Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Riding around in my automobile....

Friday evening Fred and the Princess & I cruised 62 miles to the Chick-fil-A cruise in Ashland, VA. The cruise is well attended but the bulk of the cars came in a little late because of the heat. The neat black AH 3000 with the small block Chevy was very nicely done and the Hennesy Camaro was intimidating, it looked like it was all business! But the coolest thing I saw was the senior couple playing cards out in front of their ’54 Chevy. I mean they got a table and chairs out (her chair was a rocker!) and sat there playing cards for a few hours while FayRay cranked out the music. Very folksy! One of the organizer hot rodders was wearing a T-shirt that said “WHAT HAPPENS IN THE PARKING LOT STAYS IN THE PARKING LOT!” Too funny! Chick-fil-A gives all the drivers a free sandwich ticket so when our small group from Stafford got hungry we used them for yard bird sandwiches. The Princess and the hostess (another redhead) started talking Princess stuff, like how hard it was to keep us lesser minions in line and other things like that so Fred & I knew it was time to get back in the parking lot! Like Forest’s Mama said,” when someone is hitting you with a stick you need to move your head somewhere else!” This is a very nice cruise, laid back, friendly and easy access right off Rt. 1 in Ashland, VA. Come out and visit when you can….just drive your special car and bring your table, chairs & cards and sit a spell….

Saturday there were a few car deals going on but we decided to stay home. The Princess was going to try and kill some of the plants we bought during the week, did I say that? I really mean that she was going to improve our landscaping around the Shotwell abode….grin And since I didn’t want to help her because the sound of the screaming rhododendrons make me cry, I decided to finish detailing the RedRat’s underneath. I want to get it as perfect as possible before I list it for sale at the end of the month. So after working on it all week, I wanted to check it out to make sure that after all that rubbing everything still worked like it should…. hehehehe So after the Princess hid all the tortured little green bodies in the big plastic trash can, we decided to take both cars out for a little spin to Bruster’s in North Stafford.

This cruise is managed by a small group of dedicated local car enthusiasts that provide an outlet for those of us in the car culture around here. We usually park the cars in the cruise lot then walk across the street to Sam’s Pizza and see how badly we can stretch our stomachs with food….what fun!? Tonight the “we” included Jim & Linda….since Linda is recovering from shoulder surgery and had the use of only one arm….the entertainment level of the meal went up a couple notches. grin The attendance is usually anywhere from 40 to 90 vehicles with a good mix of old and new vehicles. There is always something different that shows up. Tonight there was a white ’39 Olds custom coupe….a very nice build. A very purple ’39 Ford 2dr cruised in and the very much modified black ’38 Pontiac 4dr came by again….this car is so unusual, you have to talk to the owner about the build! Then right near the end of the cruse a black & white ’54 Chevy lead sled came sneaking in….very quiet and very cooool, check out the pictures. We all cruised home very gently when we say some of Stafford’s finest cruising the adjoining streets….like sharks circling around a herd of seals.

Sunday Dan and the Princess & I cruised 24 miles to Occoquan, VA and the Occoquan Regional Park to help work in the Prince William Cruisers, Good Ol’ Days show. This show is one of the “must attend” shows around these parts. It has always attracted a varied mix of vehicles in the four years we have attended and this year was no exception. The club had put up all the tents the day before and when they started to arrive around 7AM they rapidly set up for business because there were 5 cars in line that early!

It is difficult to get a perfect count on the attendees but I think there were 213 registered with 30 more that paid but didn’t register and at least two that didn’t pay or register! By any count it was a good day for all! This show has the potential for 400 vehicles, maybe next year.

The types of vehicles ranged from original antiques, traditional hot rods, rat rods, lowriders, race cars, street rods, muscle cars and trucks. In fact my favorite vehicle was the orange Ford ‘85 F-150. There was a primer grey ‘48 Fiat Topolino sedan delivery, the only one I have ever seen. One rarely sees a Fiat Topolino with fenders; they are usually sitting on multi thousand HP fire breathing fuel motors going very fast. In the 60’s they were fodder for the only real drag racing class…. AA/FA ….a man’s hot rod! ARRRGGH If you have never seen and felt an Awful Awful run, you are missing one of life’s memorable experiences. Donnie brought out his blue ’57 Chevy with the matching travel trailer and Craig displayed his orange, mouse motored Camaro race car that can hold his own at a show or a race track. I also liked the original pink ’62 Studebaker Gran Turismo coupe. A group of lowriders joined the event and added another very complicated discipline to the day’s collection. The paint work on some of these vehicles is very complicated and difficult to execute to the high level that some of the cars exhibited. I thought the most appropriate license plate was on a blue, old Toyota Land Cruiser that was restored….it read “YEN PIT”! I also liked the restored C&P Telephone service truck and the gunmetal grey ’64 Buick Riviera. Do you know that the ’63-’65 Riviera is the only car I know of that has removable door skins? Don’t ask me how I know. There were many other very nice examples of hot rodding in Virginia that made up the collection of vehicles for the day. And another thing I see more is whole families are attending the events....not just the guys or gals but kids too. You can't start too young to appreciate the car culture!

The music group, Route 66, played all day….they are the best group I have heard at a car show for a long time and they play at this show every year. You might consider attending the event just to hear them! The 50/50 was over a thousand dollars so the winner took home a good chunk of change! I think most of the attendees enjoyed the day….some money was made for the clubs charities and the weather was gorgeous all day. If you missed this show you will have another chance to attend an event at this venue on September 18, 2011. The show in September is dedicated to Wounded Warrior Project so try to attend if you can. And just remember if you don’t come out and play in September we will talk about you! grin

The links below are for a movie of most of the entrants leaving and my still pictures….enjoy!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Watermen Hospitality

Saturday a small group of hot rodders left the WAWA in Stafford, VA and cruised to Tappahannock, VA for the 8th annual RivahFest. This is another event that we have wanted to attend for a couple years now but something always seemed to come up as more important so we never attended.

Tappahannock is one of the very old communities in Virginia having been established in 1608. The RivahFest event pretty much takes over the town for a day. They have over 300 vendors with everything from candied pecans, carved wooden frogs and most anything else you could imagine. They had games for all ages, two bands playing all the time and over 107 special cars in attendance. And the food….I know most of it wasn’t on the new USDA food plate but in spite of that, or maybe because of that….it was very good. The Princess says the crab cakes are to die for. She says it’s the same vendor that she buys from in October at Thurmont, MD during the ColorFest (another dollar draining event). She took way too much money when Debie & Ramona went shopping shopping with her? I reminded her that we were both in her coupe and we could not carry anything too big (=$) She said not to worry that our friends that came with us were driving a big 4dr sedan and another had a panel truck and Fred & Debie’s ’57 Dodge had a 6 body trunk….so size won’t be a consideration….silly me….

We had planned to join up with Larry from Richmond right before we got to the event so we could drive in with his group. He brought up 50 or so cars so we folded in and parked with them. We got on the shady side of the St. Margaret’s School hockey field, so we were under trees till noon and on grass….what’s not to like, thanks Larry! Larry had attended the event before and knew where to be with our cars and what was going on everywhere and how to walk to it….it always helps to “know” someone! grin

The event is a display….no contest….no stress. We just set up and talked to the thousands of people that wandered through the event. The event visitors were respectful of the cars except for one herd of marauding middle school aged kids….but the Princess got up and gave them one of her “Don’t even think about it” school bus driver looks and they walked way around our cars! I couldn’t even look at her for a while….very scary.

There were 107 cars and I think only one came in on a trailer, drivers, road cars, what the hobby is all about. I liked the 1953 Willys Overland the best; it had SB Ford power and Mustang running gear, a nice driver. Chuck & Cindy brought their Chevelles out to play and many other very nice vehicles came up from the south. The Colonial Beach Cruisers were very well represented considering their beloved president, John Conaty, had passed away a week ago. But the day was getting way too hot so some started leaving around 1:30 and we packed up shortly after and cruised home. We took a little detour to Kinsale, VA so Debie could catch up with a friend she found on Facebook! She hadn’t seen her for 42 years and was this close….I love the internet! We drove through a rain shower going home but just like when we rode the Harley, you just keep going and in a few miles everything is dry again! We had another great day sharing our passion for our hobby with others.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Waugh Country Hospitality

Saturday we left Stafford at 6:30 and cruised to the Cracker Barrel in Fredericksburg, VA for breakfast and to hook up with some more hot rodders. We all sampled too much good southern comfort food, that thanks to the USDA I now know how bad it is for us. I just can’t believe how we mere mortals were so confused by the food triangle for so many years and now we have been led to the light with the one eared Mickey Mouse plate, it only cost 2M….can I get an OH YEAH? Anyway….we left the restaurant and cruised 38 miles to Orange, VA and the 19th annual car show put on by Orange County Cruisers. This year the event is hosted by Waugh HD in their Legend Park. When we rode our last Harley we belonged to the Waugh HOG and attended the inaugural opening of the park years ago. The park has narrow paved roads winding through shaded grassed areas; it is a perfect venue for a car or bike show. It has permanent restroom facilities and food was being served all day. Cewinn Graphics and a few other vendors were in attendance as was DJ Ron. Old music and cars seem to go together…. like cherry & coke, American & Graffiti or Chevy & Fast! They just fit!

As I have said before….DJ Ron always adds to an event with his music and announcements. This day he had a special recognition of the Veterans that were present at the event, right before we respected our flag and listened to the National Anthem being sung. It reminded everyone to remember the sacrifices of the past and those that are still going on today so we can enjoy our Freedom. Without these special people we would not have the freedom to enjoy our hobby among many other things. How many hot rods have you seen in Bagdad?

The event went off very methodically and efficiently thanks to the Orange County Cruisers…they have done this 19 times before! grin We parked and set up to enjoy the day with friends then we noticed it was getting hot. Really hot….I mean at least 316 degrees Kelvin. I think the sun’s solar flare last week had something to do with it. We kept hydrating but we were still very uncomfortable. There were many nice cars but I liked the purple ’32 Ford 3wc with the rumble seat and the red ’32 Vicky with the little trailer….these iconic representations of the hot rod culture always catch my eye!

The show was scheduled to end around 3PM but the clouds started to look ominous in the western sky so the event was shortened a little. We packed up and Steve led us back by a new route….I always like to cruise a new way to or from a familiar location. We missed the rain but we must have been threading a needle because it rained after we left Orange and before we reached Stafford. And it would rain in Stafford about an hour after we got home….whew….! Be sure to check out the pictures at;


Monday, June 6, 2011

Molets and Mopars....

Friday evening we cruised to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA and the weekly cruise put on by Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club. This was the first time this year that we have been able to attend because of weather or other commitments. I think it was the first time this year for a lot of other people too….there were over 50 cars in the lot! We set up near some friends and enjoyed the evening talking and reconnecting with people we only see at VA BBQ….that’s what cruises are for. The cars ranged from traditional to….different. The 76 Nova next to Fred’s ’57 Dodge was in the different category but Pete’s orange Camaro was very nice, as always and the red Austin Healy added some class to the event. I think the Redskin decorated H2 would be in the different group too….it was nice but I’m a Lakers fan….grin

Saturday we met another three car loads of people (this will be important later) at the WAWA and cruised to the show in Wilderness, VA. This is the 4th show for this group and since the proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Project we usually try to support it. If it doesn’t rain within a few days of the event they have it on the grass, which is very cool. This year there were about 38 cars attending on the grass which is more than last year when they were going against two very popular shows. This year their were two shows again that made attendance down, one was the ACCA show in Fredericksburg, about 16 miles away the other was the ODS show in Manassas, about 48 miles away. I know the Wilderness show was advertised first but others scheduled their shows anyway….I think everyone loses a little that way.

The restroom facilities are good and the food is good but this year they just had some kind of chicken and French fries….no hot dogs or hamburgers, I guess we just have to eat healthy or nothing? grin They had my favorite radio station at the event, WGRQ 95.9, and they added much to the day’s festivities. As I have often said that good music is the lubricant to any event and WGRQ helped us slide through the day! The entrance fee is $15 for the car and ONE person. One person, the driver, is all that is expected to be there? Since our hobby lends itself to being a “family” exercise it is curious why the organizers would penalize the entrants if they bring their spouse or kids or grandkids? If they want more money for WWP just charge more for the entry fee….many events are $20 this year. I think this cheapens the event to nickel & dime the entrants because they happened to bring their spouse! We have attended many events on the right side of the USA and have never had to pay extra for a spouse….even the National events expect you to have two people per vehicle….a family idea? The awards were given out around 3PM, the Princess won a very nice red, white and blue trophy….yea and verily there will be peace and tranquility in the Shotwell realm this week!

We all packed up and we cruised back to Stafford to rest up a little at home then we cruised to the Bruster’s Cruise in N. Stafford. I think the positive fallout of having three shows in the same vicinity is that the cruise would be very well attended by cars that would not normally come out on Saturday night for a cruise….It was! We parked then walked to Sam’s Pizza and had dinner with three other couples then returned to the cruise later. There were many cars we had not seen before like the champagne ’62 406 Ford, the red ’37 Plymouth 5 wc, and the 20 something Buick coupe. Bobby brought out his purple Ford PU with the dry sump NASCAR motor….very nice! But the coolest thing was the six couples gathered around in between the cars sitting in our chairs just talking….about cars, kids and most everything else….we were sitting far enough away from the PA speakers that we could hear ourselves talk and not be distracted by the music and announcements. Some people go to shows/cruises to get trophies, some go to show off their cars, some go to intimidate others, some go to have something to whine about later, some go to network for an advantage in some arena and some go to be with friends and talk about things that life is unfolding for them. I like the latter best and the older I get the less important the other stuff is…. It’s the way a cruise should be….like Edd Burns would say…. Baby it’s the ginchiest.