Fuelfed The First Drive 14.1 (TFD14.1) Recap

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We couldn’t have asked for better weather even though the media was pushing for rain. Everyone was on time for a quick meet & greet at the Belvidere oasis. The line-up looked ominous with a dominating factor of 911s all protecting Rick’s black E-type coupe. Brandon was still dialing-in his 1962 turbo-charged Beetle with impromptu find-its and rags. While Andy & Scott just smiled as others questioned their sanity of driving Citroen SMs on such an adventure.

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This, year the Hill climb had a better array of vintage classics than in past events. Kevins Pebble Beach winning Ferrari 212 Export being one such example.

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The hill climb is a private club event with limited spectator viewing. One can not just show up and run. One must know someone in one of the various clubs hosting to be invited, as well as have an interesting classic car that qualifies. Fuelfed member Hugh R. has such a car with his Drago-bodied Ferrari. europeanautoschau.com

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In contrast we have a Bentley gracefully making it’s way up the hill.

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Bruce Kerr took a little time to get a few sketches in as the cars lined up for their shot at the hill.

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We broke early to grab lunch at the New Glarus hotel. Yummmm… Schintzel and spaetzle in mushroom cream sauce and it’s time for a nap. No time for that however. A quick drivers meeting and run group break downs and it was time to do what we came to do.

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Stage 1 brought us north and initiated first time TFD drivers to the wonders of what we call the Alphabet soup. The Frank Lloyd Wright grave site provides a rest stop for three digit runs, sweaty palms and shaky legs.

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Nick put on his special driving shoes to make sure everyone knew he was there to demonstrate what black smoke racing was all about.

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Stage 2 had us laughing as we passed the lost, scared and confused BMWCCA “Spring Flingers” blatantly copying our long standing TFD series.

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Rick, Mario and Mark peeled off in their respective E-Type and 930 turbos. All three brave souls risking stone chips to their immaculate classics.

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Stage 3 finished with only one casualty to a fan belt on Sid’s 993 C4S. Robert donated his spare. The crew assembled like Chicago union workers on pot hole in the city, all giving advice, but no skin. Curious Harley riders even stopped to give advice.

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Stage 4 took out Nicks hope of giving the Citroens guff as his trans let go on the final stretch to Old Man River. Nick’s great attitude never faltered as he simply worked a deal to flat bed the Benz back to Chicago on Monday. “Ahh the trans was on it’s way out anyway”, he quipped. Andy D. rescued the fallen Benz owner in his trusty Citreon for a good dose of karma.

Special thanks to Neal A., Robert W., Ryan B., and Brian H. for their driving leadership through out the afternoon. A thankless job that kept the run groups in order and on the road.

After all the hard work it was time for cocktails in McGregor. europeanautoschau.com-long-grove

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Our supper club hosts thought we were pretty special and gave us the whole banquet room with one long table down the middle. Special, maybe, odd, – yes. Regardless, drivers enjoyed steak, walleye and pork chops.

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Drivers continued late into the evening enjoying more cocktails and camaraderie at a few local establishments.  Nick even brought his libation kit for a night cap of custom Manhattans and cigars around the pool.

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Sunday morning brought grey skies and a strong threat of rain. Cup of a strong coffee was needed, but never found as we departed the river town on our journey east.

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By 10:00am we beat the storm and the skies cleared. The quiet drive back to Chicago always gives much needed time for reprise and reflection on the heart-pumping antics of the previous days adventure.

Special thanks to Tom O. for punishing Nick as his 964 chauffeur on the 5 hour jaunt back.

TFD14.2 will conclude the 2014 driving season in much the same style as TFD14.1 started.

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