Partnering for Military Vehicle Preservation
Dayton, Ohio, was the scene for the 36th Annual Military Vehicle Preservation Association convention and the Historic Vehicle Association was there. Find out what makes this annual convention one of the most unique car events anywhere and how the partnership between the HVA and the MVPA is growing.
Do you think that if you’ve seen one car show you’ve seen them all? Then you definitely haven’t been to an event like the annual convention of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
For starters, when was the last time you’ve been to a show where there was a genuine Sherman tank? Or how about a live water demonstration showcasing a real amphibious LVT-4 watercraft of the sort that charged through German artillery to deliver troops on the beaches of Normandy? No ordinary car show, for sure.
“I’ve never been to a more organized show or seen a group of more knowledgeable vehicle enthusiasts,” says HVA’s Club Relations Manager, Matt Zerilli. One of HVA’s team members who helped man the HVA booth at the E.J. Nutter Center in Dayton August 3rd through the 6th, Zerilli also delivered two presentations over the weekend on social and political threats facing all historic vehicle enthusiasts.
“This was the first of a number of car shows the HVA plans to attend over the coming months,” says Zerilli. “Interest in historic military vehicles is really growing, and the MVPA is definitely the premier military vehicle group. We thought it was one of the best places to start speaking to people directly about the work the HVA is doing to help keep ‘Yesterday’s Vehicles on Tomorrow’s Roads.’”
According to Zerilli, the MVPA convention focused on judging events and unique seminars that were largely preservation and equipment-centric.
“Most of the people I met and talked to were experienced with military vehicle restoration, and many were ex-military mechanics who could take a vehicle completely apart, pack it up in a crate for shipping, and then put it back together again. In fact, one of my favorite demonstrations was seeing the reassembly of the Air Transportable WC-51.”
Military vehicle enthusiasts not only love to work on their vehicles but also drive them. As a group, this makes them a very visible segment of the historic vehicle community who very much understands the importance of the lobbying and legislative work the HVA is doing on behalf of the entire historic vehicle community.
“Earlier this year, the HVA became an official partner of the MVPA,” says Zerilli. “They pulled off a wonderful event and we’re already looking forward to next June, 2012, when their annual meet will be held in Huntsville, Alabama.”