VCOA 2005 Regional Meet


Travels to Tacoma

August 27, 2005

The Puget Sound chapter of VCOA held a regional meet in Tacoma Washington on the weekend of 12-14 August. Originally there were no formal Volvo meets, either VSA or VCOA, scheduled for this summer. But Wes Urbanec, long time organizer extraordinaire, at the last minute couldn’t bear to see a lovely summer weekend go unused. In record short time and with some very hard work by the Puget sound members he found a friendly neighbourhood Volvo dealer who would host the concourse and a nearby hotel to host the partying.

Complete photos can be found here. Photos courtesy of Bob Cuthill.

The Canadian contingent consisted of Dave and Louise McAree from Langley in Dave’s green 73 142 and Bob and Lucy Cuthill from Victoria in the grey 61 P1800. While this was only a regional meet as opposed to a full blown west coast national event, it still required going through all the same planning steps, just on a slightly smaller scale. And I’m personally acquainted with those steps, having been on Gregg Morris’ organizing committee for the 2001 event VCBC hosted in Tsawwassen. My hat is off to Wes and crew – they put on a marvellous weekend in every aspect, I’m just trying to figure out how they did it on such short notice.

2005 Regional Meet - At a Rest Stop - VCBC
VCOA 2005 - At the Rest Stop

Bob and Lucy left Victoria on the 06:10 Coho ferry to Port Angeles on Friday morning. With the Hood Canal Bridge closed for repairs the route took them all the way down US 101 to Olympia with a small backtrack to Tacoma. The area had been checked out with the help of a computer map that showed Volvo of Tacoma in Fife just south of I-5 and the hotel just north of I-5 at the same intersection. It was a nice leisurely drive to arrive just in time for lunch at the Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel. Steve Yabroff had done some first class computer wizardry in the meet application forms, quick confirmation messages and detailed notes for the weekend so it was easy to find everything, including the local car wash. Registration later that afternoon was a good time to renew old acquaintances and meet some new people and at the reception we got a chance to catch up on happenings since the last meet (and scout out tomorrows competition!). Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without a quick tour of the casino now, would it?

Of course, the main attraction is the display and judging on Saturday. It was already getting hot by mid morning as the cars arrived at Volvo of Tacoma. Last minute detailing and setting up was soon done and the cars arrayed for the judges. All in all, thirty cars were entered in the concourse with another half dozen or so just out for display. Naturally, the brand new Volvo semi tractor driven in by Rick Tartar was among the “display only”s, but it was still impressive for those who had never been in one before. Talk about all the bells and whistles! And Rick says you can also get one with a small washer and dryer on board, in addition to the fridge, microwave and TV! Meanwhile, back at the concourse……as this was to be a regional meet it was only natural that the numbers would be smaller. So once all the entrants were tallied, the usual class divisions were adjusted a bit under the watchful eye of Chief Judge Don Johnson. Following lunch inside our host dealership’s lovely air conditioned facility, the judging commenced. I don’t know if they couldn’t stand the suspense, but Lucy and Louise managed to hijack the Volvo of Tacoma courtesy van to drop them off at the nearby mall. The competition on the concourse was very keen, particularly among the 1800s where P1800s, S, E and ES were organized into two main groups – Stock and Modified (not including the Masters of course).

By shortly after three the judges had finished doing their thing and owners were allowed to return to their vehicles and get ready for a little road trip. Locals Jay and Pat Holland were our guides for a drive through town to the beautiful park setting of Point Defiance. It was much cooler down along the beach front drive and through the wooded park area with a stop to view the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It wasn’t until a little later when we took a brief rest stop and photo op that someone counted cars. It was a good thing there were no triskaidekaphobics around – there were thirteen of us! But we survived and made it back to the hotel (and casino) for supper. Wes, Don and crew were keeping us in suspense as they were saving the judging results and awards until breakfast on Sunday morning. So I guess to break the tension Lucy and Bob adjourned for while to the casino to try their luck (which turned out to be quite good – but that’s another story).

Sunday morning dawned bright and looked like it would continue the trend of hot and sunny all weekend. We were all eager to hear the results and after breakfast and awards, when all was said and done, everyone was in agreement. Among the winners, Dave and Louise claimed a first in the Masters 140-160 group and Bob and Lucy a second in the Modified 1800, S, E and ES. But I think everyone who attended this event was a winner in one way or another.

Then all too soon it was time to hit the road again. Dave and Louise headed due north for Langley as did Bob and Lucy, who were in time to catch the six o’clock ferry from Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay.