The August 2008 AACA Regional Tour, Springfield MA

In August 2008, I participated in my first Regional AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Tour. AACA tours are very different from rallies like the New England 1000, which by this time I had participated in about a half dozen times. A “tour” is much more relaxed, offering greater freedom for one to tour local sites on one’s own schedule.

My wife came along on this one and enjoyed its more laid-back pace compared to the one NE1000 rally in which she participated, in 2001. We did this Berkshires/Springfield tour in my 1968 Mustang California Special, and she also appreciated the higher level of comfort than was offered in the MGB which was our ride in ’01.

The accompanying photos reveal a change from 14 years ago compared to today’s tours: in 2008, most of the participating vehicles were truly “older cars”. You’ll see that vehicles from the ’40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s comprise the majority of the iron. Today’s tour vehicles are about 50% from the ‘80s and ‘90s (nothing wrong with that as they meet the AACA ‘twenty-five years or older’ rule), and about 50% modern iron, likely because the aging AACA membership is simply more comfortable driving their 3- or 4-year-old SUV with climate control, cruise control, and Bluetooth phone control.

A highlight of the week was our visit to Tanglewood. Tour participants were allowed to drive onto the grounds, and our cars became an ad hoc car show in the afternoon before the concert. While I was already a member of the National AACA when I signed up for this event, it was here where I met a small gang from Noo Joisy who corralled me into joining their Regional Chapter, where I’ve been a somewhat active member these past dozen years.

A note about the photos: these are a mix of digital and film photos, and could be one of the last times I depended on a film camera for documenting an event. Enjoy the shots!

 

All photographs copyright © 2021 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

2 thoughts on “The August 2008 AACA Regional Tour, Springfield MA

  1. I’m enjoying your “retrospective” blogs. A few nice pairs of very different yet distinctive designs here with the Avantis, Metropolitans and, of course, Mustangs. Also a great photo if the Riviera, a car that looks better to me as time goes by.

    Like

    • Hi Bob, thanks. That Riviera is a ’65, the 3rd and final year of the first-generation car. It was also the only one of the three years to have its headlights hidden behind those clamshell doors, a feature which seems to make the ’65 worth a bit more than the ’63-’64 models. However, given their timeless styling, strong V8 engines, and well-appointed interiors, these first-gen Rivieras remain something of a relative bargain in the collector car marketplace. If contemporaneous reviews are to be believed, the Rivs also handled better than their #1 target, the T-Bird. Best, Richard

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.