Well we did it – and we owe it to all of you who made this happen.
The visionaries who saw what such a show could mean. The car owners and families willing to endure intense restoration schedules to make the event – and bring their cars great distances, in some cases, to be there. The enthusiasts who drove – and sometimes flew – to participate and be there at this momentous occasion – and to all of you who love these cars – those of you who read these stories and give us the will, energy, and spirit to push on in every way. This show was for you.
And we owe it all to you and your enthusiasm. And believe me…. it was worth every ounce of this effort (as you’ll soon see…)
Thanks To Those of “The Masterpiece” That Made It Happen:
Thanks to the inspiration and passion of DeWayne Ashmead, automotive historian and collector, along with the support, encouragement, and enthusiasm of Leon Flagg, Chairman of the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’ Elegance, the event was a great success. What occurred was the largest gathering of vintage fiberglass cars that has ever been assembled in recorded history – and it took place on August 28th, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
And what a day that was!
It was DeWayne Ashmead who excitedly called me in 2010 and put forth his idea of taking what we had accomplished at Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance one step further. “What Bill Warner did for “Forgotten Fiberglass” in 2010 was unparalled in the history of these cars,” DeWayne told me. “I propose we go one step further….let’s do our best and make it a ‘Feature Class’ for a major Concours d’ Elegance and I have just the perfect venue – The Milwaukee Masterpiece in Wisconsin.”
And DeWayne couldn’t have been more right – about everything.
The setting on Lake Michigan was stunning. The crowds were breathtaking – and the cars…even more so. But special recognition and thanks must go to Leon Flagg – Chairman of the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’ Elegance – and his team which include Sarah Drilias, Producer of JFS and Director of Annual Giving, and Lindsay Schoettlin, Special Event Coordinator. These three folks were the best support and inspiration for making a great event even more fabulous and flawless. Kudos to each of you for handling such a complex gathering with professionalism, grace, and charm. The Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’ Elegance is what it “is” because of your efforts.
And also a very special thanks to John Slusar of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who saved the day and made what would have been a good event – a great event – for a very special couple – Dick and Jeanette Foster. Dick and Jeanette are one of the few original builders and owners of their own vintage ‘glass car – a 1954 Woodill Wildfire. Dick pulled out all the stops to get his car ready for the show – it hadn’t been seen in public or driven in nearly 50 years.
By the time Dick was ready (which by the way was the morning before the show) he was exhausted and hurting in every respect. Saturday morning we weren’t even sure if they could make the drive. John Slusar kindly offered to shepherd these folks for their stay in Wisconsin, and when they arrived in Milwaukee….John was with them at every step. He wouldn’t let them out of his sight.
John was their “guardian angel” so to speak. In all my years in the hobby, I’ve never seen one individual rise to the occasion and dedicate himself to a cause in the way that John did – and it made all the difference to Dick and Jeanette and their enjoyment and participation in “The Masterpiece.” Rick D’Louhy and I salute you John for your help that weekend, and your efforts with the Fosters. You really made a difference to two special people.
And Now….How Should We Proceed?
So how to best approach sharing pictures of such a big event for “Forgotten Fiberglass?” Good question. I’ve been mulling that over for some time and figuring out how to parse it. I think I finally found the best way to proceed. I’m going to show you “more” and tell you “less.” That is, let’s share pictures of different aspects of the event and the cars themselves – over several stories.
You know how I like writing stories. Well…..I’ll write the stories about the individual cars later. For now…I’ll run several stories featuring one aspect or one car at the show. This should give us 12-15 stories over the next week or so….so hold onto your fiberglass hats and get ready for a vintage sports car ride – fiberglass style – that is…
And Now….The Field
Leon Flagg and his crew really pull out all stops when recognizing “Feature Cars” for their event. DeWayne was right – this was going to be a special event.
The Feature Classes of the Milwaukee Masterpiece were “Porsche” and “Fabulous Fiberglass,” and their setup for these “Feature Cars” was completely new to me. Our cars were arranged around 3 tents – 6 cars per tent. This corresponded to the 3 classes of fiberglass sports cars, and was a great way to provide a gathering place for the owners and a spectacular way to showcase the cars and give the public the greatest access possible.
I felt like all of our cars were in a 1950’s “Motorama” show in every way. You’ll see how the cars were displayed in the photos below. I think you’re going to love it!
And Now….The Cars
So have at it gang, and click on any of the pictures below to expand it to a larger size. This will be even more fun to see just how special each of these fiberglass sports cars really are. And scroll down thru the pictures – there’s more than 30 of these for you to review in our first story.
Have at it gang – and resume reading below the pictures.
Great thanks also goes to the extra effort all of the owners and their families made in making sacrifices to bring their cars to the event. This was a special time for all of us who made it, and for the fiberglass folks who joined us in Milwaukee and participated in every way. These include Tim Ritter, Bob Petersen, Darren Swansen, Randal Baron, Paul and Jean Terhorst, Tom Menzel, Bill Hebal (who also was the driving force in getting the Bosley to the event from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California), and countless others that I had a chance to meet, greet, and spend some precious time with talking cars.
And…we were honored by Daniel Strohl’s participation from Hemmings Motor News. He was there as a guest of the Milwaukee Masterpiece, and participated as an honorary judge for the event too.
Of course we owe a very special thank-you to Merrill and Gerianne Powell for traveling to Milwaukee – all the way from Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona. It was the crowning achievement to have them with us to usher in a new admiration and respect for these very special cars and people who conceived, designed, and built them.
Lots more to share here gang, so be on the lookout for stories that begin with the words “Milwaukee Masterpiece…” there’s a lot of vintage fiberglass from this event that’s going to be coming down the pike to show you here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
P.S. Click here if you would like to review a list of the cars, classes, and a vintage glass story by Harold Pace – all in the program from the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’ Elegance of August 28th, 2011.
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures
My father worked in a car designing company in the 1950’s in Milwaukee, WI. I’m hoping to find that company info to pass onto my siblings. When he left the company he moved to Florida.His name is Lorenzo (Ren) Parrish. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Geoff, thank you for such great coverage of the Milwaukee show. I was there two days & still could not take it all in……old film clips are a “Must See ” @ your website. T.