AACA Speedster – August 2022

August 2022 | Volume 164
My Positive Experience with AACA’s Oral History Project
By Phillip Cole, AACA Member, [email protected]
I was probably one of the first AACA members to sign up for the Oral History Project, and I just have to share that I found it to be quite a positive experience. 
Having already read the information in Speedster and Antique Automobile about the project, I guess you could say that I knew what I was getting into. Also, I knew already that Wayne Tuck is the current President of AACA, so the postcard with his name was no surprise. The lady who answered when I called to give my history did a good job explaining the details of the project and the costs to order. She was patient with me when I hesitated during the recording. As she asked a couple of the questions, I had to think a moment about my responses. I suppose it would have been helpful to know the questions ahead of time – that might be the one change I would make to the project. 
At any rate, later I received a message verifying my order and how to go online to finish up my information, actually hear my recording, and yes, to pay. Listening to the recording, I was surprised by how much I had covered and was especially pleased I had mentioned how my grandfather and others were such an influence in my love for old cars.
When this project is completed, it is my understanding that a kiosk (or something) will be placed at our AACA National Headquarters with my history and others. And thus, as it was stated in Antique Automobile, the stories of AACA members will carry far into the future.
Central Fall Nationals Results
THANK YOU to all of the volunteers, judges, staff,
property staff, AACA Board and all of our wonderful
members who participated in the show in East Moline, IL! 
And a very special THANK YOU to the
Mississippi Valley Region for hosting a great event!
Click the above link to view the winners list.
Enjoy these photos courtesy of Brittany Haas, Director of
Exposition & Sales at Bend XPO, and make sure to read
the official recap article and photos in the November/December
issue of Antique Automobile magazine…
IMPORTANT!!! 2023 AACA National Board of Directors Election
In the September/October edition of Antique Automobile is a postpaid ballot for the 2023 Board of Directors election. It is your ONLY ballot and must be filled out according to the instructions or it will not be counted.
Please read the biographies of all the candidates listed in the magazine and vote for the 7 of your choice. Our candidates this year come from widely different backgrounds, so please give serious consideration to those who match your ideas of what is important to the future of the club. All ballots must have 7 names selected or they will be considered “not valid” and will not be counted.
Your ballot must be postmarked by November 15, 2022.
Hershey is Less Than FIVE Weeks Away!
Will We See You in Chocolatetown?
Eastern Fall Nationals
Hershey, PA
TUESDAY, October 4 – FRIDAY, October 7
The Hershey Region AACA invites you to make the pilgrimage to antique car Mecca this October. Come join the more than 250,000 visitors who come each year to experience Hershey. The Hershey show is considered the largest true antique car show in the world and includes a flea market with over 9,000 vendor spaces, a car corral with about 1,000 antique cars for sale and culminates in a great car show with 1,000+ vintage cars on display.
If you registered for the flea market or car corral, you can expect to see your packet with your windshield stickers and instructions sometime the first week of September.
If you registered to show your car on FRIDAY, you will need to pick up your packet on the Chocolate Field at the FOLDER DISTRIBUTION tent located next to the Hershey Region main tent. The FOLDER DISTRIBUTION tent is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Packets will also be available for pick-up on Friday morning at the show vehicle entrance behind the Giant Center.
WE NEED JUDGES!! Judges’ registration for Hershey is open online here. Here is a link to the last Judges Newsletter, which includes the Hershey registration form. HURRY! The judges’ registration deadline is September 16.
If you have questions, please email [email protected]. If you have questions regarding the car show, please send an email to [email protected].
Important 2022 Hershey Reminders
Show will run Tuesday, October 4 through Friday, October 7
Flea Market set-up will be Monday, October 3
Judging School will be Thursday, October 6, at 2 p.m.
Judges Breakfast will be Friday, October 7, at 7 a.m.
Car show will be Friday, October 7
Come Visit AACA at the Hershey Show
AACA merchandise will be at these locations in the flea market:
Chocolate Field in our blue trailer – C3H 5-7, C3I 5-7 (Tuesday – Friday)
Green Field in front of the Giant Center in a large white tent (Tuesday – Thursday)
Note: Official Hershey poster artist David Snyder will be at the blue trailer location
selling and autographing posters Tuesday – Thursday.
AACA merchandise will be adjacent to the show field
in a large white tent on FRIDAY during the car show.
AACA membership will be at these locations in the flea market:
Chocolate Field in front of our blue trailer – C3H 5-7, C3I 5-7 (Tuesday – Friday)
Green Field in front of the Giant Center in a large white tent (Tuesday – Thursday)
Chocolate Field C3G 5-9 (Tuesday – Thursday)
Note: Wayne Carini will be at the C3G 5-9 location on Wednesday.
He will be available for autographs, photos and selling copies of his magazine.
AACA membership will be adjacent to the show field on FRIDAY during the car show.
New memberships and membership renewals will be taken at these locations all week.
AACA Headquarters building, including the AACA Library,
will be open to the public Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Don’t forget about the Library yard sale on
Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. behind AACA Headquarters!
Car Corral Spaces, Ladies Luncheon & Juniors at Hershey
Car Corral Spaces WILL Be Available at Hershey
There will be a LIMITED number of car corral spaces available onsite at the Hershey show. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to enter a car into the car corral, you will need to show up at the show at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4. You MUST be a current paid AACA member. The vehicle must be 25 years old or older, you must be able to drive the vehicle on to the car corral and the vehicle must be AACA compliant — no hot rods allowed.
Ladies Luncheon at Hershey
The Ladies Luncheon will be held at the Hotel Hershey at 12 noon on Thursday, October 6. If you need transportation to the Hotel Hershey, please check with Mac or Marianna at the Hershey Region main tent on the Chocolate Field to make arrangements prior to 9 a.m. Thursday morning.
Juniors at Hershey
Juniors at Hershey is a project of the Hershey Region Youth Committee. Join us for the 24th Annual Junior Display for youth of all ages. The event will be held on Friday, October 7, from 12 to 2 p.m. in front of the Giant Center. The Hershey Region Chuck Wagon will be on display.
Redwood Empire Region Annual Picnic
By David Chiotti, Santa Rosa, CA, [email protected]
The Redwood Empire Region of AACA, located in Santa Rosa, CA, celebrated their 46th Annual Picnic on July 31, 2022. Fifty members and guests enjoyed the day of perfect weather and togetherness. It was also wonderful to see all of the magnificent automobiles our members arrived in that day. Along with a potluck table, a hot dog and hamburger BBQ was served. After lunch, the raffle tickets were drawn. The door prize is a “door,” plus half the pot. The door has been with us since 1984 when it was instituted by then Club President Mike Fancchi. The lucky winner gets to store it until next year.
Honk, Rattle, and Roll Celebrates
Long-Time AACA Member and War Hero’s 100th Birthday
Submitted By Tom Collins, Murfreesboro, TN, [email protected]
Written By Rita Sutcliffe; Butch Roth, Sparta, TN, [email protected];
and Tom Vasser, Brentwood, TN, [email protected]
Photos By Arlene Timbs, Club Photographer, Murfreesboro, TN
The AACA’s Honk, Rattle, and Roll Car Club from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, gathered on Saturday, April 9, to recognize, honor, and celebrate long-time AACA member, Honk, Rattle, and Roll Car Club member, and World War II hero, Jim Sutcliffe, on his 100th birthday! Jim was born on February 13, 1922.
Jim Sutcliffe joined the AACA in the early 1960s, and has attended the Hersey car show every year, but one, from 1964 to 2021, and is making plans to attend for 2022. Jim Sutcliffe’s love for machines began with his fascination of airplanes. He tells the story of paying 50 cents to take his first plane ride as a boy in a two-seater Waco biplane flown by a barn storming pilot at the county fair. He became so taken with airplanes that in high school he built and flew gas-powered model airplanes and ran a model airplane business from his bedroom.
His other big love was cars, and his first car was a blue 1939 Plymouth business coupe, which he was obliged to sell when he was shipped overseas. He always looked for another car like it, but not until Hersey 2021 did he spot and purchase a blue 1939 Plymouth convertible sedan, one of only 18 known to exist.
In 1943 with the World War II raging, Jim Sutcliffe was granted a six-month army deferment due to his work in the aircraft industry, and he used that opportunity to marry Ola Smith of Clarkrange, Tennessee. Jim was inducted into the army in November 1943 and sent to Macon, Georgia, for infantry training. Half-way through the training, Jim was hospitalized for a severe cold and had to start his basic training all over again. Jim believes that this cold saved his life because the training delay caused him to complete his basic training too late for the D-Day Invasion. 
However, the severe cold did not keep Jim out of the war in Europe. His troop was sent to France and was involved in the Falaise Gap Battle in August 1944. The German solders retreated to the opposite side of the Meuse River and began an artillery barrage. They were then able to zero in on Jim’s location. He had just moved away from an angry ant hill next to his leg. Moments later shrapnel shredded the edge of Jim’s pants and wiped out the anthill only 8 inches away from him. This was one of many small decisions that would save his life again and again.
When Jim and his comrades crossed the Meuse River, they marched into an ambush, were captured, and were sent to Stalag 7A by train. Forty soldiers were loaded in each train car, which allowed nothing but standing room. During the several days that the soldiers were being transported, American bombers dropped bombs very close to the train. Jim and his comrades were shaken-up, but still alive.
The prisoners were held in crowded conditions, only let out to do work repairing railways and sorting mail. Jim and his fellow prisoners tried to do as little as possible, and undo as much as possible, without attracting attention. The food was mostly cabbage and sawdust bread. Jim traded some items of his Red Cross package, like cigarettes, for eggs or a roll, to supplement the meager fare.
As the Allies closed in at the end of the war, another danger arose from the possibility of being bombed by mistake. The post office where the prisoners worked was bombed at the close of the war, and Jim was one of the lucky ones who got out. At the very end of the war, even the German prison guards were called up for frontline duty, and the prisoners waited unguarded for the Allies to arrive. Finally, after spending eight months as a POW, Jim was liberated when a few GIs rolled into their prison camp in jeeps.
As Jim returned home and sailed into New York harbor and the land of the free, he told the Statue of Liberty, “If you ever want to see me again, you will have to turn around!”
Jim and Ola set up house in Wayne, Michigan, where they raised two children, Rita and Barry. Jim worked for the Wayne-Westland School District as Superintendent of Transportation and Superintendent of New Construction until he retired in 1980.
With retirement, Jim was finally able to devote himself to classic car restoration, and his first major project was to restore a 1932 Buick Country Club coupe that was a national prize winner in its class. He also restored a 1915 Saxon, a 1947 Chevrolet truck and a 1960 Triumph, as well as tweaking a 1953 MG and a 1938 Buick. The Triumph restoration had waited 40 years for him to finally get around to it.
When Jim and Ola relocated to Sparta, Tennessee, in his wife’s native state, the move required the sacrifice of several cars waiting for restoration, among others: a 1929 Franklin, a 1937 Buick 90 Series Limo, a Singer and two 1938 Buick Centuries. However, Jim said it was worth it to meet a new group of antique car friends and enjoy the many local car shows.
It was such an honor to attend and meet Jim Sutcliffe, a passionate classic car lover, a real-World War II hero, and a great American from “The Greatest Generation.” Lots of thanks to Butch and Stephanie Roth for organizing and hosting this 100th birthday event at their beautiful home in Sparta, Tennessee. Also, as a side note, there was another birthday celebrated on this day. Butch and Stephanie Roth celebrated the 100th birthday of Hershel, their 1922 REO T6 7-passenger touring car.
AACA Library Yard Sale is Back!
By Amoi Goldman, AACA Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator, [email protected]
Exciting things are happening at the Chris & Kathleen Koch AACA Library & Research Center this fall. After a two-year hiatus our famous automotive literature yard sale is back. In conjunction with the Eastern Fall Nationals, the yard sale will be held Tuesday, October 4, from 4-7 p.m. in tents behind the AACA National Headquarters building at 800 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033.
Our staff and volunteers have been working diligently to prepare duplicate automotive sales literature, manuals, books and more for the return of the yard sale. Special this year is an amazing collection of duplicate materials from the Free Library of Philadelphia purchase. Please join us and show your support for the AACA Library. We look forward to seeing you!
If you would like volunteer to help with the yard sale or have questions, please call 717-534-2082 or email Amoi Goldman at [email protected].
Free Seminars During Hershey Week
By Amoi Goldman, AACA Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator, [email protected]
This year when you visit the Eastern Fall Nationals in Hershey be sure to attend a seminar at the AACA Library. You will not want to miss this opportunity to rest your body and activate your brain with these automotive topics:
October 5 at 10 a.m.
Alexander Soultanis presents, “Resurrection of a WWII KdF-Wagen Beetle”
In this seminar, Alexander Soultanis will share the remarkable restoration story of his 1944 KdF-Wagen Beetle type 82e. Soultanis has dedicated over twenty years to this ongoing project even though he has faced many significant challenges. This quest has taken him overseas to find answers, get parts and to meet others who share his passion for the KdF-Wagen Beetle. Through his experiences Soultanis has become a subject matter expert. This seminar will appeal to VW enthusiasts, those interested in antique automobiles and restoration, and anyone who enjoys a captivating personal journey. For more information, visit the KdF Registry website maintained by Soultanis.
October 5 at 2 p.m.
Ronald Sieber presents, “What is a Speedster: A Discussion”
Ronald Sieber is the author of Classic Speedsters and writes a blog about the topic on his website. The content of Sieber’s seminar covers material from his book, blog, as well as current events. The time span for the presentation topic is 1900-2020 (and beyond). Sieber will have copies of his book for sale at the presentation ($80). More information regarding the book can be found on his website. The AACA Library & Research Center has been an important resource for Sieber.
October 6 at 10 a.m.
Pat Mescher presents, “How to Repair, Maintain and Calibrate Speedometers”
As owner of Bill’s Speedometer Shop in Bellbrook, Ohio, Pat will demonstrate how he repairs, maintains and calibrates speedometers. To learn more, visit his website. Pat Mescher was also a presenter at the 2022 AACA Annual Convention in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
All seminars will take place in the classroom adjacent to the library, on the second floor. Each seminar is free and will accommodate up to 45 participants. Questions? Call 717-534-2082 or send an email to [email protected].
Black Swan Antiquities to Hold Extended Hours During Fall Hershey Week
By Matthew Hocker, AACA Librarian, Cataloger & Volunteer Coordinator, [email protected]
If you plan on attending Fall Hershey this October, you are probably geared up for hunting down all sorts of automotive treasures. Black Swan Antiquities, a local antique mall and friend of the AACA Library, will be having extended hours Monday, October 3, through Thursday, October 6 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dealers will be looking for automotive objects to stock their shelves, and you’ll also want to be sure to visit the AACA Library’s booth for automotive books, literature and more.
For more information on Black Swan Antiquities, be sure to visit their Facebook page or call them at 717-867-4400.
AACA Bookmobile Visits Hershey Public Library
By Amoi Goldman, AACA Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator, [email protected]
As part of the AACA Library’s outreach efforts, the bookmobile was invited to the Hershey Public Library on August 9 for the last day of the Friends Annual Book Sale. The AACA Library was represented by Amoi Goldman, Reference Librarian, and Bob Terpak, Library Volunteer, who transported the bookmobile and met with visitors. People of all ages enjoyed seeing the bookmobile. Some visitors remembered bookmobiles from childhood and specifically visited the library that day to see our bookmobile. One family visited AACA National Headquarters directly after learning about it from Bob and Amoi at the bookmobile. The Hershey Public Library was pleased with the outcome and has invited us back with the bookmobile for future events.
2023 AACA Annual Convention Call for Speakers Extended
Have you ever thought about speaking or putting on a seminar at the Annual Convention? Well, now’s your chance! If you would like to be a possible speaker, please fill out this form and send it in no later than September 15.
Have an idea for a workshop? What topics would you like to hear a panel of experts discuss? This is YOUR Annual Convention, and we want to know what you want to learn about. Please email Stacy with your seminar ideas and/or speaker suggestions (membership, leadership, chapters/regions, marketing, cars, technical, fun, historical, ladies-focused, etc.).
The 2023 Convention will be held February 9-11 in Williamsburg, VA.
Please scroll all the way to the end of Speedster to find the answer.
Trivia Question
In 1963, what car company was defined by the following observation… “It’s not a factory. It’s a laboratory.” Or in these terms, later that same year… “Other car makers have customers. This one has fanatics.” 
A California Ranch Truck’s Journey East
(aka Kathleen’s Trip to Semi-retirement)
By Cathy Schairer, Rockville, MD, [email protected]
This is a member submitted story.
My husband, Lou Harrington, long coveted my sister Lissa’s 1972 Chevy C-10 long bed fleetside pickup truck that she used on her 45-acre ranch in the mountains near Tehachapi, California. When Lissa decided to sell her ranch, Lou offered to buy the truck, which hadn’t been used in three years and was no longer running. Lissa graciously sold it to him for $1.00. We named the truck Kathleen in honor of Lissa’s partner, who first purchased her.
The next challenge was getting Kathleen back to Maryland where we lived. It just so happened that about this time we were planning to attend a family wedding near Los Angeles, about a four-hour drive from Tehachapi. Why not get Kathleen in running order in California, fly out there for the wedding and drive her back to Maryland? Lou sleuthed the internet, found a suitable mechanic in Tehachapi, and we made the decision to drive her back, notwithstanding some trepidations.
We had Kathleen towed from the ranch to the mechanic four months before the wedding. Between his regular work on big rigs, the mechanic did a total tune-up and transmission service, drained and cleaned the fuel tank, repaired and recharged the air-conditioning, rebuilt the carburetor, replaced the fuel lines and fuel pump, the battery, the water pump, thermostat, radiator belts, hoses, all tires, windshield wiper blades, and installed a tonneau cover. After all that, the only real problem we had was starting Kathleen after a night’s rest. The gas pedal had to be pumped vigorously, very vigorously, to get her started. The gas gauge also broke after we hit a rough spot in the road, but we only ran out of gas once!
We took the famous two-lane Historic Route 66 from Victorville, California, to Springfield, Illinois, and then hightailed it home to Maryland on major highways. We rambled through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Sometimes Route 66 ran parallel to major highways, other times it became one with them, and sometimes it wandered off on its own. We saw stunning scenery, small towns, big cities, wonderful murals, defunct businesses, thriving businesses and memorabilia from its heyday as the major road west for migrants from the Dust Bowl and later from the East to Southern California. We took some detours to the Grand Canyon and Tucson in Arizona and to the Laura Ingles Wilder Historic Home in Mansfield, Missouri, but mostly we stayed close to Route 66. 
For automobile enthusiasts, the road was a delight. The electric vehicle display in the Arizona Route 66 Museum in Kingman, Arizona, featured electric cars ranging from the Custer Car Chair produced between 1916 and 1933 to provide seniors and World War I veterans more mobility to the 2011 Stanford University Solar Race Car, a 375-pound vehicle that is powered entirely by the sun. The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma, had artifacts, signs and memorabilia from Route 66 history, organized by decade. Our favorite town was Cuba, Missouri, proclaimed the “Route 66 Mural City.” Murals of bygone days adorned many of the buildings along the route. Our last stop on the Route 66 leg of our trip was Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois, where he lived before becoming president.
Kathleen was a great conversation piece throughout the trip. We shared the driving duties. At one point after lunch, I got behind the wheel and some truckers who had been sitting at the next table good-naturedly asked Lou, “Are you going to let her drive that thing?” Kathleen was a big, powerful and muscular truck. A wag once said of vehicles like Kathleen that “it could pass everything but a gas station!” What fun it was to show her off! We are so glad we put our fears aside (and those of our family) and took the trip. We had a blast!  
We want to hear from you! We are always looking to feature articles from AACA members in Speedster. We’d love to share your personal accounts of tours and shows you have attended, restoration projects, unique vehicle stories and history, and any other stories you think other AACA members would enjoy hearing about.
Stories should average about 500 words or less. And, we love photos, so make sure to include some! Please send your photos and stories to Stacy Zimmerman at [email protected].
Multiple Scholarships Available Through AACA
Application deadline for all scholarships is November 1
Click the links below for more information and to download the applications for each scholarship.
(formerly known as the AACA Student Scholarship)
A cash award is granted by the AACA National Board of Directors to encourage young adults to further their education and stimulate interest in AACA and automotive history. One or more awards may be presented each year.
A cash award to an AACA member (student or regular) who has been accepted into an accredited institution of higher learning or is now enrolled in such institution, i.e. a four-year college leading to a bachelor’s degree or a two-year vocational education program leading to a degree. Applicant must be nominated by a Region or Chapter of AACA and must be no more than 25 years old. This award is merit based, and while financial need may be considered, it is not a deciding factor.
A cash award to any AACA member (student or regular) who has been accepted to an accredited institution of higher learning or is now enrolled in such institution, i.e. a four-year college leading to a bachelor’s degree or a two-year vocational education program leading to a diploma. Applicant must be no more than 25 years old. This scholarship is granted by the AACA National Board of Directors.
Louise (Bianchi) Chiotti was born on June 11, 1914, in San Jose California. The family’s first automobile was a 1926 Dodge sedan. Her two younger brothers purchased a 1939 Studebaker and took delivery in January 1939. They wanted to give it to Louise’s son Dave in 1956. His mother thought it too big of a car for a fifteen-year-old in San Francisco and talked him into buying a 1930 Model A Ford coupe. In 1959 the little Ford was a bit slow, so Dave purchased a 1959 Ford convertible. As Dave sat on the running board of the Ford waiting for the new owner to arrive his mom came and sat next to him. “You really don’t want to sell it do you?” she asked. “No, I don’t” was my reply. “Then don’t,” Mom said. Dave and Marilyn Chiotti still own the Model A; it is a Senior and First Place Grand National Award Winner. The 1939 Studebaker came to the Chiottis after spending 40 years under a walnut tree. It is now a Senior and First Place Grand National Award Winner. The 1926 Dodge was cut into a truck for ranch use in the 1940s. Dave brought it home in 1976 and built a Woodie. In 2000, they donated it to Luther Burbank Home & Gardens in Santa Rosa. After Dave and Marilyn’s uncle’s passing, they acquired their 1968 Cadillac El Dorado. It now lives in the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA. This $1,500 scholarship is based upon the same rules as the Automotive Technology Scholarship and is awarded as funds are available. It was instituted and funded by Dave and Marilyn Chiotti as a way to honor Louise and a way to continue to support youth in the hobby.
A cash award to any AACA member, child or grandchild of an active AACA member in good standing for a least 5 years, who has been accepted to an institute of higher learning or is now enrolled in such institution. The award is granted by the family of John and Janet Ricketts in recognition of their love of AACA and their belief in service to the club. It is also in recognition of our first female National President Janet Ricketts in 1999.
A cash award to an AACA member currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning leading up to a degree in antique automotive restoration.
How do I apply?
Completed applications should be returned to:
Debbie Nolen, AACA VP Youth Development/Scholarship
5805 Centralia Rd, Richmond, VA 23237
REMINDER: All scholarship applications are due by November 1 and will be awarded at the AACA Annual Convention in February.
Official 2023 AACA Calendar Now Available
The AACA Calendar is always a hot item this time of year, so be sure to order yours before they are gone! This 13-month calendar runs from January 2023 to January 2024 and highlights AACA National Activities in addition to moon phases, all Federal Holidays and many other observances. The best part of the annual calendar is getting to see the fabulous member cars showcased each time you flip the month. At a cost of only $12 postpaid, these calendars also make great, inexpensive gifts for all of the car-lovers in your life!
To order, please call AACA Headquarters at 717-534-1910 or go online to the AACA Store. An order form will also be included with your next issue of Antique Automobile magazine.
It’s Never Too Early to Order Your Holiday Cards
AACA Christmas and holiday cards are an annual tradition for many members. These beautiful 5×7 cards feature artwork from renowned artist Ken Eberts, whose paintings have graced Antique Automobile magazine covers. This year, we have two new designs…
“All the Presents Are Loaded
in the New Mercury”
1954 Mercury Monterey
Inside: Season’s Greetings
“Christmastime at Pop’s Station”
1953 Ford F100 pickup and
1949 Mercury station wagon
Inside: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
The cards come in packs of 12 and include envelopes. Each pack is only $12 (plus shipping). An order form will be included with your next issue of Antique Automobile magazine. You can also purchase them in the AACA store on our website or call AACA Headquarters to place your order (717-534-1910).
Membership Corner: Seven Ways to Attract People to Your Club
By Charlotte Dahlenburg, AACA National Membership Committee Member, [email protected]
Many people choose to join a club based on relationships—family, friends, people they know and trust who invite them, club members who extend genuine hospitality toward visitors and their interests. When initiating a relationship, the goal should not be to get them in the club as fast as you can. Rather invite people to become part of an outing of the club as a way to develop relationships. Most people first come to a club because of a relationship they have with someone who already belongs. Emphasize that knowing and having a relationship with the person must come before an invitation to join.
1. Play off people’s passion and strengths. Connect with people based on what you know or are willing to learn about them, their interests and their needs. Some people are looking for advice on a restoration, some are looking to purchase a particular car and some are looking to simply spend time around other car people. When reaching out to people who are not part of your club, know them or about their vehicle(s) well enough to share how being a part of a car community might enhance their lives, project or search.
2. Get out and visit. Have your membership team visit other clubs. Let them experience firsthand what it’s like to be a guest and to feel like an outsider. They can bring back ideas of what to do and what not to do that can improve your own welcome program. Never stop trying new ideas to engage with visitors.
3. Welcome to the meeting. The first few minutes of someone visiting your club are crucial. I can’t stress this enough. When visitors walk into your meeting, the welcoming effort is just beginning. A club brochure or National brochure will give people an insight as to who you are and will help to open conversation with new people. Introduce your visitor to as many people as you can or connect that person with someone in your club with similar vehicles or interests like touring or showing vehicles.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up. You have invited friends, family and people you have met in the community to your meeting and your team has welcomed them, but you don’t want to stop there. If you don’t follow up with your visitors, you run the risk of not connecting with them again. Collect an email address or phone number and then make sure you follow up in a timely manner.
5. Your website creates an impression. The first impression you make with any potential visitor may very well be online. Many people who are thinking about joining a club will search online for information before even thinking about stepping foot into your meeting space. To create a good first impression with your online visitors, here’s a list of information you MUST have on your club’s website: location, directions, meeting times, what to expect and contact information. Don’t take this information for granted. These are the most commonly searched questions by visitors. If you need to, ask someone who’s not familiar with your club (even if it’s a family member or friend) to check out your website to see if they can easily find what they would look for if they were planning on visiting. If you promote your club’s website, people will come. When it comes to promoting your site, there are different tactics you can use, such as posting about it on social media, including it in your club brochure or adding it to your club business card. These will all be helpful in the short term. The most effective thing you can do though to turn your website into a tool that regularly leads new people to visit your meetings is to optimize your website for search engines. This is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO). Claim your local listings (e.g., Google, Bing).
6. Advertise on Facebook. Do you know where most people in your community socialize? If you guessed social media, you’d be correct. Practically speaking, to reach people in your community, your club needs to consider advertising on Facebook, since just having a Facebook Page no longer cuts it. It’s not expensive. It doesn’t require a ton of technical expertise. And it’s not like sending a piece of direct mail—it’s hyper-targeted. You don’t have to sign a contract with Facebook or commit to spending thousands of dollars. You can test a short-term campaign for little money and see what type of results it generates.
7. Personalized invitations. Stop. If there’s just one thing you take away from this article, let it be this point: Most people will attend a meeting or event if they’re invited by someone. There are no other outreach events or tactics you can use that can even come close to matching these results. Don’t believe the hype from other ideas. Asking someone is still the single best thing your members can do to reach more people. In the business world, this is known as word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s just as effective. I know technology can make it feel easier to reach more people (like social media advertising), and it’s definitely worth pursuing, but don’t overlook the importance of challenging your club members to personally invite people. Cruise-ins, club picnics, car shows and other special occasions are ideal times to invite people who are not members. Personal invitations are excellent for encouraging participation. Encourage your club to interact with others at events like cruise-ins, cars and coffee, local shows and displays. Encourage members to carry business cards with club information, brochures, membership applications and the car cutouts provided by AACA National (email Karen White to order these free for your club).
The ideas are endless, so there’s no need to stick to an annual event unless you’re experiencing consistent results. Feel free to mix up what you’re doing to reach different people in your community. AACA and your local regions and chapters have so much to offer to the community. Get out and explore new ways to get the word out about the many ways we can connect and enhance lives through our clubs.
2023 AACA Membership Renewals Start Soon
By Karen White, AACA Membership Department, [email protected]
As most of you know, your AACA membership runs for a calendar year – January 1 through December 31. From about mid-September through the end of the year, AACA Headquarters gets a little crazy with membership renewal phone calls and mail. It’s not uncommon for us to receive several hundred renewals in a day. Even though it’s our busiest time of the year, making sure we get our 45,000+ members renewed is always our top priority.
Look for your first opportunity to renew your membership for 2023 with your September/October issue of Antique Automobile magazine. A renewal form will be included with this issue of the magazine. Simply fill out the form and send it back to the office with a check or credit card information.
If you’re going to be at Hershey, you can also stop by the AACA trailer or tent and renew your membership in person with us.
We look forward to seeing or hearing from all of you very soon!
Absolutely LAST CHANCE to Order Your Official AACA Car Sign for Hershey!
This is the only approved AACA car show sign and is intended for use at AACA events. These signs are only available to AACA members and are custom created to tell your vehicle’s story and history.
Signs are 16.5″ tall and 12″ wide and are made of hard plastic to withstand the elements. The signs cost $45, and an image can be added to your sign for an additional $5.
If you want your car sign for the Hershey show, this is your LAST CHANCE to order! All orders MUST be received by September 6. There will be no shipping charge on your order because you will pick up your sign on Friday on the show field at the AACA merchandise tent.
Contact Jon Curtis at AACA Headquarters if you would like to have a sign made: [email protected] or 717-534-1910.
Schedule a Tour of AACA National Headquarters & Library Research Center
Would your AACA region or chapter like to visit?
What about any of the other car clubs you belong to?
If you are planning a tour or day excursion for a group near the Hershey area, why not include a stop at our building as part of your itinerary? We even have a back patio with picnic tables where your group can host lunch. 
If you would like to book a tour, please reach out to Amoi Goldman, AACA Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator, at 717-534-2082 or [email protected].
Do You Know a Military Veteran Who Would Like to be an AACA Member?
The Military Sponsorship Program is available to all of the Military Veterans that have proudly served to protect our homeland and freedoms. With this program, AACA is extending a limited number of complimentary 2022 memberships for first-time AACA applicants. More information on this program and an application can be found on the AACA website under Join/Renew and drop down to Military Discount, or simply click here.
These complimentary 2022 memberships are for first-time AACA applicants and are limited by the funds available for this program. These complimentary applications for membership are intended for individuals who have a genuine interest in the antique car hobby.
Be Social With Us
AACA hosts online forums! AACA hosts a massive online forum area on our website that you can read and/or join in on the conversations on all sorts of topics. People post some really interesting material and pictures on an everyday basis. If you haven’t used the forums before, just use the sign-up button in the upper right corner to create your user account. Anyone can join the online forums and it’s completely free.
AACA has Facebook! AACA has an official Facebook page for club information and events. We also have an extremely active Facebook group, where group members post, ask questions and discuss everything and anything car-related. LIKE our Facebook page and ask to JOIN our Facebook group. Don’t forget to connect with the AACA Library on their official Facebook page as well.
AACA is on Instagram! @antiqueautomobileclubofamerica 
Be sure to use these hashtags: #DrivingHistory, #AACA, #AntiqueAutomobileClubofAmerica, #Hershey, #AACAHershey, #AACAproud, #AACAstrong
Trivia Answer
Founded in 1919, Citroen remains one of France’s most memorable car companies and is well known for avant-garde engineering and radical innovation. Front-wheel drive, unibody construction, hydropneumatic suspension, aerodynamic efficiency, steered headlights, speed dependent-self centering power steering and much more were all part of the company’s outstanding empirical portfolio.
The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the country’s premier resource for the collectible vehicle community. Since its formation in 1935, the Club, through its national office, publications, and membership, aids individuals, museums, libraries, historians and collectors dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of automotive history.