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Nice things that have happened to you because you joined the CLC.

Started by Barry M Wheeler #2189, November 16, 2022, 03:05:01 PM

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Barry M Wheeler #2189

The last ten days or so, there have been some threads that might lead prospective members to think that things are not all well in the CLC. I just answered a question relative to a possible purchase of a particular Eldorado, and I recalled a pleasant ride in one. We had been to the 1990 GN in Carson City and needed to get to Reno back to the airport.

A good friend offered to take us in his 1969 Eldo. (I was able to drive myself to the meet as a mint 1976 Brougham was left in the garage at the airport for my use by another member I never met at all.)

Recalling this incident, I thought, I'm not alone. This Club is full of great people that go out of their way to help other members. Why not start a thread asking other members about the nice things that have happened to them because they belonged to the CLC.

I've mentioned before that a brand new 1987 Sixty Special was provided for my use at the 1987 GN in Seattle, plus we were provided with a suite at no charge by the Pacific North West Region.

At one California GN, we celebrated a wedding anniversary during our stay, and Gay received a large vase of flowers.

At one time I had a 1941 6219 sedan that I wanted to install running boards on. Ron Van Gelderen had taken the ones off a 1940 LaSalle coupe that had been damaged in a fire while the car was being trailered to his home. He sent them to me and wouldn't accept payment. As I recall, the freight bill was $110.

One evening, several Board members had met for dinner in Detroit the night before a Board Meeting. We talked and talked until the hour grew late and we needed a motel.
We found one in Dearborn close to where the meeting was to be held. Ron went to the desk and after a few moments, had us all on the elevator to the penthouse that he had arranged to be "comped." (He had a convention the next weekend in New Orleans and the host hotel belonged to the same chain as the one we were using.)

You and I read from time to time of members needing to know "how to do it." Or they need a scarce part. How many times do you see an answer that says, "I think I might have that in my garage..." Or XYZ company has those, I believe."

Or you've been on a trip and your Cadillac or LaSalle breaks down. I was headed for the second Boston GN and ready to pull onto the Mass Turnpike. Just past the light on the On ramp was a hood-up 1949 Cadillac with a couple of other Caddies parked close by. So I wasn't needed. The CLC was in action.

I just thought it might be pleasant to hear about some of those nice things that have happened to you through your membership in the CLC.
Barry M. Wheeler #2189

1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville

Bryan J Moran

I was a joiner for 2 years from 2017-2019.  My biggest and most pleasant surprise was the local regional reach out.  Hawkeye Regional? 

I got signed up and before we knew it we had attended a couple of nice functions.  Everyone was nice, most but not all, quite a bit older. 

I owned a 76 Coupe deVille at the time and a 2000 Eldorado, which I went to Michigan to retrieve and drove home. I drove that to some of the get togethers and never got razed about it's newness. 

Everyone was welcoming and although I stopped being a member of the National and regional about 2020, I still received e-newsletters and emails for awhile. I know at least 2 of the members had passed away in 2020, not sure if it was Coronavirus related (we were not meeting in person).

They were older members who passed away so cherish those moments. 

J. Russo

I bought my 1941 Series 63 Cadillac 2 years ago mainly because I needed a hobby during retirement. I have always enjoyed working with cars, but never had the time when I was working. I worked in a service station as a kid and never minded getting my hands dirty.

Joining this club has been worth much more to me than the membership costs. I've spent a great deal of money restoring this car, but I've saved a great deal of money because of the advise and assistance I've received from the good folks in this club. I haven't been to any of the events yet, because I'd like to get my Caddy in order first, but I really appreciate all of the contacts I've made because of this organization.

If you're into restoring Cadillacs, this is the place to be regardless of the cost. You'll save a great deal in the long run and meet a lot of great people.
John Russo
CLC Member #32828


I joined the national club as well as the St. Louis chapter about a year ago after purchasing my '75 Eldorado. Honestly, I've had nothing but good experiences - everyone in the club is friendly and encouraging, and the group does a nice job organizing events and shows to attend. In both the local chapter as well as the national forum I've been offered good advice, help, parts, and a number of great experiences.

Vince Taliano #13852

In 2000, my 1965 Sedan Deville was stolen in Washington, DC. After notifying the police, I contacted my closest CLC friends. Miraculously one of them spotted it later that day abandoned on the side of the road while on his way home from work and contacted me.  Read the story at October 2020 issue of the Caddie Chronicle, pages 18-21.  Ironically, the car was featured a couple of years later in a British TV documentary called Churchill's Girl that was filmed near where it was stolen.  Thanks, CLC member Alex Figueroa!
Vince Taliano
CLC Potomac Region (view over 3,000 pictures!)

Art Director

I joined the CLC in 1994 to learn more about the 1963 Six-Window Sedan de Ville my grandmother left me in her estate. I still have that car and plan to take it to the Albuquerque Grand National in 2023.

The CLC is like my second family. When my wife Liz passed away in 2007, I received many phone calls, cards, and even money to get me through what had to be done back then. I have made hundreds if not thousands of friends over the almost 29 years I have been a member.

The CLC has become my reason for making a living every day designing The Self-Starter, the International Membership Directory, and many other projects assigned to me.

I am grateful for the long-term friendships, the help and advice on my car, and the opportunity to give help and advice (if I know what I'm doing) between me and other CLC members.
Tim Coy
CLC Southwestern Regions Vice President
Art Director, The Self-Starter, International Membership Directory
Life member, Rocky Mountain Region
CLCMRC Benefactor #102

1963 Six-Window Sedan de Ville
1972 Fleetwood Brougham - RIP
1988 Sedan de Ville - RIP
2001 Eldorado ESC - RIP
2003 DeVille DTS - sold


Great people and learning experience that never stops. Lots of fantastic members. You know who you are. Clay/Lexi

Chris Cummings

I joined in 1968 when I was 15.  Cadillac's PR department had referred me to the CLC when I asked about any literature, manuals, etc. for 1941 Cadillacs.  I had just bought a 1941 Series 75, and needed some parts and information.  The Self-Starter was a real game changer.  Here were technical articles, classified ads where you could find parts for sale, stories about other owners and their cars, and historical photos, among so much other goodies.  I couldn't wait for each new copy.  In those days the Self Starter was ten or twelve sheets stapled in the upper corner, offset-printed in black and white.  The cover was a reprint of an old Cadillac or LaSalle advertisement.  There were no regional clubs in my area (Albuquerque) but through the club I found and met some other old Cadillac owners in the state.  The CLC was a real lifeline for me and I was able to enjoy my '41 Series 75 (and a Series 61 coupe) through the rest of high school and on through college.  I let my membership lapse in the mid-70s when I moved to New York, but re-joined in 2001 after my parents passed and I had to do something with the '41 Cadillacs I'd left at their house.  Since then, I've been to Grand Nationals, joined the Potomac Region, and made a host of good friends.  I have saved every copy of The Self-Starter that I've ever received (and a bunch of them that I've obtained from others).  I continue to learn and get good advice from other members and will always value the benefits I've gotten from membership in the CLC.

Chris Cummings

Scott Nellis

   I have owned quite a few different vintage Cadillac hearses over the past several years. I have been a member of The Professional Car Society since 2004 and met Len Langlois, a former CLC member in that club. Len had been bugging me for years to join the CLC. Unfortunately Len's health has failed in the last few years and he is no longer a member and no longer able to drive. Exactly one year ago I finally took his advice and joined this wonderful club.
   Just a few months after joining I followed through on an ad posted in this forum and purchased a 1968 Fleetwood Brougham from a former CLC member in Phoenix, Arizona for a very reasonable price and had it shipped up to Canada. The seller was a real gentleman and just wanted it to go to a good home. When it finally arrived I was pleasantly surprised as I had taken a chance and bought it without actually inspecting it. Then in June of last year I followed through on another ad posted in this forum for a 1968 Sedan Deville to be restored or used as a parts car for $500. A friend and I drove down to Virginia and loaded-up my truck with the motor, transmission, bumpers, trim, glass, and everything else we could fit in. The seller was also a former CLC member and had some health problems. He is a great guy and wanted the parts to go to a CLC member. Now I have tons of parts for my 1968 Cadillacs.
   The advice I have gotten from this forum and in person from CLC members has proved invaluable. Knowing that this kind of support exists is very comforting and encourages me to work on my Cadillacs with confidence. My new friend from this club Clay and his lovely wife even escorted me to the "American Luxury Car Show" in Delhi, Ontario this past August. I had just put my 1957 Eureka Cadillac Hearse on the road and Clay brought a trunk full of tools in case I had issues which thankfully I didn't. A former owner of this hearse and CLC member Jon contacted me through this forum and graciously provided me with some history on it.
   I look forward to receiving my hard copy of The Self Starter every month and have just renewed my CLC membership for 3 years. I will also gladly pay the extra money for a hard copy of the Membership Directory. We have a great club and it has made my life better since joining. Thanks to all that have helped me. Hopefully I can return the favour some day. Thanks also to Barry for all his hard work put into the CLC over the years and for starting this thread. We truly should be thankful we belong to such a great club and resource.
1957 Eureka Hearse
1965 Miller-Meteor Hearse
1968 Miller-Meteor Hearse
1968 Fleetwood Brougham
1970 Superior Hearse


Nice post Scott. The Club is further enriched to have welcomed you as a new member. Clay/Lexi

Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Barry M Wheeler #2189

Eric, would you believe I can top these stories? About forty years ago, I called up Terry Wenger and asked him out of the blue if there was any way possible that he could put my daughter up for the summer in his home? She had an internship coming up at our church's publishing office and needed a place to stay.

I really hope that he asked his wife, Nancy, as he called back and said that they'd be glad to put her up. At the time, Kimberly's car was a well-used 1972 Chevy that I'd bought from my Assistant Manager. I had my mechanic look it over and she set out for St. Louis.

It was getting dark, and when she reached East St. Louis, the car died. I'd given her his phone # and he went out and got both her and the car. The next morning, she drove to her new job in Nancy's VW.

Terry gave me a real scolding for sending her so far in such a vehicle. But they finally found out the problem was in the distributor that would have been one of the last things for my mechanic to find.  (For years, Terry still said, "But it was East St. Louis, Barry!")

And the tales haven't ended yet... My second hobby is antique clocks. (My son-in-law is a clockmaker.) I recently found one on eBay that was quite nice, but the lady wouldn't ship it as it was large and heavy. Her shop is near Philly. I checked with UPS and they said it'd be forty dollars to ship and somewhere north of sixty dollars to pack. Ugh! (Packing and shipping more than the clock.)

I resigned myself to forgetting the clock as I didn't really need it, but then I called Richard Sills about something else, who lives about fifty miles from the suburb where the item was. I first asked if he could pick it up and pack it himself and take it to UPS to save the packing charge. He didn't have the means to pack the clock, but asked if I were going to the Mid-Winter Board meeting in NC. He said that he could pick the clock up for me and take it to NC. I wasn't going, but I thought I'd ask Lars Kneller if he was driving.

He was flying, but told me that Jeff Shively was driving. Then, I called him, as he's only a little more than an hour from me which I can still handle in good weather. He agreed that he could bring the clock back to Indiana. Richard emailed me yesterday that he was going to pick up the clock yesterday afternoon, so the plan is in motion.

I was resigned to paying the hundred bucks to UPS, but with friends like these, now I don't have to. I could go on and on about the nice things that have happened to me over the years with CLC members. I can't guarantee that things like this will happen to you with various members. But, I'd almost bet on it...

Barry M. Wheeler #2189

1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville

Jay Friedman

I joined in 1984, the year I bought my '49.  Nice things that have happened to me because I joined the CLC?  Most of all, the friends I have made at both my local regional group and elsewhere in the country. CLCers are fine people.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."