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?