Nov 3-5, 2001
- In search of the Frank Lloyd Wright Lincoln Continental
...And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love
A couple months ago I heard from ZeeJay. He was excited to be getting his Bright Red 97 2.8 and wondering what was up for Z3s in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
I immediately jumped on him to find out the scoop about Auldbrass Plantation. I should have written about Auldbrass Plantation in the Memorial Day Gumball,, and I will. For the moment I will spill the beans about one of the best parts (and there were many) of the trip out to the midwest last May.
Here's the deal:
Frank Lloyd Wright designed cars.
The man who invented car ports designed cars, and one of them was based on a 1940 Lincoln Continental.
Mr. Wright was a father of the roadster life that we now cherish, an avid car buff, so much good stuff that I can spare telling you this one little tidbit right now.
He bought # 2 and # 5 off the Lincoln Continental line, gave #2 to his daughter. She smacked it up.
#5 he took a blowtorch to much like what was done to a Jaguar in the movie "Harold and Maude".
No, FLW did not turn the Lincoln into a hearse.
What he did was bend it's design to his will. Off the top of my head, design changes include covering the rear window. He was not interested in where he'd been, only where he was going. Also added were half-moon shaped opera light windows, much like old Thunderbird's - only better. Not much is known about this car, or if it is known, I haven't been able to find it.
I found spotty notices about it appearing at the Concours at Pebble Beach. I was tipped off in Chicago (jeez, it's fun to say that!) that the Lincoln was in the possession of Joel Silver, the movie producer of the Die Hard series and other blockbuster movies -at his Frank Lloyd Wright Plantation in South Carolina.
Now all I needed was a way in to see that car....
It took a lot of searching and a lot of wheedling but all I could find was some obscure references to an annual tour hosted by the "Beaufort County Open Land Trust".
These people were not organized and they had no idea about any car.
So I enlisted ZeeJay immediately and he was up for the task. :)
Then September 11 happened and I forgot about Auldbrass.
Nov 2, 2001, I got this email from ZeeJay:
I'm giving you just 48 hours' notice. My apologies for letting it go so long. Auldbrass is an extremely exclusive home. As you probably already know, it's the residence of Joel Silver, the film producer that created Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and many others. As such, he's only interested in allowing people into his home on a "bare minimum" basis. His home, however, is a landmark of some sort (national?) and amongst other benefits, the home receives special funding and special consideration by the government, which is very beneficial to Mr. Silver. The contingency for receiving this special consideration is that he be willing to open the doors occasionally to special interest groups and allow for private tours of the home. It's not often that he does this, and I can assure you that he does it on a minimum basis. However, as you probably already know, this Sunday, November 4th is a day that he's opening his doors. In short, we can get tickets, and arrangements have been made to tour the home. The cost is $100 per person, and will include a catered luncheon. The tour starts at 11am and should go until 4pm, during which lunch will be provided at no additional charge. The funds apparently go to Beaufort Open Land Trust, a government entity that enables places like Auldbrass to function as it does. There is sorta a "group rate" available, in that if the first person purchases a ticket for the tour at $100, additional tickets can be purchased at the "Beaufort Open Land Trust Member" price of $75. Thus, it's beneficial for us to meet together prior to entry and all of us (whether it's just you and me, or whoever wants to attend) to enter together. There is a maximum of 500 tickets that will be sold for this event, and around 350 have already been sold. In short, I've been told that if we are able to create a large group or a small one, they can accommodate. The next tour isn't available for at least 12 months, when the Charleston Historical Society is scheduled to have a much smaller event there. I fear that this event happening on Sunday may be the only chance to tour the exclusive home for at least a few years. Simply put, we've got to do this now or I don't think it's going to happen. There is a guest speaker, too, Charles Montooth of Taliesin Architects. He was one of the original four FLW apprentices, so it's a really big deal. Additionally, I was told that the entire plantation has recently been restored, which apparently is a really big deal... Apparently it's been dilapidated a long time, and it's just recently been completed. The people that I talked to proudly told me that the plantation has just been finished. I'm looking forward to this... And I will be there. If you would, please announce the ride anywhere you see fit I'll also get all the maps and locations picked out and such so that we are loosely organized. You know my email address... and my cell phone number, if you need to get in touch with me. Let me know, too, if anyone needs lodging for the night and I will see what I can do to recommend hotels and such... Although, I don't know that with this late notice of the ride anyone's going to want to stay overnight anywhere... But heck, I'll still do my best to help wherever I can. Let me know a head count, if you will, and I'll put together a place to meet that everyone can find easily. Plan on needing to be local to Yemassee (45 mins to an hour south of Charleston, as you now) around 10am. I'm really looking forward to this... :-)The words than rang in my head were:
"I fear that this event happening on Sunday may be the only chance to tour the exclusive home for at least a few years. Simply put, we've got to do this now or I don't think it's going to happen."
After September 11, one does not put off for another day thinking that it will always be there.
The other words ringing in my head were Zeegar's. He came to the Concert for NY because it just occurred to him, "I can do this."
Ja, I can do this.
It was so Z3. ZeeJay, who doesn't know me from Adam, or Eve, kicking it into high gear to help a fellow Z3er.
So we sent out invites to Z3 Rides and Caranostra.org, and ZeeJay offered to pick me up at either Charleston airport or Savannah airport and return me there, at least an hour each way.
I posted for help getting there because the flight schedules were not cooperating.
Zeegar offered his hospitality in Charlotte which solved the puzzle.
I would fly into Charlotte Saturday, Zeegar would pick me up and host me at Chez Zeegar, return me to Charlotte airport Sunday morning before his autocross. I would fly to Savannah Sunday morning and return to Charlotte from Savannah Sunday night. Another night at Chez Zeegar and he would return me to Charlotte Monday morning for my flight home to New York.
Everybody got your scorecard out? There will be a quiz later.
By the time we got this all organized I had an hour to pack.
About this time the fear sets in. I am normally a white knuckle flier, but this was of course worse.
I did actually think, "Well they are short hops, not as good to hijack carrying less fuel."
Packing was also different. For the first time in my life my thinking was not about avoiding checked baggage and avoiding the authorities, it was how to pack against terrorism. Cindy Adams had a couple columns about having her tweezers confiscated every time she flies so I plannned to check a bag with my tweezers and other sharp objects. I also brought along enough necessities in case the flights were grounded again while I was away.
Next thing I knew I was headed out the door.
I had my camera of course but there is a general moratorium on picture taking of anything that might prove useful to anyone seeking to do harm.
A pity as it is so heartening to see the flags draped over tunnel entrances, and other signs of patriotism. New signs at the airport. Me nervous as a cat at check in. My lip pencil passed scrutiny but the sticks I use to put up my hair failed.
Early at the airport, hardly a soul in sight. Petrified.
Stopped in for a bite and decided that I would handle my fear by getting tanked.
I continued the tanking on board with Bloody Marys, I got the idea from the nice lady across the aisle...
At Charlotte I thought of TimUK, how he makes the city sound like a French dessert.
Noted the car theme shop at the airport, Jeff Gordon and Dale Ernhart shirts. So North Carolina is geared toward driving "enthusiasm". That explains the North Carolina Boys.
Zeegar found me in Baggage Claim, semi blotto. I was amazed he parked the Z3! She was a pretty sight in Atlanta Blue.
The weather could not have been more perfect and we were off to meet Male Lezbo(Ade), Z3POWER(Nathan), Obsidian (Matt). I suck, no pictures. At Ade and Shelly's house I got Nathan and David to sign my Homecoming photo. Cindy fit right in with the "eine" girls ;).
I got a ride in Matt's amazing Miata, wheel skipping down the highway, Nathan and Cindy in ... his pickup truck. (Gasp!)
Sushi and car talk, a call to Zeejay to confirm for Sunday morning. Out in the parking lot looking under Matt's hood at the Borg Unit regenerating the supercharger and assorted other goodies. Again, I suck, no pictures.
I collapsed after Dave's cat Billy made sushi out of my forearm.
For the flight to Savannah I had to pack only carry- on, as time was of the essence.
The plane was nice and empty. My cabinmate is having a white retro Thunderbird delivered in Albany in 10 days- but having someone else drive it to Florida for him.
By this point I was trying to figure out how to have a home down here. Then ZeeJay pulled up in his bright red Hellrot 97 2.8.
97 2.8s rock like 98 M Roadsters.
Part 1 In Search Of the Lincoln~~ Part 2 Old Sheldon Church~~ Part 3 Stables, Guest Rooms~~
Part 4 Caretaker's Quarters/Music Room~~ Part 5 Around the Plantation~~
Part 6 Guest Houses, Avaiary, Lynx Cage, Zebra Pens~~
Part 7 Main House~~ Part 8 New Friends~~
Part 9 Hanging Out at the House~~
Part 10 Sculpture, Asses~~ Part 11 Statesboro Blues~~ Part 12 The Beauty of Home~~
|mashed their keyboards to get right here, I'll tell you what...since Nov 7, 2001|
|Esmerelda's Pages ~ Z3ers.com Esmerelda's Home Page|