Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
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2018 OAC XIII - Itinerary 
Open Air Tours - A "Top Down" approach to touring!
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Run Topless, Discover the four best days of Summer!

This OpenAir Touring family was born in 2006 on a sunny August morning in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior. More than 200 topless cars and 400 waving people gathered to form a new, friendly touring group to drive the greatest back roads in the Midwest, explore this awesome country and carry on traditions born in the Wisconsin Convertible Classic (1993-2005.)

Thousands of miles later, with twelve outstanding tours in the books, OAC XIII will mark the twenty-sixth consecutive year of topless cruising. We’re delighted to be back in Manitowoc for our headquarters and home base in 2018. Welcome to the birthplace of ships, yachts and, in WWII, submarines! The SS Cobia is a real war-survivor, still anchored in the harbor. This is also the western port for the floating National Historic Landmark, the SS Badger Carferry that links Manitowoc to Ludington, Michigan.

These next four days serve as a quick run through a fabulous buffet of experiences. You’ll enjoy a great taste of the area and certainly want to come back for more!

Red Ragtops are fun!

THURSDAY – AUGUST 16

A Mariner’s Welcome, Explorers’ Banquet, and Navigator’s Oath Ceremony
Follow your sailor’s senses and head for the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan and the city known as Wisconsin’s Maritime Capital. Check-in at the hotel, open your suitcase, then head to OAC Registration. Sign-in and pick-up your tour kit at the OAC registration area. Meet your fellow OAC cruisers, road-tested tour veterans and raring-to-go rookies. Share a few road stories, travel tales, twisty road thrills and compare favorite routes. Take a drive around this friendly town, or raise a toast to this wonderful “tops down” life and our growing convertible family.

Tonight there’ll be a cash bar, the Explorers’ Banquet, and a VIP welcome. Of course we’ll have our (mandatory) Driver’s Meeting to review starting times, tour plans, route notes and tips. Nervous navigators will try to stay calm as they prepare to stand, raise a hand and recite the sacred Navigator’s Oath. Once they’re inducted into that legendary legion of “never-make-a-mistake” way-finders, you may see some new “navs” working overtime on their “power of prayer.” All will be eager for dawn, the grid, and a spirited run through this marvelous Wisconsin paradise, twisted backroads, a Great Lake that is a “sea,” and an exciting land with “awesome” around every corner await. We are indeed blessed and privileged to experience it all – tops down!


FRIDAY – AUGUST 17

Great Lake, “Wow! Country,” “On the Road Less Travelled!” “Big Water Concert”
Set your alarm for “Early” – you didn’t come here to sleep! It’s time to grab a quick breakfast and get ready for the Manitowoc starting Grid! Check your group gathering and start time. Prepare to experience a glorious day in that special car you bought for just this kind of touring! Drop your top, strike a proud pose, then follow the turn by turn instructions to see East Wisconsin at its scenic finest. Today we’ll be driving along Lake Michigan, cruising pastures of plenty, enjoying breath-taking vistas, tasting some fine wines and cheeses, and exploring some very special stops. Art and antique lovers should watch for shops, garage sales and charming small town galleries.

Bring your camera and binoculars. Wildlife call this “home” so watch for flocks of wild birds, deer, wild turkey, an occasional fox or raccoon, song birds and shorebirds. We’ll visit local, insider-favorite “don’t miss” checkpoints, diners, and stores. Play the “Does that Sound Like a Submarine?” game. You’ll agree: this is truly some of the finest convertible country in the nation.

Follow the route back to Manitowoc. Get together with OAC buddies to dine around town – then get back to the Holiday Inn by 8PM for a very special OpenAir Classic performance by legendary founder of Bayfield’s Big Top Chautauqua, “Warren Nelson and Friends – A Big Water Concert!”


SATURDAY – AUGUST 18

Kettles are Calling - The Trail of Legends – Topless Touring at Road America
Hard to believe, but today gets even better! Nudge your Navigator and get breakfast! Keep your camera and binoculars within easy reach. Today we’ll follow adventurous routes that lead to truly legendary stops, some tasty surprises, internationally famous event venues, and you’ll wind-up with a “topless credential” most car owners can only long for: you can say “I toured America’s ‘Cathedral of Speed - Road America.'

We’ll start exploring in the Manitowoc Area, work our way along the Michigan Shore, visit Whistling Straits Golf Course (the site of the 2020 Ryder Cup Matches), visit Sheboygan and Kohler, roll through glacier-made Kettle Moraine hills, stop at one-of-a-kind check points, play the“One Squeeze of a Skunk Challenge” and hold our “Topless Concurs” on the Paddock grounds at Road America. We’ll have time to look over all our convertible beauties, vote for our favorites, maybe do some shopping at the sparkling new Road America Race Boutique, and then enjoy a Topless Sundown Track Tour. We’ll enter our names alongside the legends of racing like Phil Hill, Augie Pabst, Bruce McLaren, Denis Hulme, Mario Andretti, Paul Newman, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Hall, Carroll Shelby, and Jacques Villeneuve. Like us, they loved this four-mile twisted ribbon of a course.

Tonight go out to celebrate your status with a special dinner in Elkhart Lake, Kohler, Sheboygan or Manitowoc. You’ll have plenty to show and tell the folks back home! Congratulations, you’ll never be topped!


SUNDAY – AUGUST 19

Prizes, Cheers, Awards, and Hit the Road!
Sleep in just a bit today. You’ve put on some great miles and had some fun. Go get breakfast. Drift into the Festive Finale’ at the Holiday Inn about 10AM. We’ll recognize the members who have achieved major milestone in touring with us. This is where you can use the check-point tickets you earned to enter twenty-five fabulous bucket drawings and maybe take home a prize!

We’ll report which cars you selected as the “Top of the Topless” at the OAC Concours, celebrate the conclusion of our thirteenth OpenAir Classic, and one lucky member who was with us all four days will win the Grand Prize! Say your fond farewells, trade contact information with your new friends, and we’ll wrap up by Noon. For more fun head downtown to spend more time shopping, go to the museums, or enjoy the beautiful harbor.

Mark your calendars for OAC XIV, Aug.15-18, 2019. Can you guess where we’re headed next? Ha! Nope! Not even the Directors know. The process of choosing a destination starts later today as we narrow possibilities. We’ll visit with potential hosts, look at options, and have a good idea by late October or early November. But It’s a secret. To be revealed at the OpenAir Conditioner in Madison in late January 2019. It’s the first big topless party of the New Year! We sure hope to see you there!


Mark your calendars for OAC XIV Aug.15-18, 2019.
Do you know where we’re headed?
Ha! Nope! It’s a secret.
To be revealed at the OpenAir Conditioner in Madison late January 2019.
It’s the first big topless party of the New Year!
See You There
!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Future OpenAir Classic Tours!
OAC XIV - August - 15-18 2019
OAC XV - August 20-23 2020

We'll see you on another OpenAir Tour soon!
 


 
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