The CarTable started out as just that – a table in the Quinault Coffee Room where people interested in anything with wheels sit around at a monthly meeting and talk about cars and other vehicles. From a first meeting sometime in 2017 of about five or six people, we have grown to over 40 on our mailing list with about 15 or 16 at a monthly meeting.
The CarTable has no dues, officers, or support from Panorama other than the great coffee in the Quinault Coffee Room. Monthly meetings are very informal, heading in whatever direction the conversation goes. Meeting dates and times are in the newsletter and on calendars. All residents are invited to sit in on a meeting, or corner any of our self-admitted car-loving members and ask questions.
Lists: One of the first things we did was collect Auto-Biographies of members, simply a list of all cars they have ever owned. Pretty interesting stuff. Also of interest to any number of residents is our list of answers to auto-related questions. One of our goals is to be a reference for Panorama drivers. We have names of mechanics, mobile detail services, upholstery outfits, and more.
Guest Speakers: One of the most popular features at the monthly meetings has been our Guest Speakers, almost all of whom have been discovered by accident and almost all of whom have been women. They told some really hair-raising tales and have driven some really unusual cars. All their stories have led to further discussions around the CarTable.
Field Trips: Our members encouraged us to branch out into Field Trips, where a Panorama bus would haul several of us to various auto-related places around Puget Sound – museums, shops, vintage races, local car shows, etc. Some of these are well-known, others have been discovered by different members.
Backroad Tours: We have done several Backroad Tours, following written route instructions developed by various members, sometimes on roads we never knew existed to places that barely exist, usually ending at a restaurant for lunch where many tales are told — that is for those drivers who managed to find the diner. During this time of social distancing we have had a Backroad Tour without a gathering at the start or finish, and the reviews have been largely positive.
Down the Road: A Field Trip to the Museum of Flight, especially to see the B-29 on which a couple of Panorama residents spent ten of thousands of hours helping restore, trips to other local collections not generally open to the public, the Vintage Races at Pacific International Raceways, a local coffee and motorcycle restoration shop, a Guest Speaker whose family had a car probably unlike any of our members ever had, more Backroad Tours that can be enjoyed with or without a gathering at the start/finish. And of course gathering around the CarTable in the Quinault Coffee Room for questions, discussions, and tales with just an element of truthiness.