1969 MGB roadsterEnlarge Photo
Never let it be said that the U.S. Congress doesn't pay attention to car buyers and owners.
The U.S. Congress has deemed today, Friday, July 9th, to be the first Collector Car Appreciation Day. The designation was created to raise public awareness of the "vital role" that the auto restoration industry plays within American society.
The new-car industry tends to get far more attention, especially given the dramatic events around the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies and government resources over the last two years.
Hot rods of every description grace SEMA's three halls.Enlarge Photo
But as any car collector or fan--and there are a lot of them out there--will tell you, hundreds of car shows large and small will take place across the country this weekend and on any summer weekend.
They may be simple "rod runs" where no more than a dozen owners drive their old cars to a parking lot, often at a fast-food joint, to park together, swap stories, and answer questions from a public increasingly divorced from working on our own cars.
Or they may be highly organized shows, with hundreds of cars in dozens of different classes, often charging admission and splitting the money with local charities.
Classic Recreations Shelby G.T.500CREnlarge Photo
Supporting these activities are hundreds of specialist parts and restoration shops, most of them small or medium-sized businesses that have a few dozen employees rather than thousands.
Their knowledge and passion--increasingly paired with internet forums and social networks--keep the country's collector cars on the road and bring smiles to the many people who see them while driving by in newer minivans and sober sedans.
The bipartisan resolution was passed in May to highlight the economic and cultural impact of the car collecting hobby and all the businesses that support it.
The informal Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus drafted the measure, which was sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Jon Tester (D-MT).
So this weekend, even if you don't have a collector car to drive, give a thumbs-up to all the old cars and hot rods you see on the streets.
Hey, on this one, you've got Congress behind you.