By Todd Shea
2023 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

One of the best ways to see Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley is by car. Cruising around and taking in that fresh ocean air, checking out the incredible architecture, and stopping into all of our amazing restaurants. Better yet, do it in a vintage classic car; that is where AACA comes in!

Since its founding in 1972, the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) has gone a long way. The club initially supported a successful national tour in 1976. Yet, over time, the club shrank to a core of 6–8 members. When Dana Newquist joined the club 20 years ago, things were like this. Thank you to Dana for some details about the AACA and some history behind it. Below is some great information about a very fun and active community of enthusiasts in Santa Barbara.

Like any newcomer, Dana was passionate about vintage and antique vehicles. After a few meetings, the club’s then-president, Jeremy Hass, approached him about taking over the club’s leadership. Dana agreed to the offer but soon understood how difficult it would be. The club was small, and he needed to build it up from scratch.

Dana started by concentrating on the caliber of the meetings. He was aware that more people would join if he could secure some notable speakers. Dana was aware that not everyone was interested in technical details like rear-end ratios and carburetors. As a result, he saw to it that the speakers were picked for subjects that would interest all of the members.

Dana’s second action was to make an effort to make the group more all-inclusive. Dana was well aware that collecting vintage and classic cars is not just for men. He therefore made sure that women felt welcome to join the club and that the programs and topics catered to all audiences. This approach worked, and the number of members started to increase gradually.

Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang driven by CJ Ward and Beth Farnsworth

The AACA Santa Barbara Chapter has more than 100 members today and is continually expanding. A fantastic core group at the club has decided it’s time to stage a new national tour. The Santa Ynez Marriott will serve as the tour’s home base from September 25 to September 29. This marks an important turning point for the club and is evidence of the effort and commitment of its members.

The AACA is not just about cars; it’s about a sense of community and camaraderie. Members of the club share a common interest and bond over their love for antique automobiles. They attend events together, share stories and experiences, and learn from each other. The AACA is more than just a club; it’s a family.

AACA meets the last Monday of every month at 5:30pm, Pilgrim Terrace (649 Pilgrim Terrace Dr. Santa Barbara, CA 93101; off Modoc). A delicious buffet is available for dinner for an additional fee. Every month a special guest is invited to discuss topics important to our members. It has been nearly 50 years since the Santa Barbara Region hosted a National Tour. Classic cars will be coming from all points of the US to join.

To best get more information, to look into joining and a description of the Tour, please go to AACA SB website:

Looking forward to seeing all of these beautiful cars on the road around Santa Barbara. Thanks again to Dana Newquist for the insight into a really cool local club.

Todd Shea is the 2023 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR). He is a California licensed real estate agent with the Zia Group powered by eXp Realty here in Santa Barbara. He has served on and chaired several committees within the SBAOR and served on its board of directors. Todd can be reached at 805.453.7730 and or message and follow @toddshearealtor on Instagram. 


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.