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The SCCA, 1944 to 2024


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#1 DCapps

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Posted 12 February 2024 - 14:49

Tending to be lost in the shuffle due to the usual centrism focused on matters, trivial and otherwise, on the Eastern Side of the Atlantic World, is that on Saturday, 26 February 1944, a small group of men met and formed the Sports Car Club of America.

 

The group met at the home of Chapin Wallour, 140 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

 

The founding members were:

Everett M. Dickinson

John F. Duby

Arnold H. Engborg

Theodore F. Robertson

George F. Schulz

Robert E. Townsend

Chapin Wallour

 

The officers elected during the meeting were:

President: Theodore Robertson

Vice-president: Chapin Wallour

Secretary-treasurer: Everett Dickinson

 

They soon added two other new members:

Charles P. Fisher

Archie M. McKittrick

 

Their cars:

Dickinson: Duesenberg J Double Cowl Phaeton

Duby: Blackhawk Double Cowl Phaeton; Lancia Lamba 5th Series Roadster; Kissel Speedster; and Mercer Series 5 Sporting

Engborg: Stutz DV 32 Sports Tourer

Robertson: Mercer Series 4 Raceabout

Schulz: Isotta Franchino Type BA Castagna Convertible Coupe; McFarlan Roadster; Mercers Series 5 Raceabout; and, Mercer Series 5 Sporting

Townsend: Mercer Series 5 Raceabout

Wallour: Rolls Royce Phantom I Ascot Phaeton

 

Fisher: Bentley 3 Litre Red Label Vanden Plas Sports Tourer; Duesenberg A Fleetwood Sports Phaeton; and, Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Holbrook Roadster

McKittrick: Stutz S Bearcat

 

The emblem of the SCCA, the "Rudge Whitworth wheel with black tire, end brake drum, and bright metal knock-off hub, spokes, and rim.. with the inscription, Sports Car Club of America, in plain block lettering..." was designed by Chapin Wallour.

 

All of this provided by issue Vol. 1, No. 1, March 1944, of The Sportwagen, the official publication of the SCCA.



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#2 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 February 2024 - 10:17

Oh, I was shocked (kinda) at seeing the thread title, thinking of some kind of obituary (the SCCA having gone to the eternal hunting grounds of 'deceased' motor clubs). All's good, does not appear to be the case. Phew.

 

Thanks for delving into the genesis of this sometimes quite eccentric body, Don, though I'm sure interest even in this corner of the spectrum of motorsport 'fans' will be exceedingly scant (meaning, basically the two of us  :lol:).

 

How about "Isotta Franchino", though!  :D



#3 DCapps

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 00:56

Michael,

 

Even though it is mid-February I can hear the crickets chirping as if they were the opening act for a rock show with the amps on the max blaster setting...

 

I was a bit surprised at the Isotta on the cars-owned listing (I wonder where they got that idea from...?) as well as that it named its publication The Sportwagen, in February 1944 no less.

 

I have all the issues of The Sportwagen and Sports Car until 1970 and they do make for some interesting reading.

 

The IMRRC team has gotten the SCCA Archives into shape and it has a ton of stuff that is quite fascinating.

 

HDC



#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 07:49

The Sportwagen, eh? Cor, missed that...

 

Yes, Isotta-Fraschini is a difficult name, even for the rest of the world - most misspelled manufacturer name in history?

 

Good to hear about the archives, happy hunting!  :wave:



#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 22:32

Go for it Don...good stuff.

 

DCN



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 23:12

Originally posted by Michael Ferner
.....Yes, Isotta-Fraschini is a difficult name, even for the rest of the world - most misspelled manufacturer name in history?


But not the most-mispronounced...

That honour has recently fallen to the Toyota Camry. Even some owners insert a second 'a' in its name!

Which is probably 'fluff' or 'trivia', and I wouldn't want to sideline Don's thread any more other than to say I might also be one to look in on it as it develops.

#7 DCapps

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 14:43

Happy 80th Anniversary, SCCA!



#8 robert dick

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 14:32

The Sportwagen:
 
I think the title "The Sportwagen" was picked out for the same reason as "The Automobile" had been by the turn of the century, 
for example in the case of Senator Morgan's "The Automobile Magazine" or the Class Journal Co.'s "The Automobile". 
 
In the late 1930s, in the eyes of the SCCA, the term "Sportwagen" took the place of "voiture automobile" or "automobile", 
which in the second half of the 1890s had been synonymous for the leading French firms, for Panhard, Peugeot, Mors and Bollée.
 
Probably March 1944 was just a few weeks too early to give it a second thought...
 


#9 DCapps

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 17:13

Robert,

 

Your comment prompted me to relook at when the title was changed.

 

I remember being surprised when I first saw that the club originally entitled its publication as The Sportwagen

Perhaps a bit tone-deaf for the time...

 

The last issue of The Sportwagen was the January-February 1945 issue (Vol. II No. 1).

 

On the front page of that issue was this:

 

THE TITLE

 

Dissatisfaction with the name SPORTWAGEN has bee reported on the part of three members, one directly,. It is of course possible that others would like the name changed. Kindly write your ideas on a postcard and send it as soon as possible to Ted Robertson. If you wish a change, kindly write your suggestion/s, if possible, for a new title: and if you prefer the present title, please say so. When the present title was adopted, there but seven members in the club, but now, with an increase of almost 700% in membership, the majority may prefer a change. It is only right that the majority shall decide, so send your card as soon as possible.

 

The first issue of Sports Car was published as the March-April 1945 (Vol. II No. 2) edition.

 

Again, from the front page...

 

THE NEW TITLE

 

The consensus of opinion of those members who kindly responded to the request for ideas regarding the title of this bulletin has been practically unanimous in favor of SPORTS CAR. The name was considered when the club was formed, as being the logical one for the SCCA publication, but was not adopted because of its similarity tp an English publication, THE SPORTS CAR. However, in the view of the fact that the old name has become less popular as the club has grown, we bid adieu to SPORTWAGEN and offer our apologies to the M.G. Car Club.

 

Also in the March-February issue is this:

 

ARCA

 

Several member have expressed interest in the Automobile racing Club of America. This club, which organized road racing events and "Trials and Tours," suspended activities on December 7, 1941. We all look forward to this club's revival, and available information concerning same will be published in the SPORTS CAR.

 

 

HDC