Conclave: ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting a private room): via French from Latin conclave ‘lockable room,’ from con- ‘with’ + clavis ‘key.’ noun - A private meeting. In the Roman Catholic Church the assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope. The meeting place for such an assembly.
So how do you to go from an election of the pope to a bunch of folks in post war sport cars having a great time. Well the story is that one day a group from Los Angeles were out on a run in their TCs when they meet another group from San Francisco in their TCs. And as TC owners will do, they stopped, chatted about their cars and their club and at one point someone said that we should do this every year. That was in 1956, and in every year since the TC Motoring Guild of LA and the Abingdon Rough Riders from SF have been meeting half way between the two cities for a great three day weekend.
|When:||October 3rd through the 5th|
|Our Hosts:||Abingdon Rough Riders|
|Where:||The Gunn House Hotel, Sonora CA|
The Annual Abingdon Rough Riders/T C Motoring Guild Conclave this year will be set in the exciting, historic area of
Sonora, CA, October 3rd through 5th, 2014. This quaint town is filled with little shops, restaurants, and sights for
walking about. We will be staying in the Gunn House Hotel located in the center of town. The Gunn House has a rich
history and has been a landmark since 1850. The Abingdon Rough Riders have reserved its 22 antique-filled rooms
for the weekend. Each room is unique and some are even said to house some spirits of long gone Sonora natives!!
The rates vary from $84 dollars for a "small Queen" (literally not much bigger than the bed) to $125 for the good
Doctor Gunn's own master bedroom per night. The hotel is on three levels, and if you need to minimize your walking,
it is suggested you get a room on the second floor rear. There is one handicapped room that has a parking spot steps
from its front door. The rooms towards the rear of the hotel are quieter since they face one of the two onsite parking
areas. There is a continental breakfast offered on the second floor for Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Friday night there will be a Welcome Party in the common room of the hotel. With the typical beautiful weather that is characteristic of the foothills in the early fall.
The Saturday drive winds towards the gold rush town of Colombia and then on to Murphys. There will be time in Colombia to stretch your legs after the arduous 3 mile drive and walk the streets the miners did over 150 years ago. Sights and shops await. After Colombia you can continue through the foothills on wonderfully maintained two lane roads, up hill and down, over the New Melones Lake towards the unique town of Murphys. The road before the bridge is a little rough, but after the bridge is newly paved. There are many photo opportunities in the turnouts and the bridge is a sight to see. Murphys is filled with wine tasting, restaurants and shops for your lunch and is only 15 miles from the town of Sonora. It is also home to the Ironstone Winery. Ironstone has park like grounds, restaurants and is home to the Ironstone Concours. From Murphys, you can return to Sonora via the Murphys Grade Road to Angles Camp and then Hwy 49 to Sonora. The more adventurous can continue from Murphys up the gorgeous two lane Highway 4 towards Calavaras Big Trees State Park, Utica Reservoir and Ebbetts Pass. This highway tops out at 8,730 feet, but the road is well maintained. Ebbetts Pass is 55 miles from Murphys, but you can drive as far as you want and turn around. The scenery is California Alpine at it's very best, literally breathtaking. TC6424 did very well in the gracefully arcing turns. Not to be missed. We will provide maps for all attendees.
Saturday night, the banquet will be catered by Christopher’s Restaurant in the The Sonora Inn, 5 minute walk from the Gunn House. Sunday morning, we will depart back to reality.
Please make your reservations through the Hotel.
The Gunn House Hotel
286 S. Washington St.
Sonora, CA 95370
The 22 rooms will fill up, and the Sonora Inn will be used for any overflow we may experience.
The Sonora Inn
160 S Washington St.
Sonora, CA 95370
On the occasion of the 50th meeting, two members from the TC Motoring Guild, both of whom were at the 1st and 50th meeting penned a remembrance of those two special times. By the way, Dwane Carlson attended every conclave until his passing in 2007.
Fifty years is a long time to remember the exact details of how it all came about. Back then the TCMG was a small car club made up mostly of young, single guys whose interest was in owning, maintaining and driving TCs. Our meetings were in various places, usually someone’s home or in a park or business. The Montrose meeting place hand’t come about yet. I don’t remember how it came about, but we agreed to have a run up to San Luis Obispo to meet with the Abingdon Rough Riders of San Francisco, as San Luis was approximately half way. We called it the “First Joint 500 Mile Tour and Conclave.” The TC Motoring Guild had some small green, triangular flags printed with “TC” to mount on our cars. The ARR had an orange rectangular flag. Unfortunately almost none survive. I believe Dwane Carlson may still have his. We left Glendale on Friday Sept. 27, 1957 with about 8 TCs. We left late in the afternoon, after every one got off work, and drove north through the valley and up towards Santa Barbara. The freeway network hand’t been completed at that time so we drove mostly on two-lane roads and the highway. I remember that when the sun went down it got very cold and damp. We stopped for food somewhere along the way and arrived at the motel in San Luis Obispo late in the evening. The rest of the weekend is a blur. I recently looked at the movie that I shot with my 8mm Bolex camera, but the faces are not clear enough to be recognizable. I do remember that Dwane Carlson and former members Bill Fulton, Terry Mason, and Bill Stone were there, and the late Lucien Remy, who was then ARR president. If anyone has memory of anyone else that was there, please let me know. This first conclave established the now essential TC conclave line up. As I remember there were 16 TCs and an NA. We were assisted in setting up in a local park with the aid of the San Luis Obispo Sports Car Club. I wonder if they are still in existence, and if so, should we invite them to our 50th conclave line up?
Last week we drove through San Luis Obispo. The Motel Inn has only the tower building and a wall standing. The rooms have been flattened, but in the last few years nothing has been done about rebuilding. It is an historical landmark – it was the first “motor hotel”. In 1957, some were offended by the high corkage fee (ed. Note: probably $2). The first party moved to Room J2 (ed.note: appropriate #). J2 was left full of glasses. Bill Fulton hardly had enough room to sleep. Both clubs showed up with club flags. Bill Fulton drew some TCs on a pedestal (ed.note: Bill was a graphic illustrator then). At the Sunday line-up, in a park, everyone signed it. I believe he did them for another conclave. The SLO Sports Car Club led the tour to Morro Bay, where the first line-up was held. Ron Simon and Bill Stone took 8mm movies. Ron has added his to his racing DVD. I have #2 and #3 movies and bits of others. I must get them edited and saved on DVD (ed.note: yes, indeed!). Conclave #2 was at the motel next door. Again the local club led the tour. The tour went on while we went to a local’s shop so that Floyd Burt could weld his oil pipe. He then had a race with a local’s hot TF, and played with him (ed.note: I remember that story, Rough Rider Tom Newcomb was his passenger and was petrified by Floyd’s driving pleading that he didn't want to die and he needed to finish school!, all the while slid down in the passenger compartment so he couldn't see what was going on). I got a few shots as we trailed. At #2, a new member came with a fixed “Carson Top” on his TC. It only had door curtains. Within a week of this his girl friend shot him! (ed.note: Probably the top set her off). Floyd Burt said his family stored his TC. I don’t think it has resurfaced. At #3 in Carmel, Floyd brought his new TA, the TC having been wrecked and they didn’t rebuild tubs in those days.
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