Monday, December 13, 2010

HO HO HO

Saturday at high noon 15 ‘special’ cars, one minivan, one blazer and two motorcycles met at County Fare restaurant in Stafford, VA to begin our first Toys For Tots run. Dan came up with the idea a few months ago then he and I put something together that should be fun and meaningful for the participants AND the recipients. Little did we know that a local car club, Stangs and Fangs of Fredericksburg, had a Toys For Tots run planned for the same time. Their run was a little different than ours but the net result of more toys for kids and an opportunity to enjoy our cars was the same. I understand they had 87+ Mustangs come out to support their run…. very impressive! It’s no surprise to me that the Ford guys lead the way in things like this….hehehehe No Camaro or Mopar runs? Hmmmmmm Oh well us Ford guys are glad to lead the way! HO HO HO

Eric, the owner of County Fare, had agreed to let us gather in his restaurant to form up for the run while we had lunch. It was a no brainer for us because the food at County Fare is the best and the service can't be beat ….you have to try it sometime. Promptly at 1PM we all started our beasts and headed north to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA. The cruise is only about 12 miles long on Rt. 1 with a few traffic lights but we didn’t want to tie up a lot of time by having a longer run with just two shopping Saturday’s left before Christmas. At about 8 miles up the road I had pre-arranged to leave the group to get to the museum before the rest of the group….so I could shoot a video of the procession arriving. I knew that would leave the Princess leading the group which is never a good thing. I hoped she would not get lost or confused and keep going till she reached Washington D. C.! Since we pre-drove the route the day before I had a high confidence level that she could do it….and she did….whew. We also had Dom and his Model T which has special driving parameters which we are glad to accommodate so we could have his icon of the American automobile represented in our group. Some of us brought our children or grandchildren to experience the deal with us which was special in many ways. The Princess led the group into the parking lot like we planned and it was awesome. I shot the video from the wrong sun angle so some of the clip is very dark….I’m still learning to make the sun my friend when I take pictures! I’ll do better next time….I promise.

After everyone was parked the group moseyed into the museum and placed the gifts we brought near the Jeep that was the Toys For Tots drop off area. We took pictures around the toy drop area then we wandered through the museum. The museum can have a very visceral impact on people so some wandered individually and some in small groups. The museum helps you understand what the Marines are all about….their history, their honor and their sacrifice to a grateful Nation. If you haven’t visited the museum lately you need to do that….it will be an experience you will not forget. Whatever your views on war are doesn’t matter when you consider what our Military does for us. They do what the civilian leadership directs them to do. It’s about Duty, Honor and Selflessness….they are our warriors….they do what we cannot or will not do to protect our Country. We need to honor them and respect them always. It has always struck me odd that our most fierce warriors, The Marines, are the ones that are responsible for the most compassionate task of bringing some hope and cheer to those children that would otherwise have a bleak Christmas season?

Around 3PM Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus arrived for the children, of all ages, and the day was complete. Some stayed to absorb the ambiance and message of the museum and others left for their previous commitments, Dom left so he could get home before dark. grin It was a great day for many kids and the people that ventured out with their special cars.
Please check out the pictures at; http://rides.webshots.com/album/579300994agcrPj

You can also view my less than stellar video here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv_jqGIPpKk

This will be the close of the season for us but you may still see us driving around Stafford on a warm day….giving old people a bad name! Our first scheduled show in 2011 is the North Stafford High School Skills show on March 26, 2011. We are planning next year’s schedule now and it will include fewer shows and more cruises. We are evolving to more driving and less sitting! We hope to see you on the road next year. Merry Christmas and a noisy New Year!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It was cold....and very cool....

The Princess & I met with Ron & Jean, Jim & Linda, Fred & Debie and Bill B. at the WAWA in Stafford, VA and that made up our five car convoy heading to Warrenton, VA. And so began our second annual Over the River and Through the Woods Run. Dan & I hatched this idea in the summer of ‘09 and we had so many questions about the one we did last November that we decided to do it again! We left WAWA at 7:30 and picked up Dan & Ramona then Ken & Carmen along the way so when we arrived at the Liberty gas station in Warrenton, VA we had 7 cars to add to the 17 cars that would find their way there. Some of the people at the Liberty gas station were Lou & Arlene, Steve & Sally, Dave H., Wyatt R., Ted & Donna, Mike & Shirley, Tommy & Sheila, Terry B., Tommy C., Charlie B. and others. We departed at precisely 9AM and cruised on Rt. 17 to the Mother Road (Rt. 66) then to Rt. 55 and into Front Royal, VA. When we ran into Rt. 340 we stopped at the 7-11 and picked up more cars, Jack & Joyce, Roy & Fran and others. Then there were 28 crazy cars motoring along on Rt. 340 the rest of the way to Luray, VA and the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum. I don’t know if you have ever participated in a run with a lot of cars traveling on public roads but it is a rush. The Princess and I like to travel by ourselves or in a small groups but the large groups of special cars have a certain personality that is fun too. I was leading the herd so we cruised at or a little under the speed limit….so we wouldn’t have to keep looking over our shoulder and so we would be a good example of how to enjoy this hobby. We wouldn’t want people to think that car people were rowdy or out of control or anything….

When we arrived at the Museum parking lot I fell into my normal state of confusion about where to park….but once again the Princess picked out a primo spot along the parking lot perimeter fence where most of the 28 cars could park and not worry about door damage. A few of the cars had to park in the “normal” lot near us but used the end of the rows to lessen their exposure to damage.

We had arranged to have the entry fee to the Car and Carriage Museum waived for those that traveled with us but some found the shopping more to their taste. Shopping shopping is what they call it….looks like gathering stuff for eBay to me! Although there were some nice carved wooden cars in the gift shop….and a neat red-white and blue wooden airplane. And did I mention they make cookies and fudge….it’s so nice to be able to enjoy consuming one of the seven major food groups….my dietitian will be happy! We stayed at the Museum till 12:30 then cruised to Sonny’s Place for lunch.

Sonny’s has been a must visit restaurant when we are in the area and we were not disappointed Saturday. Their portions are large so I constrained myself from getting an appetizer and salad and entrée and dessert and bucket of ice tea and and and. Just a nicely done brisket platter and water please….just enough so I had to ask for a little box for the leftovers….to be enjoyed another time. I’m told that men rarely ask for a doggy bag as compared to women who always do….but….men are more likely to use it later while women usually let them turn into science projects in the refrigerator, to be thrown out eventually….when the tentacles from the mystery goo reach out for the other food nearby. Hehehehe

After lunch most of us took separate routes home but 9 of us cruised to Culpeper, VA where we gave up two cars that headed south then near Bealeton we lost Steve & Sally going east but the remaining 6 of us wound around on the lesser traveled roads back to Stafford and home. It was so cold in my car that my right leg started to charley horse and get very painful so I was stretching it out on the passenger side to relive the pain….while pushing the throttle with my left foot….this made for some very interesting clutch/brake/throttle contortions but it was the only way I could stop the pain. I think I’ll get a 12V temporary heater next time we go a long way when it’s cold.

It was a great day for driving around the Virginia countryside and most of us came home with the same amount of parts we left with so what’s not to like about that? We have a Toys for Tots run scheduled for December 11, 2010 and that will end our scheduled adventures for the year. I will be taking the coupes apart to make improvements as well as perform normal maintenance so we can be ready for next season. I may chronicle the things I do to the cars during the winter….maybe not….we’ll see.

Be sure to visit here for many more pictures of the adventure;
http://rides.webshots.com/album/579182781IWPbnU

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hibernate....

Well it's Halloween eve and we just put the hot rods in the garage after a little run around town with Dan & Ramona. We have a run November 27th and one in December but for the most part the hot rods will be garage dwellers till March. We will take them out on warm days....just to drive around and give old people a bad name but no more organized deals for the year.

We attended 67 events this year....one less than last year....I don't know what that means? We have made some new friends and deepened some relationships during the year and generally enjoyed ourselves while playing with hot rods. The two hot rods ran fine most of the year and I'll be upgrading and maintaining them during the winter.

The next post will be after Thanksgiving and one more in mid December then silence till March.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fun with aiplanes and cars....part deaux

Saturday, October 23, 6AM….Dan & Ramona, the Princess and I begin our dark and dreary 63 mile cruise from Stafford to the Leesburg Airport in Leesburg, VA. We took I-95 to Rt. 234N to the Mother Road (I-66) then Rt. 15 to Leesburg and the airport. Rt. 15 is a nice rural road to cruise except for the traffic circles. These little heart stoppers do add a level of excitement to the trip. I know the traffic planners think they do a better job with the traffic flow than stop signs….and I know they are in use all over the world….and I know Gordonsville has had one for many years….but I think they are a cruel joke on old people. You can’t read and understand the signage in time to make sensible decisions about what you are going to commit to before you enter the maelstrom of head lights, tail lights, break lights, turn signals, horns and people telling me that they think I’m number 1….? Stop signs or traffic signals take most of the conflict out of intersections. I think traffic circles are a product of some twisted traffic engineer’s desperate attempt at humor….I don’t like traffic circles. You will not find any in the Slacker’s perfect world. After surviving two circles I was more than a little shaken and started to feel lost. I had pre-driven the route on MapQuest and Google Earth during the week to familiarize myself with the surroundings but Saturday morning in the dark all I could see was the road in front of me! I contacted Ramona in the back of the troupe because they always run with a GPS….I hoped she could keep us from ending up in Florida! She told me we were on track and the next turn was 6 miles ahead…. whew. Isn’t technology wonderful?! I had thought about taking a GPS with me in the RedRat but it just wouldn’t work with the “Hot Rod” persona of that car….getting lost is better? It’s a “man” thing.

We arrived early and had to line up on the ramp to wait till all the airplanes were moved so we could drive to our parking spaces among the airplanes. The display was designed to raise awareness of Wounded Warrior Project and add some additional interest to the air show. We were the only “Hot Rods” in the display of exotic cars. It was neat to be in the company of so many special cars. Some of which you only read about but never actually see. There were many Ferrari’s and a couple Lamborghinis with various other “exotic” cars in the mix. The original Mini Cooper was special and the Renault was….as I remembered them. Bob's yellow and blue hand built Jag was off the chart cool but I liked the Porsche racer from iMA Motorsport the best….the Gulf Oil colors made it work for me! I remember the same colors on the Ford GT-40’s but they look better on the Porsche. Wyatt was there with his DeLorean and kept a crowd of spectators around his car all day. It was interesting that when some of the cars were lined up in the morning the RedRat was the tallest of the bunch! It looked weird….but it really stood out.

The spectators were, for the most part, respectful of the cars but some of the other participants were encouraging people to sit in their cars. So when they got to our cars they didn’t understand why we wouldn’t let them crawl onto and into the hot rods. The little ones especially just didn’t understand….so we had to enlighten them about scratches in the paint on the running boards from their shoes and how that is not something we are happy about! The Princess is real good about conveying that message ….being a school bus driver for 26 years!

The day was perfect and as the airshow wound down the spectators surrounded the cars again as they left the venue and we had some lengthy conversations until the crowds started thinning out. This was the first try by Ray and Bruce at one of these display deals and I think they pulled it off just fine. I know the Princess liked the donuts…hint hint! The spectators appreciated the cars being there and I know it added to their enjoyment of the day. I think the cars will be an attraction that needs to be advertised next year to help with the attendance at the airshow. It was also a good day for WWP as they raised $665 and the public awareness up a notch or two.

Dan & Ramona cruised to Winchester and overnighted there then attended the Hoppers show the next day. We cruised home to get ready for the bonsai trip to PA and back the next day to see our newest granddaughter. I kept humming ‘on the road again’ as I drove….

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Playing with cars, trucks and airplanes....again!

Saturday October 9, 2010 and its SHOWTIME! It’s time for the 11th Annual AirFest at Culpeper Regional Airport in Brandy Station, VA. Dan and I have been planning this event since the day after last year’s event! The parking staff of Andrew on the road, Speedo Dan, Princess Whinesalot and me, started the parking process at 0630….in the morning! It began in the dark but the morning broke perfect and the blue sky, puffy clouds and light breeze would stay all day. The temperature even stayed out of the hateful range!

Our event is a display, not a show, and as such after the parking is complete the bulk of our work on show day should be done. But what we all agreed to do was to stay near our vehicles and be readily available to answer questions when the spectators ask them about our vehicles. Most of the participants stayed with their vehicles all day and answered any questions the spectators had about their rides. Some, like the Model T, had a steady stream of curious visitors ….whole families….not just the dad or mom. The visitors would generally stay in the vehicle compound going from one vehicle to the next for 15-20 minutes then proceed through the main gate to the Air Show. Dan & I only invited 22 vehicles because we didn’t want to overpower the air show. We just wanted to be one of the many displays….a complement to the air show not competition to it….I think it worked!

One of the vehicles we invited was Ray & Terry with their Wounded Warrior Project race car. This vehicle is privately sponsored so no money given to WWP goes to sponsor the race car. Ray & Terry bring the car to shows when their race schedule allows and accept donations to WWP. But most importantly they raise awareness about WWP and how that group assists our returning Heroes. Saturday they collected $400 in donations which was a good day for WWP. But since Ray & Terry were there representing WWP and since the Prince William Cruisers were present at our display because they sponsored us….it seemed like a great opportunity for PWC to give Ray & Terry the WWP donation checks that they had received from their last show. The checks totaled $2600!...a great day for WWP.

Those of you that know me, know when I get “focused” on a project I start suffering from tunnel vision….that happened Saturday and consequently I didn’t get any pictures of the airplanes and vendors. I was so intense in making sure everything went well for our display that I forgot to step back and see what else was around us. In fact I didn’t know when the show was over till people started coming back out the gate! I know there was some magnificent flying that I missed, especially by Dan McCue in his Corsair. Oh well maybe next year I’ll delegate more car stuff and watch the airplanes more….we’ll see.

P.S. Dan and Andrew DID take a bunch of pictures….whew, thanks guys….be sure to check them out.

http://rides.webshots.com/album/578757281MuAMna

http://rides.webshots.com/album/578759531gfhuRd


And my video is parked at;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4-NppwJ_d0


video

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crazy Crazy Weekend

Friday evening and the Princess and I cruised to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA to attend the weekly cruise. Some people we rarely see came out like Dan & Ramona with their black ’55 Chevy and Tony & Janice and their grey ’71 Super Bee and Wesley brought out his black & white ’56 Chevy panel, nice. I liked the little yellow English Ford with the small block and tube frame….the yellow ’35 Chevy sedan was new to us as was the red ’57 Chevy drop top. There were about 60 cars through the course of the evening and the event was special because they were raising money for one of our wounded warriors, Sgt. Lyon. I can tell fall is here because the Princess started whining about the cold before the event was over so we left early.

Saturday morning we met at Bob Evans for breakfast then cruised 25 miles to the ninth annual Christ Episcopal Church show in Spotsylvania, VA. The show had many crafty vendors and a Chinese auction….why is it called a Chinese auction, why not a Canadian auction or Australian auction….I worry about that. They had a quilt auction and good food cooking most of the day. The restrooms were inside the church and kept tidy by the church staff. The venue for this show is varied; you can park on level grass under trees or on a grassy hill in the sun or in a parking lot next to grass where you can erect your canopy. We chose to park on the grass right off the parking lot….it was a great spot.

There was a good variety of the 80 cars I saw and many of them were very nicely done cars. We had seen most of them at the various shows and cruises we attend, that is the down side of attending so many local shows. But we always see something new and this show was no exception. The yellow & black suede ’68 Chevelle was very different….and the little red MG-Jeepster-thingy was too far out for me. I did like the purple ’40 Ford coupe and Arnold’s purple ’57 Chevy convertible the best….but there were many other very nice cars too. The only negative thing about this show is the cannon! Yes a cannon that is fired from the back of the parking lot at various times during the day….the loudness is near paralyzing….I think it would be like getting tazzed….every so often….for no apparent reason….you are just having a conversation with an old friend and wham, it scrambled my senses like I just took 45 million volts through my ear lobes….I think some people were getting ready to pay the cannoneer an unfriendly visit! But fortunately the show ended before that happened….that should be deleted from the entertainment committee’s choices next year.

We left the show and followed Steve and some other friends to the cruise in Locust Grove. We had heard rumors of a cruise on Rt. 20 that was getting 50+ cars on the first Saturday of the month. The cruise started this year in June/July and seemed like it was a hit! We arrived a little early and the isolation/caution tape had not been put us so we parked where we thought would be allowed….then Mike decided to move where there were no lines on the pavement and be closer to the shade….so we all moved too, like lemmings! Mike is a very independent guy….he has a V-6 in his red ’29 2 door so he is going against the grain a little just by showing up! We decided to check out one of the local eateries and hid inside Mama’s Pizza restaurant for an hour or so. There are three food choices and the next time we will check out one of the others. Mama’s Pizza was great….the Princess says that the Lasagna was done just right for a Princess? I guess that means we lowly bottom dwellers should be happy with the food too! It was good, fairly priced and the service was fun.

As with any cruise they take on their own personality and this one was definitely a local country cruise. The live Gospel singing and bluegrass music set the tone for the evening and I kinda liked it. There were about 55 cars by the end of the evening but I like the yellow ’49 Jeepster….you never see these cars around and the one at the cruise was flawless. The only negative thing about the cruise was where the cars came into and left the cruise compound. They should have a person at the end of the lot lifting up the caution tape to allow ingress and egress, not through the canopies with the musicians and all the people gathered around listening. The kids were running around and after dark it was dangerous to drive in that area. We stayed till it got cold then cruised on home….I actually had to roll up both windows because of the cool weather….I love it!

Sunday since we were going to work in the show that got rained out last week so we took our mule, ’07 Sport Trac, up the road so we could haul more stuff for Wounded Warrior Project. The show is put on for Wounded Warrior Project and Jill’s House, two worthy causes. Last week we had 34 cars show up in the rain and we were hoping for many more this week. The weather guesser’s forcasted rain for the afternoon, they just didn’t agree when it would be here. So we pressed on with the show. Steve and the rest of the Prince William Cruisers had set up everything. The Princess and Ramona were going to be selling the event T shirts, Dan was going to help take the money and I was going to help Jo with the registration.

As I have said before the venue is great but we had received almost 6” of rain during the last week….so the grassed area was a little soft, not muddy, just soft. We got there before 8AM and the cars started coming in shortly after that. One of the main drawbacks of this show is the food. The park had permanent food facilities which should be good….but the food is subpar and the service is minimal to laughable. I shudder to think that those young people are the future of our Country….they can’t even make change for a hamburger! And the bathrooms were really bad this year….they were dirty and not adequately stocked.

But on the good side it didn’t rain till after the show, the band was kickin out awesome music and the event ran like a Rolex. The success of the event was due in part to the generous contributions of Mr. Devine, Mr. Morissette, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Brown. Those contributions allowed the Prince William Cruisers to raise $5200 for the two charities….a real good day by any measure! All of the Prince William Cruisers that came out to make the day successful should be thanked for their dedication and unselfish volunteering.

100 cars were registered but the field was flooded by Camaros, 15 of them entered the event before it was over! The “rest” of the field was varied and included some very nice cars. The one I liked the best was the blue “65 Buick Special, with the V-6. Between the one barrel carburetor, the V-6 crank throws, the convertible top and standard transmission those evil little cars would never idle nice like the V-8 would….I worked on a few of them when I was a mechanic in Riverside, CA and tried to make the car run like a “Buick” but usually failed. It was very interesting to see one again. To say I’m glad I was not asked to help with the judging is an understatement….the cars were very nice and the judges job was tedious at best.

The award ceremony was completed a little early and the Prince William Cruisers struck the camp quickly….by 4PM you couldn’t tell anything had happened at the park! WOW The rain started about 5PM!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meteorological misfortunes

Saturday morning we met at Bob Evans for breakfast then cruised to the Zoan Baptist Church show in Fredericksburg, VA. This is the fourth annual deal for the church and their major sponsor, Big Foot Speed & Custom. The show always has a nice mix of new and old vehicles and Saturday they had 76 vehicles registered and a few that didn’t! The event has always been attendee centric….they want the entrants to have a good time, what a concept! They have crafty things for sale that the Princess says she needed. They sold tickets for a cake walk? And she “won” a large box of homemade brownies and another one with white chocolate chip & nut cookies. The Princess brought me the container of cookies….she is always looking out for me….making sure I consume the correct nourishment ….cookies are one of the 7 major food groups….right? The only thing was that my cookie container was broke, all the cookies just leaked out before I got home! The Princess says I’m not being truthful about where the cookies went….I think that little short curly blonde person told on me, he was giving me a real slow look over, I don’t think I trust him! There was also good food for sale and clean restrooms. The show would have been perfect except for the heat….the weather guessers said it was going to be 85 degrees….I think we set another heat record, I think I could hear the grass crackle as it was going from green to dried out brown! Yes it was a 6 bottles of water and two bottles of Gatorade day!

The organizers gave out the awards then we packed up and headed for the cruise at Bruster’s in N. Stafford. We decided to eat at a nearby restaurant after we arrived so by the time we got back to the cars it was dark! It looked like it was going to be a normal evening at Bruster’s with about 50-60 cars coming and going. The Princess and I passed out some flyers then left. The heat had drained us and we needed to be up early Sunday to help at a show up north….

Sunday we got up at 5Am and started to get ready for the day….I loaded the hot rods with all the Wounded Warrior Project stuff and drinks and ice and a little table and way too much stuff for two coupes to carry then went inside to consult my weather sites. We knew it was forcasted to rain on Sunday but the timing was a mystery. As I tried to get a consensus from the different sites it became clear to me that the rain was going to go around us and not be a problem till 5PM or so. So about 6:30 Ramona called me to check on which vehicles we were going to take to the show and I said….The hot rods of course! After the conversation I thought maybe I should check outside….it was raining so hard it was running down the driveway! So much for the weather guesser’s prognostication! I switched all the stuff into my truck and we headed out with our mule! We were to help with registration at the PWC show in Occoquan, VA. The show was to benefit Wounded Warrior Project so we were going to be there one way or the other! You can check out the pictures and see us standing around, under the canopies, watching the rain run off the edge of the canopy…. Steve, the show organizer and decision maker, was struggling with what to do. Some people started lining up at the entrance with show cars….in the rain. Some people had come from 155 miles away! Around10 AM it started looking like we may get a reprieve from the rain so Steve didn’t want to call the show….we waited…. We started registering cars and they were setting up their deal….in the rain. At noon Steve decided to call the show….we had 34 cars registered….this show usually has 200+. He had a rain date for the following Sunday so he gave all the participants the choice of coming back next Sunday and get free admission with their registration or if they couldn’t come back they could get a Top 50 trophy, about half took the trophies!

Having put on a few deals myself I know what a frustrating thing it is to call a show after you start it….it never works very well and some people are always unhappy with the outcome. The venue owners are disappointed because they didn’t get the income they were expecting for that day. The sponsors didn’t get the exposure they wanted, the food vendors had to take the food they bought back somewhere! Where does that food go? The other vendors spent money to be there and didn’t have any customers. The participants cleaned and polished for this show and got rained on. The club mustered their members, with their many and varied conflicting personal schedules, to be there and help manage the event. They still had to go through most of their work, setting up tents, setting out the door prizes and trophies….but they didn’t get to complete the cycle. I think that all things considered, Steve made the correct and fair decision for as many of the entities as possible. So next Sunday we go back to Occoquan Park to do it again and see what happens! Oh yeah….around 1:30 the sky cleared and the sun came out….for the rest of the day! Go figure!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cooler is better

Friday evening and the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club orchestrates their weekly cruise event at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, Virginia. About half of the cars were regulars but the other half was new to us. The deep maroon ’63 Vette with the 502 was real nice and the light blue ’50 Chevy was special too. There were 65-70 cars that gave the event a crowded feel….which was a good thing! While stumbling around taking pictures I got to meet Brad, the owner of the black Willys B/G pick up, Willard…. He is making a statement with his ride, check it out when you can. I am seeing the National trend of more suede painted cars at shows and cruises and they were well represented Friday night at the BBQ. The ’54 Ford with the flames is a great representation of that discipline as was the radical black & silver pick up. Tooties white ’57 Olds added to the nostalgic feel of the event too.

I was also introduced to Steve, from Homes for our Troops by Tony the owner of VA BBQ. I think Steve & I can work together on some projects in the future. Please remember our Troops that are doing our Country’s bidding and especially the ones that don’t come back whole. They all deserve our respect and thanks but some of them need our help. One of the ways this can happen is to support groups like Wounded Warrior Project and Homes for our Troops.
http://www.homesforourtroops.org http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
We cruised home in the cool evening air….the RedRat likes cold air….it was a good trip….grin!

Saturday we met Fred at WAWA in Stafford, VA and the three of us took off on our 87 mile cruise to Winchester, VA and the 3rd Annual Cruise-in For a CURE event at the Backseat Bar & Grille. This is the first time we have attended this event and we were pleasantly surprised. The event is run by Valley Cruisers of Winchester and as most of their events do it ran flawlessly….they had us out on time and I heard no grumbling about anything! The Food at Backseat grille is very tasty and fairly priced. They have clean restrooms and the staff is helpful. The Valley Cruisers provided the music and DJ for the event. The event had many activities to keep the participants as busy as they wanted, it was a good time. The event is part of the Relay For Life of the American Cancer Society….a good thing to support. There were many very nice cars but the one I liked best was the black ’56 Ford post with the 427 FE motor. When this car rumbled in with its staccato exhaust note I thought someone had unloaded an alcohol funny car or something like that….it was not to be ignored! It even had cheater slicks! The orange ’51 Ford was way cool too, Ford in a Ford….nice. The Princess “won” a Barbie doll in the Chinese auction….I think it only cost $20 worth of tickets…. But it was so special….and it was a “Princess” Barbie!? O…K…. that makes it better!? I know one of the granddaughters will like it.

After the event we cruised about 12 miles to McCoy’s Ice Cream in Stephens City, VA, to attend the cruise there. We waited till about 5:30 and no other cars showed up? So much for that….we returned to Stafford and the cruise at Bruster’s. The cruise was way too busy for us and the parking lot was overflowing so we stayed an hour then left for home….a great day.

Sunday the Princess and I cruised 60 miles to Sperryville, VA and hooked up with Steve and friends. We then cruised 23 more miles over the mountain to Luray, VA and the Susan G Komen, 3 Day walk for the Cure, car show. The event was held in the Tractor Supply Company’s parking lot in Luray. The event was organized by Betty Topley with the assistance of her husband and daughter plus J.B. at Tractor Supply. Rob Vollten, a local D.J., provided the music and announcements. Tony’s Body Shop, in Culpeper, provided the awards and Chris Hetzer helped where needed. The event was Betty’s first try at putting an event together and we think it worked out great! She may be planning another for next year….stay tuned….she will want you to be part of the event.

There were about 70 cars at the event and many very nice examples of what hot rodding is all about. The coolest one was the Ford shoebox of Tommy’s. The orange flake smoothie was definitely a hit with everyone to the point it won “Best of Show”…. Caddy taillights, wide whites and lakers….what’s not to like? Shoot I was looking for some cigarettes to roll up in my shirt sleeve, I wish I had hair to comb in a DA….oh well….I guess I’m almost a smoothie too, like my friend Lee in AZ! Grin

Most of you know that I don’t compete in the shows anymore because I don’t want to compromise my objectiveness when I report on the events. I also don’t want the distraction of competition to ruin the day for me so I always put a sticker on my registration in the windshield that says “DO NOT JUDGE”. I pay to support the cause for the event but I just don’t want to play. While we were packing up to cruise to Sonny’s, a couple of ladies came over to me with a prayer ribbon….to give to me. They said that they liked my car the best but since it said do not judge it they didn’t know what to do….They were the ladies that participated in the walk for the cure so they were going to give me the award anyway! I have received many awards in my life but this is one of the best….all the bling bling trophies will be gone someday but I’ll treasure this one always ….thanks.

After the show a bunch of us cruised another 5 miles west to Sonny’s Place on the side of Waterfall Mountain and had dinner. The food at Sonny’s is always great and the portions are really large….I mean way too much for a normal human to finish, but I tried….grin The staff is attentive and helpful plus the Lady of the café always makes sure we are well taken care of when stop by…. If you are near Luray or New Market I highly recommend this eatery….yes it has the Slacker’s seal of approval! hehehe

We cruised back to Stafford and I guess I was reflecting on how the day unfolded, while listening to 502 inches of GM’s best, turning gasoline into music….and almost ran out of fuel! OPPS….a quick stop on the outskirts of Culpeper for gas then continue on home….living a dream….I love this hobby….
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Cool weekend

Friday evening at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA and most of the 70 or so cars were regulars….except for the copper ’65 Cyclone pro-street. I don’t know what is going on but I have seen a number of these cars recently, they are getting very popular. We had been going to other cruises on Friday night during the summer and had not attended this one for a couple of months….we feel comfortable here and Wes makes sure everything always runs well. I’m glad the weather is getting cooler….the RedRat runs so much better with cool air.

Saturday we left the WAWA in Stafford, VA and cruised 50 miles to the Reva FD south of Culpeper, VA. This is a nice show with great food cooked inside the building and permanent clean restroom facilities. DJ Ron and Anita keep the music and announcements going and is one of the factors that help us decide which show to attend. The day was brilliantly clear & crisp which added to the enjoyment of the event but it reminded me of the same day 9 years ago. We arrived a little late but found that Lou had saved some parking spots so we could all sit together.

I think there were 90 cars registered which is less than last year but still a good number. We got to see the results of Jim playing deer tag on the way to the event….sorry about your Olds Jim but the important thing is that you are OK….whew! I liked Sam’s gold Merc and the purple shoebox the best for the day. But the red ’56 T-Bird was impeccable and would be allowed to park in my garage anytime! The show was let out around 2PM and some of us cruised to Lou & Arlene’s for lunch….the potatoe salad is to die for!

After our picnic we cruised to Forster’s Grille in S. Stafford, VA and the monthly cruise there that is hosted by VA Stockers. The cruise was in progress and not many cars showed up by the time we left. I don’t know why this cruise won’t attract many consistent cruisers….the venue is good, the cruisers are pleasant and the food & restaurant is good but for some reason this cruise never took off. It will probably not return next year. We were going to cruise to Bruster’s but the Princess was waaaay to tired, she said we needed to get home and get ready for the show in Herndon the next day. It rained during the night and into the morning….no Herndon show!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cruisers 1--Earl 0

Friday we worked our way south to Ashland, VA….since it was the beginning of the 4 day, Labor Day weekend we had to use the less traveled roads which was actually nicer but does go a few miles out of our way. We were also counting on the weather guessers being correct on hurricane Earl’s track and except for some wind it would miss us altogether. The cruise is at the Chick-fil-A across from Virginia Center Commons Mall on Rt. 1 in Ashland and is hosted by the Weekend Cruisers and Fre-Ray Sounds. If you don’t like to talk to people or walk around and look at cars but just want to sit and listen to the music….you will be happy at the cruise! But if you like to look at cars and talk to friendly people it will be an evening you will remember.

The cars came out and in the end there were about 80 of them sharing the event with us….which is a good number of cars to see at any cruise. There were representations of hi-riders, lo-riders, antique, hot rod, pro-street, muscle car, rat rod and a funny little 3 wheeler. I liked the little yellow MGB with the 215ci nailhead. Yes a Buick nailhead first made in 1961 and was all aluminum and a beast to keep together at the time. I was a Buick mechanic at Helgeson Buick in Riverside, CA from ’62-’66 and saw a few of those little motors. Oldsmobile had one too at the same time but I think it had different heads. Noted cam grinder, Chet Herbert, built a twice motored rail that I saw run at Fontana once with the little aluminum motors in it….I think it was injected. Land Rover is now putting the nearly 50 year old Buick motors in their new cars!?

They say that ugly is in the eye of the beholder but I think I saw it sitting on three wheels that night….a tri-wheeled deal that looked like it had a BMW motorcycle motor for power….you decide! And speaking of ugly….the rat rod pick up was….very….special too. I love the console! On the other end of the ugly/pretty scale was the yellow pro-street Camaro, the Red ’58 Cameo PU, the stately grey ’48 Packard, the blue ’66 Impala with some neat, seldom seen options and the mauve ’34 Ford….but my favorite was the grey ’67 Olds 442 post….a really nice car. About 8:30 or so, Jean started to whine about stopping at Carl’s ice cream in Fredericksburg on the way home….and that they closed at 11PM….and would we have enough time to make it there….and she really wanted some ice cream….so we packed up and headed for Carl’s to end the evening. Since traffic had thinned out we decided to take I95 back to Carl’s, it was to be much faster….big mistake….the road was bumpy enough to shake loose parts of the car! During the day you can see the bad spots and usually have enough time to avoid them….but at night you just hit them, the RedRat was bouncing around I was almost changing lanes during the bouncing….I will avoid I95 in the future till they get it fixed. We made it to Carl’s in time so Jean was happy….and the Princess was happy….life is good now because of some chilled, congealed milk fat…how weird is that?

After traveling so much last weekend we decided to stay closer to home this weekend so Saturday we attended the local cruise at Bruster’s ice cream in Stafford, VA. We got there about 5PM and there were 10 cars there already. About 90 cars arrived during the cruise which included 24+ Mustangs! There was a good mix of the Mustangs from 1964 to 2011….I liked the red ’72 GT350. Everything else was pretty much the usual suspects except for the New York State Police cruiser….the ’74 cruiser is the same type of car used in the Blues Brothers movie! We cruised the 1.4 miles home….whew….those long trips are taking a toll….grin

Sunday we met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA to begin our cruise to Colonial Beach, VA and the Colonial Beach Cruisers & Jim Still 1954 Ford Museum, annual picnic. We were really cranked up to go this year because we had so much fun last year at the event and it was so hot last year and this Sunday was to be perfect, weather wise. We were going to leave a little early to make sure our slowest car could keep up….it was a very original 1919 Model T with a supposed top speed of 42mph! We took the scenic route to Colonial Beach as I thought since it was less traveled there would be fewer people upset because of the slow speed we were traveling….but then the speed limit was 45mph most of the way so no one should really get upset and it would be a fun trip. Watching the T in the rear view mirror reminded me when I drove a stock ’57 VW and every hill was a challenge….we would try to make it up Rt.60 from Riverside, CA to Sunnymead without shifting down. I could see the T slowing on every hill but for the most part he kept up OK. It was fun driving the 50 miles with such an important piece of history accompanying us.

There were about 15 cars already parked when we arrived so we chose the yard next to Jim’s, Potomac Alternator & Starter building, it was on grass and right across from the museum. As I have written before the hospitality of this group is great….they always greet us and make us feel comfortable….they really are glad we are there! Jim’s 1954 Ford museum is not a public enterprise, in fact he rarely opens it up for public visiting….but once a year he and the Colonial Beach Cruisers throw a picnic at the museum so anyone that wants to have a fun day can visit and experience the collection of cars and memorabilia.

The Cruisers set up all the food & drinks and provide some games to test our skills…or embarrass us….I’m not sure….grin. Jim & JV dreamed up and built the games of skill for all to enjoy but I know the Princess would have some opinions about their motivation even though she appeared to be enjoying the contests. The pushrod drop was monitored by a crusty guy that didn’t give the Princess any slack, she whined anyway! The flywheel wheel was run by the famous Von Paulie….the lug nut stack was troublesome for the Princess because they were not using Princess Time? The lifter lob and piston throw was fun too but she said the buckets were way too far for a Princess to reach! But the event everyone was waiting for was the blind driving contest. You started at one end of the field at a line between two cones and drove to the other end of the field where another line was between two cones. Whoever went the closest to the second line without crossing it was the winner….you could try twice. Oh yeah….you were blindfolded at the start! It really is more difficult than it seems….some had trouble staying between the cones….I won’t mention who she was but she drives a red ’33 coupe and she was so mad the second time she tried because people had to run for their life while she ran over the cone! I think everyone had a great time again this year which is a testament to the planning and hard work of all involved in putting this event on. We look forward to next year….maybe they will have some Princess friendly games to do….like sitting or waving? If you would like to share some time with a good group of car nuts you should attend next year….If you are a Ford person you should attend next year so you can see anything you may want to see about a 1954 Ford….

We thanked Jim & JV for another outstanding event then left for Fredericksburg, VA….and Carl’s ice cream….again. This happens every time Jean goes with us although I didn’t hear much complaining about having to go for ice cream again from the others! I think a pattern is emerging here….I’ll have to study this phenomenon; it may take a lot of research. On the way back the Model T actually exceeded its aerodynamic design load and started to shed upholstery parts when it reached 51mph….you have to ask him! We throttled back and continued on with no further incidents….hehehehe

Monday, August 30, 2010

Are we there yet?

Friday morning and our little group met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA to begin our 238 mile trek to Macungie, PA. We are going to be part of the 32nd Annual Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree. We left the WAWA at 4:30 in the morning….before the sun came up….in the dark! What are people doing that are driving around that early. Shouldn’t they be home in bed? We stopped in Springfield, VA and joined 4 other cars and continued north to PA. We stopped in Thurmont, MD for breakfast & fuel and picked up 2 more cars. Since no one had any vehicle problems we arrived in Macungie around 9:30 and the place looked filled up! We picked our way through the parked cars and people walking around till we got to the rear of the event where we found enough room for 9 cars to park together….it turned out to be a good place as the weekend unfolded. We set up and began to check out the event.

The location of the event is the Macungie Memorial Park and there are 42 acres of rolling grass fields which was needed for the 1,750 cars that were registered. The event is on grass and normally that would be a good thing but with all the foot traffic and vehicular traffic by Saturday afternoon the dusty dirt was floating everywhere. Some of the bathrooms were porta potties and some were permanent facilities….but they had an attendant that told you which one was empty (I guess that’s for the people that couldn’t tell if the green or red was showing by the handle!?). It was customary to “tip” the attendant after you were done? Although I never saw him do it, I was told he also kept the units clean…. There were many vendors from pin stripers to car builders. Many food vendors were there and the variety and quality of the food was great….PA always has good food. There was a live band playing all the time, many different bands but someone was playing all the time for the 3 days we attended! Women’s World and the craft section was very special too. Usually after the Princess goes to those places I get to have a showing of the treasures she has liberated from a vendor….and she tells me that the vendor clearly didn’t know the value of what they were selling….hmmm, yeah right! Usually I just nod and think….yard sale fodder or more stuff I’m going to sell on eBay this winter. But this time the Princess and Sally actually got some good stuff and they had a good time doing their touchy/feely/talkie thing in and around all the stuff for a few hours while they trolled for treasure. I’m so happy that we now have an antique, hand operated corn creamer! You can’t imagine how long I have been waiting to cream corn, I was actually waiting for a steam powered one but the antique implement will help improve my eye/hand coordination, what a deal! As more Ladies attend the events, the organizers would do well to cater to them more….some are driving their own cars too so “car” things, that they would be interested in, would be a good idea too! Are you listening organizers? Cha-ching?

The organizers had something going on all the time, if you got bored it was your fault, they kept you busy if you wanted to be….kinda like a cruise ship! There was a race car area that was cool and they lit up the big twice motored Chrysler rail while I was visiting that area….it was neat to hear the old motors run. They had games for kids and adults to keep you occupied as if trying to look at 1,700 cars wouldn’t keep you busy. Sunday they had a pro street cruise and burn out….that was special….can you imagine how quick a 66 year old, old guy can move when a crossed up, out of control Ford PU is coming at you with the motor screaming and tires smoking? I have video! And speaking of video....be sure to check out my one handed, over the shoulder camera shoot, out the rear window of the RedRat while I looked at the LCD screen of the camera by looking at my rear view mirror....while driving 60+....notice how smooth the RedRat goes over a bridge transition....grin

The cars….there was every kind of pre-1969 vehicle you could imagine….and some you could not imagine unless you were abducted by aliens or something. I guess it’s the long winters that generate the ideas for some of the vehicles. A couple of them were very….creative. Although there were many out of state cars most of them were native PA cars. Pennsylvania has a rich history of hot rodding and I think along with California and Ohio it has to be in the top 5 states of hot rodding activity. The venue is sprawling and I couldn’t cover everywhere so the pictures I took only represent a small selection of what was there. There were many more “custom” cars than I had seen anywhere in a long time….that type of car showcases the talent, skill and imagination of a builder better than traditional hot rods do and there was no shortage of customs at the show. Although I do like cars built after 1969, a limited year event does have a special feel….everything there has someone’s dream on display….not just something that was in a showroom the day before. And with the attendance they had, it proves they don’t have to bend to the “you have to invite everyone” syndrome to have a successful event. The spectators paid $5 a person to get in and the stream of people didn’t stop, even as we left for the day! Also as we left the town of Macungie each day the local people sat in chairs along the street to watch/hear us cruise out! That was cool! I think this is a must attend show at least once….maybe twice? Get your motel room early, they go pretty fast and the Starlight Diner has great food!

We left for home on Sunday about 11:30 and one of the cars had to stop for repairs before we got to the halfway point near Gettysburg on Rt. 15 & Rt. 30. In fact we were making the repairs on a narrow country road, in the middle of a corn field, in the flight path of a barnstormers airport, how cool is that? We ate lunch at Hoss restaurant then filled up the hot rods and continued south….why does it always seem longer going home than going to an event? It seemed like I was in the RedRat for days till we got home, the steady drone of the big block at 2800 rpm can take a toll. Did I say that? We did get home finally but I don’t think I want to look at the cars for a few days. But by Wednesday I’ll start to get them ready for next weekend and the adventure continues….





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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Got Bugs?

After many emails, a few phone calls and a schedule change, the day was finally here to go south and visit Larry and his friends at the Iron Bridge Sports Park cruise in Chesterfield, VA. We gathered up some friends and left Stafford at 2PM to make the 106 mile trip to the cruise. We had six cars traveling to the cruise, Ron-’28 Dodge, Bill-’70 Chevy PU, Fred-’66 Barracuda, Jim & Linda-’08 Vette and the Princess and me in our coupes. The trip took about 2 ½ hours with one pit stop near Mechanicsville. The road was great most of the way but I-295, as usual, was horrible….the “repairs” that were made left a lot to be desired and the transition on & off most bridges was a header scraper for some of us….at 55+ mph! We arrived around 4:30 and all of us still had our parts that we left Stafford with….except maybe Fred?

The cruise had about 50 cars parked when we arrived so we knew it was going to be a busy night! Larry and the owner of Iron Bridge Sports Park have put together a very comfortable cruise and it seems to serve the needs of the local cruisers just fine. The parking is on asphalt but if you are on the perimeter you can set up your camp on grass, which is always nicer. There is only one way in and out so vehicle control can be effectively achieved. Access from Rt. 10, a main thoroughfare, is uncomplicated and the event can be seen from Rt. 10 as well….which no doubt helps the participation. The restroom facilities are top notch and the onsite grille is great. I like this kind of food when we are running the cars, it adds to the nostalgic feel of the event. When your only choice is the upscale food chains it takes something away from the feel of the event for me. And the food was great and the food order taker/cashier/server was a hoot….she fit right in with our “car” humor….she helped make the experience fun!

Oh yeah….and they had cars! As with any cruise some cars came and visited a while then cruised out….and another one came in! So getting a hard attendance number is difficult but I think if everyone was counted it would be between 140-160 cars….not bad for Friday. And the cars were all types and conditions. I had only seen 4 of the cars previously….the Munster car, Chuck & Cindy’s Chevelles and Ron’s ’32 5w coupe….the rest were new to me! I was having a sensory overload of sorts because of all the very nice cars….and there were so many Mustangs….isn’t that what Larry drives? I like the red & black ’57 Ford convertible, the green Chevy PU that squeeked his tires when he turned a corner while parking, the red ’59 DeSoto was very cool too. I think the car I liked best was the copper Anglia panel with the turbocharged 2.3L four banger! A very courageous idea and masterful execution…. This cruise is every Friday and is advertised on the Car Club Council of Central Virginia’s website. I highly recommend this cruise and plan on returning when we can.

We decided to pack up and make our return trip around 9PM….Fred, our pathfinder in the group, said he had a different way back that would save some miles….so after a long day, a few miles shorter on the way home was greeted enthusiastically by all….especially me as I wouldn’t have to lead back. The route turned out to be a little shorter but it was much quicker and we should consider it both ways next time. I think it was a little longer for Fred though as he got temporally bewildered and thought he would go South for a few miles before resuming his Northward trek….grin! (No we didn’t follow him!) Fred can always be counted on to add a little excitement to our trips!

Saturday the Princess and I had been invited to attend the Prince William Cruisers annual picnic. It was being held at Roger & Mary’s home and was a hoot….the club members have accepted us as friends, it must be the Princesses strawberry pies that she brings!? We ate too much and then decided to cruise to Orange, VA and check out the monthly cruise at the Burger King on Rt. 15.

We arrived at 4:30 and there were already 70 cars parked….another good night!? Steve was amazed that the area was filling up that early but he found some good parking places to set up anyway. Sally was driving her very orange ’70 Mustang and parked next to the Princess….so they can discuss “Princess” things I guess? DJ Ron & Anita provided the audio ambiance for the event and was much appreciated. The music is the lubricant that keeps the event going along….think about it….when the sound stops, what happens? Anyway Ron always makes an event memorable and that night was no exception. About 180 cars cruised the event and a lot of them were the usual suspects but some were new to us….like the black ’62 Chevy deuce with a 572! And there were about 4 Cyclone’s at the cruise but the one that stopped my clock was the very dark green ’66 pro-street….a very nice ride! My favorite was the red ’63 Plymouth 426 SS car….one of my top 10 favorite cars.

The Princess and I walked around taking pictures and talking to friends when we spotted Bill doing what he does….a nice pearl ’39 Buick rolled in and Bill was on him like a politician on a pile of money. He was asking questions, writing everything down in his memo pad and taking pictures….he must have a database of cars that would rival a Madam’s little black book. He will sometimes attend 3 shows and a couple cruises….a day! Just getting info that he compiles in neat photo albums. You have to talk to him when you see him at the next show….he will be there!

After Ron gave out the awards the Princess said it was time to go since she didn’t get one….tell me again how you spell brat? So we gathered up and started home. Since the others didn’t know how to get into Stafford the back way I was elected to lead, a real bummer for me. The cruise home was uneventful except for the bugs. The bugs swarmed me between Orange and Culpeper to the point it was difficult to see out my windshield….they were blowing into the car with me but it was way too hot to roll up the windows so I just shared the cockpit with untold numbers of little wiggly things for the next 60 miles home….in the dark. When we got out of the cars in the garage at home they looked like they were flocked with some kind of flakey fish food! The Princess spent the next two hours cleaning off the bugs before she called it a day….sometimes the Princess can be very helpful….grin That’s our deal, I keep them running and she keeps them pretty….it works for us!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is that wet stuff all over my car?

Friday’s cruise was literally a wash out (rain) but Saturday the morning broke with that big light in the East sky cranking up what would become a Chamber of Commerce, picture perfect day for the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club’s annual car show. The show is held at the Chancellor Baptist Church in Chancellor, VA and offers a paved parking lot for the cars but the perimeter grassed areas can be used for setting up canopies and chairs…. The club has always run a great show and this day was no exception. The restroom facility was only 500 miles through the woods from the show area but when you finally got to them they were inside the church and very welcome. I think I saw little benches to rest on before you walked back. The food was catered by VA BBQ and was OK….I just wished they would have advertised that they had hot dogs….no one knew they were selling them and near the end of the show they had so many left that they started selling them for $1 each! This show always has a few vendors and Saturday I think they had 4-5 of them set up. Some thought the entry fee of $20 was a little pricey but I have to remember that this club, like most other “real” clubs, contributes greatly to charitable organizations because of their efforts. This club specializes on local families that have missed the normal government safety nets and need a hand….$20 doesn’t seem like too much….

This show almost exclusively represents local road driven cars…. But this year someone brought their trophy car in a trailer….does this car ever see a road? Those that know me know I don’t compete in the shows so I don’t have a dog in this race but although that car was very nice and it won best of show, I thought it was tasteless to drag it to a small local show and impress the lesser country bumpkins with this national caliber trophy car! I don’t see the payback for spending 200K on a car to get a $30 trophy? It seems it is more about flaunting the owner’s wealth than sharing his passion of the hobby with everyone. I have no problem bringing a trophy car to a local show so those that are not able to attend a “trophy car show” can see it….but the car should not compete, it should be displayed. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

I think there were 115 cars which included some club cars. The club cars were not allowed to compete for the trophies, which is as it should be. There were a few “special club recognition” awards presented to their members for their service to the club and community. The car I liked the best was the silver ’34 Chevy 4 dr. Master….a very nice ride and the burgundy/black ’31 Ford 4dr Sedan was cool too. There was a good mix of new and old cars which is also a good thing when you are trying to maximize the amount of $’s you raise for your charity. I think it will be a very long time, if ever, before we go back to narrowly restricting the year of the cars that can participate in local shows.

The award ceremony was long….some complained about the length….some rudely left as soon as they received their trophy. I liked the way Gary ran the award ceremony….he took the time to announce the name of the sponsor for each trophy, the name of the winner, the car the trophy was for and any other pertinent information. He allowed each winner their 1 minute of time in the spotlight….sometimes this is the only time a person gets recognition for their labor of love….Most of us appreciated the way Gary presented the awards. The trophies were very nice and worth competing for! After the ceremony we packed up and cruised to Bruster’s in Stafford, VA

We arrived at Bruster’s while Ron was setting up so we parked and walked to the nearest restaurant for linner (lunch/dinner). When we came back the lot was almost full of cars! It’s amazing how many cars will come to this cruise, that night I think there was 60-65 cars that parked….some just cruised through but didn’t stop!? JV brought his orange BBC powered speed boat….he says it goes over 100mph! He says he is going to become a psychiatrist because he knows what crazy is! He also drives a T-Bucket….yeah, crazy pretty much describes it. This cruise is heavily attended by new cars and muscle cars so we try to attend when we can….to balance out the year mix a little, grin. Most of the cars were the usual suspects but there was this black ’39 Pontiac. This car was not easy to walk by, it’s so interesting. It has many modifications to the body and the interior is handmade. After talking with the owner a little I found out it was made by his dad and has the running gear from a ’74 Lincoln…. This is a great example of true hot rodding….making something out of different cars….not just buying parts from a catalog and assembling a car. This car was built by one man….he did everything on the car except balancing the drive shaft! This car is not my cup of tea but you have to admire the ingenuity and execution of this man’s ideas and skill….you have to look closely when you see it, check it out. I am going to try to do an article on it this winter. We left the cruise about 8:30 so we could get ready for tomorrows show.

I consulted the weather guessers early in the morning and they said if we got rain it wouldn’t get here till 3-5PM. I had spent a lot of hours during the last two weeks cleaning underneath the hot rods so I was not looking forward to rain and the road spray that would get all over and under the cars. It was cloudy when we left but I thought we would be able to attend the show and return without getting wet. We arrived at the Water’s Edge Round Up show in Woodbridge, VA around 8:30 and parked under the pine trees at the end of the lot. About 10:00 it started to rain! Then it stopped, we dried off the cars and it started to rain again and wouldn’t stop till about 3PM. So the cars got wet, the underneath got road spray that I’m not going to try to clean off until we return from our 3 day car show in PA later this month. I think there were 40 cars registered and when he realized the rain wasen’t going to stop raining, Steve called the show around1PM. We gathered inside the restaurant and the club gave everyone (but me-my choice) a plaque for their diehard participation in the event. So we now have a rain date to make up this show on October 10, 2010. This was a difficult exercise for the PW Cruisers and the sponsor, Water’s Edge but they worked through it and we hope for better weather on the 10th! It was a wild ride home in the RedRat but I think I like it that way….maybe JV and I can open a practice together….grin
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Cruisin around Virginia

Friday evening and we worked our way for 50 miles to Colonial Beach, VA and the bi-monthly cruise hosted by the Colonial Beach Cruisers. As I mentioned before in my blog….this is the place to be on the first or third Friday evening of the month. The food and service at Fat Freda’s Restaurant never disappoints and as always the CB Cruisers make you feel welcome. This night we spent time listening to the live music which is provided at Fat Freda’s and talking to the regulars. Benny & Susan, a couple that we have know for many years but seldom see, dropped by and we spent some time catching up. I hope they have time to sit with us in the future. The ’37 Plymouth sedan delivery was very cool….and it has Mopar power….are you listening Ron? There were 15 or so cars but the one that I liked the best was the orange/purple ’68 Chevy PU, it was very special. I had seen it at a cruise months ago in S. Stafford but they left before I was able to really look it over. The interior is the nicest I’ve seen for a while with the alligator inserts and the paint & graphics are stunning too. The tubbed chassis supports a much modified BBC. The engine compartment is….Spartan to the max. But the most impressive thing is the mural on the tailgate….it depicts a man that worked for the owner and was killed protecting our freedom. It matters not what you think about the wars we are engaged in to these Warriors. They do our bidding and some pay the ultimate price for doing their duty. We must NEVER forget them…. Whenever you see a Military person take the time to shake their hand and thank them for their service keeping us free….it makes a difference to them.

We cruised home together in the RedRat because the Princess had been under a spell during the week….something about getting dizzy and running into door jambs and stuff. I think she was really dizzy because her doctor prescribed some dizzy medication….I always suspected she took medicine to make her that way….no person could be that way without some chemical help! I didn’t say that….hehehe Anyway she doesn’t like the RedRat…it’s too noisy and jerky….it rides harder than hers….the seats are not leather like hers….she can’t use the CD because she can’t hear it….and she has no room for all her support stuff and the wind coming in the windows messes up her hair?! I hope she gets better soon.

Saturday we meet up at the WAWA at 4PM and began the 76 mile cruise to Mechanicsville, VA and Brunetti’s Italian Restaurant cruise that is held there every Saturday evening. We had visited this cruise whenever we attended the Richmond NSRA Nationals…. but since this event has been cancelled we decided to cruise down to visit anyway. It is a nice easy cruise on less traveled roads through the country side of the tidewater area of Virginia.

Fre-Ray Sounds provided the music for the event and it’s always music we like with very little announcing to disrupt it. Brunetti’s restaurant has the best Italian food around, and the portions are large….I MEAN large….this time the Princess told me what she would share with me so I didn’t have to order a child’s plate because of all the food I couldn’t eat on the regular size plate! You know they really serve oversize portions when Dan gets filled up….no ice cream tonight! Burp…. After the dinner we checked out all the cars that came and parked and those that just cruised through real slow.

One of my favorite cars is the ’59 Pontiac and there was a very clean red drop top that parked next to the Rat. If I had the room and money for 10 cars the ’59 Poncho would be one of them! They had a good mix of years from a new paper tag Camaro to the ’30 Ford sedan and most everything in between. The blue ’37 Ford track racer was imposing with the large front & rear tires….and there were two of those little beasts! I liked the green ’49 Chevy 2dr with the modified straight 6 cyl motor and the pearl gold VW was tidy too. There were many nice drivers but I liked the blue & white ’50 Ford PU the best. There were 6, ’55 Chevys present just to confuse Dan. After we had been there for a while Mr. & Mrs. Scottie from Manassas cruised in with their pretty, purple and powerful ’30 Ford PU….he said they just wanted to check out what Chuck was doing? Hmmmm somebody actually reads this stuff!? Just to complete the mix of cars a couple of pro streets rumbled in with their funny smelling exhaust? It was a magnificent evening of absorbing the car culture in this area but it was time to begin our return home. We try to leave before dark whenever we can to lessen the chance of arguing with a deer for road space while we travel the back roads….the big critters are everywhere it seems. We had an uneventful trip back and I put 135 miles on the RedRat and used 10.2 gallons of 93 octane which gave me 13.2 mpg! The Princess says she has a calming influence on me and I didn’t spin the tires and make the exhaust get loud one time while she was with me? She said she should ride with me all the time and I would get better gas mileage….I’m doomed. I hope she gets her medication balanced soon....this might become a permanent condition….grin

Sunday three of us cruised near Remington, VA and the Moo Thru ice cream deal. We had passed it by a few times and Dan wanted to try the ice cream so today was the day! The ice cream was good and the prices were a little high but hey the ambiance is what we came for. Where else could you sit in sweltering heat within mere inches of Hwy 29 and the traffic going by at the speed of light? If the heat didn’t melt the ice cream then the wind from the traffic would! The parking was a chore; the lot needs to be bigger. It was an ok experience but I think Carl’s is better. Not that I would know anything about eating ice cream….not me….