navigation bar

Jensen National Meet West
Santa Rosa, California
July 16-20, 2003
By Kurt Housh

Hi Greg,

I, for one, had a great time at the Nationals. We arrived Wednesday evening and immediately encountered other Jensen owners in the parking lot. After some introductions and mutual admiration of the cars, we gathered in the hospitality suite for jokes and general blather. The Flamingo is a restored 50's style motel/ hotel with the large swimming pool in the center and the rooms in spokes radiating out from it. The rooms are nicely remodeled with no hint that it is an older hotel on the inside. The outside is classic. There are five or six meeting rooms, thank goodness because we had to use the Walnut Room for a hospitality suite on Thursday evening as the crowd was too large for a standard suite.

Thursday we gathered at 10:00 AM for the drive to Jordan Winery, What a blast, driving in a line of Jensens, hearing the roar of Jensini or the mighty 440 behind me. Jordan winery is in the Russian River Valley and our hosts had arraigned a tour. It is not open to for public tasting on a regular basis. Our very knowledgeable guide showed us every aspect of the winemaking process and every area in the winery. Our tasting occurred in a delightful French reproduction dining room with a 17th century cartouche above the mantle. See the 1st photo for the lineup of cars.

The caravan continued on a round-about tour to Mill Creek Winery near Healdsburg where we had lunch on the 3,000 square foot picnic deck overlooking the Dry Creek Valley. Food was supplied by a local bakery and a quick sandwich scrounge and repacking was undertaken when Rob arrived late after stopping to peruse his rally sheet. It seems we had eaten his lunch! Mill Creek is a quaint spot without the glitz of some of the larger wineries, check it out at:

After lunch we headed towards the Korbel Champagne Cellars in the Russian River Valley. It's hard to drink champagne in 100F degree heat but we persevered! The freeway was stopped on the way back so I took an exit and figured I would eventually find my way back to the Flamingo. Two Jensens followed me off of the freeway. After telling them I didn't know exactly where I was going, they passed me. I got lucky and ended up with three other Jensens who had also abandoned the freeway on a beeline to the hotel. Lots of grief was administered by the drivers of the cars that passed me for not knowing where I was going. They arrived about 20 minutes later none the worse for wear.

The following day we headed for Jack London State Park. Again, cruising in a long line of Jensens put a big smile on my face. A short hike to the Wolf House and a quick tour of the museum and were off to Buena Vista Winery This is the oldest winery in California and contains some interesting relics. We enjoyed a presentation and tasting before heading to Depot Park for a lunch of chicken and ribs. Everyone went their own way after enjoying the lunch and the camaraderie of our growing bevy of Jensenites. I headed south towards home to see my daughter in a show and visit with friends and family. With the temperature hovering at 100F I got stuck in a traffic jam and the needle climbed up to 7/8 but as soon as we started moving, it dropped down to it's normal level at 5/8.

Saturday morning was cool and clear as I headed back to the show. Taking a detour through Sonoma to avoid the freeway I spotted a wacky Toyota 800 Sport. The owner said he might attend our show but never showed up. The rest of the British invasion was my doing. I invited the North Bay British Car Club to the meet and they came in style! The attack group consisted of a TR4, TR6, MGTD, MGA, AH 3000, Grinnall 3 wheeler, and the legendary Marcos of Don Lattimer. The weather cooperated and 40 Jensens were showing off in full glory at the Flamingo.

The afternoon tech session was cancelled. I considered bringing my 4 tube mercury manometer and show how to tune the Dellortos but I was the only car with them installed. Tim had a set in his trunk but opted to drive back to Southern California rather than subjecting his car to a Dellorto installation tech session.

The awards dinner was great fun and I ended up sitting next to Jim Medland. He has a great sense of humor for an old parts guy! ;-) Jerry Havlovic won the 1st annual cracked head gasket award for buying the same car twice. I created the trophy in my garage to lighten up the proceedings and to celebrate the extremes of Jensen dedication.

Sunday morning saw a breakfast gathering where email addresses were exchanged, photos taken before the show were available to take home, free, and heartfelt goodbyes were exchanged. The meet is as much about the people as it is the cars. I didn't want the week to end so I drove west to Jenner and the Pacific Ocean before heading south for home. The JH ran like a top all week long but I may have to call Gene Reddick about the 17 Jensens he has in a barn in Oregon. I think a 5 speed and a roll bar and...

See you all next year!
Kurt Housh JH 13148s

Click here to see the photo album


main | jensen | techpeople & places | marketplace | message board | join | garage | links | mail