Oct. 2019

October 2019

Fun in Michigan

By Michael Gustafson

My wife Lois Ann and I were in Michigan at the 50th Anniversary WPC National Meet,

Aug. 13-17, 2019. This event did not really seem too well attended, though 53 cars were

registered for the show. The location for the event was the Auburn Hills Marriott Hotel in

Pontiac, Michigan, just off famous Woodward Ave.

Here is a link to photos from the national meet:



This also happened to be Pontiac Power Week, a yearly weeklong celebration of cars

and music, with the iconic Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday. Therefore, the hotel

parking lot was also a gathering place for classic cars from many states, and Canada.

The cruise is a 16-mile route along Woodward Ave., through several Detroit-area

communities. Billed as the largest one-day automotive event in the world, there were

about 40,000 cars bumper-to-bumper and over a million spectators along the route. It

was fun to be in this environment, and although we did not stay for the Saturday cruise

event, we did get to see the Friday gathering process and trial runs.

We also stopped at a rural residence on Curtis Road in Salem Township, between

Pontiac and Plymouth. This is a farmstead where my wife's mother worked for the Ford

Motor Company as a nanny. Although you might first assume the job was for the Ford

family, that was not the case. This farmstead was a converted old cobblestone collection

of buildings that Harry Bennett and Harry Mack (both Henry Ford's cronies) made into a

modern horse and cattle ranch. Harry Mack and his family actually lived on the ranch

from 1933 to late summer of 1945 when Henry Ford II fired both Bennett and Mack. The

timeframe for the nanny job was in 1942 and early 1943. Pictures taken during this era

show people and horse riding events captured in the same setting that we found when

we drove onto the property.

Along with the pictures also appeared an old rodeo brochure. The rodeo happened at

the farmstead in September of 1942. It was sponsored by several Ford Motor Company

people, including Bennett, Mack and board members such as Charles Lindbergh.

Lindbergh was a friend of Ford's who helped to bring about the creation of the Ford

assembly plant at Willow Run, which built B-24 Liberators for the Army Air Force during


MD adds - There is more to this story, which Michael is researching. He is working with

two sisters who now own the ranch, and with volunteers from the Salem Township

Historical Society. It will be interesting to learn about what he discovers.

Fall Cruise to Afton

Sunday September 29th was cold and drizzly, but 11 people in six cars braved the

elements for a nice easy cruise out to quaint Afton, MN, on the banks of the St. Croix

River. The drive was very pretty - along Mississippi River Blvd, then skirting downtown

St. Paul on Kellogg Blvd and east on Bailey Road and Afton Road. Fall colors were

barely starting, just a few yellows and reds mixed into the greenery.

When we got to Afton, the Art in the Park annual show was going on, a two-day festival

of arts and crafts from area artists. Tents were set up all along Main St. Since it was

rainy, we all opted to head inside for some lunch. We ate at “Current” restaurant and had

great food and animated conversation. We never did make it to the fair, though it had

stopped raining by the time we came out of the restaurant.

Cars and people that participated in the cruise –

1956 DeSoto - Bob and Deb Smith

1990 Imperial - Kathryn and Kristian Oyen (New car – they got it for $650! Looks great.)

1995 LeBaron – Scot Rolek

1993 LeBaron Convertible - Elke and Garry Keim

2012 Fiat 500C – Garry and Mickey Yazell

2015 Chrysler 300C – Linda and Jim Hanson