OF THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS REGION CCCA
Anyone attending a
SPIRIT OF ST.
LOUIS REGION OF THE CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA FUNCTION would find it hard to
believe that there were actually two failed attempts before our success in
The first attempt
at establishing a
local region took place in the fall of 1959. A general meeting was held at the
home of CHARLIE and MARION SEEWOSTER in the 5800 block of ENRIGHT AVE. in ST.
In attendance were eight men, and a
few assorted wives and girlfriends. Among the former were EARL ROSEN, SALES
MANAGER FOR ROSEN BROKERAGE; CHARLES SEEWOSTER, INSURANCE; SQUEEKY BONGNER,
OWNER U-CITY AUTO GLASS; FRED SUMMERS, STUDENT; JOE FELBERBAUM, STUDENT; MAURY
WEINSTEIN, OWNER FEDERAL SALVAGE; the other two men are lost in the mists of
time. ROSEN was acclaimed as the president. Although everybody received a post
of some kind, I have since forgotten what my portfolio was. We all gave $3.00
for a year’s membership to the new secretary-treasurer, and we were off and
running. But it was not to be, the membership stagnated at about 24 and we
became involved in a turf war. At least two surrounding regions disputed our
right to exist; things became muddied, and the abortive
attempt died sometime in 1960.
The second attempt
of establishing a
CCCA region was made in 1967. ROSEN was encouraged by a major national tour
(CARavan) that spent 3 days in St. Louis. I still remember GEORGE TISSEN, then
CCCA President, perched on the boot of ROSEN’S 1941 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL CABRIOLET
in a St. Louis parade. Emboldened by all of this attention, ROSEN made a second
attempt of at establishing a local region. ROSEN discussed his plans with me
during several telephone conversations. I offered my support, but told him I
was just beginning my heavy convention travel schedule, and would not be in St.
Louis for about two months. Upon my return I found four invitations for
meetings for the new CCCA region, the latest one was dated the next Tuesday at
the home of EARL ROSEN. I made plans to attend. I was about a half-hour late,
but upon arrival I was pleased to see a good turnout of about twenty men,
approximately a dozen ladies, all of whom were enjoying finger food and
cocktails. The club treasurer found me; I gave him $5.00 for a year’s dues.
DEJA VU, I thought.
The meetings main business topic was
choosing a name. After much discussion they finally voted for my offering,
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY REGION of the CCCA. I was pleased to make my mark for
posterity in the OLD CAR WORLD. But my glory was short-lived. When I returned
to town after a three-month absence, the St. Louis Region of the CCCA had
disappeared. The poor 1959 attempt was never even named and died without a
whimper within four months. The second attempt, the MISSISSIPPI VALLEY REGION
was made of tougher stuff. It died
kicking and screaming all the way, and finally expired after living and
fighting for about eight months. But the end result was still the same.
In 1968 there was still not
a CCCA region in
That was all to change in 1984, but
that is another story.
Written by: Fred Summers
I had only been in
the CCCA since
1979 but already had been on several Caravans. I felt ST. LOUIS could support a
region and interest was there. Speaking with Earl Rosen on the subject, he
agreed. (I did not know at time there had been several failed attempts early on
to do just that).
Earl volunteered his
help and we
were off and running again. In January of 1984 a meeting was held at my home
with 28 interested parties in attendance. This was enough warm bodies to
organize a provisional region with a blessing from National. During the year
more meetings were held with new faces showing up each time. We were now 35
strong. Other activities were held including tours, picnics, and I was even
successful in enticing a few of the members to go on CARavan. Going on CARavan
to me, was what the club was all about; new friendships made and old ones
renewed. Actually seeing the Country from the ground and pride of knowing (or
hoping) your Classic will make the trip with no, or minimal problems. (In all
24 caravans I have made, only one time I had to do a roadside repair. That was
not the cars fault: poor repair of a water pump by a restorer).
In January of 1985
at the annual
meeting THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS REGION OF THE CLASSIC CAR CLUB OF AMERICA
became a full-fledged region of the CCCA with the presentation of our charter.
Our next job was to prove our worth and show we could contribute.
In 1987 the region
decided we should
sponsor a CARavan. We applied to National and were given 1989 as our year to
show what we could do. A meeting was held and an organizing committee was
formed. Planning a caravan is a formidable task. A total of 32 people formed
the nucleus and we were off and running again.
The route was planned,
activities were scheduled and on and on until the full week was put on paper.
Jobs were given out with nary a complaint. It was our job to provide an
unforgettable week of fun and travel. Someone was watching over us. The
temperature never got over 80 and with only one morning with a misty rain,
which quit at noon and out came the sun. This all happened in August. Would you
believe it? Our fearless leader during the planning and execution of this
undertaking was Don Hoelscher. Our region is very fortunate having him as a
The SPIRIT OF ST.
LOUIS REGION was
not without other contributions. In the years 1991, 1993, and 2001 we hosted
Grand Classics. Dick Davie planned and carried out each one with real professionalism.
Our next claim to fame was the annual meeting in 1992. It was done with real
"class" at the Hyatt Regency at the Union Station. Many past
Presidents of National were in attendance. Each was introduced and presented
with a gift in appreciation of their contributions. It was a long
evening!!!!!!!! Again we were blessed
with sunshine and moderate temperature. Not bad for January.
Somewhere in the middle
90’s it was
suggested the region sponsor another CARavan. Once again Don Hoelscher stepped in
to head up this undertaking. We were assigned 1999. Unfortunately for us,
National had scheduled two other caravans for that year. We were unaware of
this at the time. Our group of CARavaneers was smaller but a good time was had
Almost every month during the year
we all meet at a designated restaurant for dinner. This is in lieu of a regular
meeting. Attendance is excellent.
Most of the time a guest speaker is
More chapters of SPIRIT
OF ST. LOUIS
REGION’S HISTORY is yet to be written, including another National Annual
Meeting which was held in January 2005.
Keep tuned in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Written by: Joel Haffner