Chicagoland Section

Chicagoland Section

Section President Messages

Spring is in the air!  We are happy to learn that our State and local governments are loosening restrictions on social gathering as the incidence of Coronavirus infections continues to decline.  We continue to plan responsibly, and have finalized some upcoming events for you to enjoy your Mercedes-Benz.

Come join us.  Here are the next Club programs that you can participate in:

Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.:  A Virtual Tour of the MBCA Germany Trip.

If you’ve wondered what’s involved with the National MBCA Annual Trip to Germany, we still have a few openings for our webinar Thursday night.  If you haven’t yet registered to join some of our experienced Section members who will share their experiences in a virtual tour of the Stuttgart region and the AMG and Mercedes-Benz Factory Tours in Germany, please contact [email protected] .

Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.:  Visit to the Knauz Car Collection in Lake Bluff

Join us for coffee and donuts as Past MBCA President Bill Knauz shares his stories of the history of the many classic cars in his private collection and explains the benefits of his Club membership over the past 56 years. Bill informs us that he has had his vaccinations and the building housing his collector cars has plenty of space for social distancing, so we’re a go! Please bring a mask and be respectful of others. Bill’s collection is housed near the Mercedes-Benz dealership at Knauz Continental Autos, 409 Skokie Valley Hwy., Lake Bluff, Illinois 60044.  Attendance will be limited, so sign up soon.  Contact Bob Schuldt at [email protected] to reserve your spot.

 

Here is a track event that will appeal to many members across the Eastern half of North America, and our Chicagoland Section members are invited to participate: 

Saturday, May 15, 2021:  Performance Driving at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway in Alabama

The Alabama–NW Florida and Peachtree Sections have arranged for us to engage in some performance driving on this 1.4 mile, five-turn road course with very wide runoff areas and 3 straights long enough for easy overtaking.  It is great for novices and challenging for experienced drivers. There will be classroom sessions and expert instructors to help you learn the techniques of Performance Driving in your own car. This is not a race, but you will learn the skills that are not only effective on a race track, but will help you be smoother and safer in your daily driving while gaining greater appreciation for your wonderful Mercedes-Benz or AMG.  The cost is only $265!

The Clubs have also arranged for a discounted rate of $110 at the beautiful hotel Filial in Anniston, Alabama. To register, go to: MotorsportReg.com and for more information contact Jim Roberts at [email protected] or Tel: 205-529-0071.

 

Saturday, May 22, 2021, beginning 8:30 a.m. until noon:  Our Annual Benz & Breakfast at Montrose Harbor

It’s official! The Chicago Park District has confirmed the re-opening of the Chicago Lakefront. Our first outdoor event for the 2021 season at Montrose Harbor should allow us to safely social distance to enjoy cars and coffee at the Lakefront and shake off the winter doldrums. We look forward to seeing our members bring out both their treasured classics and new rides for everyone to enjoy for a fun-filled morning of camaraderie.  You can come and go as you please, and enjoy the Spring weather with new friends and old, and the chance to talk cars with like-minded individuals.  Please RSVP to Ralph Sikorski at [email protected] by May 18, 2021, so we can bring enough donuts and pastries.

Friday evening leading to Saturday, July 10:  Deutsche Marques Car Show at the Gilmore Museum

After a year's hiatus, we’re planning to join with the local Western Michigan Section to show our cars on Saturday, July 10, at the 9th Annual Deutsche Marques: a gathering of German cars, owners, and enthusiasts at the Gilmore Auto Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. New and old friends will converge for an All German Auto Event that will feature everything from daily drivers to weekend treasures on the museum grounds, with unlimited access to one of the nation's most fantastic auto museums.

Chicagoland Section will also be offering MBCA Silver Star Certification for Mercedes-Benz 25 years old or older that are largely original and have been unrestored since new, to provide special recognition to driver-quality cars that have withstood the ravages of time, climate and daily driving, but aren’t “concours queens.”

On Friday, July 9, the evening before the event, we are seeking interested members to join us for dinner in Kalamazoo at Webster’s Steakhouse. A discounted room block has been reserved at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo for Friday night, and the hotel offers indoor parking for our members’ cars. Contact [email protected] to confirm your attendance and obtain further details.

Sunday, August 22: The Geneva Concours d’Elegance.

Chicagoland Section Members are invited to join in our annual pilgrimage to the Geneva Concours d’Elegance, a fantastic classic, exotic and race automobile event that showcases the heritage, artistic and engineering significance of the automobile in the surroundings of historic Geneva, Illinois.  This year's event will feature early autos built in the Chicago area, Ford Motor Company's Models A through T, honor the 60th Birthday of both the Chevy Corvair and the Austin Mini Cooper, and the 100th Birthday of both Duesenberg and Citroen Automobile.  The Sports Car Club of America will also celebrate Seven Decades of Motorsports.

Our Members will gather in the Car Club Display Area, and help support the Geneva Concours' charity beneficiary, the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. We look forward to again enjoying a fantastic brunch at Stockholm's Restaurant and Micro-Brewery.  Check with Ralph Sikorski at [email protected] if you are interested in attending.

Sept. 5-6; Labor Day Weekend:  Drive the Initial Leg of Old Route 66

 Preparations continue for a road trip with some interesting historical stops along Old Route 66 during the holiday weekend.  If you would like to participate, contact Ralph Sikorski ([email protected]) for additional information.

October 9-10:  Fall Driving Tour to Kentucky for a Visit to the Bourbon Trail Distilleries and Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farms in Lexington.

Plans are being finalized for a weekend driving tour to Lexington, Kentucky to see the Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farms and visit the Bourbon Trail Distilleries. Contact Ron Roush ([email protected]) for further details and advise of your interest in attending.

A few good ideas are always welcome.

We have received ideas from Club members for other events that are being considered and programed into our calendar for this year and next, including some tech sessions, road rallies, and cultural or dining opportunities.  

Be sure to visit our web site often for Club news and events at https://chicagoland.mbca.org/

We’re looking for a few good volunteers!

The Chicagoland Section of MBCA has more than 400 members -- I am sure there are some of you who can share your talents with us in the following areas:

  1. Do you enjoy writing or editing?  We’re looking for an Editor for our Club Newsletter, Star Reflections. It’s published just four times per year and we have columnists who will share in the production. It’s a great way to increase your knowledge of the Club and its history, and meet some very interesting folks along the way.
  2. Are you interested in photography?  We’re looking for a designated Club Photographer to capture and promote our events.
  3. Our Vice President, Greta Glimm, has graciously agreed to head up our Section’s Social Media Committee and we’re looking for members who want to help expand the Club’s media presence.
  4. Do you have prior experience in event planning?  We are looking for someone to help coordinate and calendar our future Club events with our existing volunteers who are organizing our multiple activities for the upcoming years by volunteering as our Event Committee Chair.

Assisting in these areas can be personally fulfilling but also provide you with an opportunity to work with many enjoyable people who have shared interests in Mercedes-Benz.  Please contact me at [email protected] if you’d like to try getting more actively involved in your Club and its future success.

Is Your Car a Star?

Sherry Cassar, a Picture Cars Coordinator, is searching for a 1980 Mercedes Benz 450 SL to rent for a couple of days in Chicago as a static background vehicle for the TV Production of PAPER GIRLS.  If you have a 1980 450 SL and are interested, please contact her at 734-377-4501.

Welcome New Members!

I also want to welcome six more new Chicago Section members who have joined MBCA during the past month:

Matt Degnan

Jim Capparelli

Kent Tinucci

Nicholas Gough

Morgan Battley

Tom Seeberg

 

I look forward to seeing you, and meeting with all our Chicagoland Section members at our upcoming events.  As your President, I am always open to your suggestions for programs we can all enjoy safely. If you have some thoughts on additional events we can develop – don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

President of Chicagoland Section

Ed Matushek

Although it appears that restrictions due to COVID-19 will continue to challenge our ability to put on some “traditional” programs for a time, things are improving on a daily basis, and our new officers and committee members have been busy planning events for you to enjoy your Mercedes-Benz in the New Abnormal. Be sure to visit our web site often for Club news and events:  https://chicagoland.mbca.org/

As your new President, I look forward to hearing your input and suggestions for programs we can all enjoy safely. Also, because the National MBCA has largely eliminated financial rebates to the local sections this year due to budget constraints, we’ll be asking for your RSVPs and financial deposits well in advance of those scheduled events that will incur a cost to our Club.

Here are some of our tentative plans for the coming year:

Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.:  A Virtual Tour of the MBCA Germany Trip.

            Ever wonder what’s involved with the National MBCA Annual Trip to Germany?  Join some of our experienced Section members for a virtual tour of the Stuttgart region and an MB Factory Tour, as they recap their experiences.

Saturday, April 24:  Visit to the Knauz Car Collection in Lake Bluff

            Join us for coffee and donuts as Past MBCA President Bill Knauz shares his stories of the history of the many classic cars in his private collection and explains the benefits of his Club membership over the past 56 years. Attendance will be limited to allow for social distancing, so sign up soon!  Contact Bob Schuldt at [email protected] for further information as it becomes available.

Saturday, May 22:  Our Annual Benz & Breakfast at Montrose Harbor

            It’s official! The Chicago Park District has just announced the re-opening of the Chicago Lakefront. Our first outdoor event for the 2021 season at Montrose Harbor should allow us to safely social distance to enjoy cars and coffee at the Lakefront and shake off the winter doldrums. We're looking forward to seeing our members bring out both their treasured classics and new rides for everyone to enjoy for a fun-filled morning of camaraderie.  Members can come and go as they please, and enjoy the Spring weather with new friends and old, and the chance to talk cars with like-minded individuals. Please RSVP to Ralph Sikorski at [email protected] by May 18, 2021, so we can bring enough donuts and pastries.

Saturday, July 10:  Deutsche Marques Car Show at the Gilmore Museum

             After a year's hiatus, we’re making tentative plans to join with the local Western Michigan Section to show our cars on Saturday, July 10, at the 9th Annual Deutsche Marques: a gathering of German cars, owners, and enthusiasts at the Gilmore Auto Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. New and old friends will converge for an All German Auto Event that will feature everything from daily drivers to weekend treasures on the museum grounds, with unlimited access to one of the nation's most fantastic auto museums.

Chicagoland Section will also be offering MBCA Silver Star Certification for Mercedes-Benz 25 years old or older that are largely original and have been unrestored since new, to provide special recognition to driver-quality cars that have withstood the ravages of time, climate and daily driving, but aren’t “concours queens.”

On Friday, July 9, the evening before the event, we are seeking interested members to join us for dinner in Kalamazoo if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in Michigan. Webster’s Steakhouse is being considered. We are also in the process of setting up a discounted room block at the Radisson Hotel in Kalamazoo, which will offer indoor parking for our members’ cars. Contact Ed Matushek ([email protected]) or Chet Szerlag ([email protected]) for further facts as plans develop.

Saturday, July 17: Club Gathering at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle

         Another outdoor event we are tentatively arranging will have Club members gather at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.  Contact Bob Schuldt at [email protected] for further information as our plans develop.

Sunday, August 22: The Geneva Concours d’Elegance.

         Chicagoland Section Members are invited to join in our annual pilgrimage to the Geneva Concours d’Elegance, a fantastic classic, exotic and race automobile event that showcases the heritage, artistic and engineering significance of the automobile in the surroundings of historic Geneva, Illinois.  This year's event will feature early autos built in the Chicago area, Ford Motor Company's Models A through T, honor the 60th Birthday of both the Chevy Corvair and the Austin Mini Cooper, and the 100th Birthday of both Duesenberg and Citroen Automobile.  The Sports Car Club of America will also celebrate Seven Decades of Motorsports.

Our Members will populate the Car Club Display Area, help support the Geneva Concours' charity beneficiary, the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, and we hope to again enjoy a fantastic brunch at Stockholm's Restaurant and Micro-Brewery.  Check with Ralph Sikorski at [email protected] if you are interested in attending.

Labor Day Weekend:  Drive the Initial Leg of Old Route 66

            Initial preparations are being made for some interesting historical stops along Old Route 66 during the holiday weekend.  If you would like to participate, contact Ralph Sikorski ([email protected]) or Chet Szerlag ([email protected]) for additional information.

October 9-10:  Fall Driving Tour to Kentucky for a Visit to the Bourbon Trail Distilleries and Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farms in Lexington.

             Tentative plans are being drawn up for a weekend driving tour to Lexington, Kentucky to see the Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farms and visit the Bourbon Trail Distilleries. Contact Ron Roush ([email protected]) for further details and advise of your interest in attending.

New Members

I also want to personally welcome 15 new Chicago Section members who have joined MBCA during the past month:

 

          Trent Steed

          Mary Shannon

          Emily Destefano

          Jennifer Anaya

          William Brown

          Matthew Fiascone

          Shao-Lee Lin

          Eric Linn

          Jessica Knight-Baker

          Bradley Howard

          Saurabh Agarwal

          Alyce Miller

          Henry Konkal

          Chris Hupke

          Dolores Foreman

 

I hope to see you, and all our Chicagoland Section members at our upcoming events.  We have other events in the planning stages and your comments and suggestions are always welcome – drop me a line anytime!

 

President of Chicagoland Section

Ed Matushek

I hope this email finds everyone safe and well.  2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but it is time now to look forward to 2021.  It is time to elect new officers for the 2021-23 term for our Club.  We are looking for anyone interested in running for one of the four officer positions.  Below is a brief description of the duties of each.

President:

  1. Calls meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
  2. Is responsible for carrying out the Bylaws of the Section and complying with National MBCA Bylaws and operating requirements.
  3. Is the Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and ex-officio member of all section committees.
  4. Is the Chief Administrator of the Section.
  5. Is responsible to the Executive Committee.

Vice President:

  1. Handles the duties of the President when necessary.
  2. Carries out any other duties requested by the President.
  3. Acts as a resource to the Activities Chair, when requested.
  4. Is responsible to the Executive Committee.

Secretary:

  1. Records and maintains minutes of all Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  2. Distributes minutes of all meetings within a specific number of days.
  3. Fulfills other secretarial duties as requested by the President.
  4. Is responsible to the Executive Committee.

Treasurer:

  1. Records all receipts of money and pays all section expenses approved by both the Treasurer and the President.
  2. Assures that checks for payment of expenses are available to each section activity.
  3. Maintains and balances all bank accounts using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  4. Files all required tax reports, statements, and non-profit reporting requirements on or before their due dates.
  5. Files all required reports to MBCA National Business Office as needed or requested.
  6. Assigns and maintains itemized accounts by major areas.
  7. Assists Activities Director and Activity Chairpersons in financial planning and reporting of their events.
  8. Prepares written financial reports and presents at all Board of Directors meetings.
  9. Is responsible to the Executive Committee.

Kindly review the above and respond if you would like to be added to the ballot on our next newsletter.  Please respond to my email: [email protected] with your membership number and a brief bio. 

We need your name no later than Saturday, October 17 to make the deadline to publish ballots for the next newsletter.

We look forward to getting interested members involved in the future direction of Chicagoland MBCA!

 

Also, I want to remind you of one of the many benefits of Club membership.  MBCA primary members are eligible for exclusive rebates of up to $6,500 on the lease or purchase of select Mercedes-Benz 2020 and 2021 model vehicles until November 2. 

Click on the following link: https://www.mbca.org/mbusa-incentives for further information. 

 

Take Care and be Safe.

 

President of Chicagoland Section

Matt McFadden

I hope you can join us for our Second Event during these interesting times.  We are planning a nice picnic style dine and drive at the Franklin Creek Grist Mill, 1893 Twist Rd, Franklin Grove, IL 61031 on Sunday, August 23, 2020.  Franklin Creek State Natural Area is located between Rochelle and Dixon, Illinois, just north of IL Rt 38.   See franklincreekconservation.org for more information about the area.

Plan on arriving at 11:00 a.m. and join us for lunch at noon. We'll have grilled homemade Bratwurst and/or Portobello mushrooms as a meatless choice, as well as some other great summer foods and beverages.  After lunch, enjoy the area – take a tour of the Grist Mill if you desire. You can leave when you like, and the event will officially end at 4:00 p.m.

It will be great to see other members at a beautiful venue after months of restrictions.  This is an outdoor event, and if it rains there are covered areas.  To keep everyone safe, we will be socially distancing -- so be sure to bring your face masks. Please RSVP to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, August 19 so we can obtain a count for the necessary food quantities.  Please take the time to join us -- the drive out and back should be beautiful!  

 

President of Chicagoland Section

Matt McFadden

I hope you will join us for our Club's first Cars & Coffee of the season on Sunday, June 28, 2020. It is time to bring your beloved auto out of storage and join us for our first event this year!  A great excuse to get out of the house -- meet us at Indiana Dunes State Park off I-94(Chesterton/Valparaiso exit) at 1600 N 25 E, in Chesterton, Indiana.

The State Park opens at 7:00 a.m.  Come early to avoid large crowds trying to get into the park.  We are planning on starting at 8:00 a.m.  We'll meet in the overflow lot (first parking lot on the right as you enter the park).  The fee to get in to the park is $12 for the day.  We will use social distancing to insure everyone's safety. Please bring a mask and your own coffee -- we'll supply the donuts and sweets.  It will be great just to see some of our members and their vehicles, even if it is at a distance. 

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to: [email protected].  Depending on the number, we may have to get an event permit.  I hope to see you there! 

President of Chicagoland Section

Matt McFadden