Take a Ride through the Cadillac Years

FAREWELL TO A ROMEO CAR COUPLE - and some advice for our members
The
tailfin
Issue 26 • March 2015
www.peachstateclc.com
Take a Ride through the Cadillac Years
PG. 8
ATLANTA STEEPLECHASE DETAILS
PG. 27
OUR ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF RECAP
PG. 19
THE TAILFIN is a publication of Peach State CLC, a region of the Cadillac and LaSalle Club, Inc., and is distributed to its members.
Prerequisite for membership in Peach State CLC is current or pending membership in the national club. Member costs are $25 a year for
Peach State CLC. The CLC, Inc. dues categories may be found at: http;//www.cadillaclasalleclub.org/
Contents
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
We’re excited that our Peach State website has been honored with a regional
Merit Award! Check out our site at:
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Valentine’s Day at Château Élan
6
Easter Parade
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Cadillac Career: 50’s - 80’s
http://peachstateclc.com/
President
Doug Bailey
770-992-8394 H
[email protected]
[email protected]
Vice President
Kevin Garrison
706-207-1550
[email protected]
Corresponding Secretary
Sandy Barth
770-663-8327 H
770-630-2417 C
[email protected]
Membership Director
Cecil “Buster” Miller
706-517-0601 H
706-264-9558 W
[email protected]
Treasurer
Michelle Anderson
706-537-9999 H
[email protected]
Activities Directors
Tom and Linda Di Nucci
678-880-4345 H
770-479-9328 C
[email protected]
March 2015
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Love flowed all over Braselton, GA when
our cruisin’ Cadillacs arrived! For those
of you who missed the fabulous love-fest
and food-galore, check out these details.
Our annual joy ride to Avondale Estates
is April 5th. Join other club members
for this happy occasion and remember
to bring some wrapped candies for the
little ones on the parade route.
Take a ride with Cadillac electrical
engineer, Wally Barth, through the
eyes of his daughter, Sandy. An inside
look at what it was like to work (and be
raised) in and around Cadillacs.
Chili Cook-off Recap at
Dick Peden’s place
Get all the mouth-watering
details of winners and runners-up at
our annual chili cook-off! Great cars,
great friends, great times!
Communications Director
Annette Benneche
[email protected]
National Board Director
Martina Butler
[email protected]
TAILFIN Editor
Sandy Barth
[email protected]
Webmaster
Lewis Schwartz
[email protected]
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March 2015
Marilyn Monroe with her 1954 Cadillac Converible.
Calendar
Upcoming Calendar MARK THESE DATES then stay tuned for the specifics!
March 21 Georgia Old Federal Highway - 1 Day Tour: Trail of Tears
(Gainesville to Chatsworth, then lunch at a local dive)
March 29 Cadillac Clinic at Winchell’s Shop
April 5
Avondale Estates Easter Parade
April 18
50th Annual Atlanta Steeplechase (Kingston, GA)
April 18-19 ATL Motorama at Atlanta Motor Speedway
April 25
Steam Day Brass Car & Packard Collection (Canton)
May 1-2
BOPC hosted by the Dixie Buick Club (Marietta)
May 17 Concours warmup event and cruise-in at Chukkar Farms (north Fulton)
May 22-24
Spring Driving Tour - Columbus, GA (3 days/2 nites)
June 24 - 27 Grand Nationals (Racine, WA)
June - TBD
Streetside Classics (Lithia Springs)
June - TBD
Cofer Collection? (Tucker)
June - TBD
Josh Mills Shop? (Marietta)
July 4
Roswell Manor on the Squre Cruise-in Cookout
August 11-15 FALL CLC NATIONAL DRIVING TOUR:
Southeast Michigan
CRUISE-INS: Don’t miss these cruise-ins, because we will be there and we
need YOUR presence as a show of force!
Downtown Canton 1st Friday
Piedmont Church 1st Saturday
Galaxy Diner 1st Saturday
Tucker
2nd Saturday
Cumming 2nd Saturday
Canton Riverstone
Cartersville Woodstock Acworth 3rd Sat PM
4th Saturday
4th Saturday
5th Saturday
Membership in the national club is
required. The Cadillac & LaSalle Club pays
for insurance to cover regions like ours
during sanctioned events. CLC also offers
one of the best glossy monthly
collector auto magazines anywhere,
The Self Starter.
CLC provides an online forum for parts
searches and technical support. And
membership is required if you ever want to
join us for a Grand National in various parts
of the U.S. Dues for the national club are
$55.00 per year through December 2015 for
first class mailings of The Self Starter.
This first-class fee also gets you immediate
access to the online version of the magazine
if you live within the U.S. (You can receive
the second class mailing of The Self Starter
for $40.00 per year, but without internet
access; it will arrive a few days later. This is a
popular option, unless you need immediate
access to those parts and auto sale listings!)
Please visit http://store.cadillaclasalleclub.
org/category_s/1819.htm for an
immediate on-line application using VISA,
MC, Discover or PayPal. Or, you can print
and send a paper application to:
Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 360835
Columbus, Ohio 43236-0835
Please advise Buster Miller, Peach State
CLC Membership Director, as soon as you
receive your new CLC member number!
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March 2015
PSCLC Valentine’s Day Luncheon Recap
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2015
Most of us arrived
in style with their
classic Cadillac’s
and one 1962(?)
Oldsmobile
Tornado driven
by Forrest Ward.
We all gather just
before noon and
awaited to be
seated for our
luncheon. Lunch
was served buffet-style. Choices included soup,
salads, 3 main courses of beef, chicken and fish
— and let’s not forget the large variety of desserts. We spent nearly 1-½ hours eating lunch.
Just before 2:00 pm, 10 of us gathered to head
for the Panoz Race & Sport Car collection just
a short drive from Château Elan’s. A few of the
woman — Mary Jean, Carol and Annette
headed off to the spa.
We arrived at our
designated meeting
time to meet with
John Leverett VP
Sales and Marketing
for Panoz. John gave
us a private detailed
tour. He explained
customer ordering
and manufacturing
process of their
custom made
automobiles, right down to each mechanic
autographing thir name on to a aluminum
plate attached under the hood of each car
along with custom-fitted steering wheel and
a real unique feature of having not one but
two accesses to fill your gas tank— one on
each side. Not bad for cars costing upward of
$250,000 plus!
Valentine’s Day Lunch Attendees:
Mark & Carol McDermott
Annette & Ron Benenche
Sandy Barth & Steve Lavender
Di Nucci & Guest
Paula & Russ VopelakKaren & Vince Haaland
Lee & MJ Dunn
Marty & --- Comstock
Mary & Bill Green
Bea & Charles Solomon
Linda & Norm Penfield
Eija & David Trees*
Forrest & Maria Ward
Dottie & Ray Diodati
*We’d like to give a special welcome to Eija & David Trees who are new members and this is
their FIRST get together with the Peach State CLC. Hope we made a good impression!
Mark & Carol McDermott and Annette & Ron Beneche took the Wine Tour.
Panoz Tour participants included: David & Eija Trees, Lee Dunn, Mark Mc Dermott,
Tom Di Nucci, Carlos Izaguirre, Charles & Bea Solomon, Forrest & Maria Ward and Ron Benenche.
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February 2015
PSCLC Valentine’s Day Luncheon - Château Élan
(continued)
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March 2015
Easter Parade
Antique Automobiles • Avondale Estates, GA
Sunday Afternoon April 5
Get out your Easter attire or clothes that match your auto’s period (optional) and drive
in the 17th Annual Easter Parade through Avondale Estates. It’s for motor vehicles only.
We will assemble at the Twin Oaks Shopping Plaza, 2853 East College Avenue,
Avondale Estates, GA, 30032 at about 1:30 PM. The parade will start promptly at
2:30 PM. The Avondale Estates Police Department will lead us through the
residential areas. It is acceptable to carefully throw wrapped candy to the kids.
The parade will end at Willis Park where light refreshments will be provided by the
Southeastern Antique Automobile Club of America. Area residents are invited to join us
at the park for a closer look. There will be forty or more cars from the AACA,
Model A Restorers Club, Early Ford V-8 Club, Cadillac Club, and more! The Avondale
Estates Homeowners Association is very supportive of this parade.
It’s in their newsletter, and it’s on their website.
Please wear your name badge and introduce yourself.
We look forward to seeing you!
Lamar Hart, Easter Parade Chairman
[email protected] 770 496 9928
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March 2015
LETTERS FROM CUBA
Part Deux
Jay Friedman on Cuba’s Cars:
And, a Quick Note from Doug:
Doug,
Folks,
Saw your comment on American cars in Cuba in
the TAILFIN. I don’t think the group of cars you saw
in the photo were staged for the camera. Elaine
and I were in Havana for several days in 2006
and we saw them everywhere. In fact, I wrote an
article on them that appeared in the Nov.-Dec. ‘06
Self Starter. As I wrote in the article, there are lots
of them that are permanently parked and some
that you might call the walking wounded, but many
were in fine shape and running well. I roughly
estimated that about 15-20% of all cars riding
down the streets of Havana were old American
iron. Those you see in large groups are usually
taxis that are parked in areas where they gather
to pick up tourists. Though the marque we saw
the most seemed to be 1950s Chevys, at one point
I came across a ‘51 Cadillac convertible parked in
back of our hotel and had a chat with the owner.
He showed me its original engine which he said
ran nicely and that the Hydramatic shifted well.
However, it did have a Russian alternator
and carburetor.
Jay sent me a copy of his Self Starter article from
2006. In it he noted a ’53 Cadillac convertible with
a ’48 or ’49 windshield, and another perhaps a ’50
Cadillac taxi passing a row of Volgas, Trabants
and Moskvitches… Jay asked which would be
more appealing, a newer piece of Communist
“iron curtain iron,” or an old, roomy Cadillac?
Jay also offered us American Cadillac owners
some sage wisdom: Remarking on the work it took
the Cuban owner to keep a ’57 Series 62 sedan
cruising the deserted streets of the Havana
Workers’ Paradise, he asked us if we are so
cautious of our “Prides and Joys” that we are
unwilling to drive them. Without a cell phone to
call AAA or a traffic “hero,” the Cubans simply drive
them, and when it’s needed they FIX them!
— Doug
— Jay
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Cadillac Electrical Engineer: 1950s - 1980s
Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
In the February TAILFIN we ran a piece introducing Sandy Barth’s dad, Wally, who worked at
Cadillac Motor Car Division in the ‘Fifties through the ‘Eighties. This month we delve a little
deeper into Mr. Barth’s memoirs from his days before and during his career at Cadillac.
Meanwhile, we will share a few “growing up in Bloomfield Hills” stories shared by his eldest
daughter, Sandy. You will recall that Sandy is a proud owner of a marketing & creative services
business here in metro Atlanta. Oh, and she is our TAILFIN editor extraordinaire, a CTS owner,
and Peach State CLC’s Secretary. Call her our Cadillac Gal! (All photos by Herman, Wally and Sandy Barth)
When Wally Barth graduated from basic training
in 1944, Uncle Sam took away his Enfield
and handed him a typewriter. This weapon
he called a “mill.” They taught him high speed
radio operations and Morse Code, and assigned
him
to the 3101st Signal Service Battalion. His mates
were headed
for Europe… and soon enough, the Battle of the Bulge. By all accounts he
got the better duty station. Wally swabbed decks during a stormy cruise
through the South Seas on a Kaiser-built victory ship, surviving a threeweek crossing to Melbourne. There was no time to hunt for wallabies: A
day and a night in the harbor; then off to Calcutta. A truck-and-train ride
north dropped 19-year-old Wally into a mosquito-infested holding camp
where he slept on a rope bunk and sweated out the days. In early ’45 he
rode up the Brahmaputra River through Assam, and along the Burma
Road – he says he was astonished by the debris left in their wake by the
retreating Japanese military. White-knuckling a flight over the Himalayas
in a C47 transport, Wally had time to think, “Maybe those guys in Belgium
didn’t have it so bad after all…” Wally crossed “the Hump” and served as a
radioman in Lashio and Bhamo (Burma). Then, back to Calcutta to wait
for the end of the war.
Once he had his “45 points” he made his exit for the States. His ride
home was aboard the General Hersey, another well-worn victory ship.
The Hersey broke down near Ceylon, then again at Alexandria steaming
through the Suez Canal. As Barth entered New York harbor he missed
seeing Lady Liberty. (He was swabbing decks again.) After a train ride to
the Midwest he was discharged in May ’46 at Camp Atterbury in Indiana.
A short ride by Greyhound bus returned him home to his folks in
Michigan. Wally claims to be a day older than he would have been had he
stayed home, since he had sailed around the world in a westerly
direction… We’ll take his word for that, won’t we?
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Wally chose electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, courtesy of
the GI Bill. He worked summers cleaning and painting windows, and finally
caught on at Borden’s Dairy – where the perks included all the milk and orange juice he could drink. Hard labor taught our boy the benefits of a college
education, so he redoubled his scholarly efforts. While studying engineering
he was a stringer for the Michigan Daily and photographic editor of the yearbook, the Ensian. He snagged his degree in June 1950 – without debt, due to
Uncle Sam’s (and a nation’s) gratitude. Now, for a job!
Staff photograoher at
The Michigan Daily (U of M).
My earliest memory is of a
neighbor inviting my parents
down the street for a cup of coffee.
Dad said he’d bring his own… so
we all piled into the silver Cadillac,
and dad balanced his cup of
coffee on the hood. He drove it
down the street while I peered
over the dash at the china cup
perched precariously above the
grille. What a super-smooth ride.
What a show off!
-- Sandy
Rolling off the line at the
Cadillac Tank plant in Cleveland.
Pontiac Motors was advertising for a draftsman, so Wally drove over there in
his “new” ’41 Ford coupe. Because they insisted on an experienced
draftsman the Pontiac folks suggested Wally try Cadillac Motors in Detroit.
Wally “hightailed it” over to Cadillac that same day, sparing himself a life
centered on the Chief. By September he had his job at Clark Street, writing
and editing engineering releases and change notices. Exciting stuff? Not so
much, but sufficient for him to invest in a new car! This time he bought a
green Plymouth sedan with a gasoline heater for $1700. He roomed with a
widow and her son for $10 a week. Wally said Les Murray at Cadillac “took
pity” on him, and hired him for the EE department to work on control boxes
and switches. Wally was on his way! He learned to design wiring harnesses
from Joe Babin, who later hooked him up with an interview with Chrysler –
but Bob Templin talked him out of it, saying that Cadillac held greater
potential for his career. So Wally stayed on with the Standard of the World,
and never left it. One of his Cadillac mentors also had a pilot’s license, and
kept his plane where Ed Cole kept his plane. Wally got a chance to fly on
occasion, and those flights took him to Ohio.
Momentum was building for the war in Korea, and he found that Cadillac
was opening a new tank plant in Cleveland. They were converting a bean
storage facility (that’s correct, beans) for the Commodity Credit Corporation
into a production line for “Walker Bulldog,” M41 Light Tanks. The Bulldog
had a 76mm gun, a 6-cylinder Continental gasoline engine, and a Detroit
Diesel auxiliary engine/generator. Later, they also built an open-turret model,
the M42, to carry twin 40mm anti-aircraft guns. Still later the plant built
aluminum 50 mm cannon carriers named the M56. All these vehicles had to
be updated to meet Cadillac quality and production standards, and Wally fit
right in. He worked on all these tanks’ electrical systems except the gun
controls, which meant he was responsible for overall wiring, lamps,
instrument panels, batteries and generators. And, to bring it full circle to his
old Army days in Burma, Wally Barth managed radio equipment and interference suppression for Cadillac’s tank plant (left).
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
And so begins all the fancy ‘rides’...
In ’53 Wally was promoted to Senior
Project engineer, putting him squarely
on the “A Roll,” which meant he could
buy a new Cadillac at a 25% discount.
We’re talking “big time!” He promptly
sold his red Ford and bought a new blue
Coupe Deville. You might be wondering which Cadillac our Bachelor Barth
bought in ’54. It was a red convertible
with a red leather interior, of course.
Wally called this his “traffic stopper,”
and we know you know what
he meant.
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Roberta Butler was an executive
secretary at the Cadillac tank
plant when Wally met her.
Wally met and dated his future wife Roberta (Roe) at Cadillac that summer, and by the fall of ’55 they were married.
Their honeymoon took them along Route 66 past the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas to LA and back. Now, that’s
TWO “Car Guys!” The Barths set up house in Westlake, OH, near the tank plant. In ’55 Wally developed the cold
starting kit for both the M41 and M42, using 30,000BTU/hour gasoline heaters manufactured in Cleveland by
another firm. The tanks had to be able to start within an hour of a cold soak at negative 65 degrees F. These tanks
had originally been planned for operation in Korea, but by now the Cold War had frozen over. These Cadillac tanks
were meant to take on Russian tanks – the T34/85 was known the world over for its superior design. No one knew
where the next land engagement might open up, but we do know Barth’s contributions were important.
(Opposite) Roe feeding her
breakfast donute to a noshing
deer while cruising on their
honeymoon out west (early
December, 1955).
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Sandra Lynne was born in ’56. In ’58 Wally got a call from his old boss back
in Detroit, Les Murray. The Barths didn’t dally; they were back at Clark
Street by November and living in West Bloomfield township soon after.
The iconic 1959s had just gone on sale, so they sold their turquoise
’58 sedan (!) and bought a silver ’59 Coupe DeVille. Wally took on
responsibility for electric clocks, turn signal switches, the new neutral
safety switch with parking brake vacuum release valve, new cornering
lamps, turn signal indicators on the fenders, under-car lamps, fog lamps,
Twilight Sentinel, all radio components as well as some accessories, such as
door guard moldings, floor mats and compasses.
Above, Sandy -- apparently
unimpressed by all that
Cadillac styling.
Below, Lisa and Sandy -watch out for those fins!
If your Cadillac is from the Sixties, Wally Barth had a hand in its design
and production.
In ’63 he took on the position of assistant Staff Engineer, Electrical, and
this allowed him overnight testing of company test cars. A different
Cadillac every night! For instance, a west coast vacation in ’69 came by
way of a company Brougham.
Also in ’69 Wally got another promotion. The former assistant staff
engineer was now Staff Engineer, Electrical! In 1971, Wally Barth received
a patent with co-inventor Bill Bell for an electrical “transmission disabling
device,” which Barth modestly attributes to his partner Bell. Wally merely
appreciated the invitations to annual dinners at Cadillac reserved for its
patent holders. Wally was Staff Engineer when he received the letter from
GM CEO H. G. Warner, and that 60th Anniversary Celebration packet we
introduced in last month’s TAILFIN. Barth had tremendous responsibilities
during this period. He supervised the design and development of all
vehicle wiring, lighting, charging and instrumentation, including these
samples of major Cadillac milestones:
• Rectangular and tungsten-halogen headlights
• Theft deterrent systems
• Electronic cruise control systems
• Entertainment (stereo FM, 8-track and cassette tape players,
power antennas)
• Air bag systems.
• Maintenance-free batteries
• Driver information trip computers
• Digital fuel injection
One man’s famly — circa 1963.
Try to imagine your Cadillac without those improvements. Then, thank
your lucky stars Wally Barth missed out on the job at Pontiac, and skipped
out on that Chrysler interview.
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
Posing for a family Christmas card in a company convertible.
A cadre of Cadillac electrical engineers out west -typically at Scottsdale, Pikes Peak, Durango, CO
and other test locations.
Dad’s favorite Cadillacs were the
Broughams. He loved that great,
floating ride. And they were always
fully loaded. The execs would drive
home a different car every night, and
if they found any issue at all, even a
tiny one, they reported them in tiny
black notebooks carried in the glove
boxes of the company cars. -- Sandy
(Continued)
The Barth family was a very traditional one, with dinners
together every evening, where everyone got a chance to
share how their days had gone. Sandy remembers her dad
telling stories about the Cadillac production line, and the
challenges he faced daily. Once in a while, he’d mention
seeing a whole line of Mary Kay pink Cadillacs coming
down the line together. He often had meetings and tests at
the Proving Ground in Milford. He organized a road trip to
Pike’s Peak in Colorado to test the radio’s reception, and he
met regularly at D’Arcy-McManus Massius in Bloomfield
Hills to discuss upcoming advertising campaigns. What
was an engineer doing at these sessions? Ostensibly he
served on a focus group, but more likely he made sure the
copy was accurate.
In the ‘70s Mrs. Barth once got a call from Wally, who was using a phone
positioned on the hump between the front seats. Was it an early cell
phone? Well, he was driving – a mile from home – but that huge trunk
was FULL of Motorola equipment, huge batteries, and miles of wiring.
Another time Wally came home with a rear driver’s side window fixed in
place with a squiggly line woven through it. He wore a ring that allowed
him to unlock all the doors remotely. By the late ‘70s the Barth kids were
getting used to seeing prototypes of GPS systems, a heads-up display
operated from a 16” aluminum box full of vacuum tubes, and even a fiber
optic alternative for lighting mirrors and doors – so the lamps would not
affect temperature readings.
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We were surrounded by auto
execs in our subdivision, West
Bloomfield, Birmingham and
Franklin. Chuck Jordan, who
would later become head of GM
Design at the Tech Center, lived
nearby. He often passed us at
the school bus stop in his red and
white ’55 Corvette. Even in the
snow! Dad car pooled with several
Cadillac men. I went to Sunday
school with Jeff Sackett, son of
Ansel Sackett, who always drove
one of the antiques he collected to
the Franklin Roundup Parade.
You know him from the Ansel
Sackett Awards of the CLC. March 2015
Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Dad always drove home in a
different company car. Sometimes
it was a test car – triple the number
of headlights, or two large knobs
instead of a steering wheel… Other
times he would bring home a competitor’s car (a “stinkin’ Lincoln)…
But we loved the other GM cars, like
a Corvette or a Buick Riviera. Once
in a long while he’d bring home a
foreign job, like a yellow XKE Jaguar… Woof! Nice! Dad never liked
any of these substitutes, because
their rides just couldn’t measure up
to a Cadillac’s.
Sometimes we got to see new cars
before anyone else did. The press
would follow dad home, so he always
parked inside the garage. The latest
models would always draw lots of
stares from other drivers and
pedestrians. Pretty cool. You know,
Cadillac didn’t want their new cars
left in public lots, but that never
stopped dad from driving them to
the hardware store or to church!
-- Sandy
In the ‘70s Cadillac required their execs to buy a new car every two years (at discount of course). Wally would still drive the
company cars, but Roe got the new Cadillacs now, to replace her ‘65 Corvair. In ’75 the family bought a very cushy DeVille
d’Elegance with double-padded pillow seats and a 500 cid engine. Here’s Roe in the car just before it was sold to a new
owner and before they acquired their next Cadillac (see next page).
More test cars out west
in the eighties.
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Roe generously allowed Sandy to drive her
turquoise Eldorado Biarritz to college in downtown
Detroit. Needless to say, Sandy was the most
popular driver in her carpool! Below, the Eldorado
at Meadowbrook Hall, Rochester Hills, MI.
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Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
We were surrounded by auto
execs in our subdivision, West
Bloomfield, Birmingham and
Franklin. Chuck Jordan, who
would later become head of GM
Design at the Tech Center, lived
nearby. He often passed us at
the school bus stop in his red and
white ’55 Corvette. Even in the
snow! Dad car pooled with several
Cadillac men. I went to Sunday
school with Jeff Sackett, son of
Ansel Sackett, who always drove
one of the antiques he collected to
the Franklin Roundup Parade. You
know him from the Ansel Sackett
Awards of the CLC. Engineering group with a Seville and Sedan de Villes, below.
In 1973 dad brought home on
of the four Official Cadillac Pace
Cars, souped up for the Indy 500
race. We hopped in and drove
down Northwestern Highway
in this convertible with Indy 500
Pace Car lettering. I was behind
the wheel and dad rode shotgun.
A guy pulled up at a light and
revved his engine. I smiled at dad
and he nodded “yes.” Shot out of
a cannon, we left that dude in our
dust. Fun times!
-- Sandy
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March 2015
Wally Barth - A Career with Cadillac
(Continued)
Wally’s home office with original PC.
Right - early computer test equipment.
The company cars would
sometimes cause confusion. For
instance, once a month on a
Saturday dad would take us to
downtown Detroit for lunch.
Our favorite place was Lelli’s
(scrumptious northern Italian –
minestrone, filet with spaghetti
and Zuppa Inglese – a warm cake
with a frozen custard inside).
We’d head back to Lelli’s covered
garage, and the parking attendant would ask dad which car
was his… and half the time dad
would have no idea! I guess they
ran it down by checking the
windshield for engineering IDs.
-- Sandy
Wally and Roe on their wedding
Day, Oct. 20. 1955 taken by his
father at his studio on Woodward
Avenue, Detroit.
Wally remained in this position until he became Manager for Export
Engineering in 1980. Among other things he accomplished during this
time, Wally made the mental leap to using computers for managing the
work. He began with a KayPro 2 in 1984 (sidebar). That powerhouse had a
5” monochrome screen with a daisy wheel printer (unless you were around
for this revolution you cannot possibly imagine the state of the art in those
days). It ran on a CP/M operating system, which was superseded in the ‘90s
by DOS… These early days of office automation strengthened the engineering section’s ability to manage the work, and Wally contributed heavily to
the transition.
Wally Barth retired effective January 1, 1988, “with over 37 years of mostly
fond memories and great friendships…” He passed away in 1991, leaving us
his memoirs and wonderful memories of the glory days of Cadillac Motors.
17
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
TV
The producers of American Pickers, on the History Channel, are looking for
items or cars to sell to their tv show hosts — and sellers may even wind up on a
segment of their show! So you have some treasures you might part with? And,
not feel shy about being on TV? Please contact Paula Vopelak at 404-788-6121
-- or email/phone # on the flyer, below.
American Pickers ad AAN_Layout 1 15-01-07 6:03 PM Page 1
OPP!
Here are some of the items
we’re looking to buy:
Mike and Frank are always on the hunt for rusty
gold, and they want to hear from you! If you have
a large collection you think is worth the pick and
want on American Pickers, now’s your chance!
To be considered you must email us at: [email protected]
Or leave a message at: 1-855-OLD-RUST
Be sure to include the following info:
• Your name • Contact number • Description of your item(s)
If you and your rusty gold qualify, you could be visited by Mike
and Frank and appear on American Pickers!
PLEASE NOTE: No retail shops or flea markets. After all, Mike
and Frank are modern day archaeologists! Happy picking!
• Motor scooters: Vespas, Lambretta, Cushman
• Old advertising signage
• Motorcycles
• Bicycles (Pre-60’s to turn-of-the-century)
• Old toys: tin, wind-up, cast iron
• Pre 50’s vending machines
• Pinball and slot machines
• Old movie posters
• Unusual radios: transistor, tabletop, etc.
• Antique casino/gaming machines
• Vintage movie memorabilia
• Vintage advertising Items
• Taxidermy
• Vintage concert posters & t-shirts
• Early Boy Scout items
• Pre 60’s vintage diner collectibles
• Pre 60’s TV merchandise
• Pre 50’s western/equestrian gear
• Classic motorcycle memorabilia
• Sports memorabilia
• Casino tables
• Houdini items
• Old rodeo items
• Airline collectibles: Pan-Am, TWA, Etc.
• Late 70’s & earlier military items
• Extraordinary mobster memorabilia
• Vintage police officer collectibles
• Firefighter collectibles
• Pre 40’s telephones
• Folk art
• Vintage BB guns/cap guns
• Early Halloween items
• Pre 40’s Christmas items
• Hawaiiana/Tiki Collectibles
• Vintage sports collectibles
• Vintage election memorabilia
• Musical instruments
• Civil War antiques
• Vintage gas pumps
• Pre 70’s old neon signs
• Strange woodcarvings
• Vintage collegiate collectibles
We currently are not looking for: Farming/
agriculture items, tools, glassware, appliances,
tractors, crocks, stoves or country primitives
18
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Tenth Annual Dave Comstock Chili Cook-off!
Dick Peden’s TENTH ANNUAL DAVE COMSTOCK CHILI COOK-OFF
is where we kick off our Peach State CLC 2015 activity calendar,
and this year it was a bigger BLAST than any year before.
By Dick’s count we had 58 in attendance, probably 20% more
than 2014. This is our annual celebration of Peach State “favorite
son,” Dave Comstock. Dave loved his chili, and he would have loved
that we keep getting bigger and better every year! We missed
Marty but she has assured me that she will be back in 2016.
Mick Opelak (Marty’s son-in-law) defended his
perennial crown, this time stretching his wings
with an attention-grabbing white chicken chili.
Mick took third place this year. Second went to
Tom Di Nucci, who was as flabber-gasted as anyone
with his strong showing. Our new champ is
Annette Benneche, whose dish was a TOTAL
WINNER. I think you might have been caught by
surprise a little, too, Annette! Congratulations, all.
Bring back another winner in 2016! Thanks to all
who brou ght a dessert, cheese, chips and the like, as
well as some mouth-watering cornbread. I am going
to jump the line next time, because once again I was
aced out of tasting Forrest’s corn concoction. We had
13 pots of chili, plenty for hordes of hungry eaters,
making it tough on the judges. Hey, it’s tough duty,
but someone’s got to do it! Phil had the best
presentation, by far, with his desert background
and lighting for the chili-pepper he brought.
19
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Tenth Annual Dave Comstock Chili Cook-off!
The weather was excellent, which allowed us to linger outdoors among the cars for a while. The sunshine
gave us a chance to see the new arrivals, including a colt merely a couple of weeks old. I know Phil Maddox
was a little skittish about driving his Roadmaster – he knows by now that we are NOT arrogant, one-trickCadillac-ponies. He only had to ask Mark Nichols, who drove his “new” Packard… or any of our other multimake car lovers. In fact, I was disappointed that our Hudson aficionado Henry Dabrowski could not make it.
Our host Dick Peden (below, in front of his newest acquisition, the Merc wagon) welcomed us, and gave us
a guided tour of the features and history of his marvelous collection. We enjoyed seeing the new Mercury
woodie. Once again, your event is the highlight of the winter season. Your club thanks you for your kindness
and warm hospitality.
20
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Tenth Annual Dave Comstock Chili Cook-off!
21
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
34th Annual “Peach Blossom”
Hello Dixie Buick, Dixie Olds, SE GTO and Peach State Cadillac Clubs:
BOPC Car Show and Swap Meet
The Dixie Chapter Buick Club of America is proud to announce the 34th Annual Buick Oldsmobile
Pontiac
Cadillac
(BOPC)
Car Show,
the Atlanta Marriott NW just off I-75 and Windy
Hosted
by Dixie
Chapter,
BuickMay
Club1-2
of atAmerica,
www.buickclub.org/dixie
Hill Road. We invite you and all your club members to bring your beautiful cars to the show for all to see.
It does not matter if your car is beautifully restored, original with all the door dings, or a work in progress.
Heck, I’ve been to car shows and seen cars with no front clips, or no interior. I guarantee that a car with
no interior will be looked at more thoroughly than a restored car! Bring ‘em all!
st
nd
May 1 & 2 , 2015
Atlanta Marriott Northwest Host Hotel (beautifully remodeled) & Show
Some highlights of the Show
as expanded
upon in the
attached
BOPC Registration
Form:
Field
200 Interstate
North
Parkway
SE
&Marriott
WindyNW.
Hill, Exit 260
• Same Location as last year, I-75
Atlanta
• We have a block of rooms locked
in atGA,
$99770-952-7900.
until April 1st. First come, First served.
Atlanta
• Registrations open Friday,
Noon to 6 PM. Vendor set up same time.
www.atlantamarriottnw.com
• Reception indoors at 7:30 PM with food, fun and classical Rock music featuring
Mention BOPC Show for $99 hotel rate.
“Noztalia” Rock and Roll Band.
Hotelopen
Deadline
fortillBOPC
rate is April 1st!
• Saturday Registrations
at 7:30 AM
11 AM.
• Judging 11 AM -1 PM, Fire Extinguisher Mandatory & Convertible Tops Up
• AwardsChairman:
at 3 PM
Car Show
David Gareau (404-863-9768) [email protected]
Chairman: Jerry
Richstein
PleaseRegistration
visit www.34thannualbopc.com,
which
[email protected]
a convenient PayPal option.
Friday, May 1st:
I have
attention?
• Registration andNow...
VendorCan
Setup
openyour
at Noon
to 6 PM
• Reception
7:30 PM
Old Chapter
Fashion Southern
Barbecue,
Live
The Dixie
BCA
is proclaiming
a Challenge!
Music and Cash Bar. Bring Your Dance Shoes, Rock n Roll to
The club with the MOST registrations will receive a $100 Gift Certificate.
Music from 60’s-90’s Featuring “ Naztalgia”
WHO will have more cars at the BOPC Show... Buick, Olds, Pontiac or Cadillac???
Saturday, May 2nd
• Registration 7:30 AM to 11 AM
• Cars judged by an independent car club.
The Show Chairman is Dave Gareau. If you have any questions,
his number is 404-863-9768 or
• 1st, 2nd, 3rd places / class
• Mandatory Fire Extinguisher
[email protected]
• Best of Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac,
• Vendors open at 9 AM
See you in May!
and best modified.
• Judging 11 AM – 1 PM
• Convertibles judged w/ tops up.
• Awards at 3 PM
— J D Westfall
22
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
34th Annual “Peach Blossom”
BOPC Car Show and Swap Meet
Hosted by Dixie Chapter, Buick Club of America, www.buickclub.org/dixie
st
nd
May 1 & 2 , 2015
Atlanta Marriott Northwest Host Hotel (beautifully remodeled) & Show
Field 200 Interstate North Parkway SE
I-75 & Windy Hill, Exit 260
Atlanta GA, 770-952-7900.
www.atlantamarriottnw.com
Mention BOPC Show for $99 hotel rate.
Hotel Deadline for BOPC rate is April 1st!
Car Show Chairman: David Gareau (404-863-9768) [email protected]
Registration Chairman: Jerry Richstein [email protected]
Friday, May 1st:
• Registration and Vendor Setup open at Noon to 6 PM
• Reception 7:30 PM Old Fashion Southern Barbecue, Live
Music and Cash Bar. Bring Your Dance Shoes, Rock n Roll to
Music from 60’s-90’s Featuring “ Naztalgia”
Saturday, May 2nd
• Registration 7:30 AM to 11 AM
• Mandatory Fire Extinguisher
• Vendors open at 9 AM
• Judging 11 AM – 1 PM
• Awards at 3 PM
• Cars judged by an independent car club.
• 1st, 2nd, 3rd places / class
• Best of Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac,
and best modified.
• Convertibles judged w/ tops up.
23
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
34th Annual “Peach Blossom” BOPC Show May 1-2, 2015 @ Atlanta Marriott NW
Free Dash Plaque for the first 150 registrations!
ParticipantRegistration:
Name(s)
Address
Phone ( )
CarRegistration:
Car 1: Year:
Body Style
Car 2: Year:
Body Style
City
State
Zip
Email
_
Make:
Class:
Model:
Car Club Affiliation:
Make:
Class:
Model:
Car Club Affiliation:
If No Club Affiliation would you like more information on becoming a Member of one of the Clubs at this
show? Please check all that apply.
Buick
Oldsmobile
Pontiac
Cadillac
Fees:
Registrations postmarked by April 6th are $25 first car and $20 each
additional, after April 6th and at the Gate $30 and $25.
@$25
@$20
2015 BOPC Commemorative Tee Shirts are $15.
S
M
L
XL
XXL
XXXL
@$15
Vendor Spaces are $25 for the 1st space and $15 for each additional if postmarked by
April 6th. After April 6th and at the Gate are $30 and $20.
Car Corral Spaces are $15 if postmarked by April 6th
After April 6th, $20 per space.
@$25
Vendor Spaces
@$15
Car Corral Spaces
Friday Night Reception w/Food, Live Dance Music & Cash Bar
@$30
Total sent for the 2015 BOPC
$
Please make checks payable Dixie Chapter BCA and mail to:
Jerry Richstein, 4798 Grants Way, Marietta, GA 30066
By the execution of this form, participants release the Dixie Chapter, Buick Club of America, and its members, the Marriott NW, its employees and
anyone connected with the presentation of the “Peach Blossom BOPC” from any and all known and unknown damages, injuries, losses, claims or
judgments from any cause whatsoever that may be suffered by an entrant or participant to his/her person, family or property.
Signed
Date
24
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Farewell to a ROMEO car couple
(and some advice for our members)
— By Phil Maddox and Bob Winchell with Doug Bailey. Photos by Phil Maddox.
As you probably know, the ROMEO car club is a group of folks who love old cars of all makes and eras. ROMEO stands
for “Retired Old Men Eating Out.” This a hard core group of guys that gets together more than once each week to
have breakfast, drive their cars, and do good deeds for their fellow man. Several of the Peach State Cadillac folks are
also ROMEOs. There are no dues, and no formal organization – just people who love cars spending time together.
Occasionally those of us aligned with the group receive an email from the “leader,” Dik Wesson, conveying the
inevitable: Someone is in the hospital needing prayer, or has passed away. But in late January the news from Dik
was unusually sad… Doug
“ROMEO members: Bud and June Runion were tragically and prematurely
taken from their family, friends and ROMEOs as they traveled to McRae, GA
in search of a ’66 Mustang. Their SUV was found partially submerged in a
local lake on Monday. Searchers later found two bodies nearby that have since
been identified as the Runions. A local resident has been placed in custody
but has not been charged in their deaths. Bud was a regular of the ROMEO
group, having joined as a ‘newbie’ in October of 2012. He obviously enjoyed the comradery and counsel of his friends and old car enthusiasts. Our
thoughts and prayers are with the Runions’ three daughters and their families.”
—Dik
Later, Dik noted that “Jay Towns, the suspect who was already in custody on charges of attempting to rob the
Runions, has been charged with malice murder and armed robbery of the couple. Their bodies were found a short
distance from where their van was located. It had been partially submerged on property owned by Town’s family.
Each had been shot in the head. Towns lived in a neighboring community with his wife and a daughter, whom he
supported by doing construction work for a local home builder. Police say that he DID NOT own a ‘66 Mustang.
[His Craig’s List ad] was used as bait to lure the Runions to McRae...”
Then this from Dik: “Approximately 45 Romeo members attended the memorial service for Bud and June Runion
today, Saturday, January 31. The sentiments expressed by the speakers were both moving and enlightening as we
learned more about our friend and his wife than we had ever envisioned. They were giving and caring for those
who were less fortunate and looked upon as pillars of the church and the community. Indications were that the
2500 seat auditorium and balcony were filled to capacity with standing room only for the parishioners and the
Runions’ family and friends. Dr. Mark Walker made us aware of the Runion’s performances for those in need as
well as the other side of Bud, his interests, his love of family, and his antics both within and outside of the Church
properties. It is obvious that they were loved and respected during their short time with us and will be welcomed
in their final resting place. On Monday, February 2, there will be a procession from…Marietta to the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. Quite a few have expressed interest in being a part of this final remembrance in their
classic cars. If you can make it we’ll see you there.
Yesterday, I heard from two ROMEOs close to us in the Peach State CLC, Phil Maddox and Bob Winchell...
(please see next page)
25
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Farewell to a ROMEO car couple
(and some advice for our members)
Doug,
I attended the procession for the Runions on the second. I showed up to pay
my respect for a man I remember having coffee with. I would want my ROMEO buddies to do this for me. It was nice to have the guys come out and
help send him off. It was super cold that morning - as we stood outside waiting for everyone to show up we saw some very light snow flakes. Dik Wesson
and Joe Hatfield gave interviews to Channel 2 News. I think there might have
been 20 or 25 cars that showed up. There were military SUVs at the front of
the procession. It was cool to see the respect that people had; they took off
their hats as we passed by. One lady stood outside her car, hand over her chest
and head bowed. Some police officers at the intersection stood outside their
cars at full salute.
— Phil Maddox
Doug,
I arrived at the Runion service a bit ahead of the Romeo group, who mostly drove their collector cars. The seats
filled in fast, but I managed to find a single seat next to a Runion family friend. Around half an hour before the
service started, it was standing room only in this very large sanctuary. Security was very heavy early on, but it
thinned out as the service progressed. There was quite a contingent from Telfair County [the site of the incident]
including the mayor and police chief. It was apparent that this pastor knew the Runions personally. He told a few
personal stories and nearly broke down a few times in his sermon. Looks like a very large and active church overall, the people were very quiet and respectful throughout. The Romeo group was represented well at the service
and again at the drive to the internment in Canton on Monday.
This was a very sad story overall. It should remind all of us to consummate our car purchases with lots more care
than we have in the past.
— Bob Winchell
Doug, I think this should be a wake-up call for all of us. Let the Runions’ situation remind us to be on guard. The
online auctions have become dangerous… Before we rush off to see a car for sale, maybe we should have someone
that carries go with us. Or, at least meet the seller/buyer in front of a police station. I would always Google-map
the area where a car is supposed to be, just to get to know the ins and outs of a place beforehand, just in case. The
next time I deal with a stranger I will have the dude send a picture of the VIN to prove he or she has the car. See
you soon.
— Phil Maddox
NOTE: In the Runions’ obituary was a request that………“in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to House
of Hope in Canton, GA.” The Romeos are planning to make a donation to the Runions’ favorite charity. If you wish
to donate you may make cash contributions during the ROMEOs breakfasts each Tuesday morning at the Marietta
Diner. The donations may be given to Dik Wesson any time in March. — Doug Bailey
26
P e a c h S tat e C a d i l l a c & L a S a l l e C l u b
March 2015
Peach
State CLC
Cruise-In!
ALL DAY EVENT!
Enter as early as 10:00 AM.
Come early and enjoy the
children’s events, register
for contests, and participate
in the Hat Contest.
CRUISE-IN TAILGATE
PARTY - We have set up a
spot for an afternoon of
congeniality among
Peach State friends.
Come get your spot, then
meander along the
beautiful grounds and
enjoy the most exciting
horse racing in Georgia
with family and friends!
1:30 pm:
Racing
Begins!
WHERE? Kingston, GA.
Directions: From I-75:
Take I-75 to Exit 293. Turn
WEST onto US 411. Go 3.2
miles and turn right onto
US 41/411 ramp to Rome.
Go 2.9 miles through a
couple of traffic signals.
Turn right onto US 411
to Rome. Go 12 miles to
Gore Spring Road on right.
Follow directional signs to
parking location.
Reservations are required! PSCLC member Tom Di Nucci will be
hosting from the Di Nuccis’ reserved spots in the Home Stretch Infield,
Row 3, spots 1324, 1325, 1326 (See map, below). There will be tents and
tables. Cars will be parked just behind us.
This is a collector car event, so please bring NOTHING NEWER THAN
1999! Everyone will be assigned or chose from a list of food items, bring
your own drinks and chairs. Alcohol is permitted. We only have room for
20 cars. Price for admission $180.00 per car includes infield parking
and 4 tickets. Send your check for $180* made out to Tom Di Nucci at the
address below. You must reserve your spot no later than March 19, 2015.
Children Under 12 are admitted free.
RESERVATIONS $180: Tom or Linda Di Nucci,
202 Lakewood Drive, Waleska, GA 30183, 678-880-4345 [email protected]
www.AtlantaSteeplechase.org • The steeplechase will run rain or shine,
and refunds are not available for inclement weather.
* This is tax deductible to benefit Bert’s Big Adventure is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that
provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with
chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.
27