2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

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2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

Post by oldcarfudd » Sat May 28, 2016 2:54 pm

This tour had it all. Long, rolling runs with great scenery. Covered bridges. Friendly Amish. Steep, twisting hills. Dirt roads. A stretch of potholes. Creek fordings. Great destinations. The most convivial people in the hobby. And superb touring weather.

Note that I said touring weather. The Sunday flea market and car show at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum enjoyed (?) steady rain.
Maybe that blue canopy will keep those magnetos dry.
Most folks left their cars in trailers. Some showed cars with the brass covered.
Is this a brass car?
Some didn’t care. “They’ve been wet before, and they’ll be wet again.”
Clay Green didn't care if this Buick roadster got wet.
People bring cars from all over to BBC tours. There was a national board meeting, so Chris Paulsen and his father, Gary, trailered a Model T from Kansas, and Wayne and Kim Simoni trailered one from California. And it was an international tour. The Acreses and Vermuelens brought cars from Canada. And our two favorite mad Dutchmen, Willem van der Horst and Hans van der Wouden, toured in their newly acquired 1914 Buick that they’re going to keep here just so they can come across the Atlantic and tour in this country!
Willem and Hans with their newly-purchased Buick.
There was quite a variety of cars. Jerry Chase and Herb Singe, Jr., brought Pope-Hartfords. One of the axles on Jerry’s trailer self-destructed, so Jerry used Herb’s trailer to get home. Herb and his daughter, Heidi, drove his newly-acquired Pope home to Hillside, NJ, about 150 miles on main roads, after the tour.
Herb Singe, Jr., and his daughter Heidi drove this Pope-Hartford back to New Jersey after the tour.
Gil Fitzhugh the Elder started the tour in a 1912 Buick, while Gil the Younger started in the 1913 Overland he recently bought from John Memmelaar, Jr. The Buick had ignition trouble and the Overland had fuel trouble, so by Tuesday both Fitzhughs were touring in their Model Ts. Brian and Kathy Keysor brought a 1909 Columbia, a comfortable and powerful car that rescued me when my ignition ceased to ignite; Brian’s son, Jeff, is taking over Steve Bono’s restoration shop. Wayne and Marilyn Funk brought their familiar 1912 Winton, that carries almost enough spare parts and tools to build a car.
Wayne Funk's Winton (foreground) and Brian Keysor's Columbia.
Tim Kelly’s big Model K Ford is becoming a fixture on these tours, but he also displayed a 2-cylinder Ford at Wednesday evening’s cruise-in.
Tim Kelly toured in his 1907 Model K Ford and also showed his 1904 Model A/C.
Dave and Nel Deardorff brought their 1910 Otto.
"It's an Otto." "Yes, but what kind of auto?" "It's an Otto auto." "Oh."
There were two Maxwells and three Chalmers-Detroits. And while Model Ts may not be exotic, Kathie Conrad’s ’12 has to be the best-dressed T ever seen on tour. It had fully-stocked bud vases for driver and passenger, and a lavender cord to retain the wheel chock; Kathie and her son, Kevin, were dressed to the nines in period clothing at all times.
What a well-dressed Model T looks like -
- and what it's well-dressed crew (Kathie and Kevin Conrad) look like.

Besides the Dutchmen, we had two newbies on their first brass car tours with their very own cars. Peter Jakab, who was a passenger on the Jersey shore tour earlier this month, brought his very authentically restored ’14 Ford. Authentic is Peter’s middle name; he’s the curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
Peter Jakab's newly-acquired 1914 Model T on his first brass tour.
Prewitt and Beth Scripps were passengers on last year’s BBC, but they’ve jumped in with both feet. Not content to cut their teeth on a Model T, they bought a Chalmers-Detroit. They had to leave early, before I could get a picture of it, but it ran well.

Monday’s tour had two destinations, a mushroom grower and an iron and steel museum. Hair and beard nets were the dress code for those taking a tour of the shroomery. There was a very good box lunch on the lawn at the museum.
New National President Carl Pate arrives at the Iron and Steel museum in his early Model T.
Driving was in beautiful, rolling Amish country, with long runs and gentle hills so we could really cruise. There was a great ice cream place when we were almost back at the hotel. The national board met that evening; there won’t be another meeting until Hershey.

Speaking of Hershey, that was Tuesday’s destination. On the way we stopped for gas and coffee at a Sheetz, which will never look that good again.
A very small portion of the fleet of brass cars that overran Sheetz.
It was interesting to drive by the site of the great flea market and car show and see them empty, and to be able to drive in town without traffic jams. Milton Hershey made his money early and disposed of it wisely. He had almost nothing in stocks, so when the market cratered in 1929 he wasn’t badly hurt. But he realized he would have to feed all the people in town or put them to work, so he built a huge civic center, the Hershey hotel, and the Hershey gardens, as well as other projects. He used little labor-saving machinery, preferring to hire people. He created the Hershey school for orphan boys and left it well endowed. We drove through the school and past Milton’s mansion, visited a museum, the gardens and a restored railroad depot.
If President Emeritus Karl Darby fixed his Mitchell here at Hershey Gardens, would he be a shade-tree mechanic?
We had a catered Italian buffet for lunch. Ice cream was at Fox Meadow Creamery, an excellent choice.

Tuesday evening we heard Joe and Betty Swann tell of their adventures last year when the drove their E-M-F almost 11,000 miles around the perimeter of the lower 48, with a side trip to Alaska by ferry on which they slept on the deck. It took them several hours to descend one mountain road in low gear, alternating hand and foot brakes, driving with the right-side tires on the soft shoulder to add some drag, and still stopping twice to let the brakes cool. They limped the last 300 miles home with a thoroughly worn-out engine. They carried 200 pounds of carefully sorted, labeled and packed maintenance equipment and spare parts. They answered some of the world’s dumbest questions. (“We’re driving across the country and back.” “Yes, but how did you get it HERE?”) But they saw astounding scenery and met wonderful people. Betty would do it again in a heartbeat. Joe thinks he wouldn’t; driving and maintaining the car was a real strain. But he’s still looking for adventures.

Wednesday’s tour was to Winterthur. This was Henry Francis DuPont’s home – all 135 rooms of it! – and now shows off his two great legacies; an astounding collection of American decorative arts, and a world-renowned naturalistic garden with delightful walking paths. My wife, Joan, toured with me Wednesday and Thursday; and pictures labeled JF are hers.
JF This little fellow was curious as we passed him on the way to Winterthur.
JF A friendly Amishman turned and waved.
JF A beautiful morning for a ride in something slow.
JF Amish farms are just peaceful places to drive through.
JF Winterthur's naturalistic gardens are delightfully shady places to walk on a hot day.
Homemade ice cream was at Schwalm’s Babbitted Bearings, where Model T and A engines are rebuilt. The ice cream maker is driven by one of their restored engines; it’s a good advertisement, since that engine runs smoo-o-o-o-oth!

And then came Thursday. Thursday! Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay! Kim Simoni summed it up: “Today just rocked!” There were humongous hills. There were long, steep dirt roads. There were twists and turns and downhill stops and uphill stops. There were potholes. (BIG potholes) There were three (paved) creek fordings. Some people chickened out and went modern, or figured out how to avoid the interesting stuff. But for those who persevered, the rewards were great indeed.

The coffee stop was at Clay Green’s collection. A couple of town cops stopped by, and Clay invited them in to look around and have coffee and a donut – which they did. There was a catered outdoor lunch at Joe and Betty Swann’s, where we got to see how Joe upholsters.
JF Lunch at the Swann estate.
Joe is upholstering and topping this 1905 Model F Cadillac.
Betty Swann fell in love with these frogs in the southwest; they rode all the way back in the E-M-F.
There was a museum on Indian artifacts – with a mile-and-a-half unpaved climb upon leaving. And then there was Fishing Creek Road – the one with the holes. And the fordings. And the mud.
JF Fishing Creek Road. The pothole you see isn't big yet.
It was great, as long as you took your time. Usually you could thread your way among the holes, but sometimes you just had to go slow and jounce through. The fordings were fun!
JF Gil the Elder splashes happily though a fording.
After the third fording, we were puttering around a bend in the middle of the boondocks and came across a bunch of brass cars parked helter-skelter with people milling around. Oh, no! A breakdown? An accident? AN ICE CREAM STOP! A Good Humor truck had been provided, and the goodies were free. Folks, Clay Green and Gil the Younger know how to run a tour!
Every tour needs a portable ice cream stop!
After that, what’s to talk about? We got back, we put the cars away, we had a banquet, we said goodbye. We can’t wait for next year’s BBC. Join us!

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

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Re: 2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

Post by cudaman » Sat May 28, 2016 3:45 pm

Great pictures, thanks for posting them! :)

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Re: 2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

Post by FullerMetz » Sat May 28, 2016 5:24 pm

Nice nice nice! Great tour report, and fantastic photos!
Thank you GFtE!

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Re: 2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

Post by Tall » Sun May 29, 2016 5:37 am

Fantastic report and photos!

Thanks for that!
Do you want a real tomahawk or a rubber tomahawk?

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Re: 2016 BBC Tour - As Good As Touring Gets!

Post by edsvrhcca » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:02 pm

I wish I would have played hookie from school that week! Fabulous write-up. Love, love, love.

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