Allante Atlanta Members wowed by Cadillac Allante’ XLR Club Grand National Meet
October 14 – 18, 2015
If you joined us for the Grand National's this year you know it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Allante’ Atlanta Car Club met on Wednesday, October 14th at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant at intersection of GA 20 and I-75 North. Nine AACC members and one Tampa FL club member caravanned from the Cartersville area to Nashville, stopping for lunch at the Smokehouse in Mont Eagle, TN.
After a delicious buffet lunch and some shopping for souvenirs and gifts, we got back on the road headed to Nashville and the Grand National. Now it’s appropriate at this time to mention that the Penfields drove both their Pearl Red Allante’ and Linda’s 2006 Silver XLR. Next in the caravan was Bill Corn in his 93 Polo Green; Bill and Cathy Winkler in their Pearl Red 93 Pace Car; Sal and Colene Caravello were in their 93 Teal Allante’; Barry and Vicki Murante in their beautiful 92 Burgundy Metallic Allante’, with the Vopelaks completing the lineup in their 2006 Infrared XLR. Norman Penfield in his 93 Pearl Red Allante’ led the charge to Nashville where we met another AACC member, John and Beth Nash.
At arrival and check-in at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, we met and talked with other Allante’ owners who arrived earlier. Naturally, the AACC guys hit the parking lot to check out early competition, kick tires and generally do what men do in a parking lot of beautiful Allante’s. The ladies unpacked and then started visiting in the Lobby with other Allante’ and XLR ladies.
The hotel lobby was our primary meeting and greeting place as more Allante’ owners arrived and checked in. We greeted friends from other national meets; met new Allante’ friends, and generally asked, “what year is your Allante’?”
After the meet and greet in the lobby, we headed upstairs for the traditional 5 pm AACC Social, chaired by the Prez himself, Norman Penfield. Norman had the cosmos ready, the martinis shaking, and the bar set up for his precision bartending. After our usual laughter, tales of whatever and discussion of plans, we boarded the hotel shuttle at 7:15 pm for transport to our first Nashville fine restaurant, the Watermark. We dined with two large tables of 13 current and new Allante’ friends. The Lobster Bouillabaisse was delicious and very hearty as were the steaks and other yummy entrees. We returned via the hotel shuttle and other transportation to the hotel for our first night of rest having a 7 am wakeup call.
Thursday was the day for a large caravan of Allante’s to the Corvette Assembly Plant and Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Assembly Plant tour was outstanding. The Corvettes being built were awesome and the processes were truly impressive. We especially liked seeing a lucky Corvette customer building his personal performance engine (with the help of a Corvette supervisor) in a glass enclosed room. We were told that customer privilege cost a mere $5,000. The Assembly Plant tour lasted about an hour and a half after which we drove our Allante’s and two XLRs across the street to the National Corvette Museum for a box lunch, personal museum greeting and tour of the beautiful museum. We visited the area of the sinkhole under the dome that claimed eight Corvettes of which 3 are or have been restored. The museum left the remains of the Corvettes on display; and truth be told there was some weeping in the vicinity.
Dinner Thursday night was at the Hermitage Hotel’s Capitol Grille enjoyed by another two tables of Allante’ owners. The dining room is breathtaking. Everywhere you looked—beautiful details, quiet opulence and superb service. The food was excellent and enjoyable company. Friday was a nice day with a few hours of relaxing activity for the girls before we went tosee the Opry Mills at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Yeehaw!! Of course the guys joined us only for the drive there. They parked themselves at the Food Court while the ladies hit the stores. It’s amazing what you can find in just a couple of hours before lunch.
We returned to the hotel, changed clothes for dinner that night and called Uber for transport to the Music City Rollin’ Jamboree Bus Tour at 4:30 pm. What a hoot the bus tour was. The two gals and guys were funny, sang some great country music songs and offered a lot of fun history about Nashville and some of its more famous stars. Naturally, the gals added to the entertainment by selecting current Allante’ folks for some teasing and roasting. You wouldn’t recognize who they were by their new names—Mary Kay from Georgia and T.S. McKee from New Jersey. We also had a stop at the 100+ year old maker of the finest sweets in the world—Goo Goo Clusters!!! The place was mobbed with folks buying bags of “little Goo Goos” and packs of Goo Goo Clusters. The Goo Goo line has been expanded to include “peanut butter Goo Goos” and “coconut Goo Goos”….all delightful and well, gooey. Oh by the way, the Johnny Cash Museum was across the street but we were time limited until another trip to Nashville.
Saturday was the big day!!!!!! Guys were up early, having cars washed and detailing their beauties. The day was sunny so the glare from all that waxed and polished paint and chrome was blinding. But promptly at 9:30 am we headed for the General Jackson Showboat at the Gaylord Opryland Resort for our car show, lunch and paddle-boat tour on the Cumberland River. It was truly amazing to see all the Allante’s and the three XLRs one of which was an XLR V…..a black beast in a bevy of beauties.
We had 45 cars on display in the parking lot of the Opry Mills and there was a lot of foot traffic around the cars while the cars were being judged by their peers. It was honestly a spectacular sight. While we were on the General Jackson enjoying the Nashville Live entertainment and delicious lunch, we heard from “Gizmo” (owner of the black XLR V) that the Opry Mills folks were not happy with us about taking too much parking space. Therefore after disembarking the General Jackson, we quickly started our cars, and drove back to the hotel to continue our car show. So we had a glorious finish to the show.
Saturday evening—the Awards Banquet…….the tension in the room was high, the cash bar was being overrun by the attendees and the food was being served to calm the nerves. Dinner was delicious and plentiful. John delayed the awards by thanking Sal and Colene Caravello and others (rightfully so) for their hard work on the beautiful and very well done Keepsake Booklet for the Grand National. After a couple of drawings for some door prizes and other preliminary awards, the moments finally came.
The Kogge Award (the most prestigious award given for an Original Allante’) was announced. Fred Koontz of Pasadena Maryland for his 1993 Teal Allante’. Norman Penfield, President of AACC presented the award. Ken Kogge would have been proud to see this beauty.
Let’s note that three members of the Allante’ Atlanta Car Club (AACC) won Best Allante’ in their class with the fourth member winning BEST OF SHOW. Congratulations to all winners for their fine Allante’s. We are proud of our four members for their awards. Well done!
And, although not an award for an Allante’, it is important to realize that through the generosity of Allante’ and XLR owners purchasing door prize tickets, contributing sponsors to the Keepsake Booklet and other purchases, the Cadillac Allante’ XLR Club is contributing $750.00 to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Charity.
Very well done Allante’ and XLR family! See you soon!
The Kogge Award 93 Allante’(Teal)
Fred Koontz of Pasadena Maryland
The Best 87 Allante’ (Pearl White)
Dean and Dan Fuson of Taylorsville, KY
The Best 89 Allante’ (Bright Red)
Mike Hugyo of Waterford, CT
The Best 90 Allante’ (Bright Red)
Sam and Judy Demme of Lebanon, TN
The Best 91 Allante’ (Pearl White)
John and Marlene Sandor of Rocky River, OH
The Best 92 Allante’ (Burgundy Metallic)
Barry and Vicki Murante of Tampa, FL
The Best 93 Allante’ (Teal)
Sal and Colene Caravello of Conway, SC
The Best 93 Allante’ Modified (Polo Green)
Bill Corn of Duluth, GA
The People’s Choice (93 Pearl Flax)
John and Beth Nash of Summerfield, NC
The 25th Anniversary Award
Sam and Judy Demme of Lebanon, TN
The Best XLR (06 Black XLR V)
Marvin (Gizmo) Carroll of St. Louis, MO
BEST OF SHOW AWARD (1993 Pearl Red)
Bill and Kathy Winkler of Sarasota, FL