Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend to Remember

Friday evening at VA BBQ, Fredericksburg, VA and it’s hot. Around here this time of year we usually have temperatures in the high 80’s maybe low 90’s once in a while but we have been stuck in a heat wave that seems to be of historic proportions. Its 99-101 degrees hot plus the humidity makes the heat index 110+! I do not ever remember it being this hot, this early, this long since ’73 when we came to Virginia. And the turnout at VA BBQ reflects that uncomfortable weather in the numbers of people that come out to play. There were 29 cars total for the evening which has to be frustrating to Wesley the President of the Fredericksburg Classic & Muscle Car Club as they are the host of the cruise. Tonight the car that stuck out for me was the red ’63 Ford Falcon convertible with the 260 V-8. It was a nice clean tidy little ride. We stayed till 9:00 and gasped back home in the heat that was still mid 80’s at 9PM!

Saturday we met Steve and some of his friends on Rt. 29 then cruised to Culpeper. Tommy, from Culpeper Cruisers, had set up a new cruise at the Chick-fill-A and we wanted to check it out. The parking lot is small but the grass area, trees and berm make the location great. There are other restaurants within easy walking distance if chicken is not on your menu but the Chick-fill-A has always been acceptable to us. Chicken is a nice change from burgers and one of the core values of the parent company goes against the normal retail business paradigm that says the business should be open 7 days a week. They are not open on Sunday…. they want to allow all their employees time off to be with their families, which is a neat conflict to modern business models.

When we arrived, there were a few cars already there and we slid in the parking spaces then set up camp for an evening of conversation.
There were about 15 cars total for the night and my favorite for the evening was Arnold’s red Chevy pickup…nice and straight and very red! Most of the people left around 9PM or so but some of us stayed and talked till 10PM. We gathered up and cruised for home…I think it was just as hot at 10PM as it was at 4PM….this heat has to stop!

Sunday we began our next odyssey….a parade! We were going to Washington D. C. to be in the parade that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. We were sent applications for this parade in January by Under The Sun Productions, Inc. After we returned the forms the selection process took 4 months before we knew if we had been accepted or not! After we were told we were in, the stress started for me. Since it is a rain or shine event we had to be there baring a personal or vehicular catastrophe. I knew the RedRat would not survive that much slow driving in a hot parade and just forget if it was a very hot day. Since the Princessmobile would survive….the Princess decided to allow me to ride with her in HER car during the parade. So I started worrying about the condition and reliability her ‘33 even more. Last week’s ignition problem with her little beast didn’t help ease my trepidation about the whole deal but we had committed to the organizers to attend and I knew we would unless we got beamed up to the mother ship. I started checking everything….over and over. We stopped using her car after last weekend just in case she crashed it or someone ran into her. It was turning me into a bundle of nerves and the heat didn’t help much either.

This parade is very special on different levels…one being that only a small number of parades are allowed in D.C. each year (I think its 4) and 2010 already had the schedule filled with parades. But someone prevailed and the parade was allowed to happen. And now Sunday was here and our little convoy to D.C. started to form up at the WAWA in Stafford, VA. Ron & Jean, gunmetal ’28 Dodge; Fred & Debie, red ’57 Dodge; Dan & Ramona, black ’55 Chevy and the Princess and I in her red ’33 Ford. We left at 8:30 for the trek north. Along the way we picked up Lou & Louise and their silver Firebird and continued up the road. Fred led us to the event and we met Tony, gunmetal ’71 Super Bee and Wyatt, silver (what else) DeLorean, during the staging of the parade. We were in the staging lanes at 9:30 and the parade would step off at 1PM….we had some time to mingle with the munchkins. We walked around and took pictures of the floats and other parade items….to include the Lone Ranger and his horse….silver! I wonder how a masked man with a gun on each hip was allowed about ½ mile from the White House? It must have been his really cool horse? The Princess and I were both taking pictures so there are some things that have seemingly too many pictures of them….like minds I guess! The floats were very well done and appropriate to the event and the parade was divided unto decade sections. Each decade section had some vehicles of that decade period….we were in the 30’s section.

There are some cooling areas that I think are part of the Metro subway ventilation system that have ground level steel grates. People could stand on them and about 70 degree air would blow out and cool you. It was neat to stand out in the sun and feel cool from the blowing air! There was a moving sea of khaki and OD green! I mean the scouts were everywhere! Most of them carried water and their leaders were herding them around the grounds trying to keep them hydrated…. the heat index was over 105! Some of the younger Cub Scouts were having a tough time staying compliant to their leaders…. we kept hearing “stay focused” being told to the marauding herds of little blue hats….grin They were excited and didn’t really understand the once in a lifetime experience they were involved in….something they will all remember.

The Boy Scouts are taught many things one of which is respect. Respect of others and themselves….and….respect of property. We witnessed more than a few times when a Scout picked up something another Scout or other visitor had accidentally dropped as trash and then they deposited it in the proper receptacle…. without being told…. they just knew to do it! One of the most striking things that happened would probably be best appreciated by car people the most. Many thousands of Scouts and other people were milling around the cars before the parade, taking pictures of the car and of their friends standing near it and that activity will always give car owners much stress…. Will they lean against the car to take a picture? Will they step on the running boards? Will they try to open the door? We hung around the Princessmobile for a while to guard it but we noticed that the Scouts were being VERY careful with her car and all the others; they went out of their way to NOT touch it! They took pictures very carefully and respectfully. The closest shade from the sun was on a bench about 80 yds away and while we sat on the bench to get some relief from the sun/heat, we watched the car…. and all the Scouts around it…. no one, not one even came close to hurting it. Respect for property…. something that is way too lacking in our society these days but these Scouts have been taught the right way…. there might be hope?

So at 12:30 we were lined up and the parade stepped off promptly at 1PM. The Princess was happy….she said she felt like she had a “looser boy” in the car with her that day!? It’s what she calls those unfortunate guys that have accumulated way too many traffic tickets and lose their drivers license. Then they have to be chauffeured around by their girl friends/wives till they get their license back…. I don’t know if I like the comparison…. The parade was fun with the Princess smiling and waving, it's what a Princess does. When people yelled "nice car" to her, she told them that the car was HERS! Read the license plate she said to them, including a cop that was being very helpful! I dutifully sat on the right side and did the “prom wave” I had been practicing for 3 months…. wrist wrist, elbow elbow…. repeat till arm goes numb!

Some people had “special” riders with them in their cars. These people were dignitaries and famous people in Scouting, Dan & Ramona, Ron & Jean, Lou & Louise, Wyatt and Tony had one! The Princess said maybe I should just walk along beside her car so she could have a “special” person too…. I told her that losers were special people too? I don’t know if she was agreeing with me or saying something bad while she was mumbling?

After the parade was over we gathered near the end of Constitution Ave. with Ron & Jean and waited for the rest of our troupe. After everyone was there we got out of town via Rt. 66W. After we cleared the beltway I felt like a large weight had been lifted from me….whew. We cruised to Fair Lakes and had a late lunch at Malibu Grille and Steakhouse. The food was great and while we were eating it rained….very hard….for about 20 min. But by the time we were ready to leave the ground was dry! We cruised home and reflected on and talked about the day’s happenings…. over the next few days/weeks we will try to remember all that happened and relate it to others. We had been part of a truly historic day! I love this hobby!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A wild and crazy weekend.

Friday evening and the Princess & I embarked on our 40 mile trek to Culpeper, VA to visit their weekly cruise at Buffalo Wild Wings. We left at 4PM and I think the temperature was still a million degrees…. I got that old Arrow soca song Hot Hot Hot in my mind and couldn’t shake it all weekend! The RedRat doesn’t like the heat but as long as we keep moving its ok…. but each long light is very stressful for me. We got hung up on the light where Rt. 28 runs into Rt. 29…. 4 light changes…. I had to shut off the motor the last two times! We finally pulled into the cruise parking lot and there were 7 cars already there and a few more came later. This was to be a portent of things to come this weekend. I’m told the cruise usually has 20-25 cars but tonight only about 12 came out to play….the heat? The aqua/white ’30 Ford with tunnel ram big block Ford power was neat but he only stayed for an hour or so? We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings then sat around a while longer in the parking lot. Lou & Arlene talked with us about how to raise kids and as always Tommy & Terry made us feel welcome and the rest of the local people are friendly and helpful too….if you are near Culpeper on a Friday evening stop by and say HI. We stayed till the black clouds started coming over the horizon then we headed for home….no rain please. And I got to race a yellow Smart car on the way back home....they have no respect for real horsepower.

Saturday morning and its still Hot Hot Hot! We stopped at the WAWA for fuel and to wait for the rest of the group. After I fueled the Princessmobile it wouldn’t start. It has been touchy for a few weeks now but after I tell the Princess that she has flooded it and we wait a while it will usually finely start….but today it was not going to cooperate. I called Dan incase I couldn’t get it going and after he showed up we determined that no spark was the culprit….Chevy HEI unit. So we decided to change everything and took off in Dan’s ’55 to the Advance Auto Parts nearby. Anyone that has had hot rod trouble knows how much fun it is when you go to an auto parts store…. the first thing they ask is what year/ make/model/ engine/trans/air/4x4/color/ tire make/air freshener type/ blood type of the original owner….. and it goes on and on. So I tried to prevent all that and just told the young man none of that mattered, let’s just look at the pictures of some 70-80’s Chevy distributors and we will pick out the parts I want. I also told the guy it was a hot rod and his chronological parts book would not help….he listened to me and didn’t treat me like I was Capt Gorkanon from the planet Luna! He was actually very helpful and they had an Accel coil as well as a Borg Warner cap/rotor/module. We were going to eliminate any electrical distributor component that might be causing the trouble. As a point of interest the cost was below what I thought it would be, just $108 for everything, a pleasant surprise! We got back to WAWA and continued with our parking lot mechanics even though we still had no beer or cinder blocks…. check the pictures! The Princess and Ramona got tired of waiting for us mortals working on the little beast so they set up their chairs on the grass under the trees of the WAWA parking lot so they could better direct our efforts? I hate it when they do that with their pointy finger! We got the little beast making growling noises so we decided it was time to go. That is part of what makes hot rodding great, people helping each other…. Dan said I was making this a habit every week and maybe I should get a smart car or something…. naw I don’t think so.

We leaped off on our 87 mile journey to Stephens City, VA and the 21st annual Valley Cruisers show across from Clem’s Garage. Since we got such a late start, I called the Valley Cruiser representative on the way when we were about 60 minutes out to make sure we could still register….they said just keep coming and we would be OK….whew….I didn’t want to have to drive 100 mph to make it on time….grin.

The town park venue is great, rolling grassy hills, large shade trees, good sound system with cool music, GREAT indoor bathrooms, above average food at very reasonable prices provided by the local Boy Scout troop….one thing though….not many cars? I think there were 56 registered cars! This show usually had 300-400 cars in years past but now the lot was almost vacant….why? Most people said it was the heat keeping people away and it was Hot Hot Hot. I talked to our friend Bill and he said the other two shows he attended that day also had very low attendance….maybe it was the heat….we’ll see when it gets cooler how the attendance is. This is the first event we have attended that was managed by Valley Cruisers of Winchester and it went smoothly. The only awards that were given out were the longest distance and club participation awards…. Dan & Ramona got the longest distance one because we used their ’55 to go get parts for the Princessmobile earlier in the day…. so they went further than we did…. I have to think about that, Ramona always figures out an angle, I wondered why she kept saying that we should use the ’55 to get parts?! They also had neat dash plaques and gave every participant a cool commemorative matchbox car, this year was a yellow ’70 340 six pack Challenger! There were some nice cars like the champagne ’34 Chevy sedan, the black ’49 Ford and many others but my nicest one was the yellow ’71 Ford Torino GT….it was really nice….till I saw the rear license plate frame! The Cruisers called the show at 1:30 because of the heat and most of the people left but we stayed under the trees and just talked and enjoyed the day. Later someone from the Cruisers came over and asked us if we needed the restrooms because they were going to lock them up, a nice thoughtful gesture!

We cruised to a local restaurant and ate too much but since it was air conditioned I think we would have eaten tree bark as long as it was inside where it was cool! After we were all swelled up from eating too much we cruised to McCoy’s Dairy Bar a little further down the road to eat more? What is wrong with that picture? The McCoy menu has hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and almost anything made with ice cream….how can you not like this place? McCoy’s has a cruise on Friday & Saturday night and the owner, Jeff McCoy, told us Friday was the best. Sometimes he has over 100 cars! But since it was Hot Hot Hot and it was Saturday he doubted there would be anywhere near that number tonight. We set up in the parking lot and Jeff came out twice to talk to us. He told of the charity events he puts on like the Rolling Thunder bike show he held for a local wounded warrior and many other things he does in his community. This is what the mainstream media needs to talk about…. normal small businessmen doing what they have always done…. support their local community by helping others while being profitable and employing local people to help provide a product or service that people want to purchase….hello? This is a long way for a Friday night cruise but we may try to make it when it gets cooler, the ice cream is worth it….we’ll see. Be sure to check out his website at;

THEN we left and cruised to the local drive in theater. The Princess and I had spent way too much time at drive-ins around Riverside, CA when we were much younger and we had been to this theater a few years ago with a car club. We had a good experience then and wanted to share it with others this weekend. But the management had changed the parking around to accommodate two screens and the grade just didn’t work for us. The Pickups, SUVs and Vans were so big that we had to watch what we could between the larger vehicles in front of us. There was suspicious activity with the people next to me and in front of us….as the night droned on their walking between the three cars took on a decidedly comical gait. And people were sitting on their hoods, roofs and any other horizontal surface of their vehicle so I wasn’t too surprised when we left that someone threw something at my car as we drove out during the intermission. I don’t know what it was and it didn’t leave a big mark in the door but suffice it to say we won’t be back. We cruised home and had the hot rods tucked away at 1AM! A very long experience filled day…. Oh yeah did I mention that it was HOT HOT HOT?

Be sure to check here for more pictures;
And click on the pictures in this blog for larger ones! Enjoy

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rain in the forcast!?

Thursday and the weather guessers were trying to mess up our weekend….calling for 30% rain on Thursday & Friday afternoon/evening and 80% on Saturday. Dan and I have been planning the 2nd Country Road Rally since last April and the thought of having another one washed out because of rain was more than I could stand….but here it was. The Princess and I decided to take the hot rods no matter what rain came on Saturday since it was a rain or shine event.

Friday evening we snuck out of Stafford using the back roads and arrived at the Glory Days Cruise in Dale City, VA early, in fact we were the first ones there. Prince William Cruisers hosts this event and they usually have 30 or more cars….tonight thanks to the weather guessers about 15 cars took a chance and came out. This is advertised as the Glory Days Cruise and even though you can see the Glory Days restaurant, the cruise is way off on the other end of the parking lot. If you go to Arby’s in the same parking lot you will be closer to the cruise. The cruise is almost like a family picnic without the grille….they take up a couple parking spaces to put the chairs in a circle and one couple puts a boom box on their Ranchero for all to hear 50/60’s music then we talk….and talk….and talk! About 6:30 half of us decided to mosey over to Glory Days….it was a very long mosey and I noticed it was downhill….hmmmm, later I would be full of food and walking uphill to the hot rods….I didn’t want to think about that right now…. The food was good and the service was good too but they didn’t have a table for us as Steve had requested when he called, which makes it…. interesting for me because I’m not a skinny kid and the booths usually just don’t cut it for me since they are made for undersized people and tonight was no exception. I wedged myself in and thought I would be there for the duration; I may need help to extricate myself from the booth later! After the meal we moseyed back up the hill that now looked like going up the side of Mt. Everest! We finally reached the hot rods and sat and talked again…till 11PM! And no rain!? I wonder what the weather guessers have been smoking lately? We cruised home and the Princess cleaned off all the bugs and we loaded up the cars for the Rally in the morning.

Saturday broke and it was raining at 6AM….I got on my weather site and checked out the radar. It looked like we would have rain till 10AM and then it would be clearing from West to East and we would be going West so we decided to wait it out till around 10AM to venture fourth. At 9:45 we left for the Manassas, VA BK to set up the start stop for the Rally. It rained for the first 4 miles then stopped….nothing else but dodging rain puddles all the way to Manassas.

As I said before, Dan & I have been planning this Rally since the end of the last one in April of ’09. Last year got rained out and it was nearly a bust but we did collect over $300. This year was looking to be a repeat of last year. Dan & Ramona left at 10Am to make their rounds and Ron, the first stop worker, left around 9AM to be at Culpeper Airport on time and set up his stop. The other 4 stop workers would be leaving an hour apart from their home beginning around11AM….the day was unfolding under cloudy skies and intermittent rain.

The Princess and I set up at BK and waited….and looked out the window at the hot rods getting wet and dirty….bummer. People started arriving….some in special cars/trucks and some in their daily drivers. Most of them hung around till 11:30 before departing and we waited till 1PM to give everyone a chance that wanted to participate. Nine cars showed up! The Princess and I also had the job of shutting down each stop so we would stay at each stop till the last car out time then release the stop worker and drive to the next stop.

The first stop was 26.6 miles to the Culpeper Regional Airport in Brandy Station, VA. The stop was provided by the host group, the National Capitol Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Every second Saturday they have an open house so the public can come out and see what they are doing. They usually provide breakfast for the visitors and are more than happy to show you around their hanger and airplanes and answer any questions you may have about what they do. They always have many vintage aircraft displayed and some flying. They have a British Ferret scout car and they sometimes give rides in it which is a cool deal! This Saturday they had invited the Ferrari Club of America to bring some of their cars out and share them with the visitors. These cars are way above my pay grade and they are not my cup of tea but they are magnificent nonetheless. The black one near the DH Chipmunk was especially sinister looking and I’m told the nastiest sounding one there! The engineering and workmanship in these factory cars is impeccable…. something to see. We visited with Ron, our stop worker, for a few minutes then thanked the host and had to move on to the next stop.

The next stop was Tony’s Body Shop, 15.2 miles away in Culpeper, VA. This stop is hosted by the owners, Tony & Beth, who always go out of their way to make the visitors feel welcome. They displayed their toys for all to see and talked about what they do…. they both are an icon of our hobby. Les & Peggy, our stop workers, had done a good job again and we thanked our gracious hosts and started for the next stop.

The next stop was the Classic Car Center of Fredericksburg, VA and since it was 51.4 miles away I decided a pit stop was in order. While fueling I noticed the RedRat was sneezing some oil out the right valve cover breather grommet. I had been messing around with the breather the week before and must have nicked the grommet somewhere so now it was leaking out a little oil. More about this later. On the way to the next stop I called Sue, the stop worker, and we determined that the last car had left her stop so she could go home early. It was about 3:45 and the stop was supposed to shut down at 4PM! So….Sue left and Steve and his group showed up around 3:50! Opps! Steve called me to find out what was going on? I said it was my fault and that we were en route and would be there shortly…. We got there about 4:10 and checked in all the people….I thanked the stop host, Marty and beat feet to the next stop while saying gesundheit to the RedRat.

The next stop was 4 miles away at A1 Speed & Custom, also in Fredericksburg, VA. We arrived and one of the owners, Ben, was handling the check in chores for us. He processed the group while I purchased a breather grommet for the RedRat. Even though I didn’t have a cinderblock or beer I had to perform some driveway mechanics….it worked! Whew…. I thanked Ben for his hospitality and we all split for the last stop.

Foster’s is about another 4 miles away in S. Stafford and when we arrived the monthly cruise hosted by VA Stockers was in progress. As advertised at 6PM we determined who had the winning poker hand and awarded him $100. The winner was Tommy from Culpeper, VA….he is an active member of the Culpeper Cruisers and he returned his winning back as a donation to Wounded Warrior Project. What can I say? This is what “car” people do….I love this hobby/addiction.

So we had fifteen people buying nineteen Rally cards! We had the commitment of five stop workers; Ron from Aquia Harbor, VA, Les & Peggy from Falls Church, VA, Sue from Fredericksburg, VA, Ben from Stafford, to use up their Saturday for Wounded Warrior Project. We had five businesses; Commemorative Air Force, Tony’s Body Shop, Car Center of Fredericksburg, A1 Speed & Custom and Foster’s Grille that committed to host us in the Rally for Wounded Warrior Project….and Dan & Ramona helped with the planning, cost, ensuring everything went smoothly with the stop workers and were the stop workers at the end….their help and encouragement was/is critical for me. Many others helped to make this what could have been the premier road event for Virginia….but….fifteen people showed they cared enough about our wounded warriors to support them with their presence at the Rally. We sold nineteen Rally cards which made $190…. We had another $60 donated at the end of the Rally and the winner of the Rally donated back his $100 prize! So for the day we were able to donate $250 to WWP. Not a bad thing but it could have & should have been so much more. I think about how the wounded warriors didn’t choose not to go to work the day they got wounded….it might have been raining, hot, windy…. whatever it was, they went….we should do no less when the opportunity to support them is presented. If you feel guilty you may help at;

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

We hung out at Foster’s and talked with some friends till around 9PM. Our daughter from PA was visiting and came to Foster’s to be with us and our car crazy friends….she’s crazy too but with a Tea Party, you have to ask me about it. Al told us about the nostalgic racing he is doing with his black ’62 Chevy 409….no electronic, bottle fed, gooey tire tricked out stuff….just heads up honest old time 4 speed racing….it gives me goose bumps talking to him! I wonder if I could fit a ’63 413 Dodge in the garage….hmmmmmmm The Princess was getting whiney so we thought for the mental health of everyone there I should take her home….so off we went. I had to run up the RedRat on the 17 N, I-95 on ramp….just to make sure the leak was fixed….that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Friday we took off on our 50 mile cruise to Colonial Beach, VA and their bi-monthly cruise at Fat Freda’s. Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend and the traffic around here is horrid; sometimes the I-95 traffic is backed up for 40 miles and Rt. 1 is not much better! Then the surface streets become clogged too, it’s a real mess. BUT since the Princess has been a school bus driver for 25 years she knows a lot of ways to get around while avoiding the main roads….whew. The Colonial Beach Cruisers host the event and it reflects the personality of Colonial Beach in general….friendly, casual and laid back….an ambiance all its own. We have only been going to Colonial Beach for a couple years but their hospitality makes us feel like we grew up there! A neat place to visit! But beware….the town limits sign says Colonial Beach, Golf Cart Town! And yes they are everywhere; some of them are much modified and with drivers that have the same attitude as Kathy bates in Fried Green Tomatoes….look out!

Our little group left Stafford early in case we had problems with the above mentioned traffic but the way-back roads gave us clear running all the way and we got there early….we were actually the first ones but within 20 minutes the local crowd started to trickle in. A lot of the CB Cruisers drive ‘original’ cars so hot rods really stand out! I like the Willys B/G clone, fender well headers and all! The Hudson Hornet with the firewall mounted, cable operated windshield wipers. But the coolest car was the black ’41 Chevy….it started out as a 4dr and was converted to 2dr suicide swingers and a 4” top chop. It’s tubbed and has BBC power….and the interior looks real comfortable and luxurious. I shot a short video of it as they were leaving, nothing to radical but very substantial.

The cruise also has live entertainment on a porch beside the restaurant with three guys grinning & picking. They sing country & rock n roll all evening and are very good. The local people drive their golf carts up in the parking lot and line up like at an old fashioned drive-in theater and enjoy the music….like I said….laid back, casual and friendly….a great place to visit/live. The restaurant has great food, the crab cakes are to die for but the Monte Cristo sandwich is my favorite! But one of the waitresses has been watching too many old TV episodes with Flo the waitress. She is a little rowdy and the Princess said we should lock the front door when she was waiting on customers outside on porch….grin. She makes the dining experience fun! If you would like to have a nice easy cruise on the first or third Friday each month then try a visit to Colonial Beach, VA.

Saturday we cruised 31 miles to the Burger King in Manassas, VA and the weekly cruise hosted by Bull Run Street Rods. As I have said before this is the most attended cruise in our area of Virginia and is a year around deal. Even in the winter some people gather to keep connected….we just don’t sit outside by the cars when it gets too cold! We were going to do our two-cruises-a-night deal so we would only stay till 5:30 at BK but by then there were nearly a hundred cars gathered, with everything from a stock 1928-30 original Ford to the new muscle cars like the silver Camaro with the glass insert in the hood to show off the supercharger….you decide if that’s cool….or not? My favorite is the red ’40 Ford coupe with the special Ford motor. The cross ram motor came from a 289 HiPo setup and uses Carter/Eldebrock carbs….with ’57 Ford hubcap air cleaner housings….very different.

We left BK and cruised 34 miles to the Bruster’s cruise in Stafford, VA. The weekly cruise is hosted by Ron Phillips and his group of volunteers. The deal is more like a show than a cruise….with prizes, trophies and way too much talking instead of music playing. In spite of or because of that, they usually have 60-70 cars show up and it’s a tense time for us but we do get to see some old friends and make some new ones too. There is a good mix of new and old cars and most of the cars are drivers, no trailer queens thank you! The nicest car there was a brown Cobra parked in the lot away from the rest of the crowd, where we used to park a few years ago. The paint and graphics was done very nicely….a classy deal. I think we will begin parking over there too, I don’t think it would be as stressful as parking in the middle. We’ll see…. We left right before the trophies were handed out and cruised home….I love that car.

Sunday, five cars left the WAWA and cruised 40 miles for the Fourth of July show in Culpeper, VA. Jim & Linda, Fred & Debie, Ron, The Princess and me made up the starting convoy. We picked up Dan & Ramona on the way out of Stafford. When we got between Bealeton & Remington we folded in with Steve & Sally, Jimmy & Cindy, Dave and another PW Cruiser….then we picked up Lou and his red ’51 Ford convertible in Culpeper on our way to the show…. Ten cars took up spots and settled in for an enjoyable day in old town Culpeper. This is the first time we have attended this show as we have been busy with the Fredericksburg Heritage Festival for the last 5 years on the Fourth. Dan & I have been managing the event in Fredericksburg the last two years and I needed a break….plus I had heard really good things about the Culpeper show and wanted to check it out. The event is on the streets of downtown Culpeper….they park us at a diagonal to the curb which is better that parallel like Bowling Green, VA. Some of the shops were open but mostly the food establishments were selling that day. After we set up, Jimmy led us to Culpeper Diner for breakfast….a good choice. The food was great, the service was very attentive and the prices reasonable, what more can you ask for? The center of the event is the old railroad depot which is a gathering place in old town and was where the highlighted car for this year’s event, the Corvette, was showcased. The motorcycles were also there near the Corvettes but I didn’t get to that area for pictures before I zoned out from the heat. The depot had great indoor air conditioned restrooms that were maintained well. The variety and quality of food available to us was more than adequate. The event was run well with judging starting early so we could be released early because of the heat, a good idea!

There were nearly 200 cars registered from top of the line cars like Tony’s two Vettes and Arnold’s red drop-top to some rat rods, “traditional” hot rods and everything in between. One of the neat ones for me was the black 1942….1942 Ford coupe….one of the last cars made by Ford before turning all their efforts to help winning WWII! I liked the blown red Anglia and the silver VW Karman Ghia was just perfect….the red blown bug eyed Sprite brought back some memories too. A very nice yellow ’32 Ford roadster was hiding under one of the too scarce shade trees near the teal ’26 T sedan. The local TV channel 16 was interviewing some of the participants, asking about their cars and our hobby in general….Sally had the opportunity to share with them about their ’40 Ford. The show was over about 2:30 so we packed up and bid our friends goodbye including Lou & Arlene as they drove off in their ’51 Ford, that car has just the right amount of “elegance” for me, it fits them perfectly! Then we cruised home with a couple other friends and put the hot rods to bed for the weekend. The Culpeper show is going to be one of our “must attend” shows going forward, don’t miss it if you are close….you will enjoy it!