Imperial Events

2000 Imperial Gatherings

Southern California Imperial Owners General Business Meeting - December 10, 2000

The SCIO had a great event on December 10 at "THE BARN" restaurant & saloon, 14982 Red Hill Ave., Tustin CA 92780 (714-259-0115, on the corner of Red Hill & Edinger).

Members were on-site before 9:30 am, under the trees at this "authentically old" facility, right on a very active Amtrak line.  This was the viewing place for our Imperials and our Imperial owners were out with the cars for nearly two hours before we headed inside for the "$13.95 all you can eat" champagne brunch.  The food was very good and very varied!

Those who were there included Dick and Juanita Kretchmer ('62 Imperial), Nannette Clark ('92 Imperial), Dave and Billie Doty, Bob Schmitt and Dawn Saunders ('66 LeBaron), John Lloyd, Irv Axelrod ('63 Imperial), Jay Weinert ('56 Imperial), Brad McDonald ('64 Imperial),  June Reinhardt and guest Tony Medyn ('55 Imperial), David Cichelli ('54 Imperial), and Denis and Martha Lardner.

After brunch, we had our business meeting, during which all current club officers were re-elected.  We discussed the club merchandise, the upcoming Statewide meet and the next SCIO event - likely to be a tour of the J.B. Nethercutt Collection, (San Sylmar car museums) in February.

Our newsletter, Volume 1, No. 4, was mailed to all members and SCIO supporters (90+) on November 8.  The on-line version is on this web site also.  It includes new classified ads and photos.

Southern California: Imperial Tour to Riverside - November 12, 2000

John Brauniger sent a report: "I didn't feel very well this morning so I got on the road late and missed the March Museum stop. Anything interesting to report from those who went?

Glad most of you were able to make the trip to the Butler Brothers yard, including at least three who drove their Imperials (Norm, Dick, Alison). The weather turned out perfect. Took the full tour of the yard and had an interesting discussion regarding the difficulties of staying in the junk yard business with zoning and environmental regulations and suburban sprawl.

Picked up a couple of (hopefully airtight) 15" Imperial wheels and a trim piece."

And Dave Doty (SCIO president) also sent a note: "Today we went to March AFB and right into the cockpit of a B-52 bomber, plus all the other planes and attractions. Then off to L&R for a kind of a self guided tour of what was left of a couple hand fulls of Imperials and a few miscellaneous Mopars. Well, I sure had a good time! I talked to Dennis Lardner, Ted Huntzinger & Susan, John Brauninger, Allison Ikeler & her family, Dick Benjamin and Norm Silverman. I believe that was all!

By the way, if you need a spare 413, 440 or 354 Hemi I believe L&R has one already pulled."

And the original announcement from John Brauninger:

I've set up a tour of the L&R yard for next Sunday, November 12 at 1PM. You will get a chance to meet the Lawrence and Rodney Butler, get acquainted with their operation, walk the yard, check out the cars and the parts, etc. If you need a part, you might want to call ahead so they can have it ready for pick up: the number is 909-940-9281. They are located at 5008 Patterson Ave, Perris CA. That's east of the 215 freeway (exit Oleander) just south of March Air Force Base. From Oleander, go North on Patterson about a 1/4 mile or thereabouts to the yard (it's on the left side if you are heading North).

March Field is open from 9am - 4pm on the 12th and many of the four dozen or so planes on display will be open. (It's "Open Aircraft Days" at the March Field Museum. This is the only time of the year when you can get into the many planes on display including the awesome B-52 and I wish the SR-71 Blackbird!)  I tried to set up a group tour for Sunday but this is a busy weekend at the Base due to all the special events (Saturday is Veteran's Day) so the museum doesn't have staff available to support group tours and set-aside parking areas on either Saturday or Sunday. Entry fee is $10 per car load instead of the normal $5 per head and several food vendors will be at the museum, in addition to the usual hot dog stand. I'll be there in the morning around 9 am, most likely driving my white '63 Crown. The March Air Field Museum is located just off of the 215 at the Van Buren Blvd exit. If anyone is interested, please email me"

Chrysler & Imperial Fall Tour, October 13-15, 2000

The Northern & Imperial Owners of Sacramento Valley clubs, with the DeSoto Owners and the California Chrysler Products clubs, will have a "Chrysler & Imperial Fall Tour", along the Northern Sierra Highway 49-89-20, a "Scenic Loop Tour". This will be October 13 - 15. Contact either of these Imperial clubs for more information.

This sounds like a really great event and certainly unique for anyone who wants to see a bunch of Imperials rolling through sports-car territory! Join one of the California Imperial Clubs!

Talon Meet, Fort Worth, Texas - October 7, 2000

Travis reported:

"We had 9 cars including my '73, a '72 Imperial, a '67 Imperial 4 dr, a '67 Imperial coupe, a '71 Newport, a '69 Lincoln Continental and a '79 Lincoln Collectors, a Saab and a Porsche. It was a cold, rainy day but we still went  to 2 wrecking yards, lunch at the drive-in and a rest stop at Cracker Barrels."

and Tim Klein wrote:

"Big thanks to Travis Chapin for organizing the TALON Imperial meet last weekend! That was the most fun I've had in a long time. It was great to meet such a varied and interesting bunch of folks. If that group is representative of Imperial owners at large, then we certainly are a heterogeneous lot!

Also, it was immensely valuable to have other Imp owners take a look at my particular beast and tell me what's right and what's wrong with it. I was lucky that I had to drive only about 70 miles, but even if it had been much longer, I'd've thought it was well worth it.

Most embarrassing moment: The whole convoy, on its way to CTC Auto Ranch, pulled off the highway when my headlights somehow malfunctioned and started flashing, causing poor Marc Wohlbier in front of me to think I was signaling him about parts falling off his car or something. Oops, sorry, they never did that before... :-\

I tried to get photos of all of the cars and people there, but camera problems and dark rainy skies left me with only four good shots. Go to this URL, then follow the "slide show" link.

Apologies to those whose cars and/or smiling faces didn't get immortalized on film. If anyone else took photos and has some to contribute, please email them to me and I'll add them.

When I was there, I learned everyone's name, but then forgot most of them by the time I was ready to caption the photos, sorry. Please send me corrections and updates..."

Original announcement:

THE TALON MEET HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM SEPTEMBER 16 TO OCTOBER 7 because the wrecking yard will not be open on the 16th and it will be too hot in September, as I have been reminded. The event will include Imperial, Lincoln, Studebaker and Packard clubs, so we should have a nice turnout.

On Saturday October 7, plan to arrive between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. at the dirt track parking lot, at the Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.  At approximately 9:45, we will leave the Speedway and drive to CTC Auto Ranch in Sanger, Texas. We will arrive at Auto Ranch at approximately 10:30. We will explore the yard as desired until closing at 1:00 or earlier if we are done. At approximately 1:00, we will leave the Auto Ranch to go to Frosty's Drive-In or Sonic's in Denton, Texas.  At the drive-in, we will eat and let the townspeople of Denton view the cars. After this lunch, we will have our show.

We may have awards for best of show for each class  - Imperial, Lincoln, Studebaker and Packard. This depends on whether or not I receive donations to have plaques made, as the show free for all entrants and the public. I hope to see you there - it should be a fun event!

Travis Chapin

Packard & Imperial Meet in Anniston, AL - October 7, 2000

Kerry Pinkerton has a report and photos on the Imperial Club web site.  In part:

"The bi-annual gathering of the Packard's and Imperials (and other neat old cars) was held at the Victoria Country Inn in Anniston, Alabama October 7 & 8. This event began as the Birmingham Packard club getting together in an informal setting and evolved into a meet held twice a year. A few meets ago, they invited interested Imperial owners to join them. This is an incredible venue and is different from anything I have been a part of. Donald Taccone and Jeff Carrothers host the event. There is no judging and no trophies. There is no whispering and pointing at the flaws in someone's car. There is no bias and no prejudice. About 20 cars attended about evenly mixed between Packard and Imperial..." 

Robert Soule earlier wrote:

"Just wanted to remind folks about the Packard & Imperial Meet on Saturday and Sunday October 7th and 8th, in Anniston, Alabama. The Alabama Packard Club has invited all Southern Imperial Owners to Anniston for the weekend of October 7th and 8th. The meet will be held at the Victoria. Please contact Donald Taccone at 1-800-801-1956, 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday or by email at

I have posted pictures of last year's event online

The deadline for rooms is September 15th. 

My wife and I will be there with either our 1968 LeBaron or our 1964 Crown, on Friday (late), Saturday and Sunday. I hope a few other Imperial owners will not miss this opportunity get their cars out and meet with some like-minded car collectors. You can also contact Jeff Carrothers at if you have any questions."

Jeff Carrothers sent the following:

"We currently have 25 Hotel Rooms reserved for the October 6, 7, and 8 meet at the Victoria Hotel in Anniston, AL. We may be able to reserve more if needed, but the time to do so is now. The rooms are 65.00 per night. I will be there Friday evening, as will Robert Soule, Donald Taccone, and some others. We welcome anyone that would like to drive down on Saturday. We will all have dinner together at the hotel restaurant Saturday night. Elijah Scott will be attending, and hopefully some other IML members from the Atlanta area.

Please call Donald Taccone (phone number and email above) to reserve your room, and let him know if you are intending on bringing a car. We are expecting a large turnout for the fall meet!"

Happy Motoring!

Southern California Imperial Picnic, Laguna Niguel Regional Park - September 30, 2000

The Southern California Imperial Owners Inc. (SCIO) had a fall picnic on Saturday, September 30, 2000.  It was at Laguna Niguel Regional Park, on La Paz Road just a few miles south of Interstate 5.  14 Imperials and their owners, passengers and guests graced the park.  We got started at 10 a.m. and, as promised, kept the charcoal going until 2 p.m.!

Our reserved pavilion had grills, water & electricity (!) and there was great parking for our cars.  The SCIO provided charcoal, condiments and three "surprise" desserts.  One informal "tech session" was conducted by Dick Benjamin, as he diagnosed an air leak on Gary Low's '68 carburetor.   Everyone had shined up their Imperial, packed favorite picnic makings and shared stories for a great Imperial event!

Details and a map were in the current SCIO Newsletter (Volume 1, No. 3), mailed to members in mid-August.  This issue included photos from our Vista event in June and a full roster of all members (the roster does not appear in the "on-line" version).  The newsletter is also accepting want ads from SCIO members.  Placement is free!  If you are not a member, your ad of 25 words or less will be accepted on a space available basis for a small fee.  Contact the editor.  

The SCIO membership count is now 79; we believe this is now the largest paid-member Imperial Club.  Join an Imperial Club to support these great cars!  New members and Imperial fans are always welcome!

Southern California Imperial Event, Vista - June 25, 2000

The Southern California Imperial Owners Inc. (SCIO) had a nice event on  June 25, 2000 at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista, CA (Phone: 760-941-1791). Full announcement details are on page 3 of the SCIO May Newsletter (Volume 1, No. 2).  This on-line version now includes photos from our SCIO March event at the Palm Springs Air Museum and the Robert Pond car collection.

2nd Annual Midwest Imperial - June 10-11, 2000

The Imperial Club has a report from Mike Trettin and photos of the Midwest Imperial meet.  This was the announcement:

Where: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

What: We meet for lunch on June 10.

Tour Duffy's Collectible Car Museum/Sales

Driving tour of a neighborhood of Lusterlon Homes.

Evening trip to Cedar Rock. Cedar Rock is in nearby Quasqueton, Iowa. This is a museum home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. In celebration of Cedar Rock's 50th year, a special program is planned, including music, tours of areas not generally open to the public, and a candlelight tour of the home itself. The tour is FREE.

Sunday morning, June 11, we will indulge in our Imperial fantasies and invade the small town car show in Washington, Iowa to display our Imperials en masse! The Washington show features car displays around their picturesque town square. Our Imperials will make a fitting addition!

Let's see how many Imperials of each year we can assemble! Don't miss this once in a lifetime chance to be at a car show that has more than one Imperial (yours) on display!

Wayne Jorgenson

17th Annual Imperial Statewide Meet, 2000

The location for the 2000 meet was Modesto, CA, original home of George Lucas and "American Graffiti". This annual meet is traditionally held on the first weekend of May, and this year the dates were May 5 - 7.  The Imperial car show was May 6 and the host club was Imperial Owners Association of Sacramento Valley.   Here is an early report!

The events included an Imperial caravan to the Hershey Chocolate Visitor Center and Factory in Oakdale, a poolside reception on Friday, the Imperial car show and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sunday morning brunch and another Imperial caravan to the Hilmar Cheese Factory. 

Join one of the California clubs listed below to receive detailed reports AND support these groups which put this great event on every year! Hope to see you all next year in Solvang!

4th Southern Imperial Meet - May 20, 2000

Elijah Scott ( announced this year's Southern IML Meet in Atlanta,  Saturday, 20 May 2000.  It was to be the fourth meet that has been organized in Atlanta. The  meet is NOT be a formal or judged show, but rather a gathering of Imperials, their owners, and anyone (with or without an Imperial!) who enjoys these cars! All Imperials were welcome to share experiences, information, knowledge, and the general enjoyment of the Imperial experience. This meet was a GREAT chance to meet fellow IML'ers and the cars that you read about each day.  Elijah's announcement of the availability of videos (and the meet) is here.

First Annual Pacific North West Imperial Gathering in Florence, Oregon - May 20, 2000

This was the announcement for this event:

What: The Rhododendron Festival.  This includes a Harley Ride-in and Show, Carnival, Rhody show, Arts and Crafts Show, RCM planes, numerous other events.  Also the "Show and Shine" car show and Cruise (Emporium parking lot).  Sunday Morning is the Grand Floral Parade, which lasts about 2 hours.  Please come spend the weekend on the coast, May 19-21!

Where: Florence, Oregon on the Central Oregon Coast, due west of Eugene

Why: Because it's too far to drive to Atlanta, Iowa, or California and we'd all like to share our Imperials also.

Who: Everyone is invited, with or with out an Imperial!  Bring an Imperial, a lesser Mopar, or whatever.  Just come have fun and meet up with those of us who will be Imperialing it! The California crowd has the Statewide Meet, so let's make Rhody Fest our big gathering!!!

The car show starts at 10:00 am on Saturday morning.  There is free registration from 8:00am to 10:00. There are many categories, including works in progress!

Leslie suggests coming down Friday night and leaving Sunday after the parade, "If there's enough interest, we'll all get together for dinner at our 50's cafe, Bliss's Route 101, on Friday night which features some interesting and unique automobilia! Saturday, we'll do the car show and cruise with a Barbecue at the Beach afterwards!! This is a great family town, and I live right on the beach so bring the whole family and enjoy!"

Contact Leslie at, or at work, 541-997-9255, with questions or for more information or to help!  Or check the web site  for more details on lodging, events, etc.

Southern California Imperial Palm Springs Event - March 25, 2000

The Southern California Imperial Owners, Inc. gathering on March 25, 2000, including a meeting and tour to Mr. Robert Pond's car collection, was absolutely great!  We had a bunch of Imperials in the Museum driveway and nearly 40 club members and guests.

The event started at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  After guided tours of the aircraft and displays, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the hangar "food court" and a short business meeting. We caravanned to visit the large private car collection of Mr. Pond at his "Pond de Rose" estate.  About 10 Imperials met at the Air Museum at 11 a.m.   Here is further information. More details and photos are in the SCIO June 2000 newsletter.

The February 2000 newsletter of the Southern California Imperial Owners, Inc. includes news of this event and our newly-revised by-laws, which are to be approved at this meeting.  See the section below for information about joining the SCIO club.

1999 Imperial Gatherings

The Southern California Imperial Owners, Inc. had a great meet on December 5, 1999 at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, San Pedro.  I counted 15 Imperials in the parking lot at one point, so thanks to all for making the drive and sharing your car and stories with all of us. There will be more reports on the meet later, but one story about a "cosmic coincidence" deserves breaking-news status.

About 10:45 a.m., after a little socializing in the parking lot around the Imperials, some owners were heading to the museum to tour there, some were still in the parking lot, but I noticed a few had drifted over towards the firehouse, on the other side of the lot and were clustering around a white car. A closer look revealed the 1956 Imperial Parade Phaeton, owned by the City of Los Angeles! What the heck was it doing in San Pedro?

The amazing story, as told by two of the firemen, was that it had been brought to the firehouse to be used by a city dignitary later in the day to ride in the San Pedro Christmas Parade later in the day. They had noticed all the Imperials in the lot, so pushed it out a little early for their "entry" in our "show".

I went back to the museum to spread the word and when I got back to the Imperial, a few club members were posing with the car. Vernon Ikeler took some great photos.  One or two of the old collectors were still in a state of joyful shock, never expecting to be so close to this "crown jewel" of Imperials.  A half-hour later, this Imp was on the way to the parade (what else could be more appropriate?), but many of us were left with great memories of this unexpected Imperial treat.

So the next time we issue an invitation to an event, think twice about missing it - maybe you'll miss more good karma!

For the record, this Parade Phaeton is now white with a white interior.  A list of all who came and details of the club meeting are posted at:

Final 1999 Imperial Owners Event and Business Meeting

On May 1, 1999, Visalia, California was the site of the statewide Imperial owners meet , where you could have seen the largest gathering of Imperials in the known universe this year!  Two other Imperial meets were held on this day also.  A report on the May 1 Nebraska and Southern meets (Atlanta), and reports and details of the California meet (and an old entry form), are at:

1999 California Statewide Owners, Nebraska and Southern IML Meets

Last update: 1/10/2001

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