Monday, April 28, 2014

A new adventure....

Friday night and rain was forecasted everywhere so our hot rod stayed in the garage.  Saturday broke much better with a 16% chance of rain late in the day.  We left the WAWA at 2PM and cruised 27 miles to the Burger King near the Manassas, VA airport.  The Bull Run Street Rods club manages this year round, weekly cruise and it is always well attended.  We try to arrive early to get a better parking spot….it seems that each year we have to get there earlier than the year before. 

The event usually attracts over 100 vehicles each week and each week something “new” rolls in.  This week it was the copper 1953 Dodge panel truck.  This vehicle was an escapee from a primo car builder’s garage.  Actually it was a product of B&B Restorations….a local enterprise.  There just wasn’t anything wrong with it from the late Hemi running gear to the sound system that can be heard in the International Space Station.  Just killer!  There was also a very nice green & white Dodge A-100 with very large shoes tucked under the bed and too much motor….did I say that? grin  I really liked the white ’57 Chevy Convertible that parked across from us, it too was very well taken care of.  Around 7PM many of the cars started to leave?  I guess we need to be more attentive to the weather because some said rain was on the way!  So we gathered up and cruised home and escaped most of the rain.   Not enough to stand on the road surface but enough to spot the pollen all over the truck.  Since we usually clean down the truck when we get home the water on it made the task just a little easier.

Sunday we left N. Stafford and cruised 92 miles to Charlottesville, VA and the 40th Annual Piedmont Region AACA Car Show.  We had never attended an AACA deal and thought this might be a good one to try because they allowed “modifieds”.  Modifieds are anathema to most AACA clubs.  We had heard about the event in Fredericksburg where someone came in with a car that had the incorrect chrome tip on the exhaust pipe and they banished him to the netherworlds of modified cars and did not allow him to attend!  We experienced that when we had a 34 Nash sedan….it was highly “modified” with a 454 BBC, Corvette running gear, leather interior….everything!  But when I would communicate with mother Nash with questions about the car I had to be very careful not to let on that is was “modified”.  If I slipped and mentioned something like “I had to have a stainless fuel tank for the fuel injection system on the big block Chevy or that’s where I put the receiver for the remote power windows”….I would instantly suffer the wrath of their ire that would include very pointed questions that always included why would I “molest” a car like that!  Although I can truly understand their thinking, I feel the same way about vintage aircraft especially warbirds, it was what I had. So I usually just asked for forgiveness due to my shallow thinking and promised not to “molest” another car and moved on with my information mining.  But this event allowed “modifieds”….hooray!

We arrived at 8:30, about ½ hour early and the club was still setting up.  They do things a little differently but get the job done anyway.  They have designated areas for specific vehicle types….you have to park where they want you to….not my favorite method but I understand the methodology to do so.  The parking was tight and we had to crunch together behind our hot rod….another thing I don’t care for. 

The restrooms were an adventure.  As I said before we arrived early and the club wouldn’t park anyone till they had the parking grid set….I understand that.  But they would let us come in and register so we waited in line and got that done.  As we were leaving the registration we passed two guys guarding the entrance to the parking and Linda asked them where the porta potties were.  They made a very weak attempt at humor when they said there were woods all around the lot!?  Then they said Sam’s Club was one of the sponsors and they had restrooms.  I then asked the same two guys where exactly, where were we supposed to park our category 18 truck.  They pointed to the far corner of the lot where a large shade tree was.  Linda asked “over by that big tree?”. They said yes.  We turned and started walking back to our truck so we could drive it to our designated parking spot.  The two guys must have thought we were out of hearing range so one said to the other one “by the porta potty” and they both chuckled at their continuing tasteless “humor”.

After we set up the Princess had to visit a restroom.  She began her trek, which was way too far for old out of shape people with bad knees that were recovering from back injuries, to the Sam’s Club, one of the event sponsors.  When she finally arrived at Sam’s she was told since it was Sunday the store didn’t open till 10AM… was 9:30.  So she sat on one of the large decorative rocks in front of the store, crossed legged till it opened.  This impacted me too in that when she related her story to me I decided to limit my water intake all day so I wouldn’t have to make the same trip.  We launched at 7AM and I didn’t visit a restroom till almost 5PM….!  It has taken all day today to balance my water metabolism.  So….that is a real issue for us crippled up old people….but I guess there are not too many of those kind of people that mess around with old cars….naaaa. 

The quality of the vehicles was more than I anticipated and especially so for the modifieds.  The tan ’34 Ford with the blown flathead motor was much more complicated than I expected.  The grey/black ’37 Packard was over the top….the quality of the build, the choice of the build details was a cut above in every way.  The engine was done period correct color but modern.  The interior and window moldings were just right.  This car was my best of show!  There were many original cars too like the blue/white ’57 Chevy pickup and the white ’55 Chevy Cameo.  I also liked the black ’34 Ford Phaeton.  The silver Lomax was the most unusual car at the event….I have never heard of the mark before Sunday!  I guess now you can find something to do with all those Citroen 2CV parts you have laying around in your barn….build a Lomax….grin

The award ceremony began promptly at 3PM, as advertised.  They give a first and second in each category….they had 23 categories X two trophies each….a lot of awards.  They also have some “traveling” trophies….the winner keeps them for a period of time then returns them.  That was different.  The Princess won a first place trophy in the 1049-2014 modified truck category….amazing.   We met a couple friends at the event, Bob & Benda from Culpeper, Raymond from Harrisonburg and Butch from just never know where you will meet someone you know at a “car” event….so cool. 

Since no one came down to the event with us we decided to forgo dining at the Wood Grille Buffet in Charlottesville and just cruised the 92 miles back home.  We stopped at the first gas station to use the restroom then continued on.  Except for the forced march to the restroom the day was very pleasant….driving the hot rod…talking to car people….I love this hobby.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The road ahead....

Friday afternoon the Princess and I ventured south to attend the weekly cruise at VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA.  The weatherguessers were calling for no rain but cold….and it WAS cold!  We arrived early and the club was still setting up and there were only a few cars parked….so we were able to choose our favorite parking spot.  Some of the usual suspects were already parked or soon cruised in to take their position for the evening’s activities.  One of the fresh faces was the very yellow 50 Chevy AD pickup.  I like the double park lights in the grille and the spare tire in the rear fender.  There was also a blue 1940 Chevy pickup that joined us as the cruise unfolded. 

A few of the people stayed in their vehicles….it was TOO cold to sit outside in lawn chairs.  Most of the people went inside of VA BBQ to get/keep warm and to socialize.  Naturally I stayed outside taking pictures and mingling with the hearty cruisers.  But after a while when my fingers couldn’t press the buttons on my camera anymore I decided it was time for me to seek a warmer environment.  I went inside VA BBQ and found the Princess holding court.  They were all hooting, hollering and laughing….way too much fun I think.  I stayed till I became the object of the conversation and my hands thawed enough to find my keys.  When the club started taking down the sound system and closing the cruise we decided to call it a night too.  It was just too cold to be outside when the sun started going down.  The Princess and I talked about the fun evening with friends and how it is always a good thing.  I love this hobby!

Saturday we met Dan & Ramona at the N. Stafford WAWA and began our 58 mile, over the road cruise to Tim’s Seafood Restaurant at Lake Anna, Virginia.  Bill & Linda joined us as we cruised near Fredericksburg then we picked up Fred & Debie and Ron near Spotsylvania HS.  As we turned N. on Rt. 522, Doug & Ellen and Mike & Debbie also joined us. 

The Princess and I saw this restaurant last week as we cruised around the lake and thought it might just be a cool place to have lunch.  So I called and made reservations so we could all sit together and the staff would be expecting a noisy bunch of hungry hot rodders.  The parking was great, on asphalt and away from the “normal” crowd of cars.   The staff welcomed us and had some tables put together waiting for us.  The restaurant is very informal and comfortable….no doubt in part because they are available by boat as well as land vehicles.  We all melded together and began a couple hours of conversation and eating.  The food was terrific.  I mean it tasted good, ample portions and presented impeccably.  The wait staff was friendly and attentive….Ron was attentive too….grin  We all enjoyed the lunch and decided it was time to embark on the next leg of the day’s adventure.  Some were going to go home from the restaurant so we said out goodbyes and saddled up to begin the 25 mile cruise to Orange, VA and the monthly cruise at the BK on Rt. 15. 

This cruise is managed by Orange County Cruisers and usually has 150+ vehicles in attendance.  I guess I was worn out because I only took about 110 pictures then sat to rest while another 30 or so cruised in.  I didn’t get to take their pictures….  I got to meet one of my Facebook friends, Butch, with his ’37 Chevy traditional hot rod….Butch has attended most of our Over the River cruises in November for the last 5 years but I never actually “met” him….a cool guy….be sure to check out his ride whenever you see it….it’s a road car like our truck.  I also took a picture of David’s black Fox Mustang….another Facebook friend but I didn’t get a chance to say hello to him.  Gary cruised in with his blue ’33 Ford open wheel coupe….did you know he runs a blown flattie in that puppy?  How cool is that….

We notice the ‘locals’ starting to pack up and leave so we did the same.  We had an uneventful 58 mile cruise home through the rolling Virginia countryside….living the dream….yup!

Be sure to check out all the pictures….the Princess is getting much better taking while we are on the road….her “mirror” shots are really cool.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Winter is finally over.....whew....

After a false start last Friday because of monsoon rains, we were finally able to attend the Inaugural Dairy Queen cruise in Fredericksburg, VA this Friday.  The weather was perfect, about 65 degrees, sunny, light breeze….it would be difficult to imagine better weather.  The months of preparation were finally tested and by anyone’s measure it was a resounding success. 

The managing group is made up of people that have done this kind of thing before but separately, so they decided to join forces to provide us with another location to cruise with our hot rods on Friday evening.  Jeannette’s Mustang club, Sue W. and the D.J. all pulled together to get-er-dun!  The host business, Dairy Queen, provided discount coupons for the cruisers.  They really didn’t need to entice us to eat there because the food and service is always great at that establishment.  You should check it out even if it’s not Friday evening. 

We arrived about 4:45PM while Sue & Jeannette were still setting up but even that early about 10 cars were already parked.  The first outing of the year is as much about the people as it is about the cars.  We have communicated with most of the people by phone, email or Facebook all winter long….and it has been a very long winter in Virginia!  So now we get to see how the people AND the cars have endured the winter hibernation.  We reestablished some friendships and made a few new ones….always a good thing.  The event is what I call a “Full Service Cruise”….that is they have door prizes, trophies, shirts, hats and other stuff.  And the DJ involves the crowd with trivia tasks and other motivators to keep the crowd attentive.  We just like to mingle with the crowd, talk with our friends and check out the vehicles that cruise in.  I like to document the event with my camera….it’s what I like to do. 

There were over 70 vehicles by the time we left and the lot could hold another 30 or so.  The cruise is very accessible from any point of the compass and it’s viewable from Rt. 208 by travelers.  It is a cool location…..  If you are out in your hot rod on a Friday evening near the southern end of Fredericksburg, VA….stop in and check it out!

We said our good buys and left around 8PM then had a non eventful cruise home.  The next day, Saturday, we would cruise to BK in Manassas and their weekly cruise.  It is just a cruise, no music, trophies, door prizes….just a few hundred cars every week!  It was very windy and cold, too cool to sit in lawn chairs very long.  We stayed about two hours and everyone wanted to leave because it was just too cold, even Sparky!  So ended our first weekend outing in 2014 with our hot rod….much more to follow this season….  I send out a weekly itinerary for our weekend adventures….if you would like to be on that mailing list just send me an email at; and I’ll include you on “the list”.  I also park all my images at;