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September 10 - 11, 2015
Lansing to Dearborn, Michigan
(Special thanks to Sally Van Atta for sharing photos and captions from the Run
& Paul James Sloan for writing a recap of the event)
The 34th running of the Lansing to Dearborn Run was held from September 10th to 11th, 2015. Co-sponsored by the "South Michigan Motorists Chapter of the HCCA" & "Snapper's Brass and Gas Touring Region of the AACA," the Lansing to Dearborn run is a shake-down tour for the Old Car Festival held annually at The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan. We had 37 cars participating, which were mostly from the Midwest and Eastern States, including Connecticut. John Forster and I were driving John's 1910 Maxwell Model AA Runabout. This was the same car we blew a U-Joint in last year. So, we were excited and challenged to prove we could run the route successfully this year.
On Thursday we left the Village at 7:30 AM and made our way West. The weather was cool and the forecast favorable. We worked our way out of Dearborn along beautiful Hines Drive and had a breakfast at a Coney Island en route. The morning stop was at Bill Colbock`s log cabin and the lunch stop was at Dan and Susan Walters home in Ann Arbor. Most of the cars rolled in to the host hotel, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Okemos, between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. John Grace arranged to have the cars stored Thursday night in the garage at the Okemos Auto Collection (Mercedes-Benz Dealership) within walking distance of the host hotel.
On Friday morning we all had breakfast early at the Holiday Inn. Everyone was anxiously watching the weather forecast. After the obligatory maintenance checks, we rolled the cars out of parking lot at about 8:00 AM. We made our way East without any difficulty until we ran into rain near Fowlerville. The rain wasn`t especially heavy but it was most persistent. John and I were relieved to find we successfully passed the spot where we blew the U-joint last year. The morning stop was in Brighton where we toured the Brighton NC Machine company. The lunch stop for the day was held at the Plymouth Historical Museum. This stop was special for everyone because Margaret Dunning was one of the great benefactors of the Museum and she just passed away in May at the age of 104. From Plymouth we rolled back into Dearborn. As we approached Dearborn, we were still somewhat apprehensive that some small part was going to quit on us at the last minute, and we would finish the tour in the back of a half-ton bowtie. But, the little Maxwell delivered! When we parked behind the rig John and I both gave each other a high-five. The tour was capped-off with the traditional pizza party which was held at Richard and Ann Staadt`s rig. We were all looking forward to the Festival on Saturday.
The Old Car Festival is the longest running car show in the United States and is held every year on the first weekend after Labor Day since 1955. This show is very well known amongst collectors in the Midwest. What makes the Old Car Festival unique is the fact that it is not a static show. Entrants are encouraged to drive around the Village. This year set a record for entrants at 940 registered vehicles. This year`s Lansing to Dearborn Run was a great success and we`re already looking forward to 2016.