- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2005

‘Rolling Thunder’ gears up for 18th run

“Rolling Thunder XVIII” is gathering in Washington for Memorial Day weekend. The rally attracts motorcyclists from across the country.

The annual event tries to focus attention on getting a full accounting of American POW-MIA personnel from past wars and on improving veterans’ benefits.

Organizers say the assembly of cyclists will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday in the North Pentagon Parking Lot across the Potomac River from Washington.

Riders will leave at noon for the run to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall.

The rules require a helmet and ban alcoholic beverages. For more information, visit the Web site at www.rollingthunder1.com.

Custom show slated in Charles County

‘Fire Up, Thunder Out VI’ is being held at the Charles County Fairgrounds tomorrow starting at 10 a.m.

Judging begins at 5 p.m. for rods, bikes, trucks and imports. For more information about fees and directions, call 301/893-2900 or send e-mail to www.fireupthundrout.com.

‘Orphan Tour’ set in Bluemont, Va.

The 16th annual “Orphan Car Tour,” sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Packards, will depart June 4 from the Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue Co. in Bluemont, Va.

This year’s event, called “A Jaunt in the Valley,” will explore the back roads of Clarke and Frederick counties near Winchester, Va.

Cars will gather by 11 a.m. and be released one by one for the nontimed rally starting at 11:30 a.m. At the end of the afternoon, there will be a buffet dinner at the fire company, located at 131 Retreat Road in Bluemont. The tour will be held rain or shine.

For more information, call Jon Battle at 703/392-6870 or visit the Web site at www.angelfire.com/or3/orphan_cartour/ on the Internet

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Chrysler gathering in Clarksville, Md.

The Chrysler Product Owners Club is planning a collector car show for June 4 at Ourisman Chrysler-Jeep in Clarksville, Md., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to trophies, there will be refreshments and facility tours. Admission is free for show car registrants and spectators. The event, at 12430 Auto Drive (Routes 32 and 108), is open to all Chrysler vehicles and related products.

For more information, contact Bill Loewy at [email protected], or Joe Coyle at [email protected] or call him at 301/656-9579.

Pre-popemobiles draw the best and worst

The lives of popes aren’t supposed to be about material possessions or money, but cars owned by the most recent pontiffs are caught up in the two human obsessions.

A 1999 Volkswagen Golf previously owned by Pope Benedict XVI was bought for $250,000 during a recent Internet auction.

In Germany, officials with GoldenPalace.com presented the big check for the VW to seller Benjamin Halbe on the show “Stern TV” as millions of Germans watched at home.

GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe said he plans to take the compact car on a worldwide tour.

Here in America, a 1975 Ford Escort that Pope John Paul II drove nearly 60,000 miles is expected to fetch $5 million at auction.

But a father and son are in a legal tussle over the car. Both say they own it.

Jim Rich, of Chicago, was handed the keys by John Paul himself after Mr. Rich bought the Ford at auction for $102,000 a decade ago. The pontiff sold it to raise money for a favorite charity.

Mr. Rich displayed the car at his restaurant until it went bankrupt a year ago. Now Mr. Rich wants to auction off the famous Escort for a big profit to pay off debts.

But his father, Jerome Rich, is laying claim to the papal car as payback for debts he says his son owes him. So the ownership dispute has ended up in court.

Leesburg plans cruise-in night

The annual “Leesburg Cruise In” is slated for June 11 in the historic district of Leesburg, Va.

The event is open to classics, antiques, customs, street rods and muscle cars. Vehicles should be from 1973 or earlier. The rain date is June 25.

The show will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and many restaurants and shops will remain open later than usual. A $3 donation is requested to benefit the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter.

For preregistration information and directions, call Bob Brown at 703/779-4772, send e-mail to [email protected], or write to him at PO Box 1, Leesburg, Va., 20178.

GM owners show set at Catonsville campus

A car show for GM owners is scheduled June 12 at the Catonsville Baltimore County Community College, located off Exit 12 of the Baltimore Beltway.

The event will accept vehicles made between 1915 and 1980 for competition in several classes. All entries must be on the show field by noon to be judged. The show, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature door prizes, food and beverages and a 50/50 raffle. Registration is $12 beforehand and $15 at the show.

The college campus is located on Rolling Road (Route 166) at Valley Road in Catonsville, Md.

For more information, call 410/922-5971 or send e-mail to [email protected], or write to Dorothy Miller, 4305 Windy Hill Road, Randallstown, Md., 21133-1409.

Fax or mail items of interest to Bill O’Brien, Auto Notes, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Use fax number 202/832-2167. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before publication on Friday.

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