News & Press: General News

CLC GNs: What, who, where, how?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018  

Having slid back into the Club’s driver’s seat, I find myself “lurking” on the Discussion Forum a bit more often. I noted that there were significant discussions about the who, where, how and whys of Grand Nationals after our recent event. Usually, if one person raises a question, there are probably others that had similar questions and didn’t ask. Let me take this opportunity to try to answer a few of them for the rest of you.

What is a Grand National or “GN”? It’s a big Cadillac and LaSalle aficionados convention with a car show. It’s a unique opportunity to travel to a different city, see the sights and private car collections, commune with your fellow enthusiasts, display your car, maybe have it judged, and check out the cars others have brought.

Who decides where they are held? Locations are determined by which Regions (or Chapters) bid on hosting. Initially, a Region expresses an interest to their Regional vice president, who shares that interest with the National Meets and Tours Committee. If, after a review, they all concur it’s a good location, good timing, and believe the Region has the capacity to host a GN, the Region makes a presentation to the board of directors. The National Club has recently made hosting much easier by assisting with many of the more onerous aspects of GN planning. If the board agrees and approves that GN bid, then the Region is off and running.

Why do we keep moving them? Good question. The board and most members believe holding it in the same area all the time would be kinda’ boring, and we’d run out of local activities. Additionally, it would make it difficult for our members around the country and the world to attend, especially for those of us who like to drive or tow our cars to the GN events. To that end, the board tries to site them across the country on a rotating windshield wiper-like basis: East, Central, West, repeat. Sometimes, a bit like a vacuum wiper in that we may stay in a geographic area if there is no interest from a Region in another area.

Why and how do we judge cars at the GN? We judge cars to educate the owners as to the condition of all Cadillacs and LaSalles when they were new (that is our standard), to help them to meet that standard, and to reward their efforts.

Several commenters felt that their car was not worthy of being displayed or could not compete with trailered cars—nonsense. All Cadillacs and LaSalles are welcome. Divisions and Classes exist for driver-quality cars, modified cars and preserved cars, as well as for those striving for perfection. Cars are judged against the “as-new” standard, not each other. Prizes are awarded to every car that achieves the required points, regardless of body style.* And, if you don’t want to have your car judged, you can just display it. I encourage you to bring your car; the more the merrier!

How much money does the Region make? There is a misconception that the host Regions make a killing on GNs. Yes, they make money, but the work, costs and risks involved in hosting a GN are tremendous, especially if fewer than expected members attend. In my memory, no GN has had a net loss; most only make about $10–$20 a person, which isn’t very much. Plus, most of those Regions also recycle those profits into their Region and the CLCMRC.

Hopefully, that answers your questions and concerns.


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