AAA Missouri Welcomes The Nations Largest Annual Antique Auto Tour To The Ozarks, Sept. 26 — Oct. 1

Orlando, Fla. – 9/20/2004

Ozark-area motorists will have a rare opportunity to see hundreds of vintage cars made prior to 1942 driving the streets and back roads of Branson, Mo., the week of Sept. 26 — Oct. 1.

The event is the 59th annual AAA Glidden TourР’В®; the largest and most prestigious antique automobile touring event in the United States. The tour’s visit to the Branson area will be its first-ever visit to the Ozark Plateau. It is being sponsored by the Midwest region of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America.

The tour seeks to re-create similar automobile touring events first sponsored by AAA from 1904 to 1913 to demonstrate the reliability of automobiles and the need for good roads, uniform traffic laws and services for automobile travelers. This year’s tour will feature daylong trips to scenic spots and points of interest throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

“AAA Missouri is honored to be welcoming the most prestigious touring event in the antique automobile hobby to the Ozarks,” said Ken Johnson, President and CEO of AAA Missouri. “We hope area motorists will enjoy seeing these very early automobiles driving the scenic roads of Missouri and Arkansas.”

The 2004 AAA Glidden Tour will cover more than 500 miles throughout the region. Area tourists and residents will be able to view the tour* on its way to and from the following locations:

Monday: Wilson Creek Civil War Battlefield near Springfield, Mo.
Tuesday: Laura Ingalls Wilder Home, Mansfield, Mo.
Wednesday: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park / Eureka Springs, Ark.**
Thursday: Eureka Springs, Ark. / Dogwood Canyon Nature Park**
Friday: open touring day
*Public participation in the tour is by advance registration only. Special arrangements can be made for media wishing to interview or drive with tour participants by contacting AAA.

** The tour splits into two groups visiting alternate locations.

The name “Glidden Tour” comes from the 1905 sponsorship of a magnificent silver trophy by early automotive pioneer Charles Jasper Glidden to be awarded each year to the drivers of the winning vehicle. The original Glidden trophy is on perpetual public display in the atrium of AAA’s National Office in Heathrow, Florida.

The Revival AAA Glidden Tours commenced in 1946 for antique auto enthusiasts under the sponsorship of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America — which holds all rights to the event and alternates tour sponsorship each year with the Antique Automobile Club of America.

Different from a car show, the tour emphasizes driving a pre-determined route, re-creating the purposes and traditions of the early AAA events and providing a week of pleasurable daily car trips to points of scenic or cultural interest.

To win the revival AAA Glidden trophy, participants driving vehicles made in 1913 or older must complete a set of daily tour cards recording the start and end time of each day’s trip. The vehicle coming closest to the average time needed for all cars to complete the week’s tour receives the award. A reserve AAA trophy also is awarded to a post-1913 vehicle.

The purpose of logging daily tour times and calculating a weekly average originated with AAA’s early practice of providing traveling members with the estimated time required to reach a particular destination.

The Veteran Motor Car Club of America was founded in 1938 and has more than 5,000 members throughout the world. The VMCCA can be visited on the Internet at www.vmcca.org.

As the nation’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 47 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.aaa.com.

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