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    The local chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America is the Chautauqua Lake Region AACA. The national AACA has grown from its humble beginnings in 1935 to become the largest antique automobile club in the world, with over 50,000 members in all 50 states, and in more than 50 countries. Membership in the club includes a subscription to "Antique Automobile", the very high quality bi-monthly official magazine. The Chautauqua Lake Region was founded in 1957, and is one of over 400 regions and chapters affiliated with the national club. Membership in the national club is required to be a member of a local region.


    This local region is very active, with a membership of over 200 men and women. Ownership of an antique car (defined by the AACA for judging purposes as being 25 years or older) is not required. An interest in old cars is all that is needed, as there are many ways to enjoy the hobby, such as literature and memorabilia collecting, and just going to area car shows and cruise-ins. Though it won't be long before you are hooked, looking for that first old car. Many times a connection through the club will lead you to the car you are looking for.


    The activities of the club are many and varied. the largest undertaking every year is the automotive flea market held the third weekend in May at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk. This is the club's fundraiser for the year, and is staffed and planned entirely by club members. Vendors from several neighboring states and Canada, as well as local vendors, fill the fairgrounds to sell new and used parts, toys, tools, and memorabilia. If it's auto related, it will be there. There is also a Car Corral, where one can purchase a whole car, ranging in condition from show car to "needing complete restoration". Setup day is Thursday, with the flea market running Friday through Sunday.


    Many members of the club are also involved with the World Series of Cars Committee in Jamestown, NY. The committee hosts the largest car show in the area the fourth Sunday in July every year. the purpose of the show is to raise money for the Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee, which has hosted 14 Babe Ruth World Series events since 1980. Over the years, more than $200,000 has been raised for this cause. In addition to being a great thing for the kids, the economic impact on the area is measured in the millions of dollars. There are usually 350 - 400 show cars in attendance, where over 120 trophies (donated by local businesses) are awarded to those judged, ranging from stock production to street rods to motorcycles. There are many other special attractions as well, and lots of food, starting with breakfast at 7 am, and continuing on throughout the day. Official show hours are 8 am until 5 pm.


    Monthly club meetings are held throughout the year at 7:30 on the third Wednesday of the month at the War Vets Rec Club on Fluvanna Ave. in Jamestown. A club newsletter, the "Runningboard Rundown", is published monthly and sent to club members. Other activities include touring with the cars several times over the summer, usually on a Sunday, and almost always ending up somewhere good to eat. Our "Round Robin" tour is an annual tradition, as are the children's Christmas party, the Valentine's dinner dance, and the winter overnight bus trip. An appreciation dinner is held every fall to reward those who worked at the flea market.


    Sound like fun? The AACA can be reached on its website at www.aaca.org. The local club can be contacted at Chautauqua Lake Region AACA, PO Box 821, Jamestown NY 14701, or call club Secretary Bub Phillips at 716-665-3570.


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