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  • 2006 Western Meet

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    Penticton, BC, Canada
    June 23-25, 2006
    Members Present: 10

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  • Members in Attendance
    (in order of year and color name)
    IMG_0386tn.jpg 1970 SS454 - Black Cherry, Black vinyl top, Black interior, 571 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Tim Oest of Oak Harbor, WA
    IMG_0383tn.jpg 1970 SS454 - Blue, Black vinyl top, Black interior, 454 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Dave Mau of Seattle, WA
    IMG_0388tn.jpg 1970 - Cream Yellow ('72 color), Black vinyl top, Black interior, 383 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Rod Marin of Norwalk, CA
    IMG_0382tn.jpg 1970 - Forest Green, Green Vinyl Top, Green Interior, 454 4-bbl, 700R4 automatic.
    Owned by Kevin Dyck of Edmonton, AB, Canada
    IMG_0380tn.jpg 1970 - Misty Turquoise, White vinyl top, Sandalwood interior, 350 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Aaron Dodsworth of Surrey, BC, Canada
    IMG_0381tn.jpg 1971 SS454 - Classic Copper, Sandalwood interior, 454 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Vaughn Peoples of Calgary, AB, Canada
    IMG_0385tn.jpg 1971 SS454 - Mulsanne Blue, Dark Blue interior, 454 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Mark Andrus of Sacramento, CA
    IMG_0387tn.jpg 1972 Custom - Brown, Black vinyl top, Saddle interior, 350 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Roy Bumjes of Calgary, AB, Canada
    IMG_0384tn.jpg 1972 - Spring Green, White vinyl top, Saddle interior, 402 4-bbl, automatic.
    Owned by Pat Trottier of Millet, AB, Canada

    Aaron's Thoughts about the 2006 Western Meet

    Things I learned:

    • I should never lead a cruise (I missed a turn).

    • "Car people" are always willing to lend a helping hand.

    • Temperatures in the mid-90s are a nice break for members from California.

    • Rod enjoys the company of "floozies."

    • I can actually dance... well, sort of.

    • Do not take snails through the US/Canada border.

    • We will spend an hour to arrange our cars for photos.

    • Pat does not have a spare key hidden on his car.

    • The FGMCC wives enjoy getting robbed by good looking cowboys... twice.

    • Dave Mau actually owns a Monte Carlo... and it's an SS too! (See 2004 Western meet).

    The 2006 Western Meet
    by Dave Mau


    “Penticton or Bust!” had kind of become my motto for going to the Western Meet this year, being as how my wife Janet (Mrs4Fifty4) and I had attended both the 2004 inaugural Western Meet and last year’s western “mini-meet” without my Monte Carlo.  This year I was able to spend some money on the car in order to get it trip-worthy, however, and I’m pleased to say that my goal of having the ol’ Monte carry us up to Penticton, B.C., Canada for this year’s Western Meet became a reality.

    With our kids delivered to Janet’s aunt & uncle for our long weekend away and the Monte’s trunk packed full, we left sunny Seattle on Thursday afternoon and made good time once we were north of a couple major western Washington cities.  We crossed the United States/Canada border at the town of Sumas, and a while later stopped in Hope, B.C. for a “last chance” gas fill-up.  Janet wanted to drive by that point in our journey, so when we got back into the car she took her turn behind the wheel.  She drove from there all the way to Summerland, which includes the long and desolate-but-beautiful stretch of B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway 5.  And what a stretch it is; there’s a reason why Hope is considered “last chance” before heading northeast on that route, let me tell you.  We saw several abandoned vehicles that had been left on the side of the road, and as I was riding shotgun in the passenger seat I found myself glancing over at that little fuel gauge every so often and thinking, “Exactly how much further is it until civilization?”  The orange-hued light of the setting sun shone onto the beautiful scenery all around and there were some spectacular views that made us feel as if we were the only lone travelers on top of the world.

    We made it to Summerland shortly after nightfall and the Monte’s dual exhaust system announced our arrival at the Heritage House Bed & Breakfast as we drove up the curving driveway.  Aaron (Canuck) and his father-in-law Mike (who along with his wife Lesley own and operate the B&B), came out to greet us and help with our luggage.  This year was the third time that Janet and I have stayed at the B&B, and it felt good to be among friends again.


    After greeting Aaron’s wife April, April’s mother Lesley and Kevin (Colonel) & Sandy on that sunny Friday morning, we all enjoyed an excellent breakfast before driving our three Montes to the Rosedale Motel to meet up with FGMCC members who were staying there.  As we pulled into the parking lot we saw quite a few first-gen Monte Carlos, and they all looked fabulous!  It was wonderful to see people again that we knew from prior get-togethers as well as meet others for the first time.  When we left from the Rosedale Motel we drove our eight Monte Carlos caravan-style from Summerland to Penticton, where we pulled into a parking lot near Okanagan Lake and those who hadn’t registered to be a part of the Peach City Beach Cruise 3-day event could do so.  There we met up with Rod (Mo’s 70 Mcs) and his wife Janet from Norwalk, California, which brought our total car count up to nine.  Many passer-bys (including the local law enforcement) took notice of all our Montes parked in the same area and gave us many positive comments.

    With our Peach City Beach Cruise and FGMCC goody bags along for the ride, we headed out on the event’s Poker Run.  This led us from one local winery to the next – where we would stop to check in, draw cards and sample wines if we so desired.  To see so many Monte Carlos invade the parking areas at each beautiful location was really something.  Somewhere along the way, though, we missed a turn or two as well as a couple of wineries and soon realized that a group consensus was in order; should we backtrack and complete the Poker Run or should we bag it and head to the Heritage House Bed & Breakfast for the FGMCC barbecue?  Sitting on the side of the road in the hot sun, the decision was made to forget completing the Poker Run and to head to the Heritage House.  After all, we were starting to get hungry.  We may not have completed the Poker Run, but at least the incompletion was a team effort.  All for one, and one for all!

    As we arrived at the Heritage House, we drove the cars one after another up the driveway which encircles the restored 1907 home, and proceeded to have our own car show.  It was fun being able to check out the Monte Carlos and enjoy the excellent barbecue lunch all at the same place.  This was also when members voted on cars for the club awards, and Aaron was even interviewed by a gal from the Summerland newspaper!  After a relaxing time of eating and visiting we had a head-to-head spark plug changing competition, which was a lot of fun both to participate in and observe.  A club member and his wife from Arizona (Russ & Freddie Ruck) stopped by for a while, and although they didn’t have their ’72 Monte Carlo with them they brought along photographs of it to share.  They were up for a family get-together and didn’t get to spend a lot of time with us, but it was nice that they were able to stop by and to meet them.

    Later that afternoon, Mark (Wallaby) found out that his ’71 SS454’s engine had a broken valve spring and he needed to find a replacement.  In the evening most of us were back in Penticton for the car show in the park, and a local 1971 Monte Carlo owner (who is not a club member) that we met at the show not only had a valve spring, but the tools to do the job!  He was extremely helpful, and even went home to get everything.  “Car people” can be some of the best you will ever meet, and Mark was genuinely touched by this man’s generosity.  Tim drove Mark back to the Rosedale Motel – and Mark’s car – and they were able to get the job done.


    Please click on the image to enlarge

    9:30 Friday morning. Ready for a weekend of fun (Dave, Janet, and April)
    8 Montes behind Aaron at the start of the wine cruise and poker run
    The first winery stop
    Parked at a winery
    Aaron, Roy, Janet and Dave
    Parked at a winery. We just couldn't resist this photo opportunity
    Looking across the lake from a winery in Naramata
    Parked on the side of the road to figure out what turn we missed
    Parked at the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast for the FGMCC show and BBQ
    Roy's 72 Custom
    Tim's 70 SS454
    Pat's 72

    Kevin's 70

    Aaron's 70

    Dave's 70 SS454

    Vaughn's 71 SS454
    Pat's big block
    Roy's 350 engine
    Tim's 571 engine made to look like a stock LS5

    Kevin's 454 engine

    Vaughn's 454 engine

    Mark's 454 engine. Hmmm, running on seven cylinders...
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    A sunny day, vintage cars and a historic home... it doesn't get much better than this.
    Club members relaxing at the afternoon BBQ

    The master chef. Michael and his wife, Lesley, run the bed and breakfast

    Spark plug changing: Mark and Kevin

    Spark plug changing: Dave and Vaughn

    Spark plug changing: Russ and Pat
    Spark plug changing: Roy and Tim
    Spark plug changing: Pat and Vaughn
    Spark plug changing: The final between Pat and Mark

    Pat Wins!

    Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Rod, Vaughn, Pat, Tim, Russ, Roy, Mark, Kevin, Dave, Aaron

    The full group photo

    The discovery of Mark's broken valve spring back at the motel

    In the park for the Friday evening car show
    In Rotary Park
    A couple of 71s at the show, non-members.
    Roy's 72 as the sun sets
    Small article in the Summerland Review newspaper
    Another article with the mention of the FGMCC from the week before the event


    Saturday morning we all met back in the park early, where we lined up the nine Montes together near the beach.  We also put up a canopy for shade, and fastened the club logo banner to it.  It all made for a great FGMCC display and we received a lot of attention and positive comments from show-goers.  A new member was signed up, and everyone had a great time – be it checking out the 400+ cars, visiting, or just generally taking it easy.  With temps in the mid to upper 90s (Fahrenheit, eh?) a lot of bottled water was consumed as well.  FGMCC awards were handed out in the afternoon, and when the actual cruise of the Peach City Beach Cruise event got under way around 4:00 PM, we soon joined in.  The route took us out of town and on some back country roads into desert-like areas, and man, was it ever hot.  Trouble ensued when the lower radiator hose blew off the water pump of Vaughn’s freshly restored ’71 SS454, but he pulled over quickly and between an additional hose clamp, filtered water that Kevin was carrying in his trunk and antifreeze that I had in mine his car was back on the road before too long.

    When we arrived at the highway back to Penticton (which wasn’t the cruise route), we decided to take it, cut the cruise short and head to the park.  Once again we were located on the grass near the beach, and before too long it was time for the event’s dinner – which was quite good.  After dinner we carefully orchestrated a better arrangement of the cars so that we could get some nice group photos in the early evening light.  Our little event attracted quite a number of onlookers, and many even took pictures for themselves.  Although we waited and searched for Pat, neither he nor his wife Jean was to be found.  We couldn’t move his car without the key, so unfortunately it wasn’t included in the new formation.  We did, however, take some humorous “Where’s Pat?” photos so that it wasn’t left out.  Later on some of us strolled around the vendors’ area and enjoyed ice cream cones before calling it a day and driving back to Summerland for the night.

    FGMCC Award Winners

    Members' Choice Vaughn Peoples - 1971 SS454
    George Lines Best Modified Roy Bumjes - 1972 Custom
    Long distance driver Rod Marin - 1,335 miles one way!
    Best Paint Vaughn Peoples - 1971 SS454
    Best Interior Rod Marin - 1970
    Best Engine Tim Oest - 1970 SS454
    Best Unfinished Dave Mau - 1970 SS454
    Best Stock Aaron Dodsworth - 1970
    Hard Luck Mark Andrus - Broken valve spring and separated tire
    Congratulations to you all!
    9 Montes along the beach of Okanogan Lake
    Setting up early on Saturday morning
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    The canopy and FGMCC banner
    Beach of Okanagan Lake
    Relaxing by the beach
    Ladies of the Knight. (L to R: April, Janet, Janet, Sandy)
    Aaron, Rod and Dave chat with the Peach City Beach Cruise director
    Hard Luck Award: Mark Andrus
    Mark receives a broken FGMCC stein... seems fitting for the hard luck award
    Long Distance Award: Rod Marin
    Best Interior Award: Rod Marin
    Best Engine Award: Tim Oest
    Best Paint Award: Vaughn Peoples
    Best Modified Award: Roy Bumjes
    Best Unfinished Award: Dave Mau
    Best Stock Award: Aaron Dodsworth. He tries his best to shake his own hand.
    Members Choice Award: Vaughn Peoples
    Getting ready for the cruise... cool photo (You can see club members up to 4 cars down)
    Cruising in our Montes
    Heading back to the beach
    Back in the park after the cruise
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    Where's Pat?
    We looked everywhere for a key to move his car into formation with the others
    Aaron's Monte as the sun sets on the lake


    Sunday morning after breakfast we said our goodbyes to Kevin & Sandy, and saw them off as they left the Heritage House.  We then went to Penticton for the show one last time, where some in our group were able to park near each other using the street’s back-in angle parking.  The event stage wasn’t all that far away, and after listening to a great Elvis tribute artist (and all-around great guy) perform gospel songs and inspirational hymns the way Elvis did, the Peach City Beach Cruise awards ceremony took place.  There were a lot of incredible cars on hand and those that received awards were very deserving of them.  One of the top winners was a beautiful dark burgundy & white ’57 Chevy Bel Air convertible that towed a matching speedboat – complete with its own tailfins and Bel Air-style aluminum trim.  They were impeccably-finished pieces of machinery. 

    Other members had headed for home (Tim & Gwen and Pat & Jean) too, but most of those who were staying on for another day went on the historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland that afternoon.  In addition to operating the Heritage House B&B, Aaron’s father-in-law Mike is a conductor on the historic steam train and he was able to get us a block of seats together in one of the open cars.  Having good airflow was quite welcome being as how it was so hot.  Once underway, Mike punched our tickets and a bit later he joined a banjo-playing entertainer as the two of them belted out their rendition of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” together. “Floozies” were along to pay special attention to the guys, and we were “robbed” by The Garnett Valley Gang, who rode up on horseback to the train with their guns firing.  It was a real Old West sight to behold, and any money that was “handed over” is donated to local charitable organizations.  The gals enjoyed donating to the handsome gunslingers – sometimes more than once!  When the train ride was finished we filled up at the open air barbecue dinner, which was included in the package.  In the evening many of us got together at the Rosedale Motel, where we sat around the outdoor swimming pool and enjoyed cold beverages as we visited until after dark.  There we said more goodbyes, as everyone was going to be homeward bound on Monday.


    L to R: Rod, Dave, Mark, Aaron, Vaughn
    The group in the open air car
    The conductor (Mike) and the banjo player
    The "floozies" aren't shy
    Aaron can dance?
    View of Okanagan Lake from the trestle bridge
    Garnet Valley gang coming to rob the train
    Rod enjoying the company of a "floozy"

    Going Home

    Monday morning arrived all too soon.  It would have been nice to sit around the breakfast table a good while longer, but we had to face reality and the fact that it was time to head for home.  When the Monte was packed and ready to go, we drove it from the back of the house down the driveway to the front, where we got out and said our goodbyes to Aaron, April, Mike & Lesley on the steps of that grand old front porch.  We had heartily enjoyed another great time of staying with them, and once again their hospitality had been second to none.  And not just to us, but to the whole Western Meet gang as well.  But our Western Meet experience wasn’t completely over yet.

    Rod & Janet’s time frame for heading back into Washington State coincided with ours, so we headed to Penticton to meet up with them at their motel.  After talking about our travel route and then fueling up the cars at a local gas station we headed out of town.  We were taking a different route home than the one we had traveled up on, and we crossed the Canada/United States border at the town of Osoyoos.  It was very hot as we idled in line while waiting to answer questions that the border crossing officer would throw at us.  But when the first question she asked me was, “Does this really have a 454 in it?” I had a feeling it wouldn’t be too bad – and it wasn’t.  She didn’t ask Rod if he was transporting snails in his trunk like the crossing officer at Blaine had asked him a few days before, either!  Snails?

    After we were back in Washington State we pulled off at a fruit stand, where the husband and wife owners admired our Monte Carlos and asked us a few questions about them.  As it turned out, they had vintage vehicles as well; a modified ’57 Chevy wagon and a ’59 T-Bird.  The fellow took a phone call, and when he hung up we found out that it had been a “car guy” friend of his on the other end of the line.  As it turned out, his friend had been up to the Peach City Beach Cruise and he had just passed by the fruit stand a couple of minutes prior and had noticed our Monte Carlos parked out front.  He remembered our cars from the show and called his friend (the fruit stand owner) in hopes of warning us about the road construction that lay ahead.  He didn’t want us to drive our “beautiful cars” through the fresh tar and gravel!  The couple then instructed us how to detour the construction area.  Wow!  Remember what I mentioned earlier about “car people”?  It had been really nice to meet this couple.  The cherries we bought from them were excellent, too, by the way.

    Road tripping in two Montes with Rod & Janet was a real pleasure; conversations, lunch, country highway views and spirited driving across the Cascade Mountains through the winding turns of Blewitt Pass – it was all good.  We traveled together from Penticton B.C. all the way to where I-90 meets up with Highway 18 out east of Seattle, Washington – where we pulled off onto a side road and said our goodbyes.  They were planning on making it down to Portland, Oregon that evening and I had my last glimpse of their southbound Cream Yellow ’70 as we entered the onramp of westbound I-90 for Seattle.

    The third annual FGMCC Western Meet had been another great success and is now a lot of great memories.  The weather cooperated by being sunny and dry, everyone who embarked on their journey arrived safely, and the problems that arose were addressed quickly and resolved in a timely manner.  Having so many first-gen Monte Carlos together is really something to see and the camaraderie of the club members is what truly makes the meets the special events that they are.  My hat’s off to Aaron for doing such an excellent job of putting everything together. Everyone had a great time, and now I can’t help but wonder…where will our classic Monte Carlos be carrying us to meet up next?

    - Dave

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