The 1990 Carlisle Import Car Show

It was shortly after entering the automobile industry in 1978 that I learned about “Carlisle”. It’s the name of a town in Pennsylvania, but to car buffs, “Carlisle” more specifically refers to the hobbyist flea market/car corral events which have been conducted at the Carlisle Fairgrounds since 1974.

At first there was Fall Carlisle in October, followed shortly by Spring Carlisle in April. Then came the additions: GM, Ford, Chrysler, Corvette, Import/Tuner, Truck. Auctions were added, as were winter shows held in Florida but still under the Carlisle name. You can read about Carlisle’s beginnings at this link here.

I attended my first Carlisle event in 1979, observing that the flea market offerings were about 90% in support of domestic cars, understandably so. When the Import Show was added sometime in the late 1980s, I was excited at the prospect of what might be there. Some photos from the 1990 Carlisle Import Show were included in my blog post about attending the 2008 Carlisle Import Show with my Isetta, the one and only time I brought the Isetta there. Going through my pictures, I decided that the 1990 show deserved a post of its own.

These snaps are of a decidedly different quality, and my faint recollection is that they were taken with a Kodak disposable camera, which were in vogue at that time. A deluxe version had a switch allowing panoramic photos, which was put to good use here as a way to capture a vehicular lineup. Note how spread out the cars are parked, and how much empty space is behind them. Compared to Spring or Fall Carlisle, this Import show was a much more lightly-attended event.

 

Those of you who think that my Alfa obsession is a recent phenomenon would be mistaken; here is a photo of a late ‘50s/early ‘60s Alfa Giulietta Spider, taken as it sat in a row of Italian cars. Note the Fiat 124 Spider on the right, and note all the empty rows in the background! I believe that hill is the beginning of what is known as the North Field.

What have we here, an Isetta?? In 1990, I had not yet begun my restoration in earnest, so I’m sure that I was thrilled to stumble across this. From this photo the car appears to be all there, although the red engine paint is incorrect. The sign in the window reads “Warning Health Hazard”.

A large part of the success of these early Import shows must be credited to club support, as this photo of Volvo P1800/1800S models makes clear. I count 8 of them here, but am unsure if Irv Gordon’s car was among them.

A potpourri of German and British cars, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Morris, and Jaguar.

Qu’avons-nous ici, des voitures françaises, toutes des Citroën

More Volvos, this time, mostly 122s.

This is the only known photo in my collection of a Volvo 1800 convertible. It’s a bit ungainly with the top up. As you may know, this is not a factory convertible. Most, perhaps all, such conversions were done by a Long Island dealer, Volvoville. They ran ads for the cars in the back of many of the car magazines of the day. It is also interesting to note the 700-series wagons in the back, which in 1990 would have been no more than about 5 years old.

Three very different Triumph sports cars, from left to right: TR4, TR3, and Spitfire.

Jaguar E-Types (also known as XKEs) have always been desirable and worth preserving, going back to their launch in 1961. This is a Series I model (1961-1967), as evidenced by its covered headlights and above-bumper front turn signals. Note the VW bus lacking side windows behind it, most likely originally intended for commercial use.

It looks like a downsized two-seat Thunderbird, but its official name is DKW Auto Union 1000 Special Coupe. My copy of the Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-1990 states that this model DKW (Das Kleine Wagen, German for The Little Car) was introduced on our shores in 1958, with a 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine, displacing 980 cc and producing 50 HP. List price was $2,495, which may sound pricey when many full-size American cars were starting around the $2,000 mark. However, if one wanted something with sporting pretensions, T-Birds and Corvettes were $1,000 more. Perhaps the closest competitor to this car would have been the VW Karmann Ghia coupe, priced at $2,445. DKW and Auto Union eventually became Audi.

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

 

Sunday Morning Cars & Coffee, Oct. 23, 2022

On Sunday, October 23, 2022, we once again took advantage of a spacious parking lot adjacent to a Dunkin’ Donuts facility to host our own Cars & Coffee event. No driving was included in the plans, and we had a small but enthusiastic group of eight people (plus two VCNA retirees who were surprise guests) willing to mill about on what turned out to be a beautiful autumn morning.

The Dunkin’ Donuts on MacArthur Blvd. in Mahwah did its usual fine job in serving us bagels and coffee, and plenty of Sunday morning visitors were distracted enough by our vehicular lineup to break their routines and come over for a chat.

Cars in attendance included two Corvettes, a Chevy Nova, two Porsche 911s, a Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel, a well-preserved and rarely-seen Volvo S70, and your author’s Alfa Romeo. Interestingly, the imports outnumbered the domestic entries (3 Chevys versus 3 Germans, 1 Swedish, and 1 Italian), something we normally don’t see at our gatherings.

We may try to squeeze in one more driving event before the weather turns inhospitable for the winter. If not, we shall see what 2023 will bring!

1961 Corvette (C1)

 

1967 Corvette (C2)

 

1967 Alfa Romeo

 

1972 Nova

 

’80s Mercedes-Benz 300D

 

’80s Porsche 911

 

21st century 911

 

Volvo S70 sedan

 

Nothing but nothing looks like the back end of a C2 coupe

 

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

 

 

AACA Hershey, October 2022

Hershey this year was a one-day visit for me, so I spent most of the morning canvassing the car corral, had lunch, then headed over to the RM Sotheby’s auction at the Hershey Lodge. I was there on Thursday October 6th, and the weather was great for an outdoor car show. The hobby continues to evolve and change, and we have observed the ups and downs at Hershey over the years. This year’s car corral was approximately 50% full, and that’s a guess of course. But for those who have visited in the recent past, I can inform you that the parking lot alongside the Giant Center was completely empty this year. As recently as 2018 (based on my own blog report) it was completely full. To my thinking, websites like Bring A Trailer have shifted many collector car transactions to online formats.

Nevertheless, even with the smaller number of vehicles in the corral, there were a few that were of more than passing interest to me. I’ve listed those vehicles below in model year order. (I will have a report on the RM Sotheby auction as a separate blog post.)

 

1931 Ford Model A Roadster. Tan body, wheels, and top, black fenders, whitewall tires on wire wheels. Darker tan vinyl interior. Single side-mount spare, rumble seat, separate trunk out back. Sharp looking all round.

Asking: $22,500

One of the least-expensive ways to enter a Glidden Tour, and the top goes down to boot.

1931 Ford Model A rumble seat coupe. Taupe body, black fenders, yellow wire wheels, whitewall tires. Single spare mounted out back.

Asking: $19,500

This one makes the ’31 Roadster at $22,500 look like the better deal.

 

1936 Ford DeLuxe 5-window rumble seat coupe, black, tan cloth interior. Wide whitewalls, appears original and unmolested. Sign on car claims just removed from 30-year storage (that can be good and bad) and no rust ever.

Asking: $34,900

Smart-looking coupe, V8 is nice upgrade from a Model A, rumble seat a fun option to have.

 

1953 EMW 327 Cabriolet. That is not a typo. After WW2, one of BMWs factories ended up on the wrong side of the West Germany/East Germany dividing line, and they continued production of cars now badged “EMW”, with the blue/white roundel now red/white. Black and red paint, blue and white interior, convertible top MIA. Interior needs a lot of work, no indication that it runs or drives.

Asking: $85,000

This was on offer from a large dealer. Lots of scratch for what might be a project, but for the BMW collector who’s looking for something different, this is bound to be a hit at the next BMWCCA convention.

 

1956 Continental Mark II, pale beige body with taupe roof, black and white interior. Full wheel covers and wide whites. Sign on car claims “runs and drives well”.

Asking: $28,500.

This car was one of FOUR Continental Mark IIs on the grounds (including the RM auction). Don’t call them Lincolns! They were badged as “Continentals”. Everything I’ve read about them has stated that they are an expensive nightmare to restore, which rings true given that they were essentially hand-built cars. This was cheap for a Mark II, but as they say about cheap Ferraris and Jaguars, that initial purchase price is only the first of many checks to be written.

 

1957 BMW Isetta, red, beige interior, BMW hub caps, blackwall tires on white wheels. Door has deluxe vents but single wiper. Was seen running and driving in the car corral.

Asking $27,000

Sign on car claims complete restoration. A quick lookover by me didn’t find anything glaringly wrong with the correctness of the job. Isettas are way off their highs of 10 years ago. This was priced fairly.

 

 

1963 Chevrolet Corvair convertible, teal, matching interior, white top. Sign on car only states “turbo”. Transmission was not noted. Full wheel covers, redline tires. Not all body panels appear to match.

Asking: $14,900

There are better 1st gen Corvairs for this kind of money.

 

1970 Jaguar E-Type roadster, silver, black top, red interior. As a Series II car, has the 4.2L 6 cylinder and 4-speed transmission. Blackwall tires on chrome wires. Look great in this color combo from 20 feet. Sign on car states: “usual rust in rockers, old paint with dings and flaws, body rubber dry”.

Asking: $69,000

Worth it only if you’re willing to drive it as is.

 

 

1971 Alfa Romeo Spider, red, black top and interior. Headlight covers, Campagnolo wheels; steel wheels also included. Sign on car claims total engine rebuild and new clutch in March 2022.

Asking: $21,500

Saw this car very early in the a.m.; there was so much dew on it that it was not possible to judge its exterior cosmetics. These early S2 cars which still had small bumpers are gaining in popularity, now that S1 Duettos are priced at two to three times the asking price of this one.

 

 

1977 Leyland Mini Cooper. Teal metallic, patterned cloth interior. Multiple driving lights, flared fenders over Minilite-looking alloys. Sign on car claims 1.3L 4-cylinder engine with fuel injection, 4-speed manual, big brake kit, performance exhaust, upgraded suspension, new tires.

Asking $19,995

This tiny thing looked like an absolute blast to drive, especially given the improved power-to-weight ratio. Might be a challenge to find this much fun these days for under 20 grand.

 

1985 Ford Mustang SVO, red, grey cloth interior. All SVOs had the 2.3L turbo 4 and 5-speed stick. Sign on car claims 66k original miles and no rust.

Asking: $14,250

I have had my eye on these for a while; they are an interesting, Euro-flavored alternative to a 5.0 Mustang. This one looked very clean, but the asking price is still higher than some recent auction sales which have been around $10k.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Neshanic Station NJ Car Show, July 16, 2022

The Neshanic Station (NJ) combination flea market and car show was held on Saturday July 16, 2022. As this show is all but three miles from my house, my Alfa Romeo and I were there. Last year, its inaugural season, I was able to make it there four times. This year’s visit was my first since July 17, 2021, making almost a year to the day since I last attended.

 

It was warm, but not unbearably so, when I arrived a little after 8 a.m. There were already about a dozen cars parked on the field, and about a dozen more arrived after I did, so the turnout was very respectable. Last year, the show organizers tried hosting shows twice a month. This year they have been keeping to a once-a-month schedule, but a change for 2022 is the addition of a trophy for “best car”. Not sure what the judging criteria is, and I left before any winners were announced. If the possibility of a trophy or some other prize helps encourage participation, I’m all for it. I just don’t need something else collecting dust on a shelf.

In addition to the usual domestic machinery, there were a few of those funny foreign cars on display, and I made acquaintances with their friendly owners. Anthony drove down from South Orange (about 45 minutes away) in his Bertone X1/9. (If you’re unfamiliar, when Fiat left the U.S. market in the early 1980s, Bertone took over production of the Fiat X1/9 and imported it with Bertone badges in place of the Fiat emblems.) His was a little crusty around the edges, but he proudly showed me all the maintenance and repair work he’s undertaken since he bought the car. I got the impression that this is the first car on which he’s ever wrenched, and he attributed helpful YouTube videos to providing the needed knowledge. I was impressed with his nerve, cleverness, and ingenuity, especially given that he’s working on a car that went out of production over 30 years ago.

Joe was a bit more local; he drove over from Bound Brook in his 1970 Datsun 240Z, the first year for this pivotal sports car. He had recently completed some major restoration work, and the car looked great. As we were talking, he let it be known that he also has a Volvo 122 station wagon, and he said he actually prefers driving the Volvo over the Datsun. In either case, his love of smaller import machinery was most obviously made when he described how much he loathes driving his wife’s GMC SUV!

I left the show field close to 11 a.m., yet I was not the first to depart. The size and variety of the turnout gave me the impression that the show organizers were having a great day. I hope to attend several more times this year before the season winds down.

 

My Alfa

 

 

One of several hot rods. Owner told me it’s all steel, and he did the work himself over many years

 

1985 Buick Grand National

 

Goats

 

The ubiquitous ’57 Chevy

 

’65 Pontiac

 

El Caminos new and old

 

’70s Bug with retrofitted old-style headlights

 

Some older Corvettes

 

Some newer Corvettes

 

Anthony’s Bertone X1/9

 

Another rod

 

VW Karmann Ghia

 

Fox-body Mustang

 

 

BMW 2002

 

Dodge Super Bee

 

Pontiac GTO

 

Joe’s Datsun 240Z

 

1962 Olds Starfire (first year for the coupe)
Fire truck carrying another

 

 

 

Saturday Morning Cars & Coffee, June 18, 2022

If you thought that the only thing worth celebrating this past Saturday, June 18, was Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday, you would be wrong! An equally joyous event was held that day at the Mahwah NJ Dunkin’ Donuts on MacArthur Blvd., and that was our first Saturday (as opposed to Sunday) Cars & Coffee event.

Early arrivals had their cars parked before 8:30 a.m., and most of the ten drivers who showed up were in place by 9. The local Dunkin’ did its usual fine job of serving up bagels, muffins, and hot coffee, while we men eschewed chairs and spread ourselves out standing around the parking lot.

Although this wasn’t advertised in advance, you can imagine that a DD can get busy on a Saturday morning, and more than a few locals wandered over to gaze at the morning’s collection of American (4), German (4), and Italian (2) machinery. All four domestic vehicles were GM products, while the four German cars were evenly split between BMW and Porsche. The Alfa Romeo brand represented 100% of the Italian cars. It’s nice to see the variety of vehicles that our informal gang brings out.

We had our fill of each other by 10:30, and the departure from the parking lot almost resembled a Le Mans start. The Saturday choice was an experiment; the turnout was about average, far from the largest number we have had show up. We’ll decide down the road whether to switch back to Sunday, or leave Saturday as an alternate selection during the driving season.

BMW 1 Series

 

BMW 6 Series

 

Porsche 911

 

Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Jr.

 

Porsche 911

 

1972 Chevrolet Nova

 

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

 

Alfa Romeo Spider

 

1983 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds

 

Pontiac LeMans

 

 

Fred tries to interest the group in yoga stretches; no one takes him up on it

 

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

 

 

 

The 2022 Hillsborough NJ Memorial Day Parade

This past Saturday, May 28, 2022, was my 4th time driving a collector car in the Hillsborough NJ Memorial Day parade. I reported on my drives in 2017, 2018, and 2019; in 2020 and 2021, either the parades were cancelled (Covid or weather) or I was unable to participate.

Participation was again sponsored by the NJ Region of the AACA. In all, about 18 cars paraded along the 1.5 mile route. Driving my Alfa this year, I was joined by a lineup that greatly differed from the vehicles in the 2019 edition of the parade. It was a nice change of pace to see some different cars and meet some members who normally don’t join in club events.

There’s always a great turnout of locals lining the streets. One of the best things about the Hillsborough parade is seeing the throngs waving their flags and waving at the drivers. Pointing my camera out the window actually encourages them to wave more fervently.

Parade speed is below 5 m.p.h., and this is when a manual gearbox car is at a disadvantage. There was too much slipping of the clutch required, so I increased my distance between my car and the car in front of me, allowing me to remain in first gear longer.

At the parade’s end, we did something different this year: the collector cars were ushered into a parking lot alongside the Municipal Building, and a mini car show was held. Parade attendees then got a chance to see the vehicles which had cruised past them earlier up close. The Hillsborough parade, with a starting point only 15 minutes from my house, remains on my annual calendar.

Our Master of Ceremonies

 

1967 Alfa Romeo

 

1993 Buick Roadmaster

 

1953 Chevrolet Bel Air

 

1987 Mercury Cougar

 

Ford Model A with homemade oak body

 

 

 

1986 Pontiac Fiero

 

 

1969 Mercury Cougar

 

1930 Ford Model A

 

1959 Ford

 

 

1962 Corvette

 

1946 Chevrolet pickup truck

 

1976 VW Beetle

 

Dodge Power Wagon

 

 

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

 

Lime Rock Fall Vintage Car Show, 2013

Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, will always signify the Lime Rock Park Fall Vintage weekend to me. Since first discovering the event in the early 1990’s, I’ve made it my mission to attend the “Sunday in the Park” portion, the static car show on the track itself, every year if possible.

Perusing my picture archives uncovered photos of breathtaking automobiles from the 2013 event which have not been posted by me yet. The sky is very overcast in all the pictures, and while I have no memory of the weather from that day nine years ago, the clouds created a wonderful umbrella of diffused light for my camera.

Italian vehicles comprise the majority of the shots, including two unusual trucks. I may have had Italian cars on my mind more than usual, having purchased my 1967 Alfa Romeo just six months prior. There are several British and Swedish marques represented as well. Lime Rock is not an easy ride for me: it’s close to three hours each way, yet it will always remain a must-see event, time and weather permitting.

Links to my posts from visits in 2007, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 can be accessed by clicking on the underlined.

Ferrari 330 GTC, an ATF regardless of price

 

Jaguar XK120

 

Jaguar XK150

 

This Ferrari’s interior is so beautiful I didn’t even take an exterior shot

 

Above: 3 views of a Cisitalia cabriolet

 

A pre-war Alfa Romeo

 

Above: Ferrari 275 GTB/NART

 

Lancia Fulvia coupe

 

Another pre-war Alfa racecar

 

Above: An unusual Alfa Romeo van; note “Romeo” script on nose

 

Not to be outdone, here is a Fiat van with Maserati badges

 

Above: a pair of Swedes, Volvo 1800 on the left, and SAAB Sonett on the right

 

Hood bulge marks this as an MG-C, with inline 6 powerplant underhood

 

Above: another ATF is this Fiat Dino coupe, powered by a Ferrari V6. Front end bears strong similarity to my Fiat 124 Sport Coupe.

 

Alfa Romeo GTV

 

 

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

 

 

NJ Region AACA Annual Car Show, May 2022

The NJ Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) held its “annual” car show on Sunday May 1, 2022, at a new location: the Lakeview Elementary School in Denville, NJ, immediately off Route 10. The word “annual” is in quotes because the last few years had proven to be a challenge to actually hold the show, either due to poor weather or due to Covid. My blog posts clearly document the lousy atmospheric conditions in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The pandemic wiped the 2020 and 2021 shows off the calendar.

The 2016 to 2019 events were held at a new location for us, the Mennen Arena in Morristown, and I had, on multiple occasions, made it clear to those who would listen that this was not a great spot for a car show. As much as I’m not superstitious, I also began to wonder if the spot was jinked.

The queue to enter the show field

There were no weather jinxes in play for this one. The day was near perfect: sunny, warm but not hot, with a few stray clouds high overhead. Compared to the wet years, when turnout barely got above two or three dozen, there were well over one hundred vehicles at this year’s event. Most of the vehicles were in classes numbered by decade and were judged to AACA standards (25 years or older, in stock, as-new condition). There were also classes for HPOF (Historical Preservation of Original Features, a non-judged class), as well as trucks, two-seat sports cars, Mustangs, modified vehicles through 1997, and ‘modern classics’ 1998 and newer. (Some of these classes are not officially recognized by AACA and are added to bring additional vehicles to the show, making all feel welcome.)

A partial view of the show field

 

FoMoCo chrome grilles glisten in the May sun

 

I was especially pleased to see the strong turnout of pre-war and immediate post-war (WW2 in both cases) vehicles. Despite what many think, interest in vehicles from this time period continues to be strong. For example, I had a delightful conversation with the owner of a 1929 Packard, who to me looked like he was perhaps in his late 30s/early 40s. He told me that this generation Packard had been his dream car since he was seven years old!

Registration Chair Vince had plenty of help this year

My 1967 Alfa Romeo, which ran without an issue, got me safely and soundly to the show and back. This was the first AACA event for my beloved Italian stallion since the Buffalo Farm Car Show in Flemington NJ in June of 2019. (It was the following month when the brakes failed, necessitating a complete overhaul, followed by a necessary carb overhaul.) My good friend and fellow club member Ed Geller, who owns multiple Alfas, parked his HPOF ’69 Spider next to my car, and we made for an attractive 1-2 Alfa punch.

A treat for the club this year was the addition of a new member who goes by the name “Gup” (don’t ask because I don’t have a clue) who has his own DJ business. He parked his heavily modified Ford rig about center stage, and spun the tunes all day. His ability to mix styles and genres meant that there no complaints that I heard about the music! In previous years, we broadcasted SiriuxXM “Forties on 4” or “Fifties on 5” through the PA, and it got monotonous. Gup was a great addition to this year’s festivities.

The Gup and his sound system truck

Below are photos of show cars which captured my attention. Since AACA requires judged cars to have open hoods and trunks, obtaining quality images can be a challenge. When the opportunity presented itself, I also tried to snap photos of cars which by virtue of their locations in the parking lot would allow a better framed composition.

1937 Buick

 

1940 Cadillac

 

 

1931 Lincoln

 

1985 Olds 442

 

1971 Chevrolet Camaro

 

1966 Olds F-85

 

1967 Buick Riviera

 

1968 Chevrolet Corvair

 

1969 Plymouth GTX

 

A brace of pre-war Fords

 

Featured car #1: 1929 Packard Phaeton

The Packard’s owner, a man perhaps in his 40s, told me that he wanted this style Packard since he was seven years old. His car had been restored in 1951, and was an award winner at that time, but then had been put into storage. When he bought it, the car required a thorough recommissioning, but he assured me that I was looking at paint that had been applied 71 years ago.

 

 

 

1952 Hudson Hornet

 

1953 Cadillac

 

Bob Smith with his 1950 Ford

 

1956 Dodge

 

1958 Nash Metropolitan

 

1967 Chrysler Imperial

 

1964 Ford Galaxie

 

1997 Ford Mustang

 

1988 Pontiac Fiero

 

1957 Ford Thunderbird

 

1974 Dodge Challenger
Featured car #2: 1993 Lotus Esprit

One does not see Lotus Esprits at many AACA events, so the appearance of this gorgeous white one grabbed my attention. Presuming that it had a V8 mounted amidships, the owner corrected me and said that the engine was a Lotus-engineered V4, and turbocharged to boot.

 

 

1961 Willys Jeep Station Wagon

 

1958 Chevrolet Corvette

 

Richard and his 1964 Buick Riviera

 

1963 Chrysler 300

 

1956 Chrysler

 

1950 Ford

 

 

1950 Buick

 

1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider and 1967 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Jr

 

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