National Impala Association & Illinois Camaro Club Convention - St. Charles, Illinois Convention at Pheasant Run Resort August 13-18
By Ann Haines
Midwest Chevrolet fans are in for a big treat this summer as two major clubs supporting the marque are getting together for a celebration of all things Chevy- big and small. The National Impala Association and the Illinois Camaro Club are co-hosting a convention, which will be held this coming August 13-18 at the luxurious Pheasant Run Restort in St. Charles, Illinois and it is expected to draw far more participants than either of the two clubs could do by themselves.
Tom Jundt, the President of the Illinois Camaro Club said that it was a mutual friend that brought him together with Don Keefe, the President of the National Impala Association. “We were at the 2018 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Rosemont last November and Paul Weinstein from the Cruisin' Tigers Pontiac Club introduced us to Don and said that we should team up for the event at Pheasant Run,” Jundt said. “Both of us thought it was a great idea and we got busy with the planning.”
Likewise, Keefe is very excited about the convention and this new partnership. “Teaming up with Tom and the Illinois Camaro Club has been the definition of the 'win-win' situation,” he said. “Our demographics are close enough that our cultures are similar, yet there is just enough of a difference to make it interesting. I am looking forward to our members sharing their cars and experiences with the ICC members and vice-versa.”
Keefe added that “We have been to several events at Pheasant Run and the facility is perfect to host a large automotive convention.” he said. “There is plenty of room for the showcars, the towing rigs, as well as the swap meet and car corral areas,” he said. “The fact that we can fit over 100 cars indoors in an air-conditioned environment will be a great feature for those viewing and displaying the showcars.”
Avariety of activities are planned, with a poolside “meet and greet” kicking off the event which also includes guest speakers, a ladies' breakfast, a standup comedy show, escape rooms, as well as a movie night with a viewing of American Graffiti. Add to that, there are a variety of local restaurants and shopping opportunities that will no doubt keep attendees very busy. Be sure to bring your clubs, as Pheasant Run also boasts a challenging 18-hole golf course.
“In appreciation for helping us get together, we have invited the Cruisin' Tigers Pontiac Club to join us for our cruise-in on Friday, which will prove to be a really fun time,” Jundt said. “We do a lot of things with the Tigers and they are a great bunch of people.”
“We are looking forward to having the Camaro Club take part in our legendary parking lot parties, which take place every night of the convention,” Keefe said. “They are a great opportunity to really mix it up and have a lot of fun.”
Purcell Performance and Restoration, in Elburn, Illinois has graciously signed up as the title sponsor for the convention and will have a large display inside the Mega Center showing both finished vehicles and those being restored. “Partnering up for the NIA/ICC Convention is a great fit for us,” said Dan Purcell, PP&R President. “We have currently have both a '64 409 Impala and a '69 big-block Camaro at our shop currently being restored, so we are definitely hitting our target market.”
Both clubs are observing some anniversaries as well. In addition to marking the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Camaros and full-sized Chevys, the NIA is also saluting the 60th Anniversary of the 1959 model year, which was a watershed year for Chevrolet, with an all-new model lineup and radical space-age styling.
The convention is open to all Chevrolet Camaros of any vintage, as well as any full-sized 1958 or newer Chevrolet or Canadian Pontiac. For more information on the convention or joining one of the participating clubs, please log onto www.nationalimpala.com or illinoiscamaroclub.com
Photography courtesy of the National Impala Association