BNTR History And Membership Information

BNTR Membership

Membership is open to all AACA members who have a special interest in motor vehicles manufactured in 1931 or earlier!
  • Dues are $10 and billed annually on January 1.
  • Membership in the National AACA is required.
  • Activities are planned with the whole family in mind.
  • The Brass-Nickel meets every six to eight weeks during the touring season, which in NC is April to October.
  • Current number of members is 78.
  • Membership comes from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Minnesota and Maryland.
clickhandt for Brass-Nickel membership application (pdf). This is a tri-fold brochure.
clickhandt for National AACA application (pdf).

BNTR History

The idea of a touring region just for the senior antique cars first came to volition in the spring of 1997. Barker and I were talking one day about how hard it was to plan a tour for an AACA club, which at that time included cars up to 1972. The tour would either be too fast for the older cars or too slow for the newer cars. Someone would always be unhappy. We both had noticed that we were seeing fewer and fewer pre-war cars on tours. Traditionally, the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) only chartered clubs that accepted vehicles that were twenty-five years or older.

It was about this time that the AACA came up with the concept of non-geographical clubs. This type of region allows a club to narrow its field of interest to a specific make model or type while at the same time expanding its recruitment area (usually 50 miles).

This seemed to be the perfect answer. Why not start a club that focused on touring and on the earlier cars? So on June 5, we held an organizational meeting at the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library in Clayton, NC. The purpose of the meeting was to sign up charter members, officially adopt a name, discuss the bylaws, and have an election of officers. Ten perspective members attended the meeting. The following officers and directors were elected:

  • President-Barker Edwards
  • Vice-President-Jim Mangum
  • Secretary/Treasurer-Judy Edwards
  • Directors-Richard Landes, Brian White, Karrie Eads and Harry Lee Oakley.

For the rest of June, Barker and I collected charter signatures. As the word spread around the NC Region, interest was high, and we managed to collect 63 signatures on our application. This was more than enough for a charter as only five members were needed to create a chapter and fifteen were needed to create a region.

I presented the charter application to the NC Region Board of Directors at the summer picnic on June 28. It was approved thus making the Brass-Nickel the 18th chapter in the NC Region. Our application was then sent to the National AACA and was approved October 12, 1997. The Brass-Nickel Touring Chapter AACA (BNTC) was now official and ready to hit the road in 1998.

What’s in a Name: Brass-Nickel?

Everything-it defines who we are. The Horseless Carriage Club of America has designated all motor vehicles man-ufactured before 1916 as “Horseless Carriages." Many of the earlier of these cars used brass extensively due to its ease in fabrication. Frequently, the brass components were polished rather than painted. Traditionally, this was the case for the lights, horn, windscreen, and radiator. For this reason, these cars became known as “Brass Cars." (Although polished brass trim was obsolete by the mid-teens, a few British cars continued to use brass bright work until the ‘twenties).

Nickel replaced brass and by 1923, nickel bright work could be found on most makes and models of cars. Nickel remained popular until 1929, at which time it was replaced by the more modern finish: a brighter, longer-lasting chrome plating which was introduced in 1927.

The year 1929 takes us half-way through the production of the Model As. Not wanting to cut off membership in the middle of the Model A era is why the chapter recognized cars ‘1931 or older’

1999 AACA Vintage Tour

In February of 1998, I received a call from the National AACA asking us to consider hosting the 1999 Vintage Tour, a five-day hub tour for motor vehicle's built in 1927 or earlier.

Our initial club meeting was held in March 1998. The first order of business was to congratulate ourselves on being chartered. The second item of business was to decide whether or not to host the national tour.

It took us several months to explore the idea, make up our minds, fill out an application, and receive approval from the National Board, which was given at the summer Board meeting. It was now about 15 months from the tour date, and everything needed to be done. To make things more interesting, no one in the chapter had ever attended a National AACA tour, and this included the tour chairman, me. On that note, we set out to plan the 1999 Vintage Tour.

We chose the dates of August 22-27, 1999 with a home base of Fuquay-Varina, NC. Fuquay was most receptive to the tour and even provided us with a hot dog/hamburger dinner on Wednesday night. In exchange for which, we would park the cars downtown so that the local residents could come and see the cars. The crowds starting arriving early in the afternoon, and before it was all over it was estimated that 5,000 people turned out to see the cars. The police said that they hadn’t had a traffic jam like that in years.

However, one of our greatest successes was the layout of the tour book we used. Traditionally, tour instructions are written out in long hand. We decided to use graphics to give the instructions as well as the written word. This proved to be most successful. Single tourists, without navigators, could follow along and not be forced to follow another team. Even cars with navigators found it easy to understand and follow. We received the unanimous approval from everyone on the tour. This format is slowly being adopted as the standard for tour books in the AACA.

Brass-Nickel Touring Region

For the next two years, the BNTC functioned as a non-geographical chapter of the NC Region. This didn’t make any sense. So in late 2000 we terminated our chapter status with the NC Region and petitioned the AACA for non-geographical region status. Our new charter was approved on February 8th, 2001. We were now known as the Brass-Nickel Touring Region (BNTR).

2009 AACA Vintage Tour

In 2009, Barker and I attended the AACA annual conference in Philadelphia in February. We were again asked if we would host the 2009 AACA Vintage Tour. This time the decision was a little easier to make for we knew what was expected of us.

The region agreed to host the tour and luckily most of the people who held positions in 1999 were still members so we just re-activated most of our committees. The dates of October 26-30, 2009 with Fuquay-Varina again serving as our home base were chosen. We managed to pull off a successful tour with just eight months of planning. We must have something right because we had many tourers attend that had attended in 1999.

Summary

Five members have served as chapter/region president.
  • 1997– 2002: Barker Edwards, Jr.
  • 2003-2004: John Cheek
  • 2005-2007: Floyd Barnes, Jr.
  • 2008-2010:Riley Reiner
  • 2011-2015: Barker Edwards, Jr.
We have hosted 100 local tours in NC and Virgina

We hosted two National Tours-the 1999 AACA Vintage Tour and the 2009 AACA Vintage Tour
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Region Mailbox:

brassnickel@gmail.com

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