The Totcky Award

The North Alabama Region of the AACA awards the Thomas Totcky Trophy in recognition for most improved antique vehicle. The trophy is presented each year at the club's annual Christmas dinner meeting. Nominees for this award are limited to club members who have made improvements to vehicles and have begun showing them during the year.

A list of past winners along with a brief history of the award and its namesake are given below. Articles, reprinted from the Spoke Folks newsletter, about award-winning vehicle restorations from recent years are also linked through the entries in the table.

Totcky Award Winners

Links are to pictures and stories when available
1966 Don Pryor
1967 Ernest Cross
1968 Bernie Geir
& Herb Fulmer
1969 Leonard Brown
1970 Rusty Parker
1971 George Townsend
1972 Rusty Parker
1973 Rusty Parker
1974 Carl Berry
1975 Charles H. Mullins
1976 Tommy Hunt
1977 Leonard Brown
1978 Gene King
1979 Carl Berry
1980 John Carder
1981 Carl Berry & A.L. Lankford
1982 Bob Thurstone
1983 Dave Marty
1984 Joe Sims
1985 Ron Barnett
1986 Richard Suski
1987 Thomas Wright
1988 Lou Duckwall
1989 Bob Bentley
1990 Ray Hickey
1991 Roger Walker
1992 Chuck Pullins
1993 Ray Hickey
1994 Chuck Pullins
1995 Bob Bentley
1996 Randy & Nell Owen
1997 Ray Hickey
1998 Chuck Pullins
1999 Chuck Pullins
2000 Ray Hickey
2001 Randy & Nell Owen
2002 Randy & Nell Owen
2003 Ray Hickey
2004 Jim Mullins
2005 Ray Hickey
2006 Chuck Knapp
2007 Bob Bentley
2008 Ray Hickey
2009 Doug Cox
2009 Randy & Nell Owen
2010 Gene King
2011 Jim Mullins
2012 Betty Thurstone
2013 Sam & Sally Barnett
2014 Jim Gilbertson
2015 Joe Stegmaier
2016 Peter Catanese
2017 Shannon Johnson
2018 John Fain
2019 Ron and Debbie Sketo
2020 Terry Johnson
2021 Ed Hanish
2022 Harold Caneer

The following article was submitted by the late Don Pryor and published in the January 2002 Spoke Folks

Origin and History of the Tom Totcky Award

Over the past 40 years, the North Alabama Region has awarded one of its members with the Thomas (Tom) Totcky Award for the best restored car of the year. Since our club has added a number of members during the years that the award has been given, we felt it was appropriate to give the background of the award for those who never knew Tom.

Tom was a typical antique car enthusiast. A transplanted Yankee who had a slow Michigan accent and a basic knowledge of cars and mechanics acquired during the 1950's. During those years he, like so many others, recognized a 25 year old car first as a good candidate for a customized hot rod and second as an antique car.

But that changed and by the time our club was formed in 1962, Tom had developed a genuine interest in restoring antiques and had developed all the typical characteristics of the hobby. He enjoyed chasing down car leads and parts as much as any of us but, more than that, he exemplified the main purpose of the club: The sharing of knowledge, talent, and equipment among his friends in the hobby. He was always available to lend a hand, his gas welding outfit, or some other specialized tool that he had accumulated while becoming an experienced auto mechanic.

I recall his willingness to be of help from a number of personal experiences. My first contact with Tom was when he helped get a rumble seat lid for my 1931 Model A Coupe then under restoration. The lid came from Tom's 1931 customized Cabriolet which he had recently sold in a final break with his hot rod interests. There were other occasions during the restoration of my Coupe when he was to help out. The seasoned oak he gave me to make body mounting blocks. The introduction to one of his metal-working friends when a floor pan had to be reproduced. The list goes on with me and many others active in the club during those days.

Tragedy struck Tom on September 4, 1965 when he lost his life in an attempt to save the lives of three others in a boating accident. Even in his death he was, as always, helping someone else.

Our club wanted to do something in remembrance of Tom and completion of his 1928-29 Model A mail truck restoration seemed appropriate. This project, in a sense, embodied the helping hand quality that we all admired in Tom. Each member contributed some part or effort until the mail truck was presented to Jackie, Tom's wife, in the summer of 1968.

The vehicle is now owned and maintained by Tom's son Tom and his wife Lisa.

1919 Willyes

The trophy for the best restored car was anonymously donated for presentation in Tom's name each year and, as fate would have it, the little 1931 Model A Coupe he helped me on was the first car to receive the award in 1966. This trophy serves as a reminder of the true spirit of comradeship that our club should represent and hopefully it gives an incentive for every member to put out a restoration worthy of receiving the award.

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