Previously known as "Southern California/Southern Nevada/Southwest Utah and Hawaii," for 2019, this Caravan Section rebranded itself as just "Southwest"
The Southwest Section covers Southern California south of line connecting the cities of San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield and Ridgecrest; Southern Nevada, including Pahrump, Mesquite, Las Vegas and Henderson; Southwestern Utah, including St. George and Cedar City, and Hawaii. In the Southwest Section’s area are two of the largest Corvette markets in World, Southern California and the greater Las Vegas area.
After 14 years and three National Corvette Caravans, (2003, 2009, 2014) Section Captain Hib Halverson resigned. In the Summer of 2016, National Corvette Caravan Chairman, Jeff "Zipity" Duda, appointed Tony Megowan the new Captain of the Southwest Section.
"Cap’n Tony" has plenty of experience. He was a Caravan Commander for the 2009 and 2014 trips and the Section Executive Officer for the 2014 Caravan. Tony works for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic control instructor, so he’s real good at directing people to go to the right destinations-a highly-desirable quality in a Caravan Captain.
Tony and Wife, Paula, are Members of the Corvette Club Santa Barbara and live in Ventura, California. They own the Lead Car for the Southwest Section, a 2016 Long Beach Red, Z51 Coupe. He formerly owned a 50th Anniversary Edition. Fun fact: Tony’s first ever drive trip outside the State of California came in that 50th Coupe on the 2009 Caravan.
Paula Megowan, was reappointed as the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team’s Chief Financial Officer. Paula was CFO for the 2014 and 2009 Caravans. Mrs. Megowan, an accountant by trade, will manage all fiscal affairs of the Section. Ten years of experience in Caravan money management, will be a significant help to the Team. Paula will also set-up and run the Caravan Section’s registration operation during Departure activities. Paula is a "Caravan Commander" and has a seat on the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team (SCOT).
Capt. Megowan appointed Doug Rosa to the SCOT. Commander Rosa, who is also the President of Color Country Corvettes in Southwestern Utah, will organize the Section’s Utah activities. Doug’s day job is in the travel business so he will be the point man for blocking hotel rooms.
Megowan has, also, named, Doug Glenore to the Organizing Team. Commander Glenore, a member of Corvettes of Temecula Valley, will set-up and lead the San Diego/Riverside County Feeder Caravan which will leave Paradise Chevrolet in Temecula on Tuessday morning 20 August. Doug will lead SW Section fund raising activities in the San Diego/Riverside area.
Richard Long, a member of the Corvette Club of Hawaii has been appointed a "Caravan Lieutenant" and Local Leader. Lt. Long will lead the Hawaiian contingent from the L.A. Harbor area to the Westin in Pasadena on the night before the main Caravan leaves California.
The Team is looking for more Caravan Local Leaders to organize feeder Caravans in the Ventura/Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo and Orange County areas of California as well as in the greater Las Vegas area. Local Leaders must reside in the area for which they are responsible. Anyone wanting to serve on the Organizing Team or as a Local Leader should call Capt. Tony Megowan at 805-659-5056 or email him at email@example.com.
Finally, Tony Megowan, convinced past Section Captain, Hib Halverson, to come out of retirement and return to the Organizing Team as its XO. He will assist with sponsor acquisition, fund raising, public relations and PreRun trips.
The first five Southwest Caravans drove I-40 east and paralleled old Route 66 as far as Tulsa, Oklahoma then I-40 to Nashville and (’94, ’99, ’03 and ’09) I-65 up to the Museum or (’14) out of Tulsa on I-44 to Springfield MO then across MO to Cape Girardeau and, finally, over to the Museum in B.G.
Thinking outside the box, Captain Megowan has changed almost the entire route and lengthened the event by a day such that the Southwest Section’s trip to Bowling Green in 2019 will take a full week.
The Caravan will begin at the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena and head north, over the San Gabriel Mountains on storied Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways. In the high desert, the Caravan will take State Routes 14 and 58 to Barstow and then I-15, Nevada SR164 and US95 to Henderson for the first overnight at the Fiesta Henderson resort.
Day Two will have the Caravan leaving Henderson going northeast, then north around the west shore of Lake Mead, followed by a scenic drive though Valley of Fire State Park. Finally, the Section will head north on I-15 to St. George, Utah.
On the third day, Capt. Megowan will lead the SW Section to Grand Junction, Colorado via I-15 and I-70. On Days Four and Five, we take I-70, over Vail Pass and though the Johnson Tunnel, the highest section of the Interstate Highway system, and then to Colby, Kansas followed by Kansas City, Missouri. In "KC" the Southwest Section will link with Captain Don Herzer’s Pacific Central Section.
For final overnight of the trip, The Southwest Section will stop in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Caravan was in "Cape G" for the 2014 trip and, five years ago, it was the best evening event of the entire trip. In 2019, Four Caravan Sections, Southwest, Pacific Central, Captain Ike Dodrill’s Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle and Tommy Mallory’s Kansas/Missouri will join together in "Cape G" for a car show and dinner organized by the Cape Girardeau Visitor’s Bureau and the Southeast Missouri Corvette Club.
The last day of the trip will be the only part of the 2019 Southwest Caravan which covers any old ground. For that we will use the route originally scouted by retired Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle Section Captain, Alton "Tuna" Dobbins, for the 2014 Caravan.
Ironically, the mileage of the 2019 SW Caravan route is 2353 and the mileage for the 2014 SW Caravan route-both are completely different-was 2327, a difference of only 21 miles.
PreRun1 a Success
On July 6-9, 2017, two members of the Organizing Team made the first PreRun trip over part
"Near the end of the first day," Megowan continued, "Caravaners will, also, see the stark beauty of the eastern Mojave Desert when they leave Interstate 15 and take Nipton Road and Nevada SR164 to Searchlight, Nevada, then US95 and I-515 north to Henderson where the we’ll spend our first night on the road."
The Southwest Organizing Team has selected the Fiesta Henderson Hotel/Casino for the first overnight. It offers a mix of both gaming activities and resort amenities such as a pool area, various food service choices and a comedy show. Additionally, drive times on Days One and Two will be adjusted so Caravaners who wish to party a bit and enjoy some fun and gaming can do that without having to worry about a "zero-dark-thirty" departure on the second day. At this point, the plan is to depart Henderson about 10 AM.
Day Two will offer Caravaners more desert scenery. The Caravan will travel over Northshore Drive in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area along with Nevada’s "Valley of Fire Highway" through Valley of Fire State Park. The Park is famed for it’s brilliant red/orange sandstone geology. The drive though the Valley of Fire will be the most spectacular part of the National Corvette Caravan’s drive through southeastern California and southern Nevada. Day Two’s final eye candy event will come on I-15, as it winds its way though the Virgin River Canyon on the way to St. George, Utah.
The second pre-run trip in October of 2017, the Organizing Team went all the way to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, pre-running six of the Caravans seven days. Along the way they surveyed Grand Junction, Colorado and Colby, Kansas for hotels and food services, met with the Cape Girardeau Visitors Bureau and photographed various scenery for the Southwest Sections eNews and Route Book.
PreRun3, done in early December of 2017, was run "backwards" from Cape Girardeau to Henderson, Nevada and was a partial test of certain sections of the 2019 route, run.
PreRun 4 takes place in the last week of October 2018 and will be a second "backwards" trip over the Caravan route from Cape G to Henderson. A fifth PreRun trip may take place in the Spring of 2019.
Meeting New Friends
One reason some people give for wanting to go on the National Corvette Caravan is to meet Corvetters from different parts of the country. According to Capt. Tony Megowan, the 2019 Caravan is shaping up as a great way to do that. "I’ve already had inquires from Northern California," Megowan says, "about the possibility of our Section and their Sections combining on the third and fourth days of our trip. If that happens, it will be a lot of fun for everyone. We have a group of people from Hawaii who are shipping Corvettes to L.A. Harbor and will join us on the Caravan. In Cape Girardeau, you’ll meet even more new friends from the Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle and Kansas/Missouri Sections."
Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities Available.
Organizing and staging a seven-day Caravan of several hundred Corvettes costs a fair amount of money. The National Corvette Museum which sanctions the National Corvette Caravan provides no funding for Caravan Sections. It is up to every Captain to raise money to cover his/her Section’s expenses.
If you own a business which sells products of interest to Corvette owners and your business is located in the Southwest Section’s area, the Caravan Organizing Team can help you market your product to our Caravaners. We have an electronic newsletter co-sponsorship available which will put your company name in front of all our about 500 Caravaners on a regular basis for the next year. Also, we have Route Book advertising opportunities available. The Route Book contains information Caravaners need during the event and is read continuously by all Caravaners for six days. Finally, we have event sponsorships available. Event sponsorships include naming rights for an evening Caravan event along with promotional opportunities before and during an evening event.
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In the lead-up to the 2014 Caravan the Southwest Section ran a successful fund raising program called the "Blankee Benefit". The Organizing Team sold a limited number of premium knitted, 52-by-63-inch Stadium Blankets which Commemorated the 2014 Caravan.
For 2019, the "Blanket Benefit" program will start earlier to give more Caravaners a chance to acquire one of these cool stadium blankets. Anyone registered for the Southwest Section of the 2019 Caravan and who donates $125.00 or more to the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team gets one of these blankets. Shown above is the 2014 SW Section Blanket. The 2019 edition will be the same size with the same border colors but a slightly different background color and it will carry the 2019 Southwest Section Caravan logo.
Those wanting to discuss sponsorships or make donations should contact Captain Tony Megowan at 805-659-5056 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southwest Section has an electronic news letter which keeps SW Section Caravaners up to date on news of the Caravan. To get our eNews, send an email requesting subscription to: scsneNews@netmotive.net
Find us on Facebook: 2019 National Corvette Caravan Southwest Section.