San Francisco Bay Area Section

First Sunday Drives

First Sunday Drives

 

 

FIRST SUNDAY DRIVES

ENTHUSIAST DRIVES FOR MERCEDES-BENZ AUTOMOBILES

First Sunday Drives are casual drives planned on the first Sunday of every month. The drives are open to anyone driving a Mercedes-Benz automobile. Unless otherwise noted on the route instructions we meet at our identified start location between 9 and 9:45AM and depart as close to 10AM as possible. Any last minute details and information is shared at a pre-drive meeting at ~9:45 so be sure to arrive early and grab some coffee and to meet up with old and new friends.

See pictures from our previous drives FSD Gallery!

August 6

Menlo Park to Half Moon Bay

 

August’s First Sunday Drive takes us from Menlo Park to Half Moon Bay. We'll start our drive in the parking lot of the Sharon Heights Shopping Center (325 Sharon Park Drive) in Menlo Park. There's a Starbucks for those of you looking for your morning coffee fix and a Safeway. Our drive starts at 10 a.m., so please be sure to arrive early enough to allow time to sign in and meet old and new friends. This drive includes rural areas, so watch out for weekend cyclists on the winding roads, plus little critters.Our drive will take us West starting on Sand Hill Road and passing through the town of Woodside. We'll merge onto picturesque, tree-lined Highway 84 and pass by Alice’s restaurant, a favorite for both bicyclists and motorcyclists. Watch out for people crossing the roads at this busy intersection. Our first stop will be the San Gregorio General Store. On Sundays, there is often live music to entertain as you shop or grab a drink. We'll stop there for 20 to 30 minutes.Next, we'll head South on Highway 1, ending up at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Built in 1871, it’s the tallest lighthouse on the West coast and a great picture taking opportunity.For our final stop, we’ll head North to Half Moon Bay and meet up at the Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese Company. Here people can taste or head off for lunch at one of the many restaurant spots, including It's Italia for Sunday Brunch, Pasta Moon, and the San Benito House deli. Please note that It's Italia is on Open Table so please reserve in advance if you are interested. We expect to arrive in HMB at 12:30 p.m.

 

July 2nd

Novato to Marshall

July 2017 FSD:

Those not interested in travelling away from the Bay Area for the 4th of July festivities found themselves gathering in Novato for one of the most scenic drives of the year!

A short but beautiful drive with a nice drop revealing an expansive vista, led the group to the first stop at the Marin French Cheese Company, where cheese tastings were on offer.The drive continued through twisty back-roads and on to Point Reyes Station, for the second stop at the Tomales Bay Food Company and the adjacent Cowgirl Creamery. The final leg of the drive took CA-1 north up to Marshall, offering a great view of wetlands and coast along a mesmerizing driving road. The endpoint was the Marshall Store, where the group gathered for a great lunch of oysters on the half shell (Rockefeller, BBQ, raw, etc) and mouthwatering smoked sandwiches. Great stories, laughs, and trivia were exchanged among everyone present.

Several convertibles, coupes, a new E class, and an E class wagon left cyclers wondering what the motorcade was up to. All post-war Mercedes generations were represented.

As usual, perfect weather was arranged for by the drive lead.

             

June 2nd to 4th, 2017

ELY STAMPEDE

Ely Stampede - Trip Report

Nine stalwarts from the SF/Bay Area section gathered in Carson City for the start of an epic early summer overnight First Sunday Drive through the steppes of central Nevada.  After a pleasant meet-and-greet, with various lubricants and restoratives, we enjoyed a wonderful 5-star dinner at Adele's Restaurant, a short walk from our hotel.

Although they could not make the drive to Ely the next day, Howard and Portia Strause joined us for dinner.  Howard, our former long-time SFBA treasurer, demonstrated the world-famous "hang a teaspoon from your nose" party trick, pointing out that a Jewish heritage helps.  On a bet, our current treasurer, Mauna Wagner, not only successfully dangled a spoon from her dainty little (non-Jewish) nose, but walked gracefully and spoon-adorned clear around the dining room (fortunately a private one, so the dignity of the section remains intact).

In addition to our Mercedes-Benz machines, our fleet included a beautiful Corvette, owned by Jack and Mauna's neighbors Jon and Barbara Longworth.  At dinner there was lively discussion as to the possibility of blowing out some California carbon on US-50 the next day.  Our section vice-president Barton Lane suggested that his AMG SL might give the 'Vette a run.  Our Western Region Director Allen Wrenn muttered a stern "harrumph." (Allen's SL is not an AMG model…).

It was gratifying to this observer how the conversation turned to the many trips and cruises diners had all enjoyed in their retirement years, and about future plans for more.  Mercedes owners may be graying (or “Grey Goosing”) some, but all dwell in the House Of Fun.  This is, of course, the top priority of the Golden Gate Stars section.

After bidding the Strauses adieu at breakfast, our caravan headed for Fallon, and the rubber hit the pavement of US-50, the "Loneliest Road in the US.”  This wonderful highway is a series of climbs through the Diamond Mountains, and then arrow-straight traverses through the intervening high desert valleys.  The panoramic views of thousands of square miles of scenery are simply spectacular. Unlike our decrepit California roads, the US-50 pavement is impeccable, with nary a pothole to jar suspensions.

US-50 rest stops are spaced about an hour apart, and our first sojourn was in the funky little town of Austin (pop. 450), where we met for lunch at the International Hotel.  Its usual signage is almost completely covered by a collection of “Trump/Pence” campaign signs, and the decor is best described as “Western Eclectic.”  After some hearty fare and a group photo, we continued easterly through the town of Eureka (pop. 650), which is the complete opposite from “everything’s about to collapse” Austin.  As the county seat, Eureka boasts substantial brick buildings, and the whole town is neat as pins.

We arrived at our destination mid-afternoon, with ample time to check out Ely’s sights and features.  Ely (pop. 6500) began life as a mining town, and although the 1900’s mine is still operational - producing thousands of tons of copper and some gold - Ely’s primary economy is represented by dozens of casinos, all announcing their games with garish flashing neon signage.

Once again we soothed our road-weary psyches at a hospitality event, and then enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Cell Block restaurant, continuing to discuss past and future vacations and various upcoming club events.  Allen recruited several of us to register for a tour of Beale Air Force Base later this month.  There was also lively discussion about the impact of technology not only on the future of automotive affairs, such as autonomous cars, but on life in general.  Jon’s suggestion that paper books are now obsolete triggered heated defense of paper media by those who love their tomes, but all agreed that shedding unwanted books is a challenging experience.

As a 37-year club member, I have many fond memories of past drives, but the memories of the 1000-mile Ely Stampede will be truly unique.  Many thanks to Barton for volunteering to capture some photos to enhance the story, and to my fellow stampeders for the fellowship and fun.  Thanks, too, to Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and the Chevrolet brothers.  And, a very special thank you to Karl’s wife Bertha, the very first Sunday Driver.  Bertha would be happy know we no longer have to purchase our benzine fuel by the liter at the local drug store…

Jack Weir

 

April 2, 2017

Mill Valley to Petaluma 

The Mercedes Club of San Francisco gathered for April's First Sunday Drives, which took us through a couple of cheese factories in scenic Marin county, starting at Mill Valley and ending in Petaluma. As usual, the beautiful California weather was present.

February 5, 2017

 

 

Fresh weather was not an impediment for four all-capable Mercedes and six dedicated club members to enjoy the twist, turns, and endlessly beautiful scenery from Castro Valley to Crockett.

Driving through a few regional parks allowed the attendees to either re-familiarize themselves or be introduced to the tight bends, switchbacks, and altitude changes of Lake Chabot and Redwood regional parks. A light grey sky, lush green rolling valleys and hilltops, and sky high redwoods provided an eye-catching backdrop for the drive. Once at the end point, the members (Bill and Kirby, Chester and Jutta, Nadine, Harry) rewarded themselves with a princely lunch at the Nantucket. The view of the waterfront was the icing on the cake. The cars in attendance were a W113 280SL, R129 500SL, R171 SLK55, and a W212 E350.

Aside: On his first stint as an FSD leader, Harry managed a single U-turn. His reason given: to marvel at a local BP station. End of Aside.

 

January 8, 2017

 

Mercedes Benz Club SF Bay Area Section Joint Event with

Studebaker Drivers Club Sequoia Chapter;  Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Sunday Drive: 

Foster City to San Francisco Presidio via Highway 1

Led by Dr. Barton Lane   (cell 650-888-8952)

Well , the Great Studebaker-Mercedes Joint First Sunday Drive event, carefully planned months in advance, was a washout!!!   Who knew the first Great Storm of 2017 would hit us that very day!

 The stalwart (foolhardy?) Mercedes-Benz club members who braved the elements were myself & Elizabeth, Jack Weir, and Sebastian Jewell.  The Studebaker club members were much smarter, and wisely stayed home.   Kudos to Jack & Sebastian for sticking it out.

 The 3 Musketeers (er Mercedes) wended our way in driving rain & wind to Half Moon Bay, then up Highway One to Pacifica, which was anything but pacific!  (After stopping briefly in Pillar Point to watch the 8-foot waves crashing).

 But when we reached Daly City, our exit to Skyline was blocked by a huge fallen cypress, and even the Great Highway was closed, as well as 19th Avenue!  So the Presidio was out, we all had to turn back.

 Total encounters: one detour, 2 felled trees, one toppled power pole.

 But I am still of the opinion this drive would be a nice Summer or Fall event, so I will try to re-schedule it for a time when Studebakers & Benzes can enjoy fine weather!

 Barton Lane,  January 2017

 

       

RECAP, OCT 2016:  CLAYTON TO WALNUT GROVE VIA RIVER FERRY

A stalwart group of 16 Benzers (and one Datsun 240Zer) showed up for the Delta Ferry Run, notwithstanding the threat of showers.

From our start in Concord, we traveled over Marsh Creek Road around Mt. Diablo and on surface streets in Antioch to the River Road (Hwy 160) over the Antioch Bridge and on to the first of our momentous ferry crossings.

It took two trips by the "Real McCoy I" to accommodate our group across Cache Slough, and then two trips by the "J-Mack" across Steamboat Slough.

After a brief visit to the fabulous Grand Mansion (which Barton equated with luxurious mansions he has seen at Lake Como in Switzerland) we finally arrived at the venerable Ryde Hotel for Sunday Champaign brunch.  The predicted showers did appear, but only after we were inside, and they stopped by the time we left for home.  (BTW, we achieved a 100% no-freeways 55-mile drive!)

This was the next-to-last last FSD for 2016, as our annual Gala will take place the first Sunday in December.  

Join Ron and Kathy Franke for our November FSD, and please plan to attend our annual Planning Meeting October 30th.  At that meeting, we will plan most of the 2017 calendar monthly events, and will draw up the FSD schedule as well.  See the newsletter for details on both.

I will be resigning as FSD Coordinator after the November drive.  If you're interested in helping us continue this fine program, please let me know; I can assist in the transition.

Jack Weir, October 2016

(925) 899-4298 cell

 

              

PETALUMA, GLEN ELLEN, KARAH ESTATE VINEYARD

The Mercedes September drive had 12 cars and 25 people.  We left Petaluma with a nice drive to Glen Ellen.  Then a scenic run up Sonoma Mt. Road ending at Karah Estate Vineyard in Cotati. After complementary tasting, lunch was at The Washoe House. Will email you one picture.

Marvin Hanson, Sept 2016. 

    

 

 

FSD – 7-August-2016    

MORGAN HILL TO SAN JUAN BAUTISTA             

The August 2016 SFBA First Sunday Drive began in Morgan Hill, CA and finished in historic San Juan Bautista, CA. Fourteen cars, including one 1981 300CD & six SL convertibles and 25 members participated in the event.  In-route to SJB, members stopped at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, CA and enjoyed Champagne & Wine tasting.  Afterwards the group headed to the Mission San Juan Bautista, travelling through the backroads and agricultural farmlands of San Benito County.  This county is nestled between the Gabilan and Diablo mountain ranges.  The Mission was our final destination where members toured the historic Mission and grounds, which opened in 1797.  Afterwards many members enjoyed lunch in San Juan Bautista and strolled through the historic town.

 

2017 Drive Schedule

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