LCOC President’s Message – March 2019

The dramatic winter weather is living up to the Boston motto “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” It seems this is the norm across the country with frigid weather followed by abnormally warm weather. The only certain fact is that spring is just around the corner, and our Lincolns can start to peek out of the garage, longing to be on the open road. The Winter Board meeting, held in Tucson in January, was exceptionally constructive. The two and half days were full of productive discussions and improvements as suggested by your representatives, the National and Regional Directors. This year we had a number of changes in leadership positions due to retirements. The updated board worked very well together, so I expect there will be good progress this year improving the LCOC. Many thanks to Gary Birk for arranging the hotel, meeting room, wonderful lunches and of course the popular hospitality suite. Even after adjournment for the day, business continued in the hospitality suite as evidenced by the level of noise emitted from the room!  Thanks, Gary! 

The board members were greeted with a binder containing all the information needed for the meetings thanks to Executive VP Paul Temple. While it is a significant effort to collect the information and make copies, the binders facilitate discussions as everybody has a copy to reference and make notes on. This is something that Bob Johnson started, and Paul is continuing. This allows us to use every minute of these meetings to best advantage.

Steve D’Ambrosia is retiring as Chief Judge after five years of stellar service in this position. Steve improved the functioning of this office both behind the scenes and to the membership on the show field. I, along with the membership, were fortunate to have Steve provide his expertise in this important position. A big thanks to Steve for all your support as Chief Judge. I am happy to report that Tony Russo has accepted the Chief Judge’s position. Tony brings great enthusiasm to this position, knowledge of Lincolns and organizational skills. We are all familiar with Tony’s award winning 1927 L Judkins Coupe. Tony has additional changes planned to the process to optimize his team’s strengths to continue the improvements that Steve initiated.

VP Regions, Jon Wessel, retired early this year due to time and travel constraints. Jon has many great ideas for aligning regions based on the current size of the Club and the changing demographics. I will miss Jon’s ideas in our ever-changing hobby and hope to engage Jon in areas where we can utilize his knowledge base. Jon is heavily involved in the collector car hobby and has written many technical articles for Comments focused on driving our Lincolns. Jake Dout from Colorado, has agreed to take over as VP of Regions. Jake has experience in growing regions, as he and a team have shown with the Rocky Mountain Region. He is willing to share this knowledge with other regions to grow members and interest across the LCOC family.

I would encourage you to note how easy it is to contribute to our Foundation when renewing your membership. All amounts are appreciated, so don’t be bashful, as all contributions are greatly appreciated to assist in perpetuating the Foundation and the Lincoln Museum.

Until next time

John

LCOC President’s Message – January 2019

This is my first message of 2019. 2018 seemed to fly by with fond memories of the ENM in Florida, with the welcome warm weather to start off the show season. This was followed by the MANM in Minnesota, with a great showing and hot weather. It was like Camelot, with a large rain storm in the evening and good weather during the day, especially Saturday for the show. The year concluding with the WNM, in Albuquerque, New Mexico with dry, windy and somewhat cool weather forecasting things to come. The distances in 2018 precluded Jeanne and me from driving a car to a meet so instead; we had to buy one – near one of the meet locations, so we could participate with Lincoln. More on that later.

            The board is in the process of preparing for the Winter Board meeting in Tucson, AZ January 16-19, 2019. The membership is blessed with an excellent team of officers, staff and board members who all pull their weight to keep this organization humming smoothly. 2018 has seen many changes that continue to improve the functioning of this group of hard workers and the benefits seen by you, the members. I can assure you that behind the scenes there is a lot of time, resources and effort spent for the members. This leadership team is focused on solving the inevitable challenges that face the club to keep the road ahead, smooth and straight. 2019 is poised to have more changes in many areas as the board continues to adapt to the interests and realities of the collector car hobby.

            As I look forward, we have assembled two great national meets for 2019 that I am sure you will not want to miss. The season starts with the Western meet in the Grand Junction, CO July 10-14. This is an area where we have not held a National Meet and will provide unique scenery. The Eastern meet will be held in Dutchess County, NY in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. There are many wonderful events planned against the backdrop of this historic area. The Annual Homecoming will be special this year with ALL Ford products invited as spearheaded by the host club Road Race Lincoln Registry. Mark your calendars for August 7-12, 2019 to participate event which just keeps getting better every year. The committee has some new and special events planned around this “All Ford” gathering. Remember, “Ford Blue in Kalamazoo”!

           Now for the follow-up on our “new” Lincoln. Earlier in the year, we had purchased the 1937 Model K Sedan, restored by Tom Brace of Falcon Heights, Minnesota and arranged to transport it to Massachusetts. The pickup date was after the meet, so Tom delivered the Sedan to the MANM so we could drive it on tours and show it off. The weather was perfect for the Thursday tour so off we went with Steve D’Ambrosia riding shotgun and Jeanne fully ensconced in the luxurious back seat. Those rides really convinced Jeanne that this was the right addition to our Lincoln fleet. And what a great way to enjoy your “new” Lincoln for the first time, sharing it with other members at a National meet!

Until next time

John

LCOC President’s Message – November 2018

This was a very successful season with a trio of great National Meets and the Lincoln Homecoming. Both the Eastern and Western meets had small attendance but this provided time for in-depth conversations with other members. As I write this, the Western National Meet concluded a few short days ago. The area had plenty to offer with its history, culture and the wonderful events planned by the national club and the New Mexico Region. The weather made me feel right at home, as it was as unpredictable and variable as at home in New England!  The next LCOC national event is the board meeting being held in Tucson, Arizona, January 17-19, 2019. The committees will look back at 2018 and then plan ahead for 2019 and beyond to improve the LCOC experience. If you have any issues or comments, please contact your Region Director or any other board member to have your input presented to the appropriate committee.

The team is working on solidifying the 2019 National Meets. The Eastern National Meet is being held in the Hudson River Valley on September 18-21, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Region. They have some very special events planned. The Western and Mid-America meets remain in the planning stages and will be announced shortly. The Lincoln Homecoming at the Gilmore is slated for August 8-11. Hosted by the Road Race Lincoln Registry, this meet will be very special. All Ford products are invited to make this a comprehensive gathering for Ford aficionados. I am sure the facility will be packed with Ford products from many decades of production.

One of the spark plugs crucial to a successful National Meet is the Executive VP. Bob Johnson has labored tirelessly encouraging regions to host meets as a means of growing membership. Bob is always willing to provide assistance to enable smaller regions to host a National Meet. Jeanie and I always see Bob and Mary at meets solving problems and completing the myriad tasks that pop up. This is a joint effort, with Mary supporting Bob on the front lines, as well as behind the scenes with all the paperwork, mailings, and phone calls required for a successful meet. This year has been a very busy time at the Johnson household, being on the Mid-America Meet committee, and registrar for the Lincoln Homecoming, as well as the de facto meet chairmen at the Albuquerque meet. Bob is retiring as Executive Vice President at the end of the year after five excellent years of supporting the club to the great benefit of the members. Bob and Mary have been road warriors for many years, driving their award-winning black 1989 Mark VII convertible to national meets all over the country, culminating at the Albuquerque meet receiving their twentieth Emeritus award!  That is a record, including meets all over the country, racking up thousands of miles on their faithful Lincoln. Many of those trips had the convertible packed to the gills with meet packets, auction items, and general meet supplies. I am sure Bob and Mary know every inch of that Lincoln better than those who designed it! 

I have been very fortunate to have Bob and Mary supporting the LCOC and Foundation over the past five years. It definitely has made my job easier and more fun. I am indebted to Bob and Mary for their support of the LCOC. Thank you.

Until next time

John

LCOC President’s Message – October 2018

The Museum Homecoming was a success with a great line up of Zephyrs and Continentals arriving after their exploration of the Elkhart, Indiana area earlier in the week. Thanks to the LZOC for hosting this year’s event. Plan for next year when the Homecoming will be hosted by the Road Race Lincoln Registry, who will be inviting all marques produced by FoMoCo to participate and share in the fun. It should be a new and different event and provide the opportunity to see other Ford and Mercury vehicles. Do you have your reservations for the Western National Meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico October 17-21? A fun time is in store for everybody.

Summer appears to be waning in New England, almost like the switch was turned off. The summer was hot and sunny which is a test of both automobiles and passengers as one traverses the roads to exercise and enjoy our Lincolns. As this is written it is in the 60s, but a few short days ago the weather was hot and steamy, at least for the Boston area. This is the time to use the more reasonable temperatures to enjoy your Lincoln and provide another benefit. We collect automobiles for the love of the vehicle and what it represented when it was manufactured. They reflect society at the time, and Lincoln provided the benchmark for automotive design and engineering. The early Lincolns provided quiet, stylish and reliable transportation in the day of the later Model Ts. The art deco period of the ‘30s saw the introduction of light weight unibody construction surrounded by wonderfully shaped metal. The ‘50s continued with advances to improve drivability, with ball joint suspension, power steering and brakes to make driving these larger automobiles more enjoyable for everyone. The large late’ 50s land yachts reflected the exuberance of the day. The ‘60s brought about a “smaller” design that was very sleek and soon to be copied by other manufacturers. The ‘70s were a challenging time with an increase in fuel prices that changed the landscape forever, leaving Lincoln the last holdout of the large vehicles. The ‘80s saw a universal downsizing where the goal was to improve fuel economy while retaining the comfort associated with the larger cars of the ‘70s. The changes in the ‘90s and beyond were subtler, with more refined engineering and hi-tech electronics aimed at producing cars that were comfortable, reliable and economical to operate.

Why the history lesson of Lincolns through the decades? It has to do with the need to show off all your hard work to the public. Jeanne and I attend a few local car shows each year to both allow people to see our Lincolns and to enjoy the drive to the event. The people who attend car shows come to see the impressive workmanship and styling of all the automobiles that are proudly displayed. They come with the specific intention of viewing automobiles. What about all the people you pass on the way to and from the event? This is where you provide the public an unexpected glimpse of your Lincoln “in action” as it was intended by the designers. Think about all the smiles, thumbs-up and horn toots received while driving. What about the person who stops working on their lawn to take a look as you motor by and calls out to the children to stop and look? How about the person who remembers these cars when they were driving the roads on a regular basis and has an unexpected encounter to reminisce about the Lincoln that a favorite uncle owned? You are providing not only the visual impact but the sounds, or lack of noise that radiates when starting from a stop, shifting gears or just cruising along the road. A toot of your horn will further elicit a wave or a longer pause to savor the moment.

Let’s get out and show off our Lincolns to brighten someone’s day and rekindle a memory of days gone by.

Until next time

John