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  • 2005 Western Meet

  • Pismo Beach, CA
    June 17-19, 2005
    Members Present: 8

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    The 2005 Western Meet: Pismo Beach
    by Mark Andrus

    This Year’s Western meet turned out great. We had plenty of “bumps in the road” getting things arranged and getting tied in with a car show event, and after that was all done we had weather forecasters trying to spoil our weekend. As it turned out, there was a slight drizzle early Friday morning but the clouds were gone by 9:00am, and they never came back.

    Friday was a day for getting registered and finding out where we would be parking. There were many, many vendors already set up along the beachfront and the long pier was open for anyone to walk out and get a view of the beautiful coastline. The surfers were out playing in the waves, and the families were enjoying the beach. It was peaceful to sit in the soft sand under the sun and listen to the surf, oblivious to the fact that just a short distance away the Pismo Beach Classic car show was expanding and slowly taking over the town, not unlike the blob in Cincinnati. It was nice to know that the beach would always be there if we needed it, and the kids especially loved it. That morning the first five Montes showed up: Wallaby, Mo’s70mcs, Stick, PappaJoe, and BigDaves70Monte. (Mark, Rod, Mike, Joe, and Dave) We planned to meet at the Motel later then go out for dinner. (Thanks Rod, for telling me about the Motels’ underground parking; maybe I will be able to sleep after all).


    Please click on the image to enlarge
    View of the coast from the pier
    Friday morning we parked near the pier. Big Dave brought the 3-wheeler


    That evening we all gathered in front of the Motel in our cars and Stick (Mike) was leading the column for this fifteen-minute drive. Mike led us fifty feet, stopped at the first stop sign we came to, and as our motors ran he stepped out of his car and walked back to ask us how to get on the freeway. We explained that he just needed to turn left and it would put us right on the Southbound freeway. He gave a thumbs-up, walked back to his car and proceeded to turn right. (It was a confusing intersection layout). Us lemmings had no choice but to follow, and we ended up on the ramp headed Northbound. We drove quite a ways on the freeway in the wrong direction looking for an off ramp where we could exit and turn around.

    Suddenly we came upon a break in the center divider and there was a left-turn lane for U-turns. This feature wasn’t noticed until the last minute and we were all in the right-hand lane so we all jammed on the brakes and changed lanes in a crazy dash for the turn lane. Somehow nobody was lost or injured in this maneuver that took considerable skill what with the 4000 lb cars hurtling in single file at highway speeds and all. I was at the rear of the column and it looked as if there was a fumble ahead and everyone was trying to pounce on the ball. 

    The highway at this location was curved and we were poised to turn left near the base of a valley. The visibility was poor and the oncoming traffic was oncoming rapidly. One by one the Montes zipped across the opposing lanes to a dirt clearing on the other side and positioned themselves side-by-side along the shoulder ready to merge back onto the highway. Of course visibility was even worse here on the inside of the blind curve, so they waited for the last Monte to cut across and everyone took a leap of faith and nailed the throttles at the same time. I was the last Monte. I never made it to the dirt. I nailed the throttle as well and used the left lane to pass the group of maniacs that were throwing dirt and squealing tires. Had there been aerial photos, it would have looked like the start of a LeMans race. I was in the lead after that and we somehow made it to dinner without further incident.

    Once we arrived at the restaurant we took some nice photos of the group and went in to enjoy dinner. This was good timing for pictures, as I think we all still had grins on our faces from the drive over. Prime Rib was the house specialty and most of us ordered it. Mrs. Wallaby (Beth), felt the creamy horseradish just wasn’t good enough and ordered the grated stuff and other lemmings followed. Beth tried hers first, and it was quite the show. It was a reaction that was somewhere between standard convulsions and a call to 911, and clearly alerted the rest of us to the severity of the situation. Of course, others followed. We had a nice evening of pointing and laughing.




    Here we are waiting as “Stick” climbs out to ask directions
    Mark, Rod, Joe, Mike, & Dave. We pose near the restaurant


    Saturday was the big day for the show and we had to be there early. We had heard about the troubles Rich (Rich72Monte) was having with getting his Monte to Pismo, and he was still trying. Ray (MC350), was in town somewhere but we hadn’t met up yet. Ramon and family had come in during the night. That morning in the Motel lobby we decided we weren’t hungry for breakfast after the feast from the night before, so with stomachs still loaded with masticated beef marinating now in fresh coffee we formed a column six-Montes long and made the fifteen-minute drive to Pismo in the early morning light. Driving in formation this way is one of the highlights of a meet, and we really turned heads wherever we went. The Montes looked great, and everyone was having a good time already.


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    Here we are thundering into town

    Getting there early was a good idea. The entire town was closed off to thru traffic, but still…synchronized parking wasn’t our strongest event. If we had been scored on our accuracy, I’d estimate that we missed it by a tad more than a smidgen. We arranged and re-arranged and eventually threw up our hands and called it good. The driving test at the DMV is easier because they don’t place 12 vocal people around the car to assist with the driving. It sure would have been tougher if other cars were on the street messing us up.  We were parked on Main Street, but the name of the street was misleading. It should have been named “Side St.”. It was a street that was residential and was one of many that connected the two main drags. If it were a ladder, we were parked on the bottom rung. We had plenty of room to park all the Montes together even though they hadn’t been assigned that way. It did seem a little weird setting up camp in someone’s front yard, though. Before long the other Montes pulled in, so everyone was accounted for. Eight Montes!


    Here is our place at the show. The pier and the surf can be seen at the end of the street
    Today “Side St” became “Monte Alley”


    The show was large. There were a lot of very fine cars there.  I heard lots of stories from people that came by to share their Monte memories, and passerby said our street was the only organized street in the show…it was all Montes! Clearly, we made an impression. I didn’t see any other groups of vehicles; even the Mustangs and Corvettes were scattered all over. We did find two other Montes, (both first Gen.) and made sure they came over to visit and hear about the club. We also talked to quite a few Monte owners who didn’t have their cars with them. One guy from Fresno, CA was really upset he didn’t have time to go home and bring back his Monte. He wanted to join right now!

    As it turned out, our little “side street” turned out to be a good place to be. Later in the day the wind picked up and the cars near the beach and pier were being sandblasted and the crowds there were so thick there was no place to set up a chair. We didn’t have those problems. Most of our group had brought spouses and family but we had plenty of room, and something for everyone to do. On one end of our street there were clean restrooms and a coffee shop, and the other end of the street was a bakery and a deli. In the middle was Monte Carlos. It was more than once that I walked past those fine Monte Carlos just to get a coffee and a cinnamon roll; not to mention the health benefit. Of course just about anywhere you walked you found vendors selling food or wares. Poor Ramon fell victim to one of these, we think. He developed stomach problems and had a fever. He braved it out through Saturday, but Sunday he came out in the afternoon only when he thought he might be well enough to drive home. He and his family were great and they showed the same spirit I admire so much in this great club.


    18tn.jpg This Monte (right) was a Second-Generation First- Generation Monte. It was also a West-Coast East-Coast car. Member Rich (West Coast) bought the car from member Pete (East Coast). It’s complicated enough to sound like family. 16tn.jpg
    When everyone wandered off, Rod stayed behind to man the phones
    This Monte was parked on the pier. We made sure he came and heard about the club. Beautiful car- Fathom Blue.
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    Saturday evening after the show we decided to drive somewhere to get pictures of the cars. There were some of us that had to leave that evening, so now was the time. We drove all eight cars through town and down the coast until we found a spot for a picture. We had no idea where we were going, so the locals had some entertainment as we drove down dead-end streets, turned around and drove back from whence we came. At last we found a spot for a photo and with the usual finesse, we somehow managed to park all eight cars in a cul-de-sac within 20 minutes without a collision, but it was close. Everyone had an opinion at this point, and it seemed best to ignore those. It was similar to a scene from the movie “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, world”. It was here; the last place we would all be together, that we had our club awards ceremony. As we stood with our cars overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it was quite an honor to be judged by your friends/ peers on something they truly know about.


    This was the photo we wanted on the coast
    More scenery in the background. This site was bland before we arrived
    Ramon, Ray, Rich, Dave, Rod, Joe, Mike and Mark
    I wish they all could be California grilles
    Guys havin’ fun
    Behind the scenes: Our group tries to decide what a “Big W” is
    We said our goodbyes, then 5 Min later we were here. (Hi again!)  This kind of parking we excelled at
    FGMCC Award Winners
    Best Stock Ramon 1971 Monte
    George Lines Best Modified Mike (Stick)1972 Monte
    Members’ Choice Mark (Wallaby) 1971 SS454


    See you at the 2006 Western Meet in Penticton, BC!
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