Story and photos by Angelo Van Bogart
Not even rain or the threat of it could dampen what was essentially the ultimate Cadillac experience. There were presentations by current and former Cadillac staff and designers and chances to rub elbows with them — rides in vintage Cadillacs (a 1955 Coupe deVille or a 1980s Maloney stretch limousine) — old and new Cadillac concept cars (including the very first and very last Cadillac two-door hardtop prototypes) — a display of new vehicles by Cadillac — a garage sale of Cadillac and LaSalle-related items by the museum — a concours field of beautiful restored and survivor-quality Cadillacs and LaSalles — tours — and eight museums to visit on the Gilmore Car Museum campus in Hickory Corners, Mich.
All of these incredible opportunities and more were crunched into four days of the Cadillac & LaSalle Museum & Research Center’s (CLCMRC) annual Fall Festival & Concours d’Elegance held Sept, 26-29 at the CLCMRC.
One of the principals behind the "Fall Festival" is Old Cars “Resto Basics” columnist William “Bill” Anderson, who serves as president and chairman of the board for the Cadillac & LaSalle Museum & Research Center. Since the Fall Festival is a fund raiser for the museum, Anderson works diligently to make the event a worthwhile stop for hobbyists, and he and the rest of the team made this an unmatched Cadillac experience. Among the judges were one dozen automotive designers, each of them with experience designing Cadillacs and their components over the years. These judges included the famous Wayne Kady, whose design became the 1971 Eldorado, and who created this year's event poster. On top of it all, Kady served as honorary chief judge. Maurizio Corbi of coachbuilder Pininfarina came all of the way from Italy to participate. In addition, several Cadillac & LaSalle Club members served as judges, including yours truly, as did fellow magazine editor Richard Lentinello of Hemmings.
This is an event worthy of the Cadillacs and LaSalles it celebrates the Cadillac and LaSalle experience like no other event. I plant to return next year, and if the brake system is fully functional on my ’55 Cadillac by next September, I’ll even be there with an old Cadillac. I hope to see you there with your car, too.
Angelo Van Bogart is editor of Old Cars and has been a Cadillac & LaSalle Club member since he was 17 years old. He's a multiple Cadillac owner and author of several books including "Cadillac: 100 Years of Innovation." He serves as a judge at many club and concours events each year.