2006 E-M-F Company Outing Tour Report

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Welcome Sign at the Ramsey Collection
This was the welcome sign at the Ramsey collection we visited on Thursday. Click on the picture to see the full size.
The 2006 E-M-F Company Outing was held from July 10th to July 14, 2006, in South Bend, Indiana. A great time was had by all of the participants. If you would like to plan or help plan such an event, please contact me. And please seriously consider bringing your E-M-F, Flanders or Everitt to the Detroit area in 2008 for our celebration of the 100th Birthday of the E-M-F. It will be an event you will not want to miss!!! We want to get as many of these cars back together at the place of their origin as possible. Each and every E-M-F or Flanders owner is an important part of this.

My family and I had a great time again at all the stops planned out by the tour organizers, Daryl and Kathy Kemerer. The roads chosen were beautiful and fun to drive, and much less challenging than the mountainous trails we traversed in Pennsylvania during the 2004 tour (at least that is what my Model T said).

E-M-F's Lined up at Potawatamie Park
This picture was taken of the line up of cars at Potowatamie park in South Bend on Wednesday night. From left to right, 1914 Studebaker 7-Passenger Touring owned by the Rein's, 1912 E-M-F 5-Passenger Touring owned by the Jaehnert's, 1910 E-M-F 5-Passenger Touring owned by the Grove's, 1912 Flanders Roadster owned by the Kemerer's, 1909 E-M-F Roadster owned by the Langeneger's, and a 1909 E-M-F 5-Passenger Touring owned by the Ruggles'. Click on the picture to see the full size.
Cars on tour: 1909 E-M-F Touring owned by Gil Fitzhugh, 1909 E-M-F Roadster owned by Gordon Langeneger, 1909 E-M-F Double Rumble Roadster owned by Scott Langeneger, 1909 E-M-F Touring owned by Tom Ruggles, 1910 E-M-F Touring owned by Walt Grove, 1912 E-M-F Demi Tonneau owned by Ken Campbell, 1912 E-M-F Touring owned by William Spencer, 1912 E-M-F Touring owned by Floyd Jaehnert, 1912 Flanders Roadster owned by Daryl Kemerer, 1912 Flanders Touring owned by Pete Davies, 1915 Ford Model T touring owned by Steve Dillon, 1920 Ford Model T Centerdoor Sedan owned by John M. Daly, and a 1914 Studebaker owned by Manny Rein. E-M-F/Flanders owners were present from Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio.

We arrived late afternoon on Sunday July 9th after spending entirely too much time in the traffic disaster around the Chicago area. After getting out of that mess, we stopped at the first oasis on I-80 just before the toll plaza and found the Jaehnerts had the same idea as we did. We all ate, except for McKenna, our 6-year-old, who awoke with an earache that day. We kept her going with children’s Advil.

We arrived in South Bend about 3:00 PM, got checked in, and then spent the next several hours talking cars, which I loved. Much time was spent working on Scott Langeneger’s recently acquired 1909 E-M-F Double Rumble Roadster that was having rear-end and clutch problems. The Langenegers had picked up the car in the Chicago area the day before and brought it straight to the tour.

Sunday concluded with an ice cream social and get together where we all got a chance to know each other and hear about the days that were to come.

McKenna looking at the Spencers as they follow us.
Our daughter McKenna looking out the back window of our Center door watching the Spencers 1912 E-M-F 5-Passenger Touring motor down the road. Click on the picture to see the full size.

Monday’s tour started out with a trip to a fantastic pedal car collection. There were more pedal cars than I had ever seen in one place before, most of which were impeccably restored and displayed. The owner also had several (6-7) Elkar automobiles, which was an impressive display.

From there we continued onto Amish Acres for lunch. Our family was still so full from the breakfast provided by the hotel and chose to sustain ourselves on fudge and giant dill pickles bought in the shops at Amish Acres.

We continued on to “Antique Carriage” which is an Amish business that builds and restores buggies and early automobiles. One word to describe the operation would be INCREDIBLE! The work was outstanding! They were finishing up a 1910 Marmon body that included diamond tufted leather seats, which were beautiful. It was interesting to see how this was done. The owner, Ernest Schwartz, spent quite a bit of time showing us around and telling us about his business. It was the highlight of the day for me because he also does the patent leather fenders which our Rauch & Lang has and, up until this point, I had no idea where I was going to obtain this rare commodity from.

From here we were on to LaVine’s restoration shop which handles newer cars such as Auburn’s, Packard’s and street rods. Though they had forgotten we were coming, the owner spent ample time with us explaining his business and showing us the truck they were preparing for the Riddler competition.

From there it was back to the hotel for fellowship and discussions about the interesting things we saw that day. Amy headed out to a local pharmacy to pick up the antibiotics that our doctor had called in for McKenna, who had continued to complain pitifully of an earache.

Car guys love to talk cars.
The guys gather to talk technical topics. From Right to Left: John Daly, Gil Fitzhugh, unknown man hidden by Gil, Daryl Kemmerer, Floyd Jaehnert( partially hidden by Ken), and Ken Campbell. Click on the picture to see the full size.

The weather forecast for Tuesday called for rain all day, so most of the cars stayed in the trailers. But not the Fitzhugh’s 1909 E-M-F 30 5-Passenger touring! It motored right down the road through the rain for the entire tour.

Our first stop was the Hesston Steam Museum which has several narrow gage locomotives in its collection. Normally open only on the weekends, they had opened specially for our tour group and we were glad they did. We saw the Shay locomotive currently under restoration and learned of the fire that had destroyed one of their buildings years before, taking with it most of the museum’s locomotives. The Shay survived, although it was damaged in the fire. Volunteers are almost finished with its restoration.

From there it was on to LaPorte for lunch and then the Door Prairie Museum which houses the Kesling Car Collection. This collection includes a Tucker automobile and Playboy automobile, as well as other classic cars. This museum was also not open to the public at large, but special arrangements were made for us to view this impressive collection.

The route back to South Bend included a stop at the Studebaker proving grounds, now called Bendix Woods. While under the ownership of Studebaker, pine trees where planted such that the word “Studebaker” could be seen when viewed from the air. It was really neat to drive past these now-gigantic pine trees and try to discern from the ground which letter we were passing.

Cars at Bonnie Doons Ice Cream drive in.
The Bonnie Doons Ice Cream drive in was taken over by the E-M-F Registry on Wednesday night. Click on the picture to see the full size.

Wednesday was spent in South Bend viewing the new Studebaker museum, the Oliver mansion (Wow!), and other sites and attractions around South Bend. We were grateful for the invention of antibiotics, as McKenna seemed much better and no longer whimpering in pain. In the evening we drove to a nearby park to meet up with the local Studebaker Club chapter and kick the tires. Too bad none of them drove their Studebakers out for us to see. A quick stop for ice cream at the historic and trendy Bonnie Doon’s drive-in before returning to the hotel completed the day nicely.

Fitzhughs and their EMF
The Fitzhugh family with their 1909 E-M-F 5-Passenger Touring were the only ones to drive there car all of the days of the tour, through all of the rain. Click on the picture to see the full size.

The weather was fantastic on Thursday for a trip back to Amish country. We stopped at the Haynes private car and toy collection and then at the Ramsey toy collection. Both collections contained more fantastic objects than I could comprehend. I especially liked the 1912 Rauch & Lang Electric car in the Haynes collection since we also have a 1912 Rauch & Lang (though we learned that it is quite a bit different than the Haynes car).

Lunch was in The Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana, which is in the heart of Amish country. After lunch, we spent several hours looking in the shops before venturing back to the Hotel. We were sure to pick up some famous Yoder’s popcorn while we were there.

Daryl and Kathy receiving gift
Daryl and Kathy Kemerer, the tour hosts, look over the gift they recived for organizing a fantastic tour. Click on the picture to see the full size.

The forecast Friday called for rain once again, but not until the afternoon, so most people drove the E-M-F’s, or Flanders’. As I prepared to get our 1920 Ford Model T Centerdoor Sedan out of the trailer (I am restoring our E-M-F), I could hear thunder in the distance and opted to leave the car in the trailer. I was glad I did when we ran into some very heavy rain.

The rain did not stop the others as they forged on through the rain to our first stop at the Pears Mill in Buchanan, MI. This mill is now a museum that still includes the water operated mill. I was fascinated watching the shafts and pulleys that allowed the energy in the water to be used to grind the corn.

From the mill we continued through some wine country to our lunch stop at Fernwood Botanical Gardens. This lunch acted as our closing banquet where several awards were handed out and thank you’s were made. Most people said their good byes at this point, but we headed back to the hotel, stopping first at the Fort St Joseph museum in Niles Michigan.

The week had gone by so fast and now we had to head back to Illinois for a baseball tournament for our son Matthew. We had such a great time and enjoyed the chance to renew old friendships and start new ones.

If you missed the tour, you missed an absolutely great time. Don’t miss the next one. It will be in Detroit as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the E-M-F Automobile. This will be an event you will not want to miss. If ever there was a “once in a lifetime” event for E-M–F or Flanders owners, this will be it. Stay tuned for more details, but plan now to attend the 2008 E-M-F Factory Outing to Detroit, MI.

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   Address: John M. Daly
P.O. Box 244
Millington, IL 60537
   Phone: 815-695-9451
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