SYRACUSE — Approximately 35 Jensen automobiles and 65 individuals gathered at Oakwood Resort Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, for the Jensen East 2016 Crossroads of America Tour. Stephen and Michele Luckett, Chicago, were hosts for this year’s event.
The majority of the Jensens were Jensen-Healey automobiles but there were “a couple rare ones,” said Stephen Luckett. He stated there were two Jensen Interceptors, two Jensen 541 models and a 1937 Jensen Shooting Brake, what the British call a station wagon. Luckett stated this is the only one in the world.
“We like to show where the public can see the cars and the members can shop the town,” said Luckett.
Luckett explained the loosely knit group gathers one time each summer, east of the Mississippi. The volunteer hosts picks the location near where he/she lives. “We live in Chicago and Syracuse is not to far away,” Luckett stated.
“We started scouting locations,” Luckett stated, choosing the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum as a site to visit. “We did not find any hotels in Auburn that were picturesque. We saw an add for Oakwood Resort, so we checked it out.” The Lucketts loved the setting. “The weather was perfect,” he said.
The group arrived Wednesday evening and spent Thursday morning touring the ACDM and the Satek Winery in Fremont before returning to Oakwood. Participants traveled to either Shipshewana to visit the Hostetler’s Hudson Museum or Nappanee to the Newmar RV factory.
Luckett stated Friday afternoon was a road rally type tour around the area, providing participants an opportunity to drive around lakes in the area. The tour took the group to seven county lakes, modeling the tour after the route of the upcoming Tour Des Lakes.
The group participated in a funkhana in the morning on Saturday. Luckett explained this is like stupid pet tricks involving cars and owners. A portion of Oakwood Resorts parking lot was blocked off where Jensen car owners could “make fools of themselves.” He noted the premise of this year’s funkhana was getting their cars out of winter storage — getting the vehicle out, wiping it down with a Swiffer, then driving to another point and getting things.
The afternoon saw the cars being taken to uptown Syracuse for a public viewing. The day ended with a banquet at the resort.
“Everyone said what a beautiful area it was,” said Luckett which included the Oakwood Resort and the back roads to various locations.
Could the club return? It is possible. Luckett stated while next year’s event is set for southern Vermont, the location depends on who volunteers to host the next year’s event. “We have been back to areas more than once.”
The East Nationals began in 2000 through the inspiration and work of Aaron Gross of Atlanta. Owners and fans of Jensen automobiles gather annually at different locations throughout the Eastern United States to celebrate all things Jensen related, meet each other and have a good time. The meet always includes multiple Jensen Interceptors and Jensen-Healeys but also include the less common Jensen GT and real Jensen rarities such as FFs, CV-8s, 541s and others.
To learn more about the Jensen East Nationals visit www.jenseneast.org.