From Phoenix, we had a short day climbing into the Chino Valley where we planned to spend a few nights at Rocket Ranch. Jim Schultz, proprietor and head honcho, is the President of the National Antique Oldsmobile Club and I am editor of the national magazine. Besides catching up with a friend and fellow car guy, we planned to confer on the magazine going forward. Always good to talk in person.
If you don’t know about Rocket Ranch, you are in for a treat. I first went there in 2009 at the NAOC Nationals. His was the third on a tour of three local collections with many unusual cars and plenty of memorabilia. Jim not only maintains his stable of “children,” as he calls them; he is always looking for Oldsmobiles and Olds stuff. He has quite the collection of both cars and literature. They seem to find him…
It was so much cooler in the Valley! Elevation is the key, of course and we enjoyed perfect weather with some hiking and plenty of good meals and conversation. The dogs, Eddy and Zoey were friendly, enthusiastic and well behaved. They have their own Oldsmobile Lab Cabs, Vista Cruisers with the back all set up for them and personalized plates too. We took the cats out when we knew they were in their yard. As Jim said, they had no history with cats. That worked out fine and Carmella developed a definite curiosity about them, just not at close range.
And lots of Olds stuff! We ended up digitizing tons of old Olds literature. (I just had to say that…)
NAOC members will be seeing more of this in the magazine and on the website at antiqueolds.org. The war stuff was particularly interesting to me. Even when they weren’t making cars Oldsmobile was still advertising in The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, keeping their name out there.
Speaking of those years, we were taken for a chauffeured tour of the Chino and Prescott Valleys in Jim’s very rare 1942 B-44 two door Olds with all the chrome. Later that model year, they quit adding chrome and shortly after that, Olds was no longer manufacturing cars, just war equipment.
We went to the Prescott Antique Automobile Club club’s garage and checked out the 1931 Fire Engine restored by the members for the City of Prescott. It is meticulous and fascinating. They drive it in parades and Jim said the siren was deafening.
After several relaxing and enjoyable days, we had our final evening happy hour at the bus and planned to head for Lake Mead the next morning. But not before Jim got what he called “the trash can picture” Of all of us, including Eddy and Zoey. He propped up the camera on the trash can.
We got the bus into Jim’s gate and parking spot without any trouble. It was a little tight but no problem. The way out was a little trickier. We had some coaching from our Bus/Olds friend, Mike Izzo, who we are planning to see in LA. And we are five feet longer than him. With his measured advice on executing the turn, since he had been there, along with all necessary caution, we proceeded to exit Rocket Ranch. Jim took pics while WIlkerson drove and I directed.
Getting into position.
Easing it through the gate… Driver’s side.
And passenger side. Literally a couple inches to spare.
Thanks to Jim for not just bus parking but opening his house and garage to us, showing us the area and sharing good meals with good company, and your canine companions. And for all the ice too!
Check Flickr for more pics.
Next up: Lake Mead and more Olds friends.