1966 TCMG / ARR Conclave
The 10th annual conclave was held in Carmel, California. If you have photos or information from this event, please contact us!
Images from the 1966 conclave
Known members in attendance with TCs (there were at least 22 TCs present)
Glen Binford and wife
Joe and Jean Douglass
Mike and Sharon Goodman
John King (and son)
Earl and Catherine Sargent
Scott (Possibly Robert and wife?)
Wimer (Presumably Doug and Ilene but could also be Gayne Wimer and spouse?)
Known members in attendance, unknown if with TCs
Jim and Norma Crandall
Clarence and Barbara Weiss
Floyd and Claydene Burt
Kip and Cecile Greene
John Edson and wife
The following originally appeared in the Winter 1966 TC Motoring Guild Quarterly.
The Tenth Annual Conclave by Richard Miura
The cool, predawn air was suddenly punctured by the roar of the 4 cylinder engines as one by one TCs began to arrive at “Tips.” The annual migration of the TCMG to the wilds of northern California was about to begin. Shivering on this cool morning in July were the Binfords, Douglasses, Goodmans, John King and his son, Dick Mazy, Sargents, Scotts, Wimers and yours truly. After some last minute pit stops and tire kicking the procession was let out of the parking lot by the Sargents. Once on the freeway, however, Earl let loose of all 1500ccs and what was advertised as a 55-60 mph tour turned into California’s version of the Targa Floria. In an effort to keep up I became the only casualty of the entire trip – a little matter of a fire under the dash going up the Grapevine. At this point the tour was joined by the Ashenfelter entourage – one TC, one Porsche and a ‘63 Chevy.
After a well needed breakfast stop at Taft, the trail boss, Joe “Go-Go” Douglass gave the order to “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out.” The next leg of the journey proved to be the highlight of the entire trip. The road from Taft to Coalinga was one which tested the handling qualities of the TC and the skill of its drivers. Actually, for those not fortunate enough to experience this driving thrill, you could have tied down the steering wheel, opened the slow running control and gone to sleep. They must have tied a string between Taft and Coalinga and paved underneath it. After a very necessary pause that refreshed us at Coalinga (it was getting quite warm by this time) the TC wagon train winded it way over San Lucas Pass to Highway 101. The run to Salinas was another trophy dash. Sharon Goodman even tried to lighten Mike’s TC by tossing out excess wardrobe.
The lunch at Anderson’s in Salinas was thoroughly enjoyed with the realization that we were near our goal. The drive to Carmel brought out the fact that northern Californians still recognize and appreciate fine machinery. We were waved at by everyone from Alfa sedans to dogfaces from nearby Fr. Ord riding in 2-bys. Upon arriving at Carmel what was up to this time an orderly procession of TCs soon disintegrated into mass confusion. The next few moments saw TCs scattering in all directions in search of their lodging. The veterans, of course, headed directly to their motels, while we first timers spent some time wandering through Carmel in search of our weekend abode.The Carmel Cottages contingent was greeted by Duane Carlson and Stan Tribbur, who had driven up earlier and Kip and Cecile Greene, who were on their way home from vacation. Also arriving at the same time was John Edson and his wife from the ARR. Kip was especially considerate offering us a well needed can of Budweiser. One point of interest at this time is that some exceptional mileages were recorded on the trip up. Some made the entire trip on just one can of Coors while others got even better mileage.
After getting settled and washing off the road grime, most of the group converged upon the motels where the TCMG contestants were staying and pitched in to prepare the jewels for the next day’s show. Dinner that evening was enjoyed at several places with one party heading for June Simpson’s , another for the Monterey Wharf and others sampling the gastronomic delights of the many other fine restaurants in the Carmel area.
The bid day started out in an overcast fashion, but soon blossomed out into perfect, made-to-order weather. For persons like myself, however, who were first timers, the impact of all those beautiful cars situated in an ideal setting was almost too much to comprehend. The concours has been adequately described on previous occasions, so it will suffice to say that everything mentioned about the show is true. However, this year was especially memorable in the fact that a separate class was devoted entirely to TCs and that 10 of the finest TCs in California were in repose on the Del Monte Lodge lawn.
Representing ARR were the yellow TCs of Dick Grayson, Mike DeSoto and Gert Jensen and Bill Camp’s green gem. Rounding out the northern contingent were a gun-metal model entered by Ed Pohle and Kennedy’s tan entry. The latter car was a feminine a TC as could be found and it appealed greatly to the ladies of the Guild. It’s color scheme could best be described as tan on beige on sand. It also drew some derisive comment when it was unloaded off it’s trailer in plain view of the rest of the contestants.
The Guild was ably represented by Earl Sargent, Mike Goodman, John King and Dick Mazy. With four cars representing four different colors, the Guild did not show any particular preference for one color (although one would dispute this if he attended a TCMG meeting). Perhaps it is fitting that ARR cars should be decked out in Abingdon yellow.
Last minute preparation was much in evidence as the judging was scheduled to begin. Mike Goodman had thrown in the towel earlier in the day, but Sharon persisted in some final wiping and detailing. Gert and Ann Jensen went right on polishing while the car next to them was being judged. The TC paddock became a very popular spot as people began to arrive in greater numbers. It is amazing how much interest TCs can generate even when shown with other great marques such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Bugatti.
Arriving on the scene after driving up the previous night were Jim and Norma Crandall, Clarence and Barbara Weiss and Floyd and Claydene Burt. They along with the rest of the TCMG and ARR group awaited anxiously as the judges tabulated the scores. When the results were announced, Sharon’s persistence paid off as Mike’s red beauty received the red ribbon for third place. ARR’s Bill Camp walked off with second place honors, while Ed Pohle’s gun-metal grey was declared the “best” TC in the show. This highly popular win gave further meaning to the old hot-rod adage, “If it doesn’t go – chrome it!”
Some interesting sidelights to the show were John King’s zipper on his fl y suffering a mechanical breakdown just before the judging was about to begin and Earl Sargent blowing an exhaust flange gasket right after the concours was over. Judge Frank Mason was inducted as an honorary member of the Rolls-Royce Club. Rumor has it that he deliberately worked his way in so that he could mount a square radiator on his TC.
The conclave portion of the weekend was held at the Mark Thomas in Monterey. An enjoyable cocktail hour was followed by an equally enjoyable dinner of filet mignon. Art Ellis of ARR and Duane Carlson of both TCMG and ARR were honored as having attended all ten conclaves. The business portion of the evening consisted of the TCMG evening the inter-club trophy for having the most TCs present and the selection of the location for next year’s conclave. Suggestions ranged from Carmel to Sequoia to Solvang or Santa Barbara. A TCMG move for Blackwell’s Corners was countered by ARR’s push for Firebaugh. Afterwards the party broke up to head for the local pubs in Monterey or back to their motels.
This year the traditional farewell breakfast at the Tuck Box was supplanted with a continental breakfast served by the host at Carmel Cottages. It was announced at this breakfast that Earl Sargent was the winner in the “My Favorite TC” poll. He received a beautiful set of wrenches for his efforts in maintaining his black beauty. After endless cups of coffee and tire kicking, the combined ARR-TCMG group retired to the street in back of the cottages for a truly memorable scene – 22 TCs all lined up, Le Mans style. The shutterbugs had a field day. Amid cries of, “See you next year,” the two clubs parted ways with TCMG heading down Highway 1 and home. A final picture taking stop at Point Lobos began the long journey home.
It was agreed by all hands that this conclave was the best ever. So now it’s ten down and only umpteen hundred more to go.