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Put Yourself in the Picture This Fall

One damp day last autumn in Weybridge, Vermont, in Eric Killorin’s incredible garage workshop the AGM attendees of The Riley Motor Club Of North America posed for their group photo. We were the lucky recipients of the warm hospitality of Betsey and Eric and their sons. In the memory and spirit of that occasion, let me issue a call to all members of the club and their families to join us this fall in New York’s Finger Lakes for our 60th anniversary AGM:

Members who’ve owned and driven their own Rileys for a long time tend to come up with the best ideas for places for us to get together with our cars. Don Milligan suggested our site last fall in Vermont. As we were winding down that one Sarah Rheault and Sandy Turner came up with the idea of Watkins Glen at the south end of New York’s Seneca Lake for this year.

Sarah has driven around Seneca Lake in her Bugatti. And it is an old stamping ground of the Turner family. Sandy’s grandfather, who ran a bank nearby in Elmira, owned an Italianate mansion in Montour Falls, just south of Watkins Glen. Sandy’s great uncle was an architect who designed many prominent local buildings.

Sandy has arranged with the family that owns the mansion, in which his father was raised, for us to park our cars, tour the house and have lunch not far away.

We’ll circumnavigate the lake, visit wineries, have dinner in a castle, tour the Glen Curtiss collection of planes and other modes of transportation, visit the soaring park, and have a chance to drive our cars around the famed Watkins Glen racetrack.

At the suggestion of Sarah Rheault and others who have tired of two-day events to which they have driven or trailered their cars great distances, our meet will last three days this year for the first time.

We have arranged to stay at Seneca Lodge, a bit more rustic than any of our earler digs but a favorite over the years with the racing crowd. It is owned by one of the families that created the auto racing venue at Watkins Glen. Its bar is awesomely historic and comforting. As the lodge fills up we will post a list of alternate digs here on the club website.

We will begin the evening of Thursday, September 20, with cocktails and dinner at the lodge, and continue with driving events Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 21, 22 and 23. Our technical sessions will once again feature John Thompson and other members. Do join us and if you can bring your Riley car.

We suggest you book your rooms as soon as possible. The lodge describes its cabins as clean and unpretentious, no understatement. Its A-frames and motel rooms are more complete and modern. To reserve ask for Dora at 607 535-2014.

We are grateful to members Sandy Turner, Mickey Shemin, and James McMahon for scouting locations for this event.

For a closer look at the celebrities, click on the group photo and it will enlarge, almost magically.

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