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News: Head-turning caravan of Cadillac XLRs makes quick stop in Mattoon


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Head-turning caravan of Cadillac XLRs makes quick stop in Mattoon

By AMBER WILLIAMS, Journal Gazette, Times-Courier Staff Writer

MATTOON, ILLINOIS — There may be some head-turning on Illinois roads this weekend.

A caravan of the unique Cadillac XLR two-seat sports coupes made a quick stop in Mattoon on Thursday on its way downstate to pick up more XLR owners.

The caravan is on its way to Bowling Green, Ky., for a nationwide weekend gathering of Cadillac XLR owners, said Bob Leonard, a Mattoon XLR owner.

Although the Cadillac owners could all go down to Kentucky individually, it is more exciting to get together and meet new people, Leonard said.

Plus, the sight of a line of these limited production cars with hand-built engines cruising down the highway can cause a stir with other drivers.

“It really creates quite a visual impact,” Leonard said.

The Cadillac XLR belonging to Leonard, who was driving to Kentucky with Paula Thompson, is the only car from the Mattoon area to be joining the caravan.

Leonard drives a 2006 crimson red Cadillac XLR-V convertible.

The caravan was meeting up at the Coles County Memorial Airport Thursday morning before heading further downstate to pick up more caravan members in Mt. Vernon.

Three other drivers were meeting Leonard in Mattoon, including Kevin Grady of Kankakee, who was meeting up with Leonard for the second year.

This is the third year for XLR owners to take a trip to Bowling Green, Ky., and most of them have become acquainted on the XLR forum Web site in the last few years, Leonard said.

Caravans of drivers are meeting up all over the country to travel to Kentucky, with about 90 drivers in all attending.

While in Kentucky, the Cadillac drivers will be touring the Corvette plant where XLRs are made, touring the Lost River Caves, taking a scenic drive and attending technical sessions before returning home Saturday afternoon.

Unlike the caravan trip to Kentucky last year, the group hopes to not receive any speeding tickets on the drive this year, Leonard said.

Contact Amber Williams at awilliams@jg-tc.com or 238-6858.
Amber did a nice job on that article with some nice photos. We made the front page of the local paper.

Only regret was at the airport (MTO) where we all met, a blackhawk National Guard helicopter had just landed. We should have taken a picture with the X's, V's and the 'hawk.

Maybe next year....


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