As an organization with an interest in classic cars, it would be odd for us to operate this blog without writing at least once about the Classic Car Club of America. The CCCA is one of those bedrock institutions that have been around for nearly as long as the oldest of us can remember. Because of its longevity, it has great authority in its sphere and anyone involved with classic cars will come across it eventually. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to answer the question: What is the CCCA?
The Classic Car Club of America was started in 1952. At that time, cars were still so new that “classic car” was an informal term without general recognition. A group of auto enthusiasts thought that the cars made between 1925 and 1948—the generation in between the World Wars—had something special to them, some spark that wasn’t expressed in the antiques before World War I and the mass-produced types following World War II.
There was a body that had an opinion on these matters—the Antique Automobile Association of America—but its attitude toward this vehicle segment seems a bit dismissive. Because it classified them as “tow cars”—a moniker whose exact meaning we were unable to clarify—the CCCA was formed to venerate the cars its members treasured.
After experiencing fast growth following the attendance of the International Motor Sport Show in New York, CCCA almost immediately began producing a magazine. If history has taught us anything, it is that there are few better ways to expand an organization than by the dissemination of its materials and core tenets.
Over the years the CCCA has settled on a pattern of putting on a handful of Grand Classics every year. A Grand Classic is a car show, auction or judged competition. Although not quite as large as a Concours d’Elegance, a Grand Classic is nonetheless an industry-recognized event of considerable stature.
In 1983, the CCCA moved to create a permanent location for some its finest vehicles, and chose a spot in the automobile center of the United States, Michigan. Over the years, that spot has birthed a museum that sprawls across eight barns, three miles and period-accurate diner, train station and service station. The museum is open all year and an annual Concours d’Elegance is held, as well.
The CCCA is a helpful resource for those interested in this topic, and an invaluable repository of history. We highly recommend looking to them for resources, and would be pleased to help you make a connection.