My love affair with beauty on wheels started long before I could drive them. I suppose trucks were my first passion because they can go anywhere especially in the dirt and sand in my backyard. My first real car that I acquired was a 1970 Jaguar E type coupe. I learned quickly the combination of short on funds and short on wisdom makes for bad purchasing decisions. When I was a able to bail myself from under that disaster I found something far simpler and more enjoyable to drive. The mere fact that I could drive it and not just pay storage fees at my local foreign car specialist put me way ahead of that Jag.
I bought a 1966 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III when I was a freshman in college back in 1976. I am happy to report that car still gives me pleasure today. Since then my love affair has grown along with all my appreciation for the Classics, and so has my collection. My first and most important rule is that they must look beautiful standing still. What classic doesn’t?
Mary Ellen Thielemann
I grew up working on cars with my father in my grandmothers garage (after ballet lessons at the Evanston School of Ballet) and regularly attended auto shows and events, including the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, IN as a child. I raced a Kawasaki 650 in Competition with IDBA (International Drag Bike Assn) and was rookie of the year. I also raced several bikes in Prostar, and a variety of other motorcycles at local tracks.
I co-founded the Geneva Concours d’ Elegance held in 2005 with Tim Kautz and Paul DesCoteaux. Currently I am Managing Director at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce US CBG Geneva/St Charles. I have two brothers; one older, one younger, three nephews and one niece, two dogs and a few cats.
Mary Ellen ThielemannSecretary
My love of the automobile started at the early age of 5 when I was able to identify each make & model as we drove down the road. My first car in 1983 was a used 1973 Buick 4 door Le Sabre in deep forest green, I loved that car. In 1986 I really stepped up to my grandparents 1982 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, and in 1994 I bought my first new car a 1994 Toyota Camry LE. nowadays I can be seen in my 2010 Ford Escape or my Grandfathers 1936 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe Town Sedan.
What I like best about the CCCA?
The passion members have for their vehicles and the willingness to help one another with all things automotive related. My appetite for the interest in classic cars brought me into the club. But it’s the other club members interests that keep me involved.
I have an ever growing interest in the Internet and computer skills I have a passion for accuracy even so I am currently a technical advisor for the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America for all 1936 cars. I joined the club in 2003 and this will be my 18th year in the organization. I have participated as a board member & as Assistant Director of my local region.
I created the Facebook page for the National Organization, Vintage Chevrolet Club of America in 2007, I continue to be one of its three main moderators.
The page currently has over 1500 members.
I am a member of the following organizations:
Northern IL Vintage Chevrolet Club of America
# 41614 National
# 109 Regional
Board member 2007-2012
Assistant Director 2012-2013
Technical Advisor 2011-Present( Master & Standard Cars)
Historic Preservation of Chevrolet Features 2011 – Flint, MI.
Vintage Chevrolet Club of America – Facebook
Webmaster – 2007 – Present 1300+ members
Antique Automobile Club of America
Historic Preservation Original Features 2004- Rockford, IL.
Classic Car Club of America – Greater Illinois Region
Joined GIR/CCCA in 2007
Webmaster / Facebook / Social Media – 2013- Present
Packards of Chicagoland / National – Joined March, 2017
1936 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe Town Sedan
1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz coupe
John BraytonMembership Co-Chair / Website
We would like to welcome Daniel J. McCarthy to the Board. Although an avid enthusiast of anything with wheels, vintage motorcycles dominate his collection. Until relocating to Palos Park from the City he was spatially challenged with his garage situation, but is now looking forward to adding to his auto addiction. For Dan, motorized art is a release from his day job as Funeral Director/Cremationist and President of Elements, the cremation company.
Dan and his wife Ronette have two children; Emmet, age 9 and Mary Margaret, age 6.
Daniel McCarthyMembership Co-Chair
I have always loved old cars and have owned several over the years when I was married to a professional body repair guy. I have also always loved photography and writing and I have been published in a variety of newspapers, anthologies and magazines, have two blogs, and have had my own solo photography exhibit.
When the opportunity came up to put all that together, along with my experience in graphic design, for this club’s publications, it seemed a perfect match. Now retired, I can put more time into my own projects and wonder how I ever had time to have a job. I have three beautiful daughters who all seem to have inherited the appreciation for classic old cars.
Maureen BlevinsDashboard & Up to Speed Editor
I started my life with Classic Cars tagging along with my sister and brother-in-law, Angela and Joe Cantore. In fact, they introduced me to my husband, Robin James, on a blind date. We double dated and 10 months later, Robin and I were married. I’m a member of the Classic Car Club, the Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club, and the Model T Ford Club. I’ve been chairman of the Lake Michigan Region of the RROC, and previously on the board of the Greater Illinois Region of CCCA.
I can’t really say I have I have a favorite marque. Although we’ve had Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars over the years, we’ve also owned a 1933 KB Lincoln, and appreciate other marques, especially Packards and Cadillacs, and other non-classic cars. Right now, Robin and I are “in-between cars,” and hope to add one to our garage.
Michelle JamesBoard Member
I have always loved cars. One of my favorite memories was every year when I was in college and for numerous years after, my dad and I would always go to the Chicago Auto Show.
The first car that I was fascinated in was the Trans Am!! In fact, a black Trans Am with the beautiful decal on the hood. I remember wanting that car! However, my first car was a 1980 Ford Mustang which got me to and from college. That was an awesome car. However, the car that melted my heart was a Toyota Camry. It was a very special since that was the first car that I brought and owned. Every weekend in spring, summer and fall, I’d be outside washing my car.
I’m still fascinated by cars and since last year, have fallen in-love with the classic cars!