The History of CarISSMA
CarISSMA, Carolina’s Impala SS Motoring Association, was formed through the efforts of Don Pusso, Dick Tan and Jim Paulsgrove in the Spring of 1997 to serve the mutual interests of the ’94-’96 Impala Super Sport owners in North and South Carolina. These individuals met through the national Impala e-mail list, which serves as a communication link among Impala SS vehicle owners across the United States.
In July 1996, Don and Dick met face to face at the Arlington, Texas gathering of Impala owners. They believed that the growing interest in these vehicles might be enough to support an Impala club in the Carolinas. Don is from Charlotte and Dick is from Wilmington and they felt that they also needed representation from the center of the state. They asked Jim Paulsgrove who lives in Chapel Hill if he would be willing to get involved with the organization of a new car club and he enthusiastically signed on. Numerous e-mails were exchanged and Troy Willrick of the NAISSO organization graciously provided a list of the NC and SC NAISSO members to Don. Don sent out a letter to those NAISSO members to find out if there truly was enough interest in forming a local club and a meeting was scheduled at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the spring of ’97. A group of approximately 14 Impala owners met and elected Don Pusso as the President and Regional Director along with Dick Tan and Jim Paulsgrove as Regional Directors. Dick is credited with the CarISSMA name
The first official gathering after that initial organizing and planning meeting was a few weeks later at the Spring AutoFair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The AutoFair is a vehicle extravaganza that includes car club displays, vendors, vehicle auctions, vehicles for sale and more is held in the spring and the fall of each year. This event continues to be a favorite club gathering where members from NC, SC and VA come together to show their vehicles and enjoy the fellowship of similarly interested individuals.
In August of ’98, Jim Paulsgrove was elected as president along with Conrad Carter as Treasurer and Dana Crockett as Secretary. Jim Curtis and Conrad also replaced Don Pusso and Dick Tan as Regional Directors.
In April, 2002, James Furr was elected as President, Conrad Carter as Vice President and Julius Perdue as Treasurer. During James’ tenure, in addition to keeping up the normal activities of the club he and his wife, Lynn graciously hosted the annual Heritage Days Car Show in Landis, NC.
In April, 2004, Conrad Carter was elected as President, Ron (Moose) Muse as Vice President and Terri Collins as Treasurer. At the April election an executive committee was formed to include former presidents and the current president for the purpose of long range planning for the club.
In April 2006, Ron Muse was elected as President, Bill Shelton as Vice President and Anthony Luistro as Treasurer.
In April 2008, Bill Shelton was elected as President, Tom Childers as Vice President and Anthony Luistro was re-elected Treasurer
In September 2009, at AutoFair, club elections were held to get a head start on 2010-2011. Tom Childers was elected as President, Bill Shelton as Vice President and Bob Ingram as Treasurer.
In August of 2011, once again at AutoFair, club elections where held for 2012-2013. Tom Childers was elected as President, Bob Wagoner as Vice President, Bob Ingram as Treasurer. Currently the Club Stands at 37 Club members & continues to grow.
Since the launch of the club, our members had been active in the regional Super Chevy Show when it was held in Rockingham, NC. CarISSMA won the club participation award for four consecutive years. CarISSMA Members also won trophies at the inaugural Super Chevy Show at zMAX Dragway in Concord in 2009. CarISSMA served as the host club for the East Coast Hot Rod Power Tour when it passed through Mooresville, NC and Fort Mill, SC. CarISSMA has also participated in the “Toys for Tots” cruise, a U.S. Marine Corps sponsored charity event, and the Hendrick Motor Sports “Christmas for Kids” car show, both of which provide toys for needy children at Christmas. . CarISSMA members have also participated in NAISSO events, other Super Chevy Shows, the Heavy Shootout in Atlanta, the All GM Nationals in Carlisle and numerous other events.
We encourage our club members to participate in local events (cruises, car shows and other vehicle related activities) to show off these great vehicles, have fun and spread the word about our club.