The first official gathering of Berks County’s Antique Car Lovers was on December 4, 1964 and was held at the Kempton Hotel, Kempton, PA. The group consisted of Sterling Zimmerman, Royden Dotterer, Donald Peters, Lee and Clark Hummel, Otto Gruber, Robert Rhode, and George Stump.
An announcement of a formation meeting appeared in a January 1965 issue of The Kutztown Patriot. George Norton, vice-president of publications and a past-president of The Antique Automobile Club of America, made a presentation and upon its conclusion, the group agreed to apply to form an official region of the AACA.
On Friday, March 26, 1965, Director Sterling Zimmerman conducted the 1st official meeting and the club established a monthly newsletter, the “Tin & Brass,” which continues to this day.
The very first official tour, The Top Down Tour, was held on Sunday, June 16, 1965. The two hour tour of back roads concluded with a country style dinner-a format that is still generally followed.
In August 1965, the Ontelaunee Region pitched in with many volunteers to help make the 2nd Annual Das Awkscht Fescht a success-a tradition that continues.
In September 1965, Paul Loch introduced special shirts for use at Ontelaunee events. Besides the Ontelaunee Region AACA moniker, the shirt sported a red Indian head. This symbol is still used by the club today by the club today and can be seen on our Tin & Brass.
During the October Halloween Party, Paul Loch donated the headpiece from his costume to Sterling Zimmerman as “Chief of the Ontelaunee Tribe.” Today, it still remains a tradition for each new president to accept this headpiece upon assuming the reins of the tribe.
There was a tour held most every month with the years activities cumulating in a Christmas party and an award banquet. Although many tour names have changed over the years, our last tour of the year, The Applejack and Cider Tour, still retains its original name.
This information is from an article written by Lynn Zettlemoyer in 1972.