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2015 Annual Meeting

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The 2016 CCCA “Sweet 16” Annual Meeting – January 14-17, 2016

The 2016 CCCA Annual Meeting took place January 14-17 in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan. We clebrated “Sweet 16s”, the year 2016 and the 16-cylinder automobiles that epitomize the robust engineering competition during the Full Classic® era. Our goal in hosting “Twin Sixteens” was to assemble more of those superlative Classics under one roof than at any time in history! We also hoped to attract a lot of custom-bodied Full Classics® to emphasize the epoch of styling during that era. But our first and most urgent desire was to persuade our friends in the hobby to join us in the birthplace of the greatest number of Classics produced anywhere in America.

Our host hotel and salon was the Hyatt Place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan located just outside Detroit. Lodging and the Grand Classic was in one connected all-indoor venue including unloading, exhibiting and judging the Classics. The recently constructed hotel offered guests a complimentary hot breakfast each morning.

The excitement kicked off Thursday afternoon with a visit to the 2016 North American International Auto Show which included private coat check, light lunch and cash bar, complimentary official program, exclusive work area and hospitality lounge on site, access to exclusive Atwater networking lounge and early access to the show floor. Thursday evening we travelled to the historic Detroit Opera House, where Michigan Region patriarch Lee Barthel conducted a tour prior to our scrumptious dinner “on stage”. This ornate building stands in the famed Grand Circus Park Historic District near the Detroit Athletic Club. Having entertained many of the auto industry moguls during The Classic Era the building is now the home of the Michigan Opera Theatre productions and a variety of other events. The 2,700 seat theatre designed by C. Howard Crane opened January 22, 1922.

Friday morning after the CCCA annual membership meeting we traveled to the historic Packard Proving Grounds, being restored under the direction of The Packard Motor Car Foundation. There we toured the Albert Kahn-designed Lodge where Packard Chief Engineer Jesse Vincent lived and hosted the many company engineers who boarded in the dormitory upstairs during test projects conducted on the track, a piece of which remains along with the timing tower. Over a hot lunch in the research garage (which now hosts weddings, graduations and other such events) we enjoyed a presentation by Roger Luksik, president of PMCF, on the history of this venerable site where Packards were tested and developed.

Then we visited two spectacular private collections exhibiting superior classic boats, autos and memorabilia. The dynamic Ted Stahl and Terry Adderley collections are renowned for quality and unique vehicles. Our day’s activities concluded with a reception and Regional Awards Banquet at the General Motors North American Heritage Collection. This facility includes approximately 600 cars, trucks and concept/special interest vehicles produced throughout the century-old history of General Motors. We sawstyling and performance one-offs as well as significant race cars, milestone production vehicles and a massive collection of archived documents, artifacts and assorted automobilia.

Saturday was the Classic Car exhibition and judging in the Expo Center connected to our hotel. There we enjoyed a fine display of Full Classics® including our invitational Sweet Sixteen! This propitious assembly of the Classic crème de la crème will not likely recur for a hundred years!

For those wishing to supplement their ogling of the spectacular display of automobiles with a field trip offering more Detroit history we arranged a choice of tours. First was a visit to the Center for Creative Studies, one of the top automotive-design colleges in the world. Located in the Albert Kahn-designed Argonaut Building where the legendary Harley Earl established the original General Motors Design Staff in 1927, CCS places more design graduates into the transportation industry than any other school in the world, including the current design chiefs at General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler. We toured the building and hear a presentation by CCCA’s own Walt Gosden about the custom coach builders of the gilded age as a one-of-a-kind example rotates on the turnstile before us in the auditorium.

An alternative for those whose memories of the Motor City recall The Motown Sound we visited to Hitsville U.S.A. where Berry Gordy and several of his family members founded a musical phenomenon. The two groups lunched together in the New Center Area before returning to our host hotel for a special presentation by Christopher Cummings, author of “The Cadillac That Followed Me Home: Memoir of a V-16 Dream Realized”.

Our Annual Awards reception and banquet had the warm hospitality for which The Michigan Region is reputed.

 

 

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Classic Car Club of America