The Car Club Association of Central New York was founded in the fall of 1988 by a group of dedicated car enthusiasts to provide communication among local clubs.
“The association is basically a group formed in order to get the hobbyist car clubs together,” association President Dennis Connor said. “It’s a way for the clubs to cooperate, for representatives from the clubs to meet and talk about news and ideas in the hobby. “
Longley, an Onondaga Hill resident, said he was always “a car person.”
“In the mid to late 80s I got into older cars and muscle cars, so this was a natural evolution,” he said. “I bought a ‘66 thunderbird in 1987 and got involved cruising with it and met other hobbyists at shows.”
With a current membership of 56 clubs, the association now extends from Plattsburgh to Binghamton and from Cooperstown to Jamestown. One of the functions of the association is to aid in organization of the many area car show dates.
Making a difference
The culmination of that calendar of shows is the Syracuse Nationals, where members volunteered since the show’s inception 12 years ago.
“Car Club Association members come in and do a lot of the legwork at the show for free,” Connor said. “And the fact that we volunteer at the show allows the Syracuse Nationals to save money, which is donated, with over half a million dollars going to charity in the last 11 years.”
The Syracuse Nationals said on their website that the Car Club Association “[has] been strong supporters of the show for the past 11 years and a very important part of the show’s success.”
According to the association’s website, “Club members often help smaller clubs in their efforts to put on shows. The association also provides the clubs the opportunity to have their show advertised on posters and tear-offs all over the Central New York area.”
The association keeps its member clubs in contact “through newsletters, email, attending car shows and ‘Cruise Nights,’” according to cnycca.org.
The association also lobbies on behalf of its members in both Albany and Washington.
“We address issues that are important to us,” Connor said. “One of the more recent ones is that we are against ethanol being put into gasoline – not only does it decrease mileage but it gives off more sulphur dioxide.”
Another example of a cause the association has gotten behind is to oppose a bill outlawing bumper guards on trucks.
“We keep up with current legislation and make sure to keep our members informed,” Connor said. “We try to represent, educate and petition our point of view.”
Connor said the area has many clubs for car enthusiasts of all types.
“Central New York is very diverse – you have hobbyists who like Pontiac, Ford, Chevy, Chrysler products, MG, a fire equipment club and truck clubs – all in the association. They each have their own niche, and a common goal: To further their hobby.
“Many of the clubs have car shows and events they put on, and we help promote them. They are fun, family-oriented events,” Connor said. “For all of us, this is a hobby. We are not professionals and are not in it for personal gain – we just love cars.”
And although he no longer owns the ’66 Thunderbird, he is still an enthusiast.
“My wife has a 2001 Mustang GT and I have a 2006 Mustang Roush,” he said. “Anyone who loves cars can join a club – if they visit our website, cnycca.org, and click on club contacts, they’ll see the clubs affiliated with us.”
For more information on car shows for 2012, check the website at the end of March.