January was a very busy month for the SOC planning committees. The Concour committee has been working hard on building more guidelines and definitions for what will be the 2003 Concours d' SAAB. Committee member Bruce Harbison put together an excellent commentary defining what the original Concours d' Elegance represented. 'Parade of Elegance' or Concours d'Elegance was created in France to showcase the finest and most stylish fashions and expensive automobiles at the time, which were then judged and prizes presented. The committee is working very hard at building a charter and mission statement that will carry its work forward for many years to come. I applaud their fine efforts and look forward to sharing their results with you soon. Once I have the concour committee's final draft, we will post it on the convention website at: www.saabconvention.org.
With January coming to a close, I am also happy to report that we have received the first sponsorship check for the event. Special thanks to Jerry Danner, and his team at Mile Hi Auto Body in Denver Colorado for being the first to send a check. We will be working with Jerry on his exact sponsorship goals, and will post a link on the convention website shortly. Thanks also go out to Rich Kushner at Swedish Motors in Marietta, PA and Brad Schaffner at George's Imports in Kansas City, Mo who have expressed interest in sponsoring the convention, and are reviewing the sponsorship kit. I hope to be able to report more sponsorship commitments next month as we continue to get more of the packages in the hands of potential sponsors.
Through January, Chris Moberg was able to add more information to the convention website, with more planned for February. We expect to finalize the rules for The Viking Challenge very soon, and post them to the website. Until then, you will note the logo included above, which will represent The Viking Challenge event. For those unfamiliar with this new event, it will be a contest of driver and car, involving a dynamometer run, the autocross, and a judged show and shine. There will be awards for each event as well as an overall winner. Chris has built a scoring system that will provide a level playing field for strokers and turbos alike and should prove to be a lot of fun, both as a combatant, and a spectator.
I am also pleased to welcome the assistance of Michael Connolly, who will be heading up the 21 & Under event, with the help of Carl Levine and a 'to be named committee'. Mike's group will be organizing the 21 & Under category, and award the Kyle and Timothy Crisman Memorial Award, sponsored by Scott Paterson and The SAAB Network. Special thanks to Scott, Mike, Carl and everyone who has offered suggestions for this meaningful part of the event.
I've spent quite a bit of time studying the notes Tom Nelson supplied me. Of particular note was the interest by 1999 attendees to organize ride-along sessions in some of the vintage cars. This was of particular interest to me, having just purchased a 1960 93 restoration project. Equally amazing when I realize I've never driven or ridden in a stroker. For those of us who may not have had the thrill of riding in a 2-stroke, you'll have your chance in Hershey, thanks to Bruce Turk and some of the vintage owners, as we organize some ride-along sessions for the uninitiated. If you'd like to participate, please let me know.
We continue to work on the autocross event, and have had a great response from people eager to help out with the on-site work during the event. Dan Orzano is working at finalizing the tech sessions and the even harder task of working them around other events on the schedule. The entire event schedule will be posted on the website once we have a better idea of the 'who, what and when'. Electronic registrations are ready, but are being held off temporarily until we have information completed on the event garments, along with pricing. Once we have all the details, and can get everything loaded on the website, we'll bring up the on-line registrations. I am projecting a completion date of mid to late February at this point.
Again, I want to thank everyone for their continued suggestions and support over the past month. Chris Moberg has received compliments on the website, and his efforts have been outstanding thus far, and I'm glad to have the help. Thanks Chris. And keep those ideas and suggestions coming.
Until next time...
Marc Fails, Chairman
2003 SAAB Owners Convention