Tom Thorn Representing BBMC at the Great Barrington Car show Thursday 9th
Sumer Time and the Drivings Fine…..
BBMC Welcomes it's newest members, Ann and John Eisenhour (MGA 1600 Coupe); Creg Canales (MGB); and Pam and Michael Dallaire, of the Cape Cod British Car Club and their XJS 12 cylinder Jag and Spitfire. Welcome to the ‘Fun and Adventures’.
Seems the weather gods and goddess’ have settled down and changed their ‘wet days’ to mid week as opposed to weekends. Not sure if doing ritual type chant’s, dance’s or sacrificing rare automotive parts would help to encourage them to maintain this trend. More than likely not. At any rate, I’m sure most have been taking advantage of this fine summer time driving weather every chance that’s offered. Locally, those chances seem to be like ‘mushrooms’ that keep popping up quicker than one has time to enjoy each. Nice to have choices and be able to enjoy what tickles your fancy. I’m sure there’s no need to encourage one to get out and enjoy. BBMC has enjoyed;
Fathers Day Vet’s Home Car Show
Bennington, VT’s 'Veterans Home', along with the 'State Line Car Club', sponsors a yearly Father’s Day Car Show, which has grown, steadily each and every year. Despite this years slight confusion, due to their holding the Car Show the day before Father’s Day, close to 200 vehicles registered, up from a handful of twenty - thirty eight years ago. As one can imagine there was something for everyones taste. Classics, vintage, special built, hot & rat rods, limited production, utility, foreign, domestic, original, restored, and those sought after ‘barn find’s. Over and above the smorgasbord of automotive delights there’s the associated ‘automotive chatting’ with owners and other’s. I’m always pleased to see more and more, locally unknown till the show, British cars being shown. Of British heritage there were nine a half British cars (I’ll explain later) of which there were several newer Lotus , or is it Loti (?), a very nice TR-6, and several replica Cobras. We met two such who were unaware of our group. Speaking of our group, Rich Wagner and Roger White both carried home an award….a chrome plated timing chain cover commemorating the event. Congratulations to both !!
A finely massaged '1929 Ford Model A' caught my eye. Finely massaged meaning it’s owner melded various parts from a 1921 Mercury Body, a 1930 Cord L-29, 1941 Harley Davison Service car, a 1926 Pierce Arrow, a 1964 Buick, etc. into a true ‘hand crafted’ one of a kind car that he hammered together in a year and a half. An all original 1962 Studebaker Avanti caught my eye. In chatting with it’s original owner, we discover we each know the same members of the British car community as well as several local car enthusiast. Yes, this World keeps getting smaller. All in all the days event was quite enjoyable and for me was topped off sharing it with our Daughter.
A handful of our group, along with Daughter, enjoyed a ‘Father’s Day Patio Brunch’ at our ‘unofficial club house’, 6 House Pub in Williamstown, MA. Afterwards we enjoyed a back roads jaunt over mostly ‘no center line’ roads and unpopulated real estate, ending the day meeting up with others from BBMC at Brown’s Brewery, Hoosick Fall,NY, for a light early evening snack.
'Great Fun' Father’s Day weekend !
Father’s Day at VT Veterans Home……..Home made Special (upper left) and 1959 Elva Courier (BBMC)
1929 Ford Model A at Father’s Day VT Veterans Home
Scary to think that we’re at the half way mark for this seasons Hemmings Motor News Cruise In’s ! Can we slow this train down !?
Once again the Hemmings lot was jammed packed with, you guessed it…’something for everyone’. On the British side of things there were nine and a half British cars. Yes, I’ll explain the ‘one half British’ later, as it keep re-appearing. Seems I have mis-filed, deleted (can’t imagine doing that) or whatever, a photo of a extremely well done MGA 1600 coupe at either the 3rd or 4th Hemmings who’s stewards enjoy being out and about and ‘dancing with the roads’…….what our cars were built for. Yes, the same 1600 Coupe mentioned above.
Seems every Hemmings cruise In has one or more ‘outstanding’ elements to enhance the evening. For the 4th Hemmings Cruise In we had ‘Batman’ entertaining, wowing and mystifying the toddlers along with several older individuals and a nicely done custom1948 Chevy ‘Snub nose’ pick up. The ‘Snub Nose’ carried home an award as did BBMC’s Paul Allen for his MG TD. Rumor has it Paul may need to add an addition to house the awards his cars bestow on him.
North Adam’s, MA ‘Canal St. Cruise In’
A local auto parts store sponsors a yearly ‘Canal St. Cruise In for Charity’,in North Adams, MA, which also has been growing each year. BBMC had a showing of three of it’s members, the Kittler’s (TR 6), the Dallaire’s (Jag XJS) and self, adding to the 50 - 60 some vehicles showing. Art Kittler told me a Morris and a Spridget were there for a bit and then left. Yes, the ‘one half British car (it just keeps reappearing) was there as well.
As usual I was one of the last to arrive which created a chance meeting with an individual riding a rare vintage British bicycle sporting a ‘sling' / ‘hammock’ type leather seat. While chatting with it’s steward he received what apparently was an important call as he excused himself and melted to a more quite area. Kept an eye out for him, but was unsuccessful in seeing him again. Hopefully we’ll cross paths at the upcoming North Adams Motorama next month and learn more of his bicycle.
What I enjoy with such car gatherings is the cross use of parts, especially with the Hot Rod, Rat Rod enthusiast. One of the Rat Rods was sporting a rare set of ‘trident’ knock off wheel spinners which are generally seen on your exotic ‘super car’s’ such as Maserati, Lamborghini and the like. I couldn’t find the owner so i can’t verify functionality or source, but they sure stood out.
The Kittler’s won a door prize that will help them keep their TR 6 shinny. Short and enjoyable gathering allowing all to get home without needing headlights.
Fast Kat and Faster 6, according to the plates !
Great Race Lunch Stop at Hemmings Motor News
We are fortunate to Have Hemmings Motor News in our back yard/ playground, which allows for enjoying somewhat ‘special’ automotive events. One such being their ‘Great Race’. Those unfamiliar with Hemmings Motor News ‘Great Race’ google it for details. Suffice to say it’s a week long, multi State, timed road event requiring an astute navigator. Astute in the sense that one not only simply has a sheet of directions to follow from point ‘A' to point ‘B’ but has to arrive at point ’B’ at a specific time which is penalized in 100’s of a second for late or early arrivals. Did I mention that the vehicles speedometer and odometer are covered and sealed ? The navigator has to calculate all by use of the official clock installed for the event.
The start of this year’s ‘Great Race’ was in Buffalo, NY and ended in Halifax, Nova Scotia a week later. I’m unsure of the ‘cut off’ year for participating in the ‘Great Race’. but 150 participating vehicles such as: American LaFrance Speedster; Peerless Green Dragon; Peerless 560A; Model A speedster; Jaguar SS (retrofitted); Studebaker Landcruiser; GMC 1/2 ton p/u truck to mention but a few, joined in the adventure.
Fortunately, this years route included a one hour ‘lunch stop’ at Hemmings in Bennington which filled the streets leading to Hemmings as well as their parking area with car enthusiast from miles around. Rare opportunity to get ‘up close’ and possibly chat with participants occupying these great vehicles. Imagine a ‘chain driven’ vehicle doing the distance ! How about an all original (save tires) Peerless doing the same ! Then there’s the all wood ‘boat tail’. For more details and how they finished google ‘Hemmings Motor news great Race’. Fair warning….you may quickly lose a day but gain more automobile knowledge !
Impromptu ‘Gad ! It’s July !?’ Brunch & Drive
Every now and then one of us in our group will have an urge to have others join in a ‘why don’t we…..’ drive, get together, combo of both. Hence the ‘Gad ! It’s July’ emerged. Several text, emails, calls, later a handful gathered for an impromptu Brunch and Drive. Great way to usher in a new month on a sunny and warm day just begging to be enjoyed……so we did.
…you say VT has wood peckers and termites !?!
3rd Bi - Annual Roberts Drive and Pot Luck Picnic.
Not by planning, more by happen chance, it seems every other year we enjoy a ‘Drive and Pot - Luck - Picnic' hosted by Gail and Dave Roberts, making this the third in the past six years. Dave always has a fun, scenic route to ‘dance’ over plus Dave’s into Triumph TR - 2’s, 3’s, Stag’s and on occasion other vehicles of interest.
The day before the event Dave and I chatted as to how many had RSVP’d so Dave would know how many ‘dogs (hot dogs) and cows (hamburgers)’ to round up for the picnic and we came up with eleven members joining the adventure. The Kittlers organized a convenient meet location for a ‘drive to the Roberts’ and rallied the troops via the BBMC fb page and last minute email. After a slight delay in departure….seems a vintage VW Beetle, was in front of one of our members in their Spridget, was unable to find it’s accelerator which hindered their arriving on time. As fate would have it the VW enters the same area we were meeting. Arrgh !!! Ready to head out and the Spridget had to prove it was indeed a British car by jamming it’s starter onto the fly wheel. Thanks to a properly wielded extra long ’screw stick’ (screw driver) and ‘friendly persuader’ (hammer) off we go. Seven LBC’s carrying a dozen individuals headed South on RT 8, out of Pittsfield, MA to Otis. MA. RT 8 is ‘center lined’ but is a road less traveled and way more scenic. Upon arrival at the Roberts we join five other cars and eight other members…….may need to ‘whistle’ for more dogs and cows Dave.
Imagine a quiet, low traffic back road, in the middle of a sparsely populated area having a dozen British cars parked along side it. I may be exaggerating but off and on we had three or four cars stop at the same time, get out, take photos and chat. One such said he and his wife stopped because he hadn’t seen an Elva in over twenty some years…..he use to work on them. Others who stopped were sharing their days with their LBC. Always interesting and enjoyable. The day’s getting on so we’re ready to head out for the ‘Drive’ portion with Dave Roberts, his wife and two others in his wife’s ‘right hand drive’ Triumph Stag. Well, all but one…seeing as it was now the Elva’s turn to prove it too was British and wouldn’t start due to a dead battery. Long story best left for another time. A quick boost and we were on our way to enjoy those twisty, hilly South Berkshire County back roads with a first stop at a ‘Hobbit’, rural England, looking house that at one time actually had a thatched roof. Snap a zillion photos and off we go….with a human push to start my car.
Dave’s leading the way to a very scenic reservoir in Connecticut, about a forty minute drive. As happens, and true to fashion, in the middle of ‘no where’ (no signs of civilization for several miles) we notice Dave’s driving slower and slower and finally comes to a complete stop. Seems the Stag determined it’s time to prove it too is British and seized it's rear brakes. A bit of on the spot engineering ingenuity and we were once again on our way. Destination achieved and into the parking area for a photo op…..not ! The entire parking areas are barricaded off. A State Trooper was going to open the area for us but the group determined it was late in the day and most were hungry or had to be elsewhere shortly. We Thanked the Trooper and headed back to the Roberts and enjoyed another forty some minutes of ‘no center line’ back roads and by ways. From the drivers seat it was impressive to see a dozen British cars scooting along singing that particular British car song……aka exhaust sound.
Once back at the Roberts, the grill was fired up, Gail and Dave rounded up those dogs and cows, each unpacked their ‘pot-luck’, my car was plugged into a charger and conversations flowed covering a multitude of topics from car info to Rail Roading to ‘did you hear about…’,adventures, 'plans are’….you get the picture. All in all, despite this ‘proving I’m British’ thing, it was another ‘Great Fun’ day. Return to home turf we had a mini caravan with each peeling off to their home. Once home, back on the charger went my car. Hey…there’s a car show in the morning !
Eager to head to the Roberts………
Enhancing the Roberts' front lawn.
Pop’s Care Cruise In for Cancer
Early the following AM a quick check of vitals on car and juice in battery (stuffed a jumper pack in the boot) and it’s off to the Harriman Airport in North Adams we go. Very pleasant early morning jaunt with minimal traffic. On entrance approach an outfit has one pose for a photo op with your car. Registered for the Eighth annual ‘Pop’s Care Cruise In and Fly In for Cancer’ and then directed to parking/ show space. Why, there’s Roger White with his MGB and over there, right behind my parking space is Paul Allen in his excellent 1939 MG P. Airplane wise, traffic was at a minimum what with three or four coming and going during the event.
The ‘Pop’s Care’ event had been rescheduled due to Junes monsoons hence attendance was a bit down from past years. Roger and I set up behind Paul’s car and wondered if any other British cars or club members would show. Member wise the Kittlers show but had parked outside as they were only staying for a bit, so we couldn’t count them in on British cars showing. Wait ! Saved by the 'one half British' car that’s now parked next to my car. The Kittlers ending staying for most of the day and leaving about fifteen minutes before the day ended.
The story on what I call the ‘one half British’ car was 14 years in the making. It’s owner (Bob ?…I’m terrible with names) built the entire car from scratch. if you appreciate the hours, blood sweat and tears, as well as the talent associated with creating something from scratch, you may appreciate Bob’s (?) handy work. First off…It’s a ‘true Hot - Rod’ powered by a 12 cylinder Jaguar engine finely tweaked. Running gear, and suspension is a mix of many marques with the typical 'that didn’t work too well, let’s try'…… The kicker being the body is 100 % wood ! So here we have Bob (?) who’s not only a skilled and talented mechanic, who wields a mean torch and knows how to get the most out of a metal and obviously wood lathe and whatever other machinery required for such a build, having the same level of skills required for wood working as he does for metal. To be honest, I do not have words that due justice to this car. Only upon a close look can one appreciate the car and detailed work. It’s physical appearance is so far out of the box that I’m sure Bob (?) and his immediate circle are the limited admirers, however, it’s true rolling art.
Roger, Paul and I each score a door prize. Roger and Paul scored a bucket of ‘cleaning’ goodies, waxes, leather cleaner, towels, etc. while self scored a set of six screw sticks, and a 25 ft retractable tape measure. Paul carried home an award as did the 'half British' car. It’s award was ‘Favorite Youth’. Hope that indicates the upcoming generation appreciates such talent.
It was a fun day for a good cause enjoyed by many and enhance by near perfect ‘summer time’ weather.
Oh ! Didn’t have to use the ‘jumper pack’ to get my car started. ! Good day, indeed !!
You can find BBMC on fb under groups (Berkshire British Motor Club) to follow us and see what event(s) are planned that you are able to come and join in the adventure.
Paul Allen’s Award winning 1939 MG P
This weekend (07/28 7 29/ 18) events: Your Choice of…….
Saturday 07/28/18: British Cars of NH ‘Show of Dreams’ (SOD): This is one of the ‘Not to miss’ car shows of the year. For details go to BCNH.org Several BBMC members have attended SOD over the years and have had a grand time……200 plus LBC’s normally attend which include some rather distinct original and rare vehicles. Plan to attend this year.
IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND COPYING, FILLING OUT REGISTRATION TO SUBMIT UPON ARRIVAL
Saturday 07/28/18: ATA (Adirondack Triumph Association) British Moterfest at Saratoga Automobile Museum.
watch for more details. Another ‘Not to miss show’. ATA does a fine job of presenting British Cars to the public.
NOTE !!! Correct flyer with correct date
Sunday 07/29/18: 3rd Annual Bridge of Flowers, drive, pot luck picnic and 2nd Annual ‘Tilted Turf and Tall Grass Croquette Championship’. The day’s event offers a multitude of interesting sights from preserved, cultivated, natural wonders, historic buildings in a quaint Village, very danceable roads and more.
RSVP appreciated: Nancy & Marc Dodson <email@example.com> so they know how many dogs and cows to round up…uh, that’s hot dogs and hamburgers.
OFFICIAL…THIS IS A RAIN OR SHINE EVENT as noted by Nancy and Marc Dodson.
Weather forecast for Sunday is favorable for a ’tops down’ adventure !!
10:00 AM meet at the Town parking lot off the Main Street in Shelburne Falls.
NOTE !!! Those wanting to ‘Caravan’ to Shelburne Falls 8:30 AM meet (depart 8:45) at the ‘Rest Area / Pull Off’ on RT 8 just opposite the Berkshire Mall Rd. (traffic light at Berkshire Mall Rd).
Travel RT 8 North to Cheshire, to RT 116 East, to RT 112 North to Shelburne Falls
‘Caravan' to Shelburne Falls 8:30 AM meet (depart 8:45 AM) at Bennington Monument Parking area.
Travel RT 9 East to Wilmington, VT, RT 100 South to Jacksonville, VT, RT 112 South to Shelburne Falls.
Hope to see you at one or more of this weeks events.