Collector Car Appreciation Day

SEMA Member News—March/April 2013 

Collector Car Appreciation Day


The ARMO Hot Products Showcase provides direct product exposure to more than 100,000 end users of restoration products at the annual Spring Carlisle Swap Meet and Car Auction.
The ARMO Hot Products Showcase provides direct product exposure to more than 100,000 end users of restoration products at the annual Spring Carlisle Swap Meet and Car Auction.

It may be early in the year, and many of you are just now dusting off your collector cars and hot rods in preparation for the cruising months ahead, but the fourth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day, July 12, 2013, will be here before we know it. Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products prepared the following column right after the holidays, but his message still rings true and gets us in the right frame of mind to celebrate our collective passion.

“Well, we’ve survived the end of the world. After teetering on the fiscal cliff, Congress extended most of the Bush-era tax cuts but delayed action on plans to deal with our calamitous budget deficit. The rest of us have to play the cards we are dealt. Only we don’t know just when they are going to get dealt or what they will be. It’s going to be a very interesting year.

In my 39 years in business, I don’t remember a time we’ve had so much uncertainty. We seemingly have no control over what’s going to happen, so why waste energy worrying about it? We can deal with it when we have all the facts. What we can control now is preparing ourselves for the uncertainties that we know we’ll be dealing with in the coming year (business strategies, swap meets, trade shows and car-show events, etc.).

However, one certainty we can start planning for immediately is Collector Car Appreciation Day. July 12, 2013, the date designated for this year’s event, is not that far away. It takes time to plan, promote and invite people to participate to have a successful and visible event.

Why is this celebration important? For years, we have quietly enjoyed our hobby. Even though we know that there is a large collector-car community, to outsiders we seem to be a small, insignificant group. For that reason, we have taken some blows from our politicians and regulators in the past. Just think back to all of the “clunker laws” and “junk car ordinances” that have threatened our livelihoods. These efforts are designed for noble causes but have had the unintended consequence of harming our hobby and businesses.

Despite the inroads made by SEMA and the SEMA Action Network, there are still many lawmakers who do not understand or appreciate our hobby. They don’t see the historical role that cars play in our society, the innovations that have been developed in more than 100 years and the nostalgic enjoyment these cars provide. The more we can educate our politicians on what the hobby is all about, the better chance we have of protecting ourselves from badly written laws. We can influence the views and actions of our politicians by getting to know our legislators, supporting them and contacting them when appropriate. We can also do this by public displays, such as car shows. This is why a national Collector Car Appreciation Day is so important.

An event like the Woodward Cruise in Detroit is attended by more than 1 million people. What would the lawmakers think if there were hundreds of Woodward Cruise-like events throughout the country on July 12, 2013? They sure wouldn’t look at our hobby and think it was insignificant. Now that would be a powerful visual message.

So if you haven’t already started planning, it’s not too soon. July is only a few months away. Let’s all do our part in celebrating and showcasing our passion on July 12, National Collector Car Appreciation Day.

Visit the SEMA Action Network for Collector Car Appreciation Day marketing and planning ideas. Don’t forget to add your own event to the national list.”

—Matt Agosta is the president of Steele Rubber Products, an
Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) Select Committee member and the ARMO Legislative Task Force chairman

ARMO New…HOT! Product Showcase

The former ARMO New Product Showcase is now the ARMO “Hot” Product Showcase. It has all the features of the New Products Showcase, except that ARMO companies can now display whatever restoration products they have that are “hot.” The event is held during Spring Carlisle on April 25–27, 2013 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Don’t delay, register now at, or call Jim Skelly at 909-978-6690 for more information. Space is limited, so don’t miss out on this exclusive ARMO-member benefit!