As the birthplace of the automobile, America is naturally home to some of the oldest and most well-regarding classic car clubs in the world. The country has several well-established clubs that bring together enthusiasts for the earliest automobiles, as well as those from the “golden age” of American automobile manufacturing. Even classic muscle car enthusiasts can find a home full of fellow car collectors who appreciate a classic automobile with plenty of power under the hood.
Classic Car Club of America
Founded in 1952, the Classic Car Club of America was founded by antique automobile enthusiasts to celebrate vehicles produced during the pre-war period. By that, the club is specifically referring to automobiles produced before the Second World War. Typical qualifying models rolled off assembly lines in America, or in foreign markets, between 1925 and 1948.
The club specifically specializes in cars that were considered high-priced at the time of their debut. It applies the name “CCCA Full Classic” to this automobile, which is among the most high-value classic car in the industry. Lesser-priced vehicles are referred to the club as simply a “Classic” and hold less overall value and stature among the club’s members.
At the time of its founding, the popular terminology for an older car was simply an “antique” car. The Classic Car Club of America is widely credited with creating and popularizing the term “classic car”, which is now the most-used phrase to describe pre-war vehicles produced around the world.
The Antique Automobile Club of America
Perhaps the earliest club for antique vehicle enthusiasts, the Antique Automobile Club of America was founded in 1931 to celebrate cars that were at least 20 years older than the present day — making the club’s first eligible vehicles date back to the earliest mass-produced automobiles in 1911. The club has since grown to cover more cars, as time has marched on, and now offers two classes of membership.
For those who own a car which is 45 years old, or even older, the AACA offers “antique” membership status to both the vehicle owner and the vehicle itself. Other cars are also eligible for admission to the club, though they must be at least 20 years old to be considered for admission. These cars, which range in age from 20 to 45 years of age, are referred to the club simply as “classics” and are held in less overall esteem than their antique counterparts.
The Vintage Sports Car Club of America
Not all car clubs are centered around the common early model vehicle or 1950s sedan, however. One of the most enthusiastic niches for classic car collectors is the vintage sports car and muscle car market. These models were among the most exciting automobiles produced during the post-war period, and they still excite crowds and elicit the occasional “ooh” or “ahh.”
The club was founded in 1958 to celebrate sports cars manufactured prior to 1959. As it has grown, it has become the premiere club for those who own classic Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Cameras, Dodge Chargers, and other vintage models. The club accepts any classic sports car aged 20 years or older, though it defines a true classic as a sports car which was produced during the post-war, 1960s heyday.
Great Resources for Antique Vehicle Enthusiasts
Whether the car is a pre-war gem, a muscle car, or one of the great original Model T vehicles produced by Ford, there are plenty of great outlets for classic car collectors. America has rightly earned its place as the home of some of the best car clubs in the world and, perhaps as a tribute to its status as the birthplace of the modern automobile.