I had wanted to attend a ZCCA national convention about as soon as I had heard about them. However, it never seemed to be in the cards. In 1998, I planned to go to the Albuquerque convention, but after my dad passed away in May before the convention, I decided that spending time with my mom was more important. (I was right, too.) I wanted to attend the Oklahoma City convention, but I couldn’t take leave to go because my base was having an Operational Readiness Inspection that did not involve me at all. In 2010, the convention was just hours away in Nashville, but I had already used a lot of vacation time for the Mitty. Finally, in 2011, I was able to make it happen.
The ZCCA convention was in Savannah in 2011. I made plans early, and I had my vacation lined up. My wife drove her car with the luggage, and I drove the Z. We started off early, and it was cooler than normal. That was great since I don’t have AC in the 260Z. It purred like a kitten all 300 miles to the convention hotel. We parked our cars in the covered garage and checked in.
The next day we checked into the convention and picked up our swag bags. Later in the the day, I called Guy, a gentleman I met via ClassicZCars, and we met up in the garage where we admired some S30s. That evening we attended the opening dinner. I got to see some people I had not seen in years including Mike Bell from the Z Car Club of Northern Virginia and Mad Mike from the Z Club of Texas. Mr. Katayama joined the dinner via Skype. He was absolutely amazing for being on the plus side of 100 years old.
During the week, we didn’t participate in many of the events. We caught up on some much needed rest. I did go down to the lot where the owners were washing the cars. One day I met a couple of gentlemen from Toronto who came down in a 240Z. They were doing a long tour, and the convention was only one stop. Look for the picture of the map below. For all of those people scared to drive a first generation car for a long distance, they did it and without AC. I eventually met up with several fellow members of the Georgia Z Club, too.
Toward the end of the week was the car show. Unfortunately I messed up on the time and missed Bob Sharp’s talk the day before the show. I met up with several people at the show, though, including Vince Corry (who influenced guest judge Bob Sharp with all of his BSR parts in and around his car), and Eiji Hosomi (who I used to see running his car up and down Prince William Parkway when I lived in Virginia). We got Bob Sharp to autograph a print of a 240Z in BSR colors that I purchased at the Mitty earlier in the year. I also won $50 in RockAuto gift certificates in the drawings. (See Pete. You are cursed.)
That night at the closing banquet, my wife and I sat with fellow Georgia Z Club members. Vince’s BSR memorabilia and nice modified 240Z earned him a special award from Bob Sharp. There were a couple of Gold Medallions (modified) and Gold Medals (stock) awarded as well. Best in Show was earned by an incredible 280Z. I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures of it. (I am purchasing a digital SLR SOON. I’m tired of other cameras not cutting it.)
Saturday was a quiet day. Most people were starting home or on their next adventure. Some of us gathered at a nearby Hooters. I got to talk to one of the club officers from the Z club in Miami. He gave me some great recruiting ideas.
Sunday, my wife and I got up early to go home. There was hardly a Z left around the hotel. It was calm that morning. There wasn’t much traffic to speak of for the entire 300 mile drive home. We got home before the heat of the day, too, making a very pleasant drive. I enjoyed the convention, and I hope to do it again. Perhaps I can even convince enough foolish people around here that we should try to host the convention. Atlanta last hosted in 1995. It may be time again…