2011 NEWS & EVENTS, By Mark Byer            News & Events Archive



Jerrylyn and Jerry Kugel at GNRS

The The CRs were quite active for 2011 with a lot of activities and runs.  We kicked off the year with attendance at the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS), held the fourth week of January at the Pomona Fairpex.  This well attended event grows every year and for 2012, will be honoring the 80th anniversary of the Deuce.  Our very own Jerry Kugel, who was one of the most notable, in several categories, for the 75th anniversary, will be a participant again this year.  He has completely rebuilt Blackie for the occasion, and is working around the clock to complete the job


Gary Herman becomes one of our first Associate Member

In February 2011, the Board added the Associate Member Category to our club roster With our first associate members being Ken Gross and Gary Herman, choosing to change from full members to associates due to them now living out of state. Gary has now chosen for 2012 to become a retired member, living in Chandler, AZ 




Assembled CRs at Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage

March 2011 brought our long awaited visit to Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage, in Burbank, CA. It’s very difficult to gain access to Jay’s collection, and we’re lucky to have Ken Gross as a member and long-time friend of Jay’s provide an introduction. Also, thanks to Jim St. Martin for working with Jay’s staff to finally get us in the door. Jay has an eclectic mix of classics, exotics, steam, muscle and 138 vintage motorcycles. The highlight of his collection includes nine Duesenbergs, four Bugatis, twelve steam cars/vehicles, several hot rods, muscle cars and a lot of one-of-kind vehicles, including: the Tank Car, GM Jet Car and stuff that I didn’t even recognize.




Grant welcoming the CRs to Del Worsham's Funny Car shopOne of Del's funny cars ready for body

Tour of Del Worsham’s Funny car shop. Our Run Chairman, Paul Rieker, was able to secure a tour of Del Worsham’s Funny car shop, Orange for our April run. Del was off competing in Top Fuel Dragsters, which is secured the title for in 2011, but arranged for his shop foreman to give us a tour. He had several old funny cars that he campaigned and several new projects that were under construction. After the tour we retired to their second floor bowling alley/recreational facility for a pizza/beer party with several rounds of bowling. Del announced at the end of 2011, that he was retiring from racing and will be the crew chief for a new funny car team, with the driver being Ms. Alexia DeGorgio. Since it costs a lot of money to fund a new team, Alexia was able to bring her daddy’s El Patron to the table.





CRs and guest enjoys a nice lunch at Joe's/Laurie's beach house in VenturaAssembled CR roadsters at Joe's beach house

May is the month that the CR’s traditionally reserve for an annual run up the coast to San Luis Obispo , to take in the SLO Roadster Show. We kicked off the long weekend on a Thursday with a very nice lunch at Joe & Laurie’s beach house on the stand in Ventura. Thursday night was for taking in the SLO street fair. Friday was reserved for a tour of the back roads of San Luis County and a nice BBQ lunch at the Loading Chute cowboy bar/restaurant, out in the middle of no where. Saturday morning was the roadster show in downtown SLO, and Sunday morning was for the downhill run home. The next weekend, was the BAR sponsored run to Cambria. Two of our members left their roadsters in SLO (Greg/Helen & Jeff/Judy) and returned that weekend to hook up with the BAR guys for a nice weekend. We traditional do a joint run with BAR, during the weekend of the SLO Show, but this year there was a conflict, which we’ll correct for 2012, by hosting a joint run in July 2012.




CR roadsters at the LA Roadster Show

June 2011 was of course the LA Roadster Show at the Pomona Fairplex, which is don’t miss event for roadster guys.  The LA guys were kind enough to have reserved parking for our roadsters, located at the entrance of the event, together with the other roadster clubs. This show has changed over the years, and was bigger better than ever, with vender expansion into several of the large buildings, and an expanded swap meet area. Of course, June 18th was also the wedding of my daughter Andrea Byer to John Van Dyke, with Andi now expecting the first Byer grandchild.




Ralph Suchy at CR Summer Party

July 2011 was a quiet month, but very good weather for roadsters and our annual Club Summer Party at Casa Kennedy in beautiful Orange Party Acres. Jon Kennedy is the only master mechanic I know that is also a master Chef, and can pull off a BBQ party for 50-70 of his roadster buddies, wife’s and guests without breaking a sweat. John reminded me that he and Midge have been in their lovely house for thirteen years now, and has been hosting the club for both summer and Christmas parties since they moved in, so that mean we’ve been there at least 26 times, and hope this continues for many more years.




View of Grand Salon

Again in August 2011, our able run chairman Paul, put together another outstanding club run. This time we meet for lunch in Sylmar, CA and then proceeded to the Nettercutt Museum for a guided tour. If you have never been to this treasure, take the time to check it out. Not only is the museum choked full of a wide array of classic cars, but they also have a large collection of music boxes, auto collectibles/art and a second large building full of more classics/exotics.




Assembled CR roadsters at the 2011 Great Labor Day Cruise

September 2011 include the Great Labor Day Cruise, at the Orange County Fairgrounds, which was well attended by club members This was well attended by club members; and the Roadster Roundup in Paso Robles, hosted by the San Jose Roadster Club. Only four of our members (Kugel’s, St. Martin’s, Bates’ and Jamiesson’s) attended this annual event for member/guest roadster clubs, and we caught hell for our poor attendance. Next year’s RR is being hosted by the Valley Roadsters in a yet unannounced valley location, and we’ll try and do better in 2012.




One of several vintage classics being restore at Randy's garage 

Paul worked his magic again for our October meeting, with a walk across the parking lot from Ruby’s to visit Randy Emma’s classic car shop. Randy is without dispute the world expert on the restoration of Dusenbergs, and has been responsible for the restoration of the nice Dusey’s we appreciated in Jay Leno’s collection. He had a wide array of cars in various stages of restoration, with a complete set of plans given to him by the Dusenberg family, of all the cars ever built by the Dusenberg brothers.




Open house at Don Prudhomme's Race Shop

Jim St. Martin put together a great run for November 2011 to the Don Prudhomme’s Race Shop in Vista, CA. This was a Saturday morning run after meeting for coffee. Participants included: Mark, Chet, Jim and Jim’s son Anthony (’34 Tudor), with a late arrival by Jerrylyn Kugel, driving the Kugel 265 Bonneville Roadster. Don The Snake“ and his old competitor Tom, “The Mongoose” McKewan were signing autographs, with live music, food and an open shop for inspection, including most of his former funny cars.




Art's Engine Room 

We finished the year with a December run to Art Christman’s CARS shop in Santa Ana, CA. Art opens his shop every Wednesday night at 5 PM to the local hot rodders for a little bench racing. We have been there before and will try to make it again. Of course what goes better with a shop tour than pizza and beer, so we order dinner for the host and his buddies.




Chistmas Party at Casa KennedyCalifornia Roadsters 20th Year Anniversary Cake

We finished 2011 by our annual Christmas Party at Casa Kennedy and of course our annual Christmas breakfast at Ruby’s. We have two awards, one very coveted and the other not so much. The Weenie Award has been held by Greg Rauls for the last year, for an honorable unmention. He’s keeping a keen eye on the membership for a screw-up that will warrant being the next recipient of the Golden Weenie. The other award is the High Miler Trophy given annually to the CR member that has driven his roadster the most. This award was given last year to Jim St. Martin, who came in second to this years recipent Phill Whetstone, our 2011 High Miler.




Now we’re planning for 2012, and with Paul Rieker continuing as our Run Chairman, we should be driving our roadsters a lot. I know there are already several things on the calendar, including the givens: GNRS, SLO run in May, LA Roadster Show, Andy’s Picnic in July and Andy’s Last Indy Run in August, RR in September and yet to be announced events.

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