A big thank you goes out to the Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers Club and The Gilmore Museum for putting on a great show today.  The $30.00 cover charge was more than fair.

Christian Hutter and Don McHenry 2018

A little about the KAARC, from their website  “The Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers Club (more commonly known as the KAARC) is a non-profit club, founded in 1962 by a Mr. John Bailey. Our group is composed of automobile enthusiasts, mainly from the West Michigan area.

At the time of the KAARC’s founding, an “antique automobile” was any vehicle built in or before 1940. Members would gather once a month for a short meeting and to sell parts out of the trunks of their cars. By 1967 the club had its own newsletter, The Arc and Spark, which is still the primary way the KAARC reaches its membership with news of club events, anecdotes, minutes from the monthly meeting, and, yes, to advertise cars and car parts for sale (although, the official swap meet has grown substantially, and is now an annual event.)

As the KAARC grew, so did its concern for preserving automotive history. In 1981, the KAARC and the Gilmore Car Museum initiated a joint effort in order to raise funds for the museum; The Red Barns Spectacular. Multiple projects at the Gilmore Car Museum have been supported over the years through this continuing cooperation, including the 1998 installation of the Old Shell Station on the museum grounds (our logo and names of KAARC members can be found on the pavers in front of the station.) These days the proceeds from our fundraisers help support Garage Works (a program run by the Gilmore Car Museum to mentor students interested in entering the automotive trades,) and the Tool Box Program (an initiative by the KAARC to purchase tools for students going into automotive trades.)”

Over 33 Checker showed up to the event.  All clean sharp car and with surprisingly friendly owners, considering some of the issues of the past.  The highlight of the day was meeting David McHenry.

Ben Merkel & Dave McHenry

Dave’s the son of Don McHenry the original founder of the Checker Car Club of America.  A special day for the McHenry family,  Don, donated his 1960 Checker Superba wagon.  Now in the possession of The Gilmore, Dave had the honor of handing over the keys to the Superba to The Gilmore leadership team.

According to Dave “Today August 6, 2022, was a great day for Don McHenry and family. I brought my Dad’s 61 Superba Wagon to Kalamazoo, to the Checker Car Club Convention and the Red Barn Spectacular at the Gilmore Car Museum. Dad’s now 98 and couldn’t make the trip. My nephew JJ and I were at the event. TODAY, DAD’S BELOVED CHECKER BECAME A PART OF THE GILMORE CAR MUSEUM’S COLLECTION. It’s new home will be in the Carriage House with the rest of the museum’s Checker’s. I know many of you may be at Macungie today, and of my Dad’s favorites!!”

Check out the video below to see the show,  The Gilmore, every Checker at the event and the presentation of the keys.

POST SCRIPT

It took a number of years for CMC to “warm up” to the idea of a club of Checker enthusiasts.  By 1990, the relationship between CMC and Don McHenry was really solidified.  From Don’s files, here’s a copy of one of the letters of support from Rod Walton.  Rod was an executive of CMC in HR and would later become the Assistant to the CMC President David Markin.