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Thor Diesel Club History

THE EARLY YEARS:

Introduction: The Thor Diesel Club (TDC) is an exclusive Class A Diesel Motor Coach club, formed in October 2010. The TDC welcomes owners of any Thor Class A diesel coach into the club. The TDC holds rallies across the United States and Canada with an annual International Rally held in October at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen Indiana. The Thor Diesel Club was formed in October 2010 at the International Rally in Goshen Indiana. The official chartering certificate as an International Chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is dated 06 October 2010. Background: The Mandalay Luxury Division (MLD), located in Elkhart, Indiana, was formed in early 2002 and started producing luxury diesel Class-A motor coaches as model year 2003, built on a Freightliner Custom Chassis. Mandalay Luxury Division (MLD) founded by key individuals at Four Winds International, a division of Thor Industries, Inc., the largest builder of recreational vehicles, introduced the first luxury Class-A diesel in 2003. The Mandalay diesel motor coach, built on a Freightliner Chassis, was available with either a Caterpillar or Cummins engine. The President of the newly formed Mandalay Luxury Division was Mr. Jeff Kime with Mr. Dana Simmon serving as Vice President. Mr. John Krider served as the National Sales Manager and Mr. Mark Stanley was the Technical Manager. Mr. Dave Carpenter was the Diesel Production Manager, and Mr. Tom Overton was Director of the Service Department. There were many other very talented individuals serving in the Mandalay Luxury Division. The primary Business Strategies for MLD centered on providing three versions of luxury diesel motor coaches for the flourishing motor home market. The Mandalay was the initial product offered. In 2005, MLD added a second luxury diesel Class A motor coach to its line-up the Presidio a very eloquent and affordable entry-level diesel motor coach. The Presidio was built on a Workhorse Series R chassis with a 330-HP Cummins engine. In order to meet increased sales and production demands, the Mandalay Luxury Division built a new 190,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility plant in 2005, dedicated to the production of luxury diesel Class-A motor coaches. Mandalay Luxury Division used the input of owners to assist in the design and development of new motor coaches every year. Our customers offer great insight about features and floor plans, which gave MLD a great advantage in the market, said John Krider, National Sales Manager. A third MLD brand, the Valencia, was introduced in 2006. This luxury motor coach was available through 2006 and 2007. The Valencia was built on the Freightliner XC Chassis using the Cummins ISB The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley Page 1

Thor Diesel Club History

engine. Due to the new emission controls standards put into effect in 2007, this brand was re-evaluated to maintain its price point in the MLD family line of motor coaches. In 2007, MLD began producing the luxury tag axle Mandalay and Presidio on a raised-rail Freightliner chassis. The Mandalay Tag was a 45 coach with a 425-Cummins ISL engine. The 2007 Presidio was built on the Freightliner XC Chassis with a Mercedes MBE 926 engine. In 2008, MLD continued to offer the Mandalay and Presidio. However, the Presidio was now offered in two versions: the Presidio 360 and Presidio 400. The Presidio 360 and 400 were built on a Freightliner XC chassis meeting the 2007 emission requirements with the new Cummins ISC 360 HP and ISL 400 HP engines, and the Allison MH300 six-speed automatic transmission. In 2009, Four Winds International introduced the Serrano using a front-engine 6.4L International Maxx Force diesel on a Workhorse chassis in the 31V and 31Z floor plans with a 3 year 45,000 mile limited warranty.

The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley

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Thor Diesel Club History

CLUB HISTORICAL ORGANIZATION:

The First (1st) International (organizing) Rally - Mandalay Travel Club (MTC) formed 2004. At the prompting of the Mandalay Luxury Division, the Mandalay Travel Club was formed in October 2004 under the International Chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), using the FMCA boilerplate By-Laws and Standing-Rules , with the focus of having fun and helping other members enjoy life in their luxurious motor coaches. Club rallies were scheduled as Pre rallies to the FMCARallies. There were 48 coaches at this initial rally. The MTC branched out to include local social experiences such as group dinners at the Amish Acres Theatre and Dinner, special tours of the Motor Home museum, etc. The initial Board of Directors for the newly formed Mandalay Travel Club was: President George Lucietto National Director Joe Piper Vice President Jack Finley Alternate Nat l Dir. Randy Nolte Secretary Marge Piper Co-Rally Master Ken Evans Nominating Committee Steven Adye Bobby Lingerfelt Tom Taylor At the MTC s first FMCA Pre-Rally, in March 2005 - held in Tifton Georgia, President George Lucietto resigned and Jack Finley accepted the position of President with Duncan Riley being appointed as Vice President by Ken Evans, (the only remaining-attending Board Member) and the FMCA representative. There were 24 coaches at this Rally. Therefore, the MTC Board of Directors was: President Jack L. Finley National Director Joe Piper Vice President Duncan Riley Alternate Nat l Dir. Randy Nolte Secretary Marge Piper Co-Rally Master Ken Evans Nominating Committee Steven Adye Bobby Lingerfelt Tom Taylor Treasurer Randy Nolte Co-Rally Master Jim Hill Caravan Leader Ron Rickard Treasurer Randy Nolte Co-Rally Master Jim Hill Caravan Leader Ron Rickard

Crossings Newsletter Editor Julie Taylor

Crossings Newsletter Editor Julie Taylor

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Thor Diesel Club History

Attendance continued to grow as the Travel Club begin to become a more solid organization. The Mandalay Luxury Division provided a Service Trailer assisting members with needed repairs, and representatives from Freightliner, Cummins, etc. added substantially to member s enjoyment. The President appointed Area Representatives . They were: Western Area- Jim and Ann Larocca; Central Area- Butch & Verna Neel; Eastern Area- Jim Masterson (Howard and Vallerie Lee later accepted the position). The Mandalay Travel Club Bylaws requires the election of new Board Members every two years. Realizing the need to maintain governance consistency from one election to another, the President proposed a Bylaw change to create three new Board positions with varying term-lengths. Board Member At-Large 3 year term full Board voting rights. Board Member At-Large 2 year term full Board voting rights Board Member At-Large 1 year term full Board voting rights In June 2006, the MTC members voted on and accepted the President s revisions to the chapter By-Laws and 3 new At Large positions were added to the Board of Directors. The membership once again voted and elected a new Board of Directors at the Hilton Head, South Carolina rally. (Note the Co-Rally positions were not continued since a Rally Master and Co Rally master is needed for each new rally additionally, the Nominating Committee became an appointed / volunteer position). President Jack L. Finley National Director John Landes Vice President Jim Larocca Alternate Nat l Dir. Richard Fredrickson Secretary Jim Fleming At-Large Positions Butch Neal Randy Nolte James Masterson Treasurer Tom Burns Newsletter Editor Lorna Finley

The newly elected Board of Directors worked hard to establish an element of Governance to the flourishing MTC Travel club, and under the direction of Jack L. Finley, the Board was successful in writing and implementing the following policies. 1) Benevolence Policy 2) Day-Pass Policy 3) Guest Policy The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley Page 4

Thor Diesel Club History

4) Refund Policy 5) Visitor Policy 6) Standing Rules (adjustments to reflect policy documents) 7) Mini-Rally organizational rules and guidelines.

The 2rd International Mandalay Travel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2005. A newsletter was never produced by the previous editor in 2004-so the President accepted that responsibility with Lorna Finley being the Newsletter Editor. Lorna Finley printed and mailed out her first newsletter (The Crossings.) Extra copies of the printed newsletter were given to Dealers to pass on to new members who purchased a Mandalay motor home. Lorna also forwarded the Mandalay staff copies of newsletters. MLD staff liked the idea of a printed newsletter available to pass out to visitors. There were 51 coaches at this rally. Rally Masters were Ken Evans and Jim Hill. The theme for this rally was Western with entertainment from the Rivoli Revue Singers. The 3rd International Mandalay Travel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2006, The MTC continued to flourish, with membership nearing 500 members. The Mandalay Travel Club had 81 coaches register for the 3rd International Rally. The Agenda started with special tours to the Amish Acres Theatre and Dinner on Sunday and special tour of the Studebaker Legend and Folklore. And we can t forget the fabulous DVD preview of MTC Rally Highlights by Brian and Sandy McGownes that was offered to each member. Lorna Finley printed and mailed newsletter (The Crossings.) Members liked the idea of a printed newsletter. A special seminar was created for the First-Time members, followed by a Factory Tour of the new Mandalay Diesel plant (over 24 acres of state-of-the-art Diesel motor coach production facility) followed by a tour of Carrera Designs paints. Of course, there were the technical seminars from Freightliner, River Park, VIP enterprises just to name a few. And a few of our members also presented excellent seminars. Carl Searer (Mandalay Service Writer) and his team of technicians were the biggest hit servicing our coaches in rain or shine. Each morning, members were greeted with The Morning Messenger flyer, produced by Mr. Jim Flemming. The Morning Messenger kept everyone updated on last minute changes to the Agenda. The 4rd International Mandalay Travel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2007. MTC had 83 coaches signed up for the rally with 81 coaches at this rally a good number for a rally. The Rally Masters were Rodney & Pam Cryderman with Fred & Tina Barina assisting. The rally theme was Hooray for Hollywood . Dream RV sponsored many events and displayed three new TAG Axle coaches. Brian and Sandy McGowners offered another great DVD preview of MTC Rally Highlights. Lorna Finley did a great job in making sure the newsletter (The Crossings) was printed and mailed to every member, including our Canadians members. The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley Page 5

Thor Diesel Club History

There were seminars and tours of Mandalay Luxury Division and Carrera paint Facilities. Since the formulation of the MTC, MLD always provided the service trailer - where Mandalay technician s addressed coach issues for members. Mr. Carl Searer, the Mandalay Service Writer, was responsible for the great service provided to our coaches he was the greatest as well as being a member of the group called Northern Harmony Blue Grass Band. The Band consisted of Mandalay Service Technicians, and could these guys sing and play. By-laws changed to alternate elections The President presented and the members voted and accepted changes to the Club s by-laws that would allow for staggered Board elections thereby placing the Board elections on a staggered strategy. Tom Burns was re-elected as Treasurer and Fred Barina was elected as Secretary. (Note: Mr. Jim Fleming was in a terrible accident and was forced to resign his position as Secretary. Mr. Fred Barina was elected to fulfill that position.) The 5rd International Mandalay Travel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2008. Attendance at the rally was the largest yet with 97 coaches at this rally. The Rally Masters were Fred & Tina Barina with Rick & Jodi Fredrickson assisting. The rally theme was Road to Mandalay . There were seminars and tours of Mandalay Luxury Division and the paint Facilities. Mandalay technician s addressees coach issues for members. The Northern Harmony Blue Grass Band entertained members with Blue Grass music. And to everyone s surprise, Carl Searer stole the show with his Auctioneer song, and he did an excellent job on the base. Our members brought with them toiletries and small items to mail to our troops overseas. There were 28 large boxes mailed to our troops that year. Members also brought with them a children s book from some place they had been throughout the year. These books were donated to the local children s home. The MLD decided not to fund producing the DVD. This was a great loss as Brian and Sandy McGowners did an outstanding job in making Rally Highlights on a DVD. The MTC decided not to print or mail hard copy newsletters, and decided to do it via electric distribution. Elections were held for the remaining Board positions not elected the previous year, with the new Board of Directors as: Board of Directors PRESIDENT Jim Larocca (1yr) VICE PRESIDENT Richard Fredrickson (2yr) TREASURER Tom Burns (1yr) SECRETARY Fred Barina (2yr)

CHAPTER NAT L DIRECTOR John Landes (2Yr) ALT. NAT L DIRECTOR Richard Fredrickson (2yr)

AT LARGE POSITIONS Butch Neal - David Sharkey Vallerie Lee

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Thor Diesel Club History

The 6th International Mandalay Travel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2009. The 2009 rally attendance begins to suffer from the tremendous downturn in the National economy. The Mandalay Luxury Division scaled back operations and turned the new 190,000 sq. ft. diesel production facility over to Damon. MLD continued producing motor coaches in their original (smaller) plant. This was the first year that the Mandalay Luxury Division did not provide service support to attending club members. Charger Enterprises, a local RV repair facility, supplied the service free of charge to our member still under warranty and at a reduced rate for those out of warranty. The number of vendors attending the rally was significantly less. The MLD did however; cover the cost of all the facilities the club used at the Fairgrounds, while the MTC covered the cost of the entertainment and any incidentals. There were approximately 54 coaches at this rally. The members voted and elected the following officers: Board of Directors PRESIDENT TREASURER AT LARGE POSITIONS Clay Livingston - David Sharkey Jay Feldman

Jim Larocca (2yr) Gayle O Donnell (2yr)

The 1st International Thor Diesel Club Rally - held in Goshen, In October 2010. This rally was historic for our club because it was at this rally that MTC members overwhelmingly voted to form the Thor Diesel Club (TDC) as the official club of the newly formed THOR Motor Coach company. There were 68 coaches at this rally. Rally Masters were Bob and Christy Proost, Fran Watkins and Harriet Phillips. The Board of the MTC agreed to drop their FMCA chapter status and become a group under the Thor Diesel Club once the FMCA accepted the TDC s club application. The Mandalay Travel Club bylaws required the election of new Board Members for the MTC. The new elected Board of the Mandalay Travel Group is: 2010 MTC Board of Directors PRESIDENT Jim Larocca (existing) VICE PRESIDENT Richard Fredrickson (2Yr) AT LARGE POSITIONS Clay Livingston (existing) Linda Doughtie Lane (1Yr) TREASURER Gayle O Donnell (existing) CHAPTER NAT L DIRECTOR Bill McGee SECRETARY Judi McGee (2Yr) ALT. NAT L DIRECTOR Roger Smith Lynn Shackelford (2Yr)

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Thor Diesel Club History

Pre-Thor Diesel Club Rallies:

Rallies, Themes, Tours and fun for all. Tours and Theme s for each rally were a big hit and fun for everyone, along with some great entrainment. Members look forward to having our club sponsor more of these events for members to enjoy. Some of rallies had tours and themes. The first few Rallies were put on DVD which gave us some wonderful memories to share with others and dealers. The DVD was an outstanding production by Brian and Sandy McGownes. The DVD was offered to each member at a small cost that was worth every penny. MTC travel club DVD was great gift and history of the entire International Rally that was held at Goshen fairgrounds. This DVD movie was a great tool at other rallies or events as well. There were several Mini rallies throughout the years, held in different locations East, West, North and South. Mini Rallies allowed members who were not able to come to the International Rally to meet other members and to have a great time. The Mini Rally is a great opportunity to show others our luxury motor coaches. At most of the rallies we had a Pet Parade some members went the extra mile by dressing their pet in some very cute outfits. The Judges always have a hard time picking a winner. Each rally usually involves a golf outing for those die-hard golf fans. At one of the golf outings at the Squirrel Golf Club, there were fifteen golfers trying to play. The day started out very foggy with some difficulty seeing the ball. The first 2-3 holes they play in the soup guessing at the landing spot of their first drive most were easy to find if you followed the tail left by the rolling ball however some of the members golf balls shall remain forever in the twilight zone! Members are always looking to the next golf outing with more friends. Three Rallies - Themes Western Night which everyone enjoyed. Everyone liked dressing up in western outfits. Cowboy hats and boots were everywhere. There were several members that came as cowboys, some as marshals, and the Rifleman. We even had cowgirls with beautiful western embroidered shirts or pioneer dress. What was missed was the caller to do some square dancing. At some of the Western rallies - entertainers were the Rivoli Revue singers, and comedian Bennie & Red. We also learned that we were all members of the SKI club (spending the kid s inheritance.) The rally in Canton, TX had a chili cook-off, square dancing and the area is a flea marketer s delight. One International Rally Themes was The Nifty Fifties , and what a dynamic theme changing from the Fifties to the Movin & Groovin to the Sixties, and then to Disco. And our members never missed a beat. Some of the ladies wore their poodle skirts and did they ever take the stage! Everyone had great time dancing with old songs. Plant Tours was a great event where members learned interesting facts about their motor coach. Special tours to the Amish Acres Theatre and Dinner and a special tour of the Studebaker Legend and Folklore of the Studebaker car museum was a very big event for our members. Additionally, members toured the famous Notre Dame Campus and the Chocolate Factory.

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Thor Diesel Club History

Hawaii Themes at Grahams Island State Park, Devils Lake, North Dakota . We didn t have to go to Hawaii to have a great Hawaiian rally; we had one in North Dakota. Members encountered a new experience in getting to the rally site each coach was escorted across the Island s entrance road since it had been washed out with the recent phenomenon of the lake rising. The lake water was lapping at the wheels of each coach. There were Aloha Shirts and Hawaii dresses. Some of ladies even did the Hawaii Hula dance, which was a lot of fun to watch. Each member received a Hawaiian-lei when they attended Dinner. Another International Rally Theme was Hooray for Hollywood . There was a Red Carpet and Oscar Award for club members. Various awards were given out. For this event some of members dressed as their favorite movie actor. There was the Long Ranger, Clint Eastwood, Marshal Wyatt Earp, Rifleman, Sam Elliott, James Bond, Sonny & Cheer, Minnie Pearl, Scarlet O Hara, Rhett Butler and more. The Judges had a hard time picking a winner. The following award categories were honored Miles Traveled , given to Butch and Verna Neel with 95,011 miles; States Traveled award given to David and Carolyn Sharkey with 48 States traveled. Accidents with the RV went to Randy and Jackie Hamilton because they wrecked it the first day. There were a few more categories such as Full Times - David and Carolyn Sharkey 13 ½ years; Dedicated Camper went to Andy and Virginia Strachen who had 12 RV s, and the Best Outdoor Campsite Décor went to Ken and Shirley Evans; the Oldest Mandalay went to Ken and Karen Caver; and the Newest Mandalay owners went to Jack and Lorna Finley (43B TAG) and Dedicated Employee award went to Howard and Vallerie Lee with 91 years (combined) and the last Oscar award went to Grandparents Andy and Virginia Strachen having 58 Grandchildren. Special tours included a trip to the Rogers Follies in the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres and Dinner. A Southern Rally was a pre-FMCA rally held at the Sugar Mill Plantation RV Park Ochlocknee, Georgia. There were 48 coaches in attendance. A few members dressed with the theme Gone with the Mandalay which everyone enjoyed and had fun with a Gone with the Wind game of southern trivia. Everyone learned that Southern Women have a winning smile and unforgettable southern drawl - they know everybody s first name Honey , Darling and Shugah , and only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of yonder . Southerners also make friends while standing in lines and when in line they talk to everybody. Fondest expressions are Y all come back , Well bless your heart , Drop by when you can and How s your Mamma. Some of the Special events were Willie and Company Ventriloquist, Music and Comedy. There was a special Pebble Hill Plantation Tour which was a legacy of Elisabeth Pansy Poe and Historic Thomasville Walking and Driving Self-Guided Tour this was a unique town full of historic Coaches and one of a kind shops. Thomasville s oldest and most cherished landmark is the Big Oak Tree. It has a limb span of 162 feet and a circumference of 24 feet. We had an open house in our coaches so all our members could see what others had done to make their coach more comfortable.

The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley

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Thor Diesel Club History

There was Pre-Rally Summer Fun at Hilton Head South Carolina. There was a Sunset Dolphin Nature Cruise where members leaned about the Bottlenose Dolphins and other sea creatures. Winter Rally at the Golden Village Palms Resort, Hemet California, and the theme was the Mardi-Gras. A Treasure Hunt game was explained and we learned how to collect a lot of beads. Everyone enjoyed and had fun with the Treasure Hunt game and collecting beads. Special entertainment by Steve Roth as Elvis, what a voice and all the ladies enjoyed getting his scarf s that he would throw out to the members. Another entertainment was James Kellogg as Amazing Hypnotist; he had some members doing things that were funny. And there were wine tours of 3 local wineries.

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Thor Diesel Club History

THOR DIESEL CLUB

The THOR Motor Coach company is born Due to an extreme downturn in the National economy, THOR Industries reorganized to better meet market place demands for motor coaches. The Mandalay Luxury Division, Four Winds and Damon were merged in September 2010 into Thor Motor Coach, which begin producing new versions of motor coaches under the Thor Motor Coach name. The Four-Winds Montecito was introduced just at the height of the reorganization and was discontinued after only a short time in production.

The Thor Diesel Club was formed in October 2010

The History of the Thor Diesel Club by Lorna Finley

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Thor Diesel Club History

1st International TDC Rally at Goshen. At TDC s 1st International Rally, hosted by Mandalay Travel Club, members present voted to create The Thor Diesel Club. This would allow the club to accept owners of other Thor diesel units as members. The Mandalay Travel Club became a group under the Thor Diesel Club. The Thor Diesel Club will hold a single International Rally annually, hosted by the Thor Diesel Club. Thor Diesel Club members must maintain their current status with Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Those Thor Diesel Club members that wish to continue their membership in the Mandalay Travel Group may continue to do so maintaining their membership in the parent Thor Diesel Club as well as the FMCA. The Thor Diesel Club held their first elections at its 1st International Rally. The new elected Board of the Thor Diesel Club is: 2010 Board of Directors Thor Diesel Club PRESIDENT Fred Barina VICE PRESIDENT Fran Watkins TREASURER Sandy Smith ALT. NAT L DIRECTOR Joe Dube Historian Lorna Finley Newsletter Editor Vallerie Lee SECRETARY Patricia Koritta

CHAPTER NAT L DIRECTOR Ron Rickard AT LARGE POSITIONS Jay Feldman Bob Smith Tom Burns Thor Diesel Club Website Thor Diesel Club Email Address

http://www.thordieselclub.org [email protected]

The 1st International Rally - Theme Honor those who served in the Military This rally is one we will all remember for it honored those who served in all branches of the military. The Rally Masters were Fran Watkins and Harriet Phillips with Bob and Christy Proost as Assistant Rally Masters. It's amazing to hear their stories, what they had to tell us and how their time in the military was to them. There were military pictures that we all enjoyed. One of our THOR members served in World War II. It was a great time singing some of military songs. All our American & Canadian veterans deserve our deepest appreciation and respect, enlisting in times of peace and war, serving with honor under the most difficult circumstances, and making sacrifices that many of us cannot begin to imagine, leaving

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Thor Diesel Club History

behind their families while they go off to war. We want to thank all those who served to help make our country a free. The final attending tally included 68 coaches, 135 people and 18 vendors exhibiting their wares ranging from Freightliner to jewelry. There was lots of food and it was very good. Nelson s catering did a fine job. As always, the staff at the Fairgrounds was extremely helpful working closely with us to ensure that we had the buildings as early as possible and assistance whenever needed. Michiana Oil was on hand to offer on-site oil changes while Spectrum Carpeting provided carpetcleaning services. We were entertained by Northern Harmony Lights on Sunday, Will Yacey on Tuesday and closed out with Gypsy Red on Thursday. Gypsy Red graciously donated all their proceeds to cancer research. Speaking of donations, our attendees donated over $500 plus many supplies to the Salvation Army and 2 pet shelters in the Goshen area as well as to the local food bank where any food left over from our meals was taken to feed those in need.

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