A Brief History
starting with a model a
Early minutes show that a notice was placed in the Lafayette Journal & Courier about a meeting for the purpose of starting a local chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America. Said meeting was held on Sunday February 5, 1961 at the Columbia Park Pavilion. Charles Hillhouse, in charge of arrangements for the meeting said, “all owners of Model A cars and persons who expect to obtain one are invited to attend”. Historian note: It is not determined how this meeting evolved from one of a Model A interest to our now Historic Auto Club. There were 17 people in attendance.
1961 charter members
First record of actual membership is in the secretary’s minutes, inserted without a date, prior to the first club outing which was June 11, 1961 at Happy Hollow Park in West Lafayette. The following members were listed and indicated that membership cards were issued: Bob Peters, Charles Weigle, Paul Finkenbinder, Ed Cavanaugh, Alvin Cadwalder, Jim Haan Jr., Bill Barnes, Carl Shafer, Lawrence Goben, Joe Randolph, Bill Burns, Basil Sweet, Barry Dishon, Bill Enyart, Charles Guinn, Chet Elkins, Don Johnson, Charles Hillhouse, Grant Davis, John Larch, Charles Stroop, and Bill Campbell. These are now called “Charter Members”.
The club by-laws were written with extractions from by-laws from similar clubs and were hashed out and rewritten with the help of Robert Peters, a lawyer and club member. The by-laws were passed by the membership on October 25, 1961 at the Columbian Park Jenks Memorial Rest Center. In Article 1, Section 2 of the by-laws it is stated the purpose of this club shall be:
To encourage the members in the acquisition, preservation, restoration and exhibition of antique automobiles, in particular printer matter concerning same.
To disseminate accurate historical and technical information relative to antique automobiles, promote good fellowship and cooperation between its members and sponsor events, tours and exhibitions of antique automobiles and doing of all things necessary or incident thereto.
First Board and Dues
First elected Board of Directors for 1961-1962 were as follows: President - Charles Stroop, Vice President - Charles Hillhouse, Secretary - Dave Chambers, Treasurer- Earl Seymour. Board Members were: Evelyn Hillhouse, John Larch, and Jude Dilden.
The first dues were $2.00 per year per family. In seeking start up material, one member had a couple of reams of yellow paper which were used to start our newsletter, hence the name “The Yellow Pages”. It is noted that the first by-laws in defining types of membership, made specific reference to Family which included wife, husband and children under the age of 21 of an active member.
Viable For Over 50 Years
Our club has been viable for over 50 years and the original purpose and intent is still being fulfilled. It is truly a family organization and though our membership seems to be aging, compared to the old days when we had a lot of our children at our events, the old cars bring together a spirit of adventure, and a cause to preserve history which makes for much social interaction with a common interest. We have over 100 members as of this writing.
People and Places
The many people we have met, the many places we have been with the old cars and most of all the many friends we have made over the years makes our association a very enjoyable experience which we hope shall continue on to succeeding generations.
(Article written by John Larch, Charter Member and Historian, July 2008. Updated August 2013)