Jump to content
  • 2004 Western Meet

  • Carson City, NV
    July 30 - August 1, 2004
    Members Present: 7

  • SDCClogo2.gif

  • The FGMCC adds Color to the Desert
    The inaugural Western Meet


    Monte Carlos in Attendance
    (in order of year and color name)

    04WMeet533tn.jpg 1970 - Cream Yellow ('72 color), Black vinyl top, Black interior, 383 4-bbl stroker motor, console-shifted automatic, rally wheels.
    Owned by Rod Marin of Norwalk, CA
    04WMeet535tn.jpg 1970 - Misty Turquoise, White vinyl top, Sandalwood interior, 350 4-bbl, automatic, rally wheels.
    Owned by Aaron Dodsworth of Langley, BC, Canada
    04WMeet532tn.jpg 1971 - Burnt Orange, White vinyl top, Sandalwood interior, 350 4-bbl, console-shifted automatic, rally wheels.
    Owned by Cameron Lewis of Reno, NV
    04WMeet537tn.jpg 1971 - Dark brown (non-factory color), Black vinyl top, Black interior, transplanted 454, automatic, 8" wide rally wheels.
    Owned by Dick Sullivan of Rancho Cordova, CA
    04WMeet534tn.jpg 1971 SS454 - Mulsanne Blue, Dark Blue interior, 454 4-bbl, automatic, rally wheels.
    Owned by Mark Andrus of Sacramento, CA 
    04WMeet536tn.jpg 1971 - Rosewood Metallic, Medium Tan vinyl top, Sandalwood interior, 402 4-bbl, automatic, rally wheels.
    Owned by Steve Hawkins of Reno, NV

    Aaron's Thoughts about the 2004 Western Meet

    This all started as planning a casual unofficial meet for Western US and Canada members. It grew into an official club event and there are now more benefits for Western members. This year's inaugural Western Meet could not have worked out any better. A couple of us made a week long road trip out of it and had a blast. I can't say enough about the great people that April and I met at this meet. We will truly miss them and hope to see them again at another meet.

    Things I learned:

    • A 1970 Monte can go 1,800 miles without any problems.

    • Janet Mau will have a map for everything.

    • You don't need a Monte at the meet to enjoy yourself... right Dave?

    • Even though we all drool over a very clean and original first generation Monte for a bargain price, we will try to convince the owner to keep it.

    • Americans do not know the word toque (sounds like "Duke" with a "T"). Have you ever heard "12 Days of Christmas" by Bob and Doug MacKenzie?

    • Denny's is still good three mornings in a row.

    • When a guy from New Hampshire neglects to show up on awards day, a Canadian guy can get the Longest Traveler award.

    • Getting everybody up at 6:30 in the morning for a group photo is not an easy task.

    • Strong bonds can be created between members in less than 3 days.

    • Wallaby has a real name.

    The 2004 Western Meet
    by Dave Mau


    My wife Janet (Mrs.4fifty4) and I traveled from Seattle, Washington, together with Aaron (Canuck) & April Dodsworth of Langley, British Columbia, Canada to gather with some fellow western region club members for the first-ever FGMCC Western Meet down in Carson City, Nevada. To say that we had a great time is an understatement, and the only thing that would have made the trip more fun is if my Monte had been up for such a journey at this stage of its nearly 35-year existence. It's not though, so it had to stay home while we drove the family runabout down to The Silver State. The following is my first-hand account of how it all happened.

    Aaron & April arrived in their '70 Monte Carlo at our house on the hot Wednesday evening of July 28th, and Thursday morning we embarked on our trip together. Within half an hour we were at FGMCC storekeeper Lloyd (ADG Trunklid) Wilson's place to visit for a while and to pick up official club merchandise which Lloyd had neatly packed in a box for us to take to the meet - being as he was unable to attend the event himself.


    After a good day and a half of enjoyable road tripping that included a night's stay at a Mt. Shasta, California Bed & Breakfast, the four of us from the Pacific Northwest arrived in Carson City on Friday afternoon. We checked into the club's designated motel, the Days Inn, where we quickly spotted Mark (Wallaby) Andrus' 1971 Monte Carlo SS454 in the back parking lot. Aaron's '70 was dusty from its 900+ mile journey that saw quite a bit of road construction in sunny 90 degree weather, so it was decided that a good washing was in order before attending the Friday evening festivities of Carson City's Silver Dollar Car Classic - the event chosen for our first FGMCC Western Meet. Aaron had brought a bottle of car wash, a bucket and a wash mitt along, and a quick trip to a nearby Lowe's Home Improvement Center garnered us a hose and nozzle with which to get the job done.

    When we returned to the motel we spotted Rod (mo's70 mc's) Marin's '70 in the back parking lot in addition to Mark's '71, and then proceeded to wash Aaron's Monte at the shady end of the building. It wasn't long before we met Rod and his wife Janet, and Rod decided that his car could use a wash job as well. After a while we looked around the building to the back lot again and noticed that Mark's '71 was gone, so with the two '70s cleaned up the six of us cruised to where the classic cars were congregated and found a couple of back-in angle parking spots together on the street. Our group of three couples then walked around and checked out the many cool cars while the six-piece band called Route 66 performed hits spanning from the '40s through the '90s. Across the street from the parking lot where the band played was the Carson City Nugget, where Rod treated us to some tasty prime rib dinners (thanks again, Rod)! Mark and his wife Beth met up with us after dinner, and our group of eight stood around the Montes under the street lights, checked out the cars and chatted for a while before calling it a night and heading back to the Days Inn. We had a big day ahead of us.

    Please click on the image to enlarge

    A water pump swap won't stop Rod and Janet from getting to the meet.

    This dirt highway and construction won't stop Aaron and April either.

    Aaron's Monte gets a wash after 900 miles of driving. Dave gives it a good rinse.
    Rod ponders the purchase of some FGMCC goodies.
    Parked at Friday night's Street Dance
    The Friday Night Party


    Saturday morning we all went to a nearby Denny's for breakfast, where we met up with another club member, Cameron Lewis, who brought his '71 Monte Carlo from Reno. Good breakfasts and conversations were had before taking some group pictures in the parking lot and then heading to the grassy grounds and big trees of Mills Park for the Silver Dollar Car Classic's Show and Shine. We were able to park the Montes together, and set up the canopy that Cameron brought along - which gave us some additional shade as well as provide a suitable place to hang the FGMCC banner. Before long we spotted another first-gen pulling in, and the owner was pleased to park it near the four Montes already representing the FGMCC. It didn't take long for us to check out the '71 and introduce ourselves to the owner, Steve Hawkins of Reno - whose older brother had bought the car new. Steve had never heard of the FGMCC, and he was blown away to find out that a club like ours exists. We gave him a warm welcome, and he filled out a club membership application form, bought a t-shirt and quickly became part of our "family". Many Monte discussions were in full swing as we checked out the cars and compared details between them. Man, they sure looked great sitting there all together!

    There was a DJ on hand at the show, and Rod found out that he would announce a "welcome" plug for our club if we put in writing what we wanted him to say. Once we had it worked out, Rod took our piece of paper over to the DJ and he soon read our little blurb during a break between musical selections. Wow, did he ever do it justice! We all listened with attentive ears, and as soon as he finished belting out the last line through the loudspeakers, "…the first generation Monte Carlo is the car that got Chevrolet back into NASCAR racing", he cranked up The Beach Boys' "Fun Fun Fun". Man, it just couldn't have been any better than that, and we were all pretty stoked!

    A while later, club member Dick Sullivan and his 12 year-old grandson Cody arrived from Rancho Cordova, California. Dick drove his '71 to the meet, and even though he didn't have it entered in the show he was able to park on the grass fairly close by. It was cool to see Dick and Cody hanging out together while wearing their matching FGMCC flamed hats, which they purchased on the spot. In the afternoon a couple came by and stated that they had a Monte for sale, and they wanted to know what we thought of it. A bunch of us went to check out their green '71, and we all agreed that it would make for an easy restoration. After hearing our assessment of their car, they said that they didn't really need the money that its sale would bring, and that they just might keep and restore it! They were excited to learn about our club, and they bought an FGMCC t-shirt and were looking forward to checking out the website. It was nice to meet them.

    Mmmm, breakfast at Denny's. Had to take the shot with 4 Montes together Saturday morning.
    From L to R: Dave, Mark, Rod, Aaron, Cameron.
    Aaron and April
    Relaxing at the show
    The FGMCC gang trading stories
    Beth checking out Mark's unique drinking style
    Dave, Rod and Aaron






    Reflection of Rod's Monte in Cameron's paint.
    04WMeet506tn.jpg 04WMeet519tn.jpg 04WMeet521tn.jpg
    04WMeet516tn.jpg 04WMeet520tn.jpg 04WMeet511tn.jpg
    Steve's 402 big block.
    Aaron's 350 4 barrel engine
    Mark's 454. Check out that air cleaner!
    Cameron and his '71
    The first generation Monte dash display
    A shot of Aaron's Interior

    Around 7:00pm Saturday evening the Silver Dollar Car Classic hosted parade laps at the Champion Speedway. It was cool to cruise in the long lineup of vintage cars on the way to the track with the assistance from Carson City Sheriff's Department officers, who were busy escorting us through intersections and stopping regular traffic in order to grant us right-of-ways. A total of forty cars were allowed to participate in the parade laps, and four of them were FGMCC Monte Carlos. We were able to keep the Montes lined up one after another while lapping the track, and we could distinctly hear the announcer over the loudspeakers read participant's names along with "Monte Carlo - Chevrolet" as cheers and applause sounded from the grandstands. Quite a few low-speed laps were made around the track, and Dick stood in the track infield near the Sheriff's Department vehicles in order to photograph the event with his fine digital camera gear. It was a blast!

    Staging for the cruise to Champion Motor Speedway.
    Cruisin' to the track
    04WMeet565atn.jpg 04WMeet569tn.jpg 04WMeet572atn.jpg
    04WMeet553atn.jpg 04WMeet557tn.jpg 04WMeet551tn.jpg
    04WMeet583tn.jpg 04WMeet561atn.jpg 04WMeet560atn.jpg

    After leaving Champion Speedway, most of us headed out to the "old west" town of Virginia City, where a lot of the main street's parking was reserved for Silver Dollar Car Classic participants. After getting the Montes parked we enjoyed strolling along on the wood boardwalks, peering into store windows and taking pictures in the dusk light on that last day of July. Many shops, saloons and restaurants were open late, and we enjoyed evening meals at a Chinese restaurant - Virginia City style.

    Leaving the track for Virginia City
    Cruisin' to Virginia City
    Sun's goin' down
    Our Montes in the historic old west town
    04WMeet304tn.jpg 04WMeet592tn.jpg
    Dick's grandson, Cody, with a cool new hat.
    The moonlight coming over the hill and the historic church is lit up


    August got off to an early start, as by 6:30 Sunday morning we were parking a bunch of the Monte Carlos together in the parking lot of the Days Inn for group photographs. Dick was the official photographer once again, and he used his camera's self timer in order to include himself in a few shots as well. Although we wished that Dick could have stayed longer, he had to get in his goodbyes after that morning's photo session so that he could understandably tend to his grandson - who was still sleeping in their motel room - and hit the road back to California. After that, most of us enjoyed breakfast at Denny's (the official breakfast provider for FGMCC Western Meet participants) once again before heading to Mills Park.

    Beth and Mark
    April and Aaron
    Janet and Dave
    Dick the photographer.
    Janet and Rod

    By 10:00am there were four Monte Carlos involved in the Silver Dollar Car Classic's Poker Run. Participants paid $5.00 to buy a poker hand and then drove to seven different checkpoints, where a random card was obtained at each to complete the game. Nobody in our FGMCC group ended up with the highest hand, but it was sure a fun drive - seeing so many cool cars out and driving around the outskirts of town under the hot Nevada sun. And when was the last time that you saw four beautiful first-gen Monte Carlos chasing each other around, anyway? It was a lot of fun!

    Leading the pack during the Sunday Poker Run
    Can you spot 3 Montes in this photo?

    Cameron and his girlfriend Teresa were at Mills Park with his '71 Monte when we returned from the Poker Run around noon, and the show's finale was a steak barbeque and an awards ceremony where many plaques were handed out. Thanks in part to my wife Janet inquiring about awards, Aaron received a "Longest Traveler" award and got to drive his car through the line for everyone to see him accept it. After the awards ceremony we regrouped and chatted for a while before getting in our goodbyes to Cameron, Teresa and Steve before they all headed back to Reno. Our club sure has some great members in Nevada!

    Those of us staying at the Days Inn returned to the motel, with some catching naps or simply taking it easy for a while. Janet and I got together at a nearby restaurant with a couple of my Nevada cousins for an early dinner and some time to visit, and it was great to see them again. Later on, the eight of us at the Days Inn drove to Fandango's Casino (which was highly recommended by Steve) for dinners, desserts and more social time fun. It sure was a good recommendation on Steve's part! After returning to the motel, we said our goodbyes to Rod and Janet so that they could embark on their trip back to southern California. Although Rod's Monte looked great in action under the lights of the motel parking lot, we hated to see them go.

    Aaron receives the Longest Traveller award
    You really can't beat the rear end styling of a Monte Carlo owner

    Going Home

    We checked out of the Days Inn on Monday morning, and our last breakfast at Denny's was had as a smaller group - with Mark & Beth, Aaron & April and Janet & myself attending. After breakfast we had to say our goodbyes to Mark & Beth, and as I stood there and watched them pull away in the Mulsanne Blue '71 SS454, it fully hit me that our Western Meet was officially over. Yeah, it was kind of sad to watch them leave, too. They were headed for their home in California, and our foursome from the Pacific Northwest set out for Virginia City once again for more sightseeing and knocking around before going to Reno for the evening and starting our journey home on Tuesday.

    When we stopped at a rest area in Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, a gentleman came over to give Aaron's Monte a closer look. He was kind of reluctant to talk very much, but he did tell us that he had retired from GM four years ago and that he did some design work for the original Monte Carlos back in the day. He reminisced about drawing up a full-length interior console that never saw production and told us what great cars they are before walking back to his late model Cadillac, where it appeared that his wife was waiting inside for him. As we all know, first generation Monte Carlos are real head turners, and it just goes to show that you never know who you're going to attract attention from!

    To sum up, the inaugural FGMCC Western Meet was a great success, and a wonderful time was had by all. There are some very nice people in this club, and it was a real pleasure for me to meet more of them in person and to spend time with everyone who was able to attend. It's been said many times how much this car club is like a family, and the comradery that one experiences at a meet like this is further proof of that. In addition to the fellowship of club members, getting to see so many great first-gen Monte Carlos all together in one spot is truly what I would call "eye candy"! Was it all worth the trip? Absolutely. Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat!

    - Dave

  • Create New...