How it all Started
The first meeting of what would become the Manitoba Classic & Antique Auto Club, was held at the Free Press building on Carleton Street in Winnipeg on February 14, 1960.
The idea for a car club was put forth by Dennis Cloutier and his girlfriend (later to be his wife) Lorna Mailey.
In a letter to the editor of The Side Mount Reporter dated 2005, Dennis recalls how the MCAAC was started; "Having been previously involved with other car clubs, mostly of the rod and custom variety, I thought that a vintage car club might be a good idea. Lorna Mailey (whom I later married) and I began to contact people we had already met and proposed the idea. I phoned a few people from outside Winnipeg including Bill Heaman from Carmen, Jim Strait from Neepawa and Bob Rostecki from Brandon and asked them if they would be interested in coming to Winnipeg for a meeting regarding the idea of a vintage car club.
I then reserved a meeting room at the Winnipeg Free Press and phoned everyone back a second time with the date and time. This would become the first meeting of The Manitoba Classic & Antique Auto Club as stated above."
Denis went on to say, "In all probability, had it not been for Lorna's enthusiasm and hard work, the club would not have come into existence when it did."
While everything starts with an idea, it is usually the enthusiasm and hard work that follows an idea that determines whether the outcome will be a success. There have been many people over the past half-century (and counting) that have contributed to the success and longevity of the Manitoba Classic & Antique Auto Club. There were thirty three Charter members (members in good standing for the year 1960) and some are still active with the MCAAC today!
In 1970, as a Manitoba Centennial Project, the club purchased the remains of the original Lockport bus - a 1918 Ford Model T. It was used by George Donald from 1918 to 1931 to carry passengers from the street car line to the Red River Locks in Lockport, where he then rented out little fishing punts. Thus, he was known as "busman and boatman". His daughter, Mrs. Mabel Davis, became the first licensed bus driver in Canada. Today, this bus is an integral part of our club activities.
When public insurance was introduced to Manitoba in 1971, the MCAAC became involved with MPIC for appraisals of our old cars. This relationship continued for many years. The MCAAC was also instrumental in the introduction of the "Vintage" license plates in 1971.
Over the years, the MCAAC has sponsored
a number of successful car shows, the latest being at the Winnipeg Convention
Centre for our 35th anniversary in 1995. We also sponsored the swap
meets at Polo Park Shopping Centre for many years. The MCAAC has now
joined with the Red River Exhibition Association to provide a bigger
and better weekend swap meet.