Early Corvette Clubs

Reported to be at Bowman Gray Stadium in 1955, with Billy Myers driving the T-Bird.

After Roy Braatz and Noland Adams formed SACE, Noland wrote about the early clubs:

As SACE gets started, it is well to trace this club back to its beginning. So, let us go back to the late sixties in Central California.In the rural area southwest of Fresno, turkeyfarmer Ed Thiebaud bought a red 1963 Corvette Coupe. Since it was in good condition, Ed intered it in a local car show. There, it placed behind an older Corvette - a 1954. That '54 got Ed's curiosity going, and he started learning more about the early Corvettes. He soon found there was no place to turn: no organization to help locate parts or gather information. Ed decided to start his own club, and he did.

I first became aware of the Vintage Corvette Club of American (VCCA), 1953 to 1955, when I was waiting to get a haircut! I picked up a copy of Road and Track and there was Ed's ad. The year was probably 1968. At the time I lived only 15 miles away, so I called Ed. I had saved two old Corvette parts books from a trash can when I worked at a Chevrolet dealer in 1958. They were in excellent shape. Among the first items Ed reproduced were the 1954 and 1955 Corvette parts books.

Ed's VCCA took off; the club was really needed. Ed himself became the hub of national Corvette restoration activity. You could still get many 1953 and '55 parts from Chevrolet, and there were many used parts around cheap. Ed got phone calls all day long, and more mail than you can imagine.

Early in 1971, VCCA 1953-55 was going very well. Ed had accumulated a fantastic collection of original, unrestored old Corvettes. There was '53 #3, and mint examples of every year up to 1962. His '56 and '57 were great, and I recall the '59 was absolutely perfect.

But there were pockets of discontent within VCCA members. A group of early Corvette owners in the East wanted to start their own branch, and asked Ed for help. Ed became very angry, and I always thought he saw this as a dilution of his control. Whatever his exact reason, he flatly refused to permit expansion of the club. So, the outsiders started their own club. They called it the Classic Corvette Club, 1953 to 1955. The CCC was quite successful, having several meets in the Mid-West.

But there were internal problems within CCC. In addition, the CCC was dedicated to 1953 to 1955 members only. The powers were unable to solve CCC's problems, and it was disbanded. Most of the founders went on to start the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS).

The Classic Corvette Club

The first club dedicated to collecting and restoring Corvettes. Started by Ed Thiebaud in California. Under Ed's leadershi, the VCC quickly grew to a nationwide presence. Ed has graciously allowed me to post the VCC magazines online.

An east coast version of VCC sprouted up shortly after VCC started gaining momentum. Given the number of early Corvettes on the east coast, CCC grew very quickly and rivaled VCC in every way.

Straight-Axle Corvette Enthusiast. Formed by Roy Braatz and Noland Adams. Aimed at C1 owners who wanted to do something other than just NCRS style restoration. Issued a great quarterly magazine, full of part information and mechanical tips. Roy has graciously allowed me to post the SACE magazines online.

Noland Adams and other SACE members formed SACC when SACE ran out of steam in 1993. SACC continues today, and publishes a great quarterly magazine. Anybody who owns a C1 should consider joining SACC. The link above takes you to a page wherre you can download a list of articles that SACC has published since 1994.