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A Short History of Car Clubs in the USA

Classic_Car_Club_InteriorTraditional car clubs have been gathering car aficionados for decades now, all with a passion for a certain type of car or driving activity. Car clubs have made their way onto the internet as well, allowing those who live great distances away from each other to be a part of something that brings them close in mind. Some of the original car clubs still exist today, with their specific rule-set, standards and ideals. Most clubs have a specific way that you can become a member, such as by contributing or being involved in their events. In the end, once you become a member, you receive perks for your involvement. This can involve: an event schedule, members-only apparel, car decal, books, discounts, parties, to mention a few. Of course, one doesn’t really need to mention the ability to get together with other people that feel the same way you do about your hobby. Let’s take a look at a three clubs that are still loud and proud, and how they came about.

  • CarClub1To start, let’s look at one of the oldest ones out there, that bring in cars that are even older. The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), was started after frustration with the recently created Antique Automobile derby, being so disorganized. In September 1935 two Derby contestants (who went on to become the founding members of the new car club), sent out a letter, asking other derby contestants if they wanted to create and join a car club. Many agreed, and the next month, another letter was sent out, requesting a meeting at the Automobile Club of Philadelphia. November 11th marked the start of the next annual Derby, and they wanted to be more organized. The meeting was held, and it led to the discussion of the Derby, and more momentously, the creation of the AACA. Over the years, the club grew, and additions were made to the club’s traditions and mission. Overall, though, it still is and will continue to be, the Antique Automobile Club of America.
  • Another veteran club we can look at, is the actual Veteran Motor Club of America. Starting with just 12 members, the VMCCA was founded in December 1938. The first car meet was held the next year, in September, and it involved many motoring celebrities of that time. Slow slowing down through the war, 1941-1945, the club was not abandoned. It continued to grow and now consists of more than 3,000 members, worldwide!
  • The Classic Car Club of America, was created by car hobbyists, who owned and drove cars that were considered “too modern.” So these Cadillac and Packard enthusiasts joined together in 1951, to create this club. As all clubs start out small, the CCCA started the beginning of 1952 with only 25 members. At the International Motor Show, in March 1952, the club exhibited there, and added 75 new members during the show. This number doubled throughout the year and increased exponentially over the years. Now, the CCCA has thousands of members, all happy to be showcasing their classics.

Car clubs are an excellent way for enthusiasts to share their passions for automobiles. They are designed to bring like-minded people together, and have done so for almost a century. So if anyone ever made fun of you for having a toy club when you were a kid, don’t sweat it. We are all just big kids, who like talking about the things we like, with those who like them as well!

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