by Jack Riddell
35 car representing a cross section of the 50+ years of Lamborghini production, making this year’s event very special! Cars present included Andrew Romanowski’s Miura, two 400 GT 2+2’s, a Jalpa, three Espadas, and a beautiful collection of Murcielagos, Diablos, Gallardos, and even a newer McLaren, courtesy of Wayne and Sharee Skiles. There were, of course, some Rent-a-lini’s present for the out-of towners who came in for the weekend!
This was the first time O’Gara Coach has been our dealer sponsor and their contribution to the Little Italy event made it much better. We now had two off-duty police for security in our parking area, better lighting, a jazz band for entertainment, and outstanding community participation due to the extensive promotion of our presence Saturday night by the Little Italy Association. O’Gara also hosted an open house at their restoration facility in Sorrento Valley that included a gourmet box lunch and a nice tour of the work in progress. Several of the attendees to the Friday event were treated with a complimentary vehicle inspection by O’Gara’s factory trained mechanics. We were also allowed to tour Symbolic International, which is located right next door.
We always start the San Diego weekend with a dinner and this year was no exception. This year’s setting was the San Diego Automotive Museum in picturesque Balboa Park. The museum is the home of about 80 vehicles from a 1916 Harley Davidson motorcycle to Louis Mattar’s $75,000.00 cross-country cruiser. The collection also included the Walter Wolf Countach and the Lamborghini – powered Bizzarrini.
Friday night proceedings included a well-earned testimonial to the contributions of Jim and Joan Heady who had kept the club afloat for the better part of 30 years. Joan was in attendance for her first time away from home since Jim’s passing and she was overwhelmed to see so many people show up. The participants included a sizable gathering of early club members who showed up just for the Friday event. Months prior to the meet, Jack sent out a request for photos of Jim and Joan from their early days in the club. The photos were used to create a PowerPoint slide show that was projected on a large screen during the dinner. Scott Reinhart had the double magnum of Italian wine he had originally brought to the Mariposa Inn in Monterey where many members had previously signed the bottle to honor Joan. All the remaining blank space on the bottle was filled as more signatures were gathered on Friday night. We were going to open the bottle but Joan decided to save the bottle until the 2016 San Diego meet when she would share its contents with everybody with a toast to Jim. So Jack placed it in his wine cellar to age one more year. The catered dinner was excellent as was the setting among the American muscle cars and other classics on the museum floor. It was a great way to reestablish old friendships and incubate some new ones.
On Saturday morning, the Lamborghinis gathered across the street from the Bay Club Hotel for our 66 mile drive up the I-15 to Temecula where lunch was served in the courtyard of the Thornton Winery. This was another first for the meet and from all the feedback, it was well received. The food was excellent, featuring sirloin steak and poached salmon. Thornton is famous for its champagne-style offerings and most of the tables were enjoying bubbly with their meals. The parking lot was filled with multi-colored bulls and presented a sight not often seen in Temecula.
The capstone event is always our appearance in Little Italy in downtown San Diego. This year was no exception. An entire street was closed off just for the Bulls of Sant’Agata and we did not disappoint. There were over 30 cars parked diagonally and included an example of just about every model ever produced. O’- Gara Coachworks, our sponsor for this event, had seen to it we had excellent lighting and a pair of off-duty San Diego policemen to ensure security for our parked cars during dinner. After passing about a half hour in the street talking about Lamborghinis, most of the people had proceeded up India Street to the Trattoria Fantastica where everybody was seated in the patio area in the back. Our roof for the evening was the star filled night sky. There is no roof back there! Our dinner at the Trattoria Fantastica Saturday night was by far the best attended event. The seating in the Trattoria can accommodate about 100 and we nearly had it filled! Plenty of wine and a whole lot of fun!
On Sunday morning, we made the short drive over to the Bali Hai restaurant for our traditional Sunday Brunch. This brunch is consistently rated the best offering in all of San Diego. I think most people who were there would agree. The variety and quality of the food was over the top amazing. The owner of the Bali Hai, Larry Baumann, acted as our personal parking attendant while positioning all the Lamborghinis on the street and on the grass in front of his popular restaurant.
Sunday night, we had a record setting 35 people for our stragglers dinner at the Fiddler’s Green restaurant. Many brought some excellent wines to share with all their friends. Roy Cats graciously picked up the tab for our group and I commend his generosity! Much appreciated by all the folks at our long table. It was a great weekend that will be even better next year when we open the double magnum of Italian wine that Scott Reiner had everybody sign for Joan Heady.