Ragtop Rambles, IMPA Test Days, Miami Int’l Auto Show, Dean Batchelor Awards

NORTHEAST

NEMPA’s 15th Ragtop Ramble & Crustacean Crawl set all-time records for participation, with 44 cars divided among 70 people for the drive from Brookline, Mass. to Kennebunkport, Maine on Friday, July 20. That followed a Thursday open house lunch and dinner cruise of Boston Harbor that was the New England Motor Press Association’s annual thank-you to automakers and their PR people for what they do on NEMPA’s behalf all year long.

Autowriters.com | Regional News | NEMPA Ragtop Rame

An informal dinner August 16 with Ford staffers, including Eric Kuehn, chief engineer for the company’s Global Electrified Program, provided NEMPA members able to attend a chance to get answers to questions ranging from Euro-style three cylinder diesels versus gas-electric hybrids to the proliferation of EV charging stations.

MIDDLE ATLANTIC

IMPA member journalists will have three chances to win a set of Goodyear tires when they attend this year’s annual IMPA Test Days September 19-20 at Monticello Motor Club, Monticello. NY. While there, any IMPA member who owns a vintage, modified or special-interest vehicle is invited to bring their pride-and-joy to the Monticello Motor Club Thursday, September 20th and exhibit it in the open paved area between the club house and the track’s front straight. A parade of classics, awards and a trophy-winner are part of the show . . . Barnes & Noble put the spotlight on Loren Fix, aka “The Car Coach” when they featured her and her new book “Lauren Fix’s Guide To Loving Your Car” in a book signing at the Clarence Mall in Buffalo.

SOUTHEAST

The Southern International Auto Show is now the Miami International Auto Show and its promoters have enlisted the Southern Auto Media Association’s help in promoting the change. An appealing video announcing the change praises the area’s auto media and provides SAMA President Jaimie Flores an on-camera speaking role.

WEST COAST

Nominations are now open for MPG’s Dean Batchelor Awards. Any journalistic work in the automotive genre may be nominated, but nominations must be made by a current Motor Press Guild member.  This year, electronic as well as generic versions are acceptable in these categories: Articles, Books and Photography. The deadline for entries is September 28th. Forms and more information available at: http://www.motorpressguild.org

SOUTHWEST

If Denise McCluggage were not in love with cars she could woo the nation to New Mexico – something she would not want to do except for the 2012 Santa Fe Concorso she extols. This year’s event will be held at the more spacious Club at Las Campanas Sept. 28-30. . . From deep in the heart of the Lone Star State word has finally reached AWCom that sometime back Alan Gell was given a lifetime achievement award by his fellow members of the Texas Auto Writers Association. Not an annual thing, it was prompted by Gell’s long and continuing service to TAWA. Presented by TAWA President Mike Herzing (right), the award is a custom-designed Texas rodeo belt buckle.

MIDWEST

It’s only one brand but promoters claim it is the largest Corvette party in the world. Why not? That still leaves roundups, homecomings and reunions. And considering that over the past 18 years the MidAmerica Motorworks Funfest has hosted The Beach Boys, Eagles, The Guess Who and Reo Speedwagon in the scenic cornfields of Effingham, Ill., the event deserves the considerable following it has built. The 19th party Sept.13-16 headlines the World Classic Band.

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