HICKORY CORNERS, Mich. – Lincoln lovers from across the Midwest were drawn to the rolling hills that surround Hickory Corners, Michigan, this past summer. It’s a place with small town charm and big city charisma, thanks to an automotive gem nestled in this part of southwest rural Michigan called the Gilmore Car Museum. “The Gilmore” complex sits on 90 acres of shade trees and lush farmland just outside of Kalamazoo, some two and a half hours west of Detroit.
It was here where we attended the 6th Annual Lincoln National meet as part of what’s known as the Lincoln Homecoming weekend, done in partnership with Gilmore’s Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum and the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation. The mix of Lincoln vehicles at the homecoming covered the spectrum from all years of production, including a Blackwood pickup.
The event proved both inviting and accessible, drawing cars of all conditions and in various states of factory and non-factory tune (a bit more on that later). To assure inclusion for those coming in from out-of-state, this was actually six-day event, allowing for ample travel time on either side of show day. Hosting the event this year was the Road Race Lincoln Register, one of the four major clubs that compose the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation.
“We called the 2019 Homecoming, ‘See Ford Blue in Kalamazoo,’” said Mike Denney, president of the Road Race Lincoln Register, whose goal was to include other Blue Oval nameplates this year. As the close of registration neared, the event was opened up to all Ford-produced vehicles in an effort to boost attendance and owner participation. From what we could see on the show field, we’d say the non-Lincoln Ford vehicles comprised of about 15 percent or so of the cars on display, so Lincoln was still the primary focus of the show.
Still, attendance could be considered on the sparse side, yet for fans it was complete in that most Lincoln models spanning the decades were represented. We found it to be an effortlessly walkable show, with Lincoln owners in numbers equal to attendees so conversations were filled with information and vehicle familiarity.
Surprisingly well-represented were the once down-valued Lincolns of the 1970s and ’80s. Several well-preserved survivors of the luxo-barge era of the early 1970s sat beside Town Cars of the square-and-more compact 1980s years, and all drew onlookers. Moving from the Lincoln Mark VII’s to the early ‘90’s-sleek LSC’s, we found several of the latter which were custom and undeniably cool. From a transplanted big-block to a snug-fitting Coyote V-8 restomod and even a chopped-top “convertible,” the LSC’s in attendance held up well when compared to the old-school cool that we spotted in the form of a chopped 40’s Zephyr.
While you may find more Lincolns in total at the annual Carlisle (PA) Ford Nationals, this Lincoln Homecoming event was no less enjoyable to Lincoln fans, and certainly one of the most intimate gatherings of the year. We hope you enjoy some of our photos from the show field.
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY ARTISAN RICH MEDIA