2020 is in the Rearview Mirror…Let’s Focus on Making 2021 our Best Year Yet!

Greetings Great Lakes Cobra Club Friends!

In past years we lamented about cool temperatures, too much rain, winter came to early, and so on…

Who would have thought 2020 would have brought the challenges we have faced?

On top of the impacts associated with COVID, we lost two members of our GLCC family: Bill Gill and Ron Roberts.  They are missed.

Despite the setbacks, I am proud that the Club made the best of the situation and was able to hold a level of safe gatherings to share friendships and burn some fuel.

In past years we took this opportunity to celebrate great memories from the year.  I believe the celebration as we close out 2020 is that we made it through the worst and there is a brighter future in store for the Club and each of us individually!

What will 2021 bring?  No doubt there will be initial limitations on our activities as we are not out of the woods with COVID, yet.  The hope is that by driving season (or sooner) we will be able to resume our normal level of activity, god willing perhaps sooner!

To that end, the GLCC Board has begun the event planning for 2021.  And your input from the Member Survey was very helpful (thank you!).

The Board has been conscientious with planning events as geographically accessible and random as possible.  You will see ideas, following, that range in location from Monroe to Memphis, Grosse Pointe to Birmingham, Pontiac to Ann Arbor, etc.  For our friends in Ohio, downriver, far west, far east and even north of the tri county area this is important and at times tough to accomplish.  I want to assure you that we take event location in relationship to our member base very seriously.

Off-season Events.  We have an array of ideas in the mix for winter, spring and fall of 2021.  Some notables include:

  • AutoRama
  • Bernardi collection
  • Ornazian Collection
  • Visit to a certain Factory Five car builder extraordinaire to see progress on his Factory Five Hot Rod
  • And more to come…

Meetings.  The response to our virtual monthly meetings has been VERY positive.  We have members who normally are not able to participate in our meetings join the virtual discussions.  And they are very efficient.  Based on the positive response we plan to continue the virtual meetings.  And for meetings during the driving season, we will combine with a driving event when possible.  For example, our spring and fall visit to Pete’s Garage in Monroe that has been very popular.

Driving Season.  For 2021 we have developed a monthly cadence for the driving season.

  • Cobras and Coffee. From April through November (weather permitting) our GLCC Cobras and Coffee which is second Saturday of the month in Birmingham.
  • Destination based driving events in May, June, July, September, and October. Since we have been cooped up, the idea is to identify key unique towns to visit and design interesting routes to get there.  Ideas so far include:

C&D Top 10 Route as it is VERY popular and VERY cool!  We have met at a coffee shop in Novi, then toured (aggressively) backroads to the C&D route in the Pinckney area.

One of our Members has already volunteered to host an event starting at their house in Memphis and cruising to a couple of great destinations.

It was suggested to visit the Milford Historic District.

Several members are in the early stages of designing a drive-by-tour of Grosse Pointe historical sites and key industry leader homes.

And we need to create a cruise toward Ohio to engage our downriver and Ohio friends.

And more to come…

  • Visit other Cars and Coffee venues as opportunities present themselves. For example, Pasteiner’s (Birmingham), Milliken, son of former Governor Milliken, Warehouse (Ypsilanti), M1 (Pontiac), High Octane Cafe Cobra Day (Bloomfield Hills)…as ad hoc events.

In addition, we have many other opportunities identified to incorporate in the event plan such as:

  • Oakland Tech School Car Show for the students
  • Visit to Factory Five College
  • London Cobra Show
  • Snake Pit at the Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Hines Drive Cruise
  • Adams Detailing Clinic
  • Canterbury Snakes in the Grass event (4th year!)
  • Track event opportunities
  • Holiday Party
  • And more…

Weekday Car Cruise-ins.  Response was favorable to post our Members favorite weekday car cruise-ins.  And several members would like to “host” an organized meet during the summer!

Regarding the 2021 Woodward Dream cruise…  We are starting planning efforts with the Bloomfield Township in late January.

For our newer members we have held the Snake Pit at the Comerica Bank south of Big Beaver for the past 4 years.  This has accomplished in collaboration with the Bloomfield Township that organizes an event at the Mercedes dealership just north of our location.  The Township handles securing our venue with the bank leadership, trash, porta potties, signs, seating and cleanup. The other benefit is we maintain the legacy Bill Wells created many years ago by continuing the event in his memory.

Previously we were located near Maple in Birmingham. But we were forced to move as 50% of our space was revoked leaving only capacity for 25 Cobras.  This was untenable as we had over 50 cars.

At our Comerica location we have capacity for 75 cars in marked spots and 90+ cars if we use open space.  Plus, we have significant space for street side tents, our barbeque, merchandise sales and silent auction.  Participants have plenty of room to park their Cobras and other classic cars.  This is important as the last year in Birmingham the cars were so cramped together that spectators continual bumped up against our cars.  As part of the package, we offer civilian parking behind the Mercedes dealer for friends and family to stop and visit.

No doubt, some people miss Birmingham. I understand that.  Birmingham is, however, a very short walk and we have a trolley that we can use that makes a loop to/from Birmingham from the Mercedes dealer.

Since there have been questions about “why Comerica” and with many new members I thought it was helpful to provide this summary.

In terms of Club Health, we are 103 members strong.  That means over 200 people are impacted in some shape or form by what we do as a Club.  Financially we are also in good health.  We have $1,802 in the bank.  Of particular note, we have $1,630 in deposits to Kosch Catering and Indianwood that we negotiated to apply to 2021.  A goal has been to optimize our events and subvent costs to make our events more attractive and increase participation. Based on our membership levels, prepaid deposits and anticipated expenses we can continue this practice for 2021.

I hope this summary exudes a glimmer of what is to come and sets anticipation for an exciting 2021 year ahead!

We thank you for hanging out with us!  The friendships developed are truly cherished and for a lifetime!!

MANY thanks to our Board.  Bob Harvey our Secretary.  Tony Simari our Treasurer.  Bob Russell our Events Director.   And George Acree our Vice President.  They are each great partners and friends.  We have a great Board who is UNITED in our focus to build relationships, socialize and drive our cars.

Happy New Year!