Hoods Up, Not Down: Lambda Car Club Detroit

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DETROIT - "We like to joke that the difference between a straight car club event and a gay car club event is that our hoods are down, not up."

"We also have a higher-than-average ownership of Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Imperials."

That's what Adam Bernard, president of Lambda Car Club Detroit Region, says separates this car club from the rest.

LCC Detroit Region is just one of 33 chapters of Lambda Car Club International. Its purpose, according to the official mission statement, is "the enjoyment and exchange of information on old and special interest motor vehicles, combined with social fellowship by gay men and lesbians."

The club meets up and discusses cars at least every month & more frequently during car cruising season. When I visited, we talked about cars for awhile and went inside to eat. Once inside, we talked more about cars & automotive history.

Randy Mason, once curator of transportation at The Henry Ford and former president of the club, told of a time when he used to guide automotive landmark tours. Eventually, the landmarks fell or were knocked down. He said the tour turned into showing people what used to be there. The tours didn't last much longer.

Randy helped found LCC Detroit way back in 1985 and he's astounded at how much it has grown since then. He told me he thought he was the only gay man who liked cars and was surprised to find that a lot more people had the same interests as he did.

Current president Adam Bernard wears several hats. He's an associate director of competitor intelligence at General Motors as well as chairman of GM's LGBT employee resource group. That group advocates for workplace equality or in other words educates leadership and helps with outreach to the LGBT community.

He tells me there's one big misconception with the car club.

"The biggest myth is that you have to own a classic car to join. Not true. You don't even need to own any car. You do have to like cars, however, because we do talk about them a lot. And, once you join, if you do get a hankering to buy something, you've got a nationwide network of experts to help you out."

And that's what every car club I've met is about. It's a tight-knit group of friends who love to talk about cars and will offer you some car advice if you need it.

If you'd like to find out more or join, make sure to check out www.lccdetroit.org

They have a whole host of events coming up. They'll be at at the Sonic and Vinsetta Garage in Royal Oak, the Woodward Dream Cruise, Cruisin' Hines, and they're having a  fall color tour.

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