Jensen National Meet West
Santa Rosa, California
July 16-20, 2003
By Kurt Housh
I, for one, had a great time at the Nationals. We arrived Wednesday evening
and immediately encountered other Jensen owners in the parking lot. After
some introductions and mutual admiration of the cars, we gathered in the
hospitality suite for jokes and general blather. The Flamingo is a restored
50's style motel/ hotel with the large swimming pool in the center and
the rooms in spokes radiating out from it. The rooms are nicely remodeled
with no hint that it is an older hotel on the inside. The outside is classic.
There are five or six meeting rooms, thank goodness because we had to
use the Walnut Room for a hospitality suite on Thursday evening as the
crowd was too large for a standard suite.
Thursday we gathered at 10:00 AM for the drive to Jordan Winery, www.jordanwinery.com.
What a blast, driving in a line of Jensens, hearing the roar of Jensini
or the mighty 440 behind me. Jordan winery is in the Russian River Valley
and our hosts had arraigned a tour. It is not open to for public tasting
on a regular basis. Our very knowledgeable guide showed us every aspect
of the winemaking process and every area in the winery. Our tasting occurred
in a delightful French reproduction dining room with a 17th century cartouche
above the mantle. See the 1st photo for the lineup of cars.
The caravan continued on a round-about tour to Mill Creek Winery near
Healdsburg where we had lunch on the 3,000 square foot picnic deck overlooking
the Dry Creek Valley. Food was supplied by a local bakery and a quick
sandwich scrounge and repacking was undertaken when Rob arrived late after
stopping to peruse his rally sheet. It seems we had eaten his lunch! Mill
Creek is a quaint spot without the glitz of some of the larger wineries,
check it out at: http://www.mcvonline.com/.
After lunch we headed towards the Korbel Champagne Cellars in the Russian
River Valley. It's hard to drink champagne in 100F degree heat but we
persevered! The freeway was stopped on the way back so I took an exit
and figured I would eventually find my way back to the Flamingo. Two Jensens
followed me off of the freeway. After telling them I didn't know exactly
where I was going, they passed me. I got lucky and ended up with three
other Jensens who had also abandoned the freeway on a beeline to the hotel.
Lots of grief was administered by the drivers of the cars that passed
me for not knowing where I was going. They arrived about 20 minutes later
none the worse for wear.
The following day we headed for Jack London State Park. Again, cruising
in a long line of Jensens put a big smile on my face. A short hike to
the Wolf House and a quick tour of the museum and were off to Buena Vista
This is the oldest winery in California and contains some interesting
relics. We enjoyed a presentation and tasting before heading to Depot
Park for a lunch of chicken and ribs. Everyone went their own way after
enjoying the lunch and the camaraderie of our growing bevy of Jensenites.
I headed south towards home to see my daughter in a show and visit with
friends and family. With the temperature hovering at 100F I got stuck
in a traffic jam and the needle climbed up to 7/8 but as soon as we started
moving, it dropped down to it's normal level at 5/8.
Saturday morning was cool and clear as I headed back to the show. Taking
a detour through Sonoma to avoid the freeway I spotted a wacky Toyota
800 Sport. The owner said he might attend our show but never showed up.
The rest of the British invasion was my doing. I invited the North Bay
British Car Club www.nobbc.com to the
meet and they came in style! The attack group consisted of a TR4, TR6,
MGTD, MGA, AH 3000, Grinnall 3 wheeler, and the legendary Marcos of Don
Lattimer. The weather cooperated and 40 Jensens were showing off in full
glory at the Flamingo.
The afternoon tech session was cancelled. I considered bringing my 4 tube
mercury manometer and show how to tune the Dellortos but I was the only
car with them installed. Tim had a set in his trunk but opted to drive
back to Southern California rather than subjecting his car to a Dellorto
installation tech session.
The awards dinner was great fun and I ended up sitting next to Jim Medland.
He has a great sense of humor for an old parts guy! ;-) Jerry Havlovic
won the 1st annual cracked head gasket award for buying the same car twice.
I created the trophy in my garage to lighten up the proceedings and to
celebrate the extremes of Jensen dedication.
Sunday morning saw a breakfast gathering where email addresses were exchanged,
photos taken before the show were available to take home, free, and heartfelt
goodbyes were exchanged. The meet is as much about the people as it is
the cars. I didn't want the week to end so I drove west to Jenner and
the Pacific Ocean before heading south for home. The JH ran like a top
all week long but I may have to call Gene Reddick about the 17 Jensens
he has in a barn in Oregon. I think a 5 speed and a roll bar and...
See you all next year!
Kurt Housh JH 13148s
here to see the photo album
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