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HomeCentral Arizona

Some of our recent activities . . .

phoenix gay pride parade - November 2021

Phoenix Pride Parade

40th Anniversary

2021 a Success!


It was a great day for the 40th Anniversary Phoenix Pride Parade on Saturday, November 6! We were treated to a mild morning, with our club display of nine vehicles in procession up North 3rd Street in the 2021 Phoenix Pride Parade.

VARIETY was the operative adjective as we covered the bases with the oldest (Tom’s 1919 Ford Model T) to the newest (Daniel’s 2019 Kia Stinger), spanning a full 100 years! We rounded out the procession with a myriad of other vehicles including Lincoln, Fords, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC Truck, and Chrysler products! As an accurate representation of the vehicles owned by our members, we sent a message that our club is not exclusively ‘classics’, rather an enjoyment of all vehicles.

Thanks to all who participated and provided many fun pictures of us! Be on the lookout for more memory shots of the Parade!

CAR Pride 2021 L
CAR Pride 2021 R

Technical EVent - October 2021

Taking Your Car Out of Summer Storage

Jeordy and Howard hosted a successful Technical Event on Oct 9 where Jeordy led a discussion on how to prepare our cars for the cooler months.

We learned about which fluids to inspect and what to look for. This included looking at the underside of the 1940 Buick.

Members who attended joined in the discussion and had an enjoyable time.

Cars & coffee in the park - September 2021

If you were up and about on Saturday at 6 AM in late September, the sky was overcast and, depending on your part of the Valley, it was either sprinkling, raining or thinking about it -- not at all auspicious. However, by 8 AM, the rain had ceased and the day was lovely.

Our show at Los Olivos Park was a success, and you can see by the pictures, we had a good turnout with a variety of our beloved cars. Community members visiting the park also enjoyed our cars. Tom helped a boy honk the Model T’s horn; a couple of other boys were fascinated by Glenn’s station wagon – something pretty much unfamiliar to them, and still others were delighted by the Steves’ T-bird.

It was good to see everyone and we look forward to doing it again soon.

January 16-19, 2020
Thursday - Welcome Reception - Gourmet Pizza
Friday Brunch
Friday Evening - Taillight Glow
Saturday - Open all day to attend various auction events
Saturday Evening - Dessert on the Desert
Sunday - Brunch and Farewell

Another successful Auction Weekend Regional Invitational event is in the rearview mirror! The weather and the auctions did not disappoint. It was a joy to see all the familiar and new faces that make the weekend the special event it always is. A big thanks to Howard and Jeordy for hosting Dessert in the Desert and to Roger and Roberto for having us over for Sunday brunch. Dawn and the gang at 5th Avenue Cafe fed us on Friday morning (as they do every Sunday morning) and we especially appreciate their hospitality and service with a smile. Thank you to the staff at Pomelo for their stylish ambience, tasty pizza, and refreshing beverages at the Thursday welcome reception. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

Route 66 Fun Run - MAY 2019

Kingman 2019 1
We met Friday, May 3, to answer the siren call of Kingman, AZ, and the 32nd Annual Route 66 Fun Run! We took our time going up -- the weather was great and check-in at the hotel was not until mid-afternoon.

Upon arrival, everyone freshened up for dinner at DAMBAR, where we meet up with the rest of our group. The food was good, the service good, show cars were scattered throughout the parking lot, early arrivals. Then back to our various hotels to sleep and anticipate.

Judges met to assign the categories, 61 judged by us and the remaining 5 judged by the Fun Run Association. Each judge had 5-6 categories, selecting from the list by going around the room. Lots of walking ahead. Some then went to Chloride, a small historic town nearby, some went junk-yarding, but everyone met for Mexican just before noon. Cars were arriving several at a time -- at last count we heard over 845 cars were there, filling the town.

Judging started at 3:00 and off we went after getting our clipboards and dots. Beforehand, we had walked around to see what might be worthy.  Two probable winners selected within 15 minutes, a '55 Ford Country Sedan wagon in red and white for Best Station wagon and a '56 Ford Fairlane convertible in peach and white for Best Tri-five Ford {'55, '56, ‘57}. Best Ford '58 and newer went to a ‘79 Ranchero and Best Tri-5 Chevy went to a '56 210 2-dr modified. Cars were supposed to remain parked for the entire judging period, but many cruised around making it hard to find the PERFECT car for each award -- happens every year!

Once judging was done, everyone relaxed. Pizza was served at a local park around 7:00, where we went over the day with suggestions, comments and observations. All were tired and sunburned, but glad to have been there.

We left Sunday around 9:00 to take a leisurely drive on Route 66, stopping in Seligman for ice cream. We ended up getting on I-17 for the final leg home. Everyone has a great time!

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Auction Weekend - January 2019

January 17-20, 2019

Thursday - Welcome Reception - Gourmet Pizza
Friday Brunch - on your own
Friday Evening - Taillight Glow
Saturday - Open all day to attend various auction events
Saturday Evening - Dessert on the Desert
Sunday - Brunch and Farewell

What a magnificent turnout we had for Auction Weekend 2019! Members from as far away as Texas, Ohio, Minnesota, and even Georgia dropped in to spend the long weekend.

The event kicked off Thursday evening with our customary artisan pizza welcome reception on the patio at Pomelo. The enthusiastic turnout, combined with such an intimate setting, allowed for an evening of jovial conversation and strategizing about how to see what, where, and when at all the auctions.

Before turning everyone loose at the auctions, Dawn and the gang at 5th Avenue Cafe got our day started right with bellies full of good homestyle cooking. From there it was off to one, or several, of the auctions to admire, covet, shamelessly lust after, and possibly even compromise one's morals and good reputation. The things we'll do over boys and toys.

New this year was a Friday evening Taillight Glow. Following the auction events, members convened in the parking lot of Faith Lutheran Church, where over a dozen cars were situated in such a way as to allow the rear ends of both car and driver to be admired in sublime luminescence. It didn't hurt attendance that their just happened to be a Culver's conveniently situated right next door for that quick frozen custard fix.

Saturday was left wide open for members to continue their auction quests, or to take in the sights at the weekly Pavilions at Talking Stick drive-in car show in Scottsdale. Either way, members who spent the day working their fitness trackers were in prime shape to give all those steps back at Saturday evening's Dessert in the Desert, warmly hosted by Howard. It's nobody's fault but their own if they go away from Howard's kitchen without their sweet tooth fully sugared. That man knows how to do a dessert spread!

CAR Auction Weekend 2019 L

CAR Auction Weekend 2019 M

CAR Auction Weekend 2019 R

Sunday morning's finale always draws a crowd. Among all things Mopar (and a single GM offering), members mingled over coffee and tasty breakfast burritos at the home of Roger and Roberto, where there is something to be appreciated, and a story to be imagined, in every one of Roger's passion projects. As the sun that Phoenix is so famous for continued to rise into the knockout-blue sky above, we said our goodbyes. Not for long, though. Only for as long as it takes us to see each other at the next event down the road.

Watson lake Swap Meet & Car Show - August 2018

Traveling to Prescott for the annual Watson Lake Swap Meet & Car Show was quite an event. After heading north toward Prescott, the traffic began slowing as we passed Black Canyon City. Several miles beyond, we came to a stop -- an accident had occurred. After the hour and a half delay we were back on the road.

Arriving at the show we met up with several members and past members. The car show had some interesting cars, but not enough interest to take one home. The weather was a bit warm, but tolerable. After several hours of wandering the grounds, we had a nice meal at the old downtown hotel restaurant in Prescott. Then it was home to Phoenix. The show is always a fun event to attend and a good excuse to head to cooler temperatures.

CAR Watson Lake 2018 L

CAR Watson Lake 2018 M

CAR Watson Lake 2018 R

Phoenix Gay Pride Parade - April 2018

What a great day it was for a Pride Parade on Sunday, April 8! We were treated to a warm and breezy morning, with our group display boasting eleven vehicles in procession up North 3rd Street in the 2018 Phoenix Pride Parade. VARIETY was the operative adjective as we covered the bases with the oldest (Howard’s 1919 Ford Model T) to the newest (Erik’s 2018 Subaru Cross Trak), spanning just one year shy of 100 years! We rounded out the procession with a wagon, Jeep, Jaguar, Lexus, Buick, and several FoMoCo products spanning 60 years! As an accurate representation of the vehicles owned by members, we sent a message that our club is not exclusively ‘classics’, rather an enjoyment of all vehicles.

In addition to the LCC procession of cars, we provided the Pride committee with five convertibles that carried dignitaries as lead vehicles at the parade start.

Thanks to all who participated and shared pictures!

CAR Pride 2018 L

CAR Pride 2018 M

CAR Pride 2018 R

Phoenix Gay Pride Parade - April 2017

Our long-standing tradition of participating in community events continued this year, with Central Arizona members providing a bumper crop of over a dozen vehicles in procession up North 3rd Street on a sunny and warm edition of the 2017 Phoenix Pride Parade. Vehicles participating ran from new to quite old, reinforcing our message that our club is not exclusively ‘classics’, rather an enjoyment of all vehicles. In addition to the LCCI procession of cars, we provided the Pride committee with three convertibles that carried dignitaries as lead vehicles in the parade, including the Celebrity Grand Marshall, the incomparable Belinda Carlisle!

CAR Pride 2017 L

CAR Pride 2017 M

CAR Pride 2017 R

Road Trip to Classic Car Museum in Tucson - November 2016

CAR Tucson 2016 L

CAR Tucson 2016 M

CAR Tucson 2016 R

Phoenix Gay Pride Parade - April 2016

Rob writes-

What a great day it was for a Pride Parade on April 3! With temps in the low 80s and lots of sunshine, the Central Arizona members boasted ten vehicles in procession up North 3rd Street in the 2016 Phoenix Pride Parade, after a two-year absence. VARIETY was the operative adjective as we covered the bases with the oldest (Erik’s 1930 Ford Model A to the newest (John’s 2012 Fiat Abarth), a truck (Howard’s Jeep Renegade), and a cross-section of convertible, sedan, sports car, and more! This was an accurate representation of the vehicles owned by members and sent a message that our club is not exclusively ‘classics’, rather an enjoyment of all vehicles.
In addition to the LCC procession of cars, we provided the Pride committee with three convertibles that carried dignitaries as lead vehicles in the parade, including the Grand Marshall, Celebrity Grand Marshalls, and a Stonewall Veteran.

CAR Pride 2016 L

CAR Pride 2016 M

CAR Pride 2016 R

Ignition Phoenix - 2016

We had a beautiful day showing off our cars at the second annual LGBT car show, Ignition Phoenix!

CAR Ignition 2016 L

CAR Ignition 2016 M

CAR Ignition 2016 R

Heatwave Invitational - January 2015

The Heatwave Invitational started with an idea to celebrate the cars and the music from a time when ground-breaking changes were being made in the culture of America. The cars were flexing their muscle with the introduction of the Mustang, GTO, Grand Prix. Chevelle, Cutlass, Barracuda and the Charger. “Full Service” filling stations were selling gasoline at 22-26 cents a gallon. Gone were the Straight Eights, and in their place came the 289, 302, 318, 383, 400, 421, 440 and 455 cubic inch engines, progressive styling, and ever more luxurious accessories, being added yearly by nearly every car manufacturer.

CAR Heatwave L

CAR Heatwave M

CAR Heatwave R

The music went from Doo Wop to Pop and Motown, to the British Invasion. Songs were telling stories of integration and civil rights, the War in Vietnam, and the rebellions focused on the Selective Service System (aka The Draft), Campus Riots, Draft Card burning to Free Love and the open use of various mind-altering substances.

In the forefront of these times, was the breakthrough of what was termed the Motown Sound! Berry Gordy, the founder and President of Motown and Smokey Robinson, the Vice President, were seeking and developing some the most iconic artists of this time. There were messages and stories of happiness, sorrow, dancing, heartbreak, marriage, war, and civil rights hitting the airwaves. For many, those songs and those tumultuously changing times are among their fondest memories, even now, all these years later.

For the Heatwave Invitational, we were very fortunate to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend an evening with one of the most Iconic Artist of this time and in Motown History. Our Featured Entertainer, Ms. Martha Reeves, of Martha and the Vandellas was our guest of honor and our awards banquet entertainment. Her music broke through so many barriers and into so many cultures. Martha saw it all, lived it all, and gave us some memorable songs that we will never forget, providing for many of us the soundtrack of our youth.

There was “Dancing in the Street” at The Millennium McCormick Scottsdale resort, our host hotel, which provided a setting that seemed like a tropical oasis, with its shimmering lake and palm trees, surrounded by desert mountains – complete with warm sunshine during the day and light breezes! Indeed, Arizona’s glorious winter weather was a welcome escape for many of our guests who had come from the frozen east and northeast sections of the country. In fact, Visitors Roger and Gerard from the Michiana Dunes Region reported that the temperature was -11 when they boarded their plane in Traverse City, Michigan.

Some ambitious guests were ready to hit the trail on Thursday morning, and we were pleased to accommodate, with a VIP tour of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) headquarters in north Phoenix. CAP is the entity that provides the majority of water to Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties in here in arid Arizona, via a 336-mile canal system that begins at the Colorado River and stretches all the way to Tucson. A group of 55 attendees took part in the caravan and tour of the CAP facilities, listening with some astonishment as our CAP host, Larry, described the history, building and implementation of this massive project. His presentation highlighted the magnitude of bringing life-giving water to Central and Southern Arizona, as well as its economic impact and population growth CAP has enabled in our desert locale.

CAP Tour and Luau

The group was invited to enter and experience the control center where two operators monitor, via computer and a massive mural of a screen, the entire CAP network, enabling them to see every function along the canal and control all aspects of the system’s water distribution. This remarkable 24/7 endeavor ensures uninterrupted water flow to all the cities and agricultural users along the extensive canal system.

From CAP headquarters the caravan continued on a picturesque desert drive to Lake Pleasant and the New Waddell Dam, which is a reservoir of Colorado River water. There the group learned about how that water is stored and when it is released to continue the journey further along the system. This entire presentation was fascinating and enlightening, to say the least! Following the dam tour it was time for an authentic Hawaiian Luau lunch catered at a scenic overlook of Lake Pleasant! The food was delicious, but perhaps most intriguing was the “Spam Musubi”, a type of sushi that incorporates marinated cooked Spam, which is apparently a popular snack in Hawaii!

By Thursday afternoon, many guests had flooded into the hotel, keeping our registration table volunteers busy. Some squeezed in quick visits to the Barrett-Jackson Auction tents or attended some of the other collector car auctions, others simply gratefully shrugged off their heavy coats and winter wear, and donned shorts and T-shirts, or even swimsuits, to pull up a chaise lounge to soak up the sunshine by the hotel’s lakeside pool.

Welcome Reception

By Thursday evening, the energy had built up for our official Heatwave Welcome Reception and cocktail party, just off the hotel lobby. A cash bar and selection of hors d’oeuvres were available as new and old acquaintances met up for several hours.

The highlight, however, was to be the greeting of Martha Reeves and her manager/agent, Dundee Holt, who were en route from Sky Harbor airport. Ever the maven of merriment, Heatwave Chairman, Kent, urged the crowd to keep an eye out for Martha’s limo at the curb. When Martha came through the door at around 8 PM, our festive bunch of revelers heralded her arrival with much applause and a rousing ovation of “You’ve got nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!” She admitted that in all her years of entertaining, she had never received a welcome like that! In fact, she was so charmed that she told the crowd, “Let’s keep going!” – and without skipping a beat to relax or freshen up, Martha and Dundee entered the reception hall and proceeded with introductions, picture-taking, storytelling, laughter and conversation, and more than a little wine… all set to our background music of Motown and other popular ‘60s hits. The change of time zones notwithstanding, Martha and Dundee made a spectacular first impression!

The first caravan out of the chute on Friday headed out for the ever-popular junkyard tour, heading south to the famous Desert Valley Auto Parts salvage yard in Casa Grande, a legendary treasure trove of classic cars and parts from the ‘40s through the ‘80s. Attendees, armed with their shopping lists, cameras and bulging wallets, marveled at the comparatively rust-free vehicles that can only be found in a dry climate such as ours. After several hours of navigating through row after row of twisted steel sculptures, a body gets hungry, and the attendees were served up another delicious catered luncheon, this time a delightful Texas barbecue with all the fixins’, with the wide selection of meats prepared onsite on a mobile 32′ smoker. Trunk lids became dining tables, wheel covers were placemats, it doesn’t get much “realer” than this for a famished flock foraging for flawless fender skirts!

Salvage Yard Tour and Texas BBQ

After lunch, another caravan assembled at the host hotel for an excursion to North Scottsdale’s Penske Racing Museum, with scheduled walking tours of the luxury automobile dealerships show- casing Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley, chaired by Kent. Upon arrival, guests (including Martha Reeves!) viewed various iconic racing vehicles such as the 1963 Pontiac Catalina 421 Super Duty that was driven by Roger Penske at the NASCAR Riverside 250 on May 16, 1963. Also, among many others, was the 1994 Indianapolis 500 winner, Penske PC-23 Porsche driven by Al Unser, Jr. The dealership tours were “eye- popping”. “Entry-level” Ferraris started at $225K. And the Rolls Royce choices were over the top! Models commencing at $340K could be outfitted with MINK carpeting for a measly 30 grand. Pony up $3,500 to get a headliner made from your favorite Giorgio Armani tuxedo fabric.

At 5PM on Friday, with eyeballs burning and wallets nervous, the groups began to file back to their respective transportation for the drive to the Stonecreek Golf Club for the evening’s dinner and entertainment. But Martha and Dundee were in for one more surprise… they were greeted in the parking lot by LCCI Central Arizona Region member, Lou, in his stunning ’64 Cadillac Deville convertible which would be their chariot for the commute! Martha posed for a photo shoot and Lou couldn’t keep from grinning.

The Stonecreek Golf Club was a perfect rendezvous spot for our weary guests. Martha Reeves, having arrived in “1964 Cadillac Style”, was again the center of attention! She rallied the troops with a fabulous a capella rendition of America the Beautiful just before the buffet line opened. The evening’s entertainment was emceed by Kent, with five teams of three perplexed contestants who were chosen for what turned out to be the campiest “drag race” in Phoenix! In a complete surprise, wardrobe racks were rolled out, stuffed with the most hideous assemblage of dresses, gowns, culottes, togas and trashy accessories (including rice-filled knee-high stockings that provided perfect, though pendulous breast augmentation for a drag queen on a budget! Each teams’ captain would be the “hapless victim,” and his two cohorts were to dress him, unassisted, in some combination of this “hote koo-choor”. The first team to successfully get its captain across the finish line won $25 each on a pre-paid Visa card! Kent expressed disbelief that none of the participants knew how to fasten a bra! “Team Dane” (of the Vegas HEAT Region) won the competition, perhaps having had some advantage due to his taking top honors in a similar contest at the SACK invitational, “Rocky Mountain High Gear” in 1996. Practice does make perfect, it appears. But kudos must also go to teammates Dundee Holt and Jamie. Martha and Dundee were again chauffeured back to The McCormick Scottsdale in classic elegance, courtesy of Rob and Dan, in their 1955 Lincoln Capri coupe!

Friday Night Banquet

Saturday’s dawn saw Larry, Car Show Chairman, and his enthusiastic second in command, Scott, out bright and early, to organize the layout of the car show display. Photographer (and Lambda friend) Gregg Edelman took a position near the lake to capture stylish portrait of each car and driver entering the lot, to be issued to attendees as a souvenir of their visit to The Valley of the Sun. The show officially got under way at 10AM, when DJ Greg Mather (along with wife Lori) cranked up the appropriate vintage jams. Larry and Scott found spaces for 62 vehicles, along with additional areas for two vendors (Community Tire Pros and Decked Out Treasures). AutoNation Ford Scottsdale also provided a wonderful display of new 2015 vehicles, including a hot new Mustang GT coupe in Race Red which was staged on the terrace behind the hotel ballroom. As a tribute to Mustang’s 50th anniversary, the 2015 model was juxtaposed next to a museum-worthy gold 1965 Mustang convertible loaned to us by a member of the Copperstate Mustang Club.

Invitational Car Show and Luncheon

Unbeknownst to show-goers, just behind the curtained ballroom windows, a transformation was occurring. Committee members were busy creating the stage set and decorating the tables for Saturday night’s Heatwave Awards Banquet and Martha Reeves’ entertainment. The heatwave committee effected a significant (albeit temporary) alteration of the room to achieve a nightclub atmosphere; gold records were in abundance along with Motown posters, record jackets and a variety of Mustang-related memorabilia.

Around noontime, guests gathered at the Mustang exhibit while awaiting the opening of the buffet line for lunch. Served on the terrace overlooking the lake, surrounded by palm trees, the lunch experience had the aura of a genuine “desert mirage!” While most attendees left lunch overstuffed and were able to enjoy several hours of free time before dinner – some heading out to the auctions, and others lounging by the pool. Elsewhere in the hotel, voting ballots were being counted by Larry and Scott, and Mark and Roger set about getting the award winners’ title cards set up for the ceremony.

And then the evening began…

At around 5 PM, guests began to congregate at the hotel’s lakeside terrace for cocktail hour. Some were dressed in their “Mad Men” finest attire… and then there was Don, complete with dark hair like he had (we can only assume) back in the day.
The scene looked like a movie set as the fire pits were lit, the cash bar was hopping and people were ogling the two iconic Mustangs glittering under festive strings of party lights. The sun was glowing red on the horizon and festoon lighting was flickering on in the palm trees and around the windows of of an office building across the lake, causing its surface to shimmer and glitter under the darkening skies.

Inside the ballroom, Martha Reeves was doing sound checks with DJ Greg Mather, and spot lights were being focused and set for her performance. When the doors opened at the end of the cocktail hour, our guests were amazed to find the ballroom transformed into a glamorous retro “night club”, with black table cloths, black linen napkins, white china and smart gold record centerpieces with geysers of sparkling gold sprays along their top edges! Dinner service commenced promptly as Master of Ceremonies, Kent, welcomed the crowd. A slideshow of photos taken during the day by our official event photographer, Gregg Edelman of Image Marketing, was being projected on the screen. Kent introduced Steve Moore, CAR president, who gave his welcome and introduced several dignitaries that were in the audience, including six LCCI regional presidents, two interregional coordinators, national treasurer (and CAR member) Eric Thomas, and LCCI national president, Jeff Tarr. Next up were Jim Cook (SACK Region), Guy Crouch (Show Me Region president) and Paul Sumrall (CCCC Austin Region president) who promoted their upcoming invitationals.

Jeff Tarr and Kent presented the Featured Sponsor award to a representative from AutoNation Ford Scottsdale. Their involvement made a significant contribution to our Mustang 50th anniversary display, and we were pleased to have been able to showcase some of their innovative new products during our car show. Also recognized for media advertising were Jack Tesorero, editor/publisher of ION-AZ Magazine, and Bill Gemmill, managing editor of Echo Magazine.

Car show chairman Larry Huber had generated eight award categories, each of which was cleverly named for a hit recording from the sixties! It was a close race in many of the categories, but the popular choice ballots revealed the following winners:

   1. “Baby I’m Yours” (Best Interior) 1966 AMC Ambassador Wagon: Paul (CAR – Phoenix)
   2. “I Saw Her Standing There” (Best Paint) 1964 Cadillac Deville Convertible: Lou (CAR – Phoenix)
   3. “Cara Mia” (Favorite Foreign Vehicle) 1970 Subaru 360: Scott (CAR – Phoenix)
   4. “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” (Favorite Convertible) 1960 Pontiac Bonneville: Andy & Rob (Multiple Regions)
   5. “Leader of the Pack” (Favorite Muscle Car) 1976 Pontiac Trans Am: Jim & Alan (CAR – Phoenix)
   6. “My Boy Lollipop” (Favorite Boy Magnet) 1964 Chevrolet Corvette: Peter (CAR – Tucson)
   7. “Dancing in the Street” (Host Hotel Choice) 1960 Chevrolet Impala: Ken & Tim (Freewheelers – CA) (Presented by Julie Heaney, Hotel Events Coord.)
   8. “King of the Road” (Best of Show) 1934 Pontiac Sedan: Don (CAR – Phoenix) (Presented by Martha Reeves)

Finally, it was time for a little entertainment! Indeed! The desserts had been eaten, awards had been presented, and when Kent rose to the microphone, the crowd knew what was coming. “She’s in the house tonight! Please welcome legendary Motown recording artist… Ms. Martha Reeves!” A high energy instrumental of Nowhere to Run blared through the sound system as the 73 year-old diva sashayed through the ballroom in her bejeweled blue dress and exuberant coordinated scarf! Applause burst forth. On stage, Martha had the audience in her hands, kicking off the performance with a rendition of our de facto invitational theme sone, “Heatwave,” followed by her 1963 hit, “Come and Get These Memories!”

Much of the hour-and-a-half show was done in a delightful “interview” style, with Kent asking questions and Martha reminiscing about many elements of her career. She had actually begun her Motown stint by answering the telephone at the office on W. Grand Blvd. (She joked that she was never a secretary… she was a singer who could type.) One day when Mary Wells missed a session, Martha stepped up to the mic and got notice… and a contract!

She told wonderful anecdotes about her friendship with Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. And she recalled the first day that Stevie Wonder walked into the Motown offices and was able to tap out a rhythm on anything he touched. But most captivating to a room full of “car queens” were her recollections of the making of the music video for Nowhere to Run – when she and the Vandellas infiltrated the Dearborn assembly line where brand new 1965 Mustangs were being built! She confessed that the workers (who had not been informed of the girls’ gig) were not amused!

Before the show ended, Martha had belted out her biggest hits, including Jimmy Mack, Nowhere to Run and Dancing in the Street, the latter of which has been preserved in a time capsule by the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress. She explained that it was really “just a party song”, despite having unintentionally drawn fire as a political anthem during the height of the civil rights movement. In a moment that was quite touching, she urged all the couples in the room to get up and slow dance to her rendition of “My Baby Loves Me.” The final tune, however, was anything but slow. Martha and Kent came into the audience during a repeat performance of “Heatwave,” and managed to link up an impromptu “conga line” that circled completely around the ballroom. Quite a finale!

Martha’s manager/agent, Dundee Holt, orchestrated an autograph signing after the show and cameras were flashing left and right. The group shot which leads this story will be an enduring memory for everyone on the Heatwave team, and we hope you, too, took home some remarkable experiences!

Saturday Car Show Beauty Shots

CAR Heatwave Cars 1

CAR Heatwave Cars 2

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Holiday Party - December 2014

Our 2014 Holiday Party was a lovely private affair that featured a plated dinner banquet at the Acacia Café in central Phoenix. Proprietor Michael Soucier and his partner Jeff Pinales served up great hospitality, not to mention a choice of either Chicken Piccata or Salmon with Dill Butter. Both entrees were delightful!

Thirty members attended the function which started out with an hour of drinks and appetizers. Desserts were plentiful as each attendee was asked to bring something to share... and share we did!

The highlight of the evening was the campy White Elephant gift exchange. A couple of items were particularly unforgettable... Tom took home a tacky (but oddly lovable) “Standing Horse Toilet Paper Holder,” provided by Larry. And an anonymous member brought what appeared upon first glance to be an intriguing wooden tiki carving. Pick it up, however, and a hefty penis dropped out from beneath his robes. Yikes... a fertility god of some kind! A flurry of exchanges ensued, but the prurient treasure ended up with Don, who donated it immediately to Steve Moore and Mark Howard as a housewarming gift for their new place in Payson! Lucky boys.

Thanks to Larry for organizing this festive event to close out the year!

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Fall Folly Road Rally - November 2014

Rally masters Mark and Don set up a wacky, 66-mile driving experience, that promised to test participant’s powers of observation and general automotive knowledge (among other things).

The Fall Folly Road Rally was held on a beautiful Saturday in November, with participants meeting up at the starting point, the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in northern Phoenix.

Rally masters Mark and Don spelled out the instructions for the day, and then the competition was on! A total of five teams were released at intervals into the bowels of this enormous antique mall, tasked with finding a variety of visual clues. Interestingly, all five of the vehicles participating were special interest-type cars. Besides my ’77 Buick, there was a 1970 Ford Torino GT convertible, captained by Rob, a 1989 Mustang 5.0 convertible belonging to Larry Schroeder, a Howard and Tom's 1983 Buick Riviera, and a 1995 Oldsmobile Regency Elite with Mark Howard at the helm.

Although automotive trivia dominated the clue quizzes, there were other topics such as celebrity residents of the Valley... did you know that Steven Spielberg and Wayne Newton spent much of their youth here? Even though we were allowed to use our smartphones, there were enough obscure questions that made the internet fairly pointless. (Do you know what the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a 1957 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop was? Well, neither does your smartphone without some serious surfing.

The Taliban Trio had an amazing combination of chemistry and enthusiasm which made our experience even more fun and exciting. Tackling the quizzes and correctly opening the route instruction envelopes made us feel like we were on the TV reality show, “The Great Race." The course of this 66-mile trek took us through some breathtaking vistas and historic landmarks that exist right here in our own backyard!

The finish line was at the gorgeous midcentury modern home of Steve Bultemeyer and Richard Ridley, where we were joined by a number of our Lambda brethren who hadn’t been able to participate in the rally. Top-shelf hospitality and a delightful catered dinner completed this awesome day.

After grading all the paperwork, Mark and Don announced the results. The winning team was the “Bitch Brigade”, consisting of Steve, Mark, and Shari!

The challenges, the adventure and the extreme amount of creativity and organization made this an incredible event. We could hardly fathom the number of hours of planning that Mark and Don committed to this! Cars and fun and friendship... we have to do it again!

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KOOL FM Car Show at Glendale Westgate - October 2014

Members of the LCCI Central Arizona Region arrived as early as 7:30 AM to get a prime location for what was to be one of the Largest Car Shows in the State, produced by Nancy Perry Productions.

The show lot exceeded 1500 Vehicles of all styles, from complete frame-off 400-point restorations, to high tech resto-rods and hot rods, pick up trucks, motorcycles, and vintage tear drop travel trailers.

It was a long day, but the camaraderie of current members and old friends we saw, in addition to all the cool errr... KOOL cars we saw made for a fun day out in the sunshine.

Members dined together at one of the restaurants in this sprawling entertainment compound that is attached to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, and site of Superbowl XLIX to be held there this January. Shari and Scott both submitted their cars for judging, Shari showing her 1990 GMC pickup, a Pocono Raceway truck, and Scott showed his Subaru 360, which came in second place in the "Exotic" category.

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Tour the Colors Autumn Road Trip - October 2014

Arizona offers a variety of options in climate, topography and scenery. Seventeen members of the Central Arizona Region of LCCI signed up for this fall road trip adventure to “tour the colors” in Payson and Mogollon Rim country, escorted by one of our newer members, and local resident of the area, Eric.

The Caravan originated at the "Rock and Roll McDonalds" at the Pavilions on Indian Bend in Scottsdale around 8:30 AM on Sunday October 19th. The weather was perfect with a slight overcast and cool breeze. The caravan route took us through the breathtaking scenery of the Beeline Highway as it traced its way through Tonto National forest ascending into the high country at the base of the Mogollon Rim. A little more than an hour later, we were pulling into Payson where we met up with Eric. It was another 20-minute drive east to our brunch destination, Kohl’s Ranch Lodge, where Eric had secured reservations.

What a pleasant surprise we all had as we entered the Kohl’s Ranch property. Located at the base of the Mogollon Rim and on the banks of Tonto Creek, it was in a beautiful setting among the oak, walnut, maple, ponderosa pine, fir and spruce trees that were just taking on their fall color pallets. The main lodge, restaurant and bar had a warm and welcoming “Northern Woods” décor that exemplifies a casual, uniquely western and rustic atmosphere. Once you’re inside, all you can think is “Ahhh!”

The staff rolled out a warm and friendly welcome and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and hearty meal. After brunch, many of us took a stroll alongside nearby Christopher Creek, experienced the fragrances of the forest and snapped a few pics of the changing leaves backed by the spectacular granite and red rock mountains. Attendees were so impressed with the scenery and amenities, that we picked up brochures and asked about pricing for all the cabins and hotel rooms at the lodge so we might plan a future overnight trip to this serene mountain retreat!

After our post-brunch perambulation, it was back into the cars, and led again by Eric, we were off to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, which has to be one of the most breathtaking sites in Arizona. The descent into the valley is spectacular, and the views are unmatched. It's a truly spectacular natural wonder! This naturally-occurring travertine bridge is tucked away in the Arizona Mountains at about 5,000 ft and is about 8-10 miles north of Payson. You can walk across the bridge and look down through metal gratings at the water flowing more than 180 feet below. There were some excellent moments for photo opportunities - just before it began to rain. Only after the first few drops, the temperatures dropped as well and then the hail began to fall!

Mother Nature continued her onslaught, with temperatures falling into the “way-too-cold-for-somebody-from-Phoenix” range. We took shelter under the information kiosks and picnic shelters, yet the shifting winds made it almost impossible to find a dry spot. A few brave souls made a run for their vehicles and then shuttled about the parking lot picking up water-logged Lambdans! Our clothes may have been dampened, but our spirits weren’t and we even had a surprise birthday celebration, of sorts, for Tom at the Payson Dairy Queen! We even got the other patrons to join us in a rousing rendition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY. We then added back the calories we burnt throughout our hike and our running escape from the weather.

This was a terrific event and one that we will repeat, hopefully including an overnighter stay at Kohl's Ranch lodge sometime in the near future. Many thanks to Eric for stepping up and acting as our host and guide for this fun event!

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Cruise on Central Car Show and Cruise-In - October 2014

To call the Cruise on Central a big event would be a gross understatement, as there were literally hundreds upon hundreds of cool, and usually immaculate, cars from every era, and every specialized interest, both out on Central Avenue and on display. The weather was spectacular, warm but not too warm, and of course there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The biennial Cruise on Central, which is held on the second Saturday of April and October, draws collectors, enthusiasts, spectators, and cruisers from throughout Arizona and beyond, for what is regarded as one of the state’s oldest and best cruise-in events

This annual year's Fall Cruising on Central, already a huge event, was one of the perhaps the most well-attended cruise we've seen in the last 3 years. Whether its a sign of an improving economy or just a coincidence, Nancy Perry Productions, which has been the event's promoter for the past 14 years, must have done a heck of a job organizing and promoting the event, because it was wall-to-wall with thousands of people, and lots of interesting rides, cruising up and down Central Avenue, and on the huge show field that was set up in the Park Central Shopping Center's parking lot.

As parking together on the show field is well-nigh impossible if you don't all arrive early and together, LCCI Central Arizona Region members were instructed to meet up at our traditional viewing location on the Northeast corner of Earll Drive and Central, where we had the best seats in the house for watching all of the cars that were on parade, as well as those turning in to appear on the show field. Well over a dozen members met up to hang out and watch the seemingly never-ending supply of interesting scenery drive by, from classic cars, limited edition models, customs, hot rods, drag racers, low riders, sports cars and trucks of all kinds, there were even some ex-military vehicles

Vendors and manufacturers were on hand, selling everything from vehicle accessories, products and services, food, commemorative event T-shirts, and even vintage clothing with which you could accessorize your ride, for those up for wearing period-authentic clothes. Also on hand, was Nancy Perry's primary DJ, Greg Mathers, spinning classic tunes from the 50s through to the 70s, we're so impressed with his incredible sound system and deep catalog of vintage hits, that we've hired him to be our DJ for the car show and awards banquet at Heatwave 2015.

We'll of course get another opportunity to enjoy Mather's spinning talents at the Westgate Car Show later this month, and we're sure to be back, sitting in out usual prime spot, for the Spring Cruise on Central in April 2015; we wouldn't miss it for the world!

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Arizona Gay Rodeo Association’s Inaugural Big Gay Yard Sale - October 2014

Despite having short notice due to an email snafu, LCCI Central Arizona Region members showed up in force for the first annual “Big Gay Yard Sale,” sponsored by the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association, held in the parking lot of Charlie’s Phoenix, and in addition to getting to ogle some cowboys, it served as an opportunity to engage the larger community, letting them know about the club, and raising awareness of our club’s upcoming events.

LCCI Central Arizona Region members, Steve, Kent, Don, Mark, Mike, Donovan, Roger and Larry were on hand, with Donovan’s 1965 Buick Skylark, Larry’s 1964 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham, Kent’s 1970 Pontiac Bonneville, Steve’s 1989 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series, and Don’s 1934 Pontiac Sedan on display, representing the breadth of our club’s interest in cars of any age. In addition to emptying out a sizable collection of left-over inventory from Desert Iron’s silent auction, our presence was warmly received by our hosts and the other participants, and we’re looking forward to participating again next year.

"NIGHt out" at the scottsdale pavilions - september 2014

By mid-September, the heat had finally dissipated sufficiently to venture outdoors for our first "Night Out" event of the season, simultaneously celebrating the imminent end of the Monsoon and kicking off our region's peak activity season, with a group visit to the Pavilions Car Show and Cruise In in Scottsdale.

Clearly our members had gotten sick of being hunkered down in our air-conditioned bunkers over the past few unbearably hot and humid months, as the Club fielded 26 attendees, with a bunch of member cars, both old and new, on display on the show field.

The Pavilions Car show is one event we always take out-of-towners to, as although it's held in a shopping center parking lot, it's still a beautiful location with gorgeous and stately palm trees surrounding the field, and beautiful sunsets over Camelback Mountain in the offing as the afternoon turns to evening.

As luck would have it, a local hybrid and electric car club was there in force, adding an unaccustomed eco-friendly vibe in contrast to the usual contingent of big-engined muscle cars. They might be tree-huggers, but clearly they still love cars.

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1st Annual ignition phoenix lgbt auto show - august 2014

The first ever LGBT car show kinda snuck up on us, when we received a very unexpected telephone call from the folks at ION Arizona Magazine! They were revving up for their first annual LGBT auto show to be held in the air-conditioned comfort of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and were hoping that our club would lend our name, and of course, our cars, in sponsorship of the first-ever Ignition Phoenix LGBT Auto Show. How could we refuse?

Other gay clubs with a motorized theme were invited as well, including the Cactus 4 Wheelers and the Hell’s Fairies, a group of LGBT scooter enthusiasts. While we were given short notice, we were able to draw on our connections, and our resident Chrysler maven, Roger, was able to bring his '62 Imperial out for their ad campaign photo shoot for the event, with his car posing with some hot models of the two-legged variety.

Ultimately, LCCI Central Arizona Region's members, brought out thirteen vehicles for the show, which was held on August 30th, and we managed to give away all of the our club membership forms we brought as our cars and our members attracted the interests of the attendees. The show also featured music, food, drinks, a poker tournament, a vapor lounge and more. In true ION style, some drag queens were on hand, as well as a gaggle of scantily clad dancers. It was lively, to say the least.

Spectators were asked to donate $20 at the door, with proceeds being shared with the QU Scholarship Fund and the Phoenix Pride LGBT Center. Everyone received a ballot to vote on their favorite cars in six categories, and LCCI C.A.R. members won three of them. Paul was awarded "Best Tail" for his '65 Rambler Marlin, Mark winning "Best Grille" for his '62 Chrysler Imperial, and Ralph winning the ultimate prize, "Best in Show" for his gorgeous '58 Chrysler 300.

We were thanked profusely by the organizers of the event, and based on its success, they are already planning to do it again next year. One things for certain, we'll be there!

central Arizona & New Mexico rainbow roadrunners summer camp experience - July 2014

Greer, Arizona, located just east of Pinetop in Arizona’s White Mountains, is approximately equidistant from Phoenix and Albuquerque, which made it a perfect rendezvous point for members from both the Central Arizona Region and the New Mexico's LCCI region, the Rainbow Roadrunners, who got together over July 25-27 for a unique weekend trip in the mountains.

The high elevation of Greer, at about 8,300 feet provided us a cool respite from the searing July heat of the valley, although the thin air made some experience some difficulties breathing. Despite that, the surrounding countryside was magnificent, with vast green rolling plains that spread out with a backdrop of distant mountain ranges.

The Greer Cabin Connection provided us with three clean cottages that were nestled in the piney woods not far from Greer’s “town center” where a number of shops and colorful restaurants are located. Greer is known for its hummingbird population, and every dining patio featured “busy” hummingbird feeders, their beautiful and frenetic feeding activity providing a show with every meal.

The weather was refreshing, save for a short-lived storm that blew in on Saturday evening, the same night we drove into the nearby town of Springerville for barbecue at the rustic Avery’s Waterhole Café, Gas Station and Convenience Store! It was wet, but wonderful.

Thanks to Donovan for arranging this unique “camp-out” experience!

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