The WPC Club,
Plymouth, Dodge, Fargo, DeSoto,
Chrysler, Imperial, Maxwell, Chalmers,
Jeep and Eagle & related
Automobiles. All Mopar / All Years /
2012 National Meet: July 11-14 - Kalamazoo, MI (photos following article!)
The National Meet
this year was hot, hot, hot! We had very warm dry
weather most of the week, we had a really big turnout considering the last
few years and we had a really spectacular group of Mopars
began at the host hotel, the Sheraton Four Point (name change from our
original host hotel) on Tuesday afternoon. 170 members checked in before
the evening was over, a very large number for the first day of any WPC
Due to the
large number we had to split the morning tour to get everybody into Kellogg
Manor the summer home of w.K. Kellogg. Kellogg
Manor is a Tudor style home on the highest point overlooking Gull Lake. The
Manor House has been restored to its original glory and is used by Michigan
State University as part of its Biological Research Center at Hickory
Corners. The group got guided tours of the house, seeing it as w.K. Kellogg saw it.
at the Black Hawk Tavern on the other side of Gull Lake for lunch. The
original Black Hawk building had been a stage stop between Kalamazoo and
Lansing. The food was excellent and the location was very close to our next
The next stop
was the private collection of the OFF Brothers on the south end of Gull
Lake. The private collection has an eclectic feel reflecting the personal
tastes of the personalities of the owners of the collection. One is into
really fine classic and brass cars and the other is into fifties cars and
unusual cars (the Isetta and the stubby VW come
to mind). When we arrived we left no uncovered area in their parking lot.
From here we
headed north to the Gilmore Car Museum to tour the library and participate
in the regular Wednesday night cruise in. The library was started in 2006
with the very generous donation of the literature collection of Chuck
Jensen, a name many will remember for his tireless work for the WPC Club.
Chuck passed away shortly after our 2006 meet in Williamsburg, VA Lois made
the donation in Chuck's name. The Gilmore used it as the nucleus of the
library which has grown to over 250,000 pieces since that time. This was
also the opportunity to show off the new library in the Gilmore Heritage
Center. The library and archives constitute 5,700 square feet of
temperature and humidity controlled area for the proper storage of printed
materials providing an area for reseachers and
restorers alike and do research relating to the history of the automobile.
the meantime the first of over 100 more local cars began arriving for the
cruise, mostly non-Mopars, I did see several
other WPC Members come in for the evening. In the end we ruled the evening
providing nearly half the cars for the cruise night. It was nice to see so
many Mopars there.
It was a busy
day filled with all kinds of sights and it was all within sixteen miles of
would also take in many interesting sights, but the drive was much further.
We lined up
early at the hotel and after a change of lead car, due to water pump
failure on a modem Chrysler product, we headed to Holland, Michigan about
65 miles northwest of Kalamazoo. In Holland we went to the VerHage Chrysler Museum to see approximately 30
Chryslers, Plymouths, and DeSotos collected by
Lloyd and Norm VerHage. The cars ranged from a
1928 Plymouth numerous Barracudas, a late model Chrysler Sebring Convertible
to 3 1949 Chrysler Town & Country Convertibles. From Holland it was
south to South Haven for lunch and then on to the Red McFadden Collection.
Red who is the Chrysler/ Dodge dealer in South Haven is another longtime
WPC Member. Our cars filled the parking area quite nicely and those of us
needing a lift were shuttled over to his bam on golf carts by members of
the Airflow Club. Red has at least half a dozen Airflows in his collection
plus numerous other Mopars and a few non-Mopars as well. Outside we had the opportunity to look
at the new 2013 Dodge Dart and several other nice new Mopars.
full day it was back to Kalamazoo and a relaxing evening with fellow Mopar owners.
not nearly as taxing with a tour to the famed Air Zoo in their new
facilities just a few miles from the hotel. The collection of Warbirds is outstanding and there are also spy planes
and space exhibits and simulators and all kinds of things to spend a day
learning on and enjoying.
afternoon we had a small but very successful swap meet. Friday
evening the Town and Country owners went to Henderson Castle for a French
Cuisine Dinner and had a great time. We had 11 Town & Country's from
1941 - 1949 present this year plus 2 of the K Car Convertibles in attendance
was get up early and get to the Gilmore Car Museum ahead of everybody else
to attend to all the last minute details of a National Meet. The attendance
grew to over 270 WPCers at the show at Gilmores.
We spread out between the CCCA Museum and the Blue Moon Diner, with the
Commercial Class over by the Shell Station.
really great show it was off to the awards banquet. The banquet got quite
large and the hotel did an excellent job of putting 230 people in a room
designed for 200, it was a little cozy but not bad.
winners and big winners are pictured as well as most of the other cars
I need to
thank many people for helping make this a successful meet. The WPC Club
Board Members, Bill Adams Jr, Ken Angyal, Greg Biskey, Sandy
Hummer, Paul Niles, Don Piscitelli, Wayne
Simonson, Bob McClure, Barb Weiser, Kevin Swarms, Peggy and Bob Toothman for a myriad of chores. Matt at OFF Brothers
and his staff, Red McFadden and Lloyd VerHage for
opening their private collections. Jay Follis for
being the official meet photographer,
Terry Williams and Ken Angyal for additional
photography. All the members who helped count ballots and park cars. The
staff at Kellogg Manor, and Black Hawk for accommodating nearly twice the
agreed upon crowd. The staff at Gilmore's for providing me with wheels (a
GEM car, also a Chrysler product) on show day and for all the support. Mark
IIes for bringing the 1949 Chrysler T & C and
1970 Dodge Challenger belonging to Bill Parfet
for special exhibit, and to all the WPC Club Members who came to the meet
without whom it just wouldn't have happened.
See you next
year in Minnesota!
- Bill Given - 1935 Chrysler CZ Deluxe Presidents Cup - Maurice Van Coillie - 1962 Plymouth Sport Fur; The Lee Iacocca
Award - Ralph Meilander
Hard Luck -
Jack & Marge Hetherington 1929 Chrysler 75 David G. Briant
Award - Lloyd VerHage & Red McFadden National
DeSoto Club Special Award - Richard Bowman Post
National Board Member - Barbara Meilander