1961 Coachmen Rally
Spirit of the Rivers Studio
822 Franklin Street, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Nan Rower Morris, Margaret Dalton McHale, and Moria Mackert Krueger visited my studio some weeks ago. Moria happened to mention that she and Aimee Paque, (Aimee Paque Wittwer), had won (actually ROUTED) the Coachmen Rally in 1961 in a red and pink polka-dotted white Renault Dauphine named Desdemona. While, as Moria indicated in her letter to me, this might be a bitter memory to some CoachMEN, I thought it well worthy of posting in Skip’s Corner. Here is Moria’s recounting of the event
I finally connected with Aimee, and we find that both of our memories are pretty foggy. We, of course, were the only all female team entered in the rally. The members of the club were not very thrilled about our presence. I think the car did have its red and pink polka dots at the time of the great event.
it upside down one time. (The police officer was actually going to give me a ticket for improper parking. I had to ask him just how I would do that and why I would do that. He changed his mind.) I do remember that the first rally clue told us to turn in a nautical direction (starboard, I think). Neither of us knew what the term meant. We just sat and screamed for a while. The clues were really hard, and I do believe dumb luck was on our side. Both of us were quite surprised and very elated when we reached the finish line before any other car. As the other entrants trickled in, they were obviously dismayed when they recognized that we appeared to be the winners. Other than my brother, Cass, none of them would talk to us or congratulate us. Of course, word got around Lincoln at jet speed on the next school day. I'm sure the Coachmen would be more gracious today.
Eventually, I took my Renault Dauphine (Desdemona) to California where I attended college. When the little car developed major problems, I had to sell her. Much to my everlasting regret, I was
unable to remove the plaque declaring us the winners from its extremely too-tightly-glued place of honor on the lining to the car nextto the driver's visor.
Here is a copy of the photo of a model of her Renault, which Moria sent to me. She also mentioned that the 1961 Flambeau has a picture of Desdemona, pre polka dots, on page 38.
Side note; (Moria became a judge. I don't know the details.)