The Model A Touring Club (MATC) was incorporated in the State of California as a not-for-profit, public education entity in 2000 and has been successfully operating tours for its members since that time. We are an international club with approximately 100 Family Members in a number of states of the USA and provinces of Canada. Our members particularly enjoy touring in foreign countries.
The objective of the Model A Touring Club is to enjoy the use of the Model A Ford as a touring vehicle. In doing so we gain favorable attention to the hobby of Model A Ford restoration and collection and encourage others to do the same; thereby helping to preserve the heritage of this grand old automobile.
We do this by making the Model A Ford a useful vehicle — not an object that simply sits in a garage or showroom to be admired. We offer members the enjoyment of their Model A as a vacation transportation tool. We encourage them to think beyond the limits of their cities or towns and even their country. We select exciting and challenging destinations to encourage travel. We emphasize safety and maintenance of our autos. We encourage the study of the geography, the people and culture of other lands. We expose our members to Model A people beyond the confines of our local chapter so that we can make new friends, permanent ones with whom to share our love of the Model A and the adventure of Model A travel. We encourage all the above by trying to design tours that meet the requirements stated above and at the same time are within the range of a modest pocketbook.
In our travels with our Model A’s, we have met many strangers in foreign lands and left them feeling that we were better for the experience and in some cases with new friends. This contact has shown us that people of these places are much like ourselves, for the most part. It has brought us closer to the people of other parts of the world. We hope that these contacts have had a like effect on those we have met. Without our Model A’s, we would not have made so many contacts; therefore, we believe in some small way that our Model A experience has been one that is beneficial to better understanding and possibly to world peace.
For two years running, 1998 and 1999, a group of west coast USA Model A touring enthusiasts, led by expert motor touring guide, Lee Chase, took their Model A’s on foreign tours to Europe and Baja California and enjoyed it so much, we thought we should form a Special Interest Group (SIG) in the Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA). We incorporated as a not for profit California corporation and received our Charter from MAFCA in 2000 with Lee Chase as our first president.
Counting the two pre-SIG tours, our members have visited The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In 2007, we toured Alaska and in 2008 we toured the Maritime Provinces of Canada. In 2009 a group of members joined other car clubs and spent two weeks touring The Big Island of Hawaii. 2009 also saw two domestic tours; one in Southern Oregon and the other in New Mexico. We are a club on the move! 2010 saw us on an extensive fun tour of Oklahoma. New Zealand was our destination in 2011. We visited Northwestern Canada in 2012 driving from Victoria to Banff and Lake Louise, then back to Vancouver. A transcontinental tour of the USA on the Lincoln Highway was our latest adventure in June July of 2013. Since then, we have planned at least one ambitious tour a year and visited such places as Moab Utah, Yellowstone, the California Lost Coast, and a fabulous visit to Portugal and Spain. Visit our tours page for an overview of all our past tours.
We don’t have to tell Model A Ford owners of the challenges and the thrills that we get when we take our cars to places where Models A’s are seldom seen. In foreign lands driving into town with 20 or 30 A’s with USA license plates is an invitation to stop and talk—about cars, the scenery, the towns and the people. We could be a gaggle of US tourists in modern cars and these fine citizens would not give us the time of day! We are continually surprised by the number of people in other lands that have such a strong appreciation of the Model A Ford and express a shared affection with us.
We are an international club as our members come from the USA and Canada. About two-thirds of our members are from Southern California, we have members from states that span the continent. You might wonder how we can gather all these people from diverse areas and arrive as a group at our destinations in foreign lands. Members fly from common embarkation airports in their geographic areas. We set up three ports of embarkation for the cars. These are situated on the Atlantic coast; Pacific coast and the Gulf coast at cities nearest the majority of the tour members. A standard marine container is just large enough to hold three standard-length Model A Fords, so our tours are planned to take cars in multiples of three. Most tours comprise approximately 30 cars, though some tours are less.
Our first tour as a newly formed club was to Europe in 2001 and we had 50 cars! This large group strained our new organization and since then we have tried to limit the number of cars in a tour to a more manageable size.
Most people are interested in the financial aspects of our tours, which are strictly non-profit. They started in 1998 costing approximately $10,000 per car with two people. Since then the slide of the dollar and inflation have raised that to an average of about $16,000. This cost compares favorably to a two-week ocean cruise,for a couple, but is far more fun! For this sum, our members get a three-week tour with all hotels, over one-third of the meals, car insurance and transportation, plus some entertainment along the way. The major add-ons are fuel (overseas, about double what we pay at home!), the rest of the meals, souvenirs and all the things a wife can usually think of to fill a car that is being shipped home by sea transport!
We are registered as a not for profit corporation in the State of California and governed by a set of Bylaws, which provide for a Board of five Directors elected by the members for a two-year term of office. Our Board elects the officers of the club each year at an annual meeting and we try to have one Membership Meeting each year on tour or at a convention. Several years ago, we became a Special Interest Region of the Model A Restorers Club (MARC). When there are no tours, we try to alternate membership meetings between the conventions of the two national clubs.
The Club is approximately 100 families strong. Membership fluctuates as some members join principally for a specific tour and then depart for other activities. On the other hand, we still have many Charter Members who have made many tours with us and provide great leadership for the club. We are always on the lookout for new members who would like to share our idea of Model A vacationing. If you would care to join us, please visit our membership page.