Adirondack Triumph Association
On Wednesday, January 20, 2010, Scott Zirlin, Mike Warzek and Doug Shaver of the Adirondack Triumph Association traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend the Barrett Jackson Auction. And, no, we were not there to buy anything, just look and enjoy, because purchasing a car was only part of the expense. In order to get into the bidders ring it cost $500 and guests were another $150. If you were to win the bid on a vehicle you had to pay an additional 10% of the sale price to Barrett Jackson, plus the expense of getting the vehicle home. Trailering the vehicle commercially was about $1800 to get it to the Albany area. All in all this would be a pretty expensive ordeal, in my opinion.
One of the great things about Phoenix in the middle of winter, especially for us folks from the Northeast, is the opportunity to get out of the snow and cold and into some great sunshine. Well, it just so happens that we hit record weather in Phoenix and it wasn’t of the good kind. While they normally get 3 inches of rainfall in a whole year (a fact) they got more than that in the first 24 hours of our visit. And, it continued to rain and blow for our entire visit with temperatures that barely got higher than 50 degrees; more about the weather later.
On Thursday morning we made our first visit to the Barrett Jackson Auction at Westworld in Phoenix. We were not disappointed! Huge tents had been erected to cover hundreds of cars and trucks waiting to be auctioned. If you could not find something you liked here then all you had to do was walk through the main tent where the actual auction took place to see another hundred or more vehicles on display and waiting for the auctioneer’s hammer. For me personally I most enjoyed the great selection of British vehicles including my favorite, E style Jaguars and big Healeys.
In addition to the fine selection of vehicles there were dozens and dozens of vendors way too numerous to list, but lots of fun to browse through and pickup the freebies they all offer. And, of course, the food vendors were excellent with a great selection of food and beer.
Later on Thursday we drove over to the Biltmore Resort and Spa and saw the RM Auction taking place there. The Thursday evening auction focused on a great selection of British vehicles. In fact, we later discovered that fellow ATA member Bob Ensign, representing someone else, was in the crowd and actually bought a couple of vehicles, including an E style Jag which he thought may have actually set a record with its price. Incidentally, the fellow that he was bidding against was Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars fame and that may be partly how the price got so high. Scott, Mike and I actually got to say hi to Wayne. Something I am sure he will never forget.
On Friday morning it was back to Barrett Jackson to browse through some of the tents we didn’t get into the day before. What I found very interesting was the tents set up for vehicle owners who were there to sell their vehicles without going through the auction, like a car corral at a local car show. It seemed to me that this was the place for owners who have modified their cars into something quite different from what they started out life as. For instance, there was a corvette that had a 1953 front end and a 1966 back end, or something like that. Kind of a shame, I thought.
Then, we began hearing loud engines and squealing tires only to discover that a short race track had been set up and drivers were putting Shelby Mustangs and Corvettes through their paces. And while it was fun to watch we discovered that you could actually ride in both of these vehicles at no cost. The deal was that you had to first drive a Ford model in order to get a ride in the Mustang and then drive a GM model in order to get a ride in the Corvette. And when I say “drive” I mean they expected you to pound the pudding out of these vehicles. The course began with a straight away and went into a U turn and then a series of S turns, anyway you get the drift. What a hoot that was and all free of charge. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they required each driver to pass a breathalyzer test before getting behind the wheel. Of course, Scott, Mike and I all passed easily (give me a break; it was barely 9 AM). After your test drive you got a ride in a Mustang and a Corvette with a professional driver at the wheel. Now I’m not saying it was frightening, but, I may have soiled myself slightly. Brother could those cars go and those drivers drive them. Hands down, the most exciting thing we did for the entire visit.
Once we recuperated from the thrill rides, we decided to take in another auction called the Silver Auction, located at Ft. McDowell about 12 to 15 miles out of Phoenix. I think it is fair to say we found this to be the least interesting auction. Not very formal or fancy and the vehicles a tad bit below average compared to what we had been seeing, but, none the less worth the visit. Also, this auction was located at a casino, much to our surprise, so we high tailed it out of there pretty quickly, as you can probably imagine.
And so, that brings us to Saturday. After we got packed up and the car loaded we decided we would check out one more auction before we headed to the airport. Now, you might remember earlier I said I would comment more about the weather. Well this is the place. The last auction we visited was the Russo and Steele Auction, also in Phoenix. On Thursday evening the bad weather brought with it very high winds. This resulted in 2 massive tents collapsing onto hundreds of vehicles in the auction. It was estimated that 50 to 60% of the vehicles suffered damage, in some cases huge steel poles smashed down on them. A portion of one tent actually ended up on a major highway causing it to be shut down for several hours.
While only vehicle owners were allowed in the tent area, Scott, Mike and I were able to walk along a chain link fence and get within about 30 feet or so of some of the damaged vehicles. Some convertibles had been left under the tents with their tops down and now the owners were actually bailing rain water out of them. Others lost mirrors, antennas and windshields while still others were total losses. All in all this was a very sad situation. And to make it even worse, each vehicle owner had signed a waiver holding the auction harmless in the event of any damage to their vehicles.
Also on Saturday morning, while driving along the highway we spotted the MG Shop owned by Glen Frost in Tempe, AZ with about 6 or 7 vehicles parked outside. When we pulled in and began looking around Glen came out, unlocked a gate and gave us free access to the entire yard. No exaggeration, there were hundreds and hundreds of vehicle parts, including a set of Moss front fenders that would fit a '67 MGB roadster, something Mike Warzek had been looking for. Mike made a deal and bought the fenders which he had shipped via Greyhound bus. And, 16 days later he had them in his possession. Mike adds that Glen is a great guy to deal with especially when you consider much of the dealing was by phone after we had returned home.
And so, we left for the airport to catch a noon hour flight and arrived home in Albany at about 9PM on Saturday evening. The three of us had a fantastic trip and something we would encourage others to take if given the opportunity. -- Doug Shaver
ATA Banquet -- report coming soon!
On Saturday March 27th, 14 ATA members and guests were on hand for a tech session/ tour of the Merli Carriage Manufacturing Co. in Duanesburg, NY, with owner Joseph Merli giving the tour. The company manufactures 19th and early 20th century wagons and pushcarts as well as reproduction, restoration, blacksmith service and body chassis manufacturing using handcrafted methods from that time period. The web site to view the above mentioned products is www.merlimfgco.com
Joe Merli opened up the tour of the manufacturing company with a brief explanation of the business and the various shops in the building we were in. Joe also included a short talk on some of the various projects that are currently in production. Stepping into the machine shop, Joe showed the group one of the currents projects he is working on, the remanufacturing of an 1899 Olds Electric horseless carriage (l). The carriage is made of wood and the carriage style is called Stanhope; it was a luxury model in 1899. The electric carriage could travel at the blazing speed of 12 miles per hour with the electric charge lasting 40 miles. Since there was no odometer, the owner had to rely on the battery gauge to let him/her know when the battery charge was getting low.
Joe explained the remanufacturing restoration process and the in-depth research involved with this project as well as plenty of insight about the 1899 Olds Electric Carriage history. A couple of interesting tidbits of information Joe passed along to the group. First, in the later 1800s and early 1900s, most of the automobile makers were either carriage or bicycle markers. Second, a fire at the Olds Motor Works’ Detroit, MI, plant in 1901 destroyed all of the carriages and building plans of the new prototype gasoline and electric models being developed. The only model saved was the new design “Curved Dash Olds” that later became the number one horseless carriage in the nation. This carriage is being reproduced by actual photographs on loan from the R.E. Olds Transportation museum in Lansing, MI, to the Merli Carriage Manufacturing Co.
Joe has also done extensive research with the family of R.E. Olds in this remanufacturing of non-existing R.E. Olds-built prototype vehicles. The plan is to have the Olds Electric Carriage partly complete by the first week in July and have it ready for display at the Olds Museum in Lansing, MI, for the Oldsmobile Nationals car show event. Finishing the talk about the Olds Carriage we were given a tour of the projects in the buildings and grounds.
Joe is in the process of collecting various items...well, maybe collectables and artifacts are two better words to describe what Joe has acquired through various means. The project being worked on for a few years is to recreate a train station stop complete with a full-size locomotive, station, railroad crossing, general store and ice cream parlor -- and be a working museum, too. First to be shown was an actual Delaware & Hudson railroad tool maintenance shed originally located a few miles away in Delanson, NY. The tool shed was totally restored. Inside the shed was a 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile (above) that in 1985 re-enacted an original 1903 trip when it was driven from San Francisco to New York. In 1903 there was no such thing as the interstate highway system or any paved roads at all.
There cannot be a railroad tool shed without having a locomotive around. Sure enough, saved from the recycling plant, sits a Pennsylvania locomotive without the engines. There are also rails and railroad signals nearby.
Joe then opened the door to the general store that, upon entering, had a very noticeable aroma of wood, burlap, twine and machine oil. Joe pointed out that all of the wooden counters and wooden drawers came from Wallace Armer Hardware, which was a very successful hardware store located in Schenectady, NY. Unfortunately the business fell on hard times and closed and the contents were auctioned off. Leaving the general store, the next building to visit was a 1941 “Silk City” model stainless steel diner. This diner is now being restored to its original period and will become a part of the “Canal Street Station Railroad Village Museum” that Joe is creating.
A big thanks goes out to Joe Merli for letting the ATA visit his manufacturing company and giving those of us there a tour of the company and the property. (Meanwhile, Joe thanks US!)
[Note: photos above by Drew Kinum]
Our sixteenth annual tax night pot luck supper was once again one of our most popular events of the year. Over thirty club members and their families got together at the Alplaus Fire House on April 21st to share an evening of food and conversation. The weather was dry and warm and a few club members drove their British Automobiles. To shake off some of the winter storage dust. We counted 7 British Cars in the parking lot. The food was again plentiful and delicious and there was something for everyone. As always the desserts were a winner.
After dinner, club president Dave Faulkner conducted a short business meeting. He talked about the many driving and dining events that the club sponsors. Dave also recognized two new members -- Cal Rolling and Val Kushner -- and guests Tom Schwendler & Rosemary Abowd, who just happen to own a Delorean. That could be why club members Joe Dertino and Anne Nafziger, the owners of the only Delorean in the ATA, invited them; hopefully there be another. It was very nice to have both Cal & Val and Tom & Rosemary join us for the tax night supper, it was pleasure to meet and talk with them. In addition, Dave acknowledged two fellow club members who passed on to travel the open road, Vic Handy and Jim Shea, both will be missed. Bill Cook reported on club events that are coming up in May, June, and July. Bill also gave a short talk on a road tour that he will be leading in the future. We look forward to the many free events that our very active club sponsors during the pleasant months here in upstate New York.
The meeting was concluded with a 50/50, and a raffle of various door prizes. The 50/50 winner was Bill Cook. The night ended with a joke or two by Joe Bena and some auto-related stories that didn’t included Paul Munson’s Herald. Everyone pitched in with cleanup and headed home excited about this year's club events. -- Joe Bena
Every Father’s Day the Village of Scotia, NY, holds its Cruisin' on the Avenue car show on Mohawk Avenue. This year’s show had well over 100 various makes and models of automobiles lined up on the avenue that afternoon. The Village of Scotia really goes all out and does a wonderful job with the car show.
There were really only three autos of importance and of course they just happened to be British: Harry Bartik’s 1960 TR 3A, Cal Rollings’ & Val Kushner’s (really Val’s) 1974 TR 6 and yours truly’s 1975 Spitfire. Making the noteworthy and honorable mention list was a 1939 Packard, a 1926 Ford Model T and a couple of 1966 Mustangs -- only because I know the owners. There was quite the variety of autos to satisfy everyone’s likes or dislikes.
Harry had his book of restoration photographs of the TR 3A with him and had it out on display. One guy was very interested and talked with Harry for well over 20 minutes about the restoration and about the car in general. A little while later an editor from Hemming’s Motor News attending the show stopped by and was very interested and inquisitive about the TR 3A restoration and was serious about having an article written about the restoration in one of Hemming’s publications. While talking with Harry, the editor also met Harry’s son Matt, who is an artist specializing in creating famous makes and models of autos (and had a couple on display). Another inquiry about an article was in the making. Sounds like a win/win for Harry and Matt. Each one of us throughout the afternoon had show walkers come by and look over our cars and want to talk about them or tell us stories of when they use to own an LBC back in the day.
Our three LBCs may not have been the flashiest, loudest, outrageous, a low rider, a muscle car, a classic restored to “what the hell did they do that for?” or even a real classic in line on Mohawk Avenue that afternoon; instead, the three LBCs had the character and uniqueness to be looked at and admired for just a second or two longer causing the mind to wander into “what if mode” then suddenly shaking back to the real world by “honey, get that thought out of your head” or fond memories of what fun it was to own an LBC many fluid drips ago.
Thanks to Drew Kinum, one of the show organizers, for keeping ATA together. -- Dave Faulkner
The Adirondack Triumph Association Go Kart night was finally held on Wednesday, June 23, after rain delays on June 9 and June 16. After all the bad weather, we finally had a beautiful evening for some racing at Muscle Motors in Cobleskill, NY. Jim Beil arrived in his 1979 Triumph TR7, Chris Wickes drove his 1979 MGB Roadster and my son, Steve Shaver and I arrived in my 1979 MGB Roadster. Altogether we had 8 ATA members and I brought two guests, my son Steven and friend Joe Corsall.
As always, the cars were fast and the track was ready for us. Carol “CRASH” Flanagan was in rare form. Before a race begins, the starter always goes through the rules with number one being No Bumping. Somehow Crash Flanagan doesn’t think that rule applies to her. At one lucky point I was able to get by her, thanks to my extremely high-level driving skills. However, as I entered the bridge and the underpass turn, she t-boned me. After the attendant came out and got her off my back, we continued with me beating her by just a narrow margin. Actually, I feared for my life and was just trying to get away from her!
In a later race a very similar thing happened when I passed my son, Steven. I swear he tried to kill me. I guess when you are as good a driver as I am they are “all out to get you”!
In yet another race, where a 12-year-old boy was in the mix, Joe “the Bully” Corsall tapped the boy’s back end (the car) and spun him around, presenting the opportunity to get by him. While the boy sat there, several racers went by. You never saw such big eyes with him just waiting for someone to hit him head on. Well, when the race ended, the boy went crying (real tears) to his mother who immediately took him to their car and was going to leave. The Bully actually felt bad and followed them to the car and persuaded his mother to let him buy the boy another race. I guess all is well that ended well, but he is still a bully.
After about 3 or 4 races, Ann Shaver arrived with the pizza and soda, so we all took a dinner break. During this time, Chris Wickes and Charlie Renna told us how Chris came to own his MGB. The car had ended up in a salvage yard and actually had the two puncture holes on the driver’s side where it had been impaled by a fork lift preparing to dump it into the crusher. Chris made a deal with the salvage yard owner and brought the car home. Of course Chris went on to tell us about the husband and wife that had previously owned the car and what he had to go through to get clear title to it. It seems that they were married, then divorced, then good friends and finally hated each other. The rest of this story is best told by Chris if you have the time. In any event you would never guess that the car it had been punctured by a fork lift. Chris has done a nice job restoring it.
The racing was fun, the soda and pizza were good and the socializing was tremendous. Until next year.... -- Doug Shaver
Above: Ten members and guests of the ATA enjoy some pizza and soda between races. Seated are Chris Wickes, John Watson, Carol Flanagan and Ann Shaver. In the back row is Charlie Renna, Jim Beil, Steve Shaver, Charlie Flanagan and Joe Corsall. The photo is taken by Doug Shaver
Every July 4th, the hamlet of Alplaus, NY, holds its parade and fire house picnic to celebrate Independence Day complete with fire equipment, bags pipes and drums, marching band(s), horses, spectators and, of course, automobiles. This year again, Alplaus resident Joe Bena was joined by some fellow ATA members to coast down the Alplaus Avenue hill. Lining up this year were a gang of Joe’s (four of them out of six with LBCs).
Leading the ATA in their parade favorite 1981 Delorean DMC-12 -- gull wing doors open -- were Joe Bertino and Anne Nafziger. Next in line and making an appearance after of couple of years of hibernation were Mitch and Connie Ware in their 1971 TR6. Following was yours truly in my 1975 Spitfire, and riding with me was my co-candy thrower Emma Norris. Emma is the first of my younger cousins to have a ride in the Spitfire, and being in the parade was an added treat. Emma now has bragging rights over the rest of the younger generation of cousins in the family. Behind me and Emma was Joe Trupiano and his son Spencer in Joe’s 1967 Austin Healey 3000. Spencer was able to hitch a ride ahead of us in a fire truck. He need a change of pace since they had some distance to drive to get to Alplaus from south of Albany.
Next in line was Joe Bena and one of his grandsons, Eli French, and along for the ride was Jack Cheverton in Joe’s 1960 TR3A. Following Joe was son-in-law Charlie French in Joe’s 1959 Morgan +4. Also in the Morgan were Charlie’s other sons, Isaac, David and Daniel, and tagging along was their friend Baruk Currin. The boys are starting to get big; in a couple of years either they are going to have to draw straws on who gets to ride and who has to watch because there will not be as much room behind the seats. Or Joe is just going to have to buy another Morgan or TR3 so his oldest grandson can drive while the younger brothers hitch a ride.
Somehow a couple of non-British autos got in the mix, such as a 1953 Ford convertible owned by Jack Bena. Riding shotgun was his son Tom. The Ford convertible is the last model year Ford used a flathead engine. In 1954 Ford switched over to overhead value engines. Coasting behind Jack and Tom was Bob (Prof.) Nevin in his 1948 Crosley. And finally there is the ATA caboose: Joe Gabriel in his MG-TD kit car.
The day was hot, humid, muggy, sticky and any other assortment of words used to describe the beginning of a heat wave in the Northeast. After the parade we were all welcomed to join the Bena clan at the house for a picnic and cooling off in the pool.
Thanks again, Joe, for having the ATA join you in the Alplaus Parade. -- Dave Faulkner
Parade photo by Gail Smith
On Saturday, July 11, ATA joined the MG Car Club of Central NY and an MG Club from Albany and maybe a couple of other British car clubs for a Auto Lawn Show featuring British Cars on the well-shaded lawns of the Beardslee Castle located about 6 miles east of Little Falls, NY. Beardslee Castle sits on a rising hill on the north side of the Mohawk River. The grounds offered a splendid and outstanding view of the Mohawk River and the Mohawk Valley.
Mike Mastracco, the Activities Director for the MG Car Club of Central NY, along with fellow club member Randall Brown, the owner of the Beardslee Castle, had the idea for a car show. They decided on a day and placed an order for a sunny warm day from Mother Nature and -- bingo! -- a car show was born. Some e-mails to other clubs and the car show ball was rolling.
There were 10 members and guests of the ATA on the shady front lawn of the Beardslee Castle parked right near where lunch was going to be grilled and the beverage supply was set up. Arriving first does have its advantages, sometimes. Parked in line in no order were; Lynn Arnold with her 1957 TR 3, Maynard and Barbara Daigle in a 1980 TR 7, Stephen and Frances Kramer in a 1966 Morgan +4, Dave Faulkner with his 1975 Spitfire, Scott and Sheila Zirlin in a 1978 MGB Roadster, Mike and Karen Warzek with a 1959 MGA, Doug and Ann Shaver with a 1979 MGB, Craig and Connie Terbush with their 1973 TR 6 along with their friends Dave Perry & Suzanne Clark in a MG and Mark Kellet and John Phelan (a fellow MG owner) in Mark’s 1958 Jaguar XK 150. A good representation of British automobiles and colors, there were no duplicate colors in this group.
Meeting Doug and Ann in Cobleskill were Craig & Connie from Schenevus and Dave & Suzanne from Oneonta. The drivers & passengers of the three LBCs drove along the back country roads to the Village of Nelliston on NYS Route 5. According to Connie & Craig, "the back roads were crooked and smooth -- perfect for their LBCs to play on!" Arriving in Fonda, about 10 miles east of Nelliston, were Mike & Karen at the designated meeting spot in the center of Fonda. They were soon joined by Dave, the Daigles, Lynn, the Kramers and the Zirlins.
After some chit-chat about our drives to Fonda, it was time to start up the engines and head west on Rte 5. Leading the away to Nelliston to meet up with the rest of the gang was Dave. Arriving in Nelliston, we were soon back on the road heading west to the Beardslee Castle with Doug & Ann in out in front. NYS Route 5 follows the Mohawk River and is a scenic drive through the Mohawk Valley and another good road for Little British Sports Cars to play on. There are places along the Mohawk River where the remnants and remains of the Erie Canal can be seen.
Pulling into the Beardslee Castle driveway, we were greeted by owner Randall Brown and directed to a premier parking spot under the trees on the well-shaded front lawn. Mark and John arrived a little while later. Mark had taken US Route 20 and then headed northwest to the villages of Sprakers and Canajoharie in Montgomery County and then on to Route 5. Mark mentioned that route could have been a tour all by itself. Before Mark and John’s arrival, the members of the MG Car Club of Central NY started to arrive. Like us, they made a tour out of the drive to the castle.
Within 45 minutes to an hour the whole front lawn under the trees was covered with Little British Cars. The lawn show hours were 12 to 4, which was just right. Also at the show and parked on the other side of the driveway was a variety of automobiles that were invited. I counted between 50 and 60 cars on the fields, and over 40 of them were British! A “jolly good showing.”
It was a great day to hold a British Car Lawn Show; the lawn of the Beardslee Castle was outstanding, and Randy and his staff were terrific hosts. Lunch was fantastic; there was a very good selection of lunch choices. The cooks on the wood fire grills were getting a good workout as were the grills and other food service personnel. It was also great to meet, mingle and talk with the folks from the MG Car Club of Central NY and the Albany area MG Club as well and the other car owners on the other side of the driveway. There were people who were driving along Route 5 that stopped in just to admire all of the cars. Everyone agreed the Castle was a “cool” place, not only because it was very refreshing to go in there on a hot day and cool off for a bit but also very interesting inside to just look around.
The members of ATA all enjoyed the day watching the British sports cars pull in and meeting and talking with fellow British car owners, and we look forward to another trip out the Beardslee Castle. Both Randy and Mike did an outstanding job! -- article and photos by Dave Faulkner
Parade photo by Gail Smith
On Sunday July 25th the ATA traveled down state to Dutchess County to drive some curvy roads of Columbia and Dutchess and to taste some wine too at Cascade Mountain Winery in Amenia, N.Y. Beginning the tour at the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club parking lot was tour host Dave Faulkner with his 1975 Spitfire. Joining the tour were Herb Broestler with his 1966 TR 4 A, Charlie & Carol Flanagan in a 1964 left hand drive Morgan + 4 and Denise Palumbo and riding shotgun Bernadine Peterson in a 1972 TR 6.
The tour was original scheduled Saturday July 24th, with the forecast for the Capital Region of New York being Hot (90 degrees +) and Humid (in the high 60 to low 70 degree range). It was a good bet that down state where we were going would be worse. We found out it was. The day started out with clouds over Albany with no rain falling. Charlie and Carol arrived with their top up. Charlie wanting to be like everyone else in the group soon has his top down. Carol said to me, “keep a count on how many times Charlie puts the top up and down today”.
While in the parking lot a City of Rensselaer Police Officer pulled to admire our cars and to hand out a flier for the City of Rensselaer Police Officer’s Union First Annual Car Show on Sunday August 15th. Leaving the parking lot and taking a left onto Broadway and then another left onto U. S. Route 9 we were on are way. Making a right on to Route 9 J which travels along the Hudson River and Amtrak tracks before turning in land to meet up with Route 9. The tour route this year went over some familiar roads from last year’s tour to Mill Brook winery. Unlike last year, there was no “Brain Lapse” with the route we were taking at the pit stop.
Leaving the pit stop, it was time to take some back roads. Bearing to the left onto Columbia County Rte 27 we were greeted with the beginning of some smooth roads with plenty of curves. Following Rte 27 a/k/a Churhtown Road we traveled through the hamlet of Churchtown up around the hill past the local cemetery. A few miles down the road and bearing to the right onto Rte 27A we traveled past Chrysler Pond. Stopping at the intersection of Rte 27A and Rte 7, crossing over Rte 7 onto Four Corners Road we drove through a camping area and started to pass cyclist (bike riders) heading the opposite direction. There was a good number of them on the road. There must have been a road race happening, “The Tour de’ Taconic.”
Reaching Rte 3 and taking a right, we soon picked up Route 82 at the midway point of a sweeping turn in Arcamdale. Continuing on Rte 82 and then making a quick right onto Rte 199 and an immediate left onto Rte. 83. Route 83 was a smooth road with plenty of curves to keep one aware of the stirring and handling while down shifting through them. There was a number of horse farms and large homes or small mansions on this part of the tour into Amenia. At the intersection of Route 5 we headed south to link up with Route 44. Route 5 and Route 44 offered up some very scenic views of the lower Taconic Mountains. Turning onto Route 44, in a few miles we would enjoy the sweeping curve down the mountain into Amenia. I’m not sure but I think I heard Carol yelling at Charlie to slow down going around the curve. At the intersection in Amenia we turned onto Route 44/22 for the last couple of miles to Cascade Mtn Road which the winery is located on.
Arriving at the winery and after stretching out a bit while talking about the route we had just completed it was time to enjoy winery. We entered the wine bar for some tasting. Compared to MillBrook Winery, Cascade Mtn. is a small operation. It might be considered a “Mom & Pop Winery”. Bellying up to the wine bar were Denise, Bernadine, Carol and Herb. Charlie and I stayed in the background.
[Click either picture above to see a larger version]
Our very accommodating host explained about the winery and the wines we will be tasting for those who wished to do so. The wine tasting lasted about 45 minutes, 7 wines were tasted and there was a couple of purchases. After the tasting we lingered around the tasting room chatting with the host and browsing at the other products for sale. Once outside we noticed that the cloud cover was getting thicker and the decision was made to have lunch. Leaving the winery we headed back down Cascade Mtn road to a near by shopping center with deli. We eventually found Beekman Park to have lunch. Denise and Bernadine sure do know how to pack a lunch. They had enough for everyone to try something and I bet if we were closer to Albany a bottle of wine would have been uncorked to enjoy with lunch.
Well all good things must come to an end and lunch did with the start of rain sprinkles falling. We were soon packing and putting the car tops up. Our return trip back upstate would be more of a direct route, there were still plenty of curves to enjoy. Following a stretch of about 20 to 25 miles behind a truck pulling a horse trailer a pit stop was needed. Charlie being the brave soul decided to take the Morgan top down again. Even with dark clouds to the Northwest and heading in out direction. On the road again, the sprinkles started to fall. I kept looking back in the rear view to see a signal to stop from Charlie, but there wasn’t one. At an intersection, still no signal to pull over given. On through the sprinkles we continued. Reaching the first pit stop area of the day and pulling in. It was time for Charlie to put the Morgan top up again and put the wiper blades back on for the rest of the way home. Arriving back in Albany with sunny skies and no rain but wet roads another ATA tour concluded. I’m not sure if Charlie stopped again to take the top down. The count was 4 times that Morgan top went up and down. That was mentioned at the ATA Freebie Picnic a week later. -- Dave Faulkner
On Monday, August 2, over 50 club members and their families attended the summer Freebie Annual Picnic held a River Road Park in Niskayuna. The weather was threatening rain all day, and there were sprinkles on the drive to the picnic site, but by our 6:00 p.m. picnic starting time the cloudy day turned into a delightful summer evening and we had a record number of club members as well as 27 British cars show up for our event. The assortment of automobiles was spectacular; MGAs and Bs; Triumph TR3s, 4s and 7s, a Spitfire and a Herald; a Morgan +4; an Austin Healey 3000; a Jensen Healey; a Midget; a Mini Cooper; even an Alfa and a DeLorean. Club members, as well as community members out for an evening stroll, enjoyed viewing these beautiful machines that we had lined up for a mini car show.
Food was outstanding. Dave Faulkner again showed off his grilling skills by preparing the hot dogs, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers, while Joe Bena and Bud Brickman prepared the corn on the cob. Club members provided an awesome array of pot luck food to add to the main meal.
A 50/50 raffle added to the fun of the evening and beside the 50/50 cash, many club shirts and hats were raffled off.
After dinner, while the children played on the playground, the adults voted for their top three favorite cars. After the votes were counted, trophies were awarded and the winners were:
After awards were handed out, club members packed up and drove out into the cool evening air. What a great ATA event we had! We hope to once again see as many members and cars at our upcoming events. -- Joe Bena
On Saturday August 21st at the Saratoga Auto Museum in the Saratoga Spa. State Park the ATA and the Saratoga Auto Museum held the 2010 British Motorfest. Greeting the 80 plus show participants and volunteers during the morning was the Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsing movements from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and other classical movements for the evenings performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
This year’s British Motorfest had 17 classes laid out on the grounds of the Auto Museum. Since it was a wonderful sunny August day those who happened to be parked under the trees had prime real estate. At this Motorfest, an added attraction was the 1909 American Locomotive Company (ALCO) built race car known as the “# 8 Black Beast” and was built in an ALCO plant in Providence, R.I. Between 1908 and 1913 the Providence, R. I., ALCO plant manufactured 1,100 automobiles of the 12 that still exit the # 8 Black Beast is the only racer to remain. The # 8 Black Beast is a winner of the Long Island Vanderbilt Cup in 1909 and 1910 and also raced in the 1911 Indianapolis 500. ATA club member Pete Fullam and a member of the Mohawk-Hudson Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is one of the local researchers into the history of the American Locomotive Company that operated a plant in Schenectady, NY. Pete is mentioned in the Daily Gazette Newspaper (from Schenectady) article about the local chapter’s research into photographic negatives of the Black Beast and the ALCO automobile production. The Black Beast’s owner had the race car in the Capital District for a few days and even raced the car around a track on the ALCO plant site in Schenectady on the Thursday afternoon before Saturday’s British Motorfest. The “# 8 Black Beast” was a welcome attraction at the Motorfest, throughout the show she roared to life and moved ahead a few feet and then back. The Motorfest was well attended with LBC’s and admiring spectators. The Black Beast wasn’t able to take spin around the Auto Museum parking lot.
There was a bounty of door prizes and 50/50 was collected and drawn. Congratulations to the 50/50 winner, sorry I forgot who it was, and to all of the door prize winners. The first, second and third place finishers in each class were announced by Alan Edstrom, Saratoga Auto Museum Director of Programs and Events. ATA President Dave Faulkner and Lynn Arnold ATA Vice President, Car Shows presented the award plaques to the place finishers. As an added touch, Alan asked the first places winners tell a little bit about their cars.
A big and HUGE (where is Billy Fuccillo when you really need him?) round of THANKS goes out to everyone who volunteered to help make the 2010 British Motorfest a success.
ACLO # 8 Black Beast information credit to Bill Buell, Daily Gazette; photograph by Steve Knoll.
Class # 1 - TR 2 - 3B
Class # 2 - TR 4, 4A, 250
Class # 3 - TR 6
Class # 4 - TR 7 & 8
Class # 5 - Spitfire & GT6
Class # 6 - MG T Series
Class # 7 - MGA
Class # 8 - MGB/C Chrome Bumper
Class # 9 - MGB Rubber Bumper
Class # 10 - Sprite/Midget
Class # 11 - Austin Healey 100/3000
Class # 12 - Jaguar Sports thru 1981
Class # 13 - Other British “Sports” thru 1981
Class # 14 - Other British thru 1981
Class # 15 - Modern British Cars 1982 on
Class # 16 - Kit Car/ Replicar
Class # 17 - British Motorcycles
Best in Show
The Antique and Classic Boat Society was founded in Lake George, NY in 1975 and the organization has grown to 55 Chapters across the United States and Canada with 8,000 members. The Adirondack Chapter contacted ATA members Bob Ensign and Lynn Arnold, inviting the members of the ATA to show of our LBCs on land while the Chapter had their rendezvous. A different meaning to the phrase “Surf -n- Turf”! Everyone liked the idea of having boats and cars being shown. It also was a beneficial viewing venue to both clubs and the spectators. The Adirondack Chapter show presented awards to the winning boat owners at their banquet following the show. The following boat classifications were awarded: Historic (built before 1919), Antique (built between 1919-1942), Classic (built between 1943 -1968), Custom Production Contemporary (Wooden built between 1969 to present), Custom Contemporary (Modified or one of a kind built between 1969 to present), Replica, Land Display and Non-Power. Also there was additional awards for; The People’s Choice, Most Original/Best Preserved, Best Chris-Craft, Dock Master and the President’s Choice.
While walking on the dock admiring the boats, I overheard a gentlemen tell another person that he is from Ohio and was in the Finger Lakes region of New York during the week. On Thursday or Friday he was down on the Mohawk or Hudson River visiting family and took the boat out on the river because he had never seen his grandfather’s home from the water. The Sunday after the show he was going to travel to the 1,000 Island in the St. Lawrence Seaway along the New York/ Canadian border and then maybe return to Ohio.
The ATA was there to show our very good-looking British Cars. There were between 15 and 20 ATA members’ cars lined up along the curb next to the village docks. The models of Triumphs and non-Triumphs are as follows: TR 3, TR 4 A, TR 6, TR 7, Spitfire, Austin Healey, MG, MGB, Daimler, Deloren and the only right hand drive of them all a Mini. Also there, parked on a strip of lawn were 4 Antique Ford Model Ts.
I met up with Lynn Arnold, Joe Trupiano and Maynard Daigle at the I-87 rest area in Clifton Park, NY. Since I was the last one to show and late as well as, I caught some flack because I also organized to meet there. My buddy Mike took the heat off, because he put the blame on himself for the late arrival. Our ride north on I-87 was uneventful, which was a good thing because August 28th was also Traver’s Day (the "Midsummer Derby") at the flat track in Saratoga Springs, NY and the potential for very heavy traffic loomed. We beat the track traffic and along the way we received may admiring glances and waves from the passengers in the cars that just happen to be passing us.
Thank you goes out to the Adirondack Chapter of The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. for the invite and to all the ATA members who were there. The ATA had a great time and it was a pleasure to show off our British Cars along (Land) side the Adirondack Chapter’s boats. Hope we can do it again next year. -- Dave Faulkner
After four days of steady rain Saturday, October 2nd proved to be a winner of a day. The temperature was in the low to mid 60’s with abundant sunshine. Meeting in Mechanicville, NY at the local McDonald’s four ATA members took advantage of the wonderful day to tour to the Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. Meeting tour leader Dave Faulkner and his topless Spitfire were Pete Fullham and his son Rich in Pete’s TR 4 and arriving soon after were Bernadine Peterson and her passenger Denise Palumbo in Bernadine's MG. Giving the customary 15 to 20 minutes for any late arrivals, we were off. Turning onto route 4 & 32 we headed to the Village of Stillwater along the Hudson River. We then made the right turn to proceed on route 67 to travel through the Rensselaer County Villages of Schaghitoke, Valley Falls, Buskirk and Eagle Bridge along the Hoosic River. This portion of the tour our only encounter with wildlife crossing over the road in front of us was a fox and there wasn’t even a fox crossing sign to be seen.
We then turned onto route 22 north and soon crossed into Washington County heading to the Village of Cambridge. On the way to Cambridge and Salem, looking at the colors of the trees covering the hills before us was a good indication of the fall foliage we would be seeing in Vermont. Arriving in Salem we turned onto route 153 for our 15 mile drive to the NY/VT state line.
On Saturday, October 16, Kim Graff and Dave Lucier co-hosted a Sports Car Olympics at Kim’s Motor Imports for ATA members and guests. About 50 people entered the “sports complex” that day and amazingly, all survived the ordeal. Medals were awarded for first, second, and third place for each event.
The 4 featured events for the day were:
The Creeper Luge – This event required participants to lie on their back on a mechanic’s creeper and negotiate a winding course of numerous gates set up in Kim’s garage with the finish line located out the garage door, down the driveway and thru a final gate. The winner was determined by the quickest time. Special mention: Jack Young had a different approach to this event. He thought the object was to wipe out each gate he came to and drag the pylons with him. (Winners: 1st Brian Blizzard, 2nd Dave Young, 3rd Herm Marotta)
Kim Graff with Luge winners Dave Young, Brian Blizzard and Herm Marotta
Sparkplug Change – Contestants in this event had to disconnect plug wires, remove four sparkplugs, install new sparkplugs and reconnect the plug wires in the correct firing order. The winner was determined by the quickest time. (Winners: 1st Brian Blizzard, 2nd Skip Beck, 3rd Rod Smith)
Sparkplug winners Skip Beck, Brian Blizzard and Rod Smith
Pin the Wheels on the Car – This required the athletes, who were blindfolded, to pin two wheels onto a picture of a car. The participants were first spun around and then faced towards the car and turned loose. The winner was determined by the total distance for both wheels from the correct wheel position. Special mention: Although not a winner, Carol Flanigan actually placed one of her wheels closest to the correct location. We won’t talk about where the other wheel ended up. (Winners: 1st Pete Fullam, 2nd Jim Ralston, 3rd Bruce Hering)
Pin the Wheels winners Jim Ralston, Pete Fullam and Bruce Hering
Hub Cap Discus – In this event the contestants threw a hub cap a distance of about 30 feet for the men and 20 feet for the women with the winner being the one who threw the hubcap into a square bucket about 18” by 24”. If no one made the bucket then the closest to it was the winner. Each contestant got 2 practice throws and then one final throw. As it worked out no one made the bucket on their final throw. Special mention: Edie Wickes made a perfect practice throw into the bucket, too bad it didn’t count. (Winners: 1st Pete Fullam, 2nd Scott Zirlin, 3rd Linda Smith)
Hubcap Discus winners Scott Zirlin, Pete Fullam and Linda Smith
After completion of the events an awards ceremony was held. Kent Burchill announced the winners and Kim Graff handed out the Olympic style medals for first, second and third place. Each medalist took his or her place on the podium and posed for the event picture taken by Sue Fero.
Following the awards ceremony an excellent meal was provided compliments of Mezza Notte, an Italian restaurant located in Guilderland and owned by ATA members Connie and Mitch Ware. If you haven’t already been to the restaurant, we suggest you give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. The numerous desserts were brought by members.
Many thanks to those who helped Kim and Dave set up and run the events (Erin Graff, Scott and Sheila Zirlin, Kent Burchill, Ann and Doug Shaver, Steve Kurowski, Sue Fero, Bruce Hering and George Smith).
Glenville, NY – Saturday, November 13th, the ATA held it annual Membership Appreciation at Carm’s Restaurant. Fifty ATA members, family and guests enjoyed a night of pizza, beverages and good conversation. This is the third ATA nondriving event this year attended by 50 club members. Hats off to everyone who attended one or all of these events!
In between rounds of pizza being delivered from the kitchen, ATA President Dave Faulkner thanked everyone for attended the member night and then turned the speaking over to Joe Bena to say a few words about the first ATA event of 2011, the Annual ATA Banquet to be held on Saturday February 19 at the Desmond in Colonie, NY.
Dave Faulkner and Bruce Hering selling 50/50 tickets. In the picture are (L to R) Ann Shaver, Karen Warzek and Sheila Zirlin
Still in between rounds of pizza, Dave Faulkner -- with help from Spencer Trupiano --pulled the door prize and 50/50 raffle winners. This year’s door prizes were provided by Steve Busch and he had no idea how much fun we would have with pink, white, black and gray Snap-On socks for door prizes. The fun and amusement in the room even outdid the year of the Snap-On hat door prizes. During the raffle of Snap-On socks, our waitress was bringing in the pizza and was enjoying the door prize raffle as much as we were, and she even commented on how much she liked the Snap-On socks. She is a very satisfied customer. The night’s 50/50 winner was Diane Olsen.
Dave Faulkner, Bruce and Doris Hering
Following pizza and the door prize and 50/50 raffle, Bill Dievendorf, with his laptop in hand, showed his 15-minute DVD of his adventure on September 25th in the Keene Hill Climb in the Keene Valley region of the Adirondacks. Bill gave the narration through the DVD and answered plenty of questions.
???, Joe Bena and Harry Bartik
After a couple of run-throughs of Bill’s DVD and the room steadily emptying, it was time to end another successful ATA Membership night. Thanks to all of the ATA Members for another successful and fun-filled year. – Dave Faulkner; photos by Drew Kinum
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Revised February 26, 2013 -- asm