Friday, November 21, 2008

Time for everything to rest

Well it's snowing and way too cold here for a car without a heater....we don't have any more planned shows or cruises for this season. We will start up again in late March or early April, depending on the weather. This year we attended over 30 shows and 45 cruises! We put over 6000 miles on both cars and had very little trouble with them, which is a testament to their builders.... Don Stanley - the RedRat & Larry Maupin - the Princess Express. We made many new friends and continued to abuse the old ones! hehehe We have some neat things we are planning for next year but for now I'll do inside house repairs and update & maintain the coupes for next year.

The Princess and I thank you for your support and encouragement this year.
Happy Thanksgiving gobble gobble
Merry Christmas HoHoHo
Happy New year eeehaaaa
Happy Birthday to me! hehehehe

Monday, November 10, 2008

On the road again, and again, and again!

The Princess was getting cranky so we decided to make a run to BK in Manassas on Sat afternoon….just to run the hot rods. The cruise was about ½ the normal attendance. It’s getting cold! BK has an unusual car personality….they usually have more than a few Pro-Street cars there and this afternoon was no exception. The noisy green Duster was there and the yellow Camaro, nice. Steve’s blue/white Maverick although not a “Pro-Street” (tubbed) car, it is one fast little blue oval! A line of Deuce coupes…. and the Corvette guys got the memo to be there….a whole bunch of those plastic cars….and the flamed yellow blown one….too cool! Ed’s white ’57 Poncho always stands out. The Bull Run Street Rod club was there as well as the Accelerators of Alexandria! For me the neatest car of the night was the light blue 58-59 Vette….It almost made me start looking for a Vette for me…. almost! We only stayed an hour or so….the Princess wanted to get back home, it was getting cold don’t ya know!

Sunday and back to BK in Manassas for the Lake Anna cruise hosted by Bull Run Street Rods. We met in the parking lot and introduced ourselves and since Tom was leading I got his cell phone number incase I needed to contact him during the cruise. There was a number of car clubs represented, Prince William Cruisers, Culpepper Cruisers, Stafford Classics and some I didn’t know. We saddled up at 10AM and left about 10:10….pretty close to on time, it was going to be a good day.

We drove Rt 28 to Rt 29S to Rt 522S and on to Lake Anna. The countryside was great and the RedRat just hummed along! Please check out the pictures….some of them are a little blurred but I uploaded them anyway because I thought they were significant, especially the one of us going around the S turn with the cars all leaning differently! I also shot a short video so you can see why some of the pics are a little blurry! The RedRat is a drivers car, it demands constant attention, it will not let you just go along for the ride, you have to be one with the machine or it will bite you….kinda like flying an airplane! Driving the RedRat is not a spectator sport…. it’s a contact sport! From steering, shifting, not waking up too many rats at once with the right pedal, trying to listen to the walkie talkie chatter, trying to see out the chopped top on turns, and then taking one handed pictures at the same time….Multitasking? I like that….so I’m a happy camper! Enough of this, I’m starting to sound like Princess Whinesalot!

We arrived at a club member’s home and parked in the grass near the driveway. You could tell whose car was the lowest by the sounds it made on the driveway and how the car was positioned on the driveway! grin They graciously opened their home for us to use the facilities and offered cold water and soft drinks….yeah buddy! We all stretched our legs a little and then saddled up to continue on….at that point we had 26 cars! There were three '40 Fords in the group....what does that mean? Should I buy a lottery ticket with the number 40 in it? We drove a few miles on Rt 522 to the Shell station where Rt 208 intersects Rt 522. We all gassed up and continued on to the lower area of Lake Anna. I have fished the lake a lot years ago and can tell you most anything about the water and the topo under the water but when on land I get lost real easy and we were being taken on roads I’ve never traveled! There is a marina by the dam that I don’t remember from the 80’s. It’s a cool marina and I would have used it whenever I was fishing the lower lake. There was a trailer that had a sign ‘The Crabby Pig’???? I knew Dan was going to be happy! We all parked the hot rods and walked around and used the restroom facilities. As we started to leave I was taking pictures from inside the RedRat and it started rolling back….toward the lake….I didn’t notice because I was looking out the camera viewfinder! Hmmmm Jim & Linda thought it was funny….I think they were waiting to see if the RedRat would float! Anyway I came to in time to stop the relentless march to the water….I wonder if those big tires would make the car float….hmmmmm We all fired up the cars and rumbled out to the hard road again. Since the ground was very uneven each car was taking its own path to the asphalt, meandering around like lemmings going to the edge, since I was the vulture (last car, waiting for dead cars or parts on the road) I got to see all that, it was like a cat herd playing musical chairs….That was a neat stop, a good Kodak moment!

On to Lakeview Restaurant….around the bottom of the lake up the cold side to Rt. 208 and then to Rt 522 then to Rt 719 and on to the restaurant. We filled up the parking lot and had to park in some bizarre ways and places! One of the hot rods slid a little way….toward the lake….it was a metal car so I know it wouldn’t float….hehehe It stopped in time, no foul, no penalty! The host club had reserved a whole room and drove the wait staff a little crazy but they coped very well with a room full of crazy hot rodders! The food was good and all things considered the service was very good too. We finished eating and some wanted to run home because it was going to be dark in an hour or so and they didn’t want to be hit by deer? Naw that won’t happen….I think the RedRat noise scares deer? Some of us decided to run to Carl’s in Fredericksburg for ice cream….Carl’s was going to close in two weeks for the winter so we wanted to be sure to stop one more time before that! Ted got out his laptop and plotted the most direct route to Carl’s….whatta guy! And he’s a biker too! We followed Ted on some more roads I didn’t know existed and popped out on Princess Ann St in Fredericksburg! WOW We had ice cream then split up, Steve & Sally and Ted & his wife headed North and Dan & Ramona, Jim & Linda and the Princess and I went home too! We drove 180 miles through the magnificent Virginia country side, got to meet some old friends and make some new ones…. This over the road cruising has possibilities and the RedRat does like to run those roads….hehehe

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Opps....another show!

During the cruise at Orange BK in September I was approached by a teacher, Rick Schaffer, from Locust Grove Middle School, about a project he was working on. He teaches 7-8 grade Social Studies and he asked if I would be interested in bringing my hot rod to the school and share it with the kids in his class….I thought about it, for about ½ a second and said yes! Huh? I like to talk about my car but kids can ask the darnedest questions sometimes, I wasn’t sure I was the right person to represent the hot rod culture to kids that probably had never seen a hot rod. Rick said he would email me with an exact date and time so I waited…. I thought I would seek another person that could take a car and go with me. Safety in numbers and all. It had to be someone that liked to talk about his car, someone that could take off Friday in the middle of the day and go to Locust Grove, about 35 miles one way. I first thought of Ron Cournia….he is always talking to people about his car and his car is a great representation of the hot rod culture. He can also schedule his day to be there with me I thought! I called him and without hesitation he said yes!

Friday at noon, Ron and I left Stafford for Locust Grove. We didn’t know what kind of traffic was before us so we allowed enough time for delays….as soon as we got on I-95 the traffic began to slow….hmmmm We had 34 miles to go and we were creeping along at 5 mph! Luckily it was just some paint chipping gravel that a truck had dropped on the road and as soon as we passed it we were up to speed. No more traffic glitches all the way to the school, but we were about an hour early when we arrived! Ron and I got instructions on where to park the cars so we did and then waited for the kids to come out.

My wife, the Princess, has driven a school bus for over 24 years and she said that Middle Schoolers could be the worst behaved of all! That she would rather have a root canal performed on her than transport Middle Schoolers! To say I was apprehensive was an understatement! I had thought about the ‘introduction speech’ I was going to start with for a couple of weeks. It began with ‘how many of you have seen the movie, American Graffiti? When the kids came out and circled around us and I said that….no one raised their hand….no one….deer in the headlights came to mind….I knew I was in trouble! So I gave the kids a Readers Digest version of what cruising in Southern California was like in the 60’s. I don’t know if I was effective on telling the story? Then I started talking about my car and the questions started coming….great, I can answer questions! Then it was Ron’s turn, he held the kid’s interest much better than I did and then it was a question and answer session for both of us. The kid’s questions were great….one of them asked me what size fuel line I had in the car?….HUH? No one ever asked me that! I said 3/8” aluminum and he said he & his dad used ½” with big motors?! These kids aren’t supposed to know stuff like that! I think that kid is just a 35 yr old that looks young and they just tried to trick the old guy with those questions….hehehe The rest of the questions were pretty normal till the other teacher asked me what my fuel mileage was….I said around 14 mpg unless I pressed the right pedal too much, then it could drop to 7-8 mpg! She also asked how much the tires cost and something about where the spare tire was? The conversation felt like it was going down the Volvo road and I was beginning to regret not bringing the air bag I made for the car! Then one of the kids told me she liked my shoes! I hope my youngest daughter, Melissa, reads this….she is a charter member of the fashion police, she would be happy that her dad is wearing socially acceptable shoes….for 8th graders! grin I had to wear cowboy boots for 8 years while she was in school so she wouldn’t bug me about the color socks I was wearing when I went to work! The questions wound down and it was time for the kids to go back to class. They thanked us for coming out and we thanked them for their interest. They were a great bunch of kids, very respectful of us and the cars (except for the ‘trick’ questions), Rick can be proud of the way they behaved. Next time I will be much better prepared to share the essence of the hot rod culture….I won’t miss another opportunity like that! Ron and I cruised back to Stafford, it was a perfect day to be driving hot rods!

Friday evening….Halloween! We arrived at VA BBQ early to save a bunch of parking spaces for some who still work! hehehe Ron C. arrived then Jim & Linda then T-Bucket John…. John had a passenger and John was in costume! I always thought about what kind of person would drive a T-Bucket….now I know, a crash dummy! Check out John’s costume, it was perfect. Sue was Michael Jackson….or Boy George! Paul came as Stephen Stills, Gary was Count Cruisela, Westly was a joker, Evelyn was a ghost then turned into a pumpkin later? Other adults and kids were in costume….see the pictures. John’s passenger was activated by a remote mic. ….which the Princess made use of most of the evening! She startled both young and old….she was having too much fun! Ed was assaulting John’s passenger whenever he thought he could get away with it, Carolyn needs to do something with him! Kim, Sue & Pop and Company decorated the place and kept the spirit of the event going. Count Cruisela was the MC/DJ and things rolled along just fine, thanks Count! It was getting cold so the awards were given out around 8:30, I think! The crash dummy won two awards….both well deserved, he will have to get a trailer for his bucket if this keeps up! It was an evening of treats and not to many tricks!

Saturday a small group of drivers met at Bob Evans for breakfast and left for the show at Zoan Baptist Church. Jim & Linda, Dan & Ramona, Andrew (Happy Birthday Andrew), the Princess & Me. We cruised to the show and arrived right on time, there were about 15 cars already parked when we got there. Frank and his silver Z06, Sue, Kim, Paul & Evelyn, Jim & Maria were there, Jon & Marla came in and Dom brought his Model T later and Brent came about 11:30…. There were about 75 cars total with a great mix of types from 1915 to 2008! The yellow ’53 Plymouth was very unique….the yellow convert in front by the church sign was very nice as was the very red blown Camaro….very trick, check out the hood hinges! The blue Nova post with the Clifford 6 cyl, a very different way to go fast! I got some time to look over the ’60 T-Bird pretty good, it’s what I want to end up with at some point….I think a 427 Cammer or a 429 Shotgun motor should fit just fine, I can’t believe the room under the hood. I got a lousy picture of the black Torino but it was special too, I used to have a ’71 429CJ Ranchero! Dom had a good time sharing his Model T with anyone that would listen….he is such a good representative of the car culture around here. There were many outstanding cars, please look at the pictures to get a flavor for the quality of the cars. The church had a variety of activities going on during the show that kept the ladies busy…. The Princess purchased more items for a yard sale, I know she had $50 but she said don’t worry she was using the checkbook, ouch! Lets see, she pays $50 for an item, we sell it for $5 or give it away, she told me not to worry because that’s trickle down economics! There was some horseshoe pits that were being used most of the day by the event participants….nice touch….horseshoes near the Mustangs….

Kenny, the owner of Big Foot Speed & Custom, was the sponsor of the event. He did a great job of making sure everyone was enjoying the show and probably talked to a few potential new customers too! He has a great selection of go fast thingies for your hot rod....I wonder if he has something to keep the tires on the RedRat from spinning so much? I caught him skulking around on top of his trailer….see the pics. Please patronize the businesses that sponsor our local car events, it pays to support local sponsors! The awards were given promptly at 4PM…. The Best of trophy was won by the ’60 T-Bird….coincidence? I think I voted at least two times for it! The trophy was as tall as the kid that came up for it….too funny! Andrew, Brent, Dom, Jim & Maria, Dan & Ramona, Jon & Marla, Pop & Sue, Paul & Evelyn and I got a very nice ‘Top’ award….the Princess forgot to open her hood….the Princess didn’t get anything….the Princess said I should have opened her hood for her since she cleaned both cars….and she can’t think of EVERYTHING….and she has been sick….and she had to keep checking on the stuff she was bidding on….and it was hot….and she forgot her sunglasses… the Princess says it’s not her fault she didn’t win anything….she is such a poor looooooser….I didn’t say that….see the last pic in the album! I must have hit some tire shine on my way out, the red rat’s tires kept spinning around, I hate it when that happens, it gets so noisy inside that little coupe! Hehehehe A perfect sunny fall day in the 70’s, driving hot rods around…. what’s not to like?

Monday, October 27, 2008

And so ends the 2008 show season

Since the Princess is dealing with an allergy attack of mold from a school bus she was using last week, we couldn't go to the VA BBQ Friday night. And it rained all day Saturday. But Sunday the Princess was feeling a little better and since this was the last show of the season and since the Princess was determined to get her 'pumpkin' trophy this year we decided to go to the Hoppers Show in Winchester.

Ron in his '28 Dodge, Ed in his '39 Ford, Dan & Ramona in their '55 Chevy, Jim & Linda in their '08 Vette and the Princess & me in our coupes all met at Bob Evans and loaded up on artery clogging food....I say ya just can't have enough MSG, riboflavin, #74 red dye and lard! Wow that was fun, burp!

We left Stafford and cruised to Warranton to meet some friends from Custom Cruisers at the Liberty station. As we were turning off Rt. 17 onto Rt. 29 I told everyone to look out for a Liberty gas station then I saw a guy running down the side of a parking lot waving his arms....It was Dallas! Sometimes driving my coupe is like looking out a gun slot of a tank, I really don't have much field of view....I missed the Liberty gas station. After some very unconventional lane changing and way too much talking over the walkie talkies, we got to the meeting spot and shut down the cars to meet the people who were waiting for us. We met Les & Peggy with their '67 Olds 442, Phil and his red ' 70 Ford, Dennis and his green Chevelle, Marsha and her yellow Firebird and Dave & Sue in their red Chevy SUV. Dave had some major engine work done to himself and is recovering....I don't know how he thinks he will fully recover driving around in those foreign cars? hehehe After some reacquainting and using the facilities at the gas station we formed up and left. Dallas led, which is OK with me as I like to just follow someone once in a while, it is so much easier than leading....and I don't get blamed if we get lost! grin While on Rt 17 heading for I-66 we passed a Sheriff deputy so I took a pic of my speed....just in case! Outside Winchester we stopped at the Sheetz station and met up with Larry & Sandy with their black '55 Chevy and then cruised to the show.

We parked and setup, Hot Rod & Lila showed up and parked with us....the Princess started her schmoozing by putting her decorations on her coupe....she wasn't going to be denied a trophy today! Someone (they drive a blue '08 Vette) put a frog/toad in my car....actually they put two animals in my car! I wonder what the message is here? Mr. Toad's wild ride comes to mind....I am trying to be more socially responsible with the RedRat.... It is now classified as a hybrid car, it burns gasoline and rubber! AND I have installed an additional safety device, a passenger side air bag! Whatta guy! Now if I can just get my atomic powered lazer directional stabilization device tuned a little better I can be able to keep the car pointed forward when I step on the right pedal....hehehe Ed put a stem on his car and turned it into a pumpkin....funny Ed....Special Ed....hmmmmmm

The show is a collection of varied and special cars. There were many we had not seen before. The '66 red Vette was one of the nicest Vettes I have seen, he has late model undercarriage and a gorgeous paint job! My favorite was Terry's red '64 Dodge with the big block dual quad short ram motor. This car was straighter than any car I have seen! There isn't anything on this car I didn't like! The attention to detail was superb....check the photos This is one fine Mopar, please take the time to go over it when it is at a show with you! There was a '54 Chevy custom drop top that was painted with a bronze/copper color, very nice engine details. And 3 black '55 Chevies....and a black '56 too. There were more Tri-fives at this show than I can remember at any show we have gone to this year! And the blue & orange Ford GT-40 was a hit, people said "Why this color?"....I guess they didn't know that was the color they were painted originally when they were raced in France! The little orange Lotus was cool as well as the candy apple red VW! A very clean champagne '34 Chevy, I remember that car from last year, it's still a stand out! There were so many exceptional cars, please take the time to look at the pics....As you all know I like to talk to people about my a guy was talking to me about the RedRat and the conversation evolved to airplanes, my first love. It seems he owns a T-6, a very nice T-6 that I have photographed a few times over the last couple of fact I photographed it a few weeks ago at the AirFest in Culpeper! It is the one with the red and yellow checkerboard cowling. Anyway he is considering building/buying a hot rod and wanted to know a lot of details about the RedRat....Airplanes and hot rods....the perfect mix! That would be Mechanical Nirvana....

Hoppers Car Club runs a very well organized show....they had time points to hit and they did! Everything ran smoothly and efficiently, the club members were very helpful with any questions or requests....a class act! There were inside restrooms and very good food fact the Princess liked the food so well she went back twice! The sound system was improved from last year and we could hear the music and announcements even in the cheap seats! The announcer/DJ guy (I forgot his name) agreed to present the Princess with her much deserved trophy....She got a pumpkin trophy for the whinniest female driver on the planet! Our oldest daughter, Michelle, painted it for her, it's the "Princess Whinesalot" trophy. I thought it fit pretty good! She said she liked all the attention but she will have to enlighten me as to what REAL whining is all about! I'm glad she still has to work to pay for car parts and I'm home by myself at least 6 hrs a day! grin There were over 110 cars at the show and some of us got a top 30 plaque....the Princess got one too! I'm so glad she got one....the winter will be much nicer now....I didn't say that!

The show was over and someone from the Custom Cruisers suggested to run to South St. Grille in Front Royal for dinner....we all deliberated, about .04 of a second, and agreed that would fit just right! So with Dallas leading we cruised to the Grille and finished off a great day! The food was great and the service was instant, as usual. You have to try the cherry cokes if you go there and I didn't hear anyone complain about the food....except Ed....I think Carolyn needs to go with Ed to control him....he is so....special!

We ran Rt. 55 to I-66 to Rt 234 to I-95 to Rt 610 and home....a magnificent day and the "official" end to the show season! We will still do some cruising till December but will then put the hot rods to rest till March! Another great day with friends, new and old, driving hot rods....It doesn't get any better....I love that car!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall is here

Saturday morning six cars left Bob Evans for Bowling Green, VA and the Fall Festival there. Ron and his 28 Dodge, Ed and his 39 Ford, Jim & Linda and their 08 Vette, Dan and his 55 Chevy and the Princess and I with our coupes. John arrived with his T-Bucket soon after we set up, ask him if he was cold! This is a neat show where the town closes down the main street and sets up vendors, displays, bands and a car show to celebrate Fall. This year makes the fourth year the Princess and I have attended the event and it seemed to be a little down on attendance this year....not much but it just didn't feel as crowded as years past? There was over 150 cars in the show and as usual many that we haven't seen before. The most unusual was the '39 Fiat Topolino that appeared in stock configuration outside. I have seen one other Topolino with fenders and stock hood....usually these little cars are used for Altereds in drag racing. Many famous AA/FA cars were made with the Topolino bodies .... Bradford and Mondello are two cars that come to mind. Anyway it was neat to see one in near stock external condition. Another unusual car was the '64 Studebaker Wagonaire....I have never seen is really trick the way the roof slides open for more room in the back, check out the pics. There was a '37 Ford sedan delivery with trick mirrors, it un-clutters the outside but I think it complicates the interior to the point it might be distracting? Check them out! The AMC Marlin was a unique piece too. The evil little dad had one of those and it felt like the thing was falling apart every time I drove it....and the door was so low! I'm not into jacked up trucks much but there was a red Ford that was pretty impressive. Jim's remarkable '54 Ford glasstop from Lorton just about took my breath away....I'm a hot rod guy and am not usually impressed by a 'stocker' but Jim's '54 was an exception, you have to look this car over when you get a chance....and Jim has a '54 Ford museum in Colonial Beach....we have to visit it next year!

There were many car clubs represented too....The Tri-County Cruisers came in force and they brought the Red Camaro that deservedly won the Best of Show award. Thanks to Steve we had two '34 Fords at the event and they were all red! The Virginia Stockers came with Jerry's yellow Willys (I wonder where the Dragonfly is?) and all the rest of their primo cars....and that wild and crazy guy, Willie, looked like he was having way too much fun. And I'm glad Mary didn't have to wear Dave's sweatshirt again! Some of the other clubs represented were Fredericksburg Street Rods, Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club, Stafford Classics, Culpeper Cruisers and others I didn't know. The Princess bought some little rubber ducks....some for Dan and one for herself....she says now she can schmooz the judges at the Wings, Wheels & Ducks show next year! I didn't know the Princess schmozed? Please check out the pics as I can't do justice in this commentary to all the cars that attended.
The day was perfect and they had the awards a little early and the Princess did not win one....Dan and I did but the Princess didn't, and she didn't win the 50/50....does that make the Princess a looser now? I didn't say that.

The day was so nice we decided to take a route to Orange on roads less traveled. We left Bowling Green on Rt. 2 then took Rt. 605 to Rt. 1 to Rt. 606 at Thornburg then to Post Oak and Rt. 208 to Rt. 522, then to Rt. 20 and on in to Orange and Rt. 15 to the BK. We arrived at 3:30 and there were already 20+ cars there! It was going to be a big deal since it was the last cruise of the year and I guess a lot of people wanted to get good parking spaces. DJ Ron was spinning the tunes and made the deal more fun. He had contests with the hula hoops and costumes that all enjoyed....the Princess said I could go up as an old unemployed slacker guy....she has such an evil sense of humor sometimes....I need to find her a job with more stress so she doesn't have the time to think these things up. There seemed to be a lot more 'traditional' hot rods, primer & rust, than before....the blue '32 r window with the dual quad W motor was there, I didn't get a chance to talk to the owner about his crankcase ventilation system, I first saw it at the Occoquan show this year. The neatest car was the yellow '32 roadster, that is one trick Deuce! The '30 Ford gunmetal sedan with the dual quad SB Ford is always nice. And of course Paul's '34 lakester with the passenger....good thing Anita wasn't there! I think there was over 200 cars there in the end but it was getting very cold so we left about 7:30. It was a long day and we drove about 160 miles but that's what them cars are for....driving!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Columbus in some of us!

Columbus Day weekend....What did Columbus do that we celebrate him anyway? Didn't he drive around on the water and look for places to go and things to do? Yeah, that's it!

We had family in town from PA and CA....The Princess and our kids were going to Thurmont, MD for a massive craft show. I don't 'do' craft shows....all I end up doing is being the mule, carrying things! So if I don't go the Princess can't carry as much....and I don't have to loose as much money to buy stuff....stuff that will be eventually given away or in a yard sale! Works for me! And my younger brother, Joe, was here from Napa, CA to visit our Mom, who lives with my other brother, Tommy, in Culpeper. So a friend of mine, Lou, told me about an air show at Culpeper airport....that is something I like more than cars....airplanes! Soooooo I could pick up Joe and we could attend the Culpeper Air Fest, spend some quality time with my brother I only see every few years and see some airplanes up close and personal too....whatta deal!

The Air Fest was really neat. They had a lot of T-6 and T-34 types. A lot of biplanes, some from the Flying Circus in Bealeton....a Naviaon was there and a Yak 3. The Yak was a contemporary of the P-51 Mustang, which our dad flew in SWP during WWII. It's neat to hear those V-12's run. Nalls Aviation had a L-39 and a Harrier....which is the only civilian Harrier on the planet! This show was the first outing of the airplane! And there were many other airplanes there, check my pictures out. We were unable to stay more than a couple hours because my ankle was causing problems for me and I couldn't stand up so we left. Driving from lunch I discovered that Joe had not seen the RedRat! Hmmmmm I think a ride is in order. So we picked up the RedRat and I gave Joe a ride back to Tommy's home....I think he enjoyed it....I have to fix those tires, they keep spinning and smoking! hehehe When I arrived back home the Princess was there....she was complaining that she was so tired from walking around and driving over 2 hrs one way and she couldn't carry all the things she wanted to buy (see above!). But she did enjoy the day with her kids and grand kids.

Sunday was planned for us to chill out and try to recuperate from the previous days way....our 'other children' (Dan & Ramona) started whining that they wanted to go out and play and that they were hungry and need to go somewhere to eat and it was too pretty of a day to stay home and and and and....I get it! So we fired up the RedRat and met them to go to Brunch. We both had looked at Dallas's webshots album about South St. Grill in Front we decided we would try it out too. The day was right for the RedRat, not too cold but not too warm....just right! So the Princess said she would ride with me, even though I didn't have the 'Oh S**t' handle installed yet. She said she had a thing of two to talk to me about....I told here she might get a sore throat by yelling at me all day over the Rat's motor noise! After she gave me 'that' glare she said that I just better listen harder? OK? So off we went, we met Dan & Ramona and headed to Front Royal and Brunch (I have to think of a different name for's too yuppieish for me). Real men shouldn't do brunch!

The ride to Front Royal was uneventful and we arrived at South St. Grill before does that still qualify as brunch? The service was instant and overwhelming in a good way. The waitress was very attentive, it must have been my hat! The food was great, the ladies had spaghetti and Dan & I had burgers. Dan's burger was so big I couldn't see his face when he took a bite....can you hear his arteries clogging? As usual I couldn't eat all my food...too much! And the cherry cokes were just as I remembered from the 60's. The place is decorated in 50's-60's's really cool. Not too much but enough to jar some memories...I like the pic of James Dean in the gas station....I had never seen that one! And the hot rod border was perfect...I gotta find that for my computer room! There were some people that talked politics but since this blog is non-political I'll not go into that here....

We decided to not go back the way we came so we got on Rt 340 and drove the countryside between the mountains to Luray. That's a great easy ride through the countryside, on a road not often traveled. At Luray we jumped on Rt 211 and headed to Sperryville....over the mountains....The RedRat had not gone over the mountains yet nor had Dan's 55! Whew....we made it over the mountain and to Sperryville without incident. The ladies wanted to stop at a fruit stand and get some....fruit! While inside the store the Princess had to demonstrate how not to stack quart glass jars of spiced peaches.... peaches like her Grandmother made for have to ask her! It only took 15 min to clean up the mess and she only was bleeding from one toe but it was her bad toe! I told her she should never go shopping without her steel toed shoes....she told me what I could do with my shopping ideas.... and that I need to be quiet and carry things, after all that's why I was here!

While we were getting ready to leave the fruit stand I suggested we go to Carl's ice cream in Fredericksburg....all were excited about that idea so we left for the Burg! We drove through Culpeper and into Fredericksburg on Rt 3 to Rt 1 and on to Carl's. Why is the first bite of ice cream the best? The rest is good but the first is the best.... Before we got done with the ice cream Dan & Ramona started whining about being hungry....huh? So it was voted on and I lost....we were going to Carlos'O'Kellys for dinner! We decided to take the hot rods home and go to dinner in the silver bullet. While I was putting the RedRat on the rack the clutch was acting weird, I'll have to check it out before next weekend!

We ate dinner and enjoyed the finish of a great day driving hot rods through the country side...eating too much....having too much fun with good for me!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Is it Monday yet? I need a rest!

Wow....what a weekend.
Friday night at VA BBQ and Dave brought out his yellow '69 Charger, I have not seen many yellow Chargers and his is a very nice example. The red '63 Vette is a real looker, it even has the 'skinny' red line tires that are period correct. And the 30 something green Olds....with the Olds (wink wink) motor, and up swept zoomies....different.! About 35 or so cars came through and since it's getting cooler some started leaving around 7:30. I think in a few weeks the evening cruises will be over. It's tough to sit in the chairs shivering and trying to have fun too? We found out why T-Bucket John is getting a little....irritable.... It seems he has quit smoking HOORAY....just don't poke fun at him too much for a month or so....sometime his humor is with his cigarettes, gone! hehehe You will be much better off for not smoking may even decide to get a car with doors and fenders .... life evolves! grin

Sat morning and we leave Bob Evans for the Christ Episcopal Church show in Spotsylvania. This show is on the church grounds, with old trees and grass in the front and asphalt parking lot in the back. That's why we like to arrive get a spot in front, under the trees....we don't need no steeken canopy! We parked next to a sidewalk so a lot of people walked by the cars all day long, a good thing! We also parked near a quilting canopy, the ladies in the church had set up a vendor deal and were selling quilts....Andrew, you and Angela missed an opportunity to mix quilts & cars! This show is a respected deal, many clubs support it. The Prince William Cruisers assist with the judging. The Culpeper Cruisers always attend in force and Saturday was no exception. There is always some cars that we have not seen before like the '55 Mercury Montclair or the '31 Chrysler supposedly owned by John McCain! The black '60 T-Bird was cool and the black '55 Nomad was very nice indeed. Please check out the pictures. A lot of Stafford Classics won awards with Dan winning the Best Engine award. I like the 50 something yellow Chevy PU, very clean and sharp! Jerry won the Best of Show with his yellow 41 Willys....that car is the neatest Willys I have seen...take a close look at it when it is at a show with you. The Princess won a trophy so she was happy....whew....She also got to tell Bill a story....again, ask her about it! hehehehe

The Princess and I left the show and headed for the BB&T on 610 in N. Stafford to pick up the people going on the Circuit Cruise....we were the only ones, again! We will not be doing the Circuit Cruise next year. We will cruise on Sat night to the different events but not 'officially'. Too bad! We had visited the Foster's Grille cruise on Rt. 17 last week so we tried it again this Sat. The Virginia Stockers hosts the deal and when we arrived Dave was still putting out the direction signs. Like I said last week the venue is perfect for a cruise in....plenty of room, grass to sit on, friendly people, cool cars, good food, restrooms, and the night lighting! The lights are so bright I didn't need flash for my camera! Check out the pics, the ones at the end of the album were taken with the parking lot lights only! NO flash! The pug with the bronze Prowler was there too, he brought the guy with the straw hat and the blonde lady to keep him company! I think there was 20 or so cars, a good mix.... The one that stands out for me, besides Jerry's Willys, was the black '57 Ford post. That car is so smooth and shiny, it looks like the paint is a foot deep! That red '63 Vette was there and a 70-71 Mustang GT 350 that was perfect! Fred brought his '66 Barracuda out and Willy had his black and purple '39 Poncho there. The people are friendly and not afraid to laugh at themselves or others.... Ask Mary how she wears Dave's sweatshirt! You had to be there! Car people talking about cars, family, politics, work (what's that?) and everything in between....a good evening. AND the food ain't bad either! We will be back!

The Princess & I drove through the fog to the Stafford Regional Airport and that black '55 followed us all the way! The 4th or 5th annual Wings, Wheels & Ducks event! The first few events were not very 'car' friendly, they were set up for bikes mostly. The next one was better for cars but not by much. Then Susan Caldwell got involved in last years but she didn't have enough time or authority to make it work well. This year it was great, we will recommend it for next year! The only thing needed is more porta-potties. Susan has the students from the SkillsUSA program help her at these events, as usual they were exceptional! Susan always gets Military groups involved with her deals and this was no exception....The Marines invaded! grin They brought two helicopters in....a VH-46 and VH-53 (?)....much noise and wind but they added a lot to the event. The Silent Drill Platoon was there and their performance is not to be missed....the rifles they toss around weigh 10 1/2 pounds! and they have a pointy end! Not for the faint of heart.... Susan parked us near the front because we had to leave before the end of the event to get to the SC picnic.

The pug brought his people and their Prowler....the event had over 70 cars and the weather was magnificent! There were some skydivers and a few unique airplanes. The DeHavilland Chipmunk and the Stinson L-5 was an example of 'back in the day' with airplanes. The young eagle program was giving free check rides to kids, which is a great way to wake up an interest in aviation.

The car variety was exceptional. from new tuners, Stuart's GT-40, Mustangs-A-Plenty, to a Model T- C cab truck and everything in between! That '59 Ford retractable won best of show, as it should! A late 20's touring car and Bob's '37 Chrysler touring....a '49-50 Pontiac 4 dr.... Radio station 95.9 was there keeping things moving, she is good! Some of us took a Que from Dan and had little ducks on our cars, somewhere! We thought since the show theme was 'Ducks' it couldn't hurt to have a little duck on the car. The Princess said she didn't need a DUCK on her car to win, she is so over confident sometimes. She said she was going to tell the judges a thing or two about the ducks anyway? So I put an Elvis duck on the RedRat,,,,just in case! A little honest pandering never hurt anyone, right? I also put a little container full of McCain-Palin buttons and stickers in front of my car, they were gone in an hr! And about 1/2 our Wounded Warrior Project brochures were gone too....a good thing! We waited for the Marines Silent Drill Platoon to complete and then it was time that we left for the picnic. John stayed behind to gather any trophies we may have won.

We arrived at the picnic that Ron and Jean had set up for us. The food was cooking and the whole deal was setup, way to go Ron, Jean and all! We met Lela and was introduced to her '68 Camaro....the car has a cool story, ask Lela about it when you see her at a show/cruise. Some made food others bought it....I made some mixed nuts, I thought it was appropriate!? The green cake that Lela made was to die for, they said she needed a trophy for the cake! The rest of the dishes that were brought were good too....the Princess brought KFC chicken....I have memories of home cooked food....I think? Anyway we were talking and learning about each other when John drove up in his T-Bucket. John brought his the T-Bucket! She is over a T-Bucket! This sweet little lady just fit right in and our day was much better because of her! John also brought the trophies that some had won at the show earlier....Ron, Dan and I won a 'top 20' trophy/plaque. John won 'Best Rod', a neat little deal made from rocker arms! Susan has been giving unique trophies at her is something to look forward to! The Princess didn't win anything....she said there was a mistake....she wanted to call Susan and let her know there was a mistake. I told her she should have put a duck on her car, she told me what I could do with my duck! She accused John of keeping her trophy for himself! She is such a poor looser. Ron said we all need to make the "L" sign on our foreheads when we see the Princess! I'm not sure I'll do that....she is really annoyed. John also brought his famous macadamia cookies....he said he worked so hard to get them 'just right'? We spent the rest of the time talking about the people that weren't there....hehehe As the sun set we gathered up and left....another good day with cars and friends! What's not to like?

Monday, September 29, 2008

The four letter "R" word....again

I suppose we should be happy with the little rain that we get.... Other parts of our Country are having hurricanes, flooding, fires and more! So the little rain that we occasionally receive should not be a problem. However it sure puts the brakes on hot rod activities around here when it does rain! The Friday evening cruise to VA BBQ--rained out. Sat shows at Reva & MVHS--rain.

Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I took the hot rods out Sat afternoon.... there was a new cruise at the new Foster's Grille on Rt. 17. We arrived about 3:30 and soon a few more hot rods came in. Dave & Mary with their red '36 Ford PU and red '67 Goat showed up, Dave put out the direction signs. Then others started dropping by, Starchy and his orange/black '40 Ford, Paul and his noisy '34 lakester, Bad to the Bone Bill, Sam & Nancy, and a few more. We talked awhile and had a burger & fries. The place is perfect....the parking lot is new and there is a 10'+ strip of grass around the whole lot! The lighting is more than adequate. Foster's Grille has a patio that is in the shade and in clear view of the cars....and Foster's gives the rodders a 20% discount on any food, and the food is great, especially the fries & milkshakes! What's not to like? Foster's is also enthusiastic to the rodding scene and has always provided assistance with our activities. The surrounding buildings are all commercial which means any noise won't be a factor, so you will be OK Paul! And the access road near the lot is private, so if you happen to hit a wet spot when you leave and the tires loose traction it shouldn't be a problem either! hehehehe I think this place will be a great spot to cruise to.... I hope it remains a place for rodders to congregate and share about their cars and life in general.... and not turn into an "event" every Sat. BK in Manassas has worked just fine for years without music, door prizes, trophies, etc. Lets keep this a place for rodders to network.... share memories.... make new friends.... lie about how fast they were back in the day.... This could be fun....Thanks Dave, Mary, Starchy, Paul and all you guys for trying to make this a neat destination! Around 4:30 the dark clouds started rolling over so we picked up and headed home. The Princess and I stopped at Bruster's to check out how Ron's deal was going but because of the rain looming only a few cars were there. Dom brought out the Model T rolling chassis....and his Model T Police Car. I shot some pics of the's kinda neat to see what is underneath the car like that. Do you know what that thingy on the top of the bellhousing is? Hmmmmm! Thanks Dom for setting it up, I'm sorry it got rained out! We were at Bruster's about 30 min and it started to rain, the Princess started to yell and wave her arms around....some of the words she was using didn't sound very Princesslly, she gets so uptight when she has to clean the cars. By the time we got home the cars were really wet so we BOTH cleaned them off to be ready for next weekend! Since I helped her clean the cars, the Princess was is good!

If we don't get rain next weekend it will be busy.... a cruise, a circuit cruise, the valve cover races, a show in Spotsylvania, a show in Stafford, the club picnic....whew....I need a nap!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A very busy weekend!

Friday night at VA BBQ....It's getting cooler very quickly, as soon as the sun starts setting the temperature starts to drop. Let's see, last week we were complaining about how hot it was! Stewart brought his '63 Ford PU, this is a very special PU, you need to check it out when it is at a cruise/show with you. Then a new black Pro Street Chevy PU came was a '72 with a '67 front end? It was chopped, channeled and very nice, It had a blown SB but it didn't sound too rowdy? A yellow Lamborghini Countach....they have so many scoops and lumpy thingies on them and they are really cut edgy in the design, but they are cool nonetheless? There was a black Chevelle with blue graphics and a mirror under the hood....different! And a nice black 37 Chevy 4dr. Sedans with 4 drs are becoming popular now....why? It was getting very cold so we left around 8:30.....I can't believe I said that-getting cold!

Steve Shifflett invited Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I to the Prince William Cruisers picnic on Saturday....Roger and his wife hosted the event at their home, we had a wonderful time talking with the club members and eating too much food. I don't know who made the potato salad but I need to know if they want to adopt me! Steve did a good job cooking the burgers, he said he had a lot of that is! The Princess said I should take some lessons from Steve....whatever that means? We left the picnic and convoyed to the BK in Orange....a long strange trip!

Bill trailered his orange 41 Willys with the early hemi....check the video clip on it. DJ Ron was there playing the music and making announcements, he does keep a cruise or show moving along....the Princess is still upset with Ron for arresting her at the Salem show....she remembers everything! I think I heard her bleating something about taking his name off her Christmas card list....Princesses are so whiny.... We stayed till 8:30 and said our good buys then left for was you see a pattern here? All in all a great day driving them cars and visiting with this stuff great or what?

Ron Phillips & Gary Ingoglia put on a show at Bruster's in North Stafford, Sat evening....Gary Sullivan sent me the following about the show;
The cruise-in at North Stafford’s Brusters Ice Cream on September 20 had over 85 cars, trucks and motorcycles were registered, filling the parking lot with vehicles from 1915 to 2008. Ron and Gary spun the tunes and gave away door prizes for the right answers to trivia questions. The Stangs and Fangs Mustang Club showed up at 4:30pm with about 20 Mustangs and Cobras. What a sight and what a sound! All in all, about 30 members of the club were in attendance with their pony cars. A full blown Camaro race car rolled off the trailer and rumbled through the parking lot to it’s parking place for the evening. It looked like it was going 200 m.p.h. while is was sitting still. The 50/50 drawing attracted over $350 in donations. At the end of the evening after the 50/50 drawing, and after the random drawing trophies were passed out, the top three were left. All three winners were first time visitors to Brusters! Third place went to an incredibly detailed and tricked out 1989 Toyota 4x4 pickup. (Go Cubbies!) The second place trophy went to a very neat and clean original 1950 Ford. The First Place trophy went to a 1971 Plymouth GTX, sporting a gold paint job, typical for that year, and a 426 Hemi with cross-ram intake and dual 4 bbl carbs. By the end of the evening, it was clear that Fall is not too far away, as there was a nip in the air as all of the cruisers headed home.

Sunday we got a late start and headed to the show at the GM plant in Fredericksburg. We were going to help Ray and Terry set up their the time we got there they were done! We set up camp and prepared for a good time at the show. Rich had brought his Cheetah which is one of my top 5 favorite cars of all time! I had seen one in the 60's at Riverside Raceway when I was driving a tow truck for the Buick dealer but hadn't seen one since! I read about them but their history is a little smoky so I was unable to follow it and lost interest in the car. Then Ray said he had driven one and that one would be at the GM-UAW show, I knew it was going to be a good day! The car is as I remembered it, so cool and edgy, so smooth and with a classy attitude. It was a contemporary of the Chaparral and Hussein.....It was hand built as were most of the Can-Am cars of the time. It is a piece of American Automobile History that should be better known. Please check the pictures of it on the link at the left. Bruce brought his blue Ferrari race car and the red street Ferrari, they are very nice cars. The technical engineering that is in those cars is staggering, check them out when you get a chance. There was an orange '48 Studebaker that was very different....those cars are out there anyway but this one was waaay out there, so many hand built things on that car, check out the air cleaner for a starter! I saw a couple 409 powered Chevys....both black, one a '62 the other a '64 and of course Richards red PU with the 409 motor! And the blue '61 Impala with the 409! I wonder just how many 409's were there? One of my favorite cars was the yellow '32 Ford roadster PU.... sometimes making a roadster on a PU doesn't work for me but this one rang my chimes! I really liked the '54 Merc woody wagon, a real unusual car! Claude and Silvia's blue 34 Chevy coupe was as intimidating as it always is! I also liked the orange and cream '57 Vette....can you say Dreamsicle? I think the most unusual piece was the red '41 Olds, you just don't see many of those around! Chuck & Cindy brought their Chevelles and some of their friends that run with them....they come up from Mechanicsville, near Richmond. Steve, Roger and 4 others in their club brought some cars from Brandywine, MD. There were many bikes and vendors there too, the GM display was top notch and Smoots BBQ wasn't bad either! That is part of what makes this show a must attend deal, people come from all around to attend, I think the 'long distance' award was for over 400 miles! Melvin did a superb job putting on this show, as he always does! He had over 270 cars in attendance which is a good number for this year. The Princess won the 50/50....this is the second one in 2 weeks! After she gave half back for the charity she bought dinner for those that followed us back to Stafford....she is so benevolent when she has money! I hope she gets over her knee injury from the pea under the mattress last week! She is so sensitive about some things....but then she told me I had 3 days to get better from my ankle surgery in December or I could just sit in the corner and drool....I think she needs to go back to sensitivity training....I told her I would get a little bell to ring when I needed help....she told me what I could do with that bell and it wasn't very Princess like! We'll see how it goes....maybe Loretta will talk to her before December.... Some in our group got a top 60 award---Marla, Tony, Brent, Slacker, Princess, Dan & Ramona, Lou and Ed....Ed also won a 'Best of" trophy, I don't remember what it was, it doesn't matter, Ed is winning way too much, I think I'll take him off my email list so he won't know where/when the shows think after all the big trophies he wins that he could buy a chair to sit in while at the shows, or he could go to rent-a-chair and rent one but no....he waits like a vulture under the canopy for someone to get up then swoops down and takes over the vacant chair....whataguy! As I was leaving the RedRat must have hit some water or something, the tires kept spinning till I realized what was happening and lifted the right pedal....grin A great day with friends and is good!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Over the river and through the woods....

5AM Sat morning, I have the cars ready to go….it’s raining on our driveway! Steve Padgett calls at 6AM from MD and says it’s clear and dry over there! We decide to go eat breakfast and wait till 7:30 to see what the weather does. I emailed the club and told them I’ll have an update around 9AM. Ed, Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I meet at Bob Evans for breakfast and decide around 8:30 to run to MD and attend Steve’s show! I emailed the club and we headed east. The drive to and from Maryland is so picturesque and rural; it’s always an eye adventure to go there! We got to go over the 301 bridge….again….I really don’t like that bridge….check the pics! We stayed on Rt 301 till we got to the Lions Park in Brandywine, MD.

We were directed where to park and set up for a nice day at Lions Park. We parked on grass and felt welcome the moment we arrived. Those Maryland people know how to treat visitors, can you say hospitality! Jim & Maria were already there, they left at 7:30 from BB&T, their computer is broken so they didn’t know the change in plans…. There were about 80 cars and there was an excellent mix of antiques, customs, hot rods, muscle cars…. everything was represented. Please check the pics and be sure to click on the magnifying glass icon below the first pic and check it out real close! The Willys was real special and the red ‘54 Ford convertible is a really neat custom! There were a lot of 50’s street customs and nice muscle cars but what was surprising to me was the antiques. The trucks especially….I have never seen a dump truck Model T! I liked the yellow ‘37 Ford and the tall white Model T. The red and black Camaro with the big block was the nicest Camaro I’ve seen in a while! The blown orange Camaro was nice too. The bright red ‘61 Chevy was way too cool, maybe one day I’ll end up with a nice ’61 too! We’ll see…. A couple of nice Challengers then the yellow T-Bucket. This was as nice a bucket as I’ve seen in a long time. The 12 spoke Haldibrand’s set it off for me….the only way a T-Bucket looks ‘right’ to me is with those wheels in front. The side curtains, vents and mirrors mark this bucket as a driver! And check out the little fenders….just enough to do some good but not too much to take away from ‘the look’…. very nicely done! The ’31 Ford roadster with the rumble seat was very clean, love those white walls! I don’t think Ford had a Ranchero in ‘56 but if they did the blue and white one is what it would look like! And when was the last time you saw a ’47 Caddy with a flathead V-8? Very classy! The green ‘38 Chevy sedan with the unusual air cleaner was trick? I wasn’t able to find out why the valve covers and air cleaner were on backwards on the yellow and pink ’39 Chevy? The blue and silver MercAlliac is always easy to look at, there is so much custom work done to that car!

Steve, Roger and the rest of their club, Tri-County Cruisers, put on a well run, efficient show, they kept things moving and before we realized it Steve was calling us all to come up for the award ceremony! There was about 80 cars present and when the awards were given out the Stafford Classics were well represented. Jim & Maria got a top 25, Dan & Ramona got best engine, the Princess got best interior….no doubt due to her new pillow….thanks Mom!, I got best kit car & best paint. The best paint award was in memory of Clyde Hamilton, a club member that was arguably the best painter around and good friend to all that knew him. That makes the award even more special to me! The Stafford Classics got the best club participation award. And Ed, the trophy hog, got Best of Show…. The princess says we need to loose Ed the next time we go to a show because he makes it too difficult for her to win Best of Show and because he is always talking about his rear end! Huh!? I guess the Princess got even though because she won the 50/50, it was for $230! I bought the tickets and she won the money….now exactly how does that work? She says that it’s what Princesses do!? Anyway she gave ½ of it back because it was for the American Cancer Society….she says that’s also what Princesses do, I agree! We packed up and headed back home…. Over the bridge….again.

Then in a flash of Royal benevolence the Princess said if we stopped at the Crabby Oyster near Dahlgren she would buy dinner for us all! No doubt using the money she won from the tickets I bought….How does that work again? Anyway we stopped and had a nice dinner then the Princess pulled out a prize she had won at a previous car show last year, it was a gift certificate for the Crabby Oyster! I knew there was a reason for eating at this particular restaurant…. the Princess is always looking for an edge! Ed had to go and do that ‘work’ thing so we dined without him.

On the way home we decided to visit Bruster’s and see what was going on but when we turned onto Rt 1 it started to sprinkle….just a little. It wasn’t getting the road wet just the windshield. But rain was forecasted for the afternoon so we decided that it was better to run home instead of Bruster’s….I don’t like to clean underneath those cars!

We had a great day on the road making a nuisance out of ourselves….attended a great show that we will return to next year….had a good, near free meal and got home with all the car parts we left with….what a deal. I love that car!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where is a McD's when you need one?

Hurricane Hanna messed up our car weekend....we are thankful that all we had was a lot of rain and some high wind, nothing bad! But the plans we had for the weekend car activities were washed out! HA

So a few of us decided to go for a run on Sunday and have lunch somewhere we hadn't been for a long time....I suggested our kitchen....I thought it was funny....the Princess gets so uptight sometime.... My Mom had given the Princess a new Princess pillow for her coupe, I thought she was mellowing out a little....I guess not. We will be dining out for a while.

Anyway we met at the 610 Bloom's and headed for Ben & Mary's restaurant between Warranton and I-66. I had driven by it for many years, the parking lot was always full and I had read glowing recommendations from food critiques in the paper about the place. We had some friends that raved about it too. So since the run was on the spur of the moment anyway we decided to try the place. There was one separate room full of people inside and was only one other couple in the whole restaurant, it seats over 100! The wait staff had to apologize for most everything; no straws, no baked potato, no soft butter, burned cornbread, forgotten salad. She couldn't make three separate checks because the food would not come out together? The prime rib was so cold that it was coagulating before it could be eaten! My steak was so tough I couldn't eat it....I had to slather it with catsup to get it down, and the steak was over $20. This was one of the worst dinners I have had! It is very pricey for the quality of the food....I am going to avoid this place forever!

We left the place and headed for Carl's Ice Cream in Fredericksburg, at least there we would get food we could eat! When we arrived Dom was there waiting for us! He told us how Rt. 1 was messed up and advised an alternate route home, we agreed. We talked for an hour and then decided to run home.... Dom left in the Model T and the rest of us headed back over the Chatam bridge and out Cool Springs Rd. I love that car!

Monday, September 1, 2008

A cool time on a hot day

Saturday afternoon 7 cars met at the Bloom's parking lot and headed for the Burger King in Manassas, by the airport on Rt. 28. Jim & Linda in their 08 blue Vette that growls now, Dan & Ramona in their black 55 Chevie, King Ed & Carolyn in their orange 39 Ford chariot, Allen, Wendy & Lauren in their blue 66 Grand Prix, Ken & Kathy in their very blue 70 Mach I, The Princess & the slacker in our red coupes went the 'back' way to Manassas. We had a brief stop while a Life Flight helicopter took a motorcycle accident victim, that had crashed on Aden Rd., to the hospital. That corner will hold a Harley Sportster up to about 85 mph but I don't know about the Kawaski that crashed....don't ask me how I know about the Harley! We arrived at the BK and went inside to grab a the A/C. King Edward wouldn't sit with us minions but he was close enough to make sure we knew he was there! A lot of nice cars were there and as usual there is a good mix of hot rods and muscle cars. There was a 33-34 Willys with a Hemi motor, the message on the side was 'Bad Attitude'....I'll bet it has one! A funny black & red VW conv, check out the pics. The lot was not as filled up as I remember from last year but since this is the first time we have visited since the ice cream stand was built this year, I don't know if the attendance we saw Sat. is 'normal'? And there was a special friend of Allen's that brought his 69 Corvair convertible out....the car is very nice and the owner is very special. We didn't want to sit there all night and since the 'race cars' were starting to trickle in we decided to leave for Bruster's in Stafford. On the way I got a nice pic of King Edward and Carolyn in their orange chariot. When we arrived the cruise was in full swing with Ron and Gary playing music, asking trivia questions....I think there were about 50-60 cars, Jennette with the blue lights under her Mustang and Paul with the blue lights under his Studebaker, normal stuff? This cruise is very different from the BK in Manassas. Most of the cars at Bruster's are post 1950, I think we were the only 'old' cars there! The people were milling around and the guy with the red 54 Ford PU told us he used over $50 of fuel getting to Bruster's....he lives in N. Stafford! I'm glad the RedRat uses pump gas! When Ron called the cruise over we left for home, tomorrow was a big day!

I had forgotten how far out on Rt. 522 the Salem Fire Department was from Culpeper, I thought I was lost, I need to get out more! When we arrived we discovered the FD had built a new building....with a very large parking lot! We parked and tried to decide weather or not to put up the canopy since it was overcast. Dan & Ramona wanted to park somewhere else so they could secure the canopy, they didn't want it to fly around and crash into cars.... they're no fun at all sometimes! grin Dan figured out how to compromise and use weights to hold down the canopy down, it worked! The food was good and the restrooms were inside the A/C building, a greatly appreciated benefit! DJ Ron was MC-ing the show and playing the music, which he always does just right! He also had a 'jail'! You pay to have someone arrested and they have to raise money to get out....the money goes to the FD so it was for a good cause....and it was going to be fun! So I had the Princess arrested for not having a real job so she could support my car hobby like I wanted! I thought it was funny.... So I paid Ron to arrest her and she had a real problem finding someone to buy her out! Check out the pictures, she is begging people to buy her out and only one person, Evelyn, finally got tired of the incessant whining and decided to stop the tears and offered to buy the Princess out of jail....I guess I'm just a sucker because the whining and pinch-faced looks usually work on me! Then in a very typical, selfish, incharacter move the Princess had me arrested for wearing socks that made my butt look big!? Huh....ALL my socks make my butt look big.... Linda & Jim bought me out so I wouldn't have to be embarrassed....too long....or maybe they don't think the socks make my butt look big?

As usual any show that the Culpeper Cruisers and DJ Ron have anything to do with turns out great. Those guys/gals have their act together, it's like a machine. They are so organize and efficient that the show just moves along, it's a pleasure to attend one of their events. They are fairly judged and always have a 'better' level of cars present! They bring their club cars out for display and that also lends a higher level of interest to their shows. They also have a balanced mix of hot rods/muscle cars/street machines. You must visit my webshots site and look at the pictures, I can't describe adequately. The silver/blue/grey 29 Ford roadster with the blown flattie was really cool....Tony's blue Vette is always a show stopper....The black 51 Ford original....The full sized Ford Bronco was very special....The orange 70 Super Bee....The blue blown 66-67 Chevy II with the 'special' air cleaner....The pickups, Richard's red 60, the blue and yellow 51 Chevy, the red flamed 55-56, the blue 51 Ford, the yellow and white Chevy and many other Pick ups. The military Jeep with the M2 mounted in it, just give him a trophy and nobody gets hurt! I really like the two 33 Fords, the 2 dr sedan and the sedan delivery, check out the licence plates! Ed Rollins and his ever present 57 Pontiac and many many more, please check out the pics. DJ Ron keeps things moving with his drag strip reaction contest and the 50/50 was over $500! Ron kept things going so well that I didn't realize the show was wrapping up until I heard him say for everyone to come on up to the front because the awards were being given out soon! Some shows you just sit and sweat waiting for it to be this show the time crept up on me and it was over before I knew it! We met some new friends and reestablished some old friendships, Paul visited so he could measure Dan's steering collum (only 354 days till Richmond, Paul)....a good day. This show was great anyway you look at it.... I would recommend it or any other show that the Culpeper Cruisers and DJ Ron have anything to do with....always a class act, a good cause and fun to have been there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The "Richmond" weekend

Friday morning Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I head for the Richmond NSRA event. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast then on down I95 to the Host hotel. The roads from about Ashland somewhere started to get fact a couple of times the RedRat was bouncing around so bad it was difficult to keep on the road! The condition of the roads deteriorated and when we merged onto I64W they got terrible! I slowed down to 40-45 and kept trying to miss the "big" bad places, it was very much like playing a video game, so intense. Finally we got to our exit and checked in at the hotel and registered for the event. Then the trip to the event on the surface street was bad too....I don't think my tax dollars are doing much for the roads around there! We arrived at the raceway complex around 10:30 and picked out a spot we liked to set up camp and noticed how many empty spaces there were! It looked like a couple hundred a National event! But it was Friday so we were going to hold judgement on the event participation till Sat. The Princesses car had not taken the road beating very well....all her remote controls were now not working, her passenger window would not work and there was a clutch smell coming from her car, somewhere. But she didn't have a clutch!? We wandered around taking pictures and met some friends from Mechanicsville, VA. These friends had invited us to the local cruise they attend on Sat night....more about this later. We finished the day at the event and cruised to the hotel....we were all tired but the Princess said she couldn't sleep because she couldn't secure her car (the window wouldn't roll up). She parked it next to a concrete column in the underground parking lot so it would be difficult to get into her coupe. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, overpriced, and left for the event. On the way over, while on I64, the Princess was bouncing around from the holes/bumps and found that her window would roll up! The Princess so does not like to muss up her hair in the morning so out of habit she pushed the up button for the window....and it went up! I was bouncing around so much I couldn't see my gauges and she was yelling over the radio about her window going up, but I thought she was having more took a mile or so to sort things out but at least she was happy because her window was up! We got to the same spot from the day before and set up camp. Some old friends, Paul & Sharon, came over to visit with us and we chased the shade spot from the canopy the rest of the day. There were a lot of cars on Sat....I think over 900 at final count. The quality of the cars was very high and the diversity of the cars was perfect. From the Camaro's and Mustangs, the traditional hot rods, street rods....everything was represented. There was a 67 Camaro that was the best Camaro I have won a category so look at it on the last day's pictures, it's intense! The event was going well, Wings Callahan kept the announcements and music balanced....he is always a treat to listen to. The restroom facilities were great inside the building but the ones outside were marginal. The food inside was OK but something else needs to be done to make the food part of the event experience more exciting! The vendor participation seemed to be down. The Princess won a Super Prize, again! We have won one every one of the 4 years we have attended! Anyway this year we won an MSD billet distributor from Yearwood Speed & Custom. The Princess wanted to know what a billet distributor was? I showed her the HEI unit in her coupe and she said she already has a nice red one! She wanted to know if the MSD one was prettier that hers? I said lets wait and see, she then asked if the MSD one would make her car faster than mine....hmmmmm I said no it wouldn't be faster but if we put a World 454 mouse motor her car it might be as fast as mine....but of course I would then have to put one of those blower thingies on mine to compensate, she just looked at me? I guess it's really difficult to be the Princess? Dan & Ramona won a SuperPrize too, a 32 Ford grille shell, I don't know how that will work on their '55 Chevy? Can you say Edsel? We'll wait and see! Please check out the pictures. There was some traditional rods, one was bare metal deal, that deserves a lot of praise....and those DeSoto motors, love 'em. I guess the most unique car was the Rolls Royce pro street, you have to check out the pics. Around 4PM we decided to pick up and meet Paul & Sharon at our hotel and go cruising to Brunetti's....the place Chuck & Cindy told us about. Paul doesn't have his car done yet (only 363 more days till next year's Richmond....Paul) so he rode with me and Sharon rode with the Princess.

When we got to Bruneti's the cruise was in progress with about 50 cars already there. We were all hungry so we decided to try out Bruneti's....Cindy had warned me about the portion size but I guess I didn't believe her....I should have listened! The food was excellent and they served mammoth portions....I don't think anyone could finish the whole you hear me Andrew? The service was quick, the meals were fairly priced and the food tasted great....If you are near the corner of Atlee and Rt 301 check it out....I think you will be pleased! The DJ thanked the Stafford Classics for attending and all the people we met were very most hot rodders are! That's why I like the hot rod culture much more than the motorcycle culture....a whole lot less testosterone is involved and you can be happy....happy is good! I tried to photograph all the cars that were there but they kept coming and going it was difficult to keep track. I know there were a lot of Mustangs....I would guess at least a third of the cars were Mustangs! Maybe the 'Stangs and Fangs' Mustang Club of Fredericksburg should visit Brunetti's some Saturday....if those Mustangs could make it there and back....grin....If they had trouble I'm sure some of the Camaro guys would be glad to help! I think I better shut up now and not say anything about the Mopar guys.... We said thanks and goodbye and as we were leaving a 72 black RR was pulling in....I didn't get a picture and I wanted to talk with him/ time. This is a open, loose cruise, no structure, no stress....good music, good fellowship and my favorite thing is that non-car people wander through and let you talk about your car, this is the part I like the most....sharing my hobby with someone that doesn't know anything about it. We all had a real good time at Brunetti's and will return! Thanks Chuck & Cindy for your recommendation!

Sunday we left for the NSRA event's final day. It was as usual, very hot. There was a strong breeze that helped. I stayed in the amphitheater and listened to the church service and the rock & roll music. The Princess and Ramona & Dan visited with Paul & Anita....they were in the winners circle and very excited about the whole deal! And Paul got to take one of his famous exercise walks! We left right after the last SuperPrize winner was drawn and headed north. I95 was crowded and stop and go so we got off at Rt3 and drove the back was to home. Next year I think we will drive Rt 301 all the way....I95 is so hard on cars! So now I have to figure out what's wrong with the Princesses car....I have to fix it quickly or else she has to ride with me....I'll start tomorrow first thing, or the next day, or sometime retired people have to pace ourselves....and if the Princesses car is at home broken, then I have a better shot at a trophy! hehehe

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Homogeneous Sojourners

Wow Friday night at VA BBQ and a lot new cars came through. The first thing was a nice full size silver & blue Blazer owned by one of the guys in the Late Night Cruisers who makes music at A1 for us on the first Sat of the month. Then a late 80's Camaro, this white with red stripes car has a 383 motor, so says the emblem on the hood, it's a very straight and pleasing car....and another Camaro....the black 69, the car with the 'to die for' interior! You must check out this bow tie when it is where you are! Then a 'General Lee' Charger....I have see many of these cars over the years but I think this is the best one yet....eeeehaaa! Then a shiny black 24 Ford Model T, this car is as nice as Dom's....except for the brass radiator and natural wood wheels on Dom's! But if Patty wasn't around to keep the brass clean....who knows! grin Check out the simplicity of the early cars, it's amazing. Then a 1930 Chevy 2 dr sedan, it is so refreshing to see these old cars in near original condition. A bronze 69-70 Cougar came in, it had a brown vinyl top and hideaway headlights, very cool. A 62-63 Buick with the little aluminum motor....that motor is a survivor! Buick only used it a few years then it went to sleep but awoke in the new Land Rovers! I'm sure they have updated it to modern specs but basically it is the old aluminum Buick motor. As a side the late 60's there was a cam grinder in SoCal by the name of Chet Herbert. The company I worked for, Presley Development Co., built a home for Chet in Capistraino Beach, CA. At that point Chet was in a wheelchair but still making....different engines. I think he had an outboard that he welded together to make a 8cyl out of two 4 cyls....anyway my friend, Lee, and I poured a concrete patio for him in his new home, I remember doing that patio to this day because we had to hump the concrete by wheelbarrow from the street, up the driveway, around the side of the home and then to the center back, just the two of us. Oh to be young again! Chet seemed like an alright guy, just a little out there, which is what made him a leader in his field....which brings me back to the little Buick motors. In the mid 60's I was at Fontana Drag City, drag strip one night and Chet had his new twice motored rail had two of the little Buick/Olds motors in line, I think they were injected because they were just barely higher than the frame rails....It was very long for the time and as it came down the fire up road it was flexing the frame real good! That might have been the frame that was made from bambouim! hehehe I don't remember how fast it went but I didn't see it any more after that night....he was always trying different things, as we all were during that time! Anyway, back at VA BBQ, this guy in a roll back drove by with a Chevy Monte Carlo on the back, he was shouting over his PA that he would race any of the cars in the lot! He came in the lot and continues challenging everyone, it was weird.... Then T bucket John went over to the roll back driver....I thought that would be an interesting race, a Monte and a T bucket! As it turned out the guy with the roll back was an old friend of John's and they had a lot to catch up race....good thing, we street rodders don't street sirree....not me....I leave that to the Mustangs and Tuners....grin When you drive a car like the RedRat you can be very choosy who you push the right pedal down with! I don't know how many cars came in, the lot seemed to not be full all the time but cars were coming and going all night, which is what a 'cruise' is all about! We were going to cruise by the Mustang's at 5NDiner but we didn't leave VA BBQ till 10:30 or so! People kept coming by and talking....I love to talk about my hobby and our cars!

Saturday a few of us left Bob Evans for the Classic Car Center in Fredericksburg. We left around 11AM and took the back way to avoid the Saturday traffic and all was OK till I had to count the traffic lights on Rt 2 from Rt 3. If a person was coming from Rt 1, like the directions on their website says, then you would turn off Rt 3 onto Rt 2 and go three traffic lights and turn right on Lee Hill Dr and the place is at the end of the street. BUT if you are coming from Ferry Farm area on Rt 3 when you turn onto Rt 2 and go 3 traffic lights you turn right on Lansdowne you know how far you can go on Lansdowne Rd? Why were all those cars on the road at that time of day? Do you know how uptight people get when you do a U turn at a 3 way stop? Don't ask me how I know....

Anyway....we arrived at the Classic Car Center, secured the cars and went inside to look for the owners, Marty or Garland. We met Marty who showed us around the lounge, snack bar and meeting area. He explained how the facility was designed to be a multi use facility for meetings, events, training and most "car" things. It was designed to be informal and inviting for car buffs. All the memorabilia is fascinating and Marty will help you understand about anything in their facility! He then took us out to the storage area and talked about the cars that were there. Please check out the pictures of this tour, they explain a lot more than I can! Some of the cars are customer cars that are stored inside, waiting for the customer to pick up their car and drive it. No rain, no snow, no hail, no sun, no acid rain fallout, no coolers falling on them, no rakes banging against them, no bicycles or skateboards crashing into them....just their own special parking place among other special cars. Some of the cars in this area are for sale too and if you are in the market for a wonderful classic car this place should be on your list! A little green car caught my attention...a Morgan! These cars were a contemporary of the MG and TR but have a story all their own....ask Marty or Garland about the Morgan! There is a green Camaro that I really like....I'm not a 'Camaro' guy but this car piqued my interest a lot! And I think a 6.1 Hemi would work in the '48 Plymouth Woodie....I didn't say that Marty! grin Then Garland appeared and invited us into the part of the building where all the fun happens, the shop!

The first thing I saw was the '32 Packard....Garland says it going to be their shop gofer....picking up and delivering people, picking up know the kind of vehicle most places use a '81 Ford Pick up with rusted fenders and different colored doors to do the same job! I could get used to being picked up in a '32 Packard....or going to get a case of oil in it....or picking up some mulch....hehehe Then the Princess began whining about all the confusing car stuff but nothing for a Princess to Garland said she could sit in the Packard while Dave was in the rumble seat....just to see what a magnificent old American Icon was like behind the wheel....I think she was impressed, it's hard to tell, she is so cranky lately....she gets so little sleep with that nasty little pea under her mattress.... Then we saw a little blue car, it looked vaguely familiar, like a 'kit car' (I hate that term!) Almost reverently Garland began explaining what it was....a 1955 AC Ace! Huh? I'm not going to go into the details of this car but if; Carroll Shelby, one of one, $1.8+ mil-value, Cobra, Buick V-8 mean anything to you then you need to visit Classic Car Center in Fredericksburg, VA! Garland will explain everything! The car's original owner is having it restored to race again! He's older than me, yeah, old guys rule! You have to hear the whole story! This is the caliber of work they do at Classic Car Center. In the picture of the two stacks of tires, the stack on the right show the original tires that came on the car from the factory! We could have stayed all day but Garland had to get back to what he does, making the dreams come true! So we went back to the lobby and snack bar where we met Franklin the wonder dog....he keeps the Healey from rolling around! A few more pictures and many thanks to Marty and Garland for their gracious hospitality then we were on the road again!

Andrew was hungry, SURPRISE? And the Princess wanted something 'special' to drink, a diet cherry coke-stirred not shaken!....So we cruised to the Sonic out on Rt 3. I was startled by some sport bikers passing me on the 95 bridge and those rear tires on the RedRat just started spinning, how did that happen?.... When we arrived at Sonic those that wanted to eat or drink took care of their needs and then we were on the road again. We arrived at the Sheetz on Rt 3 & Rt 20. A bunch of Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club members were there waiting for us. (see the pics!) We all saddled up (about 20 cars) and left for the Orange BK....again!

We arrived early, as we planned, and were rewarded with primo parking! Gary put up his canopy and we all spread out and got ready to enjoy an afternoon and evening of cars and car people! What a deal! There were so many cars, over 200 by the end! All kinds from original to wild, from old to new 2008 Challengers. Every kind of street rod you could imagine. DJ Ron was there playing music and mingling with the crowd. Ask him how he turns on the fog lights in his new RV.... Chuck & Cindy and their friends from Mechanicsville were there....the red '34 Ford PU came, I really like that ride and it won the "truck" pick from BK later that night! Steve and his group from PW Cruisers brought a bunch of cars too....In fact Steve won the "car" pick from BK that night with his '40! I think the nasty little '34 open wheeled coupe came with Steve too, that car must be a handful! Dave's '48 Ford drop top is so smooth, I bet that car is so nice to cruise in! There was a restored Army truck, a very large truck! Ask Tom what all the transmission handles are for in his '69 Camaro.... We just hung around and talked with everyone....and before we knew it Ron was drawing for the 50/50 and giving out the awards. The Princess got to feel special when Ron asked her to pick out one of the 50/50 tickets, she has to feel so important! Then the cruise was over! WOW We gathered up all the cars that were going the 'back way' to Stafford and Dan volunteered to be the vulture. I led till we got to Rt 29 then Gary took over. We cruised back to Stafford without incident and it was actually a little cold, I had to close one window in the RedRat....I was getting cold? OH NO That's going to be here sooner that we think....COLD....

Sunday and the nostalgia event at ODS....We met everyone at Bob Evans (no one!) and drove to Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, VA. We turned off Rt. 234 bypass and the traffic was stopped....not moving slowly but stopped! I think we were about 2-3 miles away from the road into ODS! We turned around and headed for home! Too bad, maybe next year we will start much earlier. Some that did get there said that cars were being turned away, they were filled up! That's pretty cool but disappointing at the same time!

We called up Dan & Ramona to see if they wanted to cruise somewhere. We decided to cruise to Lowery's in Tapahannock again. I didn't want to take 2 cars so the Princess reluctantly agreed to ride with me again. She is having trouble deciding on the reaction assist device (oh s**t handle) that she AND I think is suitable. Something pink will not work in the RedRat, something soft and squishy will not work in the RedRat....I tried to explain to her that something large enough to be grabbed without a lot of effort on her part would thrash her to a fair-thee-well if we got into an the discussion continues....I offered to have a velcro suit made for her so when she sits down in the tweed seat she would have to be peeled out of the seat when she gets out! I thought it was funny! She said some awful things about the RedRat. As a compromise I agreed to not exceed 3000 rpm when she is in the RedRat. Unless of course I have to get out of the way of a falling invisible satellite or something else real quick and don't have the time to explain to her....hehehe While cruising back I was returning the waves and thumbs up of people in other cars....some were stock and some were old cars like ours. And it struck me how most 'car' people will wave at other 'car' people even though we are very diverse in what we drive. We are all exposed to the same elements, the same dangers, the same joy and experience....we are all in the same to speak. I remember when we rode the Harley you weren't supposed to return the wave of anything but another Harley! You don't wave at Jap Crap we were told! But the Wingers wave at anything, they understand the universality of everyone's experience on two wheels.... I guess that's what I'm trying to say that we all should be glad to see another 'car' person on the road....we are all together in a homogeneous mixture of travelers....sojourners....We're all bozos on this bus....Wave at the other guy....even if he drives a Buick! grin