Billed as “the Big One” of the summer, Will Williams’ 14-month-old Hunt Valley Horsepower Saturday morning cruise-in was pretty big–if not the 850-car blowout his one year anniversary was back in March. I’m guessing about 250 cars showed–everything from a Countach to the contingent of Jeep dragsters to, well, me, an an old kit car of dubious provenance.
Just as I was pulling in, new guy Chris from the Speedster Owners came in with his brand-spankin’ Speedster, a gray Vintage with beehive tail lights that is more stunning in person than any picture could depict. He pulled in one spot from me and then I saw the Morgan whose owner, Dennis Simon, backed it in between us. He pointed to the “Last Open Road” decal decorating the top of Bridget’s tank.
“B.S. Levy fan?” he asked.
“Loved the first three books,” I said. Haven’t read the others yet.
“Good friend of mine,” Simon said.
Simon’s car, a genuine Triumph-motivated ‘53 (flat grilled) Morgan +4, is the bomb. Super rare, gorgeous, and best of all, driven. She’ll do about 112 mph on her 16-inch steelies, he said. He painted the whole front cowl tartan (“Winter project”). Could not have been more honored to bask in its glow.
Bridget’s dash got her share of compliments. A few folks allowed that they or a relative had had a TD (or three) back in the day. I proselytized for the TDReplica cause but don’t think I made any converts.
Chuck Martin was on the scene with wife Maggie’s blue coupe, having driven down from the Philly area, next to this RSR (with air conditioning? Yep, it’s a tribute car, not an original) that got a lot of attention.
What I like most about the scene is the variety. You had this Dub bubble representing right next to the SCCA evangelists calling on folks to try some “rally-cross,” which sounds like just about the most fun a psycho could have inside a sealed car, and simultaneously the least fun spectator sport imaginable. Something like a tornado filled with Pig Pens in Charlie Brownian motion. But with more dust.
They wear their dust and mud with pride though. So, props. Despite that (or maybe because) I didn’t meet them, I liked the boy-racer contingent the best. There were some serious looking machines tatted up with these kinds of stickers over indifferent (or worse) paint jobs. Got the idea that these guys are the heirs to the drag strip and pro-street rats of my era. Look to the right of the orange Nova. The owner (he told me his name but I forgot) was more muscle-bound than his car, with biceps big as footballs and a chest as wide as his car’s hood. The engine–just a 383 stroker with the old school stuff on it. He claimed (I think) 550 horses, but I can’t remember if that was with or without the nitrous.
Wished I met the owner of the P-1800. I saw the Ferrari style prancing moose sticker and thought it was the cleverest thing (better even than Levy’s chili peppers). Then I saw a kid with the same emblem on his shirt and asked if The Saint’s car was his. At first he just looked confused. Then there was the little flash of contempt for the rube as I told him my theory.
I’ve actually seen that symbol before. Just didn’t register. Now I sorta want a Volvo like my dad had before I was born.
There was an amazing green truck of some sort without a flaw on or in it. I talked to the owner last week and he’s a sweet older guy with no brag in him. Huge skills and patience though, obviously. My fave though was this rolling meat advertisement.