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A Message From President Jim Raines Concerning CLASS 37


Peter Gariepy
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A Message From President Jim Raines Concerning CLASS 37

"I am aware that there is considerable concern and misunderstanding regarding the new, display only class, Class 37. The proposal seemed clear to the Board when presented; however, it appears based on the comments received that the definition and wording was not as precise as it could have been. Otherwise, there would not have been such a controversy over the trial. Please keep in mind, this is a very specific, one-year test. The implication that future "street rods" could be included was never considered. The proposal definition was simply for the purpose of the one-year trial. The Board decided to put some pre certified special vehicles with proven historical background on the field for one year, and one year only. At the end of that year, a decision would be made whether Class 37 would continue or simply disappear, based on input received from the membership.

I am unaware of any previous or similar pre testing of an important topic or decision before it was made final. In this case, however, comments and criticisms are preceding the trial, without giving it a fair evaluation. Since I do not believe that is the American way, it is obvious that the definition should have more closely mirrored the definition we would expect if the Class were to continue. Regardless, it would remain Display only as there has never been any intention that it ever become a judged class.

Therefore, I plan to ask the Judging Committee to review this entire issue prior to the Philadelphia Board Meeting. As a result, the Board will then be able to consider its options.

I hope this will help answer some of the questions that have been

voiced and end any misunderstanding concerning the original intent and implementation of this class."

Thank-you,

Jim Raines,

AACA President

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This confuses more than it clarifies confused.gif Does anyone in charge have any idea what they were voting fore when this class was created. mad.gif

Im just a dumb AACA member who thinks our elected leaders should know which end is up before they vote on an issue. mad.gifmad.gif Doesnt look like they did or do. frown.gif

AACA Veteran

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Jim,

Thank you very much for your clarification. None of the information I've seen described class as being in a "trial period", and I think there was a strong impression around the club that this was a done deal. Also I'm <span style="font-style: italic">very</span> pleased to see that the wording of the definition has already been found to be wanting, and that there are already efforts being put forth to better focus what I think most of us have in mind (e.g. historically significant "Bonneville era" cars and their ilk).

I do disagree with Bob and some others on the use of a specified cut-off date, however. I still believe that the use of a simple date to delineate this class would be too easily interpreted in the distant future as arbitrary, and <span style="font-style: italic">will</span> at a later date easily be "updated" to admit cars that were "street rodded" relatively recently.

I think that a <span style="font-style: italic">de-facto</span> cut-off of 1965 can be instituted by insisting that the cars that are certified were <span style="font-style: italic">not</span> modified before they were 2o or 25 years old. This would also dovetail nicely with the 25 year "antique" status that the club has always recognized.

Regardless of how it is resolved, I am greatly relieved that the problem is known to you and to the Board. Thanks for your reply here! cool.gifapp.gif

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No, AACA Veteran, I wouldn't say that. Everything else is 25 years, and it probably just slid past

because it was like an afterthought, an automatic. And, too, as the gentleman said, it was for only

one year, so regardless of how the trial went, it was going to be reworked after that time

anyway. But, it seems to me that it took a pretty upstanding individual to tell everyone what he'd

decided to do about all of the misunderstanding. I for one am willing to sit back and let things

shake out as they most certainly will following Philadelphia. I feel sure there will be some changes,

just from what he said. If he can be fair enough to make this statement, it seems to me it's

the least we can do to return the fairness. He said something about the American Way, and I

think it's also the American Way for all of us to give the man and the Board a chance to make

a fix. If they decide to try and do what they apparently intended to do, I'm sort of interested

to find out what a "historic hot rod" really is, if there is such a thing. If they do not, that's

okay with me too. Maybe somebody has one of those old roadsters from an old Mickey

Rooney movie or something. So, I'll wait and see. I hope most of the rest of you will too.

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I think I know what part of the problem is........language. Most AACA text is pretty wordy, I'm sure some lawyer type looks it all over before going to press. The two posts before this one have used "Bonneville Type" and "Micky Rooney Roadster". Ok, I know what they are, both types if "Certified" by AACA rules in place at this time would be in Class 24A Race Cars. If the car at the start of the Rooney movie "The Big Wheel" was in fact a Hot Rod that never raced, then it might be a canidate for the new class 37. IMHO

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Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 70's, I'm not exactly the world's best authority on the CA hot rod scene, but it was my impression that most of the cars that drove out to Bonneville in the early days of the NHRA and before were (at best) part of a rather loosely organized group of primarily street driven cars. It was only later that the full sanctioning capacity of the NHRA drag racing organization was established. Am I wrong about that?

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President Jim. With all due respect I would like to make the following observation.

At one time or another, different AACA Board members, appointed AACA chairpersons and Jerry Duncan have stated both privately and publicly that this class is for:

1. Exhibition only.

2. Exhibition in 2003 and judged in 2004

3. Pre '49 vehicles rodded at least 25 years ago.

4. Pre '49 vehicles with all parts pre '49

5. Rodded pre '49 vehicles containing parts dating from some unknown

date between 1948 and 25 years old.

6. Pre '49 vehicles composed of parts the year of which is to be determined by the committee.

7. Pre '49 with everything subject to the discretion of the committee.

Etc, Etc,Etc.

I cannot recall that it has ever before been publicly pointed out that this was only for a ONE YEAR trial period. The closest I ever heard to that was, "It will be for exhibition in 2003 and during that time we will study it before judging them in 2004."

This post is only for information and not confrontation. smile.gif

hvs

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My 2 cents worth...Meadowbrook Hall Concourse d' Elegance in 2000 had a special exhibition of Historic Hot Rods...it was fascinating ! Even a dyed in the wool restorer and AACA Judge such as myself whose background is in Archaeology finds historic hotrods to be an interesting part of the development of the modern automobile. Wern't all custom body builders of the Classis Era in fact "hotrodders" ? What about all the "assembled" cars of the teens and twenties? Should they not be eligible for AACA membership because they were put together from parts sourced from here and there ? If you're going to convince me that hotrods are unworthy you're going to first have to give me a definition of "hotrod" that doesn't apply to cars already being shown in AACA competetion, then maybe I'll listen. Every AACA event as well as every CCCA event includes cars that did not leave the factory looking as they do on the showfield. As to Jerry Duncan's motives...I can vouch for his long term and serious interest in historic hotrods as well as early race cars and I assure you his interest is not monetary. I'm sure he learned what a lot of us learned long ago..if cars are your hobby as well as your business it is virtually impossible to earn a buck..and if you do it goes right back into the hobby anyway! Kinda like an addict selling drugs...a vicious circle from which there is no escape.

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This whole thread started to sound sensible until Restorer32 comes on and trys to introduce all the muddy confusion again about "what is a hot rod?" bringing in "assembled cars," etc etc. Which once again causes some of us to ask, what happens when people begin to bring up all this confusion at a later date and persuade the obviously impressionable AACA directors to alter Class 37 and take this thing to the next level? Worse than that, once again we are back to deciding how, contrary to the example of presenting hot rods on the AACA fields, do we make the average guy inderstand that it's not OK to cut up an antique car and do this for himself today?

It's also a bit suspicious when our club president appeals to the "American Way" to shame us out of questioning his board's actions.

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Dave,

I'm not so sure about Bonneville being used for "street driven cars". It was a pretty big venture to support a car out in the middle of nowhere. I remember seeing the "Mormon Meteor" in the basement of the State Capitol when I was about 10 years old. It was a Bonneville car from the late 30's I believe. see http://www.uen.org/cgi-bin/websql/ucme/m...dia_item_id=585

(hope this link works)

cj

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It's a hot rodding conspiracy, think about it? The beast rears it's head in many ways? We must join together against the evil presented before us and not allow this devil into our club, our hearts must be pure and our minds clear or our very existenance will be threatened. What's next the Munsters car on the AACA showfield? Perhaps a Hot Wheels display complete with cartoonish full size replicas...they were built in the sixties weren't they?

How's this sound;

<span style="font-weight: bold">Welcome to the AACA World oooof Wheeeeelsssss [ECHO][ECHO]</span>

Come see the famous Night rider car next to the Playboy Bunny calender girl signing booth, it's awesome awesome awesome!! The monster truck display is next to the "Classic" car club show field, watch out for flying mud! AACA cars are in the back next to the porta potties and refuse heap, watch your step a few of the Porta's have overflowed a little! Make sure you see the Ed Roth AACA cars in front of the show field, you'll be blown away away away away!

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As I understand it (mainly from <span style="font-style: italic">History Channel</span> shows and a few books that mention the topic), in addition to world speed record attempts like Ab Jenkins' cars the Bonneville area was host to a lot of surrogate timed street racing by modified street cars. Mainly these cars were built by returning G.I.'s out of old heaps. Most references I've seen refer to this era as the gerimination of the modern "Hot Rod Era".

As a child I read the Henry Gregor Felsen series of books (<span style="font-style: italic">Hot Rod, Street Rod, etc.</span>), and these still are my main base for judging what a hot rod is. These books include a lot of long distance street racing (set in IA, although that's not always clear). I envision the Bonneville scene as being somewhat similar.

Then again, when <span style="font-style: italic">I</span> was in high school we'd "cruise" by parking in a lot (where we'd usually get chased eventually). Gas was just too expensive to waste driving around or racing each other! I'm no hot rod expert.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> How's this sound;

Welcome to the AACA World oooof Wheeeeelsssss [ECHO][ECHO]

Come see the famous Night rider car next to the Playboy Bunny calender girl signing booth, it's awesome awesome awesome!! The monster truck display is next to the "Classic" car club show field, watch out for flying mud! AACA cars are in the back next to the porta potties and refuse heap, watch your step a few of the Porta's have overflowed a little! Make sure you see the Ed Roth AACA cars in front of the show field, you'll be blown away away away away!

</div></div>

Like a painfully obvious distortion. Funny though!

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Dave, You're on the right track......BUT once a vehicle enters a timed event it becomes a race vehicle. We have two AACA Senior cars in Class 24A that were Hot Rods that were driven out to the Dry Lakes and set SCTA records. There is a photo of one car shot in a snow storm with chaines on the rear wheels! Sure they were driven! I can't recall which issue of Antique Automobile featured both of these cars on the back cover. The Ray Brown #99 (original owner/builder) car is in the Petersen Collection and is a fine example of the type of vehicle that could be in Class 37, but since it has a proven RACE RECORD it is displayed in Class 24A

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While "Dave@Moon" and 1937hd45 try to distract us, Restorer32 seems to be simplifying the "monetary" consideration. Do you think that having a hot rod designated as "certified by AACA" will not boost its price over that of all those lesser "uncertified" hot rods? Duncan's "Happy Days" hot rod value ought to jump over one decimal place in value once he gets this class through. What about Moon and Bob's rods? The beauty of the internet is that we all can watch this happen and post the developments on these forums. They might get away with this but it won't be unnoticed.

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I agree with Restorer. I have stated before, I showed a 1911 at Pebble the first year they opened it to HISTORIC hot rods. These were rods that at one time graced the covers of Hot Rod Magazine and others. They had history. It was fabulous to see these cars and i am in favor of giving AACA the opportunity to see if they can do this right.

AACA needs to grow and adding this class MAY help. Certainly it may give one of these guys the idea to actually RESTORE a car as well. I just do not understand why some members think this is so sinister!

Also think it ludicrous that a AACA certification of any kind will increase the value of one of these cars. They do not need it! Watch the auction values at Scotsdale this year and see what the "new" hot rods bring! To those with a love for the original hot rods, price will be no object.

I think it admirable that the President communicated with this forum and believe AACA should be given the chance to introduce this class without all of us not going nuts. The important thing is to get the class right which should end most of the concerns. However, I recognize that for some this class is a complete travesty and they will never feel otherwise. Since these cars were already built, I do not understand the concerns...

Anyway,Happy Holidays!

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Bob ~ Honest question not intended to start anything. smile.gif

Can a vehicle that has been AACA certified as a race car be returned to nothing status after 10 years like a 1st prize winner, or is it forever bound to class 24a.

If it fits the criteria of an Historic Hot Rod, does the fact that it has been raced at a sanctioned race [but maybe not AACA certified in class 24a] mean it cannot be certified for Class 37?

Shouldn't the owner of such a vehicle have the option of where he wants to compete? Oops, shocked.gif this is not a competition class is it? It is for exhibition only, and was only created as a class for one year, or so we are being told.

This seems to be just one more example of incomplete thinking by the good folks who brought you Class 37. frown.gif

hvs

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Hey Howard,

I think you're as confused as I am! I do thank Jim Raines for addressing this topic but I'm not sure if he clarified issues or created more! Where is the cutoff date that Bob told us is forthcoming? What about cars rodded today and sit back and wait 25 years, with documentation, to wait their turn on the AACA showfield?

I'm sure these questions will be raised at the meeting in Philly and I can only hope to be there to hear the answers.

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Hay Howard, you brought up an important point. Who did bring Class 37 to the AACA? I think it was the current VP of Judging Russ Fisher and his predecessor Joe Vicini. Has anybody seen there posting on the Forum? You'd think the guys who loved this idea so much to bring it into the AACA would have something to say about it here? wink.gif

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Howard, Great question! This is how I see things, and it is just me not AACA, so who knows what is going to happen. As of now a Hot Rod built in let us say 1950, and raced on the Dry Lakes or Bonneville could apply and be "Certified" as a race car in class 24A. In 1928 two different Gran Prix Bugattis rolled out of the factory, one went on to have a famous race career, the other was street drived all its life. Fast forward to today BOTH Bugattis are 400 point restorations, only ONE can be shown in class 24A, after it is "Certified". The twin that was a road car all its life ( NO race history)goes into class 25 production sports cars. The way I look at things Class 37 will be Hot Rods without any racing history, street driven, or purpose built show cars. I don't know how AACA would view a change after 10 years, my guess is that if the owner (or a new one) wanted to swap classes he could. Can you restore a HPOF car, and show it? If I had a "Certified" race car that to Joe Adverage looked like a Hot Rod I'd keep it in Class 24A, but that is just my opinion. I agree with the Olds guy that what will be on the AACA show field in Class 37 will be the same as what was at Pebble Beach. If anyone thinks those cars in that display are owned by some kid with no knowledge of automotive history, you are sadly mistaken.

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Gentlemen, My question is why would anybody want to have a hot rod displayed an an AACA show field?

Recognition?, maybe;

Awards?, there are none!;

Magazine exposure, almost non-existant other than the AACA magazine.

So, why would someone with a certified car go to all the trouble to bring a rod to an AACA national event? He takes the same hot rod to a national rod show and can get recognition in any number of national magazines and maybe even television coverage. He can win money awards, not just trophies. If he wants to sell the car, he's in the right place with the right clientele. Buyers at these rod shows have large amounts of cash with them throughout the weekend. The way I look at it, they would bring their cars to a national AACA show because they love preserving historic automobiles, just like the rest of us do. Making money never crosses their mind. As a matter of fact, like most of us, their cars are not for sale at any price. Just something else for you guys to think about. Wayne Burgess

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Just to keep everybody honest, Burgess used to list the following cars below his posts on this website. They disappeared after the hot-rod discussions got serious:

35 fordor streetrod

32 ford highboy coupe

Note that they will qualify under the current pulbished definitions of Class 37.

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Gosh, I wish I was as smart as you people think I am. I did post those cars along with a '56 chevy sedan delivery and '65 fuel injected corvette coupe, both aaca cars. The problem is I had to type them in each time as I haven't figured out how to make it permanent. Like I said, I'm a little slow. As to the rods, the '35 was last built in 1999, not eligible; the '32 highboy is eligible,as I posted this past fall along with pictures, which I guess you guys missed,if I want to go to all the trouble to repaint it that ugly black color with flames, put those old wagon wheels back on it, and replace the engine with an early 283. and generally make it something I don't like. That's the thing about Rods, they evolve/change in each owner's hands. They generally get better with age like fine wine. Unless the rod in question had a "famous history", nobody in his right mind would jump through all of the certification hoops to get his car in the show. Gosh, I feel like Senator Trent Lott justifying my stupidity! grin.gif After all, it's just a car show! Wayne

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Well stated Wayne! I'd holdoff publishing a full financial statement on this site. What you or ANYONE has is of no consern to the topic matter. Ever notice when some people a loosing a discussion badly they change the subject or drag money into it? Have a Merry Christmas!

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Gotta say, guys it is interesting when the rodders mention money ("plenty of cash in hand at the shows", "Scarsdale auction", etc.) it just get accepted as a valid part of the documentation of this discussion. But then someone proposes that money is behind Class 37 all the bells and whistles come out to discredit him/her. You learned from Bill and Hillary, but not well.

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I wish to personally thank President Raines and Jerry Duncan for their explanations. I trust everyone has had time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and the meaning of the AACA as an organization as well. I know you all have discussed this subject pretty near to death, but I would like you to stop whatever you are doing for a second and reflect on the real meaning of this class 37 issue. Given the Judges hard line history of presenting our cars as they were delivered to the dealer completely devoid of accessories, why in Heaven's name would you even consider showing a more severely accesorized, modified, customized version? I know, there I go attempting to apply common sense and logic to an irrational, emotionally charged situation! Is this to be the 'New' AACA? If so, we should probably also modify class 5 to include Harley Choppers and invite our HOG buddies from Sturgis to join our shows! They exist. They happened. They are part of automotive history! While we are at it, lets add another class for Perambulators. There were many significant wheeled vehicles without motors. Don't laugh, this is not as rediculous as it sounds. The philosophy is EXACTLY the same! Some of you seem to be of the opinion that the nomenclature behind the letters AACA have changed from 'ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE Club of America' to 'Anything Automotive Club of America'.Somehow over the years our mission statement has been adjusted to include everything that happened in automotive history. Perhaps I'm showing my age here in that I do not look forward to the next generation bringing their freshly restored Honda Civics to a show and affectionately referring to it as 'antique'! I likewise do not wish for the AACA to turn into a clone of the WPC in that at a national meet when all the trophies are awarded to all the classes, somewhere after 11:30 PM when the trophy for 'The best preserved 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup' is handed out I yawn and head for bed! The point I, and many others, am trying to make is by trying to ba all things to all people we are diluting rather than enhancing the character of an organization which I THOUGHT was dedicated to the preservation of, and showing of, our Antique Automobiles! Face it, Rods exist! They will not go away by ignoring them. They do have their place in the grander scheme of things. Just NOT the SAME place as our restored antique cars!!! This continuing extrapolation of classes was, and still is, a flawed concept and should be reversed. By the board, if necessary or by a vote of the general mambership!!!

Rodger "Dodger" Hartley

1915 Dodge Brothers Roadster

1928 Dodge Brothers Std6 Cabriolet

1934 Dodge Brothers KC Pickup

1958 BMW Isetta 300 motocoupe

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Part of me agrees but then please justify the inclusion of all the custom bodied Classics of the 20s thru 40s, the professional cars thru the years, also "customized" cars, up to this years Hershey where a 1919 Meisenhelder was shown which started life as a Paige-Daytona Roadster and was modified (hotrodded) during the 20s. We also judge motorbikes which never were and never could have been licensed for street use. I often thought of trying to registering a John Deere Tractor...under some circumstances perfectly legal for street use. My point is our definition of "antique car " needs work...perhaps we should grandfather in all wheeled and motorized vehicles pre 1960 (you pick a date), then be far more strict from here on? There has to be a solution somewhere.

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I think the Board needs to take a step back and reconsider their actions regarding this proposed class. Here's why:

1. It is not in keeping with the original spirit and intent of the AACA.

2. The language regarding this class is open to so many differing interpretations that a consistent application of the rules will not be possible.

3. This issue has caused such a controversy among the membership that the Board needs to ask itself if the creation of this class is worth the trouble and long term negative impact to the club.

4. The Board needs to explain to the membership who on the Board is pushing this class and why. If they can't or won't do this then it does not need to go forward.

If the Board still wants to move this class forward, a poll of the membership should be taken to see if the support is there for the creation of this class. If the majority of the membership is not in favor of this class, then it should not be created.

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Restorer32 ~ Custom Bodied Classics were built by recognized body manufacturers, often in conjunction with the manufacturer of the vehicle, in factories devoted to that operation; NOT by Harry Hacksaw in his garage or back yard. Yeah, I know, George Barris had a shop, but for the most part we are not talking about his products here.

Just my opinion in an effort to differentiate between custom bodied cars and hot rods.

hvs

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Perhaps I'm showing my age here in that I do not look forward to the next generation bringing their freshly restored Honda Civics to a show and affectionately referring to it as 'antique'! </div></div>

Rodger,

This nightmare scenario has been a possibility now for <span style="font-weight: bold"> [color:\\"red\\"] five years! </span> This year's (2003) illustrious inductees to AACA eligibility include the awesome automotive giants: Dodge Omni, Diplomat & Magnum XE; Ford LTD II & Fairmont; Mercury Zephyr; AMC Concorde; Lincoln Versailles; and the Plymouth Horizon. rolleyes.gifsleepdeep.gif

Just think, we only have to wait one more year for that first AACA Senior [color:\\"red\\"]Fiat Strada!!!! <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">OH BOY!!!</span></span> eek.gif

In fact, arguably the most intesting and significant new cars eligible for the AACA this year will be Japanese: the Subaru BRAT, the Honda Accord (it had to happen), and the Mitsubishi Built Challenger/Sapporro twins.

Does anybody expect next year's crop to be any better? How about 2005? Aren't we all itching for that first AACA Senior Chevy Citation (with the spare tire that doesn't fit the front wheel, if it is to be truly as it arrived at the dealer in 1980!).

Most readers of this forum weren't around for our early days here (1999, 2000), when the main topic of discussion was the aging of the hobby and how difficult it has been and will be to attract new blood. Class 37, along with the new "Driver's Class (which is why I re-joined after 10 years), are positive steps in the direction of maintaining as much of the "antique" nature of the hobby as is humanly possible in the future. One would hope that every 1949 Hudson would be restored and maintained as forever authentic to the last bolt. However, if that is the only option open to anyone as an introduction to the hobby, the guys who sell "interesting" cars one piece at a time out of a free catalog are going to win!

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