Our 28th Annual National Meet was held in Pigeon Forge, TN with Mike Atkins as host. We had 13 SuperBirds, 7 Daytonas and 8 B-bodies show up for this event. Our official schedule of events kicked off on Tuesday afternoon July 30th, with a scenic drive to the Tuckaleechee Cave where our group spent over an hour walking around in the comfort of Mother Nature's air conditioning. This is a truly beautiful cave with huge rooms full of formations and lots of water flowing. After our tour of the cave, we gathered at a nearby restaurant for a buffet dinner and to wait out the rain storm that seemed to be typical of every evening in the Smoky Mountains.
After waiting for quite some time, a few of our group gave it up and headed back to the hotel. Those that stayed were rewarded for their patience when the rain stopped and they went for a leisurely 11-mile hayride at Cades Cove. Cades Cove is an area where the culture and wildlife has been preserved from a time when the Indians settled there. Our members saw deer and bears along their hay ride following the grades and turns of old wagon roads. In the evening, we raced go-karts at one of the many race tracks around our hotel.
Wednesday morning we assembled at the trolley stop outside our hotel and rode into Gatlinburg to spend the day. We found out this is one mode of transportation you do NOT want to take on a 100° day! Our group filled one trolley to capacity and we were quite cozy as it was, but the driver kept stopping all along the way to pick up more bodies until it became unbearable and quite unsafe. We were relieved when we were finally dropped off at Ripley's Aquarium half an hour later. Everyone very much enjoyed the aquarium with its many fish and sea exhibits. A detailed display of the Titanic history was complete with photos from inside the real ship and a minute-by-minute account of its demise. The motorized walkway took us through the deep sea tunnel where sharks, sting rays and schools of brightly colored coral reef fish swam all the way around and overhead.
From the aquarium, several members rode the skytram 1,800 feet in elevation up to Ober Gatlinburg, a ski resort and amusement park located high above the city, while others shopped in town and visited museums like "Cars Of The Stars". Our shopping members even found lots of Mopar and RoadRunner stuff to buy! In late afternoon, everyone returned to the hotel for our member's meeting and raffle.
On Thursday, the members spent the day at Dollywood. In the evening, we met back at the hospitality room in the hotel for some wheeling and dealing. There were club coats, event T-shirts, lots of die casts, some parts, and even a roll of RoadRunner adorned adhesive vinyl that kept the members entertained buying and swapping. Later in the evening, the members raced go-karts again.
Friday morning, the group headed out to the Smokey Mountain Car Museum, a very small building packed full of all kinds of automobilia (old license plates, car toys, literature, signs, etc) and some very unusual cars. They have Bonnie and Clyde's car, a Hank Williams Sr. car adorned with horse heads and pistols, an Elvis car, and even one SuperBird. On the front of the building is a neon sign in the shape of a SuperBird that is lit up at night.
After the museum, we headed to Sevierville Park for our picnic. Gordon and Scott Karns brought their remote control Petty blue SuperBird, so the big kids played with that. After the food was served and some photos were snapped, we had the tough job of picking one car out of the many beautiful ones that showed up, to win the MMA of Great Britain award. We finally picked Robert and Linda Barnick's B5 blue Daytona from Teutopolis, Illinois.
Next stop was Floyd Garrett's museum in Sevierville. This is a larger building full of all kinds of nicely restored musclecars. The displays are not always correct but they're always spotlessly clean and usually well signed with information about the car. We noted the SuperBird had bench seat style material on its bucket seats and door panels and we weren't quite sure what to make of the wide window sill trim. But the cars in this museum are still a pleasure to look at. There are also several retired race cars and lots of automotive memorabilia on the walls.
The last activity for this meet was a cruise in the evening to the mall in Maryville to join the local car show. There were about 100 cars in the show including our group. The locals enjoyed looking at our Mopar invasion. After the show, we headed back to the hotel for some sleep before everyone hit the road for home in the morning. It was another successful and fun meet!
|Photos by Sue George|
|Photos by James Cordell|
|Photos by Curt and Janet Lawson|
|MAIN PAGE||TABLE OF CONTENTS|