October 2003
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Atlanta Italian Car Day-October 4
Jim and I were on the East Coast to visit my brother and his family, in Charlotte, and were able to schedule several car related activities into our itinerary.  We flew into Atlanta and picked up our rental car to begin our tour of the Southeast.  I will highlight the car related activities.  First we stopped at Chateau Elan, which is owned by the Panoz family.  While there, we met a member of the Viper Club of America, which was holding a function at the Chateau and Road Atlanta, which is also owned by the Panoz family.  We were invited out to Road Atlanta is view their open track session.  There were lots of new Vipers, Corvettes, and BMW's and very few vintage cars.  It just didn't seem like a track event because all these new cars were so quiet!
Our next car related outing was in the Charlotte area.  We toured the Lowes Motor Speedway. The Speedway is 2,010. acres in size. There are six different tracks that make up the speedway complex. The tracks include: go cart, sprint, legend cars, main track, road track, and dirt track.  On a major race day, the Speedway employs 3,000 persons.  It employs 800 people per day in the off-season. The tour included a ride on the main track in a 12-passenger van, at 75 miles per hour.  The driver stopped the van on the 24-degree bank and everyone slid downhill together on the bench seating!  We also visited Rousch Racing. They even had a used parts shop where you could buy used race car parts.  I guess if you were skilled enough, you could put together an entire car together from the parts that they were selling. There were many more NASCAR shops that we didn't visit due to time.  The next day we went to Mooresville, N.C and toured the Dale Ernhardt Museum.  It is a beautiful building, but it must be similar to visiting Graceland and Elvis.  There's lots of personal memorabilia and not a lot of car related stuff.  You would have to be a real fan of the Ernhardt family.
In the winners circle.
On Friday morning we met with the Pantera group, led by Fred and Debbie Terry from Maryland.  The group was caravanning down to Atlanta for the Italian Car Day.  Included in the caravan were Bruce Nardoci from Charlotte, Shawn Korb from Raleigh, Bill & Pat Driscoll from Virginia, Sam from Maryland, and Mike & Sandy Sowers from Virginia.  We had breakfast at Shony's in Charlotte with the group of five Panteras, a Z06 Corvette, a SUV, and our Tarus rental car.  It was a quick drive south. Jim rode shotgun with Jay Cerreri from Pennsylvania.  I followed up the rear in the Tarus, usually at about 80 mph, to just keep them in view!  Once in Atlanta, we all stayed at the Holiday Inn Buckshead.  Mike Daily had negotiated an excellent group rate for everyone at this very nice hotel.
Mike & Pam Daily and Dick & JoAnn Koch met us in the bar for drinks that evening. JoAnn had arranged dinner at the Cheesecake Factory for 16 people on Friday night on short notice!  She has worked in the Atlanta area food industry for years and had the right "contacts" to pull it off.  We all enjoyed an excellent dinner and service.  The next morning we were up early and off to the Atlanta Donut Derelicts at Dandy Donuts, which was only a mile of so away from the hotel.  After coffee and donuts, the group of 10 Panteras, a Ferrari and a Maserati headed out for the Italian Car Day, via back roads.  The group turned many heads as the informal parade drove toward the park. The weather was beautiful.  The temperature was in the low 80's, clear skies and low humidity. The attendance for the event was good.  There were probably about 100 cars at the event. There were 17 Panteras and one Mangusta at the show.  It looked really nice to see them all lined up together.  Mike Daily did a great job to be able to arrange that feat.  No other marque was organized enough to pull that off!  This Italian car show had Italian food for lunch. The event was catered by a local Italian restaurant.  What a deal, $8 for sausage and peppers, lasagna, corn, Italian bread, fresh fruit cup, and a beverage!  Concourso could learn a thing from Atlanta as far as food service goes.  We left the car show about 2 pm to do a bit of touring in Atlanta.  We visited the Coca Cola Museum and then ended our day with an Italian dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy.  They had great food and it was a perfect end to our Italian day in the South.  Also check out Mike Daily's site for the event.
Atlanta Donut Derelicts, 7:30 AM
The Pantera lineup at Atlanta Italian Car Day
The main purpose of our trip East was to visit my brother and his family in Charlotte.  Being able to be able to time it to include the Atlanta Italian Car Day was an extra treat.  We met some very nice Pantera people from that other coast, many of whom Jim "knew" from the DeTomaso forum.  Everyone welcomed us and was friendly to a couple of Californians in a Tarus rental car.  We hope to see these new friends at other Pantera events in the future.  In the small world department, we learned that Pantera member Bill Driscoll is also a dentist, like Emilia.   We learned another interesting fact on this trip.  When Chesapeake Panteras was forming they wanted to be the Capitol Panteras, but they could not use that name because we already had it in California!
Rio Rendezvous Car Show
It was a beautiful day in Rio Vista, sunshine, clear skies, and no wind.  Jim drove the Pantera two blocks to the parking spot that he had scouted out earlier this weekend.  It was time again for Rio Rendezvous 2003, the 13 th. annual.  With the Main Street beautification project completed, it is an ideal location for a car show.  There were over 200 cars present this year and over 90 motorcycles.  Sadly there was a 50% decrease in Capitol Pantera participation this year (just us).  Maybe we can do better next year.  We will extend an invitation now for next year's Rio Rendezvous.  We will even buy breakfast for CP members who drive over in their club cars.  It will be a fine meal at the Rio Vista Lions Club pancake breakfast.  Our Pantera was once again an eye catcher.  I'm sure that we would have been Best Italian Car, if there had been such a category.  We failed to win in any trophy category, with best flames and best graphics being a particular challenge to us.  We took a break from the activities to have lunch at one of Rio Vista's fine eateries. There is no Italian restaurant in Rio Vista, unless you count The Pizza Factory.  We chose Taqueria Mexico, lunch for two with one beer and one ice tea, $12.    Ken Montgomery will be pleased to know that we were mistaken for a DeLorean by at least two people at the car show.  We did have the back lid up and that must have been what confused them. As usual, we did a lot of deTomaso education at the event.
The engine room always attracts a lot of attention.
Wanted: Articles for CP Newsletter
If you have attended a car function of any type, please write about your car adventures and send it to  to be included in the next Capitol Pantera newsletter.  If newsletter articles are not received, then it will be more of Jim & Emilia's automotive adventures.
Notes from the October 14th. Capitol Pantera Meeting
The weather held and the October meeting of CP was held on the patio at Mimi's.  The attendance was down from last month.  We assume that was due to election fever.  Never fear, the election was held and the entire slate of officers was unanimously re-elected.  Congratulations to Jim, Emilia and John M.!
There will be a November Delta Brunch Run. The date  is Nov. 9, 2003. That is a  Sunday. The time is set for 11 AM.  We will be going to The Ryde Hotel, in Ryde, California .  The price is $21.95  for the brunch buffet, that includes Champagne, Orange juice and Coffee. For those of you who have not been to the Ryde Hotel, the Brunch includes breakfast items, salads, including chilled prawns, hot meat entrees with accompaniments, and deserts.  Parking as a group should not be a problem.  We need to give the restaurant a head count by Nov. 1.  So please e-mail us if you plan to join us for brunch.  Everyone attending the October meeting plans to attend.  If you receive our CP newsletter, you are also welcome to join us,  just try to drive your club car. This event is a go, rain or shine, so if your car doesn't do water, come anyway! 
The date for the CP Christmas Party has been set for Saturday , December 13.  Dennis Gacutan has offered his home for the party.  CP members are in for a double treat, the party and the neighborhood Christmas lights.  So mark your calendar now -Saturday Dec. 13, 2003. Thank you Dennis and Patty for opening your home to the CP club.  Dennis had Kings tickets, so was unable to attend this months meeting.  The details as far as food, gift exchange, and cost still need to be determined.
On our way home, we got to use the Pantera survival kit (cell phone and 100 mile AAA towing car) one more time.  Cruising down I-5, in the fast lane about 70-75 MPH, the right rear tire blew up.  I have no idea why.  The tire had only 6,800 miles on it and was inflated correctly.  The rim looks like it is repairable, but the 305/50-15 tire is no longer available.  There are 295/50-15 tires available, so that's the direction I'll go unless the rim can't be repaired.  There was some damage to the wheel well flanges, but it is fairly minor.  See the following link for photos of what was left of the tire.
Nov. 11-CP Meeting at Mimi's
Nov. 9 - November Delta Brunch Run at  the Ryde Hotel
Dec. 13   - Capitol Pantera Christmas Party home of Dennis & Patty Gacutan
Suggestions for other activities in the coming year include;
Blackhawk Museum in Danville
Golf/Lunch in Farmington - at JB Golf
Sporting Clays/Lunch at Birds Landing (near Rio Vista). 
Great Pantera back road getting there!!
Please keep us informed of other dates and activities.  If you use the "reply" button, please delete all the text and photos below your message.  If you don't, a copy of the newsletter will be returned to us, thus making for a very long download time.  Help conserve internet bandwidth.  Thank you.