Like Vintage Cars? July 11 is now officially “Collector Car Appreciation Day” in California.

by Tom Zoebelein - Thu, Jul 3, 2014 1:50 PM

Sometimes it is nice to write a post that reveals a little bit about the author. I have been writing these blogs for a year now, and its time to maybe let the curtain down a little and tell you something about myself which will also help establish why you can trust the advice read my car blogs in the first place.

I have been a gearhead all my life. To demonstrate that, let me give you a few examples. When I was 4 I begged my father to take me to the New York Auto show. I still remember it like it just happened. Fast forward to 1988 and my 8th grade science fair project was a ¼ scale turbo charged 4 cylinder engine that I built. My position was that the new for the 1980’s ceramic coated turbo chargers would revolutionize the family sedan and that one day in the future, a small 4 cylinder or turbo 4 would replace the V8 under the hood of most of the 1988 line up. I didn’t win the science fair, but my prediction was dead on.

I’m a completely self taught mechanic and auto body man. I taught myself how to weld, how to paint and how to build engines. I bought my first classic car when I was just 13 years old. It was a 1966 mustang and wasn't even a legal classic car yet. I completely restored it by myself by the time I was 16.

Thomas Zoebelein first cr 1966 mustang circa 1989

My first car 1966 Mustang

I have owned and built vintage cars ever since. I have owned or restored a 1959 chevy, 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Safari wagon, 1965 Mustang, 1949 Ford coupe, 1962 Ford Galaxie, 1955 Ford F-100, and I’m currently working on a 1958 Desoto Firedome that I just bought from my neighbor for the princely sum of $2,500. In one week I had that car running and driving. Timing chain, rebuilt heads, disc brake conversion and body work are all next on the to-do list.

thomas zoebelein current project 1958 desoto firedome

Current project 1958 Desoto Firedome

So when it was suggested that I write a post about California’s new proclamation that July 11 is now “Collector Car Appreciation Day”, well I jumped at the chance to write this.

California Lawmakers Issue Resolution Proclaiming July 11, 2014 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day”

This year, a California Senator named Tom Berryhill and  an Assembly member named Franklin E. Bigelow issued a joint member resolution recognizing that July 11, 2014 is to become “Collector Car Appreciation Day”.

You may ask yourself why classic cars need their own day in the state of California which has always been perhaps one of the most car obsessed states in the union. Collector Car Appreciation Day is intended as a means to “draw special public attention to the importance of the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars to the preservation of our nation’s cultural heritage.” 

It would be nice if other states follow suit and July 11 becomes a National Collector Car appreciation day, but we shall see if that ever happens. However, earlier this year, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 493 at the SEMA Action Network’s (SAN) request to acknowledge the day’s significance in raising awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.  The date marks the fifth commemoration in what has become an annual event. 

The collector car show and cruise night is nothing new. However since 2010, thousands of Americans have gathered at car cruises, parades and other events to celebrate our nation’s automotive heritage.  By taking part in these events around the country, these automotive enthusiasts and related businesses ensured that their passion was honored and recognized.

There is still time to get involved. Individuals, car clubs and business owners can register their car shows and gatherings for inclusion on the SEMA Action Network (SAN) website.

What you can do on Collector Car Appreciation Day in your Community
However you choose to acknowledge the day, you can pay by holding or attending a  cruise night or car show near you, and please encourage others to follow your lead.

Please submit the details of your celebration. For questions, contact SEMA Action Network (SAN) Director Colby Martin at 909-978-6721 or You may also download the official logo and flyer from the homepage and help promote Collector Car Appreciation day.