Columbus Region Model A Restorers Club - History
The National Model A Restorers Club (MARC) was founded in 1952 as a way to help Model A Ford owners become acquainted with each other and exchange information about Model A cars and parts. MARC has since grown into an international organization consisting of 160 local clubs, called “Regions,” with thousands of members.
The Columbus Region of MARC was founded in 1964. Frank Fisher, a local Columbus Model A Ford owner, sent out the first letter of inquiry on August 1, 1963, to other Model A owners in the area to see if there was interest in forming a local chapter of MARC. The first organizational meeting was at 2:00pm, Sunday afternoon, February 9, 1964. Regular monthly meetings were held throughout the remainder of the year and a total of 31 members signed up and paid dues.
Some of the charter members who went on to be long-time members of the club were: Frank Fisher, Kenny Helt, Ralph Schnell, Charles Johnson, Duane Loy, Herman Todd, Wharton Reynolds, Bill Neal, Cal Bray, Roy Whiteman, Cleo Sparks
On June 21, 1964, at the National MARC Directors meeting in Dearborn, MI, Frank Fisher, Bill Neal and Herman Todd presented our request and reasons for forming the Southern Indiana Region. The request was granted by the National Board of Directors. Our first annual swap meet was held later that year.
At that time, the Southern Indiana Region consisted of several local chapters, including the Columbus chapter. Other chapters under the Southern Indiana Region at various times were The Mid-Southern chapter (Salem) founded by Vic Rudder, Artesian City chapter (Martinsville), Bedford chapter, Terre Haute chapter, Madison chapter, Mid-Hoosier “A” Chapter (Greenwood). In 1989, all chapters were converted to Regions by the National MARC organization and the Columbus Chapter became the Columbus Region of MARC. Several other chapters became Regions directly under the National MARC organization and some became part of the Columbus Region.
The club was incorporated as a non-profit Corporation in the State of Indiana on May 1, 1967, as the “Columbus Chapter of MARC, Inc.” and signed by Governor Ed Whitcomb. The documented purpose of the organization was “to encourage the members to acquire, preserve, restore, exhibit and make use of the Model “A” Ford vehicle, model years 1928 through 1931, and all things pertaining to the Model “A” Ford, including literature, technical and historical information, and to promote the introduction of ideas and fellowship for the enjoyment of its members.”
In the intervening years, the members of the Columbus Region have enjoyed thousands of miles of touring with our Model A’s, countless enjoyable meals and many interesting experiences in repairing the Model A Ford on the road.