Mendenhall Museum, Buellton, CA
Story and Photos by Scott Gregory
Fourteen Corvettes gathered early on a Saturday morning at our pre-launch site in the parking lot of the Copperhill Walmart in preparation for what turned out to be a beautiful day for the drive north to Buellton, CA.
The trip up was great, and as usual it required some experienced coordination between Mark Ware in the lead car and the tail gunners, Tom and Elke Couples, to keep everyone in formation as we made our way through some coastal traffic along the Ventura and Santa Barbara stretch of the 101. But once we cleared the traffic it was time to set the cruise control and enjoy the ride.
The museum, for those that have never there, is an amazing private petroliana collection of gas pumps, signs, and racing related memorabilia, much of it from the central California region. It is also home the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame.
The museum was gracious enough to let us park inside, where we spent the next couple of hours getting a private tour by our hostess, Misty, the daughter of the owners, Mark and Vicki Mendenhall. She was not only very knowledgeable about the collections on display, but she shared many family memories related to growing up around the museum that was originally started by her grandfather, a Buellton gas station owner, and himself a land speed record holder.
After our visit to the museum, we took the short drive to Morrell’s Farm Fresh Dining where twenty-seven of us descended on the restaurant for brunch. Parking had been pre-arranged in front of the restaurant, and our tables were ready and waiting.
The relaxed brunch was excellent and offered a wide range of menu choices from traditional breakfast items to locally selected specialties – either way, we could not go wrong.
After brunch some of the group headed off to the casino to try their luck, which I understand went well, while others went shopping in Solvang, and a few of us caravanned home along the Chumash route through Ojai, bringing a close to another great run.