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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chuck I sure do enjoy reading your stops every weekend. I feel updated of whats going on enven if I/ve missed the event with you folks. Keep up the good work.
DJ Ron