Recap of our trip to the 2013 Hershey AACA National Meet

where we were going for our "Senior" award.


By Brian Watson




Note: This article focuses on automobiles in AACA classes 24A & 24B - "race cars"

and has been written to tell our story as well to promote AACA to all race car owners and restorers.









For those of you who might not yet be familiar with the Antique Automobile Club of America, better known as AACA,, and our journey to secure top honors within AACA with our race car (1983 Edmunds midget), let me first recap the award system.


AACA as an organization was started in 1935 and the judging system in place today was started in 1952.  Your car does not need to be an award winner or even proactively going for an award to be on the AACA show field, your car simply needs to be 25 years old or older and able to "drive onto the show field", (all race cars demonstrate operability differently).  It is all about preserving the history - the judging side of things is a way to compete against other car owners for recognition.  Every car will be judged but if you are not interested in the judging portion no problem, it is all about showing the cars and having fun.


Your car starts off with 400 points (perfect score) and from that points are deducted for deficiencies in quality of restoration, non-period correctness or non-correctness for that vehicle for which it was certified in approximately 50 separate categories.


Let's first start there, "correctness for which it was certified".  Prior to being able to show your "race car" at an AACA event it must first be certified - as the actual car you say it is.  As you can imagine it would be quite embarrassing for AACA if your award winning car shows up at two events at the same time.  Thus the certification process is comprehensive.  And this has nothing to do with "quality of restoration", judging, points etc.  The certification process is just that - it certifies that your car is the car that you say it is.  If it is not, it will not be certified.  The certification process is undertaken for AACA by the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing,  (Note: EMMR is a MUST SEE museum).  The first part of the certification process is the owner of the car being certified presenting to the certification board a written description of the car, photos of the car as purchased, photos of the car restored (if available) and most important - one (1) historical photo of the car that matches exactly how you will be restoring the car, or a photo of how you have already restored the race car.  Let me elaborate on why this is so important.  Unlike production vehicles, race cars changed over the years.  Once you are on the judging field AACA judging will need some point of reference for your race car.  That photo is their reference.


Also important and worth clarifying.  The certification process is totally separate from judging and points, etc.  The one (1) historical photo of the car that matches exactly how you will be restoring the car, or a photo of how you have already restored the race car will be entered into the official AACA record for the car at the time of certification, however if it is not exactly as your car appears today it WILL NOT affect the certification process.  The certification process and the judging are two totally different processes.


For those race car owners that will be entering their car for judging that one (1) historical photo of the race car that matches exactly how you will be restoring the car, or a photo of how you have already restored the race car IS very important since that is the first thing the judges will look at.


That photo is a "moment in time" you, as the owner select.  If a race car is not already restored most owners select the most notable time in the cars history to restore a car to, or the time in its history when they want to restore it to, then look for a photo from that time period.  Once the photo has been selected - that is how the car must look exactly, 100.0%.


If your race car has already been restored you will need to find a photo that comes as close as possible to the restored race car.  You might need to change a few items to match the photo, 100.0%, to secure the highest awards in AACA.



1983 - Nick Fornoro Jr. (restored to this photo)



NOTE:  Points will be deducted for the car not matching the photo, however if you are not concerned about going after a top award and are more so concerned about displaying the car for the very appreciative attendees to AACA events then do not worry about it.  AACA would prefer your car be on display with small inaccuracies than stored away in a garage where no one can see and appreciate it.


OK, so your car has been certified, you have received your official photo back in the mail, signed by AACA.  Now you attend an AACA event and proudly display your race car.  The first thing the judges will do is to ask to see your certified photo.  They will then compare your car to the one in the photo.  From there they look to make sure it is overall period correct (namely the other side of the car that is not in the photo), followed by quality of restoration.  Period correct means nothing on the car can be later than the date of the photo.


NOTE:  A 1960 midget might be restored to its 1965 race configuration.  On your paperwork it will be known in certain areas as built in 1960 but in other areas as restored to 1965 race configuration.  If your photo is certified per the 1965 race configuration, period correctness is the date of the photo in 1965 and earlier.






Our car has been judged - now what - what awards are we even competing for?


AACA has been around for quite some time and their judges are the best out there.  This is why an award presented to you be AACA caries prestige and the reason why so many people work long hours to secure an AACA award.  If there is an area of deficiency they will find it.  If you are deserving of an award you will be rewarded.


The AACA judging system is a tiered / progressive system.  With 4 main categories: Junior, Senior, Grand National, Senior Grand National.  You can only secure the awards in this order.  While you can secure your Junior & Senior in the same year (at two separate National events) you cannot secure your Grand National the same year you secure your Senior award.

National Award tree.jpg



There is a minimum score you must secure.  Along with that you must score within a certain very tight % of the highest scoring car in your class.  Thus you dually compete against yourself as well as others in your class with the emphasis being on others in your class.


The first time your car is displayed it competes for its 1st place Junior award. You need to meet a minimum of 365 points but also be within 10 points of the best car in your class also going for its 1st place Junior award.  If a car going for its 1st place Junior gets a perfect score another car also going for its 1st place Junior would need to get 390 points to tie, not a 365.

There is also a 2nd or 3rd place Junior but securing one of those awards do not allow you to compete the next time out for your Senior award.  You must first get a 1st place Junior to compete for a Senior award.  If you do not secure a 1st place Junior, you again compete for a 1st place Junior your next time out.  We received our 1st place Junior earlier this year at the AACA National event in Carlisle (our first time out) so this placed us in the Senior category, going for our Senior award.  You need a minimum score of 375 points and be within 10 points of the highest scoring Senior car to be awarded a Senior award.  Once you win a Senior award you can go on to compete for a Grand National award scoring a minimum of 380 but being within 5 points of the highest scoring car.  Lastly there is a Senior Grand National award, 390 minimum points and be within 5 points. 


There is also one other category called Preservation.  This is awarded to post Senior award winners bringing out their cars for display.  While the Senior award required a minimum of 375 points, to be awarded the Preservation award you are now just required to score a minimum of 350 points.  This has been put in place to ensure owners keep their car in show quality condition but gives them a little breathing room to entice them to keep bringing them back out.



Annual AACA Hershey National Meet, October 9 - 12, 2013


The annual Hershey National Event runs from Wed to Saturday evening ending with the awards banquet.  The Hershey AACA region has their own web site it is:  Also to note, AACA is based out of Hershey, PA and this is where the MUST SEE AACA Museum is located: 


There are many different events throughout the annual Hershey AACA National Meet with the highlights being the flea market, car corral, Friday qualification runs of the race cars and the main event Saturday - the car show.


I do not have the stats handy for this year's event, 2013, but I have the stats handy for 2010.  They were as follows:


Over 9,000 flea market spaces                              1,000 cars for sale

3,500 vendors                                                           1,237 cars on the show field

400 acres                                                                   250,000 estimated visitors


And since I have been going to the Hershey Meet for over 39 years I can tell you it was much larger in years prior to 2010.


Wednesday (Oct 9) was dry but Thursday (Oct 10) & Friday (Oct 11) it rained record amounts.  Friday is when the race cars normally perform their qualification run within the Hershey stadium, which used to be an actual real race track.  All AACA (streetable) cars must drive onto the show field to demonstrate they are fully operable vehicles.  Since the race cars cannot do that they are started and run within a controlled environment.  In the event of rain, the qualification run is canceled and all cars registered qualify.  The assumption being if you came to run, you can run.  For us we ran at an AACA event just a few months ago so they know we run - and trust me - we were 100.0% ready to run.


I then used a portion of Friday to prepare for Saturday (Oct 12) though could not fully prepare due to the humidity.  The car was not fully detailed prior to Friday due to the fact the car would get dirty during the Friday qualification run.  The car actually slept Friday night with a dehumidifier running in the trailer.  Since we were unable to put the finishing touches on the car Friday as planned, we woke up very early Saturday and make it over to the special race car trailer parking area which sits next to the show field.  Due to the previous heavy rain it was decided by AACA to have the race cars displayed in this area.  I was there at 6 am and began work on the car.  I worked straight thru to the time when the car was judged making sure it was 100.0% ready.  The judges first reviewed my AACA signed "certification photo" then judged the car.


If you have a major deficiency the head judge will inform you of that at the time of judging, pointing it out for you to correct prior to the next event if you so desire.  At no time will you learn your score.  After a National event you can request your judges sheet that will show "areas" of deficiency but it will not list the point deductions.  This is helpful so that you can get an idea of areas you need to work on. 


Once judged your car is marked judged and you go on and enjoy the rest of your day.  For us, so many people wanted to learn about the car we never got 30 ft. from the car thus our photos from this year's event are very limited.  One of the nice parts about bringing historically significant race cars to car shows is you get to meet the people who saw the car run.


To learn if you secured an award or if you need to wait to try again at the next National event you either need to attend the awards banquet Saturday night for the entire meal or to stop in after the meal when they pass out the awards or wait till the results are posted on the AACA web site.  Since we were going for our Senior award we decided to stop in after the meal Saturday night.


We are happy to report that we did in fact achieve the goal we set for ourselves at the outset of this project - we were awarded our Senior award!


We are definitely happy and satisfied with our Senior award which was our primary goal.  Our secondary goal and the reason for our 100.0% correct and detailed restoration is to secure the Grand National award for the race car.  There are a few National events per year - HOWEVER - only 1 Grand National event per year - thus in June of 2014 we will be in Lebanon, TN going for the cars Grand National award.


If you would like to learn more about AACA please stop by their web site, or reach out to me, Brian Watson,


You can also check us out at the following Facebook page: (our Don Edmunds fan page)




ONE FINAL NOTE:  While I enjoy being a part of the restorations of vintage race cars I am also a very strong advocate of NOT restoring certain race cars.  There is a place for restored race cars - to show them in all their glory - as to how they were when they ran, BUT, there is just the same need for, or perhaps an even greater need to keep certain race cars as "un-restored".  A race car is only original once.  You are looking at the car exactly how it ran, in some eyes, this is 100.0% correct.  Look at it in that state you can hear it run, you can see it running.  You can smell it.  It tells a story no restored race car can tell.  If you have an un-restored race car and do not know if you should restore it please contact the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing,  They will be happy to review all the pros & cons with you.


UPDATE:  The AACA Board in Hershey approved Class 24D for all “unrestored race vehicles” to begin in 2014. Now unrestored vehicles will have a place on the AACA show field where they too can share their history.



I hope I have been able to educate you a little on the process get a race car AACA certified and get it entered in an AACA event - so much so you and your car will be with us one day on the show field.  If you do not have a car 'yet' - please stop by a 2014 event and say hi to those displaying their race cars you will not be disappointed - and if you decide to go to Hershey in 2014 - stop by and say HI.


Author - Brian Watson

See you on the show field.

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1983 Edmunds Midget

Formerly OWNED and campaigned BY: Scrivani family

DRIVEN BY: Nick Fornoro Jr. to 1983 ARDC Championship



1983 Edmunds Autoresearch, Serial # CM-049


4 coil midget with right rear flexi-arm / torsion bar adjuster


Short track oval - dirt / asphalt (current configuration: asphalt)


Stage 4 Autocraft VW, Type 1, 140 cubic inch (built by






(to be determined)


Schroeder manual steering box


Early Carrera with steel threaded sleeves (also ran Edmunds built coil-over)


Halibrand quick change, tapered axel


Rick Goudy “Streakers” with original hardware, note "S" on bolt heads


Airheart, single piston


Original Premier Supertanium


1983 – 1991


Primarily American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) and Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA), some United States Auto Club (USAC) joint events


Mike Scrivani Sr. & Jr. (late 1982 - 89), Jack Matava (1990), Dick Ulbricht (91 - 02)


Nick (Nokie) Fornoro Jr.1, Hank Rogers Jr.2, Jack Matava


Driven by Nick Fornoro Jr.  to 1983 ARDC Championship.  Nick placed in 11 of 14 ARDC races: 8 - 1st, 1 - 2nd, 2 - 3rd.  Nick also drove to a 4th place in NEMA Championship in 1983.  Car was #1 in 1983 since Scrivani & Nick also won the ARDC Championship in 1982.  In 1984 the car was numbered #22.  Nick drove the car for 3/4 of the 1984 season and again won the ARDC Championship.  Hank Rogers Jr. drove the car from 1984 to 1987, with at least one win in 1987.  In 1990 Jack Matava drove the car to Rookie of the Year honors in NEMA.


Brian & Bill Watson, Havertown PA from 2011 - 2013.

Professional fabrication / bodywork / paint / assembly / set-up / overall consultant:

Mike Casario of Denville NJ, Phone: 973-944-8999

WEB SITE (main web site for several activities)



AACA Certified Race Vehicle #261

1. Nick (Nokie) Fonoro Jr. is one of the most successful of all living drivers registered with the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) and Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA). He is a six-time ARDC Champion (1982 - 86, 1995) and #6 on the all time ARDC feature win list with 45 as of 2011. He is also a NEMA Champion (1981) and #3 on the all time NEMA feature win list with 45 as of 2010. Nokie was also Speedway Scene "Driver of the Year" in 1981.


2. Hank Rogers Jr. is also one of the most successful of all living drivers registered with the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC). He is two time ARDC Champion (1979 & 1981) and #7 on the all time ARDC feature win list with 43 as of 2011.
















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1983 - Nick Fornoro Jr

1983 - Nick Fornoro Jr. (win)

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1983 - Nick Fornoro Jr.

1987 - Hank Rogers Jr. (win)


1990 - #22 Jack Matava, #8 Mike Seymour

2002 - As received


1983 - Nick Fornoro Jr. (restored to this photo)

2013 – Restored




I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to everyone who has helped with this project.  Family, Friends and Suppliers.  Without you this would have never happened.  Thank you.  I would also like to especially thank Mike Casario who performed the bulk of the period correct restoration.  Mike took on the project as if it was his own and did amazing work.  I would also like to especially thank Mike Seymour at Autocraft. Mike built us a solid period correct engine.  Thanks guys.    
(Please forgive me if I have left off any names in error below)


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Ed Duncan

Nick Fornoro Jr.

Ace Lane Jr.

Ed Griffith

Norm Rapp Racing Equip.


Fremont Dickerman

New England Chrome

Avery Moore

Gary Mondschein

Pat Templeton

Brian Caruso

Hank Rogers Jr.

Phils Starter & Altenator

Bob Miour

Heisler Family

Randy Cabral

Bob Paulin

Jack Farmer

Rich Hayes

Central Connecticut Coatings

Jack Matava

Robert Rod Rodriguez

Charles D. Schultz

Jeff Wahl

Ron Lauer

Craig Rambo

Jennifer Scrivani

Roy Caruthers

Custom Control Cables

Jim Susi

Rusty Pinney

Dan Curley

Joe Grandinetti

Shane Paxton

Dave Shore

John DaDalt

Stan Lobitz

Derek Pernesiglio

John Mahoney

Steve Buckwalter

Diana Alexander

Josef Karl Binter

Steve Koletar

Dick Jordon

Joseph Stearns

Tom Avenengo

Doug Post

Ken George Hopkins

Tom Murray

Doug P Winslow

Lamont Critchett

Val Lesieur

Don Edmunds

Larry Pfitzenmaier

Wheel Collision Center

Don Kenyon

My Family

Wilke Family

Drew Fornoro

Michael Scrivani

(And anyone else I missed...)


Mike & Bobby Seymour