News

April 21, 2022 Gathering, Business Meeting and Lambert Automobile Co. Presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

Twenty-two members of the Chapter gathered for a business meeting and presentation at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan on Thursday, April 21st. The event included a presentation on 19th century American automotive pioneer John Lambert. Present were Dr. Debbie Lee and Jennifer Weed, both great-granddaughters of John Lambert, and Lambert historian and collector Jim Dickie II.

The Lambert presentation raised the question “Who really created America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine?” Research by Carol Lambert, also a great-granddaughter of John Lambert, for her 2013 book Something New Under the Sun, uncovered evidence that John Lambert may have been two years ahead of the Duryea brothers in creating America’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. 

Barb Davis, who joined us by Zoom from Anderson, Indiana, presented records of first-hand accounts by individuals present at the secretive 1891 demonstration run of the first Lambert. Barb’s late husband Ed Davis had collected hundreds of documents and artifacts pertaining to the Lambert automobile and company.

Brochures were distributed at the end of the program containing a copy of the PowerPoint presentation and a timeline picturing the Lambert models produced.

For any SAH member interested in pursuing research that may further substantiate the Lambert story, please email Brian Baker and he will make the appropriate personal connections.
 
 
(l-r) Dr. Debbie Lee, Jennifer Weed and Jim Dickie II behind the Hall’s 1903 Holley.

 

 

2022 WSAH Spring Meeting

The WSAH Spring Meeting was held Saturday April 23, 2022 at the Dahl Auto Museum in La Crosse, Wisconsin at 1:00 PM. Twelve Officers, Directors and members were in attendance.

The Treasurer reported that funds are sufficient to handle current and the usual future expenses, provided income at least remains steady.

Follow up on discussions from the Fall, 2021meeting, culminated in a motion as follows: “The WSAH membership will create a special committee of members, appointed by the President, to study expanding membership through better outreach and increased activities; the committee to submit a report to the President within six months; and the President to then make recommendations for consideration by the general membership at the following regular meeting.” Questions or comments should be made directly to the committee; the committee will also solicit ideas from individual members. The motion passed without dissent. 

Don Gullikson reported on attending the Iola Car Show meeting for volunteer chairpersons. Updates include changes in volunteer parking areas, the “golf cart interstate” (separate, designated roads and parking areas for carts), show car trailer parking, special 50th Anniversary food pricing, events, special guests, etc. Few of the changes will affect our Special Exhibit area. Information for our volunteers will be included in the next Carhart Chronicle. 

Ralph Kalal made a motion, second by William Chartrand, to donate $100 to the Dahl Auto Museum along with an Honorary WSAH membership, which includes our Carhart Chronicle newsletter. A special thank you to Museum Curator Jim Dennison for his informative and interesting conversations and to his fellow curator Adrian Johnson for initially setting up our meeting area. Members found the museum to be a very worthwhile venue to visit and several commented on the extraordinary vehicle restorations and overall appeal of the collections. 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 PM. 

Most of the WSAH attendees at the Dahl Auto Museum

Meet Our Member: Don Capps

Don Capps has been a member of the SAH Board of Directors since 2014 and is now the immediate past president of the Society. He is a member of the Historian’s Council of the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, New York and is the co-chair of the Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium for International Motor Racing History. He co-chaired event planning for the 2018 and 2019 Historic Vehicle Association International Drive History Conferences in Allentown, Pennsylvania and recruited SAH presenters for the two conferences.

Don began following motor sports at an early age while attending races with his father at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta.  His racing interests and fascination broadened throughout his time growing up in Europe and after returning to the US. In addition to motor racing, military and civil aviation and military history have also been lifelong interests that formed early on. Don has owned a 1956 Porsche Speedster, an MG TF and an MGA Twin Cam, and has an affinity for Corvairs due to his father’s interest and restoration work.

Don has written book reviews for the SAH Journal. More of his book reviews and commentaries, including those that relate to his military and aviation history interests, as well as motor sports, can be found at: https://speedreaders.info/author/donald-capps/.

Don was drafted into the Army where he served in a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol in Vietnam and then became one of the original members of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Military life and service suited him, thus he ended up spending 33 years in the Army, one of the few going from draftee to Colonel. His service included tours of duty in infantry, armor, medical, field artillery, and aviation units, as well as assignments at the Pentagon as a member of the Army Staff, the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and assignments at other major Army headquarters including command of the Army’s Training and Training Technology Battle Laboratory.

Don holds graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and George Mason University and has taught history at both the high school and college levels, the latter being The Citadel. He was a faculty member of the Defense Model & Simulation University and spent over three years in Southwest Asia with the Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation.

Don is currently engaged in research surrounding American national auto racing championships from the begining of the AAA to today’s IndyCar series.

Wheels Across the Pacific Symposium

The Automotive Historians Australia (AHA) and the SAH have co-convened a one-day online symposium for their members on September 18, 2022 in North America and March September 19, 2022 in Australia.

Fifteen to twenty minute presentations are being sought that address the shared transnational histories of the automotive industry, exploring ways in which the Australian and American auto industries shared expertise, skills, staff, design and studio practices, engineering, business and management structures, advertising, parts and components, and trade practices. Ten presentations are planned for the main session, and then three presentations and a round-table discussion for the second session.

Start time is scheduled for 5:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 18, 2022 in North America, concluding around 1:00 AM EST on Monday, September 19, for all thirteen sessions and the round-table. (4/8/22)

Click here for the Call for Papers (CFP). Abstracts are due June 30, 2022!

New Login Procedures for SAH Members

New procedures for logging in to the SAH website members’ area are now in place. When you login using the link at top left, you will see a different login box than you are used to and your password will have changed. 

Active members were sent an email about the new procedures on March 22 titled “Website Access Alert from the Society of Automotive Historians.”

The email provides members with instructions on the new permanent usernames and new changeable passwords that will need to be used from now on. All sections of the website are now back online and accessible.

Thank you all for your patience as we continue to upgrade the website. 

Sixth Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on Motor Racing History

An event geared to motor racing scholars and racing enthusiasts alike, the Sixth  Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History, is scheduled for Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at Watkins Glen, NY.

Over the last several years the Symposium, co-hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) and the SAH, has established itself as a unique and respected forum and gained a growing audience of scholars, students and enthusiasts.

The 2022 Argetsinger Symposium Keynote Speaker will be renowned NASCAR historian Buz McKim.

In conjunction with the in-person sessions held in  the Watkins Glen International Media Center, the symposium hopes to provide virtual capability to allow remote attendance for a modest fee. (3/7/22)

For more information see the Call for Papers (CFP).

Abstracts are due August 5, 2022!

2022 SAH Award Nominations Sought

Nominations for the 2022 SAH Awards are now being accepted.

All nominations are due April 15, 2022, with the exception of the Cugnot LOE (Language Other Than English) and the Scharchburg Awards, 

Nominations for the Cugnot LOE Award and the Scharchburg Student Paper Award are due June 15, 2022.

For more information about the various SAH awards, and for instructions on how to submit a nomination, please see our Awards section.  (3/27/22)

Cars Across the Pacific: Transnational Histories of the Automotive Industry

Plans are underway with our colleagues at the Automotive Historians Australia to convene a joint one-day hybrid symposium on 9/18/22 in North America and 9/19/22 in Australia. The event will tentatively consist of ten presentations over five hours, a one hour break, and then three presentations and a round-table discussion over two hours. This would all tentatively start in North America at 5:00 PM EST on Sunday, 9/18/22, and conclude around 1:00 AM EST. Details and Call for Papers to follow.  (3/23/22)

2022 Argetsinger Symposium scheduled for Nov. 4-5

The Sixth Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History is scheduled for Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at Watkins Glen. This event is geared to both motor racing scholars and racing enthusiasts alike. In conjunction with the on-site sessions in Watkins Glen, open to the public at no charge, the Symposium hopes to provide virtual capability to allow remote attendance and participation for a modest fee.  Over the last several years the Symposium has established itself as a unique and respected scholarly forum and has gained a growing audience of scholars, students and enthusiasts. Click here to see the Call For Papers.