Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waterford Car Show

Last weekend was Pumpkinfest in Waterford. Ghouls and goblins galore. In addition to the antique car show of course! It was the biggest show in Waterford ever and covered the entire football field, parking and adjacent area with overflow going onto the baseball diamond. There must have been close to a thousand cars present. That show the enormous interest in this hobby. From a cursory inspection of the entrance tickets posted in the windshield of most cars, it appeared that most participants lived in a 50 km radius of Waterford, i.e. Simcoe, Brantford, Tillsonburg, Woodstock etc. All these cars hidden in garages somewhere. Ginormous. Picture below shows only about a quarter of the participants.


This is a 1981 gull winged  Delorean. The neat thing about it is that it’s stainless steel. It may appear to be gray paint, but you are looking at bare metal here. The underbody is fibreglass. About 9,500 of these cars were made over two years (1981-1982) before the company went bankrupt.


There was also a complete ‘funny car’ team present. The owner of the car, a 40 year employee of General Motors, now retired, races this car on the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) circuit. The car he drives (and maintains, aided by his sons) is a funny car (engine up front) as opposed to a dragster (engine on the back), fuelled by alcohol, attaining top speeds over a quarter mile of 250 miles per hour, something like 385 km/h. The car drives with a fibreglass or carbon shell, so that it looks somewhat like a real car. The term ‘funny car’ apparently originated in the mid sixties when the rear wheels on an ordinary looking car were moved forward to improve traction. So, when you looked at the car form the side, it looked ‘funny’. Next race for this team: Gainesville, Florida, sometime in February.


Notice the red fire extinguishers up front. The car also packs two parachutes, which are released at the end of its run. Fuel consumption: something like 80 litres per run. Fuel tank up front, immediately behind it the oil tank.


And now for something totally different: as a teenager, Anne was a car hop at A&W. A&W was one of the very first fast food restaurants, even preceding McDonald’s. The way you got served there was, you parked you car in the lot, the server would come up to the car, take your order and come back with your order on a tray that got suspended from the window. As the server, she was accountable for the mugs that the root beer was served in. If some diner absconded with one of these, it would come off her pay. So this brought back memories for her, some good, some not so good.waterfordcarshow3

Inevitably at these shows (that is, if you are old enough), you start looking for your first car. I didn’t quite find it, but got fairly close: a 1967 Dodge Monaco convertible, whereas mine was a 1968 Dodge Monaco hard top, with a 383 cubic inch engine, that’s about 5800 cc. Heavy and simple. No pollution control equipment, not even a PCV valve. So big, you needed to pack a lunch in order to walk around it once.


And here is the latest in today’s humongous, ginormous trucks: a Doge Ram, with the little boy to give it some perspective.


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