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 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.