Historical Highlights of the VMCCA
It is generally conceded that the Vintage Motor Car Club of America was founded in December of 1938 when twelve men met at the Hotel Statler in Boston, Massachusetts and formulated plans for the Club. From those humble beginnings in New England, our Club has grown to international stature today, with 3,000 members throughout the world.
The first VMCCA Auto Meet was held in September 1939 at the estate of John R. Macomber, “Raceland,” in Framingham, Massachusetts. More than 75 veteran cars were exhibited and early motoring celebrities present included Freeland O. Stanley, Charles B. King, Fred Marriott, Ralph DePalma, and George Whitney.
Our first club publication, The Bulletin, appeared in March of 1939. The name was later changed to The Bulb Horn, and the format gradually evolved into a full-size magazine. The Bulb Horn continues today as our official bi-monthly club publication.
The Club was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in May of 1940 as a non-profit organization. During the War Years of 1941-45, participation in antique car activities was slight. In 1946, however, The VMCCA again became active and organized the first revival of the turn of the century Glidden Tours. The Glidden Tour® has been held annually ever since. The VMCCA is the owner of the copyright to the name Glidden Tour®.
In 1949, The VMCCA acquired the entire collection of cars belonging to the Larz Anderson Estate and, for a time, used the coach house on the estate as headquarters for the Club. The Museum was later incorporated as a separate non-profit organization.
In 1954, The VMCCA was invited by the Vintage Sports Car Club of Great Britain to an Anglo-American Rally in which ten VMCCA cars and owners competed with ten British counterparts in a Rally/Tour of England and Scotland. In 1957, The VMCCA hosted the British team to a return engagement in the United States. Check our picture galleries to see some of the amazing cars attending this event.
1968 was the first year of the VMCCA Transcontinental Tour from New York to San Francisco. Limited to cars 1913 and earlier, it now takes place every second or third year following a different route and/or location each time.
In 1980, The VMCCA was selected as the sole representative in the United States to the Federation Internationale Des Voitures Anciennes (FIVA). Our Club hosted this international group for the 1983 Annual FIVA Rally held in the Upper Hudson Valley of New York State.
Recognizing the increasing interest in cars of later eras, The VMCCA again pioneered in 1982 by instituting the “Chrome Glidden Tour” for cars of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. This event has been held annually in different parts of the country ever since, thus allowing owners of newer collector cars to enjoy touring in the Glidden tradition.
The exclusive VMCCA Golden Award of Excellence was also instituted in 1982. This is a gold plated plaque designed to be placed on any winning vehicle attesting to its excellence in appearance, performance, and preservation. The first of these awards was made at the Hale Farm National Meet in Bath, Ohio in August 1982. Silver and Bronze Awards were also available starting in 1987. The VMCCA Golden Award of Excellence judging program continues to be a benefit of membership.
As time progresses, this list of historical accomplishments will, most certainly, continue to lengthen.