The NJ Glidden Tour for Thurs Sep 29, 2022

More NJ history: our two main stops today were at the Roebling Museum and the battleship USS New Jersey.

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

NJ hosts the 2022 Glidden Tour

The 2022 edition of the Glidden Tour is being held in New Jersey, and officially begins today, Sunday, September 25, 2022. As has been the case in recent years, the tour is co-sponsored by the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America), the AAA (American Automobile Association) and the VMCCA (Vintage Motor Car Club of America).  The NJ Region of the AACA, of which I am a member, has been most active in planning this tour which is centered in and around Princeton, NJ, and features tours of local sites which played a role in the American Revolution.

There is a long history to the Glidden Tours which you can read about here. I will not take up space to reiterate that history, however, the tours started in the very early part of the 20th century as a way to demonstrate the reliability of the then-new horseless carriages. In 1946, the tours were started up again and have been run as annual “revival” events. This year, about 115 cars, all model year 1942 or older, are registered to drive a different route each day from Sunday through Friday of this week. Total mileage for the week will be in the hundreds, and many (if not most) participants have driven in many previous Glidden Tours.

I am honored to have been asked to be one of four official photographers for the event. I stopped at the host hotel yesterday to take some photos of the first cars as they arrived, and I have a specific schedule to follow starting Monday. My plan is to post some photos each day (no text) and conclude the week with a wrap-up story. In the meantime, enjoy the pix!

 

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

Thursday Lunch Drive, Sep. 15, 2022

My inexact science points to the year 2008 when I, along with my driving cohort Larry, took over the planning for our “Sunday morning breakfast drives”. With only a few exceptions, we have stayed with this tried-and-true formula in the ensuing 14 years (I cannot believe that number as I type it). At the same time, L. and I are also always discussing ways to mix it up, and credit goes to him for the combination idea of a weekday drive followed by a midday food stop.

And so we selected Thursday Sep. 15, 2022, for our first-ever such event. Six brave souls (which can also be read as “six guys who are retired or are otherwise available”) showed up. Although the number was small, 3 of the 6 vehicles were new to us. Our destination was the Empire Diner in Monroe, NY, a previous breakfast destination, where we were able to be immediately seated up our noon arrival. The food was great, the service even better, and after our usual kick-the-tires parking lot session (including someone offering cash on-the-spot for Larry’s Chevy), we were headed back home.

Was it a success? It was, yet at the same time, we both recognize that there are still a number of our car buddies for whom any such gathering needs to be on a Saturday or Sunday. As I see it, we can add the weekday lunch idea to our arsenal for occasional deployment as we see fit.

 

Ken’s Porsche 911
Sean’s Mercedes-Benz sedan
Larry’s Chevy Caprice sedan
Pete’s Porsche 911
Bill’s ’67 Corvette
Richard’s Miata

 

Departing the Sheraton parking lot

 

What a beautiful rear end to follow!

 

Most guys ordered omelettes, thinking it was Sunday 😉

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

Alfa Romeo Interior Mirror Repair

It had been happening for a while. Every time I touched the Alfa’s inside rear-view mirror to adjust it, the next road disturbance would knock it back out of adjustment. It had gotten to the point where it didn’t take a bump in the road – I’d fix the position, and the weight of the mirror itself would cause it to slump like a wilted flower stem. Given that my car has only a driver’s side outside mirror, and poorly located at that (it’s halfway up the fender, out of my reach from the driver’s seat), I rely on the inside mirror a lot. It was time to perform a proper repair.

Peering behind the mirror, I could see a threaded shaft, but putting a wrench on it would have been a blind operation. There were only 3 Philips head screws holding the assembly above the windshield, so down it came. As soon as I pulled it away, the rubber gasket revealed itself to be completely deteriorated, so I was already in the well-known “might as well” mode, aka Mission Creep.

Putting the mirror on my workbench gave me much better access to the shaft and nut. This sub-assembly served two purposes: it allowed some adjustment of the total length of the shaft between the mirror and the glass, and it also allowed some adjustment in the amount of effort needed to move the mirror.

I played with the adjustment a bit, alternately tightening and loosening it to get to the right “feel”. While doing this, I seem to have noticed for the first time (after 9 years of ownership!) that the interior mirror has “day” and “night” settings, only of course in my case they read “giorno” and “notte”. With the work on the actual mirror quickly accomplished, it was time to turn my attention to the gasket. The original gasket measured about ¼” thick. I found nothing similar in any of my local hardware or auto parts stores, so to Amazon I turned to order up some ¼” thick black rubber sheeting. Tracing and cutting the gasket was simple enough. To make the screw holes, I first considered punching them with an awl. However, I experimented on an extra piece of rubber and tried drilling the holes. To my happy surprise, the material was thick and strong enough to allow clean holes to be drilled.

As they say in the repair manuals, “reassembly is the reverse of disassembly”. Everything went back together smoothly, and I used my newly-secured mirror as an excuse to take a 12-mile shakedown run. It held! Now I’ll have a crystal-clear view of that F-250 Super Duty six inches from my rear bumper while I’m cruising at 50 in a 45.

Newly exposed headliner looks good

 

Old gasket at 55 years of age

 

Shaft and threaded nut now accessible

 

Mounting plate needed nothing more than a cleaning

 

 

Tracing on new black rubber sheet

 

Holes drilled at low speed; material held steady

 

Back home; mirror catches photo guy in action

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

Lime Rock Park, Labor Day Sunday Concours, 2022

It’s three hours to the minute to drive door-to-door from my home in central New Jersey to the gates of Lime Rock Park, in the rolling hills of northwest CT. The long ride is worth it, as proven by my almost-annual pilgrimage to this, likely my favorite East Coast car show, which I’ve been attending since the 1990’s. What makes the Labor Day Weekend Sunday Concours so special? It’s the quality and variety of the vehicles on display. I’m a regular at Carlisle, Hershey, Macungie, Mecum Harrisburg, Greenwich, and various AACA events in my area. Yet Lime Rock always manages to create displays of automobiles I almost never see anywhere else, and, they do it without dragging out the same vehicles year after year.

I will let the photos act as my ‘evidence’, and I dare you to disagree!

 

The Lime Rock crew does a nice job segregating vehicles based on age and country of origin. In addition, there are always special classes each year.

 

 

 

This rarely-seen Alfa Romeo 2600, with an inline 6-cylinder engine, was resplendent in its burgundy paint with red interior.

 

The Trans Am pony cars were the featured vintage racecars of the weekend.

The GM Heritage Collection brought a number of rare and valuable Corvettes to the show. The star among them for me was the Mako Shark. The sign omits any mention of the fish being painted to match the car 😉 . (If you don’t know the story, you can read it here.)

 

Nice to see one with blackwalls, as it might have worn when new

 

Olds Vista Cruiser

 

Hudsons, stock and in race livery

 

THE WORLD’S ONLY VOLVO 142GT?

This fellow Dave talked my head off, but, he was passionate and knowledgeable beyond belief. The car’s trunk was full of authentic VOA (Volvo of America) catalogs of racing parts,  many of which were installed on his car. He started with a rust-free 1971 142, which he completely restored to the way he wanted it. Along the way, he added a competition cylinder head, dual Solex carbs, a GT grille with fog lights, a GT dash cluster, accessory wheels, “142 GT” emblems, and much more. He estimated that the engine is putting out about 180HP. He name-dropped Mitch Duncan and Bob Austin along the way, so he seemed credible. In essence, he built a hot-rod 142E, using 100% factory parts.

 

 

Volvo 1800
Volvo XC70 with a lift kit

 

FIAT MANIA!!!

X 1/9

 

124 wagon

 

2nd gen 124 Coupe

 

Chrome bumper 124 Spider

 

Big bumper 124 Spider

 

Dino Coupe

 

Dino Spider

 

Multipla

 

 

A rare (and valuable) Ferrari 288GTO

 

More German cars

 

DeSoto wagon

 

Jaguar E-Types (called XKE in America) were another featured model

 

JAGUAR E-TYPE SPOTTERS GUIDE

 

Series 1 cars were built from 1961-1967. They are distinguished by their glass-covered headlamps, with front signal lamps and rear lamps mounted above the bumpers. At first, there were two body styles: FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) and OTS (Open Two-Seater). In 1966 a lengthened model called the 2+2, with a tiny rear seat, was added. The Coupe can be distinguished from the 2+2 from the side. Make note of the length of the door glass and rear quarter glass. In the Coupe, the two are roughly equal. In the 2+2, the door glass is notably longer.

Series II cars were built from 1968 part-way through 1971. (Some 1968 cars have a combination of Series I and Series II features and are sometimes referred to as “Series 1.5”. We will not get into the distinction here.) Series II cars have exposed headlamps. The grille opening is slightly enlarged, but still only wears a single horizontal bar.  Front signal and rear lights are mounted below the bumpers. Side marker lights were added to U.S. models. The 3 body styles, FHC, OTS, and 2+2, continued.

NOTE: All Series I and Series II cars had smooth (non-flared) wheel well openings, and all were powered by Jaguar’s inline 6-cylinder engine, although displacement increased from 3.8L to 4.2L.

 

Series III cars were built from mid-1971 through 1974, the final year for the E-Type. There were some major changes: the only available engine was now a V-12. The 2+2 continued, and the convertible was now built on the longer wheelbase of the 2+2, making an optional automatic transmission available in all body styles for the first time. The shorter Coupe body style was discontinued. The grille opening was made larger still, and received an eggcrate insert. Front and rear fender flares were added (the flares can be the easiest way to distinguish between Series II and Series III cars from a distance).

All E-Types have beautiful rear ends!

 

The Tesla charging stations remained vacant all day on Sunday

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Spotting, Various Locations, August 2022

Earlier this month, we attended a relative’s wedding just outside of Springfield, MA. The morning after, we found ourselves at a charming diner in Florence, MA, and this 1950 Plymouth convertible was there, driven by someone who obviously enjoys taking it out for breakfast!

 

There’s a Shell gas station a quarter mile from my house, and I’ve gotten to know the owner and many of the employees well after living nearby for the last 21 years. They work on anything and everything. The pump attendant told me that someone had dropped off this 1956 Chrysler for tires and brakes, as it had been sitting for an indeterminate number of years.

 

We just got back from a week in Cape May, NJ, and while treating ourselves to a midday ice cream snack, this Rivian showed up. I’ve seen them in the metal at car shows, but this was my first sighting of one on the road. It looked good, what I’d call “right-sized”: big enough to carry what you need, but nowhere near the gargantuan heft of today’s “full-size” pickups which I’ve observed struggle to park in my local Wawa convenience store.

 

This plate was on a Honda S2000. Capisco?

 

 

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

Das Awkscht Fescht, Macungie PA, August 2022

If there had been any doubts that eastern Pennsylvania is the center of the automotive hobby in these United States, my visit to Macungie, PA, this weekend to attend “Das Awkscht Fescht”, now in its 59th year, removed those doubts. How fortunate am I, living in the metro NY/NJ region my entire life, that shows in the Pennsylvania towns of Macungie, Carlisle, Hershey, New Hope, and Harrisburg are all within an easy one-day round-trip drive? Add to that the longevity of these events: I first attended Carlisle in the late ‘70s, Hershey in the early ‘80s, and Macungie in the early ‘90s. New Hope’s website claims they are in their 65th year. Mecum’s Harrisburg auction, a newcomer to these parts, began in 2015 and I haven’t missed one yet.

Yes, we know about “Monterey” in California, a long-standing tradition every August. It’s grown to gargantuan proportions, combining multiple shows and auctions into a jam-packed week. Amelia Island in Florida in March is referred to by some as the “Monterey of the East”, again with shows and auctions running back-to-back. However, these are once-a-year programs on the calendar, without any other nearby automotive events during the rest of the year. The Keystone State calendar starts with Carlisle in April, then the Hershey Elegance in June, Mecum Harrisburg in July, Das Awkscht Fescht and New Hope in August, Carlisle again in September, and concludes with Hershey in October. All these shows are well-attended by car owners and spectators alike, and the collector car club support acts as a backbone, ensuring consistency year after year. This tally doesn’t count the marque-specific Carlisle events, club-sponsored local shows, or the incredible museums in the state such as the Simeone in Philly.

Back to Macungie 2022: it’s a 3-day event and always has been, with some variety each of the days. Saturday seems to bring out the largest number of cars and so it was my choice again for this year. The weather was hot and humid, but the occasional breeze and some intermittent cloudiness helped alleviate the dog days of August. Attendance was excellent, even if some areas of the field never filled to capacity. (In fairness, I saw cars arriving as late as noon, so the field may have seen its ranks swell a bit.) While it’s mostly American cars, the pre-war turnout is strong. The decades of the ‘50s and ‘60s are also well-represented. Import vehicles, led this year by a special field of British cars, provided some variety.

Similar to what I’ve done at Hershey, I find it a huge advantage to arrive early and photograph vehicles as they drive in. The gates opened at 7:30 a.m., and I situated myself and my trusty Sony (this time using my prime 85mm telephoto lens) along the entrance path and snapped away. Later, I walked the entire show and captured many of the cars that I didn’t get to see drive in under their own power. While I was unable to enter a car of my own this year, I conversed with numerous friends on the field who had brought cars, and I hope to join the fun in a more engaging way for next year’s big 60th anniversary!

 

WARNING! MASSIVE PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD!
The Morning Parade:

 

 

Sometimes, the smallest cars make the grandest entrances:

 

On the showfield:

 

British cars were set apart from the rest in their own special part of the field:

 

 

Is the “new” Mini “mini”?

 

This car was parked among the Brits. When I teased the owner about it, he retorted, with a knowing wink in his eye, “well, the Smiths gauges are British!”

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.