Tom Woodhouse is a National Association Life Member and was inducted into the NAACC Hall of Fame in 2002. The National Association is very grateful for all of Toms efforts over the past 45 years. The collector car hobby owes Tom a huge ‘thank you’ for his efforts.
Tom says, “the National Association is really a vital organization for Canadian hobbyists and we are so very fortunate to have it in place. In reality many hobbyists don’t realize that the NAACC is staffed by unpaid volunteers who devote a significant number of hours annually to accomplish whatever they can for the whole hobby. It is very easy to not only spend your own money for National business but also to invest 60 or more hours a month administratively for the hobby. Every hour dedicated to the hobby is an hour that is not utilized in the volunteer’s own enjoyment of the hobby or working on a project. Of course, when you are self-employed it is also an hour not spent making a living.”
Tom, is self-employed and married with three adult children. He has supported NAACC since 1976. Tom worked with George Armstrong to form a new club in North Battleford in 1977. He also worked with past NAACC Director Ron Price-Jones to start another new club in Melfort SK in 1985.
His regular work caused him to relocate frequently. This allowed him to become a member of at least three other clubs in SK. As a former banker he enjoyed being active administratively at the provincial level. Tom was a long-term club representative serving 26 years. He was the secretary treasurer for about 20 of those years. He eventually became the SK NAACC Director in the mid 80’s and ‘National’ secretary treasurer in 1988. Along with his many talents Tom is also a Concours judge for the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Owen Sound Ontario Canada.
Tom came into the hobby in the late 1960’s more of necessity than anything else. The ’55 Dodge Regent hardtop he drove was backed into by a new car and that made his older car a target for new government “clunker” proposals that were being discussed at both Provincial and Federal levels. The Federal National Action Plan wanted to take older cars off the public highways across Canada. Many Provinces tried to introduce similar legislation without regard for the collector car community. Tom helped the NAACC led the fight to keep older collector cars on the public highways.
In Toms words “having a vehicle was not only a necessity but it was also a lifelong dream since youth. As a teenager, while saving cash, I drove my girlfriend’s mothers 57 Chevy whenever it was available. Interestingly enough they also had a 56 Chevrolet. I was always a willing passenger”. Tom’s dad found an affordable 1949 Chevrolet deluxe 2 door bustle back sedan with only 43,000 Km. According to Tom the Chevrolet ran superbly and looked even better. It became his daily driver. This car was the beginning of me sinking deeply into the wonderful world of old cars.”
Eventually Tom bought a 1928 Chevrolet Roadster pick-up, one of 5 known to exist in Canada. This was followed by a 36 Chev coupe; 38 Chev coach and well, you know the rest of the story .
When Tom got married his friends provided their cars for his wedding party including a 27 Ford roadster, 28 Ford sedan, 32 Chev roadster and a 29 Hudson sedan as the bride and groom’s car. Nine more Model T Fords, all with streamers, joined the parade for a real sight. In Toms words, “it was a very special day”.
Career moves, no working space and a young family kept the collector cars on the back burner. Fortunately, his dad, Ken got the bug and also worked on collector cars. “My dad Ken had the 1938 Chevrolet restored in time for me to bring our third daughter home from the hospital in it. Only ten years had elapsed since its purchase. Ken has since restored the 1928 and 1936 besides working on his own 1927 Oldsmobile and 1930 Buick Coupe. Thanks dad!”
Tom says “like every hobby and every organization, it has its share of misinformed vocal people and its share of detractors who are never quite able to provide constructive criticism or can’t see their way to contribute any of their skills or time. Sadly, it can be un-thankful work but it also can be emotionally rewarding as well, especially when you realize that you are making a difference and you are making things better for the hobby and yes, it is especially rewarding when someone says “Thank you”.