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.