NJ AACA visits the Spring Hills Senior Community, Morristown NJ, Sep. 2017

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.

NJ AACA members’ cars lined up for review

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.

The Model T was the fave backdrop car for photos

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 Alfa was occasionally used as a rest stop

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.

My new friend Bob Detig, he of the Austin-Healey ownership

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.

Ron was the Jag/BMW owner

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.

1968 Ford Mustang

 

1988 Mercury Cougar

 

1940 Buick

 

1965 Chevrolet Impala

 

2001 Chevrolet Corvette

 

1963 Cadillac

 

1980 Cadillac Seville

 

Caddy front ends compared

 

1932 Dodge

 

1998 Ford FIA Cobra

 

Abe announces People’s Choice awards

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

The 2016 NJ AACA Car Show

The New Jersey Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (NJ AACA) held its annual car show at the Mennen Arena in Morristown NJ on Sunday, May 1, 2016. Compared to previous events, this year’s affair was unique in several ways: this was the first time that this location was utilized, as the venue which had been used for the previous 40+ years in Florham Park NJ was unavailable; and the turnout this year was the smallest your author has ever observed.

Yes, this was the NJ Region's 65th show
Yes, this was the NJ Region’s 65th show

The reason why 30 vehicles instead of the expected 200+ vehicles were in attendance had nothing to do with the location, and everything to do with the weather. The NJ AACA maintains a strict “rain or shine” show policy, but a steady series of showers combined with temperatures parked in the mid-40s kept entrants and spectators away in droves.

This '30 Model A was one of the very few pre-war cars out to brave the elements
This ’30 Model A was one of the very few pre-war cars out to brave the elements

Nevertheless, vehicles did arrive, even if for the most part they were owned by club members. An advantage for those whose cars were to be judged is that no class had more than 4 vehicles in it (some had 2), and with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes to be awarded, your chance of winning went up exponentially.

A trio immediate post-war iron: 2 Mercs and a Hudson
A trio of immediate post-war iron: 2 Mercurys and a Hudson

Below is a sample of the fine machinery, both domestic and imported, which graced the show field. A trend which has been noticed on the National level was also found at this event: as AACA’s “25-year” rule continues in effect, the inclusion of unrestored and/or original-owner cars is growing, reinforced by vehicles which were considered collectible when new and were salted away (think Eldorado, Fiero, Beetle convertible, and anything first-year, last-year, or commemorative edition).

General Motors

 

This Fiero was displayed in unrestored condition by its original owner
This Fiero was displayed in unrestored condition by its original owner

 

FoMoCo

Jeep

 

This immaculate Jeepster was driven to and from the show
This immaculate Jeepster was driven to and from the show

Italian

All photographs copyright © 2016 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.