History of the Club
The Antique Automobile Club of Iceland was founded on the 19th of
May 1977, at a crowded meeting. The founders were people with a big
interest in classic cars which they had been collecting and restoring.
One of them had already, in the year 1967, gathered together antique
cars in Reykjavik and had a show at Laugardalsvöllur, and was
therefore a kind of a pioneer. People started to realize the importance
of the keeping of antique cars, and that show led to the foundation
of the club.
The clubs trips
The first task of the club was a cruise on the
National day, 17th of June, 1977 in Reykjavik, with a show near one
of the capital schools. This first trip was a great success in every
way. Since then a cruise and a show on the 17th of June have been
a yearly happening in the festivity of our National day. The club
has now around 15 organized trips every summer, both long ones and
a shorter ones. Along the fixed trips are a trip in the spring, cruise
on the National day in Reykjavik, antique cars day at Árbæjarsafn,
long trips and weekend trips.
The first really long trip was a trip around the country on the occasion
of the 10th anniversary of the club in 1987. The trip was repeated
The club members have twice taken a trip abroad, 1992 to Scandinavia
and to Faroe Islands in 1996, the club is in good contact with the
antique car club in the Faroe Islands, Föroya Ellis Akför.
The clubs buildings
Soon after the foundation of the club the members started to look
for a convenient storage for the cars. In 1977 they rented 600 sq.m.
place. It was spacious enough for the cars and a good working conditions
for repairing the cars. This place was though too expensive in the
long run, so they moved to a smaller one, 170 sq.m., in 1979. In that
place they could only keep the cars, and they no longer had working
place for repairs. The club rented that place until 1981 when they
got their own, 180sq.m. store-room with a loft for spare parts. The
club had this place until 1984 when it was sold, and they got a site
and started building a steel-frame building just outside the city
of Reykjavik. The project worked very well because of incredible drive
of the members and with many firms giving them a lot of help. The
store-room is 315 sq.m. and was finished in 1986 and at once was filled
with cars. In the year 1987 members started another building alongside
the other one, it was finished in 1988 and is 374 sq.m. Soon the third
one was needed and was finished in 1990 and is 502 sq.m. The antique
car club owns now these 3 store-rooms, which are about 1200 sqm.,
and they are fully used in the winter months.These houses and members
subscription have been the main source of income for the club and
is the base of all club activities.
The club house
The club got the first place for its activity in the year 1980. In
the year 1991 they rented another place and had meetings every week.
In 1995 they bought their own place, it was a very good place in every
way. In 1997 they sold that place and had a lot of money on their
hands. The management started looking for a site for a new place and
a car museum, which should be ca.1000 sq.m. At last they got a site
in Elliðaardal, where a museum and a clubhouse will be built,
probably in the later part of 2010. Until the new house will be finished,
the meeting place is at Árbæjarsafni, where there is
an open house every Wednesday night between 20.00-23.00.
The first issue of the clubs news letter, Fornbíllinn, was
in April 1979. It was a small one with news, ads and information for
the members. Now the news letter is 32 pages with various material
and issued once a year. Because a need was to give the members some
informations in between, a small news letter was issued in 1987, Skilaboð,
which comes ten times a year with news of meetings, trips and shows,
along with ads from members. In the year 1998 it was decided to start
and maintain a website around the clubs activities, it was officially
opened 23rd of November 1998 and is fast becoming the main source
of news for the members.
One part of the activity of The Antique Automobile Club are shows
of the cars and various things concerning the history of cars in Iceland.
The grand ones are the ones which are held at every 5 years jubilation.
The first one in Laugardalshöll in June 1979. Then there was
a show in connection with a Autoshow in 1984, then 1989,1994, 1999
and 2004 at Laugardalshöll. In May 1997 was a special 20 year
jubileum at Perlan and 25 year jubileum at the B&L house. As mentioned
before the club is now preparing work for the car museum in Elliðaardalur.
In the future there will be cars and everything concerning the history
of the car in Iceland on show there.
There is always a need for spare parts for antique cars either for
restoring or repairing. It can be very difficult to obtain these parts,
therefore the club started to gather the spare parts which were taken
out of stock at the car dealers. Now the club has a considerable stock
of spare parts. Club member can buy the parts at a reasonable price,
and a yearly autojumble is held at Esjumelur.
The clubs own cars
Late in 1978 the club bought a rescue car with
a gibbet from the taxi station of Steindor. The car is Chevrolet model
1937, was originally a bus but was restored. The club still owns the
car, and it has proved useful in many cases. It has been repaired
a few times and in 1991-93 it went through a thorough repairing. The
old rescue car will be used in the club cruises as the clubs symbol.
The picture collection of the club
The club members started early to collect old pictures of cars in
Iceland. Bjarni Einarsson from Tuni was a pioneer there, gathered
together a lot of pictures. It is now a big collection and a good
source of old times. It has been a lot of work to record everything.
Enlarged pictures are used at the shows etc. The club also has a good
collection of carbooks, reference books, magazines, brochures and
The board members have regular meetings. At these meetings they work
with the interest of the car owners in mind, and of course the usual
work of such meetings. They have succeeded in having abolished public
expenses of antique cars, insurance cut down, release from rules of
inspection, and got permission to use the old numberplates on the
cars and imports fees adjusted.
The first leader of the antique cars club was Jóhann E. Björnsson,
from 1977-1985, Then Rudolf Kristinsson till 1990, when Kristinn Snæland
took over. The 4th leader was Örn Sigurðsson, from 1993-2003.
The present leader is Sævar Petursson.In the last 25 years the
members have achieved a lot and they are all volunteers. They have
succeeded in making people see that antique cars are not just"old bangers", but a treasure fit for a king. With that
change of attitude the antique cars have been accepted as a really
interesting hobby and an important part of preserving the history
of automobiles in Iceland.