CVA Lebanon 2011 - click directly on this image to bring up a larger, uncropped versionCOMMON.GEAR Report:
Checking Out the Connecticut Volkswagen Association's '7th Annual New England Volks-Meet,' Sunday, July 10th, 2011, Lebanon, CT
"A Great Day of Friends and Fun out in the Sun!"
(this page originated 7/28/2011)

IMAGE AT RIGHT - Colorful front ends of Beetles shining in the sun give a true feeling of summer fun! This and many other scenes was what the CVA's 7th Annual New England Volks-Meet" was all about. Click directly on the image (or HERE) to bring up a larger, uncropped view.

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Volkswagen Fellowship and Fun Out In The Country...

What a fun time with all the events surrounding this year’s CVA Lebanon event—a.k.a.: ”7th Annual New England Volks-Meet,” on Sunday, July 10th, 2011, at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, in Lebanon, CT (ref: http://www.lebanoncountryfair.org/). This was my first-ever experience there, and I am so glad that I made a point of getting out to it this year, finally!

Talking about plans to attend, we worked together with our VW friends Roland Metz and Bill Silvestri on figuring out a venue at which to meet up for a mini-VW-caravan out to Lebanon. Bill suggested the Dunkin’ Donuts where Routes 17 and 66 intersected, in Portland, CT. Our other local VW friend GregMattesen could not go to the VW event itself, but was able to get out at least to meet up with us at the DDs first thing in the morning (naturally Greg drove an old VW too—his ’64 Beetle Sedan known as “Herbie”).

CVA Lebanon 2011 - Morning meet-up at Dunkin Donuts in Portland - Roland Metz photo

As it turned out, Mrs. Webmaster (Diane) and our daughter Sarah had already planned to be at Cape Cod that weekend, vacationing with friends, but Diane thought she & Sarah might be able to make it back to CT in time to take in some of the VW event, on Sunday afternoon (and she was driving her trusty ’73 Super Beetle Convertible for the Cape Cod trip, so it would fit right in at the VW show). Our son Matt was “this close” to coming out to Lebanon with me, but he had some other social event come up, so I ended up “droving solo.”

PHOTOS ABOVE AND BELOW - Thanks to our friend and notable Karmann Ghia driver Roland Metz for these photos from our morning meet-up at the Dunkin' Donuts at Routes 17 and 66 in Portland, CT.

CVA Lebanon 2011 - Morning meet-up at Dunkin Donuts in Portland - Roland Metz photo

It was fun meeting up with Greg, Roland, and Bill in Portland, then motoring on scenic roads out to the event. Bill led the way in his beautiful red ’65Bug—I followed in my ’70 Bug, as did Roland in his pearl white ’64 Ghia Convertible. Bill’s route of choice led us out to Hebron on Route 66 east, then a right onto Route 85 south, and finally a left onto Route 207 east, that led us right up to Mack Road in Lebanon, where the Fairgrounds are located.

There was already a very decent turnout of cars assembled there when we arrived—both air-cooled “vintage” models of all types (Bugs, Busses, Ghias, Things, dune buggies, and more), and then, over on the other side of the fairgrounds were laid out divisions for any & all sorts of water-cooled “modern” models (including Rabbits, Golfs, Sciroccos, Passats, New Beetles, and more), that were also filling up steadily.

PHOTO BELOW - Another Roland Metz image, this time at the meet itself--in this view sighting fromm behind some of the air cooled convertibles up toward the hill where various classes of Beetles and Karmann Ghias were arranged.

CVA Lebanon 2011 - Roland Metz photo

We received a huge “goodie bag” uponpaying our entrance admission (wherein I found that great old car friends like Cardone & Daughter Automotive of Westbrook - www.cardoneanddaughter.com , and Curello Restorations of Hamden - www.curello.com , were listed among the “official sponsors” of this event—kudos to them for their support!).

Once inside the gate, we got ourselves parked in proper class locations we were directed to by helpful volunteers, and then set out to take in this wonderfully relaxed and multi-faceted gathering, which also included many flea market spaces where folks were selling all sorts of parts, accessories, and the like.

PHOTO BELOW - Another Roland Metz image, featuring several classes-worth of early Beetles.

CVA Lebanon 2011 - Roland Metz photo

A particularly inviting feature of theLebanon Fairgrounds is the varied terrain and structures situated here andthere, including many covered pavilions, shade trees, gently rolling slopes, and flat fields. Noted “VW DJ” Jim DiGennaro from MA had his sound system set up, with a great mix of current and “oldies” popular music playing. The overall atmosphere was totally laid-back andinviting!

Upon registering our cars at the main table we received "Participants’ Choice" judging forms, which we were asked to fill out (only a portion of the total number of classes, so as not to make it too great a burden—and also not including the class in which you own vehicle was entered) & return, and upon handing in the completed form, we were given our official event dash plaque (click on that hyperlink, or HERE, to see a view of this most artfully done plaque). It was a smart incentive to get folks to fill out their judging forms!

PHOTO BELOW - Sighting from up at the top of the hill, from behind one end of the Karmann ghia class, and looking back down the hill at the sprawling layout of air cooled cars--water cooled VW clases were on the shallow hillside in the right distance.

CVA Lebanon 2011

It was really great, seeing lots of beautiful cars and many friends old and new. One person in particular we enjoyed meeting was Joe Breneman from Voluntown, CT (which is way out there near the RI border)—who is the person who helped Diane out when she had a throttle cable issue in his neighborhood, coming back from another Cape Cod trip a couple of years ago—he was showing his fantastic “school bus yellow” ’78 Bug Convertible at Lebanon.

Joe is the original owner of his '78 Convertible too. He had the original window sticker of his ’78 displayed; the original base price was $5,495, and the only additional option listed was white sidewall tires at $45, and with a $99.50 destination charge—giving a grand total of $5,639.50.

PHOTO BELOW - Diane, Joe, and Sarah, posing by their VWs.

CVA Lebanon 2011

Thankfully Joe was still present at the event when Diane & Sarah finally pulled in, and so they were able to remember that fateful day from years back, and we all thanked Joe once again for his being such a Good VW Samaritan!

Oh!—and I almost forgot to mention that we also enjoyed running into our buddy “Matt the VW Kid” from Westbrook, who was there with his uncle.

Hopefully the pictures and descriptions on this page (both those above, and also in the "image gallery" section below) do a good job of highlighting many more ofthe wonderful folks who we enjoyed seeing and socializing with at the CVA Lebanon event. I would also like to tip my hat once again to Roland Metz who took several positively superb panoramic overall-type shots, a couple of which I was pleased to include above.

Soon it was awards time, and tons ofbeautiful award plaques were handed out. The awards ceremony was MC’d by CVA President Jeremy Clayton himself, ably assisted by his fellow officials Mac McDonald and Bill Arute. And as of this writing, Heather Fox the hard-working CVA webmaster has already posted allof the official results from the event, along with a ton of great color pictures—be sure to visit the CVA web site for all of those details and images: http://www.ctvwa.org/

PHOTO BELOW - Following Allyn (the green '65 Bug at the front of the line) out of the Lebanon Fairgrounds, heading for some ice cream at Salem Four Corners...

CVA Lebanon 2011

Later that afternoon, when the VW event was finally breaking up, we experienced a great drive home too. We first followed our friend Allyn DeVars,who lives in New London, and who was driving his beloved "Gumby Green" ’65 Bug, on a route (a bit of Route 16 first to diagonal us down to Colchester, then merging on to Route 85 south again) that led us to Salem Four Corners (approximately where Routes 85 and 82 intersect), where we stopped at the very popular ice cream place down there, “Salem Valley Farms” (http://www.salemvalleyfarmsicecream.com/).

After some great ice creams, Allyn continued on Rt. 85 down toward his home, and we stayed on Rt. 82 all the way west over to the Goodspeed Opera House, where we crossed the river on the Swing Bridge, and eventually followed more nice backroads all the way home—happily completely avoiding the highways (I-95 in particular looked to be pretty backed-up southbound—par for the course for a summer Sunday evening, I guess).

I’m also happy to report that ’70 Bug ran great too. The Lebanon tripdefinitely furthered my growing confidence for driving it more places, littleby little. It really is a joy to drive. Diane reported that her ’73 Bug ran great all through thatweekend too—including all the way out to Cape Cod and back.

In all, summer days don’t get muchbetter than this! I would like to thank once again the good folks of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association, andall their helpers and sponsors, for a positively wonderful time at the 2011Volks-Meet! Please be sure to visit the official CVA web site for more information on this wonderful enthusiast organization: http://www.ctvwa.org/

More Photos - The CVA Lebanon Volks-Meet 2011 Image Gallery

BELOW: First, a couple more overall-type views, to give an overall feel for this wonderful gathering at the Lebanon Fairgrounds...

CVA Lebanon 2011

CVA Lebanon 2011

CVA Lebanon 2011 CVA Lebanon 2011

CVA Lebanon 2011

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - Special thanks to Roland Metz again for this great shot of the Ghias, with Rich Bonsall's kool lowlight '58 in the foreground.

CVA Lebanon 2011 - Photo by Roland Metz

BELOW: And a few more specialized type group or semi-group shots...

PHOTO BELOW - These are a couple of vehicles belonging to some dedicated hard-working CVA staffers--the green '74 Super at left if Laura Bohrman's and the red '72 Super at the right is Mac McDonald's.

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - A couple of cool Type 181 Things--Slim Hatfield from Huntington, CT owns the '74 model with soft top to the right.

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - Ron Rocco's metallic acqua-blue Southington, CT-based '80 Convertible--yes, 1980 model year--was produced on 1/7/1980, and delivered to the US on 1/22/1980--a rare and beautiful gem indeed!

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - This is Chris Arpine's '71 Super Beetle, all the way from New Windsor, NY--original sales invoice displayed with it revealed it was sold new by Montesi Motors in West Haven, CT!

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - We really like Bill Silvestri's red '65 Bug--it's a real beauty--and sports a very cool "old school" 40hp-based hot rod engine built by the late great Robbie Smith of Poroco fame.

CVA Lebanon 2011

BELOW: And finally, let's finish up our coverage of CVA Lebanon 2011 with a few people-type shots, which are sometimes the most fun to look at, and give a warm feeling for the friends we enjoyed socializing with that day...

PHOTO BELOW - First, it's Allyn and Bill comparing Dr. Pepper taste-testing notes!

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - A trio of great guys: Chuck Ackerman, Chuck Pisconski, and Tom Matulis.

PHOTO BELOW - Our long-time old-VW friends Jack Larson and Roland Metz chat near Roland's Ghia.

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - Rich Bonsall and his two '58 VWs--"Tiki" Bug on the left, and slick low-light Ghia on the right.

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - Jack Larson and Diane pose by Jack's superb '63 Beetle Sedan.

CVA Lebanon 2011

PHOTO BELOW - Jack Larson, Diane, Jeremy Clayton, and Bill Silvestri.

CVA Lebanon 2011

AND FINALLY: To "cap off" (OUCH!) our coverage of the CVA's 7th Annual New England Volks-Meet, it's none other than "the man in the cap" (yours truly)!

CVA Lebanon 2011

Hope you enjoyed our coverage. Thanks again CVA folks, and we hope to be back again for the 2012 version!


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