The New Jersey Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) hosted a casual car show at the Spring Hills Senior Community facility in Morristown, NJ, on Monday September 11, 2017. For a number of years, the NJ AACA has been welcomed at numerous assisted living operations throughout the state.
The elderly residents are given the chance to peruse the classic cars, and club members are provided the opportunity to show off their four-wheeled beauties. The car owners and residents have lots of time to reminisce, and everyone wins. We saw that effect in full swing on this beautiful late summer day, with sunny skies, low humidity, and temperatures in the 70’s.
Event chairperson Abe Platt was pleasantly surprised with a turnout of 11 cars, a copious number for a Monday. Vehicles ranged in age from a 1923 Ford Model T to a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette. The decade with the largest representation was the 1960s. Your author was thrilled to see how many Spring Hills residents could eloquently recall the cars they owned 40, 50, even 60 years ago.
The first gentleman I met approached me as I stood by my Alfa. He told me that in the 1960s, his daily driver was an Austin Healey 3000. He related that the exhaust note on the Healey was so distinctive that his then-three-year-old daughter knew when daddy’s car was about a half block away, and she would get excited knowing her father was almost home. I asked him what his wife drove, and he said “always Volvo wagons. We had them all, from a 122 wagon, to the 140 wagon, then a succession of 240 wagons.” When I admitted that I had spent much of my career with the brand, he said “at Smythe?” In what was the coincidence of the week (nay, the month), it turned out that he knew the owners of the dealership where I was employed in the 1980s. He still regularly communicates with one of the senior partners.
Another man eyeballed my Alfa and told me that he had purchased a new BMW 2002 tii in the seventies. The BMW replaced a Jaguar E-Type 2+2, which had replaced a Jag 3.8 sedan. With a wink, he said he loved his sports cars, but needed the back seats to carry the family. The last car he owned was a 1999 BMW 7-series, which he would pilot back and forth to Florida at “extra legal” speeds.
The facility generously provided lunch to the car owners, and bottles of wine were presented as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place “People’s Choice” awards. The event started at 12:30pm, and was over by 3:15pm. This was the first time I had been able to join the NJ Region in a Senior Living facility visit. I was touched by the opportunity to share stories with the facility residents. Frankly, it was the best way I could have spent my Monday afternoon.
All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.
4 thoughts on “NJ AACA visits the Spring Hills Senior Community, Morristown NJ, Sep. 2017”
Nice effort by the club. I’m sure it was a treat for the residents. Way to go!
The club has been doing these visits all over the state of NJ for several years. This was my first opportunity to participate, and it was great. I hope to get out to more such visits in the future.
As I recall, the Spring Hills complex is near the intersection of Mt. Kemble Avenue and Spring Street (adjacent to the brick building on the corner which used to house a rug cleaning company). I tip my hat to the AACA for arranging these types of low-key events; a chance to reminisce for the visitors and an informal opportunity for the AACA members to interact with them.
I will refrain from asking how many new members the Region signed up at this event, as we’re not getting any younger, either!
PS: I’m afraid that Neil Maken will lose another subscriber later this year. I’ve now donated my collection of Skinned Knuckles to the Petersen (along with my full collection of Automobile magazine and at least 20 years’ worth of Hemmings Classic Car). When I thought about how much time I typically spend reading or referring to each of my automotive publications each month, those three were at the bottom of the list (along with AutoWeek). So, the library is now a bit smaller.
Hey Steve, the Spring Hills building is on Spring Place, which is just a few feet from the intersection of Morris Ave. and Spring St. It’s behind that small strip mall, almost across the street from where Pete’s Tavern (now gone) used to be.
Yes, the AACA does a nice job with these events.