Preserving and enjoying Volkswagens
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Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Club History
When Al Bulgrin became president in 1987, the club incorporated officially as the Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Club, which is where we consider the beginnings of the club as we know it to have begun.
Lets take a look backward to 1987 and our first Festival in 1988.
Our chapter was formed in the fall of 1987 when a group of 19 VVWCA national club members and other vintage VW lovers met at Shield's pizzeria in Southfield to discuss organizing a club for local social activities centering on our interest in old VWs. A partial list of this early group includes Bob Case, Ernie Otter, Keith Price, Tom Siligato, Mike Brady, Gary Setter, Dave Cook and Al Bulgrin -- all still active in the club today. After having a few initial events which included a parts treasure hunt at Bill Rathbun's, a Color Tour, and a Christmas party, we had started to attract more members and began to expand our outlook. In the spring of 1988 we explored the idea of having some sort of car show somewhere as a place to show off our neat little cars and to find even more like minded folks.
As plans developed for the event, the primary element - location - was facilitated by Keith Price, who had connections with a sales person at Anthony Motors, a VW/Mazda dealership on Maple Road in Sterling Heights. After arranging to use their grounds for a May 22 show, we went ahead with the details - advertising, show classes, trophies, and the mechanics of arranging the cars and swap area. A really neat attraction was added in the form of a 1945 Split Window Beetle owned by VoA that was loaned to us for the day. This was the oldest known Beetle in the U.S. at the time, the result of a nationwide search by VoA some years earlier. The car had been restored with the aid of VVWCA member Terry Shuler (national club president) and local guru Dave Crompton, among others, and was painted a delightful dull army green color. Displayed on the lawn the day of the show, it undowbtedly helped draw in some of the passers-by to our event.
The weather on show day was sunny and bright, and some thirty-plus air-cooled cars were in attendance for our premier effort. Notable cars on display that day included Craig Elam's Hebmuller and '50 Split, a one owner 67 Sedan, the Hamann's '67 Bus, Mike Brady's '53 Split, an Oval, and a '68 Cabriolet Bug that was purchased by a current member Patty Pape at the show!. The awards were determined by a judging committee (very informal), and a very youthful-looking Ernie Otter presented Mike Brady with a best Display plaque for the nifty goodies he layed out with his Zwitter. Another notable event was the presentation of Hal Price to the group by proud dad Keith -- Barbara had just given birth the month before the show. It was a wonderful day - we signed up several new members, made many new friends, and generally were elated: even the dealership sold a car (Mazda) that day! With this start our club has gone on to stage a Vintage Festival of national importance in our hobby, drawing VW lovers from across the country and Canada and displaying some of the finest old VWs to be enjoyed by all.
Two things from the event remain constant: our love of the air-cooled cars from Volkswagen and a willingness to pitch in and work to put on a great show.
Festivals have been held at Anthony Motors in 1988, Tamaroff Motors (same location as Anthony) in 1989, VoA (on Big Beaver), VoA Auburn Hills, Ypsilanti, Karmann of America in 2009, Ypsilanti.
|Presidents of the MVVC (past and present)|
|Name||Years as President|
|Al Bulgrin||1987 thru 1992|
(Beetle) Bob Case
|1992 thru 1999|
|Ron Wenger||2001 thru 2003|
|Ed Karmann||2004 thru 2008|
|Rick Cramer||2010 thru 2012|
|Larry Kabrick||2013 thru Present|