In the mid 1960's, owners of antique automobiles living in Ocean County, started gathering together socially, usually in someone's driveway, to discuss their old cars and whatever mechanical problems they might be having. Ideas were traded, tips were offered, hands were dirtied. These informal weekend gatherings led to Sunday cruises over the county's rural roads, usually ending at a roadside restaurant or picnic grove.
In time, this loosely knit group began using their cars in local parades. They even found themselves being asked by other community groups to display their cars at grand openings, fund raisers, and other charitable functions.
It became obvious to these old car enthusiasts that they needed to become more organized, and to give themselves a recognizable name. In July,1969, a group of twelve individuals gathered once more and drew up plans to form the first antique automobile club in their county. The name they chose for this new club was the "Vintage Automobile Club of Ocean County".
Among the by-laws that made up the Club Constitution were the establishment of annual dues, a code of conduct, and the length of term of office of the Executive Board. At first, the Executive Board consisted of President, Vice-President, and Secretary / Treasurer. After a few years the job of Secretary / Treasurer became two separate positions and the position of Editor was added.
In September 1970, the Vintage Automobile Club of Ocean County was officially recognized by the the New Jersey State Assembly as being a non-profit corporation.
In September, 1980, the Club held its first annual antique car show and flea market. In keeping with its ideology of community service, this first show, and each subsequent show, was used to raise money for local charities.
From the original twelve members of the Club, the membership has consistently fluctuated from 110 and 130 members. (At last count, there are nearly 300 club members including spouses.) The monthly meeting place of a house or garage had to go to a larger venue. For many years the meetings were held in classrooms provided by the Ocean County Vocational School, but even that proved to be too small. In 1997, the Borough of Seaside Heights invited the Club to use its Community Center for their meetings.The Club gladly agreed and now even holds its annual show in Seaside Heights.
In 1998, the Vintage Automobile Club determined that New Jersey needed an antique automobile museum.
The Club is planning to build it's museum in Ocean County. While the actual completion of the museum is years away, the members are determined to succeed. After all, the Club has been a determined faction of the old car hobby for thirty years.