Re: Lake mirror Classic premier Auto show October 18th

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The Lake Mirror Classic has indeed become a noteworthy prestige event and
this year holds its 9th annual show. This will also be the 5th year that the
Amphicars have been featured as one of the big events of the show. The Classic
is a charitable event and attracts hundreds of cars and thousands of people.
The very special featured cars are all situated around Lake Mirror itself, a
small lake inside the city of Lakeland. The lake ordinarily has no boats
whatsoever all year long except for a special event such as this. With pleasant
background music and lavish landscaping, some very opulent and special
vehicles are displayed such as Rolls Royces, Duesenbergs, a Batmobile and a
Mercedes Gull Wing Coupe along with a great assortment of all kinds of other
beautifully restored vehicles including, of course, our Amphicars. The Amphicars
are paraded around the lake perimeter after lunch and go Splashing in and
swimming to the rapt attention of the huge crowd which is never able to get enough
of our unique craft. The Lunch itself is a treat and last year was
delivered via a long line of tuxedoed waiters and waitresses promenading behind a
Scottish Bagpiper. It is just such special touches that make the whole event
memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

Each year, a different Automotive personality is feted and this year it will
be Stock Car racing legend and NASCAR Champion Bobby Allison who will serve
as Honorary Chairman. Saturday night, separate from the Auto show, Bobby
Allison will be featured at a Mercedes-Benz Banquet in his honor including a
review of his racing career. This Banquet is an entirely separate affair from
the day's car show. Participants at the day's car show will receive lunch and
a "Goodie Bag" as well as a very special momento of the Lake Mirror Classic.
We also will get to enjoy a lot of camaraderie and the opportunity to drink
in the sight of many exceptional vehicles.

Those of you who have brought your Amphicars previously know how outstanding
the venue is with the lake as a centerpiece. Last year, the Saturday did not
begin too auspiciously when a grandiose rainstorm took center stage just
prior to the start. However, to everyone's disbelief and surprise, it ended
promptly at 8 am and from that moment on, the day only got better and better
until the afternoon had periodic sunshine, but the rain was a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, the rain which had shown no sign of abating did manage to keep
a number of show cars away including 2 Amphicars whose owners had been all
set to come. As a result, we had 5 Amphicars and even I, who brought my car 100
miles was tempted to turn around enroute as it seemed obvious that there
would be no dry show that day. Florida weather is capricious and the day could
not have been nicer.

Those of you who were there last year know that the city had installed two
new 18 inch wide ramps at the north end of the lake. Unfortunately, whoever was
involved in designing the ramps did not realize that the
Amphicars pretty much need a solid ramp since our steering is not easily
controlled at low speed. To make matters worse, the lake level had dropped to an
all time low and the city had placed some kind of stones which though varied
in size, were anywhere from 2 to 4 or 5 inches in size I would estimate.
Thus, when exiting, traction was very difficult on this bottom of rocks and
unless we were aimed straight up the ramp, it was easy to drift off to one side.
The original plan had been to have the Amphicars situated at the SW corner of
the lake all morning and then after lunch, to parade us around the lake to
the north side where we would enter via the ramps. Entering was no real
problem, but the plan had been to then situate us on the NE corner subsequent to our
mass Swim and then we could go in and out at our discretiuon. However, the
difficulty of exiting made the repeated swims impractical both to our chagrin
and the public's disappointment. People who did not come to the show until
after lunch were disappointed when they asked the usual "Will they be going
into the water" and had to be told that we had already been in and would not be
going back in.

I have had numerous conversations with Ford Heacock who Chairs the event.
We have talked both by telephone and by e-mail. The city has spent
considerable money to complete the landscaping and beautification of the area and is not
able presently to consider redoing the deep end of the the one year old
ramp. The ramp actually is fine for a boat trailer which can be carefully backed
down and then towed out, but for the Amphicars, our minimal steering
capabilities severely limit our maneuverability and we require rear wheel traction to
exit the water. Ford has been working very hard to resolve the problem and
is having the large stone bed manually moved aside and a load of sand dumped
over the deep end of the ramp. He then plans to cover the deep end with some
manner of fiberglass or metal pad both to join the ramps and broaden the total
width slightly so we can approach at a slightly faster speed to allow aiming
correctly and also permit traction when our rear wheels contact the bottom.
Ford does recognize the problem and his own daughter as well as his
secretary, Ginny Askew, were aboard my Amphicar when the problem became very obvious
last year so he will do whatever is necessary to rectify the situation and we
should be able to enter and exit unattended without problems this year.

You can register for this year's Lake Mirror Classic on line or call Ginny
Askew at (863) 683-2228. They have ordered beautiful weather again this year,
so we should have a great time at a really great event again this year. We
should also be able to go swimming more than just the featured "Splash-In"
after lunch.

I look forward to seeing a number of you there and enjoying the unique show

Vic Nelson
with the 1967 "Split Personality"

**************Psssst...Have you heard the news? There's a new fashion blog,
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Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
I was thinking maybe I could get down, and look for some 55pl place s but with leg broken from plane crash I guess thats out for a month or 2