AIA Project 2006
Plärrer Fair Parade
Location Augsburg

American Cars in Augsburg


How a status symbol is preserved

In 1980, a group interested in historical US motorcars gathered in Augsburg. It developed via three different club forms until 1994. Then the ‘American Car Friends Augsburg’ society was founded, getting the status of a registered society (e.V.) in 2003. The history of the society really started during the stationing time of the American Forces! 

Aim and purpose of the society is the preservation of a technical cultural asset, namely that of the American ‘Straßenkreuzer’*), i.e. limousine, and other civilian motorcars of the post war era. More than 50 years of U.S. Army presence in Augsburg represented the American lifestyle even on the roads of Augsburg - by means of brought cars.

During the plainness of the German reconstruction and the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) years, the enormous US motorcars (in German vernacular Ami-Schlitten’) demonstrated a completely unfamiliar, wealth reflecting mobile civilization. Grandiose forms and abstract details created an image that many years later led to the desire to foster mementos.

The ‘American Car Friends Augsburg’ preserve an epoch by the restoration and mainte­nance of contemporary US cars, which represented - with many other cultural activities - the typical way of life of Augsburg’s U.S. Military Community. Since 2005, there are annual get-togethers of old-timer enthusiasts from all over South Bavaria. 

For Americans, motorcars were not only an indispensable means of locomotion, but also an extended living room with plush, velvet and leather. Lots of chrome, lush decorations and emotional color designs created a car feeling that made forget the, for German yardsticks, wasteful consumption of gasoline and sheet metal. The preservation of this motorcar era, which would never have existed without the Cold War presence of the U.S. Forces, is on the agenda of the ‘American Car Friends Augsburg e.V.’ society. It is a living supplement of the historical documentation work and the promotion of international understanding of Amerika in Augsburg e.V.


*) At that time German vernacular, probably due to the lack of other suitable terms.

Please see also: www.acfaugsburg.com 

(All unnamed pictures: Amerika in Augsburg e.V.)




          The American motorcar culture of the past is even nowadays leading to distinct gettogethers.


Already in the 1950s, GIs with their limousines became established in Augsburg´s kasernes. Here at Sheridan Kaserne, 1956. (Photo: Dillon Prendergast). 


Left: American Car Friends Augsburg e.V. and Amerika in Augsburg e.V. at a joint presentation of vehicles at the former Sheridan Area. Right: American music and lifestyle with an automobile ambience.


                                  Evident annual presence at the METRO parking lot, Kriegshaber.

The fascination of American car designs is maintained and preserved with lots of loving care to detail. Costs have to be borne by the respective owners.


                              Perfect beauty and elegance of the 1950/60s: A Chevrolet Bel Air 57.


                                 A Buick with whitewall tires presented at Sheridan Kaserne in 2013.


                   Two Cadillac sedans of different generations convey the evolution of automobiles.


The front view of an old Pontiac demonstrates fanciful modernity. Large cubic capacity, galore, hp, and the bubbling sound of numerous cylinders were the typical signs of the cars from another continent.


An interior at its best as well as the matching colors of the car fill the American oldtimer fan with enthusiasm.


                           The striking creativity of an automobile era featured a great design variety.


A modern American sports car in Reese Barracks´spring landscape. The antenna tower can still be seen in the background (2005).