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!

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