Barbara and I started out at 3 pm, Lenny and my son Andrew left at 1pm, Steve Krieger left at 10 am from N.Y., Cliff and Carman Duncan were packing and Jay Wisan stayed home. While driving on the Penn. turnpike, unexpectedly, we meet up with Fry and Dottie Mathers. We all meet up at a hotel in Mentor Ohio at 12am. Fred and Nelly koontz were already there. After checking in, we hung around and chatted for awhile. Vickie Masar came by to make sure all were tucked in.
By 9 am. Vickie Masar greeted us with (Joe was getting his beauty sleep) Chuck and Cheryl Grysell. We were ready to meet up with the Georgia group (call ken to find out who the other 6 AllantÚs was with him) in Toledo Ohio at 12 pm, but Lenny forget forgot his medication at my house, so he and Vickie had to go the CVS to get it. By that time, the Georgia group called and said they will meet us at the hotel in Detroit. So by 11 am we were on our way to Detroit along with Chuck and Cheryl Grysell. Joe and Anita Iezzi were coming by way of Canada and the Duncan's were still packing.
We arrived at the Hampton hotel by 3 pm. (And the Hyatt hotel is not across the street) about 1 mile away. After we check in, we went to the Hyatt to get registered for the CLC. There, we were handed a goody bag with books etc. (not one picture of an AllantÚ) You should have seen all the old Cadillac's, They were parked in the front left side of the hotel. Can you guess where we had to park? In back and not only that, they would not let me keep the trailer connected to my AllantÚ. They made me park it in the very back. O well, after we got all our assigned parking spots, we headed back to the Hampton to get ready for the Cadillac reception.
After a 15-min bus ride to the GM world (the Renaissance center) a very unique building. It's really a site to see, they crammed over 2,000 Caddy lovers into this building. While waiting in line for 40-min to try to get a piece of cheese and cracker, They told everyone to go into another room for the speaker from Cadillac. Forget it, the room echoed so bad, you could not hear anything they said. So after they were done, a lot of unhappy campers boarded the bus. This was the best part because they gave everyone a Cadillac collector set of Caddy pins, (a set enclosed for you) and a Vision book all about Cadillac 100 years (And not 1 AllantÚ picture in it).
Ok here goes... We all boarded the bus to go to the Cadillac museum. Before we left, we were told to ask to see the AllantÚs behind the curtain. When we got there Ken Kogge and I did ask and he said if he has time. I guess you can guess what happened. No time for AllantÚs. But I got time!
We just drove 600 miles to see AllantÚs, and I'm determined to see them, so behind the curtain I went. There they have the last complete one made, a 93 Pearl Red/Natural beige interior, also they have a white one, without wheels and drive train on the scissor lift that's from the airplane, and what I call a Pre: prototype. It was silver 1987 that had the rear redone like the 95 prototype. It had a white convertible with a plastic back window and no backside windows. It Had the inset door handles; also had the 87 recaro leather seats in white, with the window switches in the upper door handle, where they have the mirror switch in the 93s. Some of the interior was missing like the steering wheel and a few other items. YES it was a 1987 with a 4.1 motor and front end. The real Prototype as of other AllantÚs is housed in another Cadillac warehouse that is never open to the public.
Well after about 4 times that another Caddy worker told us that were not allowed back here, we had to leave because the bus was leaving. After returning back to the Hyatt, they told me they had a few rooms left. So we transferred over as well as 6 more AllantÚans. Heres another clue for you all, Whenever there is an event to take place, Please book your room ASAP because its so much better to be in the mist of all the action. (No driving, no walking)
During the day the CLC was judging the older Cadillac's and there was some fine cars there. Then we all had to go get ready for the Motown Experience. This CLC show featured the singing group the Contours and was held at the Detroit Yacht club. A good time had by all. Also the Chicagoland group had their AllantÚ dinner at the hotel. Most of us were not aware of this, if so, I would have been there.
This is the day that the CLC will be judging our AllantÚs. We found out that this is a concourse show only. So for the most of us with personal custom touches, we need not to apply. So off we went to the CTS plant tour. I for one was very impressed with the plant, I had never seen an assembly line, but was a little disappointed because we got there in time for their lunch break. So for most of the time, we did not see anything moving. When we got back, Ray Serret told me, he and ken went on the DTS tour in Hamtramck. There they talked a little about the AllantÚ, Because that is where they installed the wheels and the drive train. Speaking of Ray, wait till you see his 95 prototype grill on his 93 AllantÚ.
Also on Friday, around 12 pm while we were on the tour, Bob Klopfer President of the Chicagoland Group held a AllantÚ Tech talk with Bill Bushman and Ed Anderson. Again we were not aware of this. I'm sure if we were members of his newsletter, we would have known this.
The AOAG Dinner, Mike did a nice job of getting a nice room in the restaurant that held over 50 of us. He also provided flyers with all phone numbers, and AllantÚ events in all the hotels to contact him. This was a really nice time to get to meet old and new AllantÚans. Because most of the week everyone was scattered all over the place. We had good food, A small Tech talk and the Mike Eggert flee market. Afterwards about 20 of us went up to the revolving dance club in the penthouse for cocktails. Where some of us were talking to Mike about the AAG and the AOA coming together. I feel this needs to happen. To have one big AllantÚ club to get the recognition our cars deserve from Cadillac and the CLC. I feel a that the CLC will not recognize our AllantÚ as the automobile it is, and lets face it, you can't put our AllantÚs next to a 1929 Cadillac. This is another story for Later.
Some time around 9 am, a CLC member went around putting badges on the winners cars. There were 3 AllantÚs that won out of about 30 there. It was hard to get a total count because they were coming and going all week. Brian Christy's 91 won 1st place in his year (they judge all caddys in years) again, how do you judge an 87 AllantÚ with an 87 Eldo? Chuck Grysell's 91 was disqualified because of custom wheels. A CLC board member told me that the CLC would be having a separate judging for AllantÚs next year. I told him they should have had it this year.
By 10:30 am Mike Eggert had all the AllantÚs drive across the parking lot to get a group picture along with Ed Anderson. It was a site to behold: One Big AllantÚ Family. On the way back to the hotel, We made it a point to circle the entrance twice with the AllantÚ song playing loud back with 500 watts of power and with the late appearance of the Duncan's waving behind to show the CLC that the ALLANTEANS WILL NEVER GO AWAY
At 12 pm, they had the drive by awards ceremony. This was great, you get to see all the winners and eat .00 hamburgers.
The CLC Banquet. About 1,400 People in one very large room. After the dinner, most of the talk was about the CLC Board members, new and old and presented them with trophies. Mr. Lutz the new GM VP spoke to us in great detail how Cadillac is going to be the number one Luxury car again.
The Best part for me! I got in contact with Pininfarina and ask if they would like to send something to me so I can present it to Cadillac for their Birthday. So Sergio Pininfarina wrote a letter, sent it to me the day before I left. I wanted to present it to Mr. Lutz at the dinner but could not. So I waited and then saw he was leaving early and I went into the hall, Introduced myself, on behalf of the AAG, I would like to give you this birthday wish from Mr. Sergio Pininfarina. I wish you were there to see his eyes. He must have thanked me about 6 times. Here is what it said.....
I remember that in August 1999, Cadillac, major sponsor of that Edition of the Concorso Italiano in Carmel, dedicated an important part of this event to highlighting the historical creative and industrial collaboration between Cadillac and Pininfarina, in particular for the AllantÚ project.
As I told on that occasion to Mr. John F. Smith, then the General Motors Vice President, General Manager Cadillac Motor Car Division,
Working on Cadillac automobiles has always inspired us to reach for designs expressing the distinctiveness of this singular marque. We at Pininfarina are proud of our historic close association with Cadillac and I am very enthusiastic because of the technical excellence it has produced and the personal relations that have developed.
Now I am therefore particularly glad to express my best wishes to this prestigious brand for its 100th birthday! May this festivity be celebrated with all the success it deserves!
With my best regards,
How's that Vic?.. Pretty cool huh!
And another thing, during dinner there was a slid show.. And it only showed one AllantÚ over and over and over ..MINE.. I'm sure the trailer had something to do with it.