The U.S. Senate recently passed Senate Resolution 196 (S. Res. 196) designating July 10, 2015 as "Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD)." S. Res. 196 was sponsored by Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). With July's celebration just around the corner, SEMA Action Network (SAN) members are sharing the video PSA about the special occasion. Featuring Spike TV's Powerblock host Courtney Hansen and her 1957 Ford Thunderbird, this video may be posted by everyone using the following link: https://youtu.be/j91KeBdli9g

A wide range of automotive events are now held on the second Friday in July to honor CCAD. At the request of the SAN, this "holiday" has been marked each year since 2010 by a U.S. Senate Resolution recognizing that the "collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States." As in years past, a wide range of automotive events will be held to commemorate the occasion. As this annual event continues to grow worldwide, states, provinces, counties and cities are following suit with their own recognition. SEMA encourages participation throughout the month of July to honor the classics of the past and the future.


  • ATTEND an official vehicle-inspired event
  • HOST your own gathering or club meeting
  • Promote a "HOLIDAY SALE" at your business
  • DRIVE your special ride, new or old, whatever the destination

Plan and submit your July event at no cost, locate a listing near you and more on the website: semasan.com/CCAD
(Participating organizers will be awarded a copy of the Congressional resolution for display at each registered event.)


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Bob Gardner’s three daughters, Ashli, Gabriella, and Marina, pose with his prized ‘80 Chevy Camaro Z28. He says, “I’ll let them figure out who will inherit the car.”

Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Bob Gardner recently moved from Utah to California, a place he calls the "hot rod capital of the world." He worked primarily on F-16 and F-111 aircraft throughout his 20-year military career as an aircraft electrician. Many assignments required relocation to places such as New Mexico, Arizona, South Korea and Italy. However, he hung on to one special ride during all his tours of duty: an ‘80 Chevy Camaro Z28. Legislation introduced earlier this year that would affect emissions testing requirements in Bob's new home state prompted him to contact his lawmakers about the proposal. Being concerned that the car is not old enough to qualify for the pre-1976 model year cutoff for emissions tests, he initially sought clarification of the bill's intent to craft his message. While he does not consider this Z28 his "dream car," it has deep sentimental value. He bought the car from his parents when he joined the USAF. Gardner had to part with his inoperable ‘70 Chevy Chevelle Malibu in order to fund the purchase. He had long been attracted to the auto hobby after admiring cars owned by several friends and cousins.

While the car was originally equipped with a 350c.i. small block, Johannes Berndt helped him drop in a 454c.i. big block. His friend Eric Villadsen recently completed a 6-month repaint that began with the body being stripped down to bare metal. What originally started as a refinish and powerplant swap became much more when his mother, Terry Lee Flowers, passed away two years ago. "At that point, this project took on a whole new meaning," Gardner says. Thankfully, he realized that he would one day restore the car while stationed in Arizona in 2001. "I made my first payment for the car to my parents in October 1984 while away at training." Bob recalls. "I was able to come home and drive it on Christmas leave in 1984, however, I did not take possession until I was assigned to my first duty station in February 1985." Many stories about Mrs. Flowers and this car were discussed at her funeral. He says that the most enjoyable to him was learning that she and his sister Stacey had taken it out for joy rides to burn the tires off before he came home to collect it. Obviously, the restoration has become increasingly special to the Gardners. "For me, this has been a way to pay tribute to a woman who has touched our lives. This car will become a family heirloom that I can pass down to my daughters."

The SAN forces everywhere are grateful for your service to the United States and personal connections with our hobby, Bob. Thank you for all!

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