When searching various antique car club websites or the Internet, I noticed that information pertaining to the very beginnings and the founding of such clubs is missing. Where and when were they founded? What circumstances determined the founding of these clubs in Lithuania? In this article, I will try to fill in the gaps and tell the story of the founding of antique car club „Klasika“ in the city of Biržai. I will tell who the godfather of the club was, and how the name of the club was selected.
On August 16, 2008, for the first time in the history of Biržai an antique car show was held. Encouraged by the success of the show, its organizer, Egidijus Einoris, decided to found an antique car club in Biržai. For many years, Mr. Einoris, a former Biržai resident, has been residing in the United States of America. He declared a contest in order to select a name for his newly-founded club, and his friends from Chicago and Biržai eagerly participated. There were just a few requirements: the name should not be the same as already existing names of antique car clubs, it had to be short, sound well and be easy to remember. It had to sound in good in both, Lithuanian and English, and it had to reflect the history of antique cars. The winner of the contest was to receive a large quantity of good Biržai beer and delicious snacks prepared by the club founder.
Let me enumerate contest participants and the names they suggested:
Giedrė Braun-Vencius (Lithuanian weekly „Amerikos Lietuvis” reporter, Chicago) – „Old Fashion”
Deimantė Einorytė (student, Chicago) – ,,Antique Auto”
Ina Stankevičienė (Lithuanian daily „Draugas“ editorial staff member, Chicago) – „Senas vairas” (Old Steering Wheel), „Auto klasika”, „Retro klasika”, „Nesenstanti klasika” (Timeless Classics)
Dalia Sokiene (Lithuanian Radio Show „Margutis II” announcer, Chicago) – „Kabrioletas”
Gintautas Vasilevskis (businesman, Chicago) – „Fajetonas”, „Diližanas”, „Ekipažas”.
Vytautas Einoris (retiree, Biržai) – „Sena pavara”, „Pavara”, „Karieta”
Arūnas Zakrys („Lukoil” gas station worker, Biržai) – „Rieda”, „Važuva”, „Retrorida”
To tell the truth, there was one other contest participant, Arūnas Zakrys, who jokingly suggested a name taken from a book by Russian authors, Ilfas and Petrovas, „Golden Calf“. However, his wish to name the club by the name „Antelope Gnu” was not going to come true for understandable reasons.…
As you can see, there was no shortage of names suggested for the newly-founded club, and its „baptism“ promised to be really grand. According to Mr. Einoris, names that were too long and cumbersome, did not reflect club activities, were English or used by other clubs, had to be rejected. At first, three names suggested by Ina Stankevičienė were chosen: „Auto klasika”, „Retro klasika”, and „Nesenstanti klasika”. They were shortened (of course with Mrs. Stankevičienė’s approval), and now we have a short and nice name for the antique car club – „Klasika” (Classic).