Monday, November 30, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods Run

Saturday morning and the weather was as the weather guessers had predicted….Gorgeous! It would be a grand day to participate in the ‘Over the River and Through the Woods Run’ of 2009! Five cars met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA and proceeded to the assembly point to join up with the rest of the cruisers. Along the way we picked up another car then continued to the beginning location near Warrenton, VA. At the starting point we topped off our fuel tanks and waited for the rest of the cars to arrive. Eight more cars were there by 10AM which made 13 special cars rolling on the beginning of the cruise. We traveled on Rt. 17 till we got on Rt. 66, the ‘mother road’. We cruised Rt. 66 for 22 miles and it gave a lot of people a chance to see cars that they might otherwise never get to see. Since we cruise between 55 and 60 mph a lot of cars passed us. I actually estimate about 400 cars/trucks passed us….some honked….some gave us thumbs up….some took our picture….most just smiled. This is the reason we drive road cars….to share our hobby with others while we enjoy the thrill of driving a special car. We had a nice mix of special cars from the red ’29 Ford sedan to the blue ’08 Vette and most of the other decades between.

When we left Rt. 66 on Rt. 522, I must have been listening to the voices from the mother ship or maybe it was the Princess yelling at me over the walkie talkie to turn or wait or speed up or slow down or look out and I took a wrong turn looking for Rt. 55! We ended up going about 12 miles out of our way. When I realized I was lost I did the unmanly thing of stopping and asking for directions (it’s those darned sensitivity classes). Fortunately we had two cars that knew where we were! Ted and Jim had their cosmic atomic powered GPS machines running and gave me new guidance. So after much ridicule about my navigation capabilities we gathered up and off we went, again. We had also picked up another car that met us while I was trying to get un-lost! Later on in the day I spoke with some cruisers that thought the “lost” stop was a planned stop and they liked getting out and walking around a while! Naturally I agreed and explained about the importance of planning, navigation and taking the needs of people in consideration when setting up a run like this and was glad that some voiced their appreciation of my hard work….grin As we were finding our way back to the planned route we picked up four more cars on Rt. 55 making a total 17 cars cruising down the road. Finally we got to our first “planned” stop, Wardensville, WV. Some of us that have mileage challenged cars (gas guzzlers) have to fuel up about every 100 miles, so Jimmy and his blue ’71 Rancheroo and I eagerly waited for a vacant spot at the fuel pumps! After all the bladders were emptied and fuel tanks filled we cruised through some of the town till we got to Trout Run Rd. and began the…. interesting…. part of the cruise. This is a road the Princess and I had run a few times long ago while we were on the Harley….it is a great road for bikes. But the road is narrow and there is no center line or side lines and for some areas there is no shoulder or guard rails! And it is a typical mountain road with many switchbacks and tight turns that those of us with chopped tops have fun navigating! I guess the best way for you to experience the deal is to put down your sun visor and crank up your seat as high as you can then drive on twisty roads….it does take some getting used to! And some of the cars were…. large like Dan’s black ’55 Chevy and Fred’s red/white ’57 Dodge so when they met oncoming traffic there was not a whole lot of room to pass! Anyway it was 40 miles of very precise driving and a lot of great scenery. We worked our way down to Edinburg, VA and then back up over another mountain to Luray, VA and Sonny’s restaurant for lunch/dinner. I called ahead and Sonny had the tables set up for us and they coped with the number of people eating…I think it was 26! I think everyone enjoyed the food which didn’t surprise me! Sonny loaned me a piece of split wood so I could use it for a wheel chock! Real hot rods don’t need emergency brakes!

After we all ate too much some started to leave….some had other commitments that afternoon so they had to leave early. We all pretty much said our good-bys in the parking lot and left in small groups or alone. Our Stafford group continued on over the last mountain to Sperryville then on to Culpeper where we picked up Rt. 29 then Rt. 17 and back to Stafford. It was a 237 mile trip for us but some others, like Wyatt with his DeLorean who is from Annapolis, MD, traveled much farther. Except for Fred demonstrating how quick Mopar’s can be fixed….everyone had a trouble free cruise which is a testament to something? Good mechanics? Or only American cars? Or Dan's steam powered billet & chrome dilemma detector that he carries in his '55? Maybe the Earth/Moon/Mars alignment? HEHEHEHE Whatever it was, it worked! Be sure to check out the pictures http://rides.webshots.com/album/575711902fdDjYb

Except for the few times we will just drive around Stafford to give old people a bad name we are pretty much done cruising for the season. I need to get the cars ready for next year so they may be apart till February or so…. We attended 68 “car” events (shows & cruises) this year which is some kind of record for us….I don’t know if we will do that again next year, we’ll see. We enjoyed meeting new friends and deepening old relationships during the year. Also unless something extraordinary happens I won’t have any more blog entries till February/March.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and an enjoyable and productive winter….hope to see you on the road next year.
Chuck the Slacker & Linda the Princess

Monday, November 16, 2009

Foster's finale

Ida….ida rather be driving the hot rod around than sitting home watching it rain! Hurricane Ida was dumping copious amounts of rain on us for four days! Saturday we wanted to go to the last Foster’s Cruise in Stafford, VA but the roads were still wet from the above mentioned rain. The cruise started around noon and by 1PM the roads were dry enough to take the hot rods out. But the Princess had escaped to a local craft show and had not returned yet. She was performing one of our green contribution processes…. she buys stuff at craft shows and either gives it away or puts it somewhere in the house until she gets tired of it or can’t remember why she bought it and I get to sell it on eBay or at a yard sale! I think it’s called recycling? Anyway I got a terse call from Steve who was at the cruise asking “WHERE WERE WE!?” He said about 20 cars were there and we said we would be there at noon and WHERE WERE WE?….I tried to explain about the puddles in the road and that the Princess was not here but I didn’t get a lot of sympathy from Steve….I knew I had to get to Foster’s….with or without the Princess. I cleared out the driveway, warmed up the hot rods and located the Princess….she would be home in a few minutes.

When we arrived there were still around 20 cars there and through the afternoon some left and others came by….about 30 cars total. I’m glad Jerry brought out his hunting Willys, you have to ask him! The black ’37 Ford dirt track car was interesting, I have seen it at a couple shows this year. The black ’37 PU was way cool with it’s 6x2 intake! The nice red ’29 Ford sedan was interesting in that it runs a V-6! Not a bad idea considering the price of fuel nowadays! Of course I don’t have that problem since I drive a hybrid….burns gasoline & rubber….I call it my ecofastmover, hehehehe There were many car clubs represented at the small gathering which helped the communication between clubs….if nothing else it reestablishes old friendships….always a good thing. Most of us had something to eat at Foster’s and came back outside to network. The Princess got stuck inside….talking ‘bus’ talk with Ramona and another friend, Mary Ann. Since she would stay inside talking for days I decided to liven things up a little so I fired up the RedRat and chugged out of the lot, past the dining room of Foster’s so the Princess could see me leaving! She gets so uptight about a little humor when it’s directed at her!? I think she was saying things that Princesses should not say? Anyway she told everyone in the lot what she thought of my feeble attempt at humor! I promised to take her to one of her favorite restaurants the next day to patch things up….She is such a pushover for food!

So Sunday we cruised to the Crabby Oyster near Dahlgren, VA for lunch with Dan & Ramona. The restaurant is clean the service is attentive and humorous, in a good way….grin. The food is always good and we recommend it if you want a no frills honest seafood dinner for around $50 for two. On the way back to Stafford the RedRat headed to Fredericksburg and Carl’s Ice Cream….A great ending to a mostly gorgeous weekend!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The last show of the year....no kidding....I think....

We had four cars in our caravan to the show at Hayfield HS in Alexandria, VA on Sunday….Fred, Debie & Granddaughter in their ’57 Dodge, Dan & Ramona in their ’55 Chevy and the Princess and I with our coupes. We like to support shows that have a purpose that we think is important enough to spend our dollars and time on….this is one of those things. AUTO SHOP! Most of us gear heads have spent time in auto shop when we were younger. Right after we invented the wheel we invented something to put it on and then we had to make it go faster….and here we are! I have good memories of my auto shop days and the discipline that I came away with because of that experience. I think that even if one doesn’t make that occupation a life’s career, it never hurts to know more about the conveyance most of us will have to deal with the rest of our life!?

I think there were 70-75 cars in attendance, some came for a while then left but most stayed for the whole event. The weather was perfect if not a little warm….but OK. The venue was good in that there were many food choices and indoor restrooms available within easy walking distance. It was in a shopping center parking lot so many people visited the cars that were not “car people”. This is a good thing because we get to share our hobby with people that do not know about it or do not understand it….this is always good. But with that brings an activity that is always present but this kind of setting exacerbates it….People/kids that do not respect others property. We had to ‘guard’ the cars all day from kids trying to jump on the running boards or wheels of the cars or trying to open the doors. Someone got through our vigil and scratched Fred & Debie’s Dodge pretty bad, it will have to be repainted because it went down to the primer!

The event had many nice cars but I liked the silver ’46 MG TC and Steve & Sallie’s orange Mustang. I have known Steve for a few years and have heard him talking about his Mustang but never saw it till Sunday! I am partial to the ’69-’70 Mustang and theirs is one of the nicest I have seen. I also liked the black ’32 traditional highboy with the zoomies and the three early Broncos. Wyatt was there with his crowd pleasing DeLorean and Ray brought his very red HHR to share. It was a great day to be able to drive the hot rods and share our passion with others….even though the Princess didn’t win anything. Of course I’ll have to take her shopping shopping this week to blunt the trauma of her not wining anything….I think there will be more shoes in the closet by Friday! hehehe

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Living a Dream

The Princess and I decided to take advantage of the glorious day Tuesday and drive to Stephens City, VA for lunch. It’s a 160 mile round trip from Stafford through the Virginia country side. We like to travel the Interstates as much as the lesser roads so we used I-66 & I-81 to get to our destination. We think it is actually safer on the interstates and usually the roads are in better condition. We also like to drive our coupes to give others a chance to see part of what makes us Americans…. The independence of Hot rods are an important part of the fabric of our American heritage and it gives us pleasure sharing that experience with all that see or talk to us while we travel. Hot Rodding speaks to the ingenuity and effectiveness of the American spirit….A never ending quest to make things better or different is fundamental in Hot Rodding. This difference is also about going against the grain a little or in today’s vernacular, thinking out of the box. An individualistic spirit like Hot Rodding is difficult for some to understand and we like to explain it every chance we get, even if that just means a friendly smile and wave to a passing motorist on I-66! We like to shock the non-car people by showing them we are not knuckle dragging mouth breathers but nice folks that are not afraid of being a little different. I’ll get off my soapbox now!

The trip was uneventful and the experience at Butcher Block Buffet was good. The food was normal for a southern “country” buffet, tasty and honest. The restaurant was clean and the service was attentive and cheerful. When we parked the hot rods I noticed a car carrier next to the restaurant….it had an “old” car on it. Upon closer examination I discovered it was a ’34 Nash! I used to own a ’34 Nash resto-rod! Mine was a large 4dr but this one was the lower priced Lafayette model, a lot of subtle differences and dimensionally smaller from mine but still a very rare car! It was from NJ going south….I waited a while for the driver to return so I could ask about the car but he/she never came back.
If anyone would like to receive email notices of our upcoming adventures please let me know at wherewereyouin62@comcast.net we plan on driving the hot rods all winter, weather permitting.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No really....It's the last show of the year!

Friday evening and rain is threatening….but we go to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA anyway! This “rain” thing is getting to be a real pain, it’s difficult to plan anything with the hot rods. And since my atomic powered chair heater is running out of fuel I think the season is winding down for us this year. Old & Cold don't mix!

We arrived and parked near the building with T-Bucket John, he had his witch/wench with him which was OK since Sat is Halloween! Most of us put out candy for the kids/adults and settled in for a few hours….in the cold….Tell me why do we do this again? There were about 20 cars total for the evening….some came, set up and realized how cold it was and packed up and went home. Some of us stayed till about 8:30….Why?

There was a black ’63 Ford Galaxie that I had not seen before that was very nice. Two new Camaros showed up, I like the yellow one, and a new orange Challenger! And the pug pirate was way cool…. please check out the pictures.

We cruised home and the traffic was horrendous on Rt. 1 going south, we were going north so we were OK but the southbound traffic was backed up 3+ miles! The RedRat is a “hot rod” which, I was told by the builder Don, is the reason it doesn’t have a heater! Makes sense….but after the motor is warmed up a little there is enough radiant heat from the 502 that gets inside to keep me warm! In fact I have to crack the window a little to let some of the heat out! I don’t need no steenken heater….the Rat will provide! I love that car!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The last show of the season....maybe?

This was the 50th anniversary of the Hoppers car club and the 3rd of their Halloween shows we have attended. Think about it....a club that has been in existence for 50 years! And some of the original founding members are still in the club! I don’t know many other clubs that have been around that long and kept some of their core intact.. ..Amazing! This year they also had special recognition for the 1959 cars, the year they started their club.

Every year that we have attended this event the attendance record from the previous year has been broken and this year was no exception, there were 182 cars registered! Not bad for an out of the way show at the end of October! But with that increasing attendance comes the only complaint I have about the show was that the staff was not prepared for the volume of cars again. They had to scramble to get enough registration cards and the tallying of the votes took longer than expected (25 min.). I know how difficult it is to try to guess how many cars will attend an event while you are setting it up. I have been there know the balancing you have to do between spending the money for printing verses having a lot of obsolete printing left over that will have to be thrown away. Their club members adapt and overcome the glitches and the event presses on. Good job!

As is my prerogative I will single out a few cars that I think are ones I would have picked for parking in my garage! The red & white ’59 Dodge was really cool; swivel seats, push button trans and all! Think about where you would get body parts & molding for that car? Amazing! I like the black ’48 Chevy PU.. ..The purple highlights and the pin striping were trick and the whole truck was just right.. ..The big block didn’t hurt either! The red/cream ’55 with the sanitary engine room was drop dead gorgeous, check out the motor room, and his wife drives a blue/white ’56 that takes a backseat to very few! The green ’62 Chevy flat top post was one of my favorite although it had a little too much motor (did I say that?). I like the ’61 & ’62 a lot but most people do the bubble tops, I like the flat tops and this one was really nice. There usually is a lot of Mopar’s at this show and this year Tony’s added to the crowd. Dan & Ramona won a top 30 award but Andrew and the Princess came home empty handed. And Andrew was a double looser because of the shirt he wore! Something about a local professional team that uses the pointy ended ball? I need to find another show to go to before winter so the Princess can win something going into the long, long winter. It’s like they say the last thing you think about before going to sleep is what you dream about.. ..the last show can’t be a ‘looser’ for the Princess.. ..the winter is way too long.. ..hehehehe The Hoppers Halloween show is usually the last deal we do for the season but this year may be different because of all the rain re-scheduled shows coming back in November.

They set up for a ‘generation’ picture shoot for the Camaro guys so Andrew got to be in that with his blue Camaro.. ..They should try that at more shows with Mustangs too? I had to teach some guys in a new Cobra some respect for old cars on Rt. 66, while we cruised back the 82 miles to Stafford.. ..I love that car!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The "R" word again....

It started raining Thursday evening and It is still raining now! The cars stayed in the garage all weekend! I'm getting tired of this! Maybe move to AZ?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing with cars & airplanes in the rain.

Saturday….and it’s raining….so what else is new? We have had 12 events cancelled this year because of rain! But this Saturday we were committed rain or shine to the car display at Culpeper Regional Airport as part of their 10th annual AirFest. The AirFest is a display of vintage aircraft and an airshow with the vintage aircraft flying. The show features the only civilian Harrier in the world….that is an amazing piece of technology. The first time I saw one was in the ‘60’s at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It was the prototype aircraft and it was then called the Kestrel P1127. That day at Edwards was so hot that the Kestrel could not get air born vertically from a standing position. The AirFest also had T-6’s, T-28’s, a T-34, a Naviaon and many other flying examples of our aviation heritage. Dan and I had been working on the display since last October and we arrived around 6AM at the airport to lay out the parking. Fortunately the Army was at the other end of our display lot setting up their recruiting display and the headlights from their vehicles helped us set up in the dark. Ray & Terry from Wounded Warrior Project set up their race car display and the rest of the cars started coming in. Stuart brought his red & white GT-40 that was much admired. Wyatt brought his DeLorean that is always a hit with the spectators. Andrew brought his blue Camaro and Tony brought his Super Bee, both represent the muscle car era. Garland brought a Bentley that has a history. Dan brought his black '55 Chevy and I brought the RedRat so we had some real hot rod representatives. Hehehehe The Princess was off to a craft show with our two daughters and the grandkids....It was a nice quiet day at the airshow....I didn't say that! We had invited about 20 cars but because of the forcasted rain we ended up with 8! It did rain from 9Am to 1PM off and on, the sun would come out so we dried off the cars and then it would rain again….repeat 5 more times! In spite of that we had a great time sharing our cars with thousands of spectators that were attending the AirFest. If we are allowed to participate again next year we will have a deeper representation of the car culture to display. I didn’t shoot many pictures because we were handing out flyers about our display and talking to the many spectators that were asking questions about the cars. I did shoot a video, enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/user/502SizeMatters#p/a/u/0/7lkg5AONsxs

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Down the straight away

The Princess and I have been staying home for the last couple of weeks....we had some things to deal with and I think we are OK now. We have decided to lighten up on the organized car show scene and move into cruising more. So we have two more shows and one display and a couple cruises for this season and we will finish them out. Next year will be different, you will not see us at so many local shows....We are on a few more email lists like Jerry's at DoubleJSound that will give us more choices of things to do on the weekends....choices.

With the Princesses help I got the RedRat on the road today! Whoppie.... Dan & Ramona and the Princess & I took a trip to Colonial Beach and the Happy Clam to check out our repairs to the RedRat....just a little minor adjusting and I'll be better than new! It still has that homing quirk that whenever we get close to Carls Ice Cream the car just goes there! I love that car!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The "R" word again!

This has been a down weekend because of the rain....we have a lot planned for next weekend, I hope the weather cooperates!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Work truck blues

Friday evening and the cruise at VA BBQ was very different. One of the host club’s members, Pop Wilson, had passed away during the week, I’ll be writing more about him later. The event was well attended with other clubs cruising through in respect.

Saturday we met at Mike’s Diner for breakfast then left for Manassas, VA and the first Applebee’s Car Show. We had planned to attend another event in Manassas but the Applebee’s show had Wounded Warrior Project as its beneficiary and since we support them we decided to change our plans. The event was well attended when you consider there was a competing show that was very old and established within five miles from Applebee’s. And when you consider very few people knew about it until about a month before the show date! Advertising will make a difference! The event has a great venue with ample parking and restroom facilities in the restaurant. Applebee’s had “car hops” that came out in the show and took food orders then delivered them.. ..A neat deal. The music was provided by Starlight Entertainment who did a great job. The event had an auction.. ..A really nice auction with good stuff.. ..Not the yard sale stuff you see at some car show auctions!

Of the 70 cars and less than 5 bikes I liked the black ’54 Chevy SS 454 the best. You rarely see the ‘54s but even more rarely see one this nice! I also like the silver/grey ’68 Camaro that had a very intimidating sound! I also liked the silver Noble and the white BMW Z3 coupe. The Virginia State Police SIV (Special Intimidation Vehicle) made an appearance, the reverse two tone paint job was a nice touch.. ..hehehehe My favorite retro Harley was there too, check out the back tire on it! Bill and his orange Willys won best of show and the Red/White/Blue mustang won most patriotic and got the nicest trophy of the event! Dan & Ramona won a best Chevy award and the Princess won a top 25. There will be peace and tranquility in Stafford once more..grin The “top 25” awards were little plaques, like what would go on a trophy. Some may think that was low buck, but then the more you spend on the awards the less you can give to your charity. There has to be a balance with this because some that attend car shows do so only for the awards. So if the award is small then some may not attend. I didn’t hear much grumbling about this so it might be OK? There were a few car clubs represented and the manager needs to have the club affiliation put on the registration cards to prevent the bickering about club attendance numbers. It’s an easy thing to do that solves a big problem for some!? HUH I thought it was about sharing our hobby with friends that are like minded enthusiasts.. ..an easy low key day, not the competition of numbers of club members that can be at a show! Silly me, I guess I’m just too new at this deal, I’ll get off my soapbox now. We liked the show and will attend again next year.

After the show some of us cruised on over to the Burger King cruise near the Manassas Airport that is hosted by Bull Run Street Rods car club. This cruise is always a surprise.. ..It is always well attended and always has cars that we have never seen. Tonight was no exception. They had 4 T-Buckets then 4 T-birds.. ..a black, boat tail Riv and a very sinister black ’37 Chevy sedan. The red ’40 Ford with the small block Ford and cross ram intake, very different! And Scottie finally must be mellowing out as he gets older, he put a hood on his truck, I like it better, I think it makes his unique ride look a little more classy, but then I’m a hoodie kind of guy! Chuckle.. I really liked the red ’57 Chevy post, most of those ‘57’s are hardtops, the post just does it for me. We left the BK and cruised uneventfully home to get ready for Sunday.

Sunday we met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA and cruised to the Flying Circus show in Bealeton, VA. This show was a hoot a couple years ago but last year it conflicted with the last GM show so we didn’t attend it. Our Grandson and his fiancĂ© wanted to go to the show with us and he wanted to put his new to him truck into the show! I figured it would be a good time for him to start with the sickness of car shows. His truck is a Chevy S-10 that is not cherry or cool but it is his and he is working on it. He had no intention of winning anything, he just wanted to be “part” of something like the show! It’s too bad the person taking the entry money made such a discouraging remark to him about his entry.. ..He might stay away from car shows because of it! That’s not how to encourage new people into the hobby! Anyway he and Lorana had a good time riding in the airplane and sleeping in the truck, that’s what teenagers do don’t ya know!

Last year this show was very unattended but this year there were over 130 cars! In fact they had so many people the restrooms ran out of water near the end! The food was normal fare for car show food and we were able to park on grass which is always nice. The music was a karaoke thing and not very good.. ..which was ok because we couldn’t hear it most of the time anyway. They had a couple of vendors and the award program conflicted with a friend’s son taking a birthday ride in one of the airplanes. We were photographing the airplane ride and missed the award program. We have heard some negative comments about the way the spectators were charged, one person had a Mustang they wanted to enter but he had his wife and daughter with him in the car so he was going to be charged $35, which is a bit steep so he left!

It was a real rollercoaster weekend, Friday was a downer, Sat was an upper till the deal about the club attendance but then the BK cruise was up then Sunday started off down but I think all that attended the event came away ok but we won’t attend the one at Flying Circus again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall is coming

Saturday we had 6 cars gather at the Cracker Barrel in Central Park, Fredericksburg, VA at 7AM for breakfast then we left for the 7th Annual Reva VFD show. The trip was an uneventful 59 miles to the show and when we arrived about 1/3 of the space was already taken! We found some spaces where we could all park together and have a grassed area to erect the 3 canopies. This was the first time we had attended this show because it conflicted with other shows we attended in the past and last year it rained. So this was going to be the year we tried it out. The venue is so pleasent and tranquill, you can see the rolling Virginia landscape in the pictures, some with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. The day was perfect, puffy clouds and blue skies, temps in the low 80’s and a little breezy.. ..Like I said almost perfect! The VFD served breakfast and lunch that was great and reasonably priced. The restrooms were inside and clean. They had some vendors selling their wares and DJ Ron was playing the music, taking requests and making announcements so I knew that part was going to be cool. And Ron had a new helper? I don’t know if it will grow up to be a guard dog or what but for now sleep was high on it’s to do list.

The judging was done by participant’s ballot which is ok but sometimes not fair, you have to be careful about this type of judging.. ..But I didn’t care because the Princess won a trophy so life is in balance for me! Arnold won Best of Show with his red ’39 convertible which is very nice. About ¼ of the cars were new to me and the one I liked the best was the light green ’56 GMC PU. It had just the right amount of bling and the rest was subdued, nice job! The red Mustang with the 6cyl was cool too.. ..Most of the time more/bigger motors are the best but sometime the little motors are nice too.. ..Did I say that? Having rode motorcycles for 40 years I have seen just about everything in or on two wheels.. ..but the red retro Harley was just perfect! I have never seen anything like that and it was done just right.. ..It’s like someone blowing cigarette smoke in your face after you quit.. ..Almost makes you want to go back! I need to get over that!
The show was over around 3PM and the 80 or so cars that attended left for parts unknown. We cruised to Foster’s Grille in Stafford, VA and had late lunch/early dinner while we waited for the VA Stockers to setup their cruise in the parking lot. This cruise is always under attended and I don’t understand why. The location is great; it is easily accessed from any point on the compass. The lot is large, well lit and little used by “normal” traffic. The food is terrific at Foster’s and they have restroom facilities that are always kept up. I know Dan passes out over 100 flyers a month for the cruise at various shows and cruises we attend but the people just are not coming. Maybe more advertising, maybe a show in the spring to kick off the season, maybe it needs to be every Sat evening so people won’t have to figure out if it is the one Sat of the month that the cruise is happening.. ..I don’t know but we need to figure it out, it’s too nice a place to let go to waste. Tonight there were about 20 cars coming and going.
We cruised home after Foster’s and when I put the RedRat on the rack and shut it down the clutch went to the floor and did not come back up! I think it is a terminal deal; something is broken in the linkage mechanism. The car was too hot and I didn’t have the proper attitude to work on it then so it’s going to be something to do next week!

Sunday we left Stafford for the 8th Annual Herndon Classic Car Show in Herndon, VA. Since Dan & Ramona grew up there I thought it would be special for them to lead the convoy to the show, and I didn’t know where it was anyway! Since the RedRat was broke I took my truck, which made for an interesting convoy. Since I typically don’t like to go up north where my pain was for many years, we had never been to that show. The show is in the Municipal Center and sponsored by AARP. Some of you know how I feel about AARP but I put my big boy pants on and decided it was OK to attend because of the worthwhile group the money was going to.. ..George Mason University School of Nursing! In fact there were a few students from the school walking around offering to check your blood pressure.. ..I told them that it was useless to do mine because I was suffering from terminal immaturity and was on the downhill slide to oblivion anyway.. ..I got a deer in the headlights look! I think they were too uptight? The Princess got a primo parking spot and set up the Princess Express for all to enjoy. I guess it worked because she got a Top 20 plaque and so did Dan & Ramona! The venue was one of the best we attended all year! They had car hops, with poodle skirts and cat eye glasses taking orders and delivering food from Subway.. ..a neat touch! And the Chorus of the Old Dominion was strolling around crooning near some of the cars, check out the u-tube clip; www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgnzZSrJsKU There were vendors aplenty and some of the display cars were scattered around in special parking lots named; Elvis, Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, Jerry lee Lewis and more. The day was perfect and the only negative thing was the condition of the restroom facilities. They were porta potties and were located too far from the attendees. When we arrived they had not been serviced and were in horrible condition. I noted that on my registration and told the people at the registration booth. One of the registration people took it upon herself to go and purchase cleaning supplies and clean up the porta potties as well as she could. That helped and all were thankful for that one person taking responsibility to do that but the solution would be better restroom facilities, more restroom facilities and better monitoring of their condition throughout the day. This marred an otherwise superb event.

There were many cars that were new to us and some very nice ones at that. I liked the red/white ’57 Corvette the best but the silver ’99 Shelby was cool too. There was a pink/white ’57 T-Bird that fit right in with the theme of the show. The orange dune buggy was the nicest one of those cars I have ever seen, and I saw a lot of them in SoCal in the 60’s & 70’s! We like to attend events that have a lot of “spectators” that are not “car people”. They ask questions and it makes for a great day spent sharing our passion of all things automobile! We will return next year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Be Prepared

Friday night and the cars kept coming in at the VA BBQ cruise. This is a cruise that has been ongoing for many years and the host club, Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club, has been providing car people with a place that is safe and welcoming in a style that makes one want to return every Friday night! They all pitch in to make others comfortable.. ..Tonight there were two cars missing but the event went on as usual and most people didn’t notice anything different. The General Lee Dodge was special and the brown primered ’57 Chevy sedan delivery was new. Most of the rest of the cars have been seen before but that night they all seemed to come by. In fact there were 6-7 pro streets that cruised through but didn’t stay.. ..Like the real nice black ’72 Mustang that sounded very tough, I hope it stays one Friday! I think there were over 60 cars that stayed.. ..which is a little more than usual. The evening was cool while we cruised home and I didn’t do anything stupid again so the blue lights stayed off! Maybe I learned my lesson? Hmmmm we’ll see.

Sunday we met at Cracker Barrel in Central Park, Fredericksburg, VA for breakfast then on to the show at the Salem VFD near Culpeper, VA. This is the second year for this show and as before the Culpeper Cruisers manage it like a machine. The registration, judging and awards are all done like you would expect an established club to do. Whenever the Culpeper Cruisers are involved with a show you can be assured it will be run fairly, consistently and in a timely manner. Tony’s Body Shop is the sponsor of the event and he and his wife, Beth, displayed two of their red Corvettes.. ..Tony’s ’63 is freshly back from the NSRA event in Richmond where it was on the bricks as a winner. I think I still like the blue blower car better.. ..Which is out of character for me since I like quiet, sedate cars.. ..grin DJ Ron kept us rolling with his music and announcements. He makes the event much more comfortable for all the participants and is figured into our decision of what shows we attend during the year. He also does requests which helped me get out of the dog house with the Princess.. ..I didn’t say that! The Princess is always even tempered and open minded.. ..Like all redheads are!? I took pictures of all the cars that attended the event except the four that didn’t want to pay or support the event and left early. The clean restrooms were inside the fire house and they had a large air conditioned area where the VFD sold food. The Princess reports that their food was great and she really appreciated the donuts, breakfast sandwiches and coffee that they sold for breakfast.. ..I guess the Princess didn’t get enough at Cracker Barrel?

The event had about 130 cars registered and there were many new ones to us. There is a growing trend of couples both driving their own hot rod.. ..I like it! Arnold brought out his red ’64 that I really like and Jerry’s green/black ’41 Willys deservedly won the best of show. I also like the orange with white flames T-Bucket that a lady drove! The black GTX with the 528 KB Hemi was very special. I also liked the red ’32 Ford Vicky and the pair of ’33 Fords that a husband and wife drove. I’m glad I wasn’t judging the cars as the quality of most of them was above average. Ed and The Princess got a top 50 trophy so she will be happy for another week. Dan & Ramona got the special Bob Cornwell Memorial award! The event was over on time as promised and the clouds were starting to get a little darker on the horizon. We all decided to leave and re-gather at Carlos O’ Kelly’s in Stafford for dinner.
On the way home we were reminded why we travel with basic tools, extra water and in groups whenever possible.. ..Special Ed tried to turn his mouse motor from a V-8 into a V-7!? We were stranded on a narrow country road and after we found out what his problem was (broken rocker stud) he called a tow company then we all took out our chairs, opened up the coolers and passed out the water then waited for the roll back. Ramona noticed that the turkey vultures were not flying in circles yet so we were still ok! The farmer whose road side and driveway we were in came out and talked a while and offered to help! Since we didn’t drive through his fence he was a happy camper! We waved to people in the cars as they drove by and with 4 hot rods parked on the side of the road it was kind of like an impromptu roadside car show for them while they drove by! When the roll back arrived they took special care loading Ed’s ’39 then drove off into the sunset! If I ever have a need for that kind of service, L&G Road Service would be one I would call first.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Going South

Thursday and the weather-guessers were calling for rain Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday! Hurricane Danny was threatening the right coast with untold amounts of rain. We had to drive less than 2 hrs to reach Richmond, VA and the 5th NSRA Richmond Nationals being held there that weekend. We met at 6AM Friday morning and left on our trek south. We stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Ashland, VA for breakfast since there was no rain.. ..yet! After breakfast we motored to the host hotel in west Richmond and our troubles began. In their infinite wisdom VDOT has chosen to not correctly repair the short road from I95 to I64W to Broad St in Richmond. This road is worse than horrible.. ..It is an example of how not to repair roads. We have been going to Richmond for five years and this 4 mile stretch of road is the worst in America. Every year something goes wrong with our cars after we use that road, one year Dan’s steering column shook loose another year the Princesses electronics shut down and she couldn’t open her doors, roll up her windows or open her trunk. One year my ’34 Nash shook so bad the hood got out of alignment so bad it was never the same after that, not to mention the paint that was chipped in the process. This year the Princesses car lost the electronics again.. ..We drive over 7000 miles a year with no problem till we get on this road.. ..It’s like the Bermuda Triangle or something! On the way from the host hotel to the event everything shook back to working and remained so the rest of the weekend! I bounced so high that I now have a dent in the top of my head right where the little button is on the top of my hat! We will never go on that road again, next year we will have a better plan.

After registering at the host hotel we arrived at the event about 10Am and set up camp near where we were last year only this year we were on gravel. Next year we need to get there earlier to get on the grass! All afternoon we were getting reports from family back home in Stafford about how hard it was raining there.. ..No rain where we were yet! We left about 3:30 for the Hampton Inn in Mechanicsville, VA. It was starting to rain just a little. After we unloaded at the motel and ate at Outback it started to seriously rain! We decided not to go to the cruise that night.


Saturday we arrived at the event early and since we left our canopies overnight at our parking spots we were almost set up. It was sunny and hot.. ..Hot.. ..Hot all day long. I think it was about 300 degrees around 2PM. Saturday is the most attended day of the 4 day event and there was much cruising around in golf carts and cars at the event. When we attend weekend shows the Princess and I usually bring “emergency” money in case we see something at the event we want to buy and the vendor doesn’t take plastic. This year the Princess bought a very expensive doodad at Women’s World and had to use her “special” money! But she also saw that I had won a super prize and knew I wouldn’t hear the number being called out so she picked it up for me.. ..Actually when she got back to the camp she gave me my prize before telling me about the expensive doodad.. ..Those Princesses are so tricky, hehehehe Then Dan, in his never ending quest to make his engine & wheels shine a little more, bought some “new and much more wonderful” billet shiner upper for his ’55.. ..So I had to buy some to keep up with him, thanks a lot Dan.. ..I really like to rub on my engine and wheels.. ..Oh yeah.. ..If this keeps up I’ll end up with arms like the California Governor! As always there are really great cars in attendance, please check out the pictures on http://rides.webshots.com/album/574414979npaCxY and video at http://www.youtube.com/user/502SizeMatters We decided to leave the event around 4PM and go back to the Hampton to chill out a little before going to the Brunetti’s cruise in Mechanicsville, VA that evening.

The cruise was great, the food at Brunetti’s was good but they were very busy and we had to wait a little to get a table. I took some pictures but by the time we came out from the restaurant it was dark and I don’t take good pictures in the dark so we sat and enjoyed each other’s company for a few hours then went back to our hotel for the evening.

Sunday we arrived at the event around 8:30 and parked near the exit by the winners display area on the bricks. We endured the heat through the awards ceremony and Steve showed us a better way back home.. ..No more I95 next year! The event was much better this year.. ..The new food vendors were a welcome addition to the food that is served at the permanent facility. The restrooms were cleaned and in good shape all day this year. The Women’s World was in full swing and much appreciated by all, not just women! The vendors were busy and well represented. There were a lot of paid spectators this year; they paid $14 a head to see our cars.. ..I saw the advertisements on the hotel TV Friday and Saturday night, I guess it helped!? Dan passed out nearly a 1000 Richmond NSRA flyers at shows we attend. I understand that there were 869 registered attendees this year, up 6 from last year. I also understand that attendance at all the NSRA events across our great Country have been down this year! There is a show that has been in conflict with the Richmond NSRA show for 4 years, it’s the show in New Market we attended last week. This year both shows were scheduled so people could attend both shows. This is the way it should be done from a fairness perspective but the attendance at Richmond this year shows it should be scheduled this way to improve attendance at both shows. Many people from the New Market area attended the Richmond event for the first time this year! One car from New Market was on the bricks in the winner’s area! NSRA needs to consider this for next year so the two shows do not conflict. Both benefit! It should be a no brainer! Do you hear me NSRA?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Over the mountians

New Market, VA…Heritage Days is a three day community event with local crafter and food vendors that also has a hot rod extravaganza for us car people! This is the 21st year it has been managed by the Valley Cruisers of Harrisonburg, VA. The event begins on Friday with a cruise in at the Bar-B-Q Ranch on Rt. 11 in Harrisonburg. There were over 150 cars scattered around the restaurant and anywhere else you could park a car and still walk to the restaurant. We arrived late so we parked on a grassed hill behind the restaurant. We got to meet Buddy and see his new hot rod school bus he was driving, check out the pictures. The food was good but the place was very crowded, this will be a good place to visit when there are a normal amount of customers. It rained while we were eating and I wondered if we were going to get to see the cars sliding down the hill into the restaurant! Right before sundown we wiped off the rain and left. I took some artsy fartsy pictures of the RedRat’s shadow on our way to the motel. But before we shut down for the night we had to sample the ice cream at the little shop on Rt. 211. I took some pictures of the sunset and was reminded of the old adage; Red sky at night, sailors delight.....red sky in the morning sailor take warning. The red sunset ended our first day and I knew the weather-guessers would be wrong about all the rain they forcasted for tomorrow! On the way back to the Motel I saw a blown open wheel coupe in front of me in traffic, I tried to work up to it but got caught at a light, I saw “I’m your huckleberry” on the trunk lid! I thought about it all night, I knew I would see it again.

Saturday morning began by wiping down the cars from the rain (that’s twice now) during the night then headed for the Southern Kitchen restaurant for breakfast and the all day cruise at the same location. After breakfast we set up camp behind the cars and by noon it started to rain.. ..and it rained for three hours! The parade went on at 1PM regardless of the rain, see the video. I was beginning to get a flavor for the type of cars we were seeing. These are “drivers”, they are meant to be driven in hot, cold, rain and I’m told even snow! The cars are very nice and would do well at most shows but these are primarily used on the road and not in trailers. The variety of vehicles was stunning as was the level of quality and craftsmanship reflected in the vehicles but then if you have to depend on your ride to get you home it has to be good! Right? The stroller for big kids was a nice touch! About 3PM the rain stopped and the show was over? I think the weather manager got that backwards? We went back to the Motel and did what retired people have to do at least once a day.. .. ..take a nap! Hehehe Whenever we are near Luray or New Market and its lunch or dinner time we like to stop at Sonny’s restaurant on Rt. 211 so after our nap we took off for Sonny’s. After dinner we headed back to New Market and checked out the PreShow Party & Dinner in progress at the Rescue Squad building. All the food at the party was part of your registration fee; it was like a free buffet! So.. .. ..When you eat too much and have that stuffed sleepy feeling what do you do? You sing karaoke of course! There were many singers crooning for us from two little sisters singing Gospel to a guy that sang Kenny Roger’s “Lady” like Kenny.. ..Very good. And a lot of others in-between! The sun went down and we wanted to get back to the Motel and put the cars to bed so we left the party.. ..still in progress! I’m told that when the karaoke was over they played bingo most of the night!

Sunday we dried off the cars again (three times now), packed up, checked out of the Motel and filled up the fuel tanks then headed to Rebel Park and the 21st Annual Rod Run to the Park. We were parked in a good location so we set up camp and prepared to enjoy the day. This “show” is very different as there is no judging or awards! No competition! No grumbling over the judging! Just displaying your car and enjoying each other’s company.. ..What a deal! The Princess said she was going to “buy” her award and took a bucket full of tickets for the silent auction, it worked! There will be happiness in Stafford for another week! Dan and the Princess were fighting over a red-white-blue basket but neither one won it, the Princess said that was ok because it had one of those nasty piggies in it and she really didn’t want it but she didn’t want Dan to win it? There were many car clubs represented at the event including VA Stockers, Stafford Classics, Custom Cruisers of NOVA and many more including the host club Valley Cruisers. Good food was available and they had games going on for the kids and adults! Elvis made an appearance and did a respectable karaoke of the King. As is my privilege I always pick one or two cars that light me up. This event had four cars that I would like to park in my garage! The first was Jack’s ’36 Lincoln Zephyr 4dr.. ..This car was unique and as nicely done as any I have seen and you can drive in comfort and elegance knowing when you arrive there will not be another car like yours there. Then Nancy’s red ’34 Studebaker 4dr.. ..This was a unique piece too and reminds me of the ’34 Nash 4dr I had. Then the ’33 Ford 3wc, the Huckleberry car! This is so rowdy looking and the “I’m your huckleberry” sign on the back fits the personality of this car just right.. ..and I bet it IS a huckleberry.. ..hehehehe The last one is the black ’30-31 Ford PU. My cousin, Doug, got me interested in hot rods in the mid 50’s.. ..We were visiting his family in Ohio one summer and he was running a ’30-31 Ford PU in the B/G class. He took me to 3 drag races and that started me on a long downhill slide into hot rods and fast cars in general, thanks a lot Doug! hehe Anyway I know I wouldn’t fit into the little black PU I saw Sunday but it might be just the incentive I need to lose some of my ballast.. ..The Princess says I just need to eat more tofu and bean sprouts and less oatmeal cookies and it will be alright?! It’s not possible to sustain life without oatmeal cookies?
There were 222 registered cars in the show and I took pictures of them all! I shoot at a very high resolution and if you want larger images of them please contact me at phatrat@comcast.net Double J Sound was spinning the tunes and doing the announcements at all four events; he provides the backdrop that makes the event’s feel right! We had a great time, the people made us feel welcome, especially Buddy. You have to check out his school bus when you see it. This was a fun event and we will check it out again next year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To infinity and beyond!

Friday evening at Virginia BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA. This weekly cruise always draws new cars that don’t show up at local shows.. ..People just bringing out their cars to share with other people. There is a core of 30-40 cars that usually show up but there is always something new! This week we saw a home built green Crosley tow truck, the owner will talk about Crosleys till the cows come home, ask him about the “Tin engine” Crosley made. The pearl ’63 Chevy Impala with the brass knuckle shotgun intake scoop was unique and nicely done. The red ’54 Ford with the modular motor was special too. About 70 cars made the cruise special and it closed around 9PM.

Saturday we met Dan & Ramona, Ron and Andrew at Cracker Barrel in Central Park for breakfast then on to the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club’s (FC&MCC) annual show.. ..This year it was be held at Chancellor Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, VA. This club always puts on a well run show with an emphasis on recognizing their club members efforts in the process. Some clubs recognize special members at club meetings but this one does it in a public venue, at a car show! This year they recognized Pop (Harold Wilson) for his contributions to their club and the general car culture in the area. Pop attends most of the cruises and shows around here, you can check my pictures on webshots and his blue Baja Bug is in most of them, he’s everywhere!. He and his bride, Sue, work tirelessly making all feel welcome at their events and he is an important cog in the wheel of the machine that is FC&MCC. Congrats POP!

The show ended up with around 150 registered cars.. ..WOW! The cars ran the gamut of types from race cars to antiques to customs to road cars. The Stafford Classics club won the club participation with 42 members present! And the orange ’56 Merc deservedly won best of show. I think there were 9 VW’s in attendance which is more bugs in one show than I’ve seen since we left California in ’73! I used to race one of those cantankerous beasts on the left coast and it was special to see all those air cooled, people’s cars.. ..especially the red truck. The candy red ’51 Ford PU was there along with the champagne & orange ’54 Ford PU. Richard’s red ’60 Chevy PU won best engine and The Princess won a trophy too.. ..So there will be happiness in Stafford this week. One of the reasons I like this show is that’s it’s attended by very few trailered cars, a real drive in show! The food was from VA BBQ and there were other vendors present too. The bathrooms were nice but far away from the show? We arrived early enough to get the few parking spaces with grass in back; the rest was on the asphalt parking lot.

We packed up our support equipment and a few of us headed to Orange, VA and the monthly cruise at the Burger King on Rt. 15. This cruise is always a surprise from the cars that come out, this time was no exception. Our group got separated in Orange and I was waiting in a parking lot for the group to catch up and I noticed all the trailers unloading their cars.. ..This was going to be a special cruise! Sure enough of the 150+ cars in attendance there were about 25 that don’t see many road miles.. ..Cam2, slick shod cars that might be street legal, rumbling around, intimidating all that dared look at them! There was a small group of Tuners with their Hondas & Toyotas. But the majority was hot rods & muscle cars.. ..A great mix of cars. I was too tired from the heat so I didn’t take pictures of all the cars. We left the cruise around 8PM and started the 50 mile trip home.

All went well till we got near home on Rt. 1.. ..There is a nice piece of road that is three lanes wide.. ..and straight.. ..and level.. ..and I was first in line at the red light.. ..and I was thinking about those race/street cars I saw at Orange.. ..and my ankle is well enough to try some faster shifting. The RedRat growled and went straight, the transmission shifted like a knife in hot butter.. ..it was like a dream.. ..until I saw the blue lights in my mirror! I always say to be very careful if you are going to act stupid at night because you can’t tell what kind of cars are behind the headlights! I broke my own rule and had a nice conversation with one of Stafford’s finest! I don’t know if he couldn’t believe that old car could go that fast or if it was my charming personality but after a mostly one sided conversation with him he gave me my license back and told me not to do that again! The Princess said that he knew I was an old fart without a job and didn’t have the money to pay a fine and they would have to keep me in jail and with the County budget shortfall it would be cheaper to just let me go! The Queen couldn’t believe they didn’t arrest me or shoot me in the knee or something! I think I will behave better especially when I’m near Stafford! We’ll see.. .. ..

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gone Fishin....

Hi,
I won't update the blog till Wedensday this week....I'll be in PA fishing! I have uploaded the pictures from the weekend at;
http://community.webshots.com/user/33coupe

A lot happened....including some flashing blue lights! More on Wedensday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finally a dry weekend.

Friday evening and surprise surprise.. ..no rain! So off to Fredericksburg, VA and the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club’s weekly cruise at Virginia BBQ. This cruise will always have 50 cars each week but sometimes it grows to 70-80 cars, tonight was one of the overflow nights! The host club, Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club, provides music and a few trophies, one club pick, one spectator’s pick and one VA BBQ manager’s pick. The cruise has great access since it’s right on Rt. 1 and River Rd. Another thing I like is that there is always a lot of spectator traffic as I like to share my hobby with others that ask especially non-car people!

Tonight we got to see Ed’s orange ’37 on the road again after some major motor work, now it sounds like a hot rod again. He also got a new license plate that is real... ..special! Carolyn said it means spoiled.. ..but I think it just means.. ..special! I liked the light blue ’59 Plymouth, they are seldom seen around here then Fred & Debie brought another Mopar, their red/white ’57 Dodge. Paul brought his noisy ’34 and Marla showed up with her red ’55 Chevy PU, nice ride Marla! Please check out the other cars in the pictures to get a flavor for the diversity of the cars that attend. This is always a pleasant no stress cruise so if you are in Fredericksburg on any Friday night you need to check it out even if you don’t bring your “special” car to the deal.. ..You will enjoy it!

Sunday we met at Bob Evans in Stafford, VA for breakfast then five cars cruised to Colonial Beach, VA to attend the picnic at Jims Antique Motor Co. We got started a little late because of the food fight in Bob Evans and on the way to Colonial Beach one of the Chevy parts Fred had on his Barracuda decided to leave and he & Jim had to make some roadside adjustments so we could continue.

When JV bounced this idea off me months ago I thought it would be OK but I wasn’t really excited about it. JV is a little ‘out there’ since he stopped smoking (what do you expect from a guy that drives a hot rod with no doors) and I had not worked with him in the past so I really didn’t know how this would go. He did the coordinating with his club in Colonial Beach and I just wrote a couple emails! JV, Jim Still and the Colonial Beach Cruisers put the whole deal on and it turned out to be a great day to be at the beach! All we had to do was show up? They provided lunch and a friendly and inclusive atmosphere to enjoy the day. The Colonial Beach Cruisers are the friendliest bunch of car people we have met, except for that girl in the back of John’s ‘57! They always make us feel like we are part of them.. ..maybe it’s just because the Princess whines a lot and it’s easier to be nice to her so she will just smile and be quiet.. ..I didn’t say that! Or maybe it’s just my sensitive and caring personality? Grin The casual life style of the beach helps too; it’s like being on vacation.. ..You just have to watch out for the golf carts, grin! JV reserved the parking area in front of Jim’s museum for the people from Stafford, boy did we feel ‘special’.

Jim opened up his ’54 Ford museum for us as it is normally not open to the public. Think about it, a museum dedicated to the 1954 Ford, the year Ford came out with their first OHV V-8 motor. Oldsmobile and Cadillac started the OHV race in ’49 and Lincoln introduced their first OHV V-8 in ’52 and Ford got into the race in ’54, a year before Chevy! The vehicles ranged from a Vicky to sedan delivery and everything in between. Jim had 13 of his restored cars inside and two others in process. He has way too many waiting outside to be done! He has a yellow ’54 Ford golf cart.. ..with a V-8 in the front! I love the simplicity of the floor pedals.. ..go-stop, kind of like the way I drive the RedRat. hehehe. All the memorabilia is for ’54 Fords too, much of it NOS! Jim built the building to be like a 50’s new car dealership, I think he nailed that too. I wondered around and talked to people while I took pictures, had some lunch and settled down behind the RedRat to enjoy the rest of the day. After seeing me chilling out JV decided to move the activity of the day up.. ..Whoopee! He was orchestrating a blind driving competition.. ..Huh? This I have to see! I posted a video of the deal on U-tube, it was a real hoot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICxlGG2ochE The idea was to start on a line, blindfolded, and drive to the other line and stop before crossing over it. Sounds simple.. ..Yeah right! JV demonstrated how to do it but others were just waiting for someone else to go. JV asked the Princess to compete and she said she would wait.. ..until.. ..JV said there would be trophies for the winner. The Princess got up and in a blur she woke up her coupe and headed for the start line. I hope no one was trampled between her and her coupe.. ..She was on a mission to get a trophy! Her first try ended with her running over a cone! She said the blindfold hurt her head and she thinks someone moved the cone and the crowd was too noisy and it was too hot for her to be comfortable and she couldn’t concentrate and and and.. .. JV or Jim then announced that if you went past the finish line you could try again. But the Princess went out the sideline and she whined that it was unfair and a Princess should have special rules and her track should have been wider and and and. So one of the guys gave in and let her try again. See what I deal with all the time???? On her second try she stayed on the track and stopped before the finish line but she was way long and she didn’t win! She told me to invent one of those blue teeth thingies with a laser rangefinder so she could win next time. She said I had plenty of time on my hands since I polished her trophies last week and don’t have to do that for another week! Are we there yet? Hehehe We stayed a while longer but it was really getting hot so we packed up and ran for home. We had a small group of people (five cars) from Stafford and I’m sorry that those that missed the cruise to Colonial Beach missed something special, maybe next time?