Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA)

Capt. Mike


Want to see some beautiful, fully restored to "out the factory door" original spec VWs? Try one of these Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) shows near you.

They are always free and typically run 1100 to 1530 hrs. on the show date. Most have other activities & vendors a day or two before. An old VW is becoming a common entry as more reach that official AACA antique age of 25. PS: Many, like Hershey, have 'for sale' car corrals, too. Bring you check-book; leave the wife at home!

Most will have local advertising. The AACA national site will have a full schedule -- I may have missed a couple like West Coast that I have no chance to get to. They will also have more info sources & links to the sponsoring Regions. Their site is Anyway, hope to see you there. You won't regret a visit.

AACA Museum sponsored Exhibit @ Pamyra, PA -- June 3rd

AACA Grand Nationals @ Montoursville PA -- July 15th [The Grand Nationals are a once-a-year best-of-the-best type show. Entries must have already won a Sr. National First place just to enter. True museum quality vehicles.]

Hershey PA -- 1st or 2nd weekend of October is the biggest! Typically 1500+ cars; often that many again in the car corral. Nearly 20 MILES of vendor booths of every conceivable car related parts, accessories & memorabilia. Vendors will start to open Oct 2-3 days early.

When you go to the AACA National site, you will also find a host of Regional and local shows & events. Regional shows may not be as large and some cars will be drivers and not up to National Standards, but they are still great fun. I saw a beautiful '62 Beetle in the NC Spring Regional in May. A very nice early Type II quad cab truck visited our Chapter show.
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Capt. Mike

We just finished the AACA Grand Nationals 2000 in Montoursville PA. FYI: Montoursville is next door to Williamsport, home the Little League Baseball Hall of Fame and World Championship Series. Lots of other neat stuff too.

I'm on Cloud #9 because my '69 Porsche 911S just won the Grand National Senior First, the first Porsche to have ever done so. But I remain in awe at the cars and quality at this show.

There were 575 cars registered, and not a dog in the bunch.

We saw cars from a 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout through a couple of 1973 Fords. (You have to be 25 years old to enter, plus having worked up through the lower awards series.) A Mr. Jordan -- not MJ -- brought his '24 Jordan! Seldon, Stearns-Knight, Pullman & Thomas were a some of the rarer sights.

The quality is awesome. You have to have already won a Sr. National First just to enter; then you are up against some of the finest restorations in the world. It takes 380 out of 400 points to qualify for a GN First, plus be within a 5 point spread of the best in class. Most 380s won't even make the cut-off for 3rd because they are competing against near-perfect examples which raises the level all around.

The Senior GN First takes 390 points to qualify. I heard of one 400 point car, and I'm sure there were many in the 397-399 range.

You owe it to yourself to keep an eye on the AACA web site to find one near you.
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Capt. Mike

2002 AACA National Schedule

09-Mar-02 Sarasota FL
27-Apr-02 Triangle Chapter, Raleigh NC @ Oak View Historic Park
25-May-02 Sunnyvale CA
01-Jun-02 Hiawassee GA
15-Jun-02 Richmond VA
29-Jun-02 Cedar Rapids IA
20-Jul-02 Hornet Nest Region, Charlotte NC @ UNC-C campus
17-Aug-02 Purchase NY
24-Aug-02 Torrence CA
14-Sep-02 Topeka KS
12-Oct-02 Hershey PA
19-Oct-02 NC Region Meet, Spencer NC @ NC Transportation Museum
02-Nov-02 Annual Grand National, New Bern NC

For further information contact the AACA . Additional regional events are also listed on their calendar page.

We expect to make the Richmond, Cedar Rapids, UNC-C Charlotte, Spencer & New Bern events in addition to our own in Raleigh. See you there? :D

Moderator Note: Although this calendar is now obsolete, I'm leaving it as a sample of the range of event & locales you can expect each year. Go to the AACA web site for this years. :cool:
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Capt. Mike

The Triangle Chapter of the AACA -- the largest chapter in the country -- holds its annual Meet the first Saturday of May each year at Oak View Historic Park, Raleigh, NC. It is located about 1 block east of I-440, Exit #15/Poole Rd. The full field should be in place at 11:00 AM and will remain past 3:00 PM. Spectator admission is free; ther are food vendors. Oak View has additional exhibets and historic displays going at the same time. This is a great way for car guys to also be family guys.
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Capt. Mike

The AACA has begun a major drive for youth programs and introduction of youth to not just the Antique Auto hobby, but automotive interest as a whole.

One of their programs, just launched this year (2004) is CHIPS. It is very much like a Scout Merit Badge program. CHIPS is done aimed at 4 levels -- elementary school, middle school, high school and college-age students. Programs and projects are geared toward one or more of these age groups. Some CHIPS are age-graduated in knowledge and difficulty.

CHIPS has many facets. Some are technical, such as cooling systems, tires, electrical systems. Others may be historic or event related. Some may be done from home via computer, others by attending a show and participating in the youth segments. Still others can be earned by participating in an event, whether it be layout, promotion, registration or even judging.

Model programs have begun where young members may enter models of antique cars for prizes.

CHIPS programs are cumulative and completing a number of graded CHIPS earns additional awards. Each CHIP earns a small 'merit badge', mutch like the Scout badges (except the AACA is hard, engraved vs. the Scout cloth embroidered.)

Visit the CHIPs site, AACA Youth Chips Program

AACA youth membership falls into two categories: Youth and student. Youth is $10 per year at the National level. It entitles the member to youth publications and activities. Most Regions and chapters have free or very low cost memberships. The student level is aimed at college students.

Many of our Westies are or are approaching antique status. The AACA's cut-off is floating 25 years, so right now a '79 is an antique. Many chapters also have programs for "special interest", usually 20-25 years as an introduction level.

One of the great misconceptions is that AACA expects the member to have an antique car of show quality. Wrong! The AACA is for members of all ages with an interest in cars, preferably original old cars. Many have just drivers (special classes and programs), or just 'wannabes' for an old car. Some have the family ancient buggy and think it may be a future project. It does not, for instance have classes and programs for hot rods. But it is a great resource for all automotive information; a gathering of some of the finest people for all sorts of activities -- most seem to revolve around food -- and a clean, wholesome activity for youth. It's Museum and Automotive Library are amongst the finest in the world.

So I urge you -- especially if you have children -- to visit the AACA CHIPS site. It has links to the AACA's youth and other sites. Check out the calendar and visit an event near you. Go to AACA and click on <Calendar>.

For your info: The AACA's Grand National meet, the once-a-year, best-of-the-best show is in Buffalo NY at the SUNY/U. of Buffalo campus -- free to spectators -- and will gather the finest cars in the world. Since a vehicle must have already won a Sr. National First just to get in the gate, you will see the finest gathering of near-perfect museum quality vehicles in the country, gathered in one place. And, since antique is a rolling time line of 25 years, you will find a great display of 60's & 70's era cars -- not just ancient oldies. And there could well be a VW or 2. Look us up in the Sports Car class (25); we'll be there with our red Porsche. Date July 17th, 2004 -- all cars will be on the field by 11:00 AM.

Capt. Mike

You can now reach the AACA's national calendar direct at AACA National Calendar.

The NC Region, of which I'm past-president, has its own website, NC Region AACA. Regional calendar and links to the 18 region chapters may be found there.

Since many of our Westies are or are fast approaching the 25 year "antique" stage, check out a club near you at AACA Regions & Chapters

In most respects, AACA folks are car fans with much of the same intensity and comraderie as we Westyville residents. 'Sides, a great set of resources and fun. If you think working around parts shortages and old damage on a Westy is tough, think what these folks do to cars built before ol' Ferdinand even thought up the VW.
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Capt. Mike

Aaca 2008

The AACA calendar for 2008 is in place. will give you the events scheduled for 2008.

We hope to make the April National in Charlotte NC and the June Sentimental Tour in Burlington NC (sorry, not open to non-members).

Reminder: The Triangle Chapter show 1st Saturday of May, mentioned in the above post, will be a NC Regional this year. Hosting the Regional is bid on by chapters and rotates amongst them. The fall Regional will be in Spencer NC the 19th of October at the NC Transportation Museum. With food vendors, train rides and a host of exhibets including train cars, an airplane, REA truck, and cars, wagons & carts beyond the show entrants, it's a great family & kid day.
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Capt. Mike

AACA Sentimental Tour

Jean & I just finished the AACA's National Sentimental Tour. AACA national tours are hosted by regions and the NC & Alamance Regions co-hosted this year's. The Sentimental is restricted to cars 1928 - 1958. Only 120 were selected out of 300 applications. It was "sold out" within hours.

We had a great time. My '69 VW Bug was too new so we took the '50 Ford Truck. Most of the cars were of National show quality and the gathering was a sight to behold. This tour was a Hub & Spoke, meaning there was a base host hotel and the daily tours went in loops radiating outward, each in a different direction about 100 miles. There would be coffee and refreshment breaks, lunch and various stops of interest, be they historic, scenic or commercial. It included stops at a large collection -- easily over 100 cars -- and a commercial restoration shop. One museum had an International high-wheeler buggy and a 1907 Ford -- before the Model T. Each activity had windows of time and could be bypassed, so the members tended to gather in groups of 2 - 20 cars for any given segment, maybe skipping one to linger at another. The main attractions each day would have enough overlap there might be 50-80 and even more cars at one time. It was amazing to see people standing along the road in awe and taking pictures. The word spread quickly and every evening the host hotel parking lot was a regular carousel of visitors driving through to see the cars. Each stop quickly gathered other crowds.

If you ever have a tour passing near you, make an effort to see it. it'll be well worth your while, seeing automotive history passing by.
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