Our Club

The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) is about vintage automobiles and the pleasure of the sport. Since its beginning in 1952, the Members of the CCCA have been dedicated to the collection, preservation and enjoyment of the world’s finest cars. Automobiles manufactured from 1915 to 1948 remain the primary focus of the club today. CCCA members have held Grand Classic® car shows, enjoyed CARavans and published The Classic Car magazine plus other materials every year since the Club's founding.


Club History

It was an idea whose time had come. At least this spirited band of enthusiasts thought so. The year was 1951. Owners of Packards, Cadillacs and the like - vintage late 1920's to early 1930's - found to their chagrin, upon arriving at old car meets, that they were not eligible to participate because the vehicles they were driving were "too modern." The Antique Automobile Club of America, the nation's oldest organization in the hobby, had relegated the enthusiasts' chosen wheels to Class 19, designated "Tow Cars." Since these vehicles were, to their minds more properly defined by the term "Classic", a new organization seemed called for. The Classic Car Club of America was born later that year, In March of 1952, entertainer Herb Shriner invited the fledgling club to exhibit at the International Motor Sport Show held at the Grand Central Palace in New York City. A 1931 Cadillac V-16 All Weather Phaeton was spruced up and set up on the balcony - with a recruiting table alongside. Before the show, CCCA membership stood at twenty. By the end of the show, seventy five more enthusiasts had been signed up.

And the Club roster more than doubled again in the next six months. On September 17th, 1952, the Classic Car Club of America was incorporated with 212 founding members. In January of 1953, Volume I, Number 1 of The Classic Car magazine came off the press. That July the club's first show - The Grand Classic - was held at Washington's Crossing State Park in New Jersey. In August the first tour - the CARavan - wended its way from the East Coast to Detroit where the Club was the guest of the Packard Motor Car Company, whose hospitality included a trek to Utica where the Classics were exercised on the famous Packard proving ground track.

Already the AACA had changed its Class 19 designation to "Classic Cars." The nice thing about an idea whose time has come is how quickly the word gets around and is cheerfully accepted. The CCCA proceeded from strength to strength. By 1960 membership passed the 2500 mark. Today membership in the club reaches over 3500 worldwide. The club is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, near Chicago. But, intrinsically, the CCCA is everywhere that Classic Cars are celebrated.

Club Mission Statement

The name of the Club, which is a non-profit membership corporation chartered in the State of New York, shall be: CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA, INC.

The purposes for which the Club are founded are: for the development, publication and interchange of technical, historical and other information for and among members and other persons who own or are interested in fine or unusual foreign or domestic motorcars built between and including the years 1915 and 1948 and are distinguished for their representative fine design, high engineering standards and superior workmanship, and to promote social exchange and fellowship among its members: and to maintain references upon and encourage the maintenance, restoration, and preservation of all such Classic cars.

Defining a Classic

Usually the cars recognized as "CCCA Classics" were built in limited production numbers and were quite expensive when new. As a group, they represent the pinnacle of engineering, styling and design for their era.

So how many cars were actually built that CCCA considers to be Full Classics? It's a frequently asked question. Hopefully, the selection from an article submitted by CCCA Classifications Chairman, Jon Lee, will shed a little light on the subject.

By the Number

I think we were on our way, by bus, to "The Hermitage", Jackson's homestead near Nashville Tennessee. It was close to the finish of the Natchez Trace CARavan in September of '96. I had been pontificating on some Classic Car subject (my father always warned me not to do that, else I got in trouble) and the question of total number of Classic Cars built was raised. Naturally I jumped in with the figure of 2.5 million. Soon, Bob Turnquist was at my side asking where that number came from. I replied it was a combination of real numbers and a good degree of conjecture on my part. Bob suggested I do a bit more research and establish some concrete numbers. Well, actually, what he said was this: "I'm giving you this assignment," for which I thank you, Bob. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said something to this effect: "All I need is someone to make me do the things I know I should do."

I determined that I would first concentrate on American Classics only, at this time. Maybe the foreign Classics will come later. Of course this does include Rolls-Royce of America, but I have excluded Classic Buicks made for export, and commercial chassis wherever I could. There are quite a few entries for which there are no absolute numbers. Good guesses have been put forth by several knowledgeable authors published in the "Classic Car" such as Keith Marvin, Bill Snyder and Karl Zahm. For these efforts I am very grateful as it has made it slightly closer to possible to put these numbers together. Other sources I have listed at the conclusion of the list.

The Classic Makes are listed in descending order of production with appropriate notes as we go along. Please don't assume this is absolute Gospel. I would be very pleased to hear from those of you with more positive information and will present additional information if it is available. As proof positive of my intentions, within a couple of days after I sent the first draft of this to Fred Roe, he returned to me some very interesting and enlightening information which I have included in this, now, updated version. A gentleman by the name of Jerry Falck has provided quite a bit of production information to Bev Kimes that Fred was able to send to me.

So, while this has begun as an interesting assignment from Bob Turnquist, it has begun to grow into a group effort.

Download Full Text of About Classics:By the Numbers List as a PDF.

Grand Classics

Our Grand Classics are exciting and fun events to participate in for the collector and the whole family. You do not have to own a Classic Car to participate in Grand Classic activities. The Grand Classics are the premier National shows for Classic Cars, and the CCCA judging standards are used by all of the major concours shows. A CCCA National first is recognized throughout the hobby as the standard of excellence. This is a good opportunity as well to see how your car "stacks up" and what, if anything, you need to do to preserve it historically. You must of course be a member of CCCA to participate, and only CCCA approved Classics are allowed on the show field. You don't need a Show Car or Trailer Queen to participate, we have a Touring Class for cars that are more drivers than show cars. This is a great excuse to join the CCCA. We have Grand Classics nation-wide every year, so this is great time for your car to to climb all the way up to Premier.