2017 Lincoln Homecoming Report

by Eric van den Beemt

The Lincoln Owners Club (LOC), hosts for the 2017 Homecoming, which commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the Lincoln Motor Company, welcomed 350 members and their families from all four Lincoln clubs for a week-long event. 

This was the first time the meet spanned an entire week, split between Dearborn, Mich. and Hickory Corners, Mich. Some questioned whether members would support events at both locations; they needn’t have worried as attendance was high at both venues, with a record number of Classic and antique Lincolns being driven and shown. 

Weather was ideal the entire week. The events started in Dearborn on Monday, August 7th with a welcome buffet. On Tuesday, participants took a bus tour to Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s home and the Piquette Model T plant. That evening, at a dinner held at the Dearborn Country Club, attendees were treated to an address by Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Company, who oversees product development, marketing, sales and service and is responsible for the recent line of new Lincolns, which are building sales and strengthening the brand. Wednesday was an opportunity for club members to drive to Ford corporate headquarters, have a photo taken there, and visit with Ford executives, including Edsel Ford II, Henry Ford III, Joe Hinrichs and others. Everyone then traveled to Hickory Corners to register for the main part of the festivities, starting with a welcome dinner that night. 

The Lincoln Owners Club tried something new for 2017 to generate more interest in touring. As explained by LOC President Eric van den Beemt, activities were structured for the next two days so that members could pick and choose from among four driving tours each day.  There were tours of two outstanding automobile collections of Bill Parfet and the Off Brothers, tours of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and the Kellogg Manor House, a visit to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, time to peruse the Charlton Park Historical Village,and a craft beer tasting and tour of Bell’s Brewery.  “There was something for everyone,” said van den Beemt. 

Saturday was show day on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum, with well over 100 cars being shown and judged by their respective clubs.  That evening our guest speaker was Jack Telnack, retired Ford Motor Company design chief, who entertained attendees with a historical look back on highs and lows of Lincoln designs of past years.   

While the Lincoln Owners Club and the Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club presented awards after dinner Saturday night, the Lincoln and Continental OwnersClub presented their awards Sunday on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum prior to adjournment of the meet. 

Special thanks to three individuals who worked tirelessly for the year preceding the event to make it such a success. David Schultz oversaw the entire process and made sure everything ran smoothly, Dennis Garrett organized and ran the Dearborn activities, and Bob Johnson handled the massive job of registration, record keeping, and funds collection.

Eric van den Beemt of Monkton, Maryland is president of the Lincoln Owners. He and his wife, Pat, displayed their 1932 Lincoln KB sport phaeton at the 2017 Homecoming.