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VMCCA changes its name to Vintage Motor Car Club of America in bid to attract new members

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April 1957 VMCCA rally. Photo by Jon Delorey.

After nearly 80 years as the Veteran Motor Car Club of America – and after about 20 years of attempting to change the name – the members of the club voted last week to officially change the name to Vintage Motor Car Club of America, hoping that by altering that one word, they’ll be able to recruit more members.

“It was really the result of confusion over the word ‘veteran,'” Don Knight, the newly elected president of the VMCCA said. “When the club was formed in 1938, old cars were referred to as ‘veterans,’ but in more recent years we were more perceived as a military car club or that you had to be a military veteran to join.”

Knight said that confusion cropped up almost constantly. Somebody recently offered to donate a large sum to the club specifically to fund a restoration project for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, while the producers of a television show contacted the club to see if club officers could help track down war veteran car collectors.

By avoiding that association, Knight said, he hopes the new name will communicate to potential members that they are welcome to join regardless of their status as military veterans.

The name change was not necessarily intended to attract younger members or to change any other aspects of how the club – devoted primarily to touring – will operate. While certain chapters and specific tours restrict the cars participating to stricter cutoff years (the VMCCA-hosted Glidden Tours restrict participating cars to 1942 and older, for example, while a Nickel Age chapter restricts eligibility to 1916 to 1927 cars), VMCCA tours generally allow unmodified cars 25 years and older to participate.

While 86 percent of the club membership voted to change the name – well more than the two-thirds necessary to change the club’s bylaws – Knight said a rather vocal opposition to the name change, based on respect for the club’s founding members and their intent, almost prevented the vote.

“It’s been discussed several times over the last 20 years but never came to a vote before the members because all past presidents didn’t think they would get the two-thirds vote,” Knight said. The results of a survey among the members last year convinced Knight to proceed despite what he once perceived as overwhelming opposition to the name change.

Club members also voted at last week’s national membership meeting to alter the bylaws to conform to IRS regulations. According to Bob Edelman, the club’s treasurer, the prior bylaws didn’t include several boilerplate clauses – among them, an anti-discrimination clause, one forbidding personal benefit from the club by any member, and one addressing the disposition of the club’s assets were it to dissolve – so Edelman said he thought this was an appropriate time to include them. As of 2015, the VMCCA files taxes as a 501(c)7 non-profit social club, and Edelman said there’s no reason to alter that status, despite some calls from members to make it a 501(c)3.

According to Knight, the two votes represent the first bylaw changes for the club since 2002.

“This is a golden opportunity for us to get our name out there and reintroduce ourselves to the old car world,” Knight said.

For more information on the Vintage Motor Car Club of America, visit