The Southwest Section (SWS) of the National Corvette Caravan traces its ancestry back to the first National Caravan in 1994.

SWS draws Caravaners from Southern California, Southern Nevada, extreme northwestern Arizona, southwestern Utah and Hawaii. With recent National Caravans, the number of Corvettes that have joined the Southwest Section has varied from about 150 or so to as many as 250.

The “Southwest Caravan Organizing Team” (SCOT), in existence since late 2002, is responsible for planning, organizing, and leading 400-500 Caravanners in 200-250 cars on the Southwest Section’s fifth trip to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Southwest Section Caravanners come from portions of five states in the southwestern U.S., southern California, southern Nevada, extreme northwestern Arizona, southwestern Utah, and Hawaii. Two of America’s largest Corvette markets are served by the SW

The Team

For the 2024 Caravan, SCOT is headed by Section Captain Bill Herold who was appointed by National Caravan Chair, Frank Sancineto, on July 1, 2021. Bill was a participant in and a sponsor of the 2019 Caravan. Herold caught the eye of 2019 Captain Tony Megowan who recommended him to Sancineto for the SWS top spot in 2024. Bill and his wife, Viola, reside in Thousand Oaks, California. They own a 2014 Stingray Premiere Edition Convertible and are members of Red Line Corvettes in “TO” Capt. Herold works as the Corvette Products Specialist for premium luggage manufacturer and 2019 and 2024 Southwest Caravan Sponsor, Club Glove USA.

“I am grateful to our ‘Caravan Admiral,’ Frank Sancineto, for the opportunity to lead the Southwest Section,” Bill Herold states. “I have a great group of Corvette Caravan veterans serving on our Team. The Southwest Section has a long history of great events and happy Caravanners. My top priority is to carry on that tradition.”

August 21, 2019: Captain Bill Herold and his wife, Viola, at the 2019 Southwest Caravan “Departure Day” event.” Image: SWS eNews staff

Capt. Herold appointed Tony Megowan a “Caravan Commander”. Not only was Tony Section Captain in 2019, Section XO in 2014 and leader of the “Route Book Team” for the 2009 Caravan. For 2024, Megowan will repeat as Route Book Leader. Tony’s Wife, Paula, was reappointed a “Caravan Commander” and will serve as the Section’s CFO. Paula has been in that position since the 2014 Caravan. The Megowans live in Ventura, California and own a 2016 Z51 Coupe. They are members of both Corvette Club Santa Barbara and the Ventura Corvette Club. Tony works for the FAA at Santa Barbara Airport. Paula works for an accounting firm.

Herold also appointed Doug Campbell to the Organizing Team as a Commander. Doug and wife, Loretta, were on the 2003 and 2009 Caravans and decided to join Caravan leadership for the 2024. The Campbells live in Ventura, own a 2020 Z51 Coupe, and are members of Red Line Corvettes.

Finally, Herold reappointed Commander Hib Halverson the Section’s Executive Officer. Halverson has 20 years of experience in National Caravanning as Section Captain from 2002 to 2014 and as XO for the 2019 trip. He and his wife Sandy reside in Goleta CA and own several Corvettes. The Halversons are members of Corvette Club Santa Barbara. Hib is an automotive writer and Sandy works for Bunnin Chevrolet in Santa Barbara.

Discussing plans for 2024 at a recent southern California Cars and Coffee, left-to-right, are: Capt. Herold, Cmdr Megowan and Cmdr Halverson. Image: Carl Sheffe

The Route

For 2024, the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team will modify the route used in 2019. Several changes from 2019 have been approved and four of them have already been pre-run.

August 22, 2019: The Southwest Corvette Caravan on Angeles Crest Highway. Image: Sandy Halverson.

One revision is a longer drive on CA State Route 2 after departure from the Los Angeles area. The ’19 Caravan toured part of famed “Angeles Crest Highway” and because SR2 runs through the scenery in the Angeles National Forest north of L.A., Capt. Herold has decided to run the entire length of Route 2, from the its junction with I-210 in La Canada to its terminus southwest of Victorville.

Additional change is planned in the Las Vegas area. Fiesta Henderson, the hotel property used in 2019, did not survive the the pandemic. SCOT will likely move its first overnight to “The M Resort, Casino, Spa” south of the Vegas Strip, at the junction of I-15 and NV State Route 164 in Henderson.

On the second day, the Organizing Team is working with the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, home of the famed Ron Fellows Performance Driving School which does its classes with Corvettes. The tentative plan is a stop at Spring Mountain where Caravaners will get a briefing on what the Fellows school offers Corvette owners followed a parade lap around the track.

We’ll spend Night Two in Cedar City, Utah. The city of 35,000 is located at 5800-ft. on the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau. Its cooler climate will be a welcome change after two days in the desert.

On Day Three, as it did in 2019, the Southwest Section will continue north on I-15, then turn east on I-70. Tthe Caravan will do its third overnight at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The town is famous for it’s hot springs and is the gateway to spectacular Glenwood Canyon.

On Day-Four, Caravaners will see spectacular scenery as SWS drives I-70 in Glenwood Canyon then crosses the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide. We’ll drive over 10,662-ft Vail Pass and, 25-miles later, through the Eisenhower Tunnel, the longest mountain tunnel (1.7-miles) and the highest point (11,158-feet) on the Interstate Highway System. Caravaners will continue on I-70, down the slopes of the Front Range, through Denver to an overnight split between Goodland and Colby, Kansas.

Day-Five will, also, use the same route as in 2019, from Goodland/Colby to Kansas City Missouri. “KC” was the site of 2019’s Airline History Museum Dinner, an event well-received by Caravaners. Plans for the 2024 Night-Five are TBA.

The sixth day of the Southwest Corvette Caravan will take us to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the “Corvettes in Cape” event. Staged by “Visit Cape”, the city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Corvette Club of Southeastern Missouri, in 2014 and 2019, Corvettes in Cape drew the SW Section as well as the Missouri/Kansas and Oklahoma/Texas Panhandle Sections and local Corvette enthusiasts from all our the surrounding area. In ’19 there was a bit over 1000 Corvettes in town.

Since 2014 the best part of Corvettes in Cape is the massive Corvette “Shine-and-Show”. The City of Cape Girardeau closes Main Street in its river-front downtown area. In 2019, nearly 800 Corvettes, parked on both sides of the street, were involved. Image: Sandy Halverson.

The final day, the Southwest Section will reach the end of the 2024 Caravan at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

Pre-Runs: Two Done

Pre-run trips are a key part of how SCOT ensures a pleasing experience for all its Caravanners.

In mid-February 2022, Section Captain Bill Herold dispatched XO Halverson on a two-day recon into southern Nevada to inspect streets, parking structure, and outlying parking lots at The M Resort. That infrastructure will be used by Southwest Caravanners when they arrive at the end of the Caravan’s first day and depart on day two.

February 19, 2022. Four lanes and a 70-MPH limit mean a quicker trip to Spring Mountain. The 2012 ZO6 pictured is Cmd. Halverson’s famed “Blue Bullet” which was a pre-run car during 2104 planning and the Lead Car for the 2014 Caravan, as well as a pre-run car during the run up to the 2019 Caravan. Image: SWS eNews Staff.

The second part of PreRun1 had the XO driving the route from The M to our proposed first stop on the second day of the Caravan, the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. “The last time I drove Nevada SR160 to Spring Mountain,” Halverson said, “most of it was under construction, being widened from two to four lanes. Speed limit was as low as 25 in places and there were numerous short detours and delays due to 18-wheel dump trucks going uphill–all issue that would make caravanning unpleasant. There was no way the trip out to Spring Mountain would work under those conditions, so the boss sent me out for a look-see. I found the construction complete. SR160 is not four lanes and most of it has a 70-mph limit.

PreRun2 took place in early April 2022. The PreRun2 Group, led by Captain Herold, included newly-appointed Commander Doug Campbell and XO Halverson. The three cars left the tentative site of the Caravan’s August 2024 departure in Pasadena, CA and tested an alternate route for Caravanners who would rather not drive State Route 2 on the first day.

The Group met with folks from the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School to discuss the Caravan’s tentative plan to stage an event. That afternoon, the group drove possible routes from back to I-15. PreRun2 spent its second night in Cedar City.

Day three of PreRun2 was spent in Cedar City. Captain Herold and Commanders Campbell and Halverson met with Laurie Garfield, Guest Services Manager at Southern Utah University, as representatives of the Campus Police Department and the University’s Facilities staff. Discussed was use of one of the student parking lots on the SUU campus to stage the Caravan prior to departure on the third morning, plus various choices for a route the Caravan will take from the departure point, through the northern part of the city, to I-15.

Another key task of PreRun2 was surveying hotels. Since there is no property in Cedar City with enough rooms to accommodate all Caravanners, Captain Herold visited several different hotels in the southern part of the city to inspect the properties and talk to their managers.

On PreRun3 was Captain Bill Herold and Commanders Megowan and Campbell and it was a recon of Arches National Park. The Southwest Organizing Team’s original plan for Day Three of the ’24 Caravan was to end with a drive through the Park. While the shear beauty of Arches’ beauty impressed the PreRun3 Team, after the prerun trip, the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team continued talks with the Park Service. In the end, negotiations failed. The Park Service was unwilling to facilitate a caravan of 200 cars touring the 36-mile loop through the Arches Park.

August 11, 2022: on PreRun4, XO Halverson’s “Blue Bullet” sits in front of a Cal Trans maintenance facility at Dawson Saddle, the highest point on the 62-mile scenic drive through the Angeles National Forest on California State Route 2.  Image: SWS eNews Staff.

PreRun4 surveyed the full length of SR2 which combines Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways. There was some controversy among Organizing Team members over the amount of time it would take to run the full length of SR2 at Caravan speed and whether or not the route has adequate restrooms .The SCOT once again sent out XO Halverson in the “Blue Bullet” to drive the entire length at the 40-mph average which is appropriate for a mountain highway such as that. Halverson reported that the time required to drive the proposed route is not excessive and there are numerous restroom stops.

April 3, 2022: At a turnout west of the junction of the Angles Forest Highway and SR138, standing behind Cmd Campbell’s C8, Capt. Bill Herold views a distant part of the highway with binoculars while conferring with Campbell about a location for a possible Caravan reform. Image: SWS eNews Staff

Another key task of PreRun2 was surveying hotels. Since there is no property in Cedar City with enough rooms to accommodate all Caravanners, Captain Herold visited several different hotels in the southern part of the city to inspect the properties and talk to their managers.

On the fourth day of PreRun2, the Group made the long trip back home to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in one long 10-hour drive

Sponsors

A Caravan section the size of Southwest depends on supportive sponsors to enable the Organizing Team to stage an event pleasing to its Caravaners. The first sponsor to step up and help the SWS put on its 2024 event was Zip Products. Since 2009, the Corvette parts and accessories vendor has sponsored the Southwest Caravan eNews and has advertised in the Southwest Section’s Route Book. “The Organizing Team has appreciated Zip Products’ support over the years,” Section Captain Bill Herold states. “The help Zip’s President, David Walker, gives our Caravan Section is invaluable in the early stages of Caravan planning.”

Believe it or not, all these Corvette-specific Club Glove bags will fit in a C8’s frunk and trunk. Image: SWS eNews staff.

Also returning as an eNews sponsor is Club Glove USA. A well-known, U.S.-based manufacturer of premium golf luggage, in 2018, Club Glove introduced a line of premium luggage for automotive road trip use, all of which is available with made-to-order, Corvette logo embroidery. Club Glove luggage is incredibly durable, had a limited lifetime warranty, and is the last luggage most people will ever buy.

A number of years ago, former Section Captain Hib Halverson said that sponsorship is the “…mother’s milk of Caravan planning. It’s a great way to get a Corvette-related product or brand in front of a captive audience of 400-or so Corvette owners and enthusiasts in southern Cal and the other places we serve.”

The Southwest Section offers sponsorship opportunities with its page on the National Caravan website, with its eNews, and with the 2024 Southwest Section Route Book and the presenting sponsorship of the Southwest Caravan itself. For additional information on sponsorship opportunities contact Section Captain Bill Herold: swcaravancaptain@gmail.com  (805) 402-7490.

A great way for individuals to be part of SWS sponsorship to become a “Southwest Caravan Patron”. Each person who donates $100 or more will be a “Patron” and be listed on a special part of the Sponsor’s page of the Caravan Route Book as a Patron. In addition, donations of $500.00 or more will receive Route Book advertising space. Those interested in becoming a Caravan Patron should contact Section XO Halverson at the email address or phone number listed in the “Information” section below.

More Information

There are several ways to get additional information on the Southwest Section of the National Corvette Caravan.

First, we have this page on the National Caravan website. We, also, have this Southwest Caravan eNews, a tradition going back to 2003. If you are not an eNews subscriber and want to start getting it, send email to SWeNews@netmotive.net and simply type “subscribe” in the subject field and in the body of the email. Find us on  Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/919416625640194

Finally, you can email or call members of the Southwest Caravan Organizing Team for information.

Capt. Bill Herold:

swcaravancaptain@gmail.com  805 402 7490

Cmd. Tony Megowan:

tmegowan@outlook.com  805 659 5056

Cmd. Doug Campbell:

zo6devilcar@gmail.com  805 766 4606

Cmd. Hib Halverson:

SWsectionXO@netmotive.net  805 685 6865

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