WPC Club, Inc.
Dodge, Fargo, DeSoto, Chrysler, Imperial, Maxwell, Chalmers,
Jeep and Eagle & related
Mopar / All Years / All Models
2012 National Meet: July 11-14 - Kalamazoo, MI
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 on hand.
Registration 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.
We regrouped 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
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.
Outside in 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
It was a busy day filled with
all kinds of sights and it was all within sixteen miles of the
Thursday 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
After another full day it was
back to Kalamazoo and a relaxing evening with fellow Mopar owners.
Friday was 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.
In the 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 as
Saturday it 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.
After a 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.
The class winners and big
winners are pictured as well as most of the other cars present.
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!
Chrysler Cup - 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