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Collector Car Appreciation Day

Collector Car Appreciation Day raises awareness about the role that the collection and restoration of automobiles has in American society. It acknowledges the importance of automobiles in American culture as an inspiration for music, film, photography, fashion, literature, and other artistic pursuits. It celebrates classic cars of the past and future, and according to the first and subsequent Congressional resolutions for the day, recognizes that "collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States." A resolution for the day was introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2009 but was not adopted. The following year, Senate Resolution 513 was sponsored by Jon Tester (D-MT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and was adopted. The first official observance of Collector Car Appreciation Day took place on July 9, 2010. The first resolution continued:

Whereas many people in the United States maintain classic automobiles as a pastime and do so with great passion and as a means of individual expression;

Whereas the Senate recognizes the effect that the more than 100-year history of the automobile has had on the economic progress of the Nation and supports wholeheartedly all activities involved in the restoration and exhibition of classic automobiles;

Whereas collection, restoration, and preservation of automobiles is an activity shared across generations and across all segments of society;

Whereas thousands of local car clubs and related businesses have been instrumental in preserving a historic part of the heritage of this Nation by encouraging the restoration and exhibition of such vintage works of art;

Whereas automotive restoration provides well-paying, high-skilled jobs for people in all 50 States; and

Whereas automobiles have provided the inspiration for music, photography, cinema, fashion, and other artistic pursuits that have become part of the popular culture of the United States: Now therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) designates July 9, 2010, as "Collector Car Appreciation Day";

(2) recognizes that the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States;

(3) encourages the Department of Education, the Department of Transportation, and other Federal agencies to support events and commemorations of "Collector Car Appreciation Day", including exhibitions and educational and cultural activities for young people; and

(4) encourages the people of the United States to engage in events and commemorations of “Collector Car Appreciation Day” that create opportunities for collector car owners to educate young people on the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the United States, including through the collection and restoration of collector cars.

The effort for the day and request for the resolution was organized by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), along with their council, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO). Congressional resolutions have been adopted in the years since by the urging of the SEMA Action Network (SAN). State and local governments have adopted similar resolutions. Hundreds of events are held each year, such as car shows and cruises and "drive your car to work" events.

There are a number of name designations and categories for collector cars which are often used loosely and not rigidly defined. One designation says that collector cars encompass classic cars, which it defines as older cars—usually at least 20 or 25 years old—and often cars of historical interest that have been restored—as well as newer exotic vehicles. Sometimes the names "collector cars" and "classic cars" are used interchangeably and are applied to any older vehicle. Numerous states have different legal categories for registering older cars, using terms like "historic," "antique," and "classic." By some definitions, "antique cars" were made before 1980, and "vintage cars" were made before World War II.

Car shows are significant events associated with collector cars. They typically host cars from the 1920s to the 1970s or '80s, or even the 1990s. Classic or collector cars commonly found at car shows include the Chevrolet Bel Air, Dodge Charger, Pontiac GTO, Ford Model T, Ford Deuce Coupe, 1949 Ford, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Concours d'Elegance car shows feature prestigious automobiles like the Cadillac V16. Car clubs are another important element associated with collector cars. There are an innumerable amount of them. Two of the largest are the Classic Car Club of America, which recognizes cars made between 1915 and 1948 that meet certain criteria as "Classic," and the Antique Automobile Club of America, which welcomes cars 25 years or older.

How to Observe Collector Car Appreciation Day

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