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Post War Car is now a CCCA Classic......

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Gentlemen.Lets get something straight. The Approved Cars List was,is, and will always be a "Work in Progress."The Addition of the Chrysler Town and Country is an apppropriate Addition.The 1946-47 Eight Cylinder Sedans are very rare.Only a 150 at most were built and very few Survive.The Convertibles were very expensive and highly prized by celebrities. Leo Carillo's 1948 Town and Country Convertible was famous for the Steer Head with eyes that blinked with the turn signals. The Town and Country was built for the Wealthy Gentlman Farmer who wanted a vehicle that would look clasy in either environment. I would like to remind you that Woody Wagon or Shooting Brake Bodies were mounted on Rolls-Royce and Daimler Chassis in the Classic Era.I have a picture of 1936 Brewster Ford wih a Wooden Station Wagon Body.I have Seen a Wooden Station Sedan built in 1947 by Coachcraft on a Cadillac Chassis.So while Some Woodies were workhorses. Others were built for wealthy owners who wanted something special.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JWRider</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Leo Carillo's 1948 Town and Country Convertible was famous for the Steer Head with eyes that blinked with the turn signals. </div></div>

No offense, but this isn't exactly what comes to mind when I think of a "CCCA Classic". The town and country is a great car and I wish I had 6 of them. It's still not a "Classic" in my mind but I guess it is now within the CCCA.

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Guest BJM

Why not? The pre war models probably are (sorry didn't check before commenting) and by association (i.e. Cadillac 60S, T&C) they should be.

These were largely hand massaged cars. I believe Ionia made them. Built in limited numbers, based on a pre war chassis and body for sure, rare then and now, pre war drivetrain.

Unless CCCA makes a rule, then I can see this popping up from time to time.

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I just finished reading the book, "The Classic Era", and it really clarified the idea that many have said, that it's not just the automobiles, but the era they came from, that defines what a full classic is. I think the T&C convertibles are wonderful cars, but I just can't see how they reflect the classic era. And neither do a lot of other great cars -- Gullwings, Mark IIs, Ferraris, etc., etc.

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Guest BJM

Cecil,

You are correct. America kept making great cars but it was a whole different ballgame. The CCCA has a valid and worthwhile mission and should simply stop accepting post war cars, even if they are carryovers. The few they have accepted now, OK, let it go, quit bashing those decisions - but basically close the door quietly now.

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I am personally pleased to see the CCCA accept the Town and Country's. It was long over due. If one was to be exclude it might have been the 6 cyl. but I am fine with that too. These cars are certain darn bunch rarer and more interesting that garden variety, production line Cadillac's from '42-47. One might even argue, that while the barn door T&C's didn't make it from 41-42 to 46-48, it was still a carry over car as well.

I have been around AACA long enough to remember when there was a outcry of narrow minded folks who didn't want the club to go past 1939 for acceptance. Any year cut off is alway unfar to the identicle cars that overlap the next year. The hot rod community has claimed for years a 1949 car was not a hot rod and 1948 was. Like as if there is any difference between a 48 Hudson and 49 Hudson as an example. The NSRA was so ridged that GoodGuys can thank them for their lack of vision and GG's created a whole in industry. Not much different, as the famous story when Chip Miller was turned away from Hershey by the AACA when his 1954 Corvette was declaired "too new" to be admitted and he and buddy Bill Miller started Carlisle as a result. All fun stuff to reflect back on.

Let's hope the handful of CCCA folks who helped pass the Town & Country have the vision to recognise the few postwar cars that share the Classic era vertues of high quality, engineering, and limited production.

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I think the T & C represents a long overdue tiny crack in the glass ceiling called "The Classic Era". There was another crack in the glass floor with the admission of some pre-1925 classics.

I have never understood the notion of The Classic Era being defined as rigidly existing from 1925 to 42. What happened in 1925 that started the era? What happened in 1942 that ended it? Did extravagence, grandiosity, and quality in car design and production end after WWII? I don't think so.

Seems to me there are plenty of candidates built outside the classic era that meet the spirit and quality of the traditiional classic cars built in 1925-42. The T&C is just one of them. Bravo to the CCCA for taking this small step, I hope they open up and take more like it.

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Well said, Buicksplus. There are so many examples of great cars that carry the "Classic" qualities both pre 1925 and post 1942, that the rigid cut-offs seem childish. Other clubs suffer from the same narrow mindedness.

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We can agree to disagree, but let's not call it narrow-mindedness. I also used to think that the CCCA should be expanded for all the reasons stated above, but after joining the club, reading and gaining a better appreciation and deeper understanding of what the classic era was about, my opinion changed. I don't consider myself narrow-minded, just better informed than I was before.

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The best definition of the classic era, it's demise by 1948 and an overall argument for the narrower view thus excluding the Town and Country,is the forward written by Michael Furman in his book "Motorcars of the Classic Era". (I should get applause for that long sentence) Additionally the photos tell the story of why is a car a classic! In am a fairly new member of CCCA. My impression so far is:Great Magazine, persnickity arguments over classificaton, exclusive not inclusive, snooty, expensive events, no compelling reason to participate. As to this "public airing of dirty laundry" seems to me like some T&C owners didn't know the meaning of "no" and kept asking until the wore the board down.

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Hi Mark66A, Welcome to the CCCA. I hope that you will go to enough events - not all are expensive, and you can go to a grand classic on a budget if you don't go to the banquets and perhaps stay at a less expensive hotel, but at least you can go and see the cars and meet people, which is the fun part of the club. I have eaten a lot of banquet food, and it isn't that great, but it is fun to meet new people, so the banquets can be fine too. If you can only do one evening event, do the one where the group goes to a collection or destination, that will be more interesting than the awards banquet and it is usually easier to talk to people. I have made some great long term friends in the CCCA, and gotten to see some places that I wouldn't have if I weren't with the group or the people that I met in the CCCA. A lot of the snooty image is from other people's views of the club, or from 20 years ago. Sure there are a few people like that around, but I haven't seen many groups that didn't have a few people like that - once you get to know the active members in the CCCA, you will probably find, like I have that the majority are down to earth regular people. They are from varied walks of life, from working class to wealthy, but when it comes down to it, they all love big, old, luxury cars and the "era" of the 20s to the 40s that goes with them. The T & C was the real big argument over classification, which has been going on for 20 years, other than taking pre 25 cars that are the same as later cars in the club, which really turned into a non issue, there haven't been many big debates on classification. Also I think that you will find that the club is exclusive in the cars that it takes - but not the people. As far as being persnickity, well, I don't think that the CCCA has exclusivity on that - the Mopar, Corvette, Model T or Model A guys get pretty picky too.

I do hope that an event will look interesting enough for you to participate; I am sure that you will see some great cars, and meet some people who love them and will be very happy to share them with you. Most members will be happy to share the history of their cars with you, show you the car and maybe even give you a ride in it. You will also find that a lot of the great automotive historians are members of the club, and you might sit down with one of the great Duesenberg, Rolls Royce, Packard, Pierce or Mercedes Benz historians and authors. You might even meet West Peterson's famous father!

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Dave, I couldn't have said it better. Through CCCA, I've visited a lot of places us "mere mortals" don't usually get to go. There is some amazing stuff out there, and CCCA is a great way to discover it. Over the years, I've made some wonderful friends as a result of my association with the Club, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

The key is you have to be proactive and go to the events. You really can do that on a budget.

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Dave Mitchell's point about the lack of debate about classification is true -- and this is what has disturbed me about the CCCA. With few exceptions most suggestions for expanding or revising the CCCA list are met with LOL.

I was a member of the CCCA for many years, and then I sold my classic. I had a couple of borderline classics that I thought might be accepted someday. Indeed, the club seemed then to regularly name new production cars to their list.

I finally let my membership lapse when I realised that the club was getting more rigid and they were unlikly to expand their list in any major way. I could see no point to staying in a club without owning a car that I could use to participate in club events.

Obviously, the CCCA is a great club and its members are going to guide the club as they like. It's exclusivity is probably OK to most members, but it does create a problem for some potential new and previous members.

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Just to clarify what I meant - I remember when I first went on the classification committiee in the early 90s that I was told that there were no major changes to be made in the list of accepted cars - maybe a custom bodied car here or there, but the guys in charge couldn't see any new series being accepted. I would have to point out that there has been a lot of change since then, and it has been orderly and thoughtful, and other than accepting pre 1925 cars and the 1934 LaSalles, pretty free of major debate and with almost no members upset to the point of making it into a debate. In fact when a series would be presented to the membership for comment, we rarely got a letter at all, and most of those were positive. I haven't been on the committee or board since Jan of 2004, but I think that they have been open to looking at new cars and series, and a good deal more liberal than previous committees and boards, and by and large it has been good for the club. Also when I went on the board Grand Classics were closed, private and not publicised before the event outside of the club. I, along with Chuck and lot of others pushed to open up the events and I think that has been a great success, some are now held in very public locations and lots of people get to see the cars and the club in action, and it all serves to preserve the cars and their history.

The members of the CCCA do great work in keeping the cars and their stories alive. So again, I will say that the cars in the club are exclusive, but not the membership. I know a good number of people, including one of the greatest auto historians of all time, who don't own a classic car, but are long time members. I have been to a lot of events where I couldn't take one of my cars, but I still enjoyed the event a lot, so I would really encourage you to rejoin the club and give it a try. I had great fun riding with other people in interesting Classics when I went to events without a car. People were always happy to give me a lift on a tour or to a dinner. I think you will find that the club has changed and it is for the better. Maybe you should apply for classic status for your "borderline" car - perhaps the committee is just waiting for someone to bring that series up.

That said, the CCCA isn't the AACA (which is all inclusive as long as the vehicle is 25 years old), and I hope it never will be. I belong to both, and I think both are great organizations, but I think a club for the really special cars is appropriate, and I like to see, read about and hang out with people who like cars of this type from this era. To me it is magical. I like other types of cars too, but they just aren't the same, and I like to have one place that is just for the "Classics". There are clubs for all types of cars, and to be honest most are somewhat exclusive since they are single marque clubs, or just for race cars or sports cars or "cruisers" and they all have their own rules that define them. I think that the CCCA is pretty close with the core list of cars as things are, and I also think that current and future boards will expand its base slowly and carefully, but I don't think that should deter anyone from joining that likes the fine and exclusive cars from 1925 to 1948. So Buicksplus, think it over and maybe try the CCCA for a year again. You or any other potential members might make some new friends and see some great cars.

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Dave:

The 1934 LaSalle was rejected by the classification committee when I was in the club. CCCA passed over the 80 series Buicks, even though they are essentially the same as the "1940 Limited 80" which is a Classic.

Other borderline classics might be all of the Lincoln Zephyrs, all Chrysler Imperials, and all previously excluded Cadillacs. I never had much problem with 6 cylinder Auburns either. Packard 120? Sure, it's a relatively cheap production car but fine and unusual these days.

Based on past history, any member proposing to include these series would be wasting their time. I think most of these cars have been proposed and rejected before.

I know that none of these cars are comparable to the big classics like senior Packard 12's, Pierce Arrows or Cad 16's. But they compare fairly well with the entry level end of the spectrum that has populated the CCCA list for years.

Real post war classics? Wouldn't that be fun!

I can't tell CCCA how to run its classification committee. I am only saying how the direction the club was going led me to not renew my membership. Who knows, maybe many other members joined for the same reasons I left.

Merry Christmas!

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How the demographics have changed. The CCCA was founded by and originally comprised largely of college educated professionals with a sense of humor who shared an interest in automobiles from a clearly defined classic era, 1925 through 1942, with postwar examples allowed so long as they were carryovers from the prewar era.

Now we have people shouting "Wake up" and branding those with an interest in CCCA Classics "geezers," even as they wish to join. This is tantamount to urging the Shakespeare festival to include the work of modern playwrights, or a classical music station to play rock, country or hip hop.

Similarly, there already exist wonderful organizations for the enjoyment of Lincoln Zephyrs, junior Packards, 1934-40 LaSalles, as well as postwar Chrysler Town & Countries, Dual Ghias, Cadillac Eldorados, Bentley Continentals, et al: the AACA, the Contemporary Historical Vehical Association, and the Milestone Car Society, among others.

Why the interest in glomming onto the word "classic?" It won't make your already interesting old car worth anymore. In fact, there are any number of Fords worth vastly more than many CCCA Classics.

There are clubs for every car already, without diluting the concept of a CCCA Classic.

If you want to enjoy Edward Albee or Susan Sontag theater, you don't come to a Shakespeare festival. If you want to listen to jazz, folk or rock, you don't tune in a classical station. If you're a WWII buff, you don't curse Civil War reenacters for not allowing your Jeep on their field.

Why is the above so difficult for so many people to grasp?

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You nailed it, Su8overdrive.

But hey, if a 1941 T&C with a six-banger that sold for essentially the same as a Lincoln-Zephyr can get in, I want in too! wink.gif

(Just kidding -- I was at the Gilmore Museum a couple years ago when the CCCA hosted the Lincoln-Zephyr Owner's Club, and as much as I love my coupe, it is simply not of the same style or mindset as the Full Classics.)

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