Every great organization has a humble beginning and the Maryland Chevelle Club (MCC) is no different. Our first president, Don Ayers, started the ball rolling. But, as we continually learn, the ball will not roll on its own.
Don's 1971 Chevelle SS convertible, then red and black, appeared on the cover of the May, 1984 issue of the National Chevelle Owners Association's (NCOA) "The Chevelle Report." Back then, the NCOA had about 3,000 members. It was exiting to discover there was another member from Maryland and equally exciting of the possibility of forming a Maryland club. The following issue of The Chevelle Report contained a classified ad from Don Ayers asking all Maryland NCOA members to call his home and arrange to meet together.
The first MCC meeting was held at Don Ayers' apartment in November, 1984. Unfortunately, we did not keep meeting minutes, so details are not available. However, it was at this meeting the club was named. The Maryland Chevelle Club, a chapter of the NCOA. After choosing the name, it was time for "brainstorming!" Such things as the Logo, bi-laws, policies, etc... needed to be in place. What a great time we all had, trying to figure out what to do. Members in attendance were Don Ayers, Bob Wilcox, Rich Eckenrode, Len Melpignano, and Chris Coker. If anyone was missed, we apologize, as all of this is from memories of years gone by!
After that inaugural meeting, subsequent meetings were very infrequent and again, not documented. No ground-breaking policies or events occurred and eventually, none of us got together again. None of us were ready to make the commitment to start the MCC and keep it going. It would be a few years until we renewed interest in the MCC.
The MCC received it's "second chance" in the summer of 1988 and has not diminished since then. Many NCOA members from Maryland attended the 1988 Chevelle Showdown in Camp Hill, PA. We were very impressed with the Keystone Chevelle Club and their efforts with hosting the show. The Maryland group decided to give the MCC another try. So with help from the NCOA, Don Ayers and Rick Eckenrode received a list of active Maryland members and a letter was mailed to each one. The announcement read:
Rick Eckenrode and I are proud to announce
the start of the "Maryland Chevelle Club (MCC)".
Per our conversation, the first official meeting will
be held on Saturday, October 1, 1988 at 7 PM.
The meeting will be held at my home
on 741 Arncliffe Road, Baltimore, MD.
For directions, call Don after 6 PM.
This letter went out September 20,1988. Although he was never elected MCC president that first year, Rick Eckenrode nominated Don on the grounds that he was older than Rick!
Next month, the History of the MCC will continue with coverage of that meeting on September 20, 1988 and the years proceeding it.
Editor's note: This series is made possible by the fragmented memories of some of our original members. Thanks to all!
Click Here for the MCC History - Part 2