Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
Press Release - 2007.05.25 
Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
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The OpenAir Classic will tour America’s Scenic Great River Country - Aug.16-19 th, 2007

Topless Tour Heading for Dubuque!

(Madison, WI) “Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines and Drop Your Tops!” The starter’s instruction will be heard at the beginning of the OpenAir Classic Tour that will bring 200 convertibles and more than 400 fans of open-air motoring to the Great River City of Dubuque, Iowa, August 16-19,2007.

Organizers invite anyone with a convertible, roadster, spyder or other topless automobile of any make or vintage to register for the four day, non-competitive tour (

The tour is limited to the first 200 cars registered. Organizers expect that more than 200 entries will be received and a waiting list will be started. No prior touring or cruise experience is required. Every convertible owner is welcome to participate and become a member of the group.

A Sensational American Back Roads Tour Limited to 200 Cars
“This OpenAir Classic tour is designed for folks who want to see the best the Midwest has to offer, tops down,” according to spokesperson Gary Knowles of Madison, WI, co-founder of the tour with his wife MaePatrice and fellow convertible lovers Mike and Donna Peroutka of Green Bay. “The purpose of the tour is to have fun in your convertible, meet great people, experience sensational beauty that’s just off the main highway and enjoy the freedom to travel. This is our proud American heritage.”

The tour will visit some of the most spectacular twisting back roads and scenic highways in the region, stop in friendly little towns for dining and shopping, visit scenic overlooks and special attractions, enjoy special entertainment, party and celebrate the joys of recreational touring.

“The tour is intentionally limited to just 200 convertibles with some 400 drivers and crew. This ensures that everyone has a great touring experience,” Knowles said. “We love to see lots of convertible people having fun. Two hundred is the perfect size to get into the nooks and crannies and to visit little “hidden gems” and special places that give this Great River region its extraordinary character.

Carrying on a Grand Tradition – Coming from “All Over the USA”
The OpenAir Classic tour, now in its second year, was organized to maintain the traditions of the Wisconsin Convertible Classic tour that ended in 2006. Gary and Mae Knowles were founders and directors of that tour and Mike and Donna Peroutka were eight year tour veterans. In 2006 they took the first OpenAir Classic to Ashland, WI and the Apostle Islands Area.

“One of the greatest ways to really appreciate this beautiful country is in a convertible,” Mike Peroutka noted, “and the annual August gathering of the topless touring bunch gives convertible lovers the opportunity to use their cars as they were made to be enjoyed: tops down, cruising on spectacular roads on warm sunny days, road songs playing, good people and fresh air all around.”

Knowles noted that participants and cars will be coming from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and all over the Midwest and some from Florida, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and California. “The word spreads quickly among convertible lovers,” he said. “This is a top quality tour.”

How to Get one of the 200 spots - Membership and Registration Information
Registration for the tour started in May with OpenAir Classic members ($26.38/yr) getting an early registration period after which registration opens to non-members. Get tour details at or call the Tour Message Center 262-922-4062 to request a registration kit. Mail requests should be sent to OpenAir Tours, P.O. Box 5532, Madison, WI 53705-0532.

Registration Details
Registration fees are $269.00/car for driver and crew member for the tour. Included in the fee are opening reception dinner, two breakfasts, limited edition t-shirts, special dash plaque, maps, guides, four days of touring, prizes, awards and access to tour events and entertainment. Blocks of rooms have been reserved for participants to book at the Holiday Inn and the Julien hotels in downtown Dubuque.

They Love Fun, Sun, Cruising Around and “Letting the Kid Out”
"Convertible people are a special breed," says Knowles. "By nature they're up-beat, friendly, love wind in their hair, cruise down the road with music turned up and big smiles on their faces. To them, this is the biggest event of the summer. You’ll never find a better group of people to hang out with and we’re happy to bring them together. It’s like letting ‘the kid’ out of them.”
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