Coming to America

As many of you probably already know, FIVA is a federation of 85 club organizations representing the interests of more than 1,500,000 historic vehicle enthusiasts in 62 countries throughout the world. Their Annual Meeting is a major event and this year—for the first time ever—the interests of North American historic vehicle enthusiasts were represented by the HVA.

One of the many exclusive and valuable features of HVA membership is that it connects you to more than a million other car guys and gals around the globe. This connection is made possible through the exclusive designation of the HVA as the FIVA North American Affiliate. Last month, HVA representatives traveled to Slovenia for FIVA’s Annual Meeting.

Hosted by the official Slovenian FIVA affiliate—the Zveza Slovenskih Društev Ljubiteljev Starodobnih (SVSA)—in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the nation’s capitol, the official business of FIVA’s Annual Meeting was marked by a number of significant strides by the HVA on behalf of its members. Here are some of the major highlights and what it means for HVA members:

The HVA’s own Mark Gessler was appointed as the Chair of the FIVA Technical Commission, a group charged with establishing standard procedures and policies for classifying and authenticating historic vehicles world wide. More than 85 of the most long standing and prestigious events in the world use the standards of this committee as a means to qualify cars.

The HVA’s Carmel Roberts, Director of Government Affairs, delivered a presentation on the regulatory challenges facing the U.S. and Canadian collector—many are serious problems shared by enthusiasts throughout the world. In the coming year, the HVA will be working with our European Union affiliates to establish a United Nations-style framework for the preservation of historic vehicles, address environmental issues, emissions regulations, registration, and use restrictions.

FIVA’s History and Heritage Committee shared several strategies for supporting museums that have proven effective in member countries. The HVA followed this with a presentation on the Digital Library prototype project we completed this year in conjunction with FIVA. This is a model being explored to digitize automotive books, periodicals, and documents to facilitate storage, retrieval and access.

The FIVA Skills and Trades Committee announced that it will be conducting a survey to identify endangered skills and services in the hobby. The results will provide direction on how best to prioritize our efforts and programs.

All of this activity culminated in the unanimous vote to have the HVA host the 2011 FIVA Annual General Meeting in Washington, D.C. This is the first time the Annual Meeting has ever been held outside of Europe. We are certainly honored to welcome FIVA officially in North America, and it seems fitting given that we can boast half the world’s historic vehicles.

HVA being welcomed and asked to present at FIVA’s Annual Meeting shows that the HVA has made great headway toward establishing itself as the voice for the North America historic vehicle enthusiast. It also shows that the organization has made significant strides in aligning itself with FIVA and the millions of collectors throughout the world, all of whom share our mission to “Keep yesterday’s Vehicles on Tomorrow’s Roads.”

Click here for information on upcoming FIVA events approved for 2011

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