The Supper Club: Dwindling, But Not Gone-Yet!

(NOTE: This article was originally published as a guest editorial in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, by my uncle, David Klockau. I thought RG’s regular readers might enjoy it! -TK)

The classic Midwestern supper club, once a regular sighting on the old pre-Interstate highways in the heartland, are getting harder to find in this day and age. However, I disagree that the supper club as we know it has “ended.” They are still out there, and still worth seeking out.

Dave’s freeloading nephew (that’s me!) provided transportation to the Ced-Rel on our last visit.

In fact, friends of mine organized an informal supper club club. While I live in Iowa City, our group makes regular trips to the Ced-Rel Supper Club on Highway 30 just a short drive west of Cedar Rapids and the Lighthouse on the opposite side of Cedar Rapids in Marion. Both restaurants are always busy. The Ced-Rel serves a fantastic hot and cold multi-level relish tray, and in addition to excellent steaks, they have bacon-wrapped, cheese stuffed jumbo shrimp in a tempura style-batter. And Lighthouse has an outstanding prime rib cut.

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Imagine Yourself In A Mercury: 1979 Cougar Sedan

A four door Cougar? Oh yes! Once upon a time, in the ’70s, nameplate recognition actually meant something. And cars had actual names! Starting in 1974, the Cougar coupe finally broke it off with the Mustang body and chassis-wise, becoming a super-luxe Montego while the Mustang became a sequel and shrunk.

The reconfigured 1974 Cougar dropped all sport pretensions, and became a mini-Mark IV of sorts, with that ’70s domestic “boulevard ride” and lots and lots of options. Despite the loss of the convertible, sales of the ’74-’76 Cougar were extremely healthy.

So healthy, in fact, that when the time came for a redesign in 1977, the L-M powers-that-be decided that even more would be even better. Oh sure, the top-of-the-line XR-7 coupe was still in evidence, and even sharper with bladed fenders, quad rectangular headlamps and even more options! But there were several new additions that the folks who’d been driving Cougars since 1967 may have been surprised to see.

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1980 Chevrolet Caprice Classic: It’s The NEW Chevrolet!

Note: Today’s post is another one written by my friend Carmine a few years back. But he still has this car! -TK

This was a time when these cars were referred to by its maker as “The Chevrolet”, not Impalas or Caprices.  For decades, the full size Chevrolet had been the standard bearer of the Chevy lineup, the meat and potatoes American family car. But the writing was on the wall, when in 1980 the hot new Citation sold over 800,000 units, (a staggering 811,540 to be exact, over an admittedly long model year but still quite a feat).  As they say…things would never be the same again. For the Chevrolet, for GM, and for the way that people looked at full size cars.

The timing of the launch of the Citation couldn’t have been better. Introduced as an early 1980 model right after the 1979 oil embargo, the Citation and its X-Car brethren represented the wave of the future: front wheel drive, space and fuel efficient with transverse mounted 4 and 6 cylinder engines. With the Citation and its most modern layout and packaging, cars like the Caprice and its competitors were done for. What was new and revolutionary just three years before in 1977 was now the dinosaur staring at the comet of the 1980’s raining down on it.

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1997 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series – What A Luxury Car Should Be!

Note: This post was originally published at the old site and was written by a friend of mine, Anthony Gucciardo. He shares my compulsion of owning multiple Lincoln Town Cars. -TK

It’s 1997 and I am 16 years old. My family was planning a trip from Latham, NY (which is north of Albany) to the New York City/Long Island area for Thanksgiving with relatives. I grew up middle class and my parents tell me my first word ever spoken was “car.” My parents both had decent vehicles in the mid 1990’s but both were aging so I came up with the idea to rent a car for the upcoming trip. My Dad had a 86 Cutlass Supreme with the V8 4 barrel. I loved the sound of the 4 barrel accelerating but something better was soon waiting.

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Years ago when I was about 12 my parents rented a 1992 baby blue Cadillac Sedan DeVille from Alamo where my sister worked. We had a ton of fun driving to New York in that car so I figured we should try and rent again. Little did I know that this Thanksgiving trip would be the start of what would become a long admiration and near obsession with an American Luxury car that has lasted over 20 years and continues until this day.

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LCOC Meet in Lake Geneva – A Broughamtastic Brunch

I have been a member of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015. One of the perks of being a member, other than the excellent club magazine, is the local and regional events that are planned throughout the year. As a member of the Great Lakes Region, most of our chapter’s activities are around the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. For instance, in 2015 we went on a tour of the Pabst Mansion (yes, THAT Pabst) and last autumn we went on a boat tour of Lake Geneva. It’s nice to get out of town for a day and just relax and have fun. And so it was last month when I drove up to Lake Geneva yet again for a club meet, brunch, and driving tour.

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1982 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Where Were You in ’82?

Some people love Corvettes. Others are really into Civics. And in certain parts of the country, there are fine folks who will accept nothing less than a diesel F250 King Ranch. But for me, it’s Broughams. Fine, wire wheel-covered, opera-lamped Broughams. With soft Corinthian leather, d’Elegance button tufted seating, St. Regis landau tops, and chrome. Chrome everywhere! Why? Well, my grandparents had Lincoln Continentals, LTDs and Thunderbirds, and they made an impression on me. I was also unduly influenced by my dad’s root beer brown 1979 Pontiac Bonneville during my pre-kindergarten years. Fleetwood Brougham, Cougar Villager and Mark IV toy cars I received as a kid also were a factor. But despite also loving Volvos (I drove them for nearly twenty years) and Porsches (Dad had them before I was born), it always comes back to the Broughams.

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Automobilia Familia: Or, I Was A Brougham-Era Lot Boy

Today’s post is by none other than my uncle, Dave Klockau. This was previously published over at the old site I used to write for. TK

My uncle, in his natural environment.

In the late 1800s a sailor in the German Navy by the name of Wilhelm Johann Klockau, decided to jump ship in New York harbor and made his way to Rock Island, IL where he got a job as a blacksmith. His family trade in Germany was coach building. He later bought the carriage shop he worked at which eventually became the Klockau Garage. He was my Great Grand Daddy gear head, so we have him to thank for our family affliction.

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The Plastics Are Alive And Well In The PTA

“You got your Freshmen, ROTC guys, Preps, J.V. jocks, Unfriendly black hotties, Girls who eat their feelings, Girls who don’t eat anything, Desperate Wannabes, Burnouts, Sexually Active Band Geeks, the greatest people you will ever meet and the worst: Beware of Plastics.”

Mean Girls. Don’t lie, you know you’ve seen it. It’s a fantastic movie about the odd social hierarchy that has ruled the hallways of American high schools for years. And while it’s mostly tongue in cheek, it’s fascinatingly accurate. Guys, you might not know this, but girls are mean. Like, really mean. And holy cow, as they get older and approach middle age, they get meaner, and sometimes they even get smarter.

That, my friends, is a really bad combination. And when they ship their spawn off to school for the first time, they realize that THEY CAN GET THE GANG BACK TOGETHER. And they’re no longer Plastics. They have a new name: The PTA.

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For Sale: 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Turbodiesel – You’ll be the Only One at the Cruise-In!

One benefit of being a member of many, many Lincoln, Brougham and myriad other automotive groups on FB, is I now know a lot more ‘car guys’ than I used to. One such person is Phil Schaefer, who has tons and tons of awesome old cars. Case in point: He recently bought a 1936 DeSoto Airflow. The addition of another pre-war car means that some of the less-desireable members of the fleet need to go to make room for the new stuff. So here’s your big chance to own a first-year 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Designer Edition-with a factory-installed BMW turbodiesel!

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Guest Post: A Visit To The Petersen Museum

Our youngest contributor, teenager Bryce Himelrick, returns with a recap of his September 2016 trip to the Petersen Museum. Check it out! — jb

I amble out of the Uber onto the sidewalk. I look up at the building with wild eyes. The stainless steel glistering in the warm Los Angeles sun on this halcyonic September day. The building loomed overhead with red accents complimenting the futuristic looking stainless steel flanks. Rather imposing. It looks like a building straight out of an architecture student’s dream. Pictures don’t do it justice, it has more of a presence once you are there, a futuristic stainless steel building shining from the sun on museum-lined Wilshire Boulevard. The building is new and contemporary from first glance, but its roots stem from an old department-store-turned-museum that was completely renovated just recently. Maybe “renovated” is an understatement. The exterior most definitely reflects the inside. You walk into the lobby, a shiny concrete floor gradually trailing down with cars visible ahead. A Toyota 2000GT is the first thing that greets you, lone, the only car before the ticket desk. It truly is a sculpture on wheels, I never imagined that I would lay eyes on this car, and here I am, jaws to the floor, looking at it. I haven’t even bought my tickets yet. I walk to buy my tickets, and immediately I realize that this surreal feeling will be present all day.

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