Denver AMO Convention — 2007
"The Drive Down ..."

For only the second time since it's inception, the American Motors Owners annual convention was staged west of the Mississippi in July, 2007, and members from both Chapters took advantage of the location to either drive or fly to the Denver show.

Making their way down to Denver by car were:—

  • Don & Brenda Francoeur — 1959 Ambassador
  • Pat & Linda Potter — 1970 "Mark Donohue" Javelin
  • Trevor Soroka — 1973 Javelin "AMX"
  • Stephan Gaal — 1972 Javelin "AMX"
  • Dwyne & Tara Bliid — 1964 Ambassador 990
  • Stan Barlow & his daughter Stacey — 1968 Javelin "SST"
  • Gerry & Arlene Joly — 1970 Rebel "The Machine"
  • Charlie & Louise Berube — 1973 "Pierre Cardin" Javelin
  ... and by air, were:—
  • Rick & René Johnson
  • Henk & Linda Satink
  • Rick Stillinger
  • Rick Walling



AMCA

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The trip down ...
 


The Route

 

 

The first day of the Colorado Adventure was uneventful, and the members from the Edmonton Chapter drove as far as Milk River, Alberta, a distance of 375 miles.

However, by the middle of Day 2, the Albertan scenery was beginning to give way to the rolling hills of Montana ....

 

By the afternoon, even those rolling hills turned into a preliminary view of the mountainous terrain that is a part of Coloroado ....

This shot of Gerry Joly's Rebel "The Machine" was taken just outside Helena, Montana, and there's still two more States to go through!

 
 

Through the day, the terrain became more and more mountainous, and the temperatures got hotter & hotter — but there were no unexpected mechanical problems.

By the end of Day 2, the Chapter members had made it to Billings, Montana ( via Butte, Montana ), and had covered another 510 miles.

The total distance between Edmonton and Auroroa, Colorado is about 1450 miles, so the overnight stop at Billings was a bit more than half-way.

 

In the afternoon of Day 2, it became obvious that a "Rest Stop" was in order, and here we can see Gerry parked in the little shade that could be found, while Charlie Berube manoeuvers his motor home in the confined space

 

Once everyone had cooled down, there were notes to compare. Here we see Don Francoeur and Gerry Joly discussing their impressions of the trip, so far, and anticipating the next leg ....

 

Just to make sure that all was well with "The Pink Panther", Don kept his eye on her oil consumption. Even though the car had a complete rebuild from top to bottom, there seemed to be a insistent oil leak that Don had yet to track down ....

 

At the end of the day, the sight of Chugwater, Wyoming was a welcome relief.

So far, the Edmonton convoy had covered 1295 miles in three hot but inspiring days ....

 

Don spotted this sign at a truck stop in Chugwater, Wyoming, on the morning of Day 4 —and it about "Sez it all" ....


"Is it Hot, yet?"

 

By now, the anticipation of getting to Denver was pretty strong, and despite the air-conditioned reprieve of the truck stop, it was time to "Move 'em out! ...

 

Finally, the goal that everyone had been looking forward to was getting close ... and Don just had to stop and take a picture of his "débute" into Colorado!

If it weren't for Brenda standing at the front of the car, I would have thought it was more like a "pit stop" ...!

 

While Charlie & Gerry stayed on the Interstate and rushed into Denver, and on to Aurora, Don took a bit of a "detour", appraoching Denver from the west side, instead of from the north.

For those of us that are used to, and appreciate "mountain driving", the detour was well worth the extra time & milage ....




And finally ... we arrived ... !
 

After the long trip down to Denver, the "Welcome" of the Radisson Hotel in Aurora, Colorado really was welcomed ....

 

... and it gave the Edmonton members a chance to meet up with the Calgary contingent that had also made the trip.

Here we see Gerry parked next to Stephan Gaal, and his 1972 Javelin "AMX".

 

As well as Steve Gaal, the Convention was also attended by Trevor Soroka, who drove down his 1973 Javelin "AMX" ....

 

... and Stan Barlow, who came in his 1969 Javelin "SST".

 

Stan learned to drive in this car, which was his mother's at the time. When she decided to sell the car, Stan bought it, and has been driving it ever since — and it actually is Un-Restored!

I have a suspicion that it hasn't been easy for Stan to not take it apart and rebuild it — he's restored or rebuilt everything else in sight, and has done a gorgeous job of all of them.

 

Someone that would never miss such a golden opportunity to attend such a special event as the AMO "Mile High" convention, is our Club President, Pat Potter.

Pat & Linda have been planning for this trip for over a year, and arrived in Aurora without incident — in part because of careful planning, but more because of Pat's meticulous maintenance & restoration of his 1970 "Mark Donohue" Javelin SST. Pat is proud of his car, which the attention to detail and fidelity definitely reflects ....

 

Dwyne & Tara acquired this 1964 Ambassador 990 a few years ago, and it qualifies as one of those "rare finds" that we all dream about. The car had been stored for years, but only needed the tires, battery, and various other minor items replaced that had deteriorated with age, plus a good clean-up. This one is an "unrestored" example of one of AMC's most successful sales periods — and the durability and reliability of Bliid's car is a prime example of American Motors engineering at it's best!

 

After saying "Hi!" to the other AMCA members, it was time to meet and greet the other AMO delegates & members.

Here we can see Steve getting used to being with cars that have never been presented on this site before ....

... looks right "at home", don't he??!

 

One of the more interesting vehicles that were at the Convention was this Jeep FSJ "Stretch" Limo that was used by Shirley Shahan ( a.k.a. "The Drag-on Lady" ) to get around the convention sites.

Just thinking about the fuel bill for that machine hurts my wallet ...

 
 

Looking lost amongst some of those large vans is this little Pacer ...
... but he's supposed to be here — and they're not AMCs!!

 

As an AMO fund-raiser, this "American" love seat was raffled off at the Convention ....

... and I'll bet a lot of the participants were thinking, "Gee, after that long trip, it'll feel really good to sit down ...!".

Say, "What ...??"

 



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