42 The ALLURE of Rallies & Tours I t was an idea whose time had come. At least this spir- ited band of enthusiasts thought so. The year was 1951. Owners of Packards, Cadillacs and the like vintage late 1920s to early 1930s found to their chagrin, upon ar- riving at old car meets, that they were not eligible to participate because the vehicles they were driving were “too modern.” The Antique Automobile Club of America, the nation’s oldest or- ganization in the hobby, had relegated the enthusiasts’ chosen wheels to Class 19, designated “Tow Cars.” Since these vehicles were, to their minds more properly defined by the term “Clas- sic”, a new organization seemed called for. The Classic Car Club of America was born later that year. In March of 1952, entertainer Herb Shriner invited the fledg- ling club to exhibit at the International Motor Sport Show held at the Grand Central Palace in New York City. A 1931 Cadil- lac V-16 All Weather Phaeton was spruced up and set up on the balcony, with a recruiting table alongside. Before the show, CCCA membership stood at twenty. By the end of the show, seventy-five more enthusiasts had been signed up. The Club’s roster more than doubled again in the next six months. On September 17th, 1952, the Classic Car Club of America was incorporated with 212 founding members. In January of 1953, Volume I, Number 1 of The Classic Car magazinecameoffthepress.ThatJulytheclub’sfirstshowThe Grand Classic was held at Washington’s Crossing State Park in New Jersey. In August 1953, the first CARavan wended its way from the East Coast to Detroit where the Club was the guest of the Packard Motor Car Company, whose hospitality included a trek to Utica where the Classics were exercised on the famous Packard proving ground track. Since then, the AACA had changed its Class 19 designation to “Classic Cars.” The nice thing about an idea whose time has come is how quickly the word gets around and is cheerfully ac- cepted.TheCCCAproceededfromstrengthtostrength.By1960 membership passed the 2500 mark. Today membership in the clubreachesover5000worldwide.Theclubisheadquarteredin Chicago, and houses an extensive research library, but intrinsi- cally, the CCCA is everywhere that Classic Cars are celebrated. C l u b A f f i l i at e T o u r s Classic Car Club of America The Beginning of an Era For more information or to join the club visit their website at www.classiccarclub.org CCCA_Intro.indd 42 12/21/17 11:36 PM