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Northeast Region

CLUB OF AMERICA

THE HISTORY of the NORTHEAST REGION - AUSTIN HEALEY CLUB OF AMERICA

What is known today as the Northeast Region of the Austin Healey Club of America began in 1975. On a gloomy, rainy May 5, Bill and Lynn Wood opened their Somers, CT home to a gathering of 45 hardy Austin Healey enthusiasts who had traveled from all corners of New England. Using a mailing list from a national Austin Healey club, he contacted everyone listed in New England to meet and discuss the formation of a New England-based Austin Healey club. Before the day was over, a schedule of events were planned for the rest of the year with Bill serving as president. In a short time, the club began to grow and word spread that exciting events were being held for Austin Healey enthusiasts in the Northeast. It was not long before the club was approached by the Austin Healey Club of America to become a region under their nationwide organization. The decision was unanimous.

The Northeast Regionís membership has increased to approximately 500 members from New England and Eastern New York State with many members owning more than one Austin Healey. The club has thrived on a somewhat loose but well organized set of guidelines. Area coordinators representing various sectors across the region meet at least twice a year under the leadership of a club president. The club also has membership/treasurer and regalia chairpersons. The newsletter editor publishes eight issues of the Northeast Newsletter each year. This provides everyone with a calendar of events for the year, details on future meets as well as articles about previous meets. A classified section offers free advertising for members as well as paid ads placed by vendors.

The Northeast Region has always prided itself on being a family oriented club. Technical sessions are held for those interested in learning how to rebuild or maintain their cars, but in general, meets are geared for fellowship and entertainment. These events may be for one-day only or longer weekend gatherings and may include car shows, rallies, gymkhanas and tours, and of course time to relax with a glass of wine and fine food. The neighboring national chapters from Southern Ontario and Quebec often attend these events and they in turn have hosted meets where the Northeast membership are their guests. Consequently, many of the die hard Austin Healey enthusiasts have traveled from Cape Cod to Kingston, Ontario and from West Point Academy to Gouldsboro, ME.

Many events have continued in the same area year after year. For 25 years, the largest gathering was the annual Cape Cod meet held in September at various locations on Cape Cod. The latest annual affair is "Summit." The first Summit was held in Jackson, NH. One highlight from the event was the sunset tour of nearly 40 Austin Healeys going to the top of Mount Washington.

In 1991, the club hosted "Conclave," an international meet held each year throughout the US and Canada. After two years of planning, nearly 1,000 Austin Healey enthusiasts and nearly 400 cars gathered in Sturbridge, MA for a five-day meet complete with all types of driving events, vendors, car shows and concourse judging plus three banquets. Attendees came from as far away as California and Canada, with a few guests traveling from Europe.

Sound interesting? Want to join us on our next adventure? Click on the membership link in the left hand column for a membership form. 

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