by Joey Amato and Kerry Garner | photos courtesy Lambda Car Club International
Do you like cars? So do we! Lambda Car Club International (LCCI) is the largest car club for LGBT+ and LGBT-friendly automobile enthusiasts in the United States. Founded in 1981 originally as “Gay Old Car Owners Society”, LCCI has grown to include 32 regional chapters, with a membership of over 1,800 throughout the United States and Canada.
All regions of LCCI are very inclusive and support members from different races, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations and socioeconomic levels. If you’re into cars, whether it’s an acquisitive obsession or it’s just interest from afar, you are welcome to participate. Owning a certain type of car is NOT a prerequisite for membership, only the love for things automotive.
The local chapter, based in Nashville, started 12 years ago and covers Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee and Kentucky.
“While many of the club’s events are automobile-related, it also incorporates non-automotive social functions like movie nights, cookouts, and driving tours like recent tours to Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma and Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury,” states Kerry Garner, President of the local region. “The club has a monthly cruise-in at Brentwood Place 330 Franklin Road in Brentwood every fourth Sunday of the month starting at 3:00 pm. You will also see us participating in Pride events around the region.”
Garner joined the club several years ago when he met members at the club’s Pride booth when it was held in Centennial Park and was then invited to a pool party/cook-out at one of their homes. “I have made some amazing friendships through the club that I know will last a lifetime, not only locally but also across the country!”
Each year the club has a multi-day national meet called the Grand Invitational where club members from across the country travel to the host city for the event. The Grand moves to a different region each year. It incorporates local car venues and allows members to learn about the host city and region. The Cumberland Region hosted the 2018 Grand Invitational, which was renamed “Grand Ole Invitational”. The event was held the week before Memorial Day and included five days of activities including a tour of Jack Daniel Distillery, Streetside Classics, National Corvette Museum, Lane Motor Museum, Ryman Auditorium, and Country Music Hall of Fame. After the downtown events on Saturday, Advance Auto Parts and Big Machine hosted a party at FGL House. The event culminated with the car show and awards banquet on Sunday at Marriott Cool Springs which included a musical performance by Ty Herndon.
“Without great sponsorships from Dell and Advance Auto, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a large and successful event,” mentions club Secretary Richard Mikolaczyk. “Our chapter was very pleased to be able to make a charitable aspect to our Grand Ole Invitational, where we were able to raise $10,000 for Nashville Cares. We felt that we should use the event to give back to the community.”
This year’s Grand Invitational (Queen City Invitational) was held in the beautiful mountain city of Cumberland Maryland and included excursions to the 9/11 Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania and two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes, including Falling Water. Future Grands will be in Detroit in 2020 followed by Boston, Houston and Chicago.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
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What: 2020 Grand Invitational
When: July 26 – Aug 2
Where: Detroit, MI