A Brief History
By Al Lepore
Our club has a long, proud and active history. C.M.A.R.C. goes back over a half century and, thus you can say, achieving senior status. We have accumulated a vast reservoir of memories, events and happenings. We have under under our belt 51 New England Meets, and conservatively, in excess of 550 club meetings. Tours; way over 350. Right from the beginning we were a banquet/party group, having put on maybe 100 – maybe up to 150 get-togethers. Add to this about 450 issues of the “Dashboard” newsletter.
The basis for our club began, as most events do, as a single thought an idea in the mind of Henry Ford. The idea evolved and expanded during the later ’20s into engineering drawings, prototypes, tooling and production lines. It all came together one late fall day in 1927 with a grand introduction where fully two-thirds of the nations population viewed the “New Ford” in the first weeks. The Model “A” was born and became a household word. Not just another car, mind you, but one destined to be revered in work, picture, song and of course, restoration clubs.
FAST forward now past a long depression, a world war, and two dozen calendar changes brings us to mid century. The production lines had long ago ceased humming, having rolled out over five million A’s. And guess what: many thousands were still around along with spare parts, having out lasted its founder in time spans measured in half centuries.
In West Hartford a young motor vehicle Inspector who kinda likes Model A’s and old things saw all these cars around and also had an Idea. Was there interest in joining together, helping each other and having events and fun? This question was answered one fall day in 1952 when Bill Hall along with a half dozen local members decided to form a regional group dedicated to the Model “A”. Among those present at this meeting was Bob CarinI of Glastonbury, Walt Cloudman of East Hartford, Bill Haberason of West Hartford and Roger Knight of Simsbury; all of which remained In the club for a number of years. For several years the club was known as Nutmeg Region Model “A” Restorers Club, then briefly the Model “A” Owners Club and the final name; Connecticut Model “A” Restorers Club. Meetings were planned and bylaws formulated. Tours, get togethers, swap meets and banquets all followed. CMARC was off and running. Meeting locations varied from homes, business places, halls and restaurants throughout the state. A popular and long running event at the meetings was the parts auction where the plentiful original parts, available in that era, were bid on and purchased at some very good prices. The club realised 10% of the sale which provided a steady source of funds.
From these beginnings C.M.A.R.C.. continued with fluctuating membership averaging about 60. Activities and events increased in scope. Other state wide “A” clubs were formed and other clubs from New England (and beyond) joined forces. We have rejoined and become a region of MARC.
A debt of gratitude is owed to all the officers and members of previous years who had the visionary foresight to guide the club In the right path and mode to enable us to achieve the longevity we now celebrate.
The club has provided a significant social outlet for many members along with numerous life long friendships. We have certainly done our share to increase public awareness and enjoyment. There is enough history and memorabilia to fill a good size book; much more than can be included in this overview. The cars certainly will last a hundred years, and the club, riding on its successful history, is strong with good momentum. Once we were alone In the hobby. Now we are joined by literally hundreds of clubs nation wide-world wide. We are not the largest, wealthiest,or most active club, but C.M.A.R.C. Is a unique and special club. We will roll onward toward 2052.