Pierce-Arrow Society Annual Meet
Come to the Pierce-Arrow Society's 2018 Annual Meet in Rohnert Park, California and Experience the Wine Country, Pacific Ocean and Redwoods!
Join us for many exciting events and routes, something for every taste and budget!
Early arrivals not attending the PAS and PAF meetings on Monday can take their choice between TWO Early Bird Motor Coach Tours:
Tour #1 is for those of you who have not seen the huge San Francisco Academy of Art University car collection. We will depart at 9:00 AM to see 200 cars, 8 Pierces, including prototype and production Silver Arrows, the only 1938 Pierce convertible, and Packards, Duesenbergs, Marmons, Jaguars, Fords, etc. in two buildings. Lunch will be on your own at two famous SF restaurants, Tommy's Joynt & Mel's Drive-In. You'll also see two of the fabulous ornate 1920's car dealerships (Don Lee Cadillac & Earle C. Anthony Packard), and the former Pierce-Arrow Pacific Sales building ("Pierce-Arrow" is still visible on all sides). Bus seats are limited to the first 112 people responding on their registration forms*, or you can join us by car if more convenient to your itinerary, but keep in mind that SF traffic & parking is problematic.
Tour #2 will take you to exciting local highlights around the Santa Rosa area, and we will depart around 10:30 AM.
You will visit the
Charles Schulz Museum and Ice Rink
(of "Peanuts" and "Snoopy" cartoon fame),
and then ride to Geyserville for a leisurely family-style pasta lunch at the
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, with great
views of the wine country and onsite swimming club. While there, you will see a special display with the Tucker
automobile used in the film "Tucker", and many pieces of Hollywood history from director Francis Ford Coppola's
films. After lunch we will go back to Santa Rosa for a ride down "Movie Row"
on McDonald Avenue. Four Stick/Eastlake & Italianate houses were used in the movies, including Alfred Hitchcock's
favorite movie "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943), "Scream", "Pollyanna" and "Happy Land". Then a stop at the
Luther Burbank Home and Gardens
for a guided ($10 fee) or self-guided (does not include the house) tour.
Burbank was a world-renowned botanist (who entertained Henry Ford and Thomas Edison) who bred many hybrid plants
and fruits that we eat today. Then a look at historic Railroad Square, also seen in "Shadow of a Doubt", and
back to the Hotel. Bus seats are limited to the first 56 who RSVP*.
*If there are large responses over these numbers, we will try to charter additional transportation. (If you happen to arrive at the Meet too late for the start of a tour, we will have maps and schedules at the Hotel if you would like to catch up independently.)
Both tours will return by around 4 PM in time to relax before the Welcome Party at 6 PM in the Hotel, with heavy hors d'ouvres and limited open bar - always a lively, congenial way to start the Meet!
Our first day of Pierce touring will take us over country roads to a 13th Century Tuscan castle, constructed 10 years ago from actual old Italian materials, with spectacular views of the Napa Valley. It is a winery called Castello di Amorosa, where we will have a guided tour of great halls, dungeons and turrets, and an animal farm. After the tour we will adjourn to the stone tasting room to sample several wines. We will then drive through the quaint town of Calistoga, where some folks may want to stop briefly at the Sharpsteen Museum, full of local history, founded by a former Walt Disney animator.
Don't dawdle too long, though, because our next stop is lunch at the Castelli-Knight Ranch, a vineyard with an unbelievable treasure trove of collections of almost everything - 40's and 60's cars, racers, gas pumps, pedal cars, oil cans, toys, trains, farm equipment, signs, a Pierce tricycle, bicycles, pinball machines, ceramic figures, quilt samplers, a soda fountain and more. Steve Castelli holds the A/Gas record with his '41 Willys dragster (see hotrodwillys.com). Steve and Glenda are a most hospitable couple, and they will put on a fabulous early-era lunch for all tastes, including homemade blackberry cobbler dessert. After lunch we will drive back to the Hotel for the Ladies Tea around 4:30 PM. Total miles ~85. (Note the change from previous flyers from Thursday to Tuesday for the Ladies Tea.)
Wednesday will be our Tour to the Coast, our longest tour, about 95 miles total. We will drive about an hour on back roads along the Russian River to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve to experience the marvelous grove of tall ancient redwood trees. Coffee & pastries will be served. Fee, at the Grove: $8 per car ($7 seniors). We will then continue to the coast at Jenner and onto the ocean-surrounded spit called Goat Rock for an inspiring break before continuing down the coast. After driving on Highway One overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean, we will stop in the quaint fishing village of Bodega Bay for exploring and lunch on your own in suggested restaurants. From Bodega Bay we will drive to Bodega town to see the schoolhouse where Alfred Hitchcock filmed "The Birds" (now a private residence). Then on to member Sam Cohen's car collection for a view of his 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's cars and projects, and an Ice Cream Social! After Sam's, a short drive back to the Hotel to relax, and dinner on your own at suggested restaurants.
Thursday is a little shorter tour, to allow time for the swap meet, and car prep for the show on Friday. We will drive east over beautiful winding Sonoma Mountain roads to the town of Glen Ellen to visit Jack London State Park, and Benziger Winery, about one-half mile apart. One group will tour Jack London Museum and grounds, and the other will tour and taste at Benziger Winery, voted "Best Winery & Tour" by locals (Sonoma People's Choice Awards, 2016), with its old family-run organic process and tractor-pulled tram tour of the vineyards. Then the groups will switch (and meet each other going opposite directions!), and then all will enjoy a box lunch back at Jack London State Park. JLSP car fee = $10/car. (Those who don't care about wine can spend more time at JLSP for a hike, etc.)
You will then have two options: continue on to member Charles Goodman's Car Collection (84 miles day total) or visit other wineries or museums (or the hotel pool) on your own. The Goodman Collection in San Rafael is a 50-year collection of around 100 American classic and vintage cars, mostly pre-war open cars, including a 1933 Pierce convertible coupe. Coffee and pastries will be served. (No photos, please.) After dinner on your own, we will have the Swap Meet and Vintage Attic at 7 PM, and also a Silent Auction benefiting the PAS Museum. (Please consider donating items, and bid generously!)
Friday will be our traditional Car Show from 10 AM to 2 PM on the Hotel lawn, open to the public, and publicized by the local paper and radio station. Multiple choices for lunch are available - in the Hotel restaurant, at nearby deli's and sandwich shops, or to save time, you can order box lunches from the Hotel on the registration form. The Tech Session will follow the car show at the Hotel. The Awards Banquet reception will start at 6 PM, with dinner served at 7 PM, and is the formal conclusion of the Meet.
However, if you want to stay on, the festivities will continue on Saturday! We have chartered a bus to go visit member Pat Craig's fantastic Pierce collection (24 Pierces, 17 Pierce bicycles and other cars) in Stockton, about 100 miles east. We will have lunch at his daughter's restaurant, Valley Brew, afterwards. You can either sign up for the bus (56-passenger limit), that returns to the Hotel around 4 PM, or drive modern, depending on whether you are staying in the area on Saturday night, or moving on to other vacation spots.
Ahh, the party continues! The Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance takes place on Sunday in Burlingame (on a golf course in the hills near San Francisco airport). This is the world's longest continually running concours, started in 1956. (Pebble Beach missed 1960!) This year, to honor our cars, there will be a Pierce-Arrow class. So if you want to enter to compete, fill out the registration form, or to spectate, just show up.
Okay, this is really the last day to celebrate Pierces by the Pacific!
If you're still in the area, and did not get a chance to see the Academy of Art University auto collection in San Francisco, they will be open in the morning to accommodate you. Then member John Mozart will host a lunch at his wonderful classics museum, with over 50 cars including 11 Pierces on display, in Palo Alto. Member John Bertolotti will also have an open house at his collection of over 100 vintage and sports cars (including 11 pre-1920 Pierces) in Santa Clara in the afternoon. Transportation is on your own.
Santa Clara is very close to San Jose Airport (SJC).
Our headquarters hotel is the Doubletree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, 1 Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (six miles south of Santa Rosa), with quick access to low-traffic country roads.
You can make your hotel reservations NOW at the Doubletree at our special rate of $159 per night, through their special on-line booking link or by phone at 707-584-5466, using the group name "Pierce Arrow". A limited number of rooms are also available at that price 3 days before the Meet, and 3 days after the Meet. (Note: when you book online, the page indicates a $8/night parking charge. This is just their standard process, but has been WAIVED for us. Parking is free for PAS.) Our discounted room block is reserved only until June 8.
Trailer, Big Rig and motor home parking is free and is available both adjacent to the Hotel (72-hour limit) and in a lot four blocks away (no limit).
Sonoma County Airport Express buses can transport you from San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK) Airports directly to the Doubletree Hotel, and return, if desired. Santa Rosa also has a small airport (STS) with flights from Los Angeles, Orange County (CA), Phoenix, Portland, San Diego,and Seattle.
- There are HUNDREDS of wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties - we will just see a few.
- Napa Wine Train
- The Geysers power plant (open Wed - Sat) about 1.3 hours north (50 mi.)
- Safari West animal preserve & Petrified Forest, Santa Rosa (If you're OK with wildfire-affected areas)
- Petaluma: In movies since the 1940s, ("Basic Instinct","Peggy Sue Got Married", and "American Graffiti").
- For you '32 Ford hotrodders, Vern Tardel's Flathead Ranch, Santa Rosa
- Howarth Park, Santa Rosa: Children's train, carousel, lake, boating
- Blackhawk Auto Museum, Danville
- If on your own in Stockton (Pat Craig's collection) on Saturday, the Haggin Museum is a good stop.