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Life in the Motor Cities Gruppe

Our Friend Heath

March 26, 2018
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Heath Hurlbert

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We were all surprised and saddened to learn that in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, 21 March 2018, our good friend – my good friend – Heath Hurlbert departed this world. A powerful reminder, as all of you know who have lost loved ones or close friends, that we are not permanent-party here on earth. And it’s always difficult to come to grips with the end of a friendship that lasted over half your life-time. As many of you know Heath had some severe medical problems, which finally seemed to be on the mend, and he was talking about, and making plans for, a return to a more normal life, which would not include hospitals. So his death was a shock.

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Forty-five years ago it was spring, and things were better. I ran across Heath a couple of times when I worked at Ford Dynamometer. He was what we would call an IT guy today. He would pick up the data we generated and take it over to run on Ford’s computer, a Hewlett Packard 8000-something that took up a whole building behind the “Glass House,” Ford World Headquarters on Michigan Ave and Southfield. To let you know what people thought of Information Technology in the early 1970’s, Heath was the only guy I know of who started as a salary grade one! This he told me later when we had become friends.

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Things were obviously much better at Blue Cross because he could buy a Porsche. Heath was already racing a Formula V, prepared by Motts (ask me), and so preparing the 911 for competition was natural. That’s just what we did back then, nobody drove a stock car, especially a Porsche. We got to be good friends over his Glacier Blue ’72T because I was the only guy who could fix his trick fiberglass front spoiler. The ’72 eventually became a 3.2 twin-plug RSR way before anyone heard of “Outlaws” and “R-Gruppe” cars.

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But Heath was really a Porsche Renaissance man, owning everything from a 1950 Coupe through his current 997 Carrera S bought new. “Back-in-the-day” we bought, sold, and parted out every kind of Porsche imaginable.  Then the restoration bug hit. When I went into the Porsche business full time in 1978, Heath’s 1960 Sunroof Coupe was the first car I finished, and he did much of the work with me. He was very involved and capable with artistic things, from antiques, to sanding and prepping a car for paint, to lost-wax investment casting of parts for mechanical banks, of which he had quite a collection at one time. He was responsible for much of the jeweled perfection on his America Roadster, which took People’s Choice at the 1993 Parade, and blue ribbons at Meadowbrook and Eyes on Design.

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We had many Porsche adventures, from PCA color “tours,” where we just barely escaped jail in Ohio one year, and nearly froze to death in a track prepped 911 with race headers another fall – as Kathy and Karen rode along comfortably chatting in a heated girly car, to concours and track events. We never competed directly on the rack. He ran a Formula V, I ran an E-Prod Speedster. He ran the crazy fast ’72 RSR, I ran a stock prepped ’72 T, then a ‘72 S. But we always had a load of lies to swap. And somewhere along the way I was honored to be his best man when he and Kathy were married.

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As you get older you spend more time remembering the things you did, more than the things you no longer (can) do. So we would always watch Formula 1 (neither of us quite made that level), went to the Detroit Auto Show, and Autorama, because Porsches were not our only car interests. I took him pictures in the hospital from the 2018 Autorama, but I had depleted the battery in Karen’s tablet, and now he will never see them. Good by dear friend, I am sure there are many others who will miss you too. Karen and I express our deepest sympathy to Kathy, may God grant you peace and comfort in the Great Name of Jesus.  

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Reverend Ron Roland

 

No plans are known for a memorial service at this time. We will update the Gruppe when we learn more. In the meantime, Cards and condolences can be sent to:

 

Kathy Hurlbert

26710 Carol

Franklin, MI   48025

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget to RSVP for the 2018 Motor Cities Gruppe Annual Pot Luck Dinner

February 4, 2018
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Photo by Erin Sanchez

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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Hello friends,  as of today, Sunday February 4th, 2018 we only have responses from the Block’s, Golberg’s, Rivera’s, Gaeta’s and Tom Gasser.If you are planning on attending, please RSVP HERE to Barb Skirmants so we can make accurate plans!

We have secured the date of Saturday February 17th, 2018 for our annual pot luck at Leon & Lulu, starts at 5 pm sharp.

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The Clawson Theater
14 West 14 Mile Road, Clawson, MI
1 mile West of I-75 on 14 Mile Road

 

This year’s pot luck will again take place at their new venue next door, The Clawson Theater.  Park on the West side of the Theater building, enter via the side entrance. The Clawson Theater is a lunch room café and tea room.  It has seating and room for all our dishes with plenty of shopping on hand also. 

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Please RSVP to me and let me know what you can contribute for dinner. Park and enter on the West side of the Theater building.  Please arrive on time for appetizers, hot dinner will be served around 6:15 to 6:30 pm.

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Please bring a dish to pass,  your bottle of wine, and let me know what you intend to bring.
Appetizers
salad
hot potato dish
meat /  or entrée casserole dish
dessert
We look forward to seeing all of you there.

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Check out the new venue beforehand, and go to their web site www.leonandlulu.com

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See you there!

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Barbara and your 356 MCG friends.

2018 Motor Cities Gruppe Annual Pot Luck Dinner

January 29, 2018
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Hello friends,  we have secured the date of Saturday February 17th, 2018 for our annual pot luck at Leon & Lulu, starts at 5 pm sharp.

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The Clawson Theater
14 West 14 Mile Road, Clawson, MI
1 mile West of I-75 on 14 Mile Road

 

 

This year’s pot luck will again take place at their new venue next door, The Clawson Theater.  Park on the West side of the Theater building, enter via the side entrance. The Clawson Theater is a lunch room café and tea room.  It has seating and room for all our dishes with plenty of shopping on hand also. 

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Please RSVP to me and let me know what you can contribute for dinner. Park and enter on the West side of the Theater building.  Please arrive on time for appetizers, hot dinner will be served around 6:15 to 6:30 pm.

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Please bring a dish to pass,  your bottle of wine, and let me know what you intend to bring.
Appetizers
salad
hot potato dish
meat /  or entrée casserole dish
dessert
We look forward to seeing all of you there.

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Check out the new venue beforehand, and go to their web site www.leonandlulu.com

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See you there!

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Barbara and your 356 MCG friends.

Gruppe Holiday Party is Sunday December 3rd, 2017

October 4, 2017
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Main Dining Room 1

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Greetings Gruppe Members!

 

Your Board of Directors has done it again. This year’s Holiday Party is being held at the beautiful Birmingham Athletic Club, pictures can be seen at the bottom of this post.

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The dinner will be served with the following food stations:

  • Roasted Prime Rib with the proper condiments, roasted Salmon with sauce, smashed red skin potatoes. 
  • Risotto Station with your choice of additions, mushroom  mélange, parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, artichoke hearts.
  •  House Salad will be served at the table with a choice of their house dressings.
  •  Ice cream sundae bar, and fresh chocolate cookies.
  • Cash bar

We will have the room from 3 pm to 7 pm.  Please arrive on time or you will miss out on the hot Hors d’oeuvres!

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Because of the change in venue, we ask that reservations be made and that payment for dinner be made in advance so as to let all Gruppe members enjoy the party.  The cost to you is $50 per person–the actual cost of the dinner per person is greater than $50 and is being subsidized by your club!

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There are two payment methods offered. You can mail a check to Barb Skirmants or you can pay by credit card to Barb through 356 Enterprises and Barb will write a check to the Gruppe (Any credit card payments will have 4% added to cover credit card charges to the Skirmants’ account).

 

THE PERTINENT INFORMATION:

Gruppe Holiday Party 2017

Sunday December 3rd, 2017 from 3pm to 7pm

Birmingham Athletic Club located at 4033 W Maple Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301

You must RSVP and we ask that you pay in advance. You can RSVP HERE

PLEASE RSVP BY NOVEMBER 25TH!!!

To pay by credit card please call Barb at 810-688-2059

To pay by check, please print THIS FORM

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This always a great gathering and this year’s venue will be one of the best yet. We look forward to celebrating the Holidays with all of our Gruppe friends.

 

 

 




 

2017 Gruppe Picnic Canceled, Festivities move to Waterford Hills

July 26, 2017
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Hello friends, 
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As of today I only had 4 people signed up for the picnic scheduled to be here on August 13.  After talking to Dave Burton this morning, we have decided to CANCEL the picnic here on August 13, and invite all of you out to Waterford Hills on Saturday August 5th to see Vic race and attend the Saturday evening dinner at a small fee.
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We have reserved a 20 x 20 tent with tables and chairs at Waterford, end of the straight, same location we had the 1998 Holiday tent.   Bring your cooler and beverages and snacks, food is available to purchase at the race track.  This change in venue will save the club about $2,000, plus the wear and tear on us. 
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Please try to make it out to the race track and cheer Vic on.

If you want to stay for dinner, I need your confirmation asap HERE

You can just pay at the event. Let’s turn this into a big celebration for Vic and the Motor Cities Gruppe. See the blog post below for more info or Click Here.

Barb

Weekend at Vic’s and the Waterford Hills Vintage Races 2017

July 8, 2017
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Waterford Hills July Aug 2017
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Please drive out to Waterford Hills the first weekend of August, especially Saturday August 5, 2017. That night there is a dinner banquet where Vic will be honored. There is a small cost for the banquet, but well worth it to honor our dear friend.

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From the Waterford Hills Website:

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“As per what WE think of as tradition, we honor every other year or so, a Prodigal Son Of Waterford Hills. This year, it’s Vic Skirmants’ time in the spotlight. Rest assured, long tales and true stories are sure to be shared. Mark your calendars and spread the gossip. It’s Weekend @ VIC’S (think Weekend at Bernie’s, we can be a silly lot you know)”

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We look forward to seeing the Gruppe well represented in the spectator area!

 

Thanks

 

Barbara

 

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Barb's 70th

Spring Tour 2017

April 25, 2017
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