level. In 1964, when I was 25 years old, the Chesapeake Region came to me and asked me to be their Editor. I was flattered, and quickly said yes. After many crooks and turns in the road, I find myself, with the support of my wife, Judy, in a national leadership role. I'm still flattered, and both humbled and honored. Now I, like others in a leadership role today, look to you of the next generation to follow us. Then, with your leadership, before you know it Doug's kids will "Be There" to follow you.

Bruce Wheeler, a young man I've only recently met, wrote the following story. His story will, I hope, switch on a new light of enthusiasm for our hobby in others of you who are his age.

Bruce Wheeler is 40 years old, but no stranger to being active at the Region level. His service to the Harford Region goes all the way back to 1994 when he was 33. He and his wife, Di, had joined AACA and the Harford Region in 1991 when he was 30 and she 28. Both have become increasingly involved in that Region's leadership. By 1997 Bruce had become Vice President and he served as President in 1999-2000. Di entered into active leadership in 1996. With the vigor available to a man his age, Bruce didn't wilt after two years as President. In 2001 he "stepped up to the plate" as the Region Editor.

Let's hear Bruce's story, in his own words:

"I was 17 when I "discovered" my obsession with antique vehicles. It began when my grandfather gave me his 1935 Ford pickup before he died. After that, I was an avid attendee of meets and shows throughout the years, including Hershey, although always as a spectator. I was often by myself at these events. It was not until I was almost 30, married, with a child, that someone talked to me about the AACA. My wife Di and I joined AACA and Harford Region  shortly after. It was not until several years after, when we attended the Annual Meeting in Philly, that I really understood that there was more to the AACA. Prior to that, the AACA was just the place we sent our national dues to. Now it's a big part of our past time and lifestyle. I only wish I had known about the AACA earlier.

Unlike some, I was never around antique cars growing up, and it wasn't that granddad was into antique cars, either. It was more that he wanted to give something to his favorite grandson that he seldom got to see, and all he had worth anything was the old, rusty pickup sitting in the old shed on the hill.

One accomplishment I have achieved in the hobby was to get my parents interested in antique cars. Their interest grew as they heard about the events and places that Di and I attended. In 1995 they bought their first "antique car", a 1965 Ford Galaxie XL500 convertible. Prior to this time, Dad thought of a car as nothing more than to get from point A to point B. Now they are active members in the Region. It's amusing when we go places together in the cars. People see the flashy, sporty convertible and instantly think it belongs to Di and I, while they are sure the old, stock 1931 Ford Model A belongs to the elderly parents. Boy, are they amazed when they see us climb in our respective cars and drive off.

The '35 Ford? Yes, I still have it all these years later. after it ignited my interest in old  cars. It is still not finished. I call it my "long term" restoration project. I am no longer "youth" anymore, as I turned 40 this past summer, but I hope to finish the truck one of these years—in time to enjoy it."

Now I 'd like to ask all the rest of you young adults, along with your young families, to begin taking on leadership roles in our Regions, if you haven't already done so.

Let me conclude this article by adding that I believe the future of our hobby is in your hands and, personally, I would welcome the opportunity to shake the hand of each and every one of you. Thank you for, as I like to say, "stepping up to the plate." One day you might have this job, while Judy and I are resting in our lawn chairs.


AACA Museum breaks ground for spring construction start

By John P. Myer
Vice President - Museum

The AACA Museum held a ceremonial ground breaking at the museum property off Route #39 in Hershey, PA on Oct. 9, 2001. Past AACA Museum Presidents along with the current AACA Museum President, turned their spades signaling the construction phase of the main building. Many AACA members along with local dignitaries were on hand for this event.

Actual construction of the three‑level building will begin in the Spring 2002, after all plans and permits are obtained. The approximately 70,000 SF will house several antique buses on the below ground level, along with a food court, temporary exhibits, a small kitchen and storage areas. The main entrance level will feature an octagonal grand lobby, a small theatre, main exhibit hall along with the Cammack collection of 3 Tucker automobiles and other Tucker memorabilia, plus a museum gift shop.

The upper level will house administrative offices, collections of automotive memorabilia and other artifacts. An elevator will travel between all three levels of the building.

The structure is scheduled for completion in the Spring 2003, when the Museum plans to open its doors to AACA members and the general public. Estimated cost for this work, parking areas and entrance road is approximately $4.75MM, with $3.90MM pledged or received to date.

The AACA Museum had several successful fund raising activities in October 2001. A Fund-Raising Banquet was held in Hershey on October 10, where over 600 guests heard NASCAR driver, Bobby Labonte, speak to the guests. The AACA Museum also sanctioned an auction of 62 collector cars on October 12, where 5% of the proceeds were donated to the Museum Building Fund and the Museum Endowment Fund. The Museum and the AACA Library again held a very successful raffle of a 1966 Mustang, with the proceeds split evenly between the two groups.


2002 Planning

By Jeff Locke
Chairman - Regions, Eastern Division

With the year 2001 drawing to a close, it's now time to think about what your Region or Chapter is going to be doing next year. If the year 2002 is going to be a successful one for your Region or chapter then now is the time to make plans to ensure it.

For many groups this is a time of leadership change. You can make the leadership task a lot easier for those who follow you if you will leave them a little something...a notebook. This notebook should contain a page for each event or activity that your group normally has along with an outline of how to make it successful.  Record what you did, forgot to do, would avoid in  the future, recommendations, etc. along with the time & place of the activity this year and any contact information that would be needed next year to set it up. An example might be the Annual 4th of July Parade: where and when to meet, who coordinates the Parade for the city, etc., their phone # and email address, and any gathering afterwards (like a picnic). Your Region or Chapters leadership should build on this notebook each year and pass it on. Future leadership teams will really appreciate this

While we're discussing your group's leadership team... let's train them. Send your incoming President to the 2002 AACA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, February l5-16, 2002. At the Annual Meeting there will be many seminars conducted that will provide mans excellent ideas for your President and others. We start off with the "Regions & Chapters Officers Training School" on Friday morning at 8am. Participants receive a "Training Manual full of ideas they can use (video also available). The majority of ideas expressed at this seminar have come from Regions and Chapters all across the country, often at this seminar. Topics at this seminar often include; recruiting new members and retaining membership, attracting younger members, motivating members, grooming future leaders, activities, newsletters, etc. Other valuable seminars for your club's leadership in Philadelphia include: Regions Activity Seminar, Newsletter Seminar, and Legislative Seminar. Having representation at these seminars will insure that your leadership is well informed, up‑to‑date, and ready to lead successfully in 2002. Many Regions and Chapters feel so strongly about having representation at the "Training School" and the other seminars that they pay part or all of the expenses associated with sending their President to the AACA Annual Meeting.

When you're planning activities for your Region or Chapter next year consider planning one or two events with another club or more. This usually creates a lot of interest and attendance. In the past, we have recommended having a joint activity with another AACA Region or Chapter. That's still a very good idea; especially if you combine driving with eating such as a Sunday afternoon run and picnic. Another very good activity is when your club hosts a non‑car club (with them hosting you the next year). Excellent clubs for consideration here are the "Confederate Air Force" (they restore and fly old military airplanes), Steam Train Clubs, Model Car Clubs "usually comprised of younger boys age 10‑15 who may become so excited about your old cars that the`‑ might become future members), other hobby clubs, etc. We want to suggest now that thou also consider planning an event with another non‑AACA car club such as a Mustang club. Try to arrange a driving activity followed by a food activity. One activity that I have seen work well here is a 50‑mile drive to an automobile restoration shop followed by a picnic or restaurant meal in a private room. At the staging area try to send the cars off alternately (i.e.: one antique, one Mustang, one antique, etc). At the picnic or meal, assign seats by having each person (or couple) draw a table number (this will help ensure a mixture of each club at each table). When the club's members meet each other and enjoy each other's cars you are on the way to a very successful event and perhaps some future members. Good clubs to seek out are the ones that drive their cars a lot and probably have younger members such as Mustang, Camaro, GTO, Studebaker Drivers Club, Corvette, Mopar, etc. Get contact information from your local car club council, from the newspaper, or off the Internet, etc.

Here's another fun idea. Get up a group from your Region or Chapter to drive together to a car show out of town. It's very impressive when a group arrives together. Be sure to wear your Region or Chapter hats, shirts and/or jackets, and take flyers for your own car show or swap meet. For starters, make it a car show that you can get to and back the same day (maybe at most 100 miles each way). Meet for an early breakfast and maybe dinner after the show. You can buddy‑up with another car club and arrive together (AACA or other club); meet them for breakfast or along the way.

We hope these ideas are hopeful in planning your activities for 2002.

Remember, too, that each Region and Chapter now has a Division Chairman assigned to them, to help in any way possible. They stand ready to help with ideas for events or activities, or help in the planning of them. During 2001 the Division Chairman assigned to your Region or Chapter sent letters to your Region President to introduce him or herself and offer any assistance. Their name, address and e‑mail address is listed at the AACA Website at See you on the highways and byways.

Western Division AACA Region offers great scholarship program

By J. Thomas Deering
Chairman, Regions - Western Division

The year 2002 marks the 11th year that the Valley of the Flowers Region, in Lompoc, California, has sponsored one or more students in the Automotive Technology program at Allan Hancock College in neighboring Santa Maria, California. The scholarship is in the amount of $500.00 and is to be used for the first year of study at Allan Hancock College, as an automotive technology major with two auto classes per semester in Santa Maria. It is renewable by semester, and is offered to graduating seniors from the Lompoc Unified School District.

Student applicants are expected to comply with the following guidelines:

  1. During high school the applicant should have completed, or show in progress, reports for at least 12 automotive course units.
  2. Must have maintained a minimum grade average of 2.50 (35% weighted value).
  3. Must show evidence of successful citizenship involvement in school, community activities and/or service (25% weighted value).
  4. Must submit a written statement of educational and career goals (20% weighted value).
  5. Must submit three letters of recommendations, two of which must be faculty members of the Lompoc Unified School District (20% weighted value).

A selection committee within the Region, which includes one member who is a retired faculty member, reviews the above requirements.

There are a couple aspects of this program that set it apart from the traditional scholarship program sponsored by a community service organization. The most obvious difference is the orientation toward educating the student for ultimate employment in a service field where attractive, stable employment is a reasonable certainty. The academic requirements are somewhat less stringent than those for traditional scholarships in the Arts and Sciences colleges. And finally, everyone, including the student, the sponsor, and the community at large can realize measurable results within very few years.

We may all feel a sense of pride in having such a generous, caring group of people representing AACA on California's central coast.

Sell the AACA dream

By Chuck Conrad
Member, AACA Regions Committee

Those of us who have been around AACA for awhile tend to take some of our major club events for granted. It seems we attend them all the time and they've simply become part of our lives. They're actually pretty special. It's up to us to let our newer members know how extraordinary they are. Most have never been on outings such as Hershey, the Glidden Tours, the Founders Tour, or even visited one of our National Meets.

Do they want to? You bet! Unfortunately, the realities of everyday life make these very difficult goals for most people to attain. It's up to us to keep their dreams alive. For a young family with an average of 2.2 kids, two jobs, one mortgage and one old car which is also a "daily driver," there usually isn't enough time or resources available to allow them to find out what the National level of AACA is all about. We're all dimly aware of this problem. At one time or other, we were probably in the identical position ourselves. It's amazing how quickly we forget, and that's a mistake.

Sometimes younger people in the hobby ask, "Why should I be a member of a big car club like AACA? I just want to hang out at the cruise night." That may be a fair question for now, but those of us who are a bit older know how our tastes and interests change as we mature. Their interest in cars will probably never go away, but the way that interest is channeled is something we, as a club, can help direct.

Everybody has dreams. In fact, these are often these are often the things that keep us going. Sometimes the pursuit of the dream is much more fun than its actual realization. If you have ever chased around looking for that "perfect" car, you know what I mean. Sometimes people's dreams are pretty simple, like, "What kind of fun will my whole family enjoy?" Sometimes it's a little more long range, like "Boy, when those kids graduate, I'll be able to do some of the things I've always wanted to do." In either case, the answer is as simple as "AACA." We can help people with their dreams and goals by exposing them to some of our great national activities. This doesn't mean you have to take every new member on a Glidden Tours. It's much simpler than that. At your next local meeting, take a couple of minutes to talk about your latest visit to a National event. You can also informally "hold court" anytime. You don't need a meeting. Any gathering of old car nuts can be a great place to be an ambassador for the Club. The important thing is to share your great AACA experiences with others. You could even write an article for your club's newsletter relating your latest adventure at a National activity. Or, how about borrowing one of AACA's videos or films featuring some of our National events? I showed an old Glidden Tour@) film at one of our local meetings, and now I find our members are enthusiastic enough to host a National Divisional Tour here in Texas. It's become their dream to host a terrific event. Enthusiasm is very contagious. All you have to do is dream about it.

your members great newsletter material

By John M Hart, Jr
Chairman, Communications Subcommittee of the Regions Committee

There's no doubt the majority of newsletter editors within AACA have the love of antique automobiles at the top of their list and the finished product produced every month naturally reflects this common love.

There is hardly a newsletter produced that does not have at least one picture of an automobile on its cover. But all too often we are missing a much more interesting story for our readers.

There are mane Packard automobiles being collected, for instance, but what really sets apart one Packard in the Hershey Region from one in the Dixie Region is the person who owns one. It's the personality that can give us a truly great and interesting story to tell.

Now I know most newsletter editors are not necessarily professional wordsmiths and many shy away from the task to taking pen to paper to conduct an interview with a featured Region or Chapter member. That's where the secret weapon comes in ‑the spouse.

Let's face it. no one knows more about a husband than his wife or a wife than her husband. It stands to reason that the spouse is the logical source of information ‑ and usually more information than you can possibly use.

The Scranton Region is taking a look at a new monthly feature in its publication, The Klaxonet. Region President Tom Jordan has suggested that in addition to giving a new source of material to the publication, the individual selected by the editor each month would actually not know anything about his selection until the publication reaches the street. Then, in an effort to boost morale in the Region, the spotlight member would also be honored at the monthly meeting with a citation or plaque designating he or she as the member of the month.

And remember, creating interesting information for your newsletter is only a click away. The Internet literally opens the world for you and your readers. Ever wonder where the rubber fir tires comes from? What about the latest information on the manufacture of synthetics to better protect our pods chariots. How many of our members would love to find out more about what's hot at the Detroit Auto Shows? Click away editors.

Region and chapter presidents encouraged to visit Philadelphia

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

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any of our Region & Chapter Presidents who can, to attend the AACA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. If you received an invitation to the Friday night Region & Chapter President's Dinner and you are no longer the President, please remember to pass the invitation on to your successor.

This weekend of seminars, the Annual General Meeting and other events gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn more about AACA and your hobby.

I hope to see you there.

legislative alert

By J. Pat McCann
Vice President - Legislation

The U.S. Senate has before it a Bill that could be a horror story for old car enthusiasts. The Senate Bill number is S. 1766, and the particular horror section is Section 803.

This Bill, if passed, and signed by President Bush, would make Federal Tax dollars available to individual states to help them fund the scrappage of old cars and trucks. I don't think we want our Federal tax dollars to be used for a "cash to crush" program that would turn our future automotive history into a "lost horizon".

What must they be thinking about? This certainly might be the time for you to write a letter to your Senators and Congressman.

At the Philadelphia Seminar on Legislation. I will be discussing this Bill. I hope many Region representatives will be on hand to hear it.

Computer generated meet registration cards now available

By Joe Vicini
Vice President - Class Judging

We are planning to have Meet registration materials available on this Website early in 2002. To receive registration material for Meets on‑line, you will need to use the PIN number that appears on your 2002 membership card, and also on the address label of the January/February issue of the Antique Automobile magazine. The PIN number begins with a letter, followed by 4 numbers, and is found on the right side of your address label and membership card. After entering your PIN, you may download the registration cards and print them out. The card is then filled out and forwarded   directly to the Meet registration chairperson. This procedure eliminates the time and expense of requesting the registration card from National headquarters. Although we plan to institute this registration capability for Tours as well, in the future, the software to do that is not yet available.

What if you do not have the capability to download the registration forms from a computer? You don't have a computer? Don't worry, you can still sign up the old way.

great "stuff" to be offered at museum auction in Philly!

By Mary Neff
Chairman, Museum Auction

Yes, it's 6th Annual AACA Museum Auction and it happens on Friday, February 15, 2002.

As in past years, the auction will be held in conjunction with the AACA Annual Meeting, this being the 66th of its kind. Again this year the Annual Meeting will be held at the Wyndham-Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.

The Museum Auction will begin at 8:30 PM. All proceeds benefit AACA Museum, Inc. We would lice to have donated items from Regions and Chapters, along with individual member's donations. Every item, whether large or small, will help bring us closer to seeing the AACA Museum become a reality.

You may bring your auction items to the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia or mail to:

AACA Museum Auction
501 W. Governor Road
Hershey PA 17033

Please indicate your name, address, phone number, and value of donated item. For further information, please contact Mary Neff at 717‑533‑6423 or email at