Antique car owners take to the roads
Published 3:23 pm Monday, July 18, 2011
By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist
After visiting the new antique automobile business in Chelsea to take photographs and write about it, I decided to find out a little about what happens to such beautiful old classics after they leave the showroom.
Checking the Internet, I found the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Dixie Region, which includes the Chelsea area, and got in touch with some club members to see what they do with their cars.
Charles “Chuck” Kiser of Chelsea owns two classic automobiles, which he enjoys entering in shows.
His 1964 Buick Electra 225 six-window Pillarless Sedan has won three national awards, three Buick Club of America Archival Awards and one Antique Automobile Club of America Unrestored Vehicle award.
“This car is all original and unrestored,” he said. “The car is Marlin Blue Metallic (light blue) with a blue interior. It even still has the diamond plastic covering on the back seat that was installed by the dealer. Everything is in working order … including the GuideMatic automatic headlight dimmer and dealer-installed air conditioner.”
His second car is a 1985 Chevrolet Corvette, white with red leather interior and a removable glass top. It’s all original, too, he said. He found it in a barn in North Alabama with only 969 original miles on it.
“I have all the original documentation,” he said.
Although he acquired his present automobiles in their original state, the retired bank president said he raced and rebuilt and restored cars in his youth. Besides AACA, Kiser belongs to the Buick Club of America, Bama Buick Chapter. He joined antique automobile clubs for the “association with folks who have similar interests,” he said.
Members of AACA enjoy getting together for meets, to eat and tour interesting sites in the region.
“AACA meets and tours get us in the right place, and then we always try to include some additional sight-seeing wherever we go,” according to AACA Dixie Region website hosted by Web Master Audrey Senkbeil. “Over the years, we’ve seen some amazing sights. Tours themselves often open doors that you would not imagine possible.
Whether it’s stately homes, private car collections, historic sights or even special dinners, AACA provides a wealth of opportunity for you to enjoy life.”
Recent tours included Rickwood Caverns and Moundville State Park, with a picnic beside the scenic Warrior River.
According to the AACA Dixie Region website, antique car ownership is not required to join. Website Aaca.org\dixie.
Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.