On Feb. 26, 1944, seven sports car enthusiasts met at the Boston, Mass. home of Chapin Wallour to form a club dedicated to the preservation of sports cars. That group of gentlemen may not have known it then, but the birth of the Sports Car Club of America® that evening changed the face of motorsports.
That first SCCA® meeting 75 years ago was a bit more “exclusive” as compared to today’s Club. The list of cars owned by founders Everett Dickinson, John Duby, Arnold Engborg, Theodore Robertson, George Schulz, Robert Townsend, and Chapin Wallour sound like museum pieces: a Duesenberg “J” double cowl Phaeton, a Lancia Lambda 5th Series Roadster, a Kissel Speedster, Stutz DV 32 Sports Tourer, Mercer series 4 Raceabout, Isotte Fraschini type 8A Castagna Convertible Coupe, and a Rolls Royce Phantom I Ascot Phaeton.
The original constitution, penned by Robertson, stated membership in the Club would be restricted to owners of sports cars, sponsored by one current member, seconded by another and elected by unanimous vote of the officers. Then, that new member had to pay the yearly dues within 30 days – the sum being three dollars.
Now celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary, the SCCA looks a lot different today with 67,500 members and 116 Regions conducting more than 2,000 motorsports events each year. The Club has produced racing legends such as Mark Donohue, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Bobby Rahal, Roger Penske, Paul Newman, George Follmer and so many other past and current RRDC members.
The SCCA’s founding members laid the building blocks for the current version of the Club, as has every passionate member along the way. Throughout 2019, SCCA members will deservedly pat themselves on the back for an impressive accomplishment – realizing many clubs, businesses, products and organizations have come and gone in the last 75 years. What will SCCA look like in 75 more years? Nobody can know for sure, but the Club and its members surely look forward to the journey and road ahead.