Monday, August 26, 2013

The antique car show at Chesapeake City

The exchange family from our trip to Germany last year is currently in the USA doing another exchange in Norfolk VA. They came up to visit our friends Wendy and Rich and of course we have been very pleased to see them. We only met for an hour or so last year at Frankfurt Airport so it was a pleasure to have more time with them. We all met at dinner on Friday evening and Rich proposed going to the Antique Car Show at nearby Chesapeake City. I was invited to come along so we had a boy's day out.

Christian and Rich. We were lucky to get a park since the tiny town was very crowded. Fortunately it was an absolutely beautiful day.

 We eventually found out that there were over 500 cars on display. I was expecting twenty or thirty but fortunately I had brought my old small camera along. A warning, this blog is long.

Most of the cars were American as you would expect. Not being an expert on US cars, I can't identify many of them.

Christian recently bought an old VW Beetle and here was one that was very similar. He started to talk to the owner but found it very difficult to understand him since he had one of those weird American accents.

I was really impressed by the wonderful paint jobs.

Originally a 1923 Ford.

Notice the vertical / horizontal steering wheel on this 1923 Ford. 

Some owners have the philosophy that they don't repaint the vehicle and leave it as they found it. 

They are called 'rats'.

 The longer you look at some of the cars the more detail and curious touches become apparent. Here we have a dice on the door lock.

The paint chart for this orange 1956 Ford. That top right chip is a very good match.

Notice the wooden spokes.

We liked the air-conditioning tube on the passenger window. Essentially it was a tube that collected the wind and forced it in through the window.

This was another of these unpainted restorations. Look at the sign in that back window.

I had never heard of this Henry J car brand before. More about them here.

An old Bentley. There were very few foreign cars on display. I worked with an English bloke back in the 70's who said he owned an old Bentley at one time. It was apparently a very nice comfortable car but its petrol consumption was amazingly poor.

The 'Unsafe at any speed' Corvair. There is a school of thought that Ralph Nader's participation in the 2000 Presidential election cost Al Gore the victory in which case this car changed history.

What a Corvair cost at the time. This is the original sticker.

 When I was a child in Australia I would sometimes get to read a Saturday Evening Post and I was fascinated by these wood paneled cars that appeared in the advertisements. They still look terrific.

This 1951 Mercury was amazing.

The judges must have been impressed as well.

My favourite name for an American car is  I worked with an American in the late 70's who had a fake sword that he would bring out at work when he wanted to make a point. As he brought it forth, he would exclaim 'Studebaker'.

This particular Studebaker was the Avanti. It has to be one of the most ugly fronts ever seen. 

This was an exceptionally fast car. Check out the list of speeds.

A rumble or dickey seat. No doubt you would be badly injured in an accident but car designers did not worry about that back then.

Rich inspects a 1936 Ford.

Rich really was interested in this one.

What a colour. Orange seems to be the 'in' colour these days.

Great joy. Rich inherited a truck much like this one and he is gradually restoring it. He talked for some time to the owner and now has a great resource when he needs advice.

 The paint job on this car was amazing.

One way of inspecting your engine.

Meanwhile, the harbour at Chesapeake City was crowded with boats as usual.

 I must admit I had not heard of a Brockway before.

By the harbour there was a group of Woodies with surf boards on top. The Beach Boys music poured forth.

An early example of a child's car seat.

Unusual levers operating the air conditioning.

 Of all the cars at the show, this 1939 Ford was my favourite. Orange / apricot and green are my favourite colours.

As I approached this beauty I was asked by the people inspecting the Model T if I was the owner. Unfortunately my brain was too slow and I missed my chance to invite them to sit in the car and blow the horn a few times. Of course I would have scurried away before the true owner turned up to growl at them.

I find it difficult to believe that Ford actually produced a dressed up version like this.

That is some horn bulb.

It reminded me of the back of the Amish carts.

Notice the inbound disk brakes close to the transmission.

 Quite a few cars had Edelbrock engines. More about these engines here. Since I have a limited interest in cars, I have no desire to restore one at all but I do enjoy an occasional car show. I realize I am in the minority here and many males would love to have the time and facilities (big shed) to get into car restoration. Replacement parts is a huge business.

The bed of this truck was amazing.

Unusual globe on top of the gear shift.

The photo is a little out of focus but I loved the colour.

Now these horns really should produce a loud sound.

Compare the height to the man walking past. I doubt I could ever squeeze into this.

These looked really impressive.

Duck tail.

I wouldn't fancy spending too much time in this caravan.

Some truck owners had arranged to fill their gas (petrol) tanks from inside the bed of the truck. This one had a Texaco sign flap covering the cap.

A 'rat' vehicle. When you got up close it had lots of weird features. Some people would say that I build my tube amplifiers much the same way.

Another Studebaker.

This was the standard Maryland State Police car when we first arrived in the 1980's. I seem to remember that the revolving strobe on the top was knows as a Bubble Gum light. It made the cars very easy to identify from a long distance and gave you time to slow down. 

There were very few Cadillacs on display.

This Buick was huge.

The capacious back seat. It reminded me of those films where gangsters take the hero for a ride and you wonder if the hero will get out alive. 

I am not a big Corvette fan but I liked this model.

Rich recognized this car as belonging to a man who goes to the same church. While we were admiring the car the owner turned up and opened the trunk (boot). You could have stuffed half a dozen dead bodies in there without too much trouble. The owner had bought the car new and had recently restored it when he retired.

It really was the age of  excessive chrome everywhere on American cars.

As I remarked earlier, there were very few foreign cars. The equivalent car shows in Australia would have much more variety since imported cars were much more common. The dry climate in Oz also inhibits rust so you would see a lot more really old cars from pre WWI.

Compare this BMW 12 cylinder engine to the simpler engine in the red car above it. Even the simplest task on the BMW engine would be difficult because of the cramped conditions. We discussed which current cars would eventually become collectible and decided that most would not. One future problem would be dealing with the proliferation of computers in modern cars. 

Now that is some trick to make the hard top disappear.

Raw power.

And finally, yet another symphony in orange.

It was an absolutely amazing display of cars. Apparently this was the third year for the car show and I suspect I will go back in future years.