The Society of Automotive Historians

Who We Are

If you are an automotive enthusiast who is passionate about learning, researching, recording and reading about any aspect of automotive history, we invite you to join the Society of Automotive Historians.  Our membership spans over 20 countries around the globe. Many automotive authors and journalists, past and present, have been or are members. 
        Autohistory.org reflects our varied interests and has a Members Only section with our digital Membership Roster, searchable pdf’s of all past SAH publications, and high-resolution photographs of vehicles from around the world.

SAH News

See below under “Upcoming Events” for news on the Sixth Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History. (1/11/22)

The SAH website continues to go through a significant update, which will entail temporary disruptions in the appearance of parts of the website and will temporarily take it off line from time to time. This work is akin to replacing the frame under a moving vehicle. Please pardon our dust and thank you for your patience. (1/5/22)

Newly Added Member’s Library Content:  we have added “Board Documents” which includes the SAH Bylaws, minutes of the Spring and Fall Board Meetings for 2020 and 2021 (more to come), and the beginning of our Polices and Procedures archive.  All are downloadable.  (11/21/21)

Review Our Updated and Improved Website Awards Section, providing an explanation of our different awards and how to submit a nomination, by clicking Here.  (11/19/21)

What To See On Our Website

Member’s Library

The library includes digital copies of all SAH publications since 1969, including indices; over 7,000 high definition images of vehicles from around the world for use by SAH members in their articles and books with no-cost permission; unpublished manuscripts; self-publishing advice; and board documents.

For instructions on setting up a username and password to access the Member’s Library and the Member’s Only sections of the SAH website, click Here

Links/Resources

The LINKS/RESOURCES page is the most popular part of this website because of the links to a vast array of automotive history resources listed under various category headings.

SAH Awards

The AWARDS page lists the various awards bestowed by the SAH, including the $ 500 annual cash prize for the winning student paper.

Chapters & International Organizations

The CHAPTERS and INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS  pages link you to the SAH Chapters, and to organizations from around the world similar to the Society of Automotive Historians.

Authors/Books

The AUTHORS/BOOKS page provides details of books authored by our members, sorted by marque and other categories.

2021 SAH Award Winners

The NICOLAS-JOSEPH CUGNOT AWARD, ENGLISH was presented to The Cellini of Chrome: George Walker – Ford Motor Company’s First VP of Design by Henry Dominguez (2020).
The Cugnot Award of Distinction, English was presented to Driving While Black: African-American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights by Gretchen Soren (2020).

The NICOLAS-JOSEPH CUGNOT AWARD, LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH was presented to Dansk Bilproduktion by Erich Karsholt (2020).
T
he Cugnot Award of Distinction, LOE was presented to Fenaille & Despeaux, L’ancetre d’Esso by Christian Rouxel (2020).

The CARL BENZ AWARD, for an article published in a periodical during 2020, was presented to The Origin of the Species by Karl Ludvigsen, in the June, 2020 issue of The Automobile.
T
he Benz Award of Distinction, for an article published in a periodical during 2020, was presented to Fuhrmann’s Formidable Four-Cam by Karl Ludvigsen, in the January, 2020 issue of Classic Porsche.

The FRIEND OF AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY AWARD, which recognizes an individual who over time has made a profound individual contribution to the automotive history community and the historical record, was presented to Richard Lentinello.

The RICHARD AND GRACE BRIGHAM AWARD, in recognition of exemplary editorial, graphic or historical content published in a commercial, institutional or club periodical during 2020, was presented to The Automobile.

2021 Awards were not designated for:
J. J. Bradley Distinguished Service Award
The E.P. Ingersoll Award
The R. P. Scharchburg  Student Paper Award

For award details, nominating procedures and detailed award histories, please click Here to access our Awards Page which has further links to each award.

The Society of Automotive Historians at Hershey

2021 Eastern Division AACA National Fall Meet in Hershey, PA. 

October 6 through October 8             

The SAH Book Signing at our Orange Field tent and our Annual Banquet at the Hershey Country Club were regretfully cancelled due to pandemic concerns. These decisions were made with the health and safety of all attendees foremost in mind, while recognizing our long term relationships with the AACA, the Hershey Region of the AACA, the Hershey Country Club and the “Hershey Week” experience in general. Our Orange Field presence for 2021 was reduced to one table under a small pagoda tent.

We look forward to resuming our customary big-tent presence at Hershey on October 4 – 7, 2022. See you then !
Please note: The days in 2022 are from Tuesday to Friday rather than Wednesday to Saturday as in the past.

Upcoming Events

Sixth Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History

The Symposium is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at Watkins Glen, NY. Planning is under way for the Symposium to be a hybrid in-person & remote event for attendees. The call for papers will be announced soon. Watch here for updates. (1/16/22)

European Conference for Automotive History

Co-organizers of the Conference (SAHB, AHG, AISA, FIVA), which was originally scheduled to take place in Turin, Italy in April, 2022, have rescheduled the Conference to  October 15th and 16th, 2022 due to the pandemic. Watch here for updates. (1/16/22)

Automobile Quarterly

Ever wondered what happened to the back issues of Automobile Quarterly after AQ went out of business in 2012?  For availability, click Here

SAH Membership - Please Join or Renew

US $20 Annual Digital Membership   
Anywhere

Digital pdf’s of the SAH Journal & the Automotive History Review delivered via email.

US $50 Annual Print Membership      
US/Canada/Mexico

Printed hard copies of the SAH Journal & the Automotive History Review delivered via postal service.

US $60 Annual Print Membership      
Overseas

Printed hard copies of the SAH Journal & the Automotive History Review delivered via postal service.

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SAH Membership Benefits and Publications

ALL OF THE ABOVE ANNUAL SAH MEMBERSHIP LEVELS INCLUDE THESE BENEFITS:

  •  Six Bi-Monthly Issues of the 16-page SAH Journal 
  •  One Issue of the 80-page Automotive History Review
  •  Advance notice of SAH-related conferences & events
  •  Access to Members Only sections of the SAH website, which includes:
      1. Digital Membership Roster which is searchable by member, location and interests.
      2. 50 years of back issues of the SAH Journal and the Automotive History Review, and their predecessors.
      3. Thousands of current-day photos of historic vehicles for SAH member use, at no charge, in their articles and books.
      4. Research sources
      5. Advice on self-publishing
      6. Unpublished manuscripts

 

SAH Member Profiles

Michael Lamm

Michael Lamm (0042H) became a member of the Society of Automotive Historians over 50 years ago. As he recently observed, “It’s been a long ride, and that’s one of the advantages of advancing age: “We duffers gain more time to do what we love.”

Mike went on to express that: “In my experience, the great accomplishment of the SAH has been to legitimize automotive history—to make it a serious cultural and academic presence. People—and I’m talking now about everyone from scholars to tinkerers—have come to recognize the automobile and the auto industry as valuable expressions of modern history and human understanding. Automotive history, in my view, now enjoys the same cultural value as architectural history and the history of industrial design.

“My own part in advancing automotive history has been exceedingly modest, and I’m not saying that to simply be self-deprecating. It’s true.

“I had the very good fortune to work for a number of car magazines, starting in 1959, at age 23. That year, by a series of flukes, I became editor of a small magazine in New York called Foreign Car Guide. FCG was my foot in the door. My bride, JoAnne, and I soon moved to California, where I became managing editor of Motor Life magazine and, from 1962 through 1965, managing editor of Motor Trend.

“Then late in 1965 I began freelancing and, over time, wrote something like a thousand articles about cars. What I enjoyed most were the research and writing of historical pieces, and in those days magazines still paid for such articles.

“In 1970, I co-founded (along with Hemmings Motor News) Special-Interest Autos that did its darndest to present the non-elitist facets of automotive history. In SIA, we ran histories of mainstream cars and car companies, but we also tried to uncover the unique, the fascinating, the bizarre, the one-man-engineered oddities and designs that most readers had never seen nor heard of. And we also tried to stress the human, historical side of cars as well as talking about the cars’ hardware and performance capabilities.

“In 1978, I began publishing books, and I also began writing a syndicated newspaper column (“Teens on Wheels” for AP Newsfeatures). I continued to contribute to a variety of publications, including Automobile Quarterly, Collectible Automobile, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, Invention & Technology, Moneysworth, Odyssey, Farm Quarterly, plus just about all the newsstand car magazines: Road & Track, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Automobile, AutoWeek, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Sports Car International, Corvette and dozens more, both here and overseas.

“When you write, you sell a service, but when you publish books, you sell products, and frankly it’s easier to sell products than services, so I soon found myself writing and publishing about one book a year. These had to do mostly with the development of General Motors cars: Camaros, Firebirds, Corvettes, Fieros and the Pontiac Solstice. We did one book for Ford about the 2002 Thunderbird.”

And, of course, there was that absolutely standout book co-written with retired GM Director of Design, the late Dave Holls. Its title: A Century of Automotive Style, 100 Years of American Car Design.

Mike served the SAH as President (1976-76), as a Director (1996-1999), and as a Member of the Publications Committee (1996-2009). Mike received the Friend of Automotive History award in 1990 and earned several Cugnot and Benz awards for books and articles with a double Cugnot in 1997 for A Century of Style, one as co-author and the other as publisher. The Society has saluted his long membership and active participation over the decades by designating his membership as Honorary. (11/19/21)