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?