First Gear Full Speed Ahead

The Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels will soon be the home of only the second student chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America in the country.  The museum’s education program, First Gear, has taken the first steps toward official recognition by the national organization.

Already, eleven high school students have signed up for membership.  They held their organizational meeting recently at the museum, where they elected officers and adopted the club’s bylaws.   The next step is formal approval which is expected to come at the AACA’s national convention in Philadelphia next month.  AACA Executive Director Steve Moskowitz says “It is very likely” the new chapter will be approved and certified at the convention.

The new chapter will be known as The Classic Motor Museum Student Chapter of the AACA.  The students were sponsored by the Bay Country Region Chapter in Easton.  Board member Lee Caplan says, “It’s very gratifying to see a new generation come on board.”  He adds, “If we don’t reach out to young people, we won’t be able to grow this hobby.”

The Antique Automobile Club of America has over 380 chapters nationwide.  The Classic Motor Museum’s chapter will become only the second student chapter in the country. The other is at Penn College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Jane Hopkinson chairs the museum’s education committee.  She says, “It’s all about opening new opportunities.  Getting young people involved, and supporting that interest.” Hopkinson says, “We hope the new student chapter will provide members with the experiences and networking resources that could lead to life-long careers.”

First Gear students have spent the past year restoring a classic 1938 Alvis convertible.

It’s one of many projects the new student chapter will be involved with.  They’ve already demonstrated a creative approach to problem solving.  When electing club officers, tied votes were quickly resolved by games of rock, paper, scissors.

The Classic Motor Museum Student chapter will meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Pinkett House on the museum campus at 102 E. Marengo Street.  More information is available on the museum’s website,

Local high school students gather to form the Classic Motor Museum Student Chapter of the AACA.
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Allison Rogers


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