Laurel Highlands Region
Antique Automobile Club of America


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(Lyrics on CONTACT page - cruise on down & sing along)

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We are Laurel Highlands Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (LHR AACA). We were chartered in June 1992, as a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of antique and classic vehicles. We encourage members to acquire, restore, preserve, and exhibit antique automobiles from brass grills and Model T's to muscle cars of the sixties and street rods.

We meet in Ligonier, PA. at St. James Lutheran Church located at 300 West Main Street and currently under the leadership of the new 2016 President, Tom King. The Region has approximately 85 members from the surrounding area - Greensburg, Latrobe, Irwin, Somerset, Derry, Jeannette, Ligonier and other towns nearby.

We are a very active club. Our monthly meetings are 7:30 PM the first Tuesday of each month and followed by interesting programs from Car related themes to Valentine fun, Crazy Auctions, Truth or Not, Auto Museums and videos of car meets throughout the country, Patriotic themes, and many other varied ideas. Some months we have a covered dish but every month we have dessert and drinks after each meeting. In the winter months, when we put our cars away, we have a bowling league that is called "Car Cruisers" which keeps us together as the snow flies.

Membership in an organized group devoted to your interest is a great way to have fun, develop friendships and gain knowledge. Our dues are $15.00 year. Come out to a meeting or cruise and check us out - -

There are only 2 prerequisites to joining:
A love for classic and antique vehicles 
You must become a member of the National AACA. @ $35.00 year.
The Antique Automobile Club of America, founded in 1935, is the world's largest automotive historical society. It boasts of over 60,000 members and 400 regional clubs worldwide. This is the rule with all regions!

The first step is to join National AACA - click here: http://www.aaca.org/About-AACA/membership.html OR contact us and we will help with the process.

If this sounds like fun & a club you'd be interested in joining -Call Marianne Caruso, Webmaster, for any questions you may have and/or come out to a meeting and check us out.


 "Young" Laurel Highlands Region has hosted two National events. In 2000, LHR hosted the Eastern Divisional Tour which was held at Seven Springs, PA. Touring 400 miles through Altoona, Ohiopyle and Ligonier. Then in 2005 LHR hosted the AACA Eastern Divisional Spring Meet held at the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg, PA



2016 Off & Running - Just us - Our Cars are still hibernating!

February 3 - Our first Meeting for 2016 started with a covered dish at 6:30. The meeting started afterwards with our new president, Tom King, sharing the thoughts and decisions of the board meeting for the 2016 direction of LHR. The evening ended with some Valentine Fun.

March 3 Meeting started at 7:30 with the agenda of the month. LHR won 2 National AACA awards - Award of Distinction - one for it's newsletter 'The Backfire' put together by John & Mary and Antoinette and one for this web site put together by Marianne.

LHR Awards 2015

LHR will be participating in the Ligonier 'Soup's On' for the second year. Chef Ron and members helping won 2nd prize last year. The intriguing program that followed was presented by a fantastic person who was in the FBI for 29 years and now is a member of the force for Missing and Exploited Children. Fantastic desserts followed.

April 5 Meeting was a covered dish. We talked about our one and only fund raiser and  Tom ended with a neatest and 'funest' quiz. He gave us hints in the description of member's car and we had to match the car with the member! Great Fun!!

May 3 Meeting Opened with the usual agenda. Our program was on the 'May Flowers Theme'. A master Gardener, Maryjane, brought many beautiful flowers and talked about the different needs of each. Then followed with beautiful and delicious flowered cupcakes

 May 2016 Off and Running - Us - - And our Cars!

Our annual first cruise/tour for 2016 - we followed Pete in our old cars to a National Guard Armory that houses hundred of artifacts from the Civil War to Present. Followed by our annual club picnic.

June 7 Meeting opened with minutes, treasurer report and upcoming activities. All talked about the tour and what a great time they had. We got rained on for the picnic but Pete had a back up plan - so we all went indoors to a hall next door. Doreen took a bunch of pictures at the Armory and Marianne put them on a DVD and played the fascinating slide show. Then next - Tom’s Show and Tell was a huge success – many members brought neat things for all of us to take pleasure in. Followed by great desserts.

June tour/cruise was hosted by the Kings. They lead the way through the beautiful country side of Ligonier with stops at the Pie Shoppe/Compass Inn Museum. We then went to Country Market and walked around the market, ending at the Witt’s space and they giving us each tomato plants.  Next a quick jaunt to Ligonier Railroad Museum for a photo op and off to Norvelt Golf Club for an absolutely fine time of fellowship and wonderful dinner.

July 5 Meeting It started with a covered dish - and a blessing by Tom with an old prayer that his father recited. Great food - Kudos to our cooks, as always!! Our 8th Annual LHR Dinner was June 26 – It was the 8th successful year! Tom congratulated Ron for a terrific job and fantastic dinner! The evening proceeded with very fascinating stories from our members and their ancestors - how they came to America, where they settled and what they did and how hard they worked to make a living here as people grateful to be in America. This was truly a heartwarming program – gave many tears and some laughter. Many members of LHR attended the National AACA Founder’s Tour July 17-21 in Huntingdon, Pa.

July 24 tour/cruise was hosted by the Caruso's. Saw the Olympic Oak tree from Germany, Heisman trophy, 10 Commandments monument (with great story) unbelievable handmade Christmas train display and lunch at a neat building that served veterans that came through Connellsville, a private car collections of residents, at one of their homes. Then off to Dunbar to hear the history of coke ovens and video of PA Wire Glass Co and historic story of a traveling glass torso sculpture – glass originated in Dunbar, sculptured by famous Suzanne Pascal (in the 60’s), and it traveled cross country and even to Europe – only to end up back in Dunbar in 2015 through the generosity of Donald Trump, who (strangely enough) owned this piece valued at $3 ½ million dollars, he donated it back to Dunbar. (another neat story).  Then, of course, eating at Bud Murphy’s for dinner.

August 2 Meeting took place at 7:30. We welcomed new members and visitors. It was brought up and voted on last month that the Kisic's would purchase hangers that were so needed to compliment the Blairsville Armory antique uniforms. The Caruso's, Kings, and Kisic's presented them to Mr. Kreck. Members talked about the Witts/Donegal Highlands Campground July 9th old car cruise annual event was perfect, as usual. Followed by great desserts.

August 21 tour/cruise was hosted by the King's. 104 miles of fun - Met at K-Mart in Latrobe at Noon – off we went to garlic festival for lunch, walking around other booths and listening to a great Frank Sinatra impersonator. MaryJayne tested Ron with the hottest pepper on the planet. FYI: Red cherry peppers have a 500 scofield unit  - this one that she bought for Ron was at a 2.2 million unit and he ate it without turning red or having to call an ambulance.

September 6 Meeting was opened by Tom with not much on the agenda, as summer is coming to a close. Following the meeting September’s program was presented by Art Long and was so very interesting. His daughter was in Cuba on a business trip and took many pictures of Cuba and their “Old Cars” – but to them – they are new cars or at least their only means of transportation. They are mostly 1950’s and so strangely rebuilt inside and out – but they run and many are used for taxis. The meeting was adjourned and followed by great desserts.

September - There wasn't any tour/cruise for September






  2015 - From the Rear View Mirror

February 3 - Our first Meeting for 2015. It started with a covered dish at 6:30 - with meeting starting shortly thereafter - - then ending with some Valentine Fun.

March 3 Meeting started at it's usual time of 7:30 with the agenda of the month. Followed by video of the "Strange Inheritance" of 3000 old cars being inherited and calendar of car events in Ligonier and surrounding areas and then followed by fantastic desserts.

April 7 Meeting started 7:30 with Pledge of Allegiance, birthdays & anniversaries were announced. LHR participated in Ligonier's Soup's On. Some 50+ different soups are served and about 300 people taste test. We, thanks to Ron Caruso, Chef of LHR, won 2nd place. Other months pending agenda was discussed. May picnic and cruise was finalized. LHR program ended with our annual "April - Is True Weirder than Fiction" with many sharing very strange (true) stories.

May 5 Meeting started with a covered dish - delicious cooks did it again! Meeting followed with final plans for LHR dinner.

 MAY 2015 Off and Running - Us -  - And Our Cars!

May 15 was our tour/cruise. We started out touring Mr. Rodger's Museum and then to a local pub - ending up at a members home for eats, games and fellowship. It was hosted by the Kisick's. 

  May tourMay tour 2 May 2015 tour 3May tour 2015May tour 4May tour 2015 6

June 2 Meeting was led by Vice Prez, Tom King, in Pete's absence. Normal reports and agenda took place. Plans for Al's Tour were finalized and Long's tour for July was in the planning stages. Ligonier's concerts every Sunday are started for the summer and all are asked to bring their old cars and participate. Our program was hosted by Rich Flickinger, who shared about his African Safari with a wonderful video of the spectacular animals he encountered.

June 14 tour/cruise was hosted by Al Wirick. We all met in Greensburg, followed lead car to antique shop, luncheon, Sand Hill Berry Farms for touring the farm and winery, entertainment and then to Kecksburg for an enlightening presentation about the 1965 UFO landing.

Cabin Café June 2015 tour 1Wirick tour 2015 2

July 7 Meeting opened with Pledge of Allegiance by Prez, Pete. Normal meeting agenda with the annual dinner report being that LHR had another great year. Long's tour was finalized in honor of Glenn Frye. 

July 12 tour/cruise hosted by Art & Pat Long. They led us through some beautiful countryside ending up at cemetery and honoring Glenn whom had passed away. Lunch followed at Fat Zackel's.

Julu tour 1Tour July 2015 2July 2015 3

August 4 Meeting was another special covered dish. Tom King officiated in Pete's absence. Everyone thanked Art & Pat for a great idea and tour in Glenn's honor. Next on LHR car cruise calendar is the Ligonier Stroll. Many participate with a whole evening of activities. The Caruso tour/cruise will be August 22 as a scavenger hunt around Ligonier. Call for info. Meeting followed with Ron showing video pictures of Las Vegas Large Classic Car Collection of vehicles for sale. Tom then followed with an impromptu talk about buying and selling antique cars.

August 22 tour/cruise Scavenger Hunt hosted by Ron & Marianne. Antique cars went through deep country roads through beautiful Ligonier picking up and reading clues as 20 members searched for the end destination for a great meal and fellowship at Gilbert's Golf Course. All had a fun and relaxing day.

 LHR Hunt 2015LHR Hunt 2015

September 1 Meeting opened with Pledge of Allegiance. Agenda of the club was discussed.  All agreed that Ron & Marianne's scavenger hunt/tour was a fun time.  Then John & Mary filled in their details for their October 17th  cruise/tour. They are calling it "Reading, Writing and Arithmetic" tour. Tom then talked about the up-and-coming Founder's Tour in Dover, Ohio.

September tour/cruise - Many LHR members joined in the Dover/Canton Ohio Founders Tour September 14-18.

Sept 2015 ASept 2015 DSept 2015 ELHR Founders 2015SEpt 2015 FSept 2015 GSept 2015 HSept 2015 ISept 2015 JSept 2015 K

October 17 tour/cruise was the date of Hargnett's Reading, Writing and Arithmetic cruise/tour. They put together a great day. We toured an old school house with historical background, battlefield and John and friends that work at Greensburg Tribune gave us an 'inside' tour of the workings that puts out a newspaper everyday. This ended at their home for a tour of their retro home and a fantastic meal.

 LHR Hargnett tour 2015 ELHR Hargnett tour 2015 ALHR Hargnetts tour 2015 D  LHR Hargnett 2015 ILHR Hargnett tour 2015 B LHR Hargnett 2015 GLHR Hargnett 2015 H


November 3 Meeting was opened by Pete with Pledge of Allegiance. New officers were announced.The new slate of officers that were voted on and cast for 2015 or are remaining aboard are:
       President - Tom King, Vice President - Pete Highlands
       Secretary - Ron Caruso,  Treasurer - Eleanor Kanick
       Directors -  Elvin Witt, Marianne Caruso and Rick Smith
       Editors -       John & Mary Hargnett and Antoinette Bell

December Christmas party was hosted by Tom & Doreen King at Lakeview Restaurant. It was a perfect evening - weather cooperated here in PA, the buffet was plentiful and the members all getting together for fellowship is always a fun time.  The entertainment was Ron Damico singing classics from the 1955's and 60's. He had the members totally enjoying and reminiscing those bygone years. The officers were presented and the passing of the gavel took place.

The officers for 2016.

LHR 2016 Officers        


   2014 - From the Rear View Mirror

 February 4 - Our first Meeting for 2014. Started with a covered dish at 6:00 - then meeting started very shortly thereafter - ending with some Valentine fun.
Also, in February, Duane Slade, LHR President; Muriel Slade, Backfire Editor; Ron Caruso, Secretary and Marianne Caruso, Board Director went to the National AACA Philadelphia Convention. Muriel and Clay Stoner won Master Editor Award and Marianne Caruso won Award of Merit for Webmaster for year 2013.

March 4 Meeting started it's usual time of 7:30 PM with the agenda of the month. The program after was presented by Amy Tretinik, DPT, of THE pt GROUP Physical Therapy Latrobe 30 office. She spoke on Physical Therapy and Knee Replacement. Walt Henry, of the pt GROUP, also came and added to an interesting and informative presentation.

 April 1 Meeting. We discussed 2014 agenda. At the end of the meeting, Duane asked to step down, for the time being, as he has health issues. Pete Highlands took to the gavel and moved the club ahead without skipping a beat. Plans went into full swing for our 6th Annual Dinner. It took place June 22 @ 4:00 to 6:00PM in the Ligonier United Methodist Church. The members gave of their time and talent to make this a successful event. Any one reading this is welcome to come out and enjoy a homemade Sit-down dinner for $9.00.  After the meeting we had an April Fools Story Time. Members told 'stories' and we had to guess whether it was "April Fools or Truth that is Stranger Than Fiction".  

May 6 - This Meeting was our 2nd covered dish.  Followed by our monthly meeting, President, Pete, asked for members to share about their first car they owned. We had some interesting stories and tales to tell.

 MAY 2014 Off and Running - Us -  - And Our Cars!         

Our first Cruise/Tour/Picnic for 2014 - headed up by Eleanor & Stan - On May 18th we started out early afternoon, touring some interesting museums and shops in Saltsburg and then ending up at Conamaugh Dam for a picnic, tour of the dam and just having fun getting together with friends.

May Cruise/tourMay Cruise/tour 2May Cruise/tour 3May Cruise/tour 4

May Cruise/tour 6May cruise/tour 7May cruise/tour 8May cruise/tour 5

May cruise/tour 9May cruise/tour 10May cruise/tour 11May cruise/tour

June 3 - Meeting started at 7:30. Final details of our dinner were outlined by Marianne, dinner chairperson, along with other club matters. A passionate discussion began about Ethanol gas and how destructive it is to our vehicles and yard equipment. Following the meeting Rob Beck, an owner of Jennerstown Speedway shared of his ideas of bringing back this great old speedway that has been closed for 5 years. He talked about car shows and other events. He asked if we had any suggestions for him.  Dessert, as always, followed.

June 28 Tour/Cruise was hosted by Howard & Bettyann. A group of us explored the Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant area. We went on a "Safari" to a personal home of hundred's of mounted animals, then to West Overton Museum, Lenox Glass and then off to dinner.

Finney Tour 0Finney TourFinney 11 Finney aFinney 12Finney Tour 4Finney 10Finney Tour 9Finney tour 5Finney 7Finney Tour 8Finney 8

July 1 - Meeting started at 7:30. The details of the dinner was announced and what a successful day we had - all working together with great camaraderie. Not much other  business of the month. A patriotic program, hosted by Marianne, followed - A Marine SGT., Chris, who served in Iraq came home with a flag from one of Sadam's castles. He showed it with pride and shared his story. Then another Marine, Bob, shared about his time in the Korean War and the Bloody George Company and how he survived the Chosin Reservoir. God Bless Our Veterans and God Bless America!

July 27 - Tour/Cruise will be hosted by Jerry & Judy Schmidt touring the Indiana and Smicksburg areas. This tour has been cancelled because of date conflicts with a couple of stops. 

August 5 - Meeting of LHR started the evening with our ever-popular covered dish. Meeting was chaired by Pete. Information of future tours/cruises and other events were given. The evening closed with Marianne & Ron presenting a video of "Don't Touch That Dial - The Best Classic Car Commercials from Television's Golden Age".

August 9 - Tour/Cruise was hosted by Ron & Marianne Caruso. We explored the Tarentum and Natrona area. A magnificent church, a bottling Company since 1904 (with samples), a fascinating museum, a coal mine (in a coal car that took you deep into the mine) and couldn't ever forget lunch (in a 1949 diner).

LHR 1 Caruso 8-2014LHR 7 Caruso 8-2014LHR 2 Caruso 8-2014LHR 3 Caruso 8-2014LHR 6 Caruso 8 -2014LHR 4 Caruso 8-2014LHR 5 Caruso 8-2014LHR 8 Caruso 8-2014LHR 11 Caruso 8-2014ComboLHR 12 Caruso 8-2014 LHR 13 Caruso 8-2014

September 2 - Meeting started with our program. Professionals from the Westmorland Archeological Society came out and shared a very interesting program and video on the Indian activity in our area. Our meeting followed their program and great desserts ended our evening together.

 September 13 - Tour/Cruise was hosted by the Highlands. We toured a Jaguar collection and then headed to Stalstown for a Flax Scrutching Festival and ending with a great dinner at the Arnold Palmer Airport Restaurant.

         Highlands pic 6  Highlands pic 1 Highlands pic 2 Highlands pic 3   

Highlands pic 7Highlands pic 5Highlands pic 4Highlands pic 7



October 7 - Meeting started at 6:30 PM. Many of our members joined in the Halloween fun coming in costumes. They did a parade walk around the hall. After winners were chosen we feasted on our last covered dish for the year. Duane then opened the meeting. Among things discussed - we had sign-up sheets for our Christmas parties and the slate for 2015 officers was read. After the meeting we played a couple of Halloween games.

October 25 - Tour/Cruise was hosted by the Kings. No Tricks - Just Treats. We toured an Amish market, nature reserve, Fairview Cemetery - (where, on it's peak you can see Pittsburgh on a clear day) and a fun gift shop. Then off to a fabulous dinner at Foggy Lodge.

Kings tour 3 Kings tour 2Kings tour 1Kings tour 10Kings tour 4Kings tour 8Kings tour 5Kings tour 9Kings tour 5Kings tour 8Kings tour 8Kings tour 12

November 4 - Meeting opened at 7:30. Dues are due. After meeting Veterans Day was honored by celebrating the 200th year of the National Anthem with the story and concert in song with instrument accompaniment.

The new slate of officers that were voted on and cast for 2015 or are remaining aboard are:
       President - Pete Highlands, Vice President - Tom King
       Secretary - Ron Caruso,  Treasurer - Eleanor Kanick
       Directors -  John Kisic, Elvin Witt, Marianne Caruso and Duane Slade
       Editors -       John & Mary Hargnett

December - No meeting.

December 11 - Many of us went to the Cochran House in Dawson and enjoyed a special afternoon - lunch, entertainment, self tour of mansion with all it's rooms beautifully decorated for Christmas and 3rd floor shopping.

December 19 - Christmas Party was at Mimi's Restaurant in Jeannette hosted by the Highlands. Pictures to follow as soon as they are sent to me to post!

             LHR # 2  LHR # 3  LHR # 5                 LHR # 4LHR #7LHR #8 LHR Christmas 1 LHR #9

Passing the gavel onward to 2015            LHR 2015 Board Members
Keep in touch!

Oh, My, 2015 is another year/chapter in our lives closed with many great memories. Our cars are all put to rest awaiting another awakening come spring.




               Old Construction Site

   As you can see, construction of this web site goes back a ways, and I'm not even
close to being done...what's that.... "it can never be done".......Oh my goodness,
                                       what have I gotten myself into?