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My friend Jim Rugowski and I had a great weekend. On Friday I drove to the Chicago area in my MG TF (put 1,000 miles on her last week) and Jim casme down Saturday morning hauling his two "Fiats" on one trailer. Actually, his 1936 Topolino is actually a Simca -- or at least a Fiat with a Simca badge. The 1950s model is a Fiat.

The destination on Saturday was the little show that Lou Natenshon pours his heart out to produce for the Highland Park Historical Society. Maybe 40-50 cars came, but you'd be amazed by what showed up. There were Amelia Island cars, Meadow Brook winners and cars whose next stop might be Pebble Beach, The Geneva Concours or The Materpiece. Not to mention an unrestored Duesenberg and Joe Bortz's Biscayne dream car. Why travel all over the country to see these cars when you can do it right in Chicago.

After the show, we loaded up Jim's "Fiats" and swung over to Crystal Lake, Ill. where we camped out at a motel right next to a McDonald's. That mean a lot of parking lot talk about classic cars and vintage MGs.

The next day we were invited to Bob Anderson's classic car bash in Barrington. Jim says, "Let's get there early so we can leave early for Wisconsin." Boy, did he miscalculate how many cars were coming. Two hours later his Dodge Ram, his trailer and the two Fiats were "parked in" by dozens of beauties from a 1912 Mercer to a Cushman service trike. (We finally got Paul Terhorst to roll his Auburn back a few feet so we could sneak Jim's tig out.)

By the way, my TF had no problem "running the gaunlet."

Strangely enough, Bob Anderson and his 200 or so friends did not seem to know muscle car collector Mike Guarise, who'll be having his own party a mile or so away in just a few weeks. That's because Chicago is such a great town for "old cars" that no one can keep up with all the activity down there.

For example, the transportation show in nearby McHenry, Ill., was held the same day as Bob's party in Barrington. In fact, we passed a number of other old cars -- including two red T-Series MGs -- that were probably coming home from that event.

All's I have to say is that you Chicago guys are very lucky!

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