On Feb. 26, the Sports Car Club of America celebrated their 70th birthday. The world was a lot different when seven sports car enthusiasts met at the Boston, Mass. home of Chapin Wallour in 1944 to form a club dedicated to the preservation of sports cars. World War 2 would rage on for another 18 months; the average car cost $1,220, if you could find one currently being produced; a house averaged $8,600, bread was nine cents a loaf, and minimum wage was 30 cents per hour.
The first meeting of the SCCA was a bit more exclusive than today’s members would recognize. The list of cars owned by founding members Everett Dickinson, John Duby, Arnold Engborg, Theodore Robertson, George Schulz, Robert Townsend, and Chapin Wallour sound like museum pieces today: a Duesenberg “J” double cowl Phaeton, a Lancia Lambda 5th Series Roadster, a Kissel Speedster, Stutz DV 32 Sports Tourer, Mercer series 4 Raceabout, Isotte Fraschini type 8A Castagna Convertible Coupe, a Rolls Royce Phantom I Ascot Phaeton, and on.
Those humble beginnings would grow to today’s 60,000 member club, hosting events around the country and helping to launch legends Mark Donohue, Jim Hall, Skip Barber, Bobby Rahal, Roger Penske, George Follmer and so many more.
While the Sports Car Club of America stands on the shoulders of these giants, the next 70 years might be even more impressive. Youngsters like 17-year-old Peter Portante, 2013’s Formula Continental champion at the Runoffs, Amanda Hahn, the 17-year-old B-Street Prepared Ladies Solo National Champion, and 22-year-old Solo Driver of the Year Tom O’Gorman continue to set the groundwork for the SCCA’s future – and they’re not alone. Each SCCA event continues to showcase the next generation’s stars, many who have already begun to take that leap toward Hall of Fame status.
The founding members laid the building blocks for the current version of the Club, as has every passionate member along the way. The building blocks continue to grow today.
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