Posted for Gil Fitzhugh by Brad Balduff
The weather Sunday improved – at least it stopped threatening rain, although it stayed overcast - so about 20 cars eventually appeared at the show.
Sandra and Galloway Morris showed off a gorgeous, newly restored Waverly electric (Yes, it was very quiet and no, it didn't go on the touring days!)
Herb Singe the Elder's Palmer-Singer sat quietly with the engine ticking over like a sewing machine (Sorry, couldn't resist).
A single-cylinder REO changed hands.
Clay Green showed off a 1912 Buick Model 34 roadster (the littlest one that year, and cute as a button).
The flea market was well stocked with brass lamps, magnetos, speedometers and miscellaneous goodies.
Dick Burnham discovered the brakes on his 1907 Knox had problems that went beyond a parking-lot fix, so he was a navigator all week. Gerry Hockin, from Canada, had a cranking accident with his 1909 Oldsmobile. Preferring free Canadian medical care to running up bills in a U.S. hospital, he hightailed it back home with his arm strapped up. Can anyone report how he's doing?
Sunday evening kicked off the festivities with a pizza party and old-timers' reminiscence night. This was similar to what was presented at the Santa Maria convention. But, with a mostly eastern cast of characters, the old war stories tended to involve the early AACA, since HCCA was a western club in those days. Bob Ladd's father was a founder of the Hershey Region.
Monday started overcast and misty,
but improved to sunny and in the 80s. The coffee stop was at the remains of a luxury resort from 70+ years ago. Rick Reinhold Sr., well-known to us as founder of Reinhold's Restorations, showed off his other side by telling us about working at the resort as a teenager. Lunch was at Indian Echo Cavern, which many folks visited after eating. The ice cream stop at Udder Choice was udderly delectable. My newly restored 1912 Buick Model 35 survived its 120-mile maiden touring day with only a few issues. Kathie Conrad's Ford blew a head gasket; filling their more traditional role, Reinhold's Restorations had her and Kevin, her son, back on the road for Tuesday's tour. Thanks, guys!
Tuesday's run was only 101 miles, but was a bit longer for those of us who gave rides to lots of excited kids at the Montessori Country Day School. I asked Tracy Lesher to send some of her pictures to the website; due to SotPotO (Stupidity on the Part of the Operator – I left my cell-phone camera in my tow vehicle!) I have none. We visited a huge farmers' market. Some lunched on pulled pork sandwiches and similar fare, but it was getting so hot that others settled for freshly-squeezed lemonade or ice cream or both. There was pretty impressive fresh produce for anyone with an air-conditioned car to schlep it home and a refrigerator to keep it in. Some people went on to the Swashbuckler Brew Pub restaurant and ate in cool comfort – or just enjoyed a locally brewed ale. The drive went through several of Pennsylvania's traditional covered bridges, and had a 2-1/2-mile stretch of dirt road (with a paved alternative for the wimps). George and Shirley Sprowl, from Maine, drove the whole BBC tour in a two-cylinder Maxwell Model A. That is, George drove the whole tour, while Shirley occasionally got some exercise walking up hills.
Wednesday's 110-mile tour was to the sorts of places you'd never even know about if you didn't putter around back roads in old cars. William Penn proposed a canal long before the revolution. After several fits and starts, it got finished in the mid-1800s, surviving a relatively few years until the railroads put it out of business. But some of it was through tunnels made with star drills and gunpowder, and one little stretch of canal and tunnel remain as a historic site. We got a boat ride through the tunnel, and the old drilling scars are still there in the tunnel ceiling.. Again, I have no pictures – couldn't make the camera work! Brenda Rinaldo – a little help, please! The other interesting artifact was the Cornwall Iron Furnace, that supplied iron in what seems to modern minds to be microscopic quantities during the Industrial Revolution. But there were many such furnaces, and together they changed how we live. Lunch was catered in a campground. We saw Jon Griggs's fine collection of cars (newer than ours) and Lionel trains. There was ice cream, too. The windshield on my Buick started coming apart; a kind soul in a pickup truck stopped and helped me dismantle it before it incurred serious damage. 35-40 mph with no windshield is kinda nice on a high-80s day, as long as you have eye protection.
Thursday, the final day, was only 65 miles, so I drove the one-cylinder Cadillac. Coffee stop was a Bible camp in a beautiful setting. We then went on to Ephrata Cloister, settled before the revolution by persecuted Germans seeking religious freedom. It struggled on into the 20th century, and is now a state historical site with restored buildings. The thunderstorms we'd been warned about every day finally hit in a squall line that hung out over Ephrata for an hour and a half. Yeah, we got wet!
The highlight of the banquet was auctioning the last remaining tour banner from last year's BBC. It featured a Packard, and people bid frantically to get the price way-y-y-y up there so Wayne and Kim Simoni would have to pay too-bloody-much money for it. Wayne and Kim had just bought the Packard Model 18 roadster that used to be Walter Grove's. They're taking it back to California with them and, of course, they just HAD to have that eastern tour banner with a Packard on it. Uh-huh. Sure they did!
We've now had 12 years of BBC: 4 years in Doylestown, 4 in Quakertown, and 4 in Reading. Time for a new venue. Next year's tour will be in Morgantown. See you there!