President’s Article – May 2023

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Through the Windshield

By Tom Brown, President

 

One thing that has always set San Diego Region apart is our strong social program.  For the past 20 years, our Last Tuesday Social series has been a big component of this program.  Our February event this year saw us at 067 Eatery, and I want to give a special mention to club member and owner Bill Baker, who generously donated the proceeds from that event to the club.  One of the great things about this event is that it allows us to try new restaurants, places we may not otherwise know even exist, let alone patronize. They, of course, are taking a risk by reserving so many seats for us, potentially turning away some of their regular customers. Remember, please tell them how much you appreciate their allowing us to hold our event at their establishment, and if you like them, please give them some repeat business.

 

Susan and I just returned from Europe, and part of our trip was spent in the Alsace region of France.  This region is known for a few things, such as having changed hands several times between France & Germany – resulting in a local cuisine that is an interesting blend of refinement and heartiness – as well as numerous town names that sound like they are on the wrong side of the German border.  It is also one of France’s more famous wine regions, specializing in whites like Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

While there, on a visit to the town of Mulhouse, we happened to stumble across the Musee National de L’Automobile (https://www.musee-automobile.fr/en/),  home of the Fritz Schlumpf collection. This collection of over 450 cars shows the early history of automobile development in Europe (with a few modern cars thrown in).  There are a few token American cars, such as a Mustang, a Cutlass, and a Checker Cab. The collection is heaviest on the pre-WWII automobiles, showcasing numerous manufacturers you’ve never heard of before the industry consolidated into giant corporations during the latter half of the 20th century.   Perhaps most impressive is the collection of Bugatti’s, which appear to have been Schlumpf’s favorite make.  While mostly street cars, there are also numerous race cars from the era. (And, again, a few modern ones as well.)  One conspicuously absent brand is “Porsche,” the closest they came to it was a VW Beetle. (There is also a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 170H, which looks suspiciously like a Beetle from some angles.)  If you happen to be in the area, I suggest you stop in. They did a great job with the museum, and there are lots of amazing automobiles on display.  They also have a small track where you can pay to drive an exotic automobile. From what I witnessed, however, I don’t most of us would be interested, as they didn’t let you go very fast at all. Before leaving the region, be sure to sample a local specialty, the Choucroute Garnie, a gut-busting meal of sauerkraut, potatoes, several kinds of sausage, roast pork, smoked ham, and pork belly.

 

Once again, I remind you that our sponsors make much of what we do possible. As you read through this, you will see advertisements from local establishments. When you attend events or see event ads and flyers, you will see or hear about the local businesses supporting these events. If you patronize them, be sure to thank them. Let them know you are a club member. Let them know you saw their ad in the Witness. Tell them “Thank you” for supporting an event you enjoyed. I’m sure they’d like to hear about the event and how wonderful it was. The more they hear back from you about how much their support is appreciated and how much we promote their companies, the more likely they will keep supporting us. Anything you can do to help with this vital aspect of our club’s community relations would be much appreciated.