Great cars and scorching Colorado weather added sizzle to the centerpiece car show of the LCOC’s 2019 Western National Meet in Grand Junction. But triple digit temperatures failed to wilt the enthusiasm of LCOC members on hand to show off their beauties. Eight decades of Lincolns and Continentals made it to this year’s meet, with cars from the 1970s and newer predominating—perhaps because they were equipped with A/C? No matter, all that were on the show field were spruced up and looking their best!
Happy, but exhausted LCOC members, family and friends dined in style at the grand finale awards banquet following days of action-packed adventures at the 2019 LCOC Western National Meet hosted by the Rocky Mountain Region in Grand Junction, Colorado. Many left the July 14 banquet not only well-fed but smiling and toting some well earned hardware for their Lincolns and Continentals displayed at the meet’s centerpiece car show earlier in the day.
The Sixth Annual Lincoln Homecoming will offer a unique twist in 2019—not only will Lincolns of all eras be on display, but all Ford Motor Company-built vehicles are invited to join the festivities, which will be held at the Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan and the host hotel, Four Points Sheraton in Kalamazoo.
“We’re calling the 2019 Homecoming ‘See Ford Blue in Kalamazoo,’” said Mike Denney, president of the Road Race Lincoln Register, the Lincoln club hosting the 2019 Homecoming.
The RRLR is one of four major Lincoln clubs that comprise the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation. The others are the Lincoln Owners Club, Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club and the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club. However, all Lincoln owners are invited to register and attend.
The 2019 Lincoln Homecoming committee has planned interesting and enjoyable activities that encompass several days. Participants may participate in all or any of the scheduled events.
The events scheduled for the week include driving tours to the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, the W. K. Kellogg Gull Lake mansion, Vicksburg Historical Village and Bell’s Brewery and a VIP reception at the Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum for LMCF major donors.
After Friday evening’s banquet, Tony Russo will again conduct our live auction, so be ready to bid on all the items you think you need. On Saturday there will be an all-Ford Motor Company-built car show. That evening, a banquet will feature guest speaker Gale Haldeman, designer of several Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including the original Mustang. On Sunday, there’ll be a car display and awards presentation.
Something new has been added for Monday—an all-day visit to the U.S.131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, where individuals can run their cars or simply watch.
“You can just drive your car on the track or punch it for speed and time. Our cars have the horsepower to move out at whatever pace you choose,” said Bob Johnson, LMCF trustee and meet coordinator. “At the U.S.131 Motorsports Park, you can do it in a supervised and lawful environment. You will be able to do as many timing runs as the day will allow during our six hour time block.”
Festivities will begin Wednesday, August 7 and conclude Monday evening, August 12 but, as noted, you may register for all or individual events.
This meet will be non-judged for all cars; there will be People’s Choice awards for Best of Show, and Best of each Decade, as voted by participants. There will also be a Ladies’ Choice Best of Show Award. The meet is open to members of all Lincoln clubs as well as non-club Lincoln owners. In addition, owners of any Ford Motor Company-built product are invited to show their vehicle on both Saturday and Sunday—Lincoln, Ford, Edsel, Mercury, hot rod or custom car.
The host hotel is the Four Points Kalamazoo by Sheraton, 3600 East Cork Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001. The Four Points offers excellent accommodations, excellent food, and fine amenities. The hotel is just over 15 miles from Hickory Corners. A complimentary hot breakfast for two is included in the room rate of $117 plus tax. A limited number of rooms are available at this rate; please register early. To make room reservations, call 269-385-3922 and use the code “Lincoln Club” to obtain this special room rate (which is good for three days before and after the meet). Room reservation cutoff is July 21, 2019.
On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a Lincoln and Ford products swap meet and car corral area on the Gilmore Car Museum grounds with major vendors in attendance. More information will be included in registration packets.
Wednesday evening, attendees may drive to the Gilmore Car Museum to enjoy their free weekly cruise-in night. A second choice is free hors d’oeuvres and refreshments at Four Points Sheraton Hotel (for hotel guests only). Attendees will be able to relax and have the opportunity to visit with some of your longtime friends and meet new enthusiasts.
Thursday will have a choice of a full day of activities with two driving tours from which to choose. One will be a tour to Vicksburg Historical village. The other will be to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and Kellogg Manor House (which includes a plated lunch) and the Bell’s Brewery in nearby Galesburg. Thursday evening will feature a special welcome buffet at the hotel.
Friday will also offer a choice of two different driving tours. First, is a driving tour to the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids (including lunch). The second driving tour will be to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Kellogg Manor House (which includes a plated lunch) and the Bell’s Brewery. At 5 p. m. a LMCF Donor Reception will be held at the Lincoln museum for all LMCF Lifetime members.
Friday evening will begin with a Happy Hour at the Gilmore Car Museum Conference Center, with a Texas-style barbecue to be followed by a lively Lincoln and Ford parts and memorabilia auction. Tony Russo will again conduct our live auction.
“We need merchandise for the auction; please check your garage for unused parts and literature that fellow enthusiasts will be interested in bidding on. Please bring plenty of cash or your checkbook and take home some great items for your Ford product. This auction helps maintain and support our beautiful Lincoln museum,” said Mike Denney.
On Saturday morning, we will drive to Hickory Corners for the car show, with Road Race Lincoln era cars front and center. All cars must be on the show field by 10 a.m. and remain until 3 p.m. At 3 p.m. there will be a car parade around the Gilmore grounds featuring all Ford Motor Company-built automobiles. Saturday night will begin with a happy hour and banquet at the Gilmore Car Museum Conference Center, where attendees will enjoy the company of fellow vintage car enthusiasts.
On Sunday morning we will again drive to Hickory Corners to begin our Ford Motor Company Products Car Show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All vehicles must be on the show field by 10 a.m. All People’s Choice Awards will be handed out at noon. At 1 p.m. we will have a car parade around the Gilmore grounds featuring all Ford products. Pictures will be taken after completing presentation of awards. Sunday evening will feature a Mexican buffet at the Four Points hotel.
Monday at 9 a.m. we drive to the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park for timing and drag racing. That evening will be our Farewell American Cook Out Buffet at the Four Points hotel
On Tuesday we bid farewell to our old, and new found friends and have a safe trip home.
“While you are at the 90-acre historic Gilmore campus Saturday and Sunday, explore the nooks and crannies of this great institution. See and have your car photographed by a 1930s Shell gas station. Enjoy strolling the campus that is filled with classic automobiles,” said Mike Denney. “Other car museums are the Classic Car Club of America Museum, H.H. Franklin Museum, Pierce-Arrow Museum, Cadillac-LaSalle Museum, and Ford Model A Museum. Eat lunch in the authentic Blue Moon diner. Gilmore is America’s Signature Collection for Classic Motor Cars. This is the ultimate experience for everyone in your family.”
For more information, visit The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum: website. LincolnCarMuseum.org, and the Gilmore Car Museum website: www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org
If you’re considering attending the Homecoming
If you’re considering attending the Homecoming contact Bob Johnson, 651-257-1715; email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Denney at 918-366-2034; email email@example.com. By doing so, you’ll be placed on our list to contact you via email or USPS mail with your meet packet as soon as it becomes available. You may download PDF forms at www.LincolnCarMuseum.org.
At the 2018 LCOC Board meeting it was proposed to select Albuquerque, NM as the site for the 2018 Western National Meet. The dates October 17-21st was selected for the meet. This was one week after the Annual International Balloon Fiesta, October 5-14th, when hotel room rates returned to normal. I volunteered to be the Meet Chairman for this meet. What a challenge, 1400 miles away from my home and only 16 LCOC members in the whole state of New Mexico! The LCOC national would put on meet with the New Mexico region being the host; in theory that should work. This was a rehab of the New Mexico region and was the greatest effort I’ve taken on with the LCOC. We had a small but great meet, thanks to key efforts by Bill Fletcher and Jim Fletcher. They led the Driving tours, did the Field layout, did the Mechanical Judging, and made the show field numbers. National Director Dave Gustafson did the name tags, meal tickets and meet booklets for this meet, with Jeanne Talbourdet doing the meet registration, so this was a truly a National-produced event. Other key LCOC members who worked to make meet a success were Dennis LaGrange as the auctioneer, Joan Denney as auction clerk and 50/ 50 tickets sales person. Chris Gray, Janice Eby and Mary Johnson also sold 50/50 tickets. Acting Chief Judge Paul Temple ably filled in for Steve D’Ambrosia who is recovering from major surgery and cancer treatments.
The theme for this 2018 Western meet was October in the High Desert and the ABC’s of Albuquerque – Atoms, Balloons and Cars. We toured to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History and the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday the weather returned to sunny with normal temperatures in the 70’s for our traditional Lincoln car show. An added bonus was we invited the local TBird and Cadillac car clubs to visit and park adjacent to our show field. Ten of their cars were parked there; this is what the old car hobby is about.
We had 20 Lincoln’s judged and 5 more exhibited with cars for all decades on display. The Meet bought Jock Finley back into LCOC after absence of five years, with a goal to show four cars. Only one made it, but it was a beauty, a 1939 Blue K Sedan. At the awards banquet Paul Temple announced the Elliston Bell Award winner: a yellow 1978 Continental Coupe owned by Michael and Diana Vickery from Junction, IL. The People’s Choice Awards voted by meet participants were: First Place to a Black Satin 1967 Lehmann Peterson Limousine, Tom and Terry Machado, Stockton, CA; Second Place to a Capri Blue 1940 Continental Cabriolet, Eric Freeh, Alamagordo, NM; and Third Place to a Red with Black Top 1952 Capri Hardtop, Mike and Joan Denney, Tulsa, OK.
On Sunday morning John Walcek photographed the major trophy winners with their cars for Continental Comments using the arches of the hotel as his background. The day was not over for those that wanted to travel to Jock Finley’s home in Estancia, about 60 miles east southeast of Albuquerque, to see his unique car collection. Dave DeGeer, transporting Jocks 1939 Lincoln, led the way. Twelve people were treated to many beautiful cars, several being Lincoln’s. Then it was time to say our final farewells and Mary and I headed back to Shafer, MN.
Hopefully, the New Mexico Region is back on track with Matt Martinez becoming the Region Director, assisted be Dave DeGeer, Nick Manole, Tony Carson, Jim Deck, Paul Bowman, Gerald Gerken and Eric Freeh.
No sooner did we (Elayne Bendel and Jim Ayres) get back from the annual Mike Cunningham Wine Country Picnic in Sonoma on October 13th than we were off again on another long-distance road trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the LCOC (Lincoln and Continental Owners Club) Western National Meet.
Leaving the usual sunny and warm weather of Southern California we began our trip on Tuesday October 16th by heading eastward to interim stop Flagstaff, Arizona. There we intended to meet Western Region board member Jim Higgs and his wife Carol at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.
As we hummed along effortlessly in Jim Ayres’ new-to-him 1988 Mark Vll we encountered little traffic leaving town. The route was fairly simple once we got past Interstate 15 and merged onto the I-40 toward Flagstaff.
“Wouldn’t it be something if we ran into the Higgs?”, Jim asked. Not long thereafter, that came to pass. We overtook Jim and Carol and the two Jims traveled together in their black Mark VIIs until both cars stopped for gas at Newberry Springs, California. They had time for a brief meet and greet and some picture taking at the gas pumps before each car went on its way.
Driving long distances to meets is old hat for Jim Higgs but a leap of faith this year for Jim Ayres, since he only purchased his vehicle a few short weeks prior to the meet. Ayres couldn’t help hoping for the best but planning for the worst throughout the journey. Nevertheless, his car cruised along sweetly, averaging over 20 miles to the gallon on the way to Flagstaff while climbing up and over some steep grades.
We passed a lot of interesting desert landscapes on our journey and found the scenery much more exciting than driving through the central valley of California on the way to and from Sonoma.
As we approached Flagstaff things got a bit more interesting than we had planned. Temperatures plummeted as we rode along in our light California duds. We ran into rain and then snow along the route. The temperature read 33 degrees in Flagstaff. Brrrrrrrrrrrr. Nevertheless, both we and the car arrived safely at our hotel where we joined up once again with Jim and Carol and had a great and well deserved dinner at the nearby Coco’s restaurant.
The next morning after a pleasant breakfast we filled our tanks and were off and running again. The weather improved slightly but we were still under a canopy of foreboding clouds. However, the beautiful Southwest scenery made this part of the trip very enjoyable. A target of opportunity popped up as we drove, which was the world-famous Meteor Crater. When we discovered that it was only 6 miles off the main road we couldn’t resist the chance to stop and have a look. It was well worth the detour and we spent a fascinating hour touring the visitor center and looking down into this enormous artifact caused by a meteor hurtling toward our planet some 50,000 years ago at a speed of 26,000 miles an hour! The meteor exploded before hitting the ground but the concussion caused the huge crater to form. The fragment in the photo with me is one of the largest pieces of the meteor that was found. I’m sure glad I wasn’t around when this visitor arrived!
Another potential detour popped up as we continued down the I-40 and that was the Petrified Forest where trees from a bygone era had turned to stone. John Walcek who stopped there said it made for some great photo opportunities, but we were anxious to get to Albuquerque so we kept on moving.
Entering New Mexico fantastic red rock plateaus appeared on both sides of the road and we marveled at the strata exposed and speculated about their geologic history. Then directly in front of us a huge mountain stood tall and disappeared in the clouds. We were approaching Albuquerque so we guessed that the city had to be nearby. The low clouds and erratic sun patterns made for a very surreal sight as you can see from the photo below. We later learned that this mountain is called Sandia which means watermelon in Spanish because the rocks often turn pink in the sun. As we got closer, we realized that the City of Albuquerque lay at its base. We got to inspect this mountain via the tram at close range the following day but that is the subject of another story.
At around 6:15 p.m. we arrived at the headquarters hotel for the meet, the Crowne Plaza, Albuquerque, and were greeted by something as fabulous as the scenery. Parked directly in front of the hotel like the queen she is was a gorgeous black 1956 Continental Mark II owned by Dan and Jacki Flanagan of Prescott, Arizona. Immediately our cameras were clicking and you see the results below. What a way to begin the meet!
To be continued…