The Gentlemen’s Club: The Growth and Transition of American Sports Car Racing


Pete Hylton


One fateful night in February….. Sounds like the beginning to a mystery. In fact, it was a February evening, in 1944, when seven well-heeled gentlemen met at a Boston estate. The gentlemen shared not only wealth and privilege, but also a love of driving and owning the specially engineered and built vehicles they called “sports cars”. The group elected officers, drafted a constitution, including strict membership rules designed to invite only their kind into the fold and gave their club a name. This was the rather staid beginning of the Sports Car Club of America. The club was formed more to promote the preservation and restoration of early sports cars than to host racing events. SCCA historian Pete Hylton recalls an interview with Ted Robertson, one of the original founders and its first president. Robertson, by his own words, had a different vision of what the club would become. “His focus when he wrote the draft of the club constitution and called together some of his similar minded friends for the first meeting was to create a club of ‘owners of elderly sports cars to insure their preservation’.” Ironically, the founding meeting of what would become an internationally recognized racing organization was marked with a significant lack of vision. According to Roberston, “On looking back to that faithful gathering of seven enthusiastic owners of early Americana on that Saturday evening on 26 February 1944, one fact stands out quite clearly,……we didn’t know what we were doing.”

Paperback: 160 pages