Well I'm happy to say the 10th Annual FGMCC Meet was a huge success, the only thing is its a whole year till the next one. I had a great time, and I'm sure everyone else did too.
Here is my recap of the 2009 Eastern Meet in Concorde, NC.
I left out Thursday morning and headed towards Charlotte in my 1970 Monte Carlo. I was anxious to get there as usual and meet lots of new faces of the FGMCC, and others I've met in the past. We arrrived around 11 am that morning and met up with some early birds already there. At that time there was only 1 First gen already there at the club hotel, and Capri, Greg and the kids were already there in their mini van.
Slowly everyone started rolling in one by one, Kevin got there in the Coke Machine, Jack Cooper in his freshly painted Monte, and others kept rolling in to the club hotel. Immediatly everyone started greeting each other with handshakes, and hugs and its just like you left off the last time.
Finally it was time to go to the NASCAR Research and Devlopment Center. One of our newest club members at the time of the Meet, Wayne Auton is the Director of the Nascar Camping World Truck Series and owns a very nice original W-Code 454 72 Monte. Well he got us on an elusive tour of what no one else in the general public gets to see. This place is where all the safety innovations are born, also its where the cars are brought to be inspected extensively. The tour was awesome and everyone, Nascar fans or not got to see what goes on behind the scenes and even meet some people that work at the R&D center. We even saw the lady who writes the fines and penalties for various infractions in NASCAR. Everything that wasn't behind a closed wall or lock and key we were able to see. Everyone also got a sneak peak of the new Nationwide Series car. After the tour, Kevin pulled the Coke Machine over and let the people working at the R&D center see what a real "Stock Car" is. They really seemed to enjoy seeing the car. Thanks to Wayne for giving us this once in a lifetime oppurtunity. This would not be the last for Kevin and me, more on that later.
By Thursday evening we had over 20 Montes already in the parking lot, the night lasted a long time with Bench Racing, or in some cases Bull Crapping, also included was food, and those adult beverages.
Friday was a new day in Concorde, everyone was up bright and early to clean up there Monte from the long haul to the Eastern Meet. Several others cars came in as expected, things were really looking up. The 2nd Round of registration for the Meet and car show at Zmax was going on along with the surprise 10 Annual Meet T-Shirts, and Scott Stephens custom made 10 annual meet wooden Monte Carlo emblem plaques. Goody bags were handed out, along with Rob's "What the Heck Is it Game". Things were going to well thats when I got a call on the Hotel phone from Richard and Joyce Savage, "Jared my fuel pump went out and need some help". Well Andreas and I head down in the rental Hyundai and come to the rescue, when we get there the DOT has also stopped to help. They tell Richard they can hook a strap and pull him to the nearest parts store about 2 miles from the spot on the Interstate. Ok good we though. Well as we turned into the Advance Auto Parts and I got out of the car my stomach sunk fast, AntiFreeze was POURING out form under the car. The toe strap had ripped the Drain plug off the bottom of the radiator!!!! Well Advance had the replacement fuel pump as needed, but Oreilly a few miles away had the correct radiator, no the cheap plastic one. We sit in Oreilly for an hour and get informed the other store across town hadn't even left yet! So back to Advance to install the fuel pump, another hour goes by and finally the Radiator shows up. 10 Minutes later the car is running and were headed back to the club hotel. Me and Andreas arrive back at the club hotel at around pm, missing the club tour of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Friday night brought on the Pizza Party and Kevin Wiles "Left Brain/Right Brain Game" After we all ate to much it was out to the parking lot and hotel padio for Bench Racing. Later on it was time for Rob Peter's famous Left, Right, Center Game. No one knows which way this is gonna go, and everyone had a great time, even if they did lose quite a few bucks in quarters. Heck I even won a few rounds. The night didn't end till around 1 am, and we all had a great time talking on the web cam to some of the Western and Canadian Members of the club. They could see us, and hear us talk, it was so cool, we could even see some of them who had a web cam. Thanks to Robert King, aka ERT or "monte70car" for setting us up a special room on a chat site for us to do this.
Finally the day of the show at Z-Max Dragway came and we was all up bright and early to go to the Drag Strip at 8 am as a club. Once we got there we realized that was a mistake, and if we had of waited till around 9 am, there would have been no line. It didn't take long at all, till Augusts' heat started really turning on, all the way up to around 100 degrees with lots of pavement around, and humidity. There were over 30 Montes there at the showfield on Saturday all of which were FGMCC members representing the club well. After the awards it was time to head back to the Club Hotel and get ready for the awards banquet at the Texas Land and Cattle restraraunt in Concorde. Several headed over early to get things set up and ready for the record breaking 80 person crowd that would be attending that night. Those of us who were left convoyed down to the Steak House and went inside. As with other 70s nights in the past, the stares were there wondering what in the world are those people doing dressed up like a bunch of DANG hippies? A few special awards were handed out that night besides the usual FGMCC awards. New for this year was a "Best Sounding FGMCC award that went to Bill Rees with his 11 second 72 Monte Carlo. Also on tap was my "Jared Galleria of Grille Award" that I presented to Carl Hanson for having the best grill in his 1972 Monte. One of the very special awards that was handed out this year, was Kevin Wiles "Founders Choice" award that is given to someone who has donated something special or had a lot to do with the club's success. This went to Kevin's uncle. J.R. Wiles who gave Kevin his 1970 Monte that he still owns today at age 5. Had it not been for this I may not be typing this 2009 Meet recap, and none of us might not know each other existed. The single most important moment in this club hands down was this, even though it was 15 years before the FGMCC became to be. I've had the privledge to be friends with J.R. and know him for a long time now, as with Kevin and the whole Wiles family living in the same town. A surpise for the founder himself was a model of the Coke Machine custom built by Donny Vestal that he presented to him Saturday night. Kevin was very surprised. After the awards supper was over we headed back to the hotel for the meet's latest night yet, more LRC, and more bench racing. Also live video chat with some Canada members and Westerners on the web cam.
Sunday morning meant the dreaded last day of the meet, but all good things must come to and end. Everyone had to say their goodbyes at the hotel, with hugs and handshakes. Even Jack Cooper had picked up on the Southern way of saying "Yall" not even realizing he was saying it. Everyone else headed back towards home, thankfully everyone had a safe trip with no trouble. Us that did go back to Z-max on Sunday was in for HOT day, even hotter than Saturday.
Well one more suprise lay in store for Kevin and I, Hot Rod Magazine came up and wanted to do a photoshoot on the Coke Machine. So we head over and are told to follow the "True Street" cars for a 30 mile ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hot Rod got pictures of the car up on the banking of the speedway. I could really feel the lean of the car up on those high banks only running around 45 MPH. That was surely an experience me or Kevin will not forget. Getting the chance to ride on a SuperSpeedway in a vintage stock car replica is priceless. Hot Rod also done some still shots of the car in the shade on the access road between the Drag Strip and the Speedway. Look for the Coke Machine in a Hot Rod Magazine in the very near future. After the tour, we took the tents down and headed to Ryans to get some grub and cool down from the 110 degree heat.
Another FGMCC meet is just around the corner!
With that the 10th Annual First Generation Monte Carlo Club Meet had come to a complete end, signing off with my white 1970 Monte Carlo and Kevin's #12 Coke Machine headed towards Anderson, SC on I-85 where the FGMCC was founded.
Thats all for this year.