Life in the Motor Cities Gruppe

Pot Luck 2017

February 20, 2017

New Venue for and Old and Well Loved Event


Mary Liz Curtin Stephen Scannel have always been gracious hosts for our Winter Pot Luck Dinner. Over the years it has been held in their wonderful shop Leon and Lulu but this year we moved next door to their newest venture, the Clawson Theater and what a great venue to hold not just our event, but any kind of indoor event, really. Be sure to stop in when in the area.



We had about 50 people this year, a good sign that we are ready for spring and the advent of the driving season. Be sure to look for an announcement soon about the 2017 Spring Tour, entering its 25th year!





Motor Cities Gruppe Annual Pot Luck Dinner

January 23, 2017

Hello friends,  I secured the date of February 11, 2017 for our annual pot luck at Leon & Lulu, starts at 5 pm sharp.

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


This years pot luck will 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.  This new venue is a lunch room café and tea room.  It has seating and room for all our dishes with plenty of shopping on hand also. 
Please RSVP to me and let me know what you can contribute for dinner.
Pick one or more of the following so I can fill in the blanks before I arrive: Entrée, salad, potato, pasta, appetizer, dessert.
Please bring your own wine or beer, I will bring water and some varieties of soda.
Check out the new venue before hand, and go to their web site
See you there!
Barbara and your 356 MCG friends.


Motor Cities Gruppe Holiday Party

November 3, 2016



1401 Club Drive Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Forest Lake Country Club is located just off of Square Lake Road, West of Telegraph. The party starts at 3 pm for appetizers, cash bar and socializing. Dinner will be served at 4pm and is a station buffet style with a very nice variety. The actual menu will be posted here soon, but last year we had a fabulous salad bar, prime rib, salmon, and a hot station risotto bar with condiments that you could add to your risotto like spinach and several cheeses.
There is a charge of $60.00 each this year and is well worth the price.  The setting is beautiful, the view over the lake at sunset was peaceful and relaxing,  NO work for anyone in the club, just arrive and enjoy.
Please CLICK HERE to RSVP to Barb Skirmants
Also, please send checks ahead of time for the event made out to The Motor Cities Gruppe to Barb at:

Motor Cities Gruppe

3359 Kings Mill Road

North Branch, MI 48461

This always a terrific party and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

Sebastian’s Open House at ArborMotion

August 21, 2016

All Gruppe members are sincerely invited to attend!


Saturday August 27th, 2016

4pm to 8 pm


669 State Circle

Ann Arbor, MI 48108



The open house is less than a week away and some of you have not yet opened the emailed invitation so I wanted to get the word out. I would love for you all to attend. Details are below, and if you have not already sent me an RSVP you can do so at


Directions are HERE


I look forward to seeing everybody there!


ArborMotion Sebastian Invite



Please RSVP for the Harbor Springs / Alden Car Show Weekend!

July 21, 2016

Hello friends,   I need your RSVP if you are going to Harbor Springs / Alden car show with us.  We are making arrangements for a catered dinner at Dave and Mary Hinz hideout garage in Harbor Springs, so I must have your RSVP so Mary and Dave can order the food.  Friday, August 12, 6 pm  directions to follow after I get your reservation.  I anticipate about $25.00 each for the dinner so please plan ahead to make this easier for all of us.


Thank you!!!!


Dave and Mary Hinz


Alden show 2016 Invitation.jpg

The Last One…….

July 11, 2016

For the last few years, Dave and Diane Burton (the Prez and his first lady of the Gruppe) have hosted the Gruppe picnic at their home on Oxbow Lake.

Next year it will return to the Skirmants’ home in North Branch where it was held for many, many years also. The difference is that the picnic will never go back to the Burton’s house on Oxbow Lake as they are building a new home just a tad further away.

This year’s swan song did not disappoint as Dave and Diane once again ordered up perfect weather. The cars were again spread around circular drive as we sat inside the well kept garage turned social center/dining room.









Dave’s Toy Barn is always a treat to spend time in, I am guessing that the Man Cave in the new diggs will also be as cool……


Thanks again to Dave and Diane for opening their home to the Gruppe these last few years, next year they deserve a break and we will all be gathered and relaxing at the Skirmants’ for the Gruppe Picnic 2017.


Caravan to Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix this Saturday

June 22, 2016


I know this is short notice, but please join us for a one day trip to the Vintage races at the beautiful Mid-Ohio Race Course in Lexington Ohio this Saturday June 25th, 2016.We will take back roads most of the way to watch our local racers (including Vic Skirmants) run qualifiers on Saturday.


The open paddock alone is worth the trip if you’ve never been or have not attended for a while.


Of course there are plenty of Porsches in the paddock…

But also parked everywhere too…

Saturday is the best day to go if you only attend one day because of the infield parking by make. There is always something new to see.



I’ll be leaving at 7:00am from Ann Arbor, but if that is not convenient we can meet in Toledo/Perrysburg and go from there. We will arrive at the track around 10:00am and spend a few hours enjoying the entire experience before returning via back roads to Michigan.


Please RSVP to Sebastian at


June 22, 2016


This year’s Motor Cities Gruppe Picnic is Sunday July 10th from Noon until the last car leaves. It is being hosted once again at the fabulous home of Dave and Diane Burton.

We will have the same format as last year; the club will furnish the meat entrees (ribs & chicken) while the members will bring their choice of side dish, salad or dessert. Please RSVP and let us know what you are bringing so that we don’t end up with too many of one thing and none of another. Home made goods seem to be more popular than store-bought (judging by leftovers). Please call Diane at 248-698-3045 or email me at to RSVP

The club also furnishes water and soft drinks, anything else please bring your own. If anyone would like to swim in the lake, bring a swimsuit and towel


DSC_1168picnic post 2

Our address is:
10805 Oxbow Lakeshore Dr.
White Lake, MI 48386
(East off Teggerdine Rd., 2nd street South of M-59)

356’s come up the driveway and park on the lawn by the house, all others please park in the street. We will have the tables set up in the garage as before so the weather won’t affect the event

We look forward to another great picnic!

Dave and Diane



June 15, 2016

Many Gruppe members see the Stoddard swap meet as a tradition, many going back to the late 80’s when they held their first one at the original dealership location.

And you know what? Many of them still go. I was a late comer having gone to my first one in 1992, but I have not missed one since.

My running mates this year, as usual, were Bill Rohrer and Dan mazur. The Rennstatt Racing truck held plenty of stuff and served us well, just like at the Hershey swap in April.


So yeah, we had stuff on our table but Bill and Dan also towed down their Garage Find Karmann Hardtop. Do you think anyone was interested in my early A generator or really nice shift levers? Nope, mostly people just bumped into the table on their way to look at the car. It had 25 tear’s worth of garage dust on it until the ride home when the unforecasted rainstorm washed it away.

The other Gruppe members present were Dick Zarbo, Neil Goldberg, Ted Dunham (and his son Jim), Vic and Barb Skirmants and Vic & Lucy Rivera.



The vendors were plentiful and business was brisk, it just seems like there is no end in sight for the buying of 356 parts.


The evening before was the Literature meet also held at Stoddard’s HQ. Lot’s of neat stuff, both literature and car-wise shows up there as well.

Then a little dinner out after the lit meet solidifies the friendship between the Michigan and Ohio 356 fans.



But the day of the swap, Chuck Stoddard’s 912 powered VW Single Cab is always a hit.


Even if you don’t need anything for your car and have no parts to sell the easy trip to Cleveland is worth the camaraderie. Look for announcements next year and join your fellow Gruppe members in 2017!



Blog at