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.. 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; 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.