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Welcome. This is a forum page for members of The Society of Automotive Historians (SAH) AND for enthusiasts of automotive history to communicate in an “electronic town hall meeting” for the presentation and exchange of findings, facts, and all the fun of exploring automotive history.

So… what is The Society of Automotive Historians? Technically, it’s a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to automotive history. What does that mean you ask? Well, not to reinvent the wheel (pun intended), here’s part of how this question is answered on the website, autohistory.org:

“The Society of Automotive Historians was founded in Hershey Pennsylvania in 1969. We are an international organization of members scattered across the globe. The Society is an eclectic but serious community of historians that includes academic scholars, automotive journalists and publishers, museum and library professionals, educational and cultural organizations, car collectors and restorers, and enthusiasts.

“Our membership encourages research into any aspect of automotive history. We actively support the compilation and preservation of papers, organizational records, print ephemera and images to safeguard, broaden and deepen the understanding of motorized, wheeled land transportation through the modern age and into the future.

“To reveal this history, we promote the publishing of research findings in books, journals and conference papers. We support the efforts of educators to teach college level academic courses and those who introduce K-12 students to the panorama of automotive history.

“For all members, the SAH provides camaraderie and the exchange of ideas, knowledge and data. The Society’s roster allows members to connect with others who have similar specialized interests.

“Each year, the Society recognizes significant contributions to the publishing, documentation, and preservation of the worldwide history of the motor vehicle. There are awards for publishing in print (books, articles and magazines) and non-print media (film, video, audio, websites, etc.). Additionally, awards are made for papers authored by undergraduate- and graduate-level students at educational institutions. Service awards are presented for the preservation of archives and for exemplary service to the cause of automotive history. Nominations are received in the spring of each year and awards are presented at the Society’s annual meeting, held during October.”

Most car clubs’ member data includes the members names and contact info. and a listing of the cars they own… the SAH is similar, but instead of collecting car data, the SAH asks members to list their interests… so one could find other like-minded enthusiasts among the membership.

Not sure you’re an “automotive historian” then?

Maybe this would be helpful:

You know you’re an automotive historian if:

     you read the placards in front of cars on display at a car show;

     among your favorite documentaries on TV are ones on automotive subjects;

     knowing the history of your car is as important to you as knowing anything else about your car;

     authenticity is as important to you as any other aspect of a restoration;

     you see value in not restoring an original car – as it’s original only once;

     you note all sorts of things ranging from engine specifications to whether or not a marque’s name is hyphenated;

     you could find yourself paying more for a car book than a ’32-inch TV;

     you could find yourself writing a letter to the editor to correct an error in an automotive article;

     you enjoy collecting automobilia much like you enjoy collecting automobiles;

I look forward to reading your posts, seeing the pictures you share, and learning all that you may share about automotive history… from the art of automotive advertising, to the challenges of industrial production, to the colors and types of paint that were used in different eras… all of it… all the findings, facts, and fun of learning about automotive history.

Enjoy!

Rubén Verdés SAH (and AACA Life Member)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

What a wonderful idea!  Hopefully this one will keep the facts straight.

 

Craig

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I am so very pleased to see the SAH here, welcome!!!!. I have a very special respect for this organization as I was active in it 40+ years ago as a Vice President, Director, and Editor of their Newsletter , which I renamed a Journal. Their publications are first rate  and their mission remains unchanged over the decades : to find, record and share the history of vehicles in the USA and the world. Many people associated with other clubs were in SAH ( and many still are) and very active members were: Henry Austin Clark Jr. , John Conde, Beverley Rae Kimes, Charles Betts, Ralph Dunwoodie, Fred Roe, Fred Soule etc. Here is the opportunity to learn more about SAH .

 

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Am deeply enbarrassed to learn, after years of being an amateur enthusiast, that such a professional organization   really exists. My own fault, admittedly,  for failing to run down references noted in the past..(too many questions, too little time!!...

As an occasional wader in the quagmires of automobile history, you have my deepest admiration and Best Wishes for your monumental, if not Herculean task...

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Bud Tierney said:

Am deeply enbarrassed to learn, after years of being an amateur enthusiast, that such a professional organization   really exists. My own fault, admittedly,  for failing to run down references noted in the past..(too many questions, too little time!!...

As an occasional wader in the quagmires of automobile history, you have my deepest admiration and Best Wishes for your monumental, if not Herculean task...

In the “Welcome” post (first post above) there was a list of items as examples to know if you’re a candidate for membership in the SAH: “You know you’re an automotive historian if:”—so if any of those resonate with you (anyone reading this), that means you’re a candidate for membership in the SAH. (So please—don’t anyone feel embarrassed… to feel [much] better, please read on…)

 

To reprise, in that same post (above) there’s a list of the folks that are typical SAH members: “academic scholars, automotive journalists and publishers, museum and library professionals, educational and cultural organizations, car collectors and restorers, and enthusiasts.” That last one “enthusiasts” (of automotive history) may as well been the first on the list. Like a great many societies, clubs and like organizations, people join for a range of reasons… and within that list “camaraderie” often ranks high. The SAH is especially positioned to promote camaraderie in that it captures each member’s interests.

 

“Capturing each member’s interests” means each member enters (and can update) their areas of interest… the things they know about, what they want to learn about, what they’re enthusiastic about, etc. On the SAH site’s member page, one can search for a member (members) by name (etc.) AND by “Areas of Interest” (as shown in the site page image herein). So if you’re interested in Hudsons, you can type in “Hudson” in the “Areas of Interest” field, click on the “Search” button and it will list all the members that listed “Hudson” among his/her interests (and yes, there are members that list “Hudson” among their interests). The “interest” field is a free text field… to get a better sense of this dynamic here are some examples of members’ “interests” (names you may recognize):

 

Beverly Rae Kimes (0808)

Interests:

Social, cultural, business and biographical history of the automobile.

 

Keith Marvin (0007)

Interests:

Assembled & unusual US & Canadian cars 1917-33 era; Rolls-Royce, Hispano-Suiza, Farman, Dagmar, McFarlan, Wasp; license plates, registrations & their history; biography of Peter Helck, C.W. Kelsey, Karl Martin.

 

Frederick D. Roe (0127)

Interests:

Crane & Duesenberg; pre-WW2 coach & body building; pre-WW2 racing; pre-WW2 cars and trucks all countries; Duesenberg racing photos.

 

Z. Taylor Vinson (0417)

Interests:

Pre-WWII European autos, esp. Alvis, Riley, Berliet, Tatra, Walter, Wikov; producer gas vehicles; design and styling; literature for all makes (1891-to date).

 

The SAH remembers its members (and, in parenthesis, their member numbers too)—the above members are no longer with us. Each of these members was awarded the SAH’s highest award: Friend of Automotive History while they were with us. These are somewhat modest “interests” listings… here’s one of some length:

 

“Automobilia, Austin, Bentley, Bugatti, Cadillac, Chrysler, Coachbuilding, Concours d'Elégance, Duesenberg, Ferrari, Hispano-Suiza, Imperial, Isotta Fraschini, Jaguar, Lancia, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Minerva, Museums, Oldsmobile [Toronado], Packard, Photography, Pierce-Arrow, Preservation, Restoration, Rolls-Royce [particularly with the pre-Ghost cars; especially the V8s], Stutz”

 

The basic classes of membership are:

U.S. / Canada / Mexico Membership 1-Year:  $50.00 USD

Overseas Membership 1-Year: $60.00 USD

Digital-Only Membership 1-Year: $20.00 USD.

(As the name implies, digital membership involves only electronic delivery (via email) of all publications [the SAH Journal and the Automotive History Review] while the other two include both digital delivery AND printed issues of the publications.)

 

Regardless when one joins, SAH membership follows the join date for 12 calendar months… so it makes no difference when one joins during the course of the year.

 

Each year the SAH has its “Annual Meeting of Members & Gala Awards Banquet” during “Hershey” (a/k/a/ “The AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet”)—and we have a tent on the field at Hershey (OBB 17-19, see the image herein) where we have an authors’ book signing each year. The SAH is known for its awards (please have a look at: https://autohistory.org/awards)—there’s one presentation at Hershey each October, and another held annually at the Automobile Club de France (located at the Place de la Concorde, Paris) in February during Rétromobile. There’s also the annual Automotive History Conference that the SAH and the HVA have joined together to great success over recent years (at the HVA location at the NB Collection in Allentown, PA). And more…

 

For each member (of any organization)—the experience is often what he/she makes of it… some are happy just to get the publications, others look to engage in every which way. Last year the SAH celebrated its 50th anniversary (and we were fortunate to have Karl Ludvigsen as our guest speaker at Hershey), and I looked around the room and noted how many members we have still with us, including Bill Jackson [former editor of AACA’s Antique Automobile], who is member 0002; and noted that we see more and more new members engaging and taking advantage of their member benefits.

 

Thank you for your time and kind attention.

SAH-Members-Search.jpg

SAH-Hershey-IMG_7670.jpg

Edited by 2caaca (see edit history)
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