- posted July 21, 2021
The title is not a typo or a proposal for a name change. The use of the word FOR in our name represents a deep revelation for me. Over the past few months as we anticipated the opening of America to travel, gathering, and what many translate to freedom, I am coming to realize that America needs the VMCCA. Also, the VMCCA needs America. I made some reference to this in my message in the May – June Bulb Horn. Since that time, several publications and emails have crossed my desk with stories that support the idea of how much we need each other.
The most meaningful to me is from the Hagerty Drivers Club magazine number 67. This is the May -June 2021 issue. Jay Leno has a regular column in the magazine. Jay has a large collection of cars ranging from exotics to steam cars to everyday cars. In this particular column Jay writes this story about a recent experience. On this day, Jay was not driving an exotic car, but an everyday vintage car.
“My wife and I were out in the 1950 Plymouth Suburban and pulled into a grocery store. We saw a huge line of people waiting to get in. They were wearing masks and looked like extras in Les Misérables, just fuming and ready to go to the barricades. But as we drove past the line and parked, folks waved at us, and an older guy came up to me and said, “Oh, my mother had one like this – can I take a look?” Everybody was friendly and nice, and I thought, this is what I want to drive around in for now, because it does not excite envy or get on people’s nerves. It just makes them smile. I went back to the garage and picked out a list of what I call my “pandemic cars.”
There is more to Jay’s story, but on that day, Jay Leno got it! He understood the need for America, Americans, to see and talk about everyday cars. The cars we love to drive! People want to remember and tell their stories. It brings smiles to their faces and joy into their hearts. During a recent Road Ahead Initiative Membership and Organization Structure team meeting, Clare Oestreicher mentioned that she has people stop by to ask about her vintage car parked in her carport. Clare mentioned that people are polite and generally want to tell the story about a vintage car in their past. A friend leaves his Model A out on his driveway as an invitation for people to stop and talk. We know they leave with a smile on their face and a story to tell to someone else later in the day. “Hey, I stopped and talked to the owner of the car in the carport today and the owner is so nice”. Then that person smiled, too! The circle of smiles continues as long as the story gets retold.
Now, think about the impact the VMCCA has on the people along the back roads and in the towns we drive through or stop in during a tour. America needs us! We need America, too. It always brings a smile to my face when I see the smiles we bring to others. Hopefully, you will recognize the reason for changing our name, for this article only, from “of” to “for”. Let’s get our cars out even for a drive to the grocery store and especially for one of our tours.
See Ya Down The Road!