2015 Brass in Berks County Tour

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Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Morristown, NJ

2015 Brass in Berks County Tour

Post by oldcarfudd » Thu May 28, 2015 8:03 am

Spring has finally arrived, and another Brass in Berks County tour is in the memory bank. We returned to last year’s headquarters in Morgantown, PA. Same huge parking lot with easy access to back roads. Same hotel with comfortable, reasonably-priced rooms, but the food had deteriorated. No omelet station this year. Some folks passed up the free breakfast to eat better (!) food at the nearby McDonald’s. Fortunately, the catered meals and – especially! – the ice cream stops kept everyone amply nourished and content.

Even though this tour caters to larger cars, we had 3 two-cylinder Buicks. There were 3 early Dodge Brothers, that tended to tour together as a hunting pack. Al and Mary Zamba came in a newly-acquired Model T, to everyone’s surprise – they normally campaign in something big and hairy-chested. Among the bigger cars were a Stevens-Duryea, a Pierce-Arrow, a Packard and Tim Kelly’s Model K Ford. Tim is about to enter the Ford in the Cannonball Run, a time-speed-distance rallye for early cars that will go coast-to-coast – 3,400 miles – in 17 days. Yikes!
Across the U.S. in 2-1/2 weeks in this car? REALLY?
More appealing to me is the plan of Joe and Betty Swann, who are going to tour the U.S. and Canada, 10,000 miles in four months, in their E-M-F. You can follow them at blogspot.com joe & betty swann 2015 EMF Adventure.
Joe and Betty Swann talk about their upcoming trip
New members Prewett and Beth Scripts came on their first tour, as passengers, but they’ve bought a Chalmers and are eager to tour again on their own wheels. And this is not a regional tour – we had folks from Canada, California, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas as well as all over the northeast.

The roads in this area are delightful for touring. There are long runs through woods, through fields, along creeks and over hills. Lotsa hills! Crowds of Amish kids giving the universal “Blow your horn!” gesture. Sometimes we needed a stretch of state highway to get us to the next rural stretch, but traffic was generally pretty light. A suggestion for next year is to give more warning of surprises like unmarked bends in the road or downhill stops to a T. A couple of times we were glad the roads were dry.

The Sunday flea market was small, as usual, but there was a good turnout of brass-era cars at the show. That evening there was an outdoor barbeque with live music. The threatened showers didn’t happen.

Monday’s tour took us back to the Montessori school where the Leshers’ kids go and where Tracy Lesher teaches. Lots of kids got rides.
Bob Barrett gives rides in his 1908 Buick
Kids love old cars
We were early getting to our catered lunch stop, but no one minded because it was in the middle of a long row of antique stores where people could spend their time and smoke their credit cards. During lunch there was a drenching rainstorm – the only one we got all week – but it had cleared by the time lunch was over. That was the end of shiny brass!
Lucy and Bart Carlson think the ice cream is pretty good!
Tuesday’s tour, at 98 miles, was the longest, with several dirt roads and covered bridges. By day’s end the weather had turned downright steamy. The highlight was an aircraft restoration shop specializing in World War II. There were a T-6, a P-51 Mustang, and a late British Spitfire. The hosts fired up the Spit, with its 12-cylinder supercharged engine and five-bladed prop; an unconfirmed rumor has it that two Model Ts were sucked up and spat out.
This is a World War II training plane
This is definitely NOT a World War II training plane
Neither is this!
A later stop was the Herr’s factory, where they make things like potato chips. The evening’s entertainment was planned in accordance with strict shariah law; the sexes were rigidly separated. The Taliban would have been proud. Men were invited to a session on restoration and maintenance hints, hosted by Clay Green. Women were invited to a session on period costuming, host(ess)ed by Kathie Conrad. I snuck into the ladies’ party to steal a picture and barely managed to avoid being beheaded.
Kathie Conrad with the latest fashions, direct from Paris
Wednesday, in chilly weather, we went to the Auburn Heights Preserve in Delaware, a fine mansion, small-gauge railroad and car museum set up by Tom Marshall.
Tour cars parked at Auburn Heights
The oldest car on tour was this 1905 Buick from Canada
Clarence Marshall, Tom’s father, was a Stanley dealer back in the day and collected Stanleys (and some other goodies) from the various years they were made.
Have a Stanley! Take two, they're small
These are a bit bigger.
We had a good catered lunch on the grounds. We also had an accident that day. Paul Povinelli was passed on a double solid line while signaling a left turn. The offending SUV hit his front wheel and collapsed his front suspension; he skittered to an abrupt stop. Then the SUV hit a culvert and flipped. Its airbags deployed, and no one was seriously hurt. Paul’s T will rise again! That night we cruised to Shady Maple smorgasbord for a car show and unlimited eating.

Thursday’s threatened rain never got worse than a heavy mist, but it was chilly.
Getting ready for Thursday's tour
We had a catered picnic on the grounds of Daniel Boone’s homestead. Then we went on to the Boyertown museum, specializing in Pennsylvania-built cars. You know, like the Daniels and the SGV. You didn’t know? OK, how ‘bout the Duryea? Not the big, powerful Stevens-Duryea built by J. Frank, but the quaint highwheelers and three-wheelers built by his estranged brother Charles. The museum had several.
Air-cooled and Pennsylvania-built
These may be most of the surviving Duryeas
Then we drove home, tied the cars in the trailers, cleaned up, and had a farewell banquet. And the next morning, we went home.

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

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Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 2:14 am

Re: 2015 Brass in Berks County Tour

Post by Rrdoubleday » Sat May 30, 2015 2:25 am

:) Great pictures and enjoyed the tour without being there.

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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Grass Valley, CA

Re: 2015 Brass in Berks County Tour

Post by FullerMetz » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:04 am

Thank you very much for the tour report and photos! It looks like a fantastic turnout of incredible cars. Coupled with beautiful roads and entertaining destinations, it doesn't get any better than that.
An excellent tour report. Thank you GFtE!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2

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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:20 am

Re: 2015 Brass in Berks County Tour

Post by oakland12 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:35 pm

Great tour report. Sounds like the kind of tour I enjoy over here on the west coast, a driving tour. I always appreciate the pictures. The more the merrier. Keep up posting the events you get to. I'll try to do the same.

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