Society of
Automotive Historians

December 8, 2022 Gathering and Business Meeting

The Chapter end-of-year gathering was held Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, 100 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti, MI 48198, from 4 PM to 7 PM.

During the Business Meeting, new Chapter President Peter Hollinshead was introduced and he shared his thoughts on future events. Chris Lezotte, a member of the SAH Bricks and Mortar Working Group, reviewed progress in establishing a home for the SAH Board archive. An update was provided on Chapter collaboration with the Automotive Hall of Fame.

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.



December 1, 2021 Annual Meeting, Gathering and Presentation by Chris Lezotte at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

Twenty-Six members of the Leland Chapter gathered at 5:30 PM on December 1st at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI, with social distancing in place. Unfortunately, our friends in Canada were unable to cross the border to be with us. We socialized for the first hour to allow for long-delayed in-person greetings.

SAH member Nick Gargaro, of the Automotive Hall of Fame staff, gave a presentation on his travels with Brian Baker to the National Assosciation of Automotive Museums (NAAM) conference in November, hosted by the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. Nick shared behind the scenes images of their visits to seven museums along the way in Dayton, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Indianapolis and Auburn. Brian and Nick conducted field research in Greenfield, OH of the C.R. Patterson and Sons Automobile Company, which was the only known African American-owned automaker. Nick concluded his presentation with an appeal for SAH members to provide their expertise to improve the tribute pages at the Hall of Fame.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Chris Lezotte. Chris’s article “McCann and Me: One Woman’s Experience in Detroit Automotive Advertising” was the cover story of the SAH Automotive History Review Spring, 2021 issue. Chris covered her journey in more detail in her presentation and fielded questions from those in attentdance.

A special thank you to the Automotive Hall of Fame for its continued support of the SAH. The Leland Chapter invites others to join us in our efforts to strengthen this bond.


December 22, 2020 Virtual Gathering

Some 20 Leland Chapter members gathered virtually at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, December 22nd.

Brian Baker introduced Nick Gargaro, a recent graduate of Wooster College in Ohio, as a new staff member of the AHF.  Nick will be handling alumni rerlations and administering the AHF “Bio Project” to enhance and expand the Hall’s collection of inductee biographical tributes. Nick also just joined the SAH.

Terry Boyce gave a detailed report on his attendance at the recent MotorCities National Heritage Center Annual Meeting. Brian Baker then presented his PowerPoint entitled “The Reaview Mirror,” a review of his favorite competition car designs.


October 22, 2020 Virtual Gathering

The Leland Chapter, Detroit fall gathering was held virtually by Zoom on October 22, 2020, from the Automotive Hall of Fame (AHF) in Dearborn, Michigan by President Brian Baker.  The event started off with the attendees from two states and one province engaging in a lively discussion about how they were coping with the pandemic by reading, researching, writing, organizing personal libraries, wrenching, etc.

President Baker provided an update on the Bio Project, the Chapter’s work revising and updating the biographies, tribute pages and timelines of 286 of the inductees at the AHF. This long-term project will further develop the print and digital assets of the AHF with revised and expanded content, which will benefit the public when visiting the Hall.  While work on over 60 of the biographies has been completed to date, Sarah Cook, President of the AHF, appealed to Chapter members to continue contributing their knowledge, and their writing skills, emphasizing that many more biographies, tribute pages and timelines are available for revision.

The relationship between the Leland Chapter and the Automotive Hall of Fame has been a significant development for the Chapter this year.  As historians born of the 20th century, our members possess an intimate knowledge of automotive events which they can record and share with the generations of the 21st century and beyond.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Brian Baker gave his recent AHF presentation Mobility in the Future: How did we Get Here?  This entertaining and informative talk did indeed address the question “How did we get here?” with examples of early attempts at autonomous vehicles and the development of advanced mobility concepts over the past few decades, as they relate to present efforts.

March 7, 2020 Gathering at the Points and Condensor Society in Ypsilanti

Leland Chapter, Detroit met at the Points and Condenser Society warehouse in Ypsilanti the morning of March 7 at 11:00.  Chapter member and SAH Board member Bob Elton presented the video “Hudson Motor Car Company: the Men, the Automobiles and the Company” and took questions afterwards.  Lunch was taken at the Sidetrack Bar & Grill.  After lunch, Bob conducted a tour of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, for Chapter members and guests.

Bob Elton holding forth on Hudson History.
Bob Elton and Terry Boyce at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum.


December 9, 2019 Panel Discussion at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing

Leland Chapter, Detroit co-sponsored a panel discussion on Oldsmobile design at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing on December 9th.  Chapter President Brian Baker was the moderator.  Panelists Dennis Burke, Glen Durmisevich, John Perkins and Richard Ruzzin shared their drawings and remembrances of working on the Oldsmobile Toronado.


December 7, 2019 Annual Meeting and Ford v Ferrari Presentation by George Levy at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

Leland Chapter, Detroit held its annual end of the year gathering at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI at 12:30 PM on Saturday, December 7th.  AHF President Sarah Cook kindly made the hall auditorium available for this chapter event.  Chapter President Brian Baker reviewed chapter activities over the past year in a slide presentation.  Following Brian, motor sports author and Motorsports Hall of Fame of America President George Levy spoke about the recently released film Ford v Ferrari.  Levy’s presentation, “Shelby v Enzo, Ford v Ferrari” compared the movie character portrayals to the actual personalities involved in this historic motor racing duel.

Brian Baker kicking off the meeting.
George Levy on Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles, et al., actual v portrayed.


October 28, 2019 Evening with Ted West at M1 Concourse in Pontiac


Leland Chapter, Detroit was treated to an evening with long-time automotive magazine writer Ted West. Ted was our guest at the M1 Concourse garage in Pontiac, Michigan ( on October 28, 2019.
Ted regaled us with his first-hand memories of the racing scene in the 1960’s and 70’s.  As a writer for several magazines, he was assigned to cover the great Can Am endurance races and F1 battles across the world.
Ted told the stories behind his racing novel CLOSING SPEED, which was set at the peak of the Porsche 917 and Ferrari battles.  His book captures the time and the people during one of the golden ages of auto racing.
A fun evening hosted by our friends at M1 Concourse.
Ted West and Brian Baker at M1 Concourse.