The Rummage Box - August 1997

A Great Season So Far!

Samuel H. High, III
President, AACA

With the summer car season more than half over and Hershey just around the corner, I would like to take a few moments and reflect on the 1997 season.

It seems as if it were only yesterday we were traveling to the winter meet in Venice, Florida, where the skies were sunny and warm as it has been for all of the meets so far this year. Every meet this year has been uniquely different and each has had an "extracurricular" tour or seminar; a car assembly plant tour, a Canadian fur trading fort from the 18th century, baseball bat manufacturing, and tours of our nation's capital and zoo are just a few of the events which we have enjoyed.

As Linda and I travel to all of the meets and tours this year, we are reminded of the wonderful friends we have made through the years in the AACA. We look forward to renewing these friendships in years to come and will anticipate with great pleasure motoring to all future meets and tours.

Participation at the National Meets and Tours by YOU, the members of the AACA, help to make this the greatest antique car club in the world. With several meets and tours now remaining, do plan to attend and enjoy all aspects that a meet or tour has to offer. We hope to see you on the road, at the meet site, judging, or motoring (in the right direction) on a tour.

Volunteers Needed for Hershey Membership Trailers

Nancy Dunn
Vice-President, Membership

It will soon be time to set the schedules for our Membership Trailers at Hershey. Those of you who have helped in the past have performed a valuable service for AACA, and have found it to be a great deal of fun.

The trailers will operate on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 9, 10, and 11. Trailers will be in the same locations, one opposite the Car Corral and one at the foot of the Showfield. Shifts will be 8-10 AM, 10-12 Noon, 12-2 PM, and 2-3 PM each day.

Please drop me a note and tell me which day and shift you prefer, with a second choice if possible, and include your phone number. I will do my best to accommodate you and will notify you of your schedule by return mail. Please keep in mind that Saturday is the most difficult day to cover, so I will be particularly interested in those who will help during judging hours.

One important thing to remember: When you work at the Hershey trailers, if you are participating in the I GOT A MEMBER program, your sponsor credit is for the current year, even though the members are purchasing a membership for the following year, in this case, 1998. The reason for this is that the IGAM program runs calendar year, January 1 through December 31.

My address is in your Antique Automobile magazine, or you may phone me at (803)553-9628. Thanks to each of you!

JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP - How Your Club Can Help

by Nancy Dunn,
Vice President, Membership

Our Junior Membership is now just over 100 strong. We are seeing promising growth, with more activities planned for young people at our meets and tours, both locally and nationally. Junior have now received the first tow issues of "Wheels", and we are receiving interesting stories of their participation in our hobby.

Our Regions and Chapters can take steps to insure the success and growth of the program, and we hope each of you will consider what your club might offer the youngsters in your area. One club, for example, the Central Connecticut Region, has taken some positive action to enhance membership in AACA for its young people. The Board of Directors voted to pay the first year's Junior Membership for children and grandchildren of the club's members in good standing. The Region provides special activities for their young members, and when they assist with their local meet, they are presented with certificates of appreciation. The group brought a program to a middle school, providing automobiles, speakers, and various publications to be distributed through teachers to the students, who were studying the "Roaring 20's". They consistently distribute applications to the public in a variety of ways.

While many of our Regions and Chapters are working in similar ways for our Junior Members, others have written for information on what they might do. Many of you have donated funds to the program, and for all of this, we are grateful. If YOUR club has not begun a program for Juniors, we urge you to do so. The Membership Committee offers some good ideas for getting young people involved. Please write to me for a copy. My address is in the Antique Automobile. As for the applications for Junior Membership, I can mail them to you, or you may request them from Headquarters.

Our young people need our assistance, our guidance and our encouragement. Will your club give some thought to supporting, and increasing, the numbers of our valuable Junior Members? These young people are counting on us, and we must not let them down!

Juniors at Hershey

by Nancy Dunn,
Vice-President, Membership

The Second Annual Junior Hobby Display at the Hershey Fall Meet will take place on Saturday, October 11, from noon till 2 PM. In a new location, the display is again limited to the first 50 pre-registered entrants, at a fee of $2.00. Look for more information and entry forms with your Fall Meet Brochure.

Good Public Relations Makes Friends

Earl Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President Public Relations & Communications

Have you ever considered the value in making friends with members of other regional clubs in your state? How about the members of other non-AACA clubs in your state? Probably not, but there is a really good reason to practice this sort of public relations.

Some of the ways to accomplish across-the-lines friendship is by attending club events held by other regions, and asking their members to come back to yours. Seeing and visiting with these other auto enthusiasts at various events from time to time can become an increasingly pleasant experience. You may even begin visiting one another from time to time.

Another important across-the-line activity is for your President, Editor or other officers to meet and occasionally discuss old car issues in your state with the officers of other AACA Regions/Chapters in your state.

In addition to making friends, the exchange of information such as the location of cars or parts in other areas of your state or just reviewing restoration practices can be a real benefit to you.

There is one more important value in your Region's President being friendly with other AACA and non-AACA club Presidents around your state. Suppose local government in one section of your state begins a practice which is detrimental to automotive collectors in that area, and that practice threatens to spread to your area. If Presidents know each other, it will be easier for them to work together to accomplish a common goal.

The willingness of Regional Presidents in Virginia to become friends and work together has had an important impact to the benefit of Virginia hobbyists in the last two years. Various Region members joined together under the leadership of John Stone of the Waynesboro-Staunton Region and he led the Virginia Contingent Tour to Dearborn, Michigan.

Virginia Regions also joined hands to effect passage of statewide legislation friendly to hobbyists there. During that campaign it was also possible, through letters, articles and testimony to promote a better atmosphere of understanding among the legislature and general population as to the value of our hobby to the community. New members may even join as a result.

We believe the camaraderie we achieve through such events can greatly increase the feeling of belonging among AACA members in a given state or area. The results that can be achieved by good communication between the Regions reflects good public relations practice. Additionally, the likely friendships that often result between individual club members of different regions can do nothing but good.


Jeff Locke
AACA Legislative Committee

You can do a lot!

In today's atmosphere of political, social, economical, and environmental unrest it is easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the uncertainties that face our hobby, and the enjoyment of our hobby by ourselves and, in the future, by our children and grandchildren.

So you might be asking yourself, "What Can I do?" You CAN do something, you can do a can write a letter...maybe two, maybe three...maybe more.

What do you say...and who do you say it to? Here are my three rules of correct correspondence:

1) Always write your letters with a pen. Never use a computer or typewriter because, as studies have shown, this is considered impersonal by the legislators who read it and if they construe your letter as a possible form letter they will completely disregard it; whereas they sincerely appreciate a hand written letter and value each such letter as the equivalent of 100 votes.

2) Write what you feel. Tell them that you are concerned about the hobby you love and hope that they will take no actions that could jeopardize your enjoyment of the hobby. Tell them why you love the hobby, what antique cars mean in the history of America and your community, what your greatest enjoyment of the hobby is, why you feel that it's important to be able to continue to enjoy these vehicles just as we do today, etc. If you and your vehicle have ever participated in any events that supported the community, a local school, college or church, or demonstrated patriotism tell them about it

(when, where, and what). Never, ever threaten a public official in any way whatsoever; even to say that you will never vote for them again or organize voters to unseat them. Never, ever say that you are representing any other persons than yourself. You are one person... expressing only your own opinion. Never say that you represent any region/chapter of AACA. Never, ever send a form letter or copy of a letter. Make every letter different. Make a photocopy of each letter before you mail it and keep a copy for your reference; you'll want to review it before you write to this person again in 3-6 months.

3) Send letters to all public officials who represent you: the President, your US Senators and Congressmen, your State Representatives, and your local, community leaders. Certainly you've heard others indicate that the President, and US and state representatives are the number one target for such a letter writing campaign, but I feel that it is now imperative that we focus a part of our effort on local officials; particularly if we want to have a voice in issues such as zoning, local registration fees and personal property taxes, etc. To get the names and addresses of all those who represent the local newspaper, tell them where you live, and ask them to provide you with these names and addresses. And don't forget your local mayor and city council members.

Always it is discipline that separates success from failure; discipline yourself to hand-write two letters each and every week to some of the above people.

Now that we've got a plan as individuals let's do something as a club. November elections are coming up! Let's invite an elected official to some...most...all of our club activities. Let's start by inviting the Mayor (or his representative) and some city councilmen or other local elected officials, along with any state officials we can find (up to 4-5 couples) to our next local club event We should invite them as guests (we pay) and not to speak before us (a few words of welcome or thanks would be okay...but tell them that no speeches are expected) and we should assure them before hand that they will not be put on the defensive regarding our concerns about our hobby. (Hint: don't invite Democrats and Republicans to the same function; keep them away from each other so they'll concentrate on our hobby and not each other).

Let them see why we love this hobby and its role in American history. Let them see our cars, ride in our cars, participate in picnic car games, meet our members, etc. and I'm sure that they will become our (political) friends.

What kind of events? Any kind where we have our cars: parades, picnics, dinner meetings, car shows, tech sessions, Annual Banquet, etc. With November elections coming up, any event on your calendar is a good opportunity to invite any candidate.

If we do this over and over and over, (not just at election time) we will make important friends and allies over and over and over.

Don't forget the power and wisdom of working with other AACA clubs in your area. In Virginia a recent grass roots effort through all the AACA clubs in the Old Dominion Association (a non-governing association of clubs working together to preserve and improve our hobby) resulted in the removal of antique cars from the list of items subject to personal property tax.

Here is an idea that would require a small investment; send every elected official you can identify a copy of your January newsletter (the one with a summary of all of your activities of the previous year).

Last, but not least, what else do you think that we can do together to protect our hobby?

Lloyd Davis
VP Legislation
P.O. Box 311
Port Tobacco, MD 20677

Believe me, it's no exaggeration to say that this is a very critical time for the future of our hobby. And it's no exaggeration to say that every hobbyist is a soldier in this war...a very well armed soldier, because now you know just what you can do. Now go do it!

Body Bags and Bandaids

Terry Bond
Assistant Vice President, Publication

Body bags and bandaids - sounds like the scene of a large-scale disaster, but what I've described is the area surrounding my favorite chair in the den. It's where I sit to read all of the AACA Regional publications coming in for our annual Newsletter contest.

The "body bag" is the little plastic envelope that the post office uses to wrap what's left of your newsletter after automatic sorting equipment is finished acting like an office shredding machine. I have noticed one common trait among newsletters received in "body bags". They are all folded over and secured with a staple. It seems that there are two problems with this process. First, that nasty little staple frequently jams up the sorting often leaving behind only the outside page, or half of it in the equipment and causes the newsletter to self-destruct, with the address intact. Who knows wher the remainder of the newsletter goes? The other problem is that the two open ends of the newsletter are prone to getting folded back to at least the point where the staple holds everything together. From there, the newsletter again tends to self-destruct.

You've put a lot of work into your newsletter and you deserve a fair chance at any recognition for your efforts. You can help make sure your newsletter gets properly judged by using a round sticky label to hold it together instead of a staple. Better yet, use two - one at each corner and lessen the likelihood those hungry post office sorting machines will catch an open corner.

OK, so what about the bandaids? Well, if you stop using those staples, I won't keep poking holes in my finger tips when I try to open those newsletters!

Tidbits From Your V.P. Regions

Earl L. Muir,
Vice President, Regions


I want to thank the regions and chapters that followed the guidelines and submitted their Officer Reporting Forms and Rosters to the AACA National Headquarters to date. However, to this date we are missing quite a lot of ORF's and Rosters. We would like to be able to list your current President's name in the back of the Antique Automobile magazine, and also know how many members your regions and chapters have. We would also like to be certain we are sending the Rummage Box to the right people. This is very difficult to do when you do not REPORT. Please try to locate the forms that were mailed to your region or chapter at the beginning of the year and fill them out, or just make a list of your present officers, newsletter editor and your current members, with AACA membership numbers and mail to Antique Automobile Club of America, P.O. Box 417, Hershey, PA 17033.

EDITORS (Newsletter)

My hat is off to the newsletter editors for the terrific job they are doing. When I read about one hundred and fifty newsletters a month (as a member of the Publications Committee), I can tell if the snow is all gone in Minnesota or the ice is all melted in North Dakota. The antique auto seasons are a little short in those northwestern areas, on the other hand, Florida and Southern California (and other warm areas) can enjoy their antique autos all year long. Several aspects of the hobby show up in these great newsletters. The progressive eating tours seem to be a big thing now, also the cruises seem popular in a lot of areas, they are all antique, RIGHT. The automobile was made for our use and enjoyment, so have a great time enjoying the hobby.

A couple little notes to the editors, please check your calendar entries for correct dates. Please check my address, it should be Box 82, not Box 370. My mailman has a hard time trying to find Box 370, since my Box 82 is in Pennsylvania and Box 370 belongs to a man in Alabama. The newsletters are great, keep up the good work, I appreciate all your hard work.

Please try to get the Rummage Box information out to your members. There are a lot of good articles in this issue for their use.

REGION & CHAPTER (Applications & Membership)

If there are any chapters out there that would like to become a region, call me for applications. If any region or chapter members out there know a group of antiquers, try to get them involved with your own region or chapter or encourage them to make application for a region or chapter of their own. The Antique Automobile Club of America is the best. The benefits are unlimited, a real bargain for the money. Anything I can help you with, please call me at (412)238-4487 or drop me a note (address on page 1).


AACA has a Speakers Bureau available to regions and chapters for your meeting and banquet programs. There is a Speakers Bureau Chairperson in each of the four divisions of AACA. If you already use this service, let them know the results. Your president or editor should have a list of speakers who are available in your area. Anything the Regions Committee can help you with, please let us know.


Thanks to all contributors of articles for this Rummage Box. Thanks to all AACA Region Committee members, and to all the members of AACA. Have a great summer showing and touring and ENJOYING A GREAT HOBBY.

Radial Tires

This year the radial tire is 49 years old. It was first introduced in 1948 by George Michelin as a commercial tire.

The radial technical breakthrough brought the costly production change-over in the tire industry. In fact, more than 50 tire manufacturers went out of business or became bankrupt.

While the introduction of radials put turmoil into the industry, the tires found consumer acceptance for a few big reasons: (1) Doubled tread mileage; (2) At least 10% better fuel economy; (3) Better starting and stopping traction; and, (4) Probably another great factor, was the improved handling and cornering.

The radial is so named because its reinforcing cords run at 90o angles to the wheel. Then, in order to keep the tire body from flattening under the load, a restraining belt is placed over the radial cords running around the tire and under the tread, as we say in the antique car business, nothing is really new. The first radial ply construction dates back to 1913 when the concept was first patented by Christian Hamilton Gray and Thomas Sloper of India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works in Silvertown, England.

Further development of the radial tire was at a virtual standstill because of World War I. After the war, Michelin started the development of the tire and the French Car (Citroen) was the first to use the steel belted radial. Since this was patented, other european tire manufacturers turned to textile belted radials which were superior to bias tires and less expensive to produce than steel belted radials. Pirelli took the lead is this area with its rayon belted radial.

In the 1960's Uniroyal followed Michelin's lead by developing a steel belted radial. Then, one by one, other european based tire manufacturers joined the move to the all steel radial.

But it wasn't until the 70's when radials received the blessing of Detroit automakers. This was mainly due to the fuel crisis in 1973 and regulations to increase fuel economy imposed by good old Uncle Sam.

Bias belted tires dominated as original equipment up to 1973 then faded very rapidly until today when virtually 100% of the sales are for radials, except for temporary spares.

Coker Tire has available several new catalogs on tires and includes new additional sizes available in radials for your antique cars. Coker Tire is also planning on coming out with their own brand of radials in the near future.

However, a word to those wishing to enter their cars in competition for national AACA awards - even though companies are introducing antique replacement tires in radials, AACA does not recognize them and they will be considered incorrect when judged at an AACA National Meet.

From a program presented by Coker Tires to Earl Muir's Region in May 1997.

Editorial License

Pat Locke, Editor
The Rummage Box

Editors, this issue brings you lots of "clipables" for your newsletters, some timely and some timeless. Thanks to the contributors for sharing! I received six requests for reprints on the collectibles series but haven't been bowled over with offers of other material to share. Don't be shy! I'm going to see what I can glean from the Publication Committee's batch of newsletters in awards compe-tition for more offerings.

Presidents and Legislative Representatives, this issue brings you information to help your region and chapter members make their voices heard on legislative issues.

Now, if you're not a Region/Chapter Presi-dent, Editor or Legislative Representative and you're receiving The Rummage Box, it's probably because your president hasn't sent in an updated ORF (Officer Reporting Form). Contact AACA Headquarters at P.O. Box 417, Hershey, PA 17033. Let's keep the lines of communication open. THANKS!


From "The Distributor", newsletter of the Wildflower Region, Waco Texas, Jan. 1997

Compare an Antique Automobile Club to an Antique Automobile. A vehicle is made of many parts which fit together in a precise manner to make the vehicle run smooth and have an aesthetic appearance. It also provides entertainment, fellowship, flexibility, and mobility. The Antique Car Club fits those same characteristics as it, too, is made up of many parts - the members - which need to work together to form a smooth running club. It also provides enjoyment, fellowship, community involvement, and promotes the awareness and love of Antique cars.

Let's start with a foundation - the frame and tires. The Antique Automobile Club of America forms our framework with guidelines and provides us with a firm foundation and great tires to travel on today's changing highways. The AACA, its library and museum contain the history of the automobile, the knowledge, and the expertise to aid us along our journey. It is a strong foundation/ frame.

Next, we need a steering wheel - a president - to steer the vehicle along the road, avoiding potholes and bumps. He will inspire and direct to keep the vehicle (club) focused on maintenance of a well oiled machine. A spare tire (president-elect) is also essential. This "spare" tire fills in for the president in emergency situations and takes over the steering wheel the next year. The spare tire is really a misnomer because in the event of a flat tire from that unforeseen hazard in the road, a spare becomes very important.

Naturally, this vehicle needs headlights and horns - the competent secretary/ treasurer. A secretary who keeps records of the vehicle (club) and records the minutes of the meetings to light the way for all activities and plans. All good drivers keep records of oil changes and other maintenance. With his horn, he toots efficiently the financial status to assist in decisions concerning the budget. The vehicle will not get far without a motor - the diligent members. The membership, like the motor, is the heart of the Club/Vehicle. You are the special ingredient who makes it all worthwhile by attending meetings and participating in not only the meetings but also in the numerous functions. The Distributor (our newsletter) carries information to the motor (members) coordinating the action of the pistons and creating a smooth running motor. The distributor cannot do its job without information from all parts of the motor.

Fuel - that other necessary item - is provided by the members also. It manifests itself in ideas, enthusiasm, knowledge, friendship, attendance and helpfulness. This fuel is high octane and makes this motor hum down the road. The gas gauge indicates the amount of gasoline or number of members who actively participate and new members who bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the club.

Do not forget the seats. You really need a place to sit while driving down the roadway. Since we are a comfort loving people, the wonderful members (usually the ladies) provide refreshments of coffee, cold drinks, cookies and other delightful treats to keep the club as comfortable as the most elaborate seats.

A road map (newsletter) is another nice part of the equipment which provides the driver with information. The newsletter compares to the road map as it jogs our memory for the meetings and reminds us of upcoming events and allows us to "see" down the road. All drivers like to be aware of the road ahead. It allows the members who were unable to attend a meeting to remain informed. Hopefully it is also entertaining.

All of these components are held together with the body. There are many colors and styles to tempt us, such as classic, antique, hot rods, or other specialty groups but all are made up of car enthusiasts. Members also come in all shapes, sizes and races but have a common bond - an interest in older vintage vehicles.

Another extra feature is the improved highway system with its roadside parks which provide comfort and safety. The Roadside Park gives us the opportunity to stretch our legs during a long drive to prevent accidents. These breaks also give us time to reminisce about the last stretch of road and reflect on past events and current friendships.

The Antique Automobile is well cared for as it is expertly polished and shined and proudly shown-off at civic affairs, club meetings, or tours and totally enjoyed. The Wildflower Region Antique Automobile Club is a finely tuned vehicle that hums down the road. With everyone's enthusiasm, energy, expertise, encouragement, and efficiency, it will continue to flourish.