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Fall Colors Drive 2017:
Early Driving and a Relaxing Afternoon

By Larry Palguta

The annual Fall Colors Drive began near mid-morning at Randy & Bev Glanders’ home on the west side of Elkhart, IN. Everyone showed up with their potluck dishes and the drivers listened as Randy described the morning drive. It was pretty much a straight drive to Mendon, MI and the Fisher Lake Inn where we had an 11:30 AM reservation of 23 for lunch. The caravan started with about 10 or 11 LBCs, and we would also meet several members at the lunch in Mendon.

The caravan was long enough that the group decided each driver should watch the car behind and if the behind car was separated by a Stop sign, electric light or traffic, then the ahead car would hang back when a corner was turned so the following LBCs would know where to turn. After a couple of hiccups, this method worked well.

We arrived at the Fisher Lake Inn a little after 11:30 AM and found a long table set up for our group of 23. As usual, the food was good, service good for such a large group, and the atmosphere enjoyable.

Lunch at the Fisher Lake Inn, Mendon, MI

After lunch about 1 PM, we headed out for a relaxing afternoon drive with stops at such places as Bonnyville Mill. Joe and Ardith Opferman were making their first drive with the club, after a lot of help from Roger Deacon to get the Opferman’s 1965 MGB in road worthy shape. About two minutes into the drive, Joe turned the corner and I could see billows of smoke rolling out from under the car and around the bonnet. Everyone pulled over to the side of the road and several of us opened the bonnet to see check out the engine. It was readily apparent that the head was cracked and coolant had seeped out onto the hot engine. After much analysis and discussion, it was decided that Roger & Ruth Deacon and myself would stay with the Opfermans until a flatbed truck arrived and take the MGB to the Opferman’s house. Because I was driving Deb’s 1957 Morris Minor which has seating for four, I would take Ardith to the Glanders where Joe would join us after depositing his MGB at home.

So Joe started calling AAA which as usual took a long time to get through to a road assistance person. We were parked along the road in front of a nice split-level house where the owner was working outside. He had a yellow Vette and a Harley in his garage. He came out, introduced himself as Ted, and we showed him our cars, engines, and recalled LBC disaster stories. Long story short, Ted was a great individual who brought out camp chairs for us to sit on, an ice bucket with water bottles, and offered us the use of the restrooms in his house. Inside his house, we saw photos of his children and grandchildren. Ted made a long afternoon much more eventful. The weather was beautiful and made road-side sitting a relaxing event. This is a one way to make our fast-paced lives slow down for a while.

Finally, the flatbed truck showed up at 4:35 PM. The MGB was loaded, and then Roger & Ruth Deacon headed for the Glanders’ home in Elkhart followed by myself and Ardith in the Morris. We arrived at the Glanders around 5:40 PM, and Joe showed up around 7 PM.

Those who drive their LBCs know that this type of road-side adventure is not uncommon. Our club has experience with minor and major breakdowns, so no one gets uptight or even perturbed when an LBC has an issue. We’ve all been there to some extent or another.


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