Car Buffs Defy the Weather to Hold Successful 2023 Kickoff Event

It was touch and go to see whether the storm gods would hold off, but in the end LCOC and our friends from the Cadillac & La Salle Club (CLC) and the Rattys enjoyed a brisk but rain-free 2023 kickoff event Feb. 26 at Lakewood Country Club. It was definitely a team effort, but with all involved focused on success the results were inevitable.

Starting with an early a.m. peek out the window for a sky scan, about 80 of us decided whether to bring our classics to Lakewood or default to our daily drivers. Despite recent local mountain snowfalls up to 98 inches and rains totaling nearly 11 inches at lower elevations, most of us opted for the classics and those who made it were rewarded with a nifty car show, buffet lunch and fun presentation by well-known automotive artist and enthusiast Steve Erler.

Two of our members Rich Hall and Donny Warmus rumbled in all the way from Las Vegas despite road closures enroute due to heavy snow at higher elevations. Yikes, that’s real dedication!

We were very happy to see long-time members Carol HIggs and son Mark and his wife Shannon, just back from their holiday trip to Hawaii. We also welcomed Rusty Wall and members of the Rattys, slabbside Lincoln owners, some of whom are also in LCOC.

Beautiful 1960s Lincolns predominated along with 1940’s era Cadillacs mingled with later examples of both makes. John Burge and MIke Steiner brought their rarely-seen today Lincoln Versailles, which stood out even more with its even rarer South Dakota license plates! Other members brought their late model Lincolns, yet another sign of the popularity and longevity of our brand.

And speaking of license plates, three of our members purchased LCOC License plate frames, one bought an LCOC face mask and we especially thank Gary Croan and new member Lee Lewis for their kind donations to the LCOC Western Region, which has abolished mandatory dues for 2023 in favor of voluntary donations.

As we arrived, country club staff members were out early blow drying the puddle-filled parking lot for our use and ensuring the very welcome coffee station was in place. CLC-supplied donuts were a pleasant addition. After so many days of rain I shudder to think of what would have happened if we had parked our heavy vehicles on the club’s front lawn. as is our norm at this event. Luckily, due to the availability of the nearby black top my visions of Lincolns and Cadillacs sinking in up to the hubcaps were averted. Instead, we had a great car show and social under mostly sunny skies for about two hours prior to lunch.

At about 11:30 we headed inside for our Italian-themed buffet featuring grilled chicken strips, sausage and peppers, anti-pasta salad, garlic bread, pasta and sauce, beverages and a yummy tiramisu for dessert. Following lunch, officers from CLC and LCOC made announcements of upcoming events and featured speaker Steve Erler gave a delightful presentation about his automotive interests and background. He shared how he creates his artistic ventures using both Photoshop and the giclee printing process which produces gorgeous artwork that does not fade.

A special highlight, was Steve;s presentation of a custom giclee print featuring CLC’s Betsy Davenport’s beloved 1961 Cadillac on an artistic background. Two lucky attendees won $105 each in 50/50 drawings, putting the ideal exclamation point on a perfect day.

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