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2003 Saab Owners Convention Chairman's Update



Chairman's Update: June 2003
2003 SAAB Owners Convention
By Marc A. Fails, President
Central Penn SAAB Club

By the time you are reading this, we will be within 60 days of the
convention. Each of our committees are nearing the completion of their
planning stages and we will begin preparing for the on-site tasks and
assignments to make your convention trip a pleasant and memorable one.

The biggest news of course is that we have surpassed the 50% mark for the
Hershey group rate room block. We expect to be at 100% well before our August
24th  deadline, when any unsold rooms go back into Hershey's inventory. As we
point out on the website, when calling 800-HERSHEY to reserve your room,
please indicate that you are calling to reserve your room for the 2003 SAAB
Owners Convention. This will ensure that we fill our room block per our
contract with Hershey, and you get the group rate of $129 per night, plus
(9%)tax.

Our committee on-site visit was held on May 31st, which allowed many who
hadn't been to the facility, to get a first hand look at what was in store
for us. All came away impressed with the professionalism of the Hershey staff
and the gracious and ample surroundings. I thank all in attendance who
contributed to the success of the meeting, and who have worked very hard
these past months.

We continued to work on sponsorships in June, and welcome Gold Wing SAAB
Parts, Hastings, New York, National Motorists' Association (Patron Level,
Countryside Driving Tour); and  Stoner Products, Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
These fine sponsors join our other convention sponsors including: Eisenhauer
SAAB, Wernersville, PA (Platinum Level); Roberti Motorcars, Kingston, NY
(Bronze Level); Swedish Connection, Bergenfield, NJ (Double Patron Level);
Swedish Motors, Marietta, PA (Patron Level); Don Fatzinger Automotive,
Robesonia, PA (Patron Level); Lehman Motors SAAB, Harrisburg, PA (hole-in-one
giveaway car), SAAB Cars USA, Mile Hi Body Shop, Denver, CO; The SAAB
Network, Menlo Park, CA; Lititz Auto Service, Manheim, PA (Patron Level);
Brewer's SAAB, Maugansville, MD, (The Long Distance Award and Patron Level
sponsor); Motorsport Service, Jamestown, NY (Patron Level), Sports Car
Service, Inc.,  Wilmington, DE (Silver Level and The People's Choice
sponsorship).

We have continued to receive requests from dealers and independent shops for
the official convention posters continue. The sponsorship team continues to
distribute them. If your favorite mechanic or dealer doesn't have one yet,
pass along the contact information, and we'll get one out to them, provided
they agree to display them. Posters are also available for sale, at $10 each,
plus postage.  I extend my thanks to all the shops supporting the event and
displaying the poster for us this year.

Our featured speaker for the Saturday evening banquet will be none other than
Mr. Burt (B.S.) Levy, author of Montezuma's Ferrari and other 50's era racing
tales. Truly a humorous and entertaining gentleman(?), Mr. Levy is a familiar
face in vintage racing circles. B.S., as he is known, will be on hand after
dinner for a book signing and tall tales. His topic remains a mystery, even
to me, so it should be an interesting evening nonetheless.

We are finalizing the autocross event, and have secured an insurance carrier,
and have finalized the rules and classes. The event will be held on Saturday,
but we will have a tech inspection area set up at The Lodge on Friday, as
well as at the course on Saturday. We will be following an SCCA format
regarding classes and safety equipment. We will have classed for vintage,
street, street prepared and street modified cars. Dot helmets are acceptable
in all but the street prepared class, where helmets must have a current Snell
rating. Those registering for the autocross event will receive information
prior to the event on the rules and requirements.

And to close this month's report, you may recall that we were considering
canceling the give-away car for 2003. We have been unsuccessful in finding a
suitable car to-date, given our strict criteria, but that's why we developed
the criteria in the first place. The decision has been made to withdraw this
activity from our event calendar this year. Discussions amongst committee
members, as well as conferring with legal counsel, pointed to the fact that
we really do not need the added liability. We received input from many
attendees who would like us to provide more prizes and chances to win
throughout the weekend, than have only one item that one person wins.  Since
announcing our intent to consider canceling the give-away-car back in April,
I received no compelling reasons why we needed to pursue doing it. We think
we have a more suitable solution worked out, with more prizes planned this
year.

Until next time...

Marc Fails, Chairman
2003 SAAB Owners Convention  

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