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*5/18/2014 Updates - Please take notice of the 2014 updates for the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award, viewable at the following link: "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page". CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS to this year's winners for their unsung yet very significant contributions to our hobby, and thanks also to this year's nominators, for their vision and ability to put thoughtfully into words the contributions of the 2014 Heroes honorees!
*5/25/2013 Updates - Happy to report thay, at very long last, we've finally been able to get our Official Report together on Antique Volkswagen participation in the "Time Machines 2012" antique car show & flea market that was held on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012, at the Guilford Fairgrounds, in Guilford, CT. The CT Area Classic T-Bird Club, as usual, did a great job organizing and running the overall event, and we were once again pleased to sponsor the "VW-only" class, for all VWs, stock & modified, up to & including the model year 1987 (in keeping with the generally accepted 25-years-old-or-older definition of an "antique auto"). We had a really wonderful day for "Time Machines 2012, and yet another excellent turnout of old VWs--helped, once again, in large part, by our friends, the great people of the CT VW Association--thanks again CVA-ers! Click directly on the small image at the right (or HERE) to go directly to our Official Report on Time Machines 2012 Antique VW participation, with lists and photos of all car show-participating VWs, lists of winners, various great people who also happenened to wander in front of our camera, and much more! And please don't forget that "Time Machines 2013" is indeed upcoming on Sunday, July 28th, 2013, at the Guilford Fairgrounds once again. All VWs, stock & modified, up to & including model year 1988 are eligible to participate this year! Hope to see you there!
*5/19/2013 Updates - Please take notice of the 2013 updates for the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award, viewable at the following link: "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page". CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS to this year's winners for their unsung yet very significant contributions to our hobby, and thanks also to this year's nominators, for their vision and ability to put thoughtfully into words the contributions of the 2013 Heroes honorees!
*11/11/2012 Updates - Time continues to roll on... In the time since I last checked in here, in mid-August, a lot has happened. Very recently, at the end of October, the Northeast experienced a very bad storm known as Hurricane Sandy, and also nicknamed "Frankenstorm," due to the very unusual set of circumstances which came together to make it a real whopper. Here in our area (south-central Connecticut), there were areas at the coastline where folks sustained a lot of damage, due to the combination of winds and super-high tides. And then as you went further west on the CT coastline, and then into coastal areas of New York and New Jersey, things got really bad. There are many people in NY and NJ still without electricity, and many with homes damaged or even destroyed. Please pray for these folks, and donate toward storm recovery-related causes if you can... As you may suspect from the small image at the upper right, I've also been working on a small report about an event that happened after Time Machines 2012 (which happened in July, and about which I realize I still yet have to complete my "official report!), but at which I also had a positively tremendous time participating. I am speaking of the "Das Auto - All Volksagen Car Show" that was held at the end of September over at Montesi Volkswagen on State Street in North Haven (mentioned also in the 8/14/2012 Updates section below). This was, for me, kind of like a "Volkswagen Homecoming," since I had worked with the great Montesi people to produce a couple of car shows for the Connecticut Volkswagen Association there, back in the mid-1980s. I had many great memories of those old events, and to be back again at Montesi Volkswagen, and be able to chat with so many of our old friends from "back in the day," was a tremendous thrill. Gary Montesi who is president and general manager of his family's business, is just the same wonderful, gracious guy he's always been, and it was fun to see him again, and see how great his dealership is doing these days. He was especially thrilled about a beautiful 1964 Beetle that he'd recently purchased, which he told me had special signfiicance since 1964 was the year that his dad Enzo established the company. On the day of the "Das Auto" car show, Gary had his magnificent '64 Bug parked proudly outside the front of the dealership, and that's the photo I used for this update, as a link to the report. So, just click directly on that image(or HERE) to go straight to the new feature page on the 2012 CVA/Montesi Das Auto VW Show!... Finally, on this date, the 11th of November, we need to make sure to remember and honor the great sacrifices made by all of our country's military veterans, since today is Veterans Day 2012. Thanks Veterans and God Bless America.
*8/14/2012 Updates - Time rolls on!... Can't believe that "Time Machines 2012" is already here and past! We had a great time on Sunday, July 22nd, in Guilford, CT, where we once again sponsored the "VW-only" class within this very large and long-running antique auto extravaganza. Look for a full report on antique VW participation in Time Machines 2012 here soon (we are working on getting all the info together toward assembling our report at this time)... In other news, I wanted to post here an event notice that I recently placed on the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection's Calendar page, about a new CT-area VW event that I just heard about, that also takes me back to the mid-1980s... Here is that listing: "...SEPTEMBER 29, 2012, Saturday, North Haven Montesi Volkswagen and the Connecticut Volkswagen Association present the 1st Annual Das Auto - All Volkswagen Car Show, Saturday, September 29th, 2012, at Montesi Volkswagen, 444 State Street, North Haven, CT 06473. Show time = 9am-3pm. Admission = $5 for show cars; general admission free. For more information contact: Gary Montesi, email@example.com or 203-281-0481, or Bill Arute, firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-395-9964. webmaster's note A lot of nostalgia came back when I received the 8/8/2012 e-mail from our friend Bill Arute (who, by the way, is the new president of the CT VW Association), with the announcement of this event, and also an electronic copy of the event flyer, from which the above words were transcribed, as I was CVA president back in the 80s when we also ran a couple of all-VW car shows at the same Montesi VW dealership in North Haven! How cool that CVA and the Montesi folks are teaming up to do it again in 2012! We also uploaded the flyer that Bill sent us to our server, and it is viewable online at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/29Sep2012CVAMontesiVWShowFlyer.pdf ..." Pretty cool, I say! I hope to make it there, and hope you can too! Thanks again to Bill Arute and all our friends at CT VW Association for making it happen!... Over and out for now...
*5/22/2012 Updates - (Slightly) late again... But only by a couple of days, this time, since the "official" date/venue for announcing the annual "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award--namely the Michigan Vintage VW Festival--was just held this past Sunday, 5/20. And so, without further delay, we invite you to visit the just-updated "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for details on this year's honorees! CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS to this year's winners for their contributions to our hobby, and thanks also to this year's nominators, for their vision and ability to put thoughtfully into words the contributions of the 2012 Heroes honorees!
*2/6/2012 Updates - Better (slightly) late than never... Sorry for my "traditinal" slow notice here, but nominees for our annual "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award are now being accepted--with 3/31/2012 being the deadline--click over to the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for details... Happy New Year, and COME ON SPRING!!!
*12/5/2011 Updates - Yow, has it really not been since July that I've written any updates here? Ouch! As has been true for a while, now, though, my work on the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection web site, which, like this, is also a spare-time hobby project, has generally taken precedence... The good news, however, is that I've been quietly working in the backgroud for a little while now, in whatever spare bits of time I've been able to find, to try to get all my records straight toward producing, at long last, an Official Report on Antique Volkswagen Participation at the Time Machines 2011 Antique Auto Show this past July 24th, in Guilford, CT. VW participation for TM2011 positively shattered previous records, due in major part, of course, to the fact that the organizers finally picked Volkswagen as the Time Machines "Featured Marque" for the 2011 version of this very long-running annual antique auto event (2011 having marked its 33rd year). We knew about this early in the year also, and so also worked as hard as we could to beat the drums about it within the VW hobby community for months leading up to Show Day. Thankfully the weather turned out decent, and it seemed VW folks from around the area were pretty primed to participate; all-told, we counted 53 total registered VWs on the car show field at the middle of the day. Prior to Show Day, we only hinted at the "special goodies" we had gotten made up to commemorate this special date for VW enthusiasts in the history of the Time Machines event, and upon getting their cars properly registered and parked on the show field, we handed out not only one (special VW-only) dash plaque to each car, but also one custom-manufactured metal bumper badge, with the same special TM2011 VW Featured Marque design, inlaid, and enameled, on a polished background. We are most likely never going to be able to do something like that again, but for the Featured Marque year, it was worth it! With regard to our Official Time Machines 2011 Antique VW Participation Report, which you can go to by clicking on the small image of the dash plaque & bumper badge at the upper right (or HERE), we are thinking of it as a "first draft" at this time, since there are a few more touches we still want to get added to it--but, for the most part, it contains the basic info that we like to get recorded for a proper annual wrap-up. So, please do check it out, and if you find anything we messed up (typos, mis-spellings, omissions, etc.), please do let us know, so we can fix 'em. Thanks again to all VW folks who made Time Machines 2011 very special!
*7/28/2011 Updates - Wow, my head is still spinning from the most impressive turnout of Antiuqe Volkswagens this past Sunday, 7/24/2011, at the Guilford Fairgrounds in Guilford, CT, to participate in the "Featured Marque" display at the Time Machines 2011 antique auto show & flea market. This year's Time Machines event was listed as the "33rd Annual" version, and, having been involved with the Time Machines event since their inception, I can say with assurance that Volkswagen has never before been a Time Machines Featured Marque, and, once it became apparent that it was to be for 2011, I knew we had to do our best to help make it special. Too early to go into details here, since there is still a lot of work that I still have to do as far as organizing my notes and pictures--and I'm also still awaiting some "approved-for-publication" words from Show Chairman Fred of the CT Area Classic T-Bird Club (the organizers of the Time Machines car show)--so I can only say "stay tuned," for when we are better prepared to discuss this amazing day. For now, though, I will say that, as it always seem to be, the people we know and the friendships we have made through the old-VW hobby--both over many years-passed, and as recent as a month or a week ago--are the things of true & lasting value that we take away from an experience like this. Sunday was extremely busy for me, but I don't think about that in retrospect now--rather, I think about all the nice conversations I had with so many great people that day, and in the days since then. One more highlight from Sunday that I do want to briefly mention at this time, however, is the chance, during the awards ceremony at the end of the Time Machines show, I had to ceremonially present Mr. Jeremy Clayton of the Connecticut VW Association with his richly-deserved "Hero of Antique Volkswagening" award. Jeremy had known about the award since mid-May, when the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" got updated with this year's honoree announcement (which was also publicly announced at the Michigan Vintage VW Meet around that same time), and had graciously agreed to be present during the Time Machines awards ceremony to accept it. I know that his family, and his club, are all very proud of him, and I can only say Thank You again, Jeremy, for all you have given to the VW hobby!... And finally, in the mode of the CT VW Association, and the great events, under Jeremy's guidance, and through the superb efforts of many dedicated officials and volunteers of the club, that CVA has produced, I would like to invite you to view our newly-finished summary report on the positively WONDERFUL Volkswagen enthusiast event: "The 7th Annual New England Volks-Meet," that I had the great pleasure of attending and participating in, two weeks earlier, on Sunday, July 10th, 2011, at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, in Lebanon, CT. This was one of those events that just makes you feel good, and feel happy to be a member of a "brotherhood" of people who enjoy VWs. The CVA/Lebanon event (my first ever) went so much further than just a car event--it was about a spirit of inclusiveness and community. It wasn't about trophies and judging--it was about enjoying the outdoors and friends with a common interest, in a totally relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The title of the old Beach Boys song "Good Vibrations" may be a cliche' at this point (not to mention an unfortunate indicator of how old I am!), but it strikes me as a fitting description of what I experienced participating in the CVA's 2011 New Englend Volks-Meet. Thanks again Jeremy, CVA officers, and volunteers, for a true highlight event of the summer! To go & view or report on CVA/Lebanon 2011, please click on the small image at the upper right--which is a scan of the very cool artwork that the CVA used for their awards this year--or HERE... Over and out for now, and stay tuned for further coverage of Time Machines 2011, as we are able to get it done...
*6/14/2011 Updates - Happy Flag Day! Kinda rainy around here today in Southern Connecticut, but thankfully it was nice out this past Saturday, June 11th, when old car specialists Cardone & Daughter Automotive of Westbrook, Connecticut welcomed members of the CT VW Association, and all old-VW enthusiasts, to a wonderful Open House at their shop, located at 177 Boston Post Road, Westbrook (telephone 860-664-0727, web site http://www.cardoneanddaughter.com/). I was very pleased to be able to attend the event for a little while, and had a wonderful time. The Cardone's staff had set up a barbecue grill, and had tasty hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and more available for attendees to enjoy; their shop was open for tours and browsing, and then, of course, the participants' cars parked all around the shop made for a most colorful and eye-catching scene (attrracting many passers-by also to stop and check out all the old VWs and other old cars). It was so gracious of Mr. David Cardone, his better half Nancy, and all of their employees to set up this very wonderful occasion and extend such generous hospitality to all the old VW folks! Having had a couple of my own old VWs worked on by Cardone and Daughter Automotive within the past year, I can also say with assurance that the care they give your old car is of just as professional and high quality. We are lucky to have such a great shop as Cardone & Daughter Automotive in our neighborhood! The small image at the upper right is from the Saturday Cardone's gathering, and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you'll bring up a similar, larger view. Here are a couple more hyperlinked images you can click on from the Saturday, June 11th VW gathering at Cardone & Daughter Automotive: An overall view from the northwest corner... An overall view from across the street (approximately from the northeast)... An overall view from the east looking west (with my former '68 Bug in the foreground, which was driven there by it's current owner Bill)... And some colorful fronts of cars that were parked along the western edge of the lot. Finally, we would like to give one more well-deserved tip of the hat to the good folks from the Connnecticut Volkswagen Association who worked with the Cardone's staff to set this wonderful day up! Thanks again CVA-ers and thanks again Cardone & Daughter Automotive!... In other news, toward making some room in my garage, I would like to sell one (or both) of these two 4-bolt wheel/tire sets, locally (LOCAL SALE ONLY--I am NOT interested in packaging/shipping); everything lightly used and in VERY nice condition: 1) Original Porsche 914 styled steel wheels (5.5" wide--they are similar to Sports Bug wheels, but the offset tucks them further into the fenders), with 175/65R15 Pirelli radials, all caps & lug bolt covers, fully spin balanced, plus a fifth spare matching wheel (also refinished). Here is a picture: http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/383422.jpg ... 2) Original Empi Sprint Star steel wheels, 4.5" wide, with 155R15 BF Goodrich white letter radials (not spin balanced, but they don't seem to need it), plus four repro plastic center caps (I would also be happy to throw in chrome lug bolts if you are interested). Here is a picture: http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/433444.jpg ... Any interest, please email me: CommonGear@aol.com ... Over aand out for now!
*5/28/2011 Updates - Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I wish you all a happy, healthy, and relaxing time, hopefully at least some of it spent with your family, and also some time enjoying your old VW, if possible. But let's also do our best to keep in mind the real meaning of Memorial Day--that being: To remember and honor our country's soliders who made the ultimate sacrifce for our freedom. Many towns have Memorial Day parades and observances, including Branford, CT's, happening on Monday morning, where we're planning to drive a couple of old VWs within the antique car contingent. You can check the details about that and many other events in the Southern CT area, on the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection's Calendar page, which I also maintain... The other thing I wanted to mention today is the fact that we're getting geared up for this y ear's Time Machines 2011 antique auto show & flea market, happening on Sunday, July 24th, 2011, in Guilford, CT (at the Guilford Fairgrounds), rain or shine. It is especially notable that, for 2011, the Time Machines organizers have, for the first time ever, chosen VOLKSWAGEN as the show's "Featured Marque." This is a special honor, with the "feature" class displayed in a prominent spot on the show field, in the show's printed materials, etc. The other notable thing about VW being the Featured Marque at Time Machines this year is that the show will feature two classes for the participating antique Volkswagens: a "stock" class for all VWs up to model year 1986 AND a "modified" class for all VWs up to model year 1986 (Common Gear is sponsoring both).Usually we welcome all the stock + modified VWs to participate together in the "VW-only" class--so 2011 will be quite notable for this reason also (and the organziers have also told me that both the stock and modified VW classes will be situated directl;y adjacent to each other, which is also cool). Finally, I wanted to mention that there will be Special Commemorative Incentives presented to the first 75 participating VWs to get themselves properly registered and parked on the show field within either of the two VW Featured Marque classes--we have gotten these special incentives made up completely on our own, to commemorate the great honor of VW finally having been selected as the Featured Marque, in this 33rd year of the Time Machines event. Following are clickable hyperlinks to some scans of the actual printed TM2011 flyer: Main Flyer Page Top = http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806851.jpg ; Main Flyer Page Bottom (with preregistration forms) = http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806852.jpg ; List of Show Car Classes = http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806853.jpg ; Front outside of folded flyer = http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806850.jpg ; Back outside of folded flyer = http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/806854.jpg ... And that about covers it for now. Hope to see you and your Antique VW at Time Machines 2011. Happy Memorial Day once again. And THANKS TO ALL SOLDIERS AND MILITARY PERSONNEL.
*5/22/2011 Updates - TODAY'S THE DAY, where we say Congratulations to this year's "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" Honoree! Please visit the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for this year's Official Announcement!
*3/5/2011 Updates - Happy March! Spring begins this month--sure seems like it's been an extra-long time coming, after this especially harsh winter... I am sorry for slow notice here, but nominees for our annual "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award are now being accepted--with 3/31/2011 being the deadline--click over to the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for details... The second thing I wanted to mention today is that the annual "Time Machines 2011" antique auto event, happening this year on Sunday, July 24th, at the Guilford Fairgrounds in Guilford, CT (rain or shine) is going to have a very special featured marque--and that's all we're going to say for now...
*1/2/2011 Updates - Happy New Year! I wish you and your family all the best for 2011, including, of course, much fun with your old VW, and old VW friends. Happy to report that is the plan at this end also, for sure! If you have been able to check in occasionally with my other old car hobby-related web project, Shoreline Antique Auto Connection (which gets updated much more often than this one does--sorry!), perhaps you might've noticed that a new VW was added to the fleet right around Thanksgiving--it's a very nice '70 VW Bug Convertible--and while it has its share of rough edges, it's a mostly complete and original car, and I'm looking forward to being able to drive it a lot this coming season. It's an original CA car too (originally sold by Neufeld Motors of Redwood City, and spent most of its live in RC--I purchased it from the family of the original owner). Here's a picture of it from a couple of days ago, as I am in the middle of undercoat-scraping underneath it, down in the garage. Yes, there is some corrosion to be dealth-with, but it's nothing "major," and certainly should not stop me from getting it out on the road, once I get all the underside areas with "issues" properly Masterseries'd, and then painted-over. I feel very fortunate to have been able to find and acquire this car. A local-to-my-area (Connecticut Shoreline) old car-specialized business, Cardone & Daughter Automotive of Westbrook, CT (web site: http://www.cardoneanddaughter.com/), has also already helped me out with a couple of repairs, and so I must also tip my hat to them, and thank them sincerely for their help... Ok, the other thing I wanteto take the time to mention today is a new VW repair and restoration shop that is opening up tomorrow for the first time, and is run by a very reputable man in the old VW hobby, Mr. Darby Milnor. Darby's new shop is located in Illinois, and you can click on the small red convertible image at the upper right (or HERE), to bring up a recent picture of the inside of the place, that was provided by Darby. Here is more info about Darby's new business, from some recent e-mails: "...Grand Opening - Midwest Autosavers..." (from Darby - email@example.com; quoting from his broadcast email dated 12/27/2010): "...Hi VW friends, After months of planning, negotiation and construction we are finally ready to open our doors to someone other than the village zoning inspectors... Sandy is busy printing up an official announcement to be mailed but we are pleased to announce Midwest Autosavers will open on Monday 03-Jan-2011. The shop is all ready to go and looks great with some of your VWs already in place and in process... We will be hosting a Spring 'Grand Opening' celebration with some refreshments, etc., in conjunction with some of our local VW clubs' Spring Kick Off activities. More information to come... Until then, winter is the perfect time to let us get some of the bugs out of your Bugs (Ghias, Busses, etc.) and we do work on all other makes and models as well. Looking forward to being of service, Darby Milnor & Tom Mikosz, Midwest AutoSavers, 155 F Chicago St., Cary, IL 60013, 847-417-5671..." Quoting further from a Darby email dated 12/30 to which the image was attached (I had asked Darby if he had any photos of the new shop available to share): "...Just one photo I just snapped with my phone. The lifts are to be installed in the next few weeks one on the right and one where the red convert is. I feel blessed with a new building as we don't have to undo any mistakes. My neighbor 'Fuel Injection Technologies' has full Dynomometer facilities, I cant wait for spring to run a Kubelwagen on it and show them what horsepower really is! Darby..." Sounds great Darby, and all the best with Midwest Autosavers in 2011 and beyond!... Happy New Year to all--over and out for now...
*9/6/2010 Updates - Happy Labor Day! I hope you were not laboring too much on your old VW today, or through this entire magnificent long holiday weekend (speaking at least for those of us here in the Northeast). I was fortunate not to have to labor too much at all on my old VW--save for checking the gas & oil levels in "Luigi" the old Ghia, and then turning the key--before driving out to Westbrook, CT yesterday morning (Sunday, 9/5), to participate, along with many of my fellow member of the CT VW Association, in a large "general interest" type antique auto show, right nearby the seashore, at the Westbrook, CT Elks Lodge. The event was organized and produced by a long-running, well-established car club called the "Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers," and they did a typically superb job. The beautiful weather brought out a ton of cars, and there were so many beauties it was virtual "sensory overload" for the antique auto enthusiast. The organizers allowed our Volkswagen group to set up in a nice spot at one corner of the field, and there was quite a healthy muster--I didn't count 'em all up, but I'd estimate somewhere in the 15-20 range--quite impressive for one marque, I'd say! Credit again must go to the good folks at the CT VW Association for drumming up enthusiasm! Here's one VW image from Westbrook, that I uploaded and hyperlinked for a small report I just posted for the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection, featuring Bill Silvestri's beautiful '65 Bug in the foreround. There is also a small accompanying report found within "9/6/2010" updates section near the top of the main SAAC page: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/SAACMainPage.html . I really had a great time participating and socializing with many friends old & new from within the local VW hobby. Thanks once again to the CVA folks for their great contribution to a wonderful day to be an old VW enthusiast--and of course also the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers for producing the event!... The other thing I wanted to touch on today was the fact tha I finally got around to putting the finishing touches on a "companion page" to the Time Machines 2010 Report on VW participation that is mentioned in the 8/31/2010 Updates section below--this time it is a page-full of great VW images by our friend Greg Mattesen. Greg took many beautiful shots, and it is fun to view them. He also took a picture of a particular "VW-related find" that he scored in the Time Machines 2010 flea market that day, that is also discussed on the new page, "Greg Mattesen's VW views of Time Machines 2010"--and you can click on the small image at the upper right (which relates to Greg's "VW find" in the TM2010 flea market) to take you there. Thanks again Greg for your permission to feature your fine photos, which help to document a wonderful day for old VWs this past July in Guilford!
*8/31/2010 Updates - Oh boy, I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of September already. It sure doesn't feel like it, though, with the weather as hot & sticky today as the worst it's been all summer--that's one thing I'm not going to miss when fall comes--though I guess we also have to admit that Mother Nature hasn't rained out nearly as many old car events this summer as the previous year or two... For example, a pretty cool old car thing that I was able to participate in happened just this past Sunday (8/29), in and around the local CT Shoreline area, and was graced with magnificent weather--it was a casual "poker run," organized by some members of the local old car club we used to belong to back in the '80s & '90s--but now long-since disbanded. We used to be known as the Shoreline Antique Auto Club, and even got as serious as applying for & becoming an officially recognized Region of the Antique Auto Club of America. Eventually after it disbanded, I decided to continue the web project that I had started for the SAAC Region, and I also continue to maintain that site as an independent project now, which is known as "Shoreline Antique Auto Connection". As I had recently gotten "Luigi," my old '56 Ghia running decently again, I decided to participate with it, and Mrs. Webmaster decided to drive her '54 Bug Convertible. I took a few shots along the way (actually my son Matt, who was riding shotgun with me in the Ghia took many of them), and have hyperlinked a couple for your amusement (click directly on them to bring up the images described): The first one is Matt & I following Mrs. Webmaster eastward on the scenic CT Shoreline Route 146, through Branford, and into Guilford... The second one shows our two VWs parked at the Madison Green (our initial old car gathering spot), next to the '32 Graham Sedan that was driven by another old SAAC Region member... The third shot is another one that Matt shot from the passenger's seat of the Ghia, as we were turning around in the parking lot of a diner in Guilford, heading toward the next stop on the tour... Anyway, it was a memorable & fun day, and the cars ran well all day too, thankfully. If and when I ever get around to creating a feature page with more info about & images from this particular old car tour, I'll do my best to make mention of it here (though it would probably mainly be a project for the SAAC site)... And last but not least, I want to make mention of the fact that I've recently been working on a proper post-event report about the recent "Time Machines 2010"--and specifically about the superb turnout of beautiful antique VWs that participated in same! We always enjoy our annual involvement with this long-running local-area old car extravaganza, including providing sponsorship for the VW-only class in the show (always open to all stock & modified antique VWs), doing the judging for the class, and more (also lots of handing-out of flyers in the months leading up to the traditional 4th Sunday in July show date). Even though there may be some typos still left for me to find & correct, the basic meat of the report is there, with photos of all the participating VWs, and all the other important details, and links for additional info. To go there, you can click directly on the small image of our Time Machines 2010 VW-specialty dash plaque design shown at the upper right (or HERE). I again wish to thank all the great VW folks who came out to participate at this year's show (including many members of the CT VW Association--thanks again guys & gals!), and I hope you enjoy the look-back at the day provided in the report. Oh! And I am also currently working up a small "companion report" about Time Machines 2010 VW participation, featuring many very fine photographic images taken by, and shared with us by our long-time old-VW friend Greg Mattesen. Greg's photos are positively beautiful , and I find it very interesting to see how he chose to document the cars and car scenes that he did. There is even a small discussion on a very cool old-VW-related item that he found in the Time Machines 2010 flea market! So, definitely stay tuned for all of that, and thanks again Greg!... Ok, I think that about covers it for now. I wish everyone a pleasant upcoming September and beyond, and hope that you've been able to enjoy driving your old VW a bit this season...
*6/19/2010 Updates - Happy June! Looks like a nice weekend around our area, with the "sun shining' (literally and figuratively) on tomorrow's big Litchfield Bug-In event in Harwinton, CT--sounds good, and I wish everyone going a fun time. At my end, I am committed to attending my town's "Classic Car Cruise," which unfortunately falls on the same day as Litchfield every year, but it's some "small town fun" in its own was as well, and I look forward to it, and hopefully able to participate with one of our old VWs... The second thing I wanted to mention today is that I just updated the "Electronic Swapmeet" with an interesting-sounding new for sale ad, so please do check that out... And, as always, I invite you to take a swing by my other old car hobby web site, "Shoreline Antique Auto Connection," which I am able to get updated a bit more often than this one, so please do stop by there some time, to find out about what-all sorts of stuff is going on in the (non-marque-specific) Connecticut Shoreline-area old car hobby world... And finally, just a quick final note to mention that the "Volkswagen-only" car show class is alive and well again this year, in the big Time Machines 2010 antique auto show & flea market, upcoming on Sunday, July 25th, 2010, at the Guilford Fairgrounds, in Guilford, CT (and that's rain or shine). This year the class is open to all VWs and VW-based vehicles, stock & modified, up to and including the 1985 model year (in accordance with the generally-accepted definition of "antique"). So, if you're in the area that day, and you want to check out a great old car show (with usually a pretty good turnout of old VWs--click HERE to check out our report on antique VW participation at the 2009 version), and big accompanying antique-auto-oriented flea market, please do check out Time Machines 2010!... Happy Volkswagening, and over and our for now...
*5/28/2010 Updates - 2010 "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" Honoree Announced! If you were fortunate to attend the Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Festival last weekend, you already know who this year's "Heroes" honoree is--but if not, please click over to the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for all the details--and congratulations once again to this year's very-deserving and long-overdue honoree... In other news, we of course have the Memorial Day long holiday weekend upon us, and I wish everyone a happy and healthy one, hopefully able to spend some quality time with family and also some quality time with your old VW too! But let's also try to keep in mind the basis of the Memorial Day idea--that being the remembering and honoring of our country's departed military servicemen, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and our American way of life. I'm going to be marching with our local Boy Scout Troop again this coming Monday morning in our village and town parades to help show respect and gratitude to all of our country's Veterans, living and deceased--as always, it is an honor to be able to do so... Over and out for now...
*3/19/2010 Updates - Oh boy, after the past three or four days here in Southern Connecticut, I'd say that Spring is most definitely In The Air! This winter just passed--the month of February in particular, with all its snowstorms--I think really made us appreciate the coming of Spring 2010 that much more. It is nice to know that we're finally over the hump, and have many months of good weather to look forward to!... Around my house, I am happy to have made some progress on some maintenance tasks I had been putting off with the 1950 Bug--namely fluid servicing the rear lever shocks, and also replacing a leaky right rear wheel cylinder. In the process I "discovered" (thanks to allowing the axle to "droop" for a week with the car sitting up on a jackstand) a breached axle boot, so that got changed out also. Still need to do a complete brake fluid flush, and also service the transmission with a gear oil top-up, but at least most of those nitty-gritty things did indeed get done. I will definitely be looking to taking the "old dinosaur" '50 out for a spin, hopefully sooner than later (though the way we have cars "shoehorned" into our garage, it's going to take some doing for that to happen...)... Finally, for some descriptive words to go along with the small image at the upper right, which features "Doug," the '60 Bug, I was inspired to take a drive around the local area with him yesterday afternoon, and as I knew of some very recently blooming crocuses along the side of the road right near where I live, I decided to throw my camera in the car and stop there for a "photo op." So, if you click on the small image (or HERE), you'll bring up the "posed" shot that I did, from another angle, in that same spot. Crocuses seem to be the very first flowers to bloom in the Spring around this area (South-Central CT), and so I could not resist documenting the "meaning" of that scene. A funky old VW on a bright & clear early Spring day--what could possibly be better?!... Happy Springtime Volkswagening!
*3/7/2010 Updates - Happy March! We are enjoying here in Southern CT this weekend some rather Spring-like weather. I got out and did a little driving yesterday in my old '60 Bug and it was wonderful. I'm certainly looking forward to the "offical arrival" of Spring, when it happens in a couple of weeks or so, but this weekend is certainly a nice "teaser"... Also, I've just revised my "wanted ad" in the "Electronic Swapmeet" as of this morning, based upon some additional stuff I've figured out w/regard to the "ideal" Convertible that I'm looking for... And finally, I am happy to report that we've recently received quite a good write-up for a new "Heroes" nominee for 2010--so we are indeed moving ahead on the 2010 "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" process... Over and out for now
*2/18/2010 Updates - Well, I'm sure you're familiar with my "tale of woe" about finding out that I don't fit in Karmann Ghia Convertibles with the top up (at least not nice low-miles ones with non-saggy seatts)--see the 2/9/2010 updates below. I took a little time late last week to come up with a new "wanted" ad reflecting my new & revised antique automobile quest, utilizing some cool vintage Volkswagen advertising and press kit images, and posted it at a popular VW classified advertising site--here's the link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=921161 - wish me luck (and thanks for any leads around this area especially)!... There is also another person's new "wanted ad" just posted in the "Electronic Swapmeet" as of this evening, so please do check it out... We are still at this time looking for a good "Heroes" nominee for 2010--please view the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for further details... And finally, don't forget also: Spring is on its way!
*2/9/2010 Updates - As things go, I sure don't have a heck of a lot to complain about. Yes, it's still very much winter in the Northeast as I write this, but if I'm going to sit and complain about cold (& snow), I should move somewhere else, I know. I made a personal discovery this past weekend that I am also trying now to look on the bright side of--that being that I don't fit in Karmann Ghia Convertibles! It was a superb low-miles example of a '68 that was for sale that I went to look at, that taught me this unfortunate truth. I guess I had convinced myself that since I fit in our '56 Ghia Coupe, that fittin in a Convertible should be similar--no such luck! In addition to the obvious difference in roof construction (I can see now how a multi-layer VW convertible top can be effectively thicker than a fixed metal roof), I am sure that the "non-sagginess" of the low-miles '68's seats also effectively put my fat head a lot closer to the roof than the "old & saggy" seats of the '56! So, anyway, I've just updated my "wanted ad" in the "Electronic Swapmeet" (Classified Ads page) with my new automotive wants (I'm going to pursue the Beetle Convertible route now--as I'm fairly sure I fit in those!), an also another very interesting new car for sale ad (another local CT person's)... In other news, please also be aware that the nominating period for the 2010 "Common Gear Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" award is still open, from now to the official deadline on March 31, 2010--so if you've been thinking about nominating someone, it's probably a good time now to move ahead on that. Check the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" for further details... Ok, I think that about covers it for now... Time to wax up the old snow shovel... and dream about nice Beetle Convertibles...
*1/17/2010 Updates - Happy New Year and Welcome to "Official Antique Status" all 1985 model year VWs! Onward and upward! I hope all are well, and looking forward to another season of old-Volkswagening (I know I am)... Today I've updated the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" with the current status statement (please take note if you're thinking of nominating someone for a 2010 award...), and I've also updated the "Electronic Swapmeet" (Classified Ads page) with an interesting car for sale ad (a local CT friend's), and also a car wanted ad (my own).
*12/24/2009 Updates - Well, looks like it's Christmas Eve. I know the Christmas Season is a huge deal for a lot of people--so I guess I am a bit jaded in my view that I'm usually happiest when it's over. That's not just due to all of the "typical" stresses of the holiday (associated with family gatherings, and preparations for same, etc.), but also, in the case of those living in northern areas, the weather-related stresses--and we did have a nice dose of that this past weekend here in Coastal Southern Connecticut, when we received approximately a foot of snow overnight, from Saturday the 19th, into Sunday the 20th. I have never been a huge fan of snow, and that experience pretty much reinforced my feelings about all of it. But, no reason for gloom and doom--the days are already getting longer again as of this past Monday (a.k.a. "winter solstice")!... And, in my own corner of the old-VW world, a long-time friend, Alex Soultanis, brightened my Christmas holiday a great deal (you might even call it the "Christmas Miracle"), when he contacted me about a split window Beetle battery cover, that I had been searching for, for quite some time. According to Alex, he didn't realize that the super-early KdF-wagen that he's restoring required a bakelite battery cover--and so the metal one that he had acquired apparently wasn't 100% correct for the early car. Having seen my "thesamba.com" wanted ad for one of these battery covers that would be appropriate for our 1950 Bug, Alex then got in touch with me about his metal one that he no longer needed. And so, I am very happy to report that my search for the "perfect" split window battery cover has ended! The "interim" one that I had been using for the past couple of years (usable, but with areas of metal eaten away by corrosion) can now be passed along to the next person looking for something usable with which to properly secure the battery in their split window Beetle! The accompanying image here is a cropped-down photo that my daughter took of me a couple of days ago, when I had just unwrapped the new battery cover from Alex, and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you will bring up a larger, uncropped version (featuring yours truly--I'm not sure I can stand the excitement--ha ha!). So, I must say that even on the coldest and snowiest of Christmas's, there are still occasional rays of light that brighten our lives! And those rays of light come from the great people in this hobby, like Alex Soultanis!... Thanks again Alex and I hope I can return the favor some day! Merry Christmas Alex, and everyone, and best wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year (2010 that is, when the 1985 model year VWs will become "officially vintage" also!)... And finally, as always, I also invite you to stop by my other internet hobby project, "Shoreline Antique Auto Connection," where I also check in with whatever old-car goings-on may be on my radar screen at the time, every so often... Talk to y'all again soon...
*12/14/2009 Updates - Wow, it's been a while since I've updated here--sorry, have found more opportunities to write about local old car stuff lately, at my other online hobby project: "Shoreline Antique Auto Connection," but I am also always hopeful of getting back over here for some occasional updates. Such is the case today, not only with a heads-up about a couple of new ads just-placed on our "Electronic Swapmeet" (Classified Ads page), but also with some words about the very prominent recent appearance of our long-time old-VW friend Lois Grace's beautiful 1958 VW Beetle Convertible on the cover of the 2010 "Brown Trout" VW Beetles Calendar! The image at the right is a scaled-down version of an image of the cover of the 2010 Brown Trout VW Beetles Calendar, which came from the manufacturer's informational page about the calendars: http://www.browntrout.com/calendars/product.asp?MGID=-1&IID=9828 . If you click directly on the small image (or HERE), you will also bring up a larger version of the same image. Boy, does Lois '58 look great, or what?! If you've been on the old-VW scene within the last 20 or so years, you probably also recognize Lois, from her years as a VW Trends columnist, and still continuing on as a Volkswagen Club of America columnist (and in fact her same '58 appears on the cover of the latest VWCA "Autoist" magazine (the Nov/Dec '09 issue)--the VWCA site has the cover image posted at: http://www.vwclub.org/sites/default/files/images/446-cover-color.autoist%20article.jpg (or if that doesn't work, you can also click for a copy we've saved HERE)--believe the story was about how the '58 served as classy wedding day transportation for friends of Lois. Lois is also very active within her local Golden Gate Chapter of the VVWCA. We salute and congratulate Lois for the very cool feature for her beautiful '58 Bug--and for all she does for the VW hobby!... Finally, I wanted to highlight another minor VW-related accomplishment I've managed--that being the re-generation of our 1950 VW page, just a week or two ago--let's see, that's one down, and about ten thousand to go! As always, I do remain hopeful for getting more of our old C/G pages regenerated, and also some new ones created as well. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you and your family all the best for the upcoming Holiday Season!
*9/26/2009 Updates - Well, what do you know--I've managed to get another "Time Machines" Antique VW Participation Report prepared "before the snow flies" in New England! Ha ha! Yes, I know I've been notoriously slow in updating the Common Gear site in recent years, and for that I apologize yet again. Seems like "life" just keeps overtaking your best hobby intentions these days (and I suspect that others with teenage kids out there--like me--know what I'm talking about). But as always, we do keep a positive spirit, and do what we can, when we can, to contribute to the hobby (and for you folks who happen to live in the CT Shoreline area, pleasedo also check out my other online old car hobby project, Shoreline Antique Auto Connection)... Anyway, getting back to Time Machines, this year's event was of course held on Sunday, the 26th of July, in Guilford, CT--and just like last year's event (which was the first-ever in Guilford), there were some "rain issues" affecting the proceedings--but thankfuly at least not during the event this time! I am aware, however, that the several rainy days leading up to the event--not to mention the pre-dawn rain on show day--did affect the field conditions, and probably also the decision of many folks on whether or not to bring their cleaned and detailed show cars out to the Guilford Fairgrounds that day. But old-VW folks have also shown themselves historically to be a very hearty bunch, and, like last year, a very healthy number (thanks in large part to the great enthusiasm of our friends from the CT VW Association) turned out to put their beautiful vintage German machines on display. So, please do take a gander at our Time Machines 2009 Antique VW Particiation Report any time at: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2009/TM09Report.html - or just click on the small image of the TM2009 "VW Class exclusive" magnetic dash plaque at the upper right (as shown affixed to the glove box of the Webmaster's 1960 VW Bug), to go directly to the page. We know we have probably several typos and/or stuff that needs correcting, etc., in there--so we are also careful to use the words "First Draft" at this time--until we eventually (hopefully!) get everything straight--and we also encourage you to please let us know if you find anything on that page that needs to be fixed--thanks!... And meanwhile, the search also continues for my "dream" Karmann Ghia Convertible--I am interested in finding something really original, unmolested, and nice shape, in a, say, '68 or later Ghia Cabrio, so if you know of any good candidates, please also do consider dropping me a line--thanks again!
*8/14/2009 Updates - Some additional post-event notes on Antique VW participation at Time Machines 2009 - Even though I am still working on organizing my post-event notes, I wanted to add a few more brief thoughts here, to augment what I wrote in the 8/6/2009 Updates section below. I would go so far as to say that the day turned out pretty well, considering everything (like a somewhat soggy show field). I heard from the organizers some preliminary total numbers of cars in the show in the 350 range, but I think that's rather conservative. The VW class judging typically wasn't easy, though I think the winners were all very deserving: 1st = Manny Feliciano '54 Bug... 2nd = Mel Cardenas '57 Porsche Speedster Replicar... 3rd = Scott Lavigne '62 Dune Buggy... My local VW-friend and co-worker Pete Vega's gorgeous medium blue '65 Bug (among several others, also) should've won an award also, but as usual, we only have three "place" awards to give out. But I hope that folks enjoy the getting-together and fellowship aspects of participating also (not just the awards). Thanks again to everyone who participated (especially, once again, the CVA folks)! Be sure to click on the small "teaser" image of Time Machines 2009 old VWs at the above right (or HERE) to bring up a similar, but expanded panoramic-type view of the fronts of many of the VWs at Time Machines 2009. Click HERE to bring up another different panoramic-type image of the rears of many of the VWs at Time Machines 2009. Thanks again for now to all the dedicated antique Volkswagen people who made the extra effort to bring their old cars out to the Time Machines 2009 antique auto show! Please do stay tuned for our full report!... In other news, you may have noticed the news item about the "Dave Camp Gathering" that was held in this past Saturday (8/8) in New London, CT (see the 7/24/2009 Update section below). We were very pleased to attend, to help remember and pay tribute to this special man, and have posted a related update to the Shoreline Antqiue Auto Connection web site about it (see the 8/11/2009 updates section of that page near the top). Thanks to Allyn Devars, Mike and Betty Camp, and everyone who set it up, adding much pleasant socializing to this reverent occasion... Finally, please do also check out the latest update to our "Electronic Swapmeet" (Classified Ads page)...
*8/6/2009 Updates - Wow, despite some somewhat "iffy" field conditions (due to some rain the morning of the event, plus a few days'-worth earlier as well), what a great antique VW turnout at the Time Machines car show a couple of weekends ago, in Guilford, CT. I counted 20 VWs total in the show (that's counting one beautiful mid-'70s Westfalia Camper that was parked near the center of the field in no apparent class, and with no owner info apparent...but what a beauty it was). As always, thanks in very large part for positively affecting the old-VW turnout goes to our friends from the Connecticut VW Association--thanks again guys! Please stay tuned for our full report on this year's fantastic Time Machines Antique VW muster! Another local internet venture has already posted a great number of car images from the show--here are the two pages-full: Page 1 and Page 2. In closing we congratulate the CT Area Classic Thunderbird Club (and especially their hard-working Show Chaiman Fred Klaus) for doing a superb job with this year's Time Machines car show, in spite of some challenging conditions!... It also looks like the day of Dave Camp Remembrances and Memorial Celebrations is just a couple of days away as this is being written--see the details in the 7/24/2009 Updates section below, and thanks again to our (and Dave's) friend Allyn DeVars for all his efforts in helping organize and get the word out about the Dave-related goings-on this Saturday (August 8th) in and around New London, CT... Finally, to go along with the small graphic image you see at the upper right, we are pleased to be updating our "Great Decal Initiative" page this evening with some cool inputs from a Virginia gentleman who took us up on our offer (see also the 1/10/2009 Updates section below) of some C/G decals, in return for supplying us with a picture or two of the decals "in action!" The image shown here is a reduced and cropped-down version of a larger one featuring the beautiful black '56 Bug of David Cummings. Overall shots of this slick oval, as well as David's equally beautiful blue '62 Bug--both sporting C/G decals, plus a bit of background info that Dave supplied, are now viewable on the "Great Decal Initiative" page--thanks again David!... Otherwise, I hope your summer is going well. Hard to believe it's August already. I ended up selling my '68 Bug last month (to a local guy who thankfully appears to appreciate the car's "inner beauty" as much as I did!), and now I am keeping my eyes open for a nice '68 or later Karmann Ghia Convertible (ideally: all-original, low miles, and unmolested--I know, I know: "Don't hold your breath, Steve!). So, if you hear of any good candidates, please do drop me a line--thanks!... Over and out for now!
*7/24/2009 Updates: "Time Machines Weekend Finally Here" and also "Remembering A Very Special Connecticut VW Friend" - Well, it looks, happily, like we will be having better weather for this year's Time Machines antique auto show & flea market in Guilford, CT (compared to last year's event, that is), this coming Sunday, the 26th of July. As you know, Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society is sponsoring the VW-only class in the car show, for all stock & modified VWs, this year up to and including model year 1984. It's a fun way to have some VW socializing and fellowship within a large, well-established, and multi-faceted antique auto event, so I hope you might consider it. Here is our report on last year's rather soggy version: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2008... And it looks like I will be driving something other than my trusty old '68 Bug to the Time Machines show this year, since it's going to be going to its new owner as of tomorrow. Yes, it is with mixed feelings that I am selling it, but I have other "antique Volkswagening dreams" that I want to pursue. I wish the new owner many happy miles, and since he's relatively local to my area here in Southern Connecticut, perhaps I'll catch a glimpse of the car in action from time to time... Finally, to go along with the graphic that you see here at the right, we recently heard the sad news of the passing of our long-time Southeastern Connecticut Antique Volkswagen Friend and Mentor Dave Camp. Dave was a kind, talented, generous person who enjoyed old VWs, and enjoyed passing on his knowledge of old VWs to fellow enthusiasts. He was a tremendous positive influence on me back when I was first getting started in the old VW hobby, back in the early '80s. I have fond memories of many trips to Dave's house in New London to visit with Dave, learn about old VWs, acquire needed parts for my old VWs, and much more. Along the way, I also got to know Allyn DeVars, a young friend of Dave's from the neighborhood at the time, who was also interested in old VWs. Allyn now lives in Dave's old house in New London, having acquired it when Dave moved to Florida. Allyn was also the person who got in touch with us to let us to let us know of Dave's passing, and also forwarded to us information on a Memorial Celebration of Dave Camp's life, upcoming on August 8th, 2009, in and around the New London area. Quoting from Allyn's email dated 7/23/2009: "...I've attached the flyer that has been made for Dave's memorial gathering here in Connecticut. I'm hoping there will be a number of the long-time CVA folks who Dave knew will be able to come. Michael's Dairy is a great treat here in New London, and it would be fun to see people show up with some vintage VW's for ice cream and then a bbq at the house in honor of him... Dave's brother Mike is planning to make the trip north from Florida, and is also a gear-head, having a collection of 1950's Chevrolets, a 1957 23-window deluxe, and Dave's old 1965 Java Green Beetle... Any help you can give in reaching out to people would be appreciated...." The flyer that Allyn refers to has been converted to a hyperlink, which you can access by clicking directly on the Dave graphic at the upper right (or HERE). The picture of Dave from the flyer has also been hyperlinked in a non-reduced format--click HERE. Additional info: The Michael's Dairy (4:00pm gathering location) web site is : http://www.michaelsdairynl.com/ - and their directions page is: http://www.michaelsdairynl.com/directions.html - For ease of Mapquesting, Micheal's Dairy's street address is: 629 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320. We'll miss you, Dave...
*5/26/2009 Update: "Hail to the Hero" for 2009 - Very happy to report that we've gotten the "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" updated as of this evening, with news of this year's honoree--as was officially announced "to the world" a little over a week ago at the Michigan Vintage VW Festival. Congratulations to our "Hero" for 2009, and thanks to everyone who helped us out with this year's process!
*4/27/2009 Update: "Well Dusted!" - Wow, what a positively tremendous day up at Mansfield Hollow State Park yesterday, where we had the good fortune to be able to participate in the Connecticut Volkswagen Association's annual "Spring Dust Off," informal gathering of VWs and VW people. Mansfield Hollow is located up in the northeastern part of CT, in the town of Mansfield, which is not far from the University of Connecticut. Having spent some time up at UConn back in the late '70s and early '80s, it was also a bit of a "trip back in time" for me, traversing many old roads and seeing many old landmarks along the way. We had the great pleasure of being able to caravan up to the Dust Off this year with fellow VW enthusiasts Greg Mattesen (in his turquoise '63 Bug), Bill Silvestri (in his black '63 Sunroof Bug), and Roland Metz (in his '64 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet). Our ride for the day was Diane's old '54 Bug Convertible, which, as of the end of last summer, is finally a true runner (having spent the summer of '08 getting thoroughly gone-over by an extremely talented New England VW tuner, John Kaiser--thanks again for your "VW wizardry" John!). Our path up from the central shoreline area was CT Route 17 all the way into Portland, CT, and then onto CT Route 66 for the major part of the ride, taking us almost all the way into Mansfield. Pulling into the park, we were amazed to see the huge number of gathered VWs already there. After getting ourselves parked, we had the chance to browse and socialize among many beautiful VWs and VW friends old and new. And we can only guess that Mother Nature must like old VWs, too, since the weather was amazing--sunny and positively summer-like. By mid-afternoon, the cars were starting to disperse, and our caravan group decided to go our separate ways. As we were still enjoying chatting with folks, we didn't end up leaving the field until somewhere around 3:30 or 4:00pm. Before heading back home, we took a detour up to the UConn Dairy Bar, just a few miles up the road from Mansfield Hollow, and enjoyed some of their tasty ice cream. And finally, we are happy to say that the old '54 continued to run strongly and reliably, all the way back home, leaving us with a completely positive feeling about the entire day's experience. We took a few of our own pictures at the Dust Off, but also wanted to make note that the CT VW Association people have already posted a huge array of shots at their web site, so we do wish suggest your checking it all out at: www.ctvwa.com . The accompanying image here at the upper right is one of our own shots that we liked from the day, featuring a partial reflection of Greg Mattesen's beautiful turquoise '63 Bug, as visible in the side panels of a magnificent black '54 Bug that came all the way from New York to participate. You can also click HERE or directly on the image, to bring up a larger, higher-resolution version of the same shot. In closing, we wish once again to sincerely thank the fine people of the CT VW Association for all the work they did in organizing and running another very enjoyable Spring Dust Off!... And on another subject, we did want to note that this year's Common Gear Heroes of Antique Volkswagening award (the actual award plaque itself, that is) has in fact been very recently presented, in a ceremonial fashion, at a large west coast antique VW gathering--but we're not going to publish our "press release" here just yet, since the "official public announcement" is always planned to coincide with the large antique VW gathering in Michigan produced by the Michigan Vintage VW Club, known as the "Michigan Vintage VW Festival." The 2009 MVVC Vintage Fest will be held Sunday, May 17th, 2009, in Plymouth, MI--and so we'll be updating our "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" to showcase this year's honoree, on or immediately after that date...stay tuned!
*4/10/2009 Update - Thanks to all who helped us out with excellent nominations for this year's Common Gear Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Program--we will soon be updating our "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" to showcase this year's honoree, who, I would say, is an excellent and timely choice... Please also check out the latest update to our "Electronic Swapmeet" (Classified Ads page), with an interesting new listing just posted.
*2/10/2009 Update - We have just updated our "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" , importantly to highlight the upcoming deadline for our receipt of 2009 Heroes award nominations, which is March 31, 2009. Please do visit the page and read up about the program, which was created to help recognize those important "behind the scenes" people so important to our hobby... I would also like to take the opportunity this evening to suggest your taking a gander at the Shoreline Resource Guide page that I maintain for my other, local Connecticut Shoreline-focused hobby web project, Shoreline Antique Auto Connection, as I've recently posted some updates there on a local vintage auto-related business in Westbrook, CT, known as "Cardone & Daughter Automotive," who seem to have a "bit" of an old-Volkswagen bent (but who are thoroughly well-versed in all old cars, both foreign and domestic). How lucky we are here in Southern Connecticut to have such a great resource as "Cardone & Daughter" right here in our own back yard!
*1/24/2009 Update - Happy to report that we've regenerated our "Electronic Swapmeet" (a.k.a.: Classified Ads page) as of today...onward and upward....
*1/10/2009 Updates - Oh boy, Mother Nature sent along some "lovely" weather for us this weekend indeed, here in the Northeast. Apart from the snow shoveling, it's kind of a nice, seasonal sort of scene...and also gives me an excuse to spend a little extra time indoors on the computer, attempting to further revive this old horse known as the Common Gear Antique VW Society web site. So, while I know I have to get out there with the shovel and get busy, I also wanted to take a few minutes to check in here. I hope you're enjoying your weekend, whether you're similarly "snowed-in" like us, or whether you're able to get out there with your antique VW and log in a few miles of vintage fahrvergnugen... One thing that also inspired me a bit recently was some friendly internet communication with fellow old-VW fans, including those who participate in the Common Gear Yahoo Discussion Group , and also our more local CT VW Association's Yahoo group . It helps the spirit to know that there are others "out there" like you, who enjoy old VWs--working on them, enjoying them, talking about them. A couple of fellow enthusiasts who I've yet to meet in person, but who are active members of those Yahoo groups, respectively, have been very gracious in going out of their way and offering to do whatever they could to help me get the old C/G site going again--I sure appreciate that--thanks again guys & gals! One of these nice folks also inquired about whether I still had any of the old Common Gear decals still availble--happily I did, and was happy to send one along to him last week. This exchange also got me to thinking that it might be fun to add a new feature to the C/G site, based on those decals (yes, I know that adding new features may be a pursuit of questionable value, when so many older established features have yet to be reactivated). And so I've worked up a little page called the "Great Decal Initiative," and you can click on the accompanying image at the upper right (featuring my old '60 Bug, "Doug," wearing his C/G decal) to take you there. Please do check it out some time @ your convenience, and please also do consider participating... I think that about covers it for now. If you'll excuse me, I have some shoveling to do...
*1/6/2009 Updates - Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? What do you know, I seem to have muddled through regenerating (more or less anyway!) our Official Report on Antique Volkswagen Participation at Time Machines 2008! I have only just gotten it done, so there is the usual very good chance of errors/omissions/what-not in there, but I did at least take a cursory look at it, and it does appear to be mostly there. You can view the TM2008 VW Report online now--you can either click on the image at the right (which is a scan of one of our unique dash plaques that we got made up to hand out to all the VW class participants in '08), or use the following hyperlink, to go directly there: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2008/TM08VWReport.html! Will wonders never cease?! Anyway, this is a confidence-builder for me--I think I've proven to myself that I can rebuild stuff & manage files in a relatively orderly manner (key word: "relatively"). I will certainly be looking forward to doing more C/G site rebuilding, as I am able to find the time--thanks again for your patience. Getting the Time Machines VW report going again was particularly important to me, since we're into the New Year now, and looking forward to Time Machines 2009--as noted below, the date is Sunday, July 26th (rain or shine, of course!), and the location is the Guilford Fairgrounds in Guilford, CT. Hope you'll mark it on your calendar and consider participating with your Antique Volkswagen!
*1/1/2009 Updates - HAPPY NEW YEAR! And welcome to "official antique status" all 1984 model year VWs ("antique" as defined by AACA and VVWCA to be anything at least 25 years old)... Wow, what a rude awakening from our friends at AOL when they announced this past fall, with about a one month lead time, that they were shutting down all of their web site hosting (where we had our site hosted for many years). SLOWLY we are getting ourselves reacclimated with web site origination, and are happy to have at least gotten a start at rebuilding. Importantly, to help you get started making some connections within the hobby, we wish to mention that the Common Gear Yahoo Discussion Group is still 100% operational--feel free to join and/or begin partaking in any old-VW-related discussions--or start your own... We also did not want to delay getting our "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening Page" reactivated, since we had some extra-special honorees for '08, and want to make sure we can continue spreading the good words about them--also to begin soliciting nominees for the '09 award... And of course, there are a thousand other things we want to get working on reactivating here--and we'll do the best we can as we are able. We do wish to particularly mention that we have all intentions of again sponsoring the Antique Volkswagen Class (for all Antique VWs, stock & modified), within this coming year's "Time Machines 2009" Antique Auto Show and Flea Market, upcoming on Sunday, July 26th, in Guilford, CT--you can check the event organizers' official web site for the latest published details... Meanwhile I also wish to put in a plug for the other antique auto hobby web site project that I manage, which focuses on the local CT Shoreline-area antique auto scene (non-marque-specific), called "Shoreline Antique Auto Connection"--as you can probably guess, a bit of old-VW stuff creeps in there from time to time--please do check it out some time... In closing, we are happy to be on our way back once again, and thanks for visiting. Talk to y'all again soon!
"Keep It 100% Antique VW!"
Table of Contents for this site (click
on links to bring you directly there):
PHOTOS (& Photo Essays Index) (a ton of photo & word features, indexed & cross-referenced - last updated 1/16, 3/8, 4/4/2004)
EVENTS & ANNUAL "TIME MACHINES" VW PARTICIPATION INFO (last updated 3/15/2004)
ELECTRONIC SWAPMEET (a.k.a.: our CLASSIFIED ADS page - last updated 1/24, 4/10, 8/14, 12/14, 12/29/2009, 1/17, 2/9, 2/18, 3/7, 6/19/2010)
LINKS (some of our favorites) (last updated 3/13/2004 with a link to: Chuck Pisconski's new auto restoration resource, "MasterSeriesCT" web site)
MESSAGE BOARD (post your old VW-related questions, answers, comments, ideas, suggestions, what-have-you-; we have gone to an ALL NEW board provider as of 10/17/2001; apologies YET AGAIN to all for this inconvenience--including for the most annoying pop-up ads that come along with this new board; we're continuing to learn that most of the free message board services out there seem to be worth about as much as we pay for them!)
The Common Gear Discussion Group (If you're familiar with any of the gazillion "Yahoo" groups out there, this is just another of the same--but focused on our unique interest in Antique Volkswagens--we are a low-key and friendly group--please consider joining and participating!)
C/G's "Heroes of Antique Volkswagening" Program (last updated 6/10/2008, 2/10, 5/26/2009, 1/17, 5/28/2010, 3/5, 5/22/2011, 2/6, 5/22/2012, 5/19/2013, 6/9/2013, 5/18/2014; nominations for the 2014 "Heroes" award are NOW being accepted...)
The Great Decal Initiative (NEW as of 1/10/2009; last updated 8/6/2009)
OUR ANIMAL APPRECIATION PAGE (Last updated January 2009)
JARVIS CREEK CRITTERS (Our own animals) (Reactivated January 2009)
Non-internet-type "links" we like & want you to know about (last updated 10/29/98)
About The Name "Common Gear" (slightly revised as of 2/3/99)
What is an Antique Volkswagen? (NEW as of 7/22/98)
What's My Antique Volkswagen Worth? (Our attempt to answer one of our most frequently fielded questions, last updated 8/19/2001, with some good advice from an antique auto appraiser who's also an antique VW enthusiast)
Fine Print, Important Disclaimer, Etc. (last updated 2/1/99)
The Common Gear Guestbook (New as of 5/10/99. Thanks to Lycos/GuestWorld for this service!)
View Our Guestbook
Print, Important Disclaimer, Etc.
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Common Gear/House of Buggin'
P.O. Box 3353 - Stony Creek - CT - 06405 - USA
Common Gear/House of Buggin' are 100% independent and in no way connected with Volkswagen AG or Volkswagen of America or any other business or organization. "Common Gear" is a registered trade name in the state of CT, although as of February 1, 1999, there is no longer any money collected for newsletter subscriptions (and in fact, there is no longer any Common Gear newsletter, period), and Common Gear has returned to being a strictly HOBBY operation. The "Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society" is a not-for-profit, informal project intended to promote Antique Volkswagen Fellowship and the positive development of the Antique Volkswagen Hobby. The Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society endorses the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America and recommends VVWCA membership to anyone interested in old VWs..
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information provided electronically, on paper, or otherwise is strictly for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees of any type, expressed or implied. Participation in any activity is strictly voluntary and done at one's own risk. The Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society web site and it's author expressly disclaim all responsibility for any & all damages or claims, however caused. Observe all safety precautions when engaging in any activities with antique or modern automobiles. Obtain proper coverage from qualified insurance professionals for any type of activities, auto-related or otherwise, in which you may wish to engage.
Thank you for visiting COMMON.GEAR.
We Welcome Your Feedback! - E-mail: CommonGear@aol.com
And when he's not working on this site, your
Webmaster's cranking away on his other web site project dedicated to the local
Connecticut Shoreline-area antique auto hobby scene--please drop by the "SHORELINE
ANTIQUE AUTO CONNECTION" some time: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/SAACMainPage.html
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