COMMON.GEAR/Shoreline Antique Auto Connection:
A Wonderful Volkswagen Homecoming: The CVA & Montesi VW's "Das Auto - All Volkswagen Car Show," Saturday, September 29, 2012, North Haven, CT
(new as of 11/11/2012)
Quick Links for this page: An Overview | Gary Montesi post-event comments | Overall scenes | Some individual car subjects | Some of the People who made it a Great Day | A few more miscelleneous type shots | Reference link to some show images that were also posted to another web site
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Wow, what a GREAT time we had at this event! We're talking great cars, an extremely gracious host (none other than Montesi Volkswagen of course), wonderful friends old and new, and, as is typical with a CVA meet, the most relaxed, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere possible!
In particular it was fun for me to be back at a Montesi VW-hosted show, in the old familiar State Street, North Haven location, after having been involved with producing a couple of CVA shows myself there, many years ago (we're talking way back in the mid-1980s--yow).. I kept having flashbacks to what it was like back then, and how the present-era CVA leadership has managed to do such a great job of rekindling the spirit of this event! The dealership facility has been expanded and remodeled a bit, in keepin with the current corporate theme, but that great Montesi Spirit was just as evident as ever!
In addition to the hard working volunteers of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association (great guys like Bill Arute, Chris Fox, Dan Cornish, and others), great credit for what a tremendous day this turned out to be is of course due to Gary Montesi and his Montesi Volksagen staff, for being such wonderful and gracious hosts! It was so great to be able to chat with Gary a bit at the show, also long-time Monesi VW sales representative Jeff Griffin, who was also in attendance.
The first of "Montesi nostalgia" came 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 original announcement of this event, and also an electronic copy of the event flyer. I made sure to add the event listing (transcribing Bill's words, plus a few of my own positive comments) to the Shoreline Antique Auto Connection's Calendar page. I just kept thinking how exciting it was that our present-day CVA, and the Montesi folks were teaming up to do a VW show again in 2012! I also made sure to upload the electronic flyer that Bill sent, to our server, and it is still viewable online at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/29Sep2012CVAMontesiVWShowFlyer.pdf .
It was slightly overcast and a very slightly drizzly in the early morning of Saturday, September 29th, but that was certainly not going to stop us from attending. Diane and I drove our 70 Bug there. The top was already down on the car, and "thinking positively," we decided to drive there that way--it was a brisk but fun ride! Of course, the experience was an even more positive one driving the '70 that day, since a full engine rebuild had been recently completed by a very talented specialist in northern New England through this past summer, and so the ran more than great! In the view below I think you can see it in the right background, with the super cool Ceramic Green 1960 Sedan of another noted VW specialist Greg Curello (of "Curello Classic Restorations" in Hamden, CT, ref: http://www.curello.com/) in the left foreground.
A fantastic blue '64 Bug was parked right by the front of the Montesi dealership building as we drove into the facility--we were later to learn that it belonged to none other than Gary Montesi, and was apparently a fairly recent acquisition of his. In talking with Gary later during the day, I think I recall his saying that he tried hard to find a 1964 model VW specifically, since that represented the year that the Montesi VW dealership came into existence (they were originally located over in West Haven on Derby Avenue--a.k.a. Route 34)--wow! Gary said his dad Enzo, who founded the dealership originally, has been having lots of fun going for rides in Gary's '64 "time machine."
There was an excellent turnout of vehicles already when we got there, with a a very good number of Bugs--the earliest we noticed being our old CVA buddy John Kelly's awesome restored metallic blue '54 Sedan (foreground below).
And representing the very latest of Germany-manufactured Bugs was Ron Rocco's outstanding original River Blue '80 Convertible. Parked next to Mr. Rocco's '80 Bug was an absolutely superb white '70 Type II Westfalia Camper that was owned by Bob Larsson.
There were also several fine early-era Busses, including the fantastic white '70 Westfalia Camper of Bob Larsson, also Rocko Gallipoli's funky green & white '72 Bus, and Jeff Griffin's fine brown & beige '79 Bus. There was even one very beautiful Type 181 "Thing"--namely Bob Mark's superb yellow '74.
There were two outstanding Type IIIs: a very slick white '67 Squareback owned by Knowles, and a superb orange '72 Fastback owned by Terrie Ann Schmearer (driven all the way from New York--wow!) as well. Didn't notice any Karmann Ghias, though.
Check the "VOLKSWAGEN" original old dealership lettering out in the overall view below, up on top of an ivied retaining wall that creates the rear border of the Montesi Volkswagen facility's lot. I have to believe that Gary and his dad must've saved that when they remodeled the dealership in accordance with the latest updated look for VW dealerships nationwide. The old lettering there certainly gives a feeling for the history of the dealership and the heritage of Volkswagen in the United States.
There were also several water cooled-era VWs that turned out--mostly Golfs, it appeared. And then, parked toward the back of the lot were a positively spectacular collection of outstanding New Haven-based custom air cooled VWs--several of which I remembered from the past couple years of "Time Machines" car shows in Durham, CT.
Our friend and hard-working CVA official Chris Fox's familiar metallic green semi-custom '77 Bug was parked by the registration tent on the way into the show area, and the beautiful Marathon Blue '72 Baja SE Super Beetle of Dan Cornish was also visible on the show field (center of the view below).
It was also very cool to see that Chris Arpine was able to drive his outstanding green '71 Super Beetle to show off it's history as being an original Montesi VW automobile--purchased from the original Montesi dealership in West Haven, CT--how great is that?! The original window sticker was also displayed with the Chris' '71 Model 113 Sedan, noting the original suggested retail price of $2,125.50, and had been shipped by truck originally from the World Wide VW distribution facility in Orangeburg, NY. Mr. Arpine's fine '71 appears in the foreground on the view below. Oh, and get this--Chris Arpine also has the original sale invoice for the car, from when his relative (who lived in Hamden, CT) purchased it from Montesi VW, on August 3rd, 1971! Though the ink on the invoice, which Mr. Arpine also had displayed with his car, was pretty faded, we were also able to make out that the basic price of the car, as sold by Montesi, was $2,395, and additional charges were listed as $10 dealer document fee, $91.75 sales tax, $5 license and title fee. Then, a trade-in automobile also affected the bottom line--it was a blue 1965 VW model 113, that had a listed trade in value of $500. A dealer-applied ink stamp on the invoice (below the pre-printed line on the invoice form that read: "No Guarantee On This Car Other Than Stated Below:") also read: "New Car Warranty 24 months or 24,000 miles - Which Ever Occurrs First." I love it when a car is as well-documented as this! This '71 Super Beetle of Chris Arpine is a piece of bona-fide Connecticut Volkswagen history!
In the dedicated photo sections later in this report, I'll do my best to specifically identify many more of the subjects, wherever possible...
During the time we were there, we enjoyed taking lots of pictures, had fun running into lots of VW friends old and new, and just enjoying a wonderful spirit of VW enthusiast comraderie on that wonderful day. The weather even did its best to clear, and some sun to come out, only adding to the festive feel of the gathering. I hope the reader is able to get a sense for what a great time we had attending and participating, through the pictures shown on this page. Be sure to keep reading ans scrolling downward for lots more pictures and descriptions...
At the time of the creation of this page, I had received some post-event comments from Gary Montesi, which are included in the section below, and I've also solicited to CVA officials Bill Arute and Chris Fox if they wished to add anything to this report, and will be glad to augment this page with whatever they may wish to supply.
Thanks again to our friends from the Connecticut Volkswagen Association (http://www.ctvwa.org/) who did a great job of planning and organizing, and also, of course, the sponsoring/hosting organization Montesi Volkswagen (http://www.montesivolkswagen.com/), for making it all possible.
Gary Montesi's own post-event comments
A couple of days affter the event, and after we had posted a few of our photos on the popular "samba" web site (see the Reference section at the bottom of this page) we sent a brief note to our old friend, and Owner/General Manager of Montesi VW, Gary Montesi, thanking him for the great time we had attending the show, and also mentioning the already-posted photos at the samba site.. He wrote back to us a short time later with a very nice response--below is from his e-mail of 10/2/2012:
"...Thanks Steve... It was good to see you and Diane again. I looked through your photos...great job!... We're hoping to do this again on an annual basis. Bill and the folks from CVA were great to work with ...of course they had your leadership to proceed from... I'm lovin my 64!... Thanks for the support... Gary..."
Thank YOU and all of your Montesi VW staff, Gary! And have fun with that beautiful blue '64 Bug of yours (another photo appears below of Gary's magnificent '64 Bug, as it appeared on show day, parked out in front of the dealership).
I think most of the pictures in this section more or less "speak for themselves," but if I have have anything descriptive to say about what's shown, I'll add some captions here and there...
BELOW: The beautiful light blue '65 Bug in the foreground of this overall scene was restored and is owned by Paul Longo. From a descriptive poster that was displayed with the car, we learned that it has its original 1200cc 40hp engine, its original paint color (Bahama Blue), and is an original sunroof car. His CT vanity EA plate "65 BUG" goes perfectly with this gorgeous antique Beetle!
BELOW: Heading up the row of splashy and eye-catching custom Beetles was Miguel Bracero's outstanding '63 Sunroof Bug from New Haven, CT. This awesome '63 is also right hand drive, and has won multiple trophies at the "Time Machines" summertime antique auto show--you'll find him listed, for example, among the award winners in our report about the 2011 version of the event: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2011/TM11Report.html .
Some individual car subjects
In this section we'll have more "individual-type" views, showing small groupings or single cars, and again, I'll do my best to identify the photo subjects whereever possible. In this first shot below, it's CVA official Chris Fox's kool metallic green '77 Beetle that was parked by the registration table, greeting incoming participants at the entrance to the show field.
BELOW: Here is another view of Ron Rocco's '80 Bug and Bob Larsson's '70 Camper--what a top-notch pair of antique VWs! And then we'll add one overall view of Mr. Larsson's super-fine '70 Westfalia.
BELOW: Here is a better individual shot of Dan Cornish's superb '72 Baja Champion SE Super Beetle. From some paperwork that was displayed with the car, we learned that this Model 113-141, Chassis No. 112 2 925 239, was manufactured on June 14th, 1972, and was delivered on June 15th, 1972 to the USA. Another descriptive sign that Dan had displayed with the car contained the following information: "...The Marathon Edition Beetle celebrated Volkswagen surpassing Ford's single model production record. 6000 units were produced. The US version was called the Baja Champion SE. Apparently Volkswagen thought twice about a dig to Ford in the US market. 1500 Baja SE Super Beetles were imported. They were all L96M Marathon Blue Metallic with Lemmerz sport wheels. There were optional dealer-installed driving lights and a 'Baja' stripe kit available, but they were never fitted to this car. The US-spec cars were fitted with a glovebox door emblem to commemorate Volkswagen's victories in Baja 1000 racing in the years 1967-1971..."In the second photo below, you can see that Dan's '72 was parked next to Chris Arpine's '71. I guess you could call this a "Super Pair!"
BELOW: As previously noted, there were a couple of outstanding examples of the Volkswagen Type III on display at this event. We'll show a couple of shots of Terrie Ann Schmearer's eye-catching orange '72 Fastback (as it sat next to Dave Casolino's superbly-engineered appeared '63 Baja Bug in the first view), and then follow up with a view of Knowles' super-kool white '67 Squareback. Note the New York vanity plate "TX 2 NY" on Ms. Schmearer's car--I guess we can assume that this fantastic antique VW originally came from Texas... In a follow-up note that Terrie Ann sent to us following the original publication of this page, some approved-for-publication comments were contained, that we are very pleased to add here: "...Hi, I just read your article on the Montesi VW show... Thank you for the lovely photos of my pride and joy. I saw your comment about the TX 2 NY plates. Yes, the car did come from Texas though I found it in New Jersey when I was Fastback shopping. I came from Texas also, back in 2000. I had these plates on my Impala and transferred them over to my VW. Then the owner Joe Koenig told me the car came from Texas too. Now my plates to double duty!... Wonderful article. I love my CVA family. They are such nice people. Love my car too! Her name is Joy. She gives me much joy and puts smiles on people's faces wherever I go in her... Thank you again! Terrie Ann Schmearer..." Thanks so much Terrie Ann for the very nice note and we wish you and Joy many happy miles together!... And I also should note that the Knowles '67 Squareback had a number of business cards under its wiper blades for a Meriden business called "BNR Motors" (210 Center Street, Meriden, CT 06450, 203-237-8900, and it appears owners' names Ramesh Vyas and Bharat Vyas). I did some internet searching for BNR Motors, and found many positive commentaries posted about them--not to mention that they are Volkswagen specialists! Their Meriden Patch info page is: http://meriden.patch.com/listings/bnr-motors - and a Superpages listing quotes a satisfied customer saying: "A local favorite of mine, quality of service is fantastic!", reference: http://www.superpages.com/bp/Meriden-CT/BNR-Motors-Volkswagen-Specs-L0001158906.htm?&rwtab=1#BPreviewContainer . Finally, a VW Vortex web site thread talks about BNR motors, and mentions that "...the owner...used to be the service manager at Davella VW in Meriden... He is a great guy, you should check it out...", reference: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?1036543-BNR-Motors-Meriden-CT . How great to know that we have another highly recommended VW specialist in Connecticut (with the implication of air-cooled capabilities too, based on the cards being displayed on a superb '67 Squareback!)! Thanks to Knowles for displaying those business cards...
BELOW: Switching gears over to the Type II world, we are pleased to review a couple more of the fine Busses that were on display at this event--namely Rocko Gallipoli's lowdown funky and kool '72 Deluxe (green & white), and Jeff Griffin's superb '79 Deluxe (brown and tan). Oh, and one more shot featuring Bob Mark's great-looking yellow '74 VW Type 181 Thing...
BELOW: Here's an overall rear view of Greg Curello's really solid and original looking 1960 Bug, resplendent in a rich coating of VW color L419 Ceramic Green (as verified by the original color sticker that we saw sitting on the bulkhead behind the spare tire)! What a great car!
BELOW: This super-solid-looking black 1966 Convertible Bug showed up later in the day. We had seen it previously at a couple of shows, with a "for sale" sign on it. Sounded like it was still for sale as of this Montesi event. Sorry I don't have any owner or contact info for this little beauty...
BELOW: Here's one more shot of John Kelly's super-fine 1954 Deluxe Bug--wow, this is one positively superb vintage VW! I should know my vintage VW colors better, but I am not 100% sure of the name of the color of this one... Using the Wolfsburg West color charts as a reference for original 1954 VW Bug colors (http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/colors/bug54.htm), I'll guess it's L227 Strato Silver. Whatever the color, it's beautiful!
BELOW: Fred Gallipoli's super-solid Java Green '66 Bug, accessorized with roof rack and period luggage & picnic cooler.
And finally, a few of the People who made it a Great Day
In this section are a few shots that feature people, and/or people posing with their cars. Starting off below, it's none other than Fred Gallipoli posing with his cool '66 Bug. It was a real pleasure running into Fred, and his brother Rocko again, after having first met them a couple years ago at the Time Machines car show in Guilford. Nice guys!
BELOW: Here are our old friend John Kelly and his son Steve, posing with their superb '54 Deluxe Bug. John did a stint as CVA president back a few years ago, and did a great job, volunteering considerable time and effort to keep the organization growing and vital. I hadn't run into John in several yeas, and so it was a real pleasure being able to catch up with him again.
BELOW: Here are Diane posing with another old VW friend from years-passed, John Brandt. I first met John way back in the early '80s when we both lived in West Haven. It was a tremendous pleasure to run into John again and catch up on what-all he's been up to. He works in the North Branford area these days, and so we have a lot of mutual local-area familiarity.
BELOW: It's none other than our old buddies Jeff Griffin (left) and Greg Curello (right). We've known and appreciated the friendship of both of these great guys since the early 1980s. Jeff, in addition to being an old car enthusiast, is also a sales rep for Montesi VW, and sold Diane her brand new '90 Corrado. Greg has run his own old-VW restoration and repair company, Curello Classic Restoration (10 Crest Way, Hamden, CT 06514, 203-288-4204), and has helped us out numerous times with many parts and repairs.
BELOW: Diane talks with Chris Arpine about his spectacular '71 Super Beetle.
BELOW: Finally, I managed to snap this picture during the closing ceremonies for the event, where some raffle drawings were made, and some awards handed out. This view captures three of the prime movers responsible for setting up and running this wonderful Volkswagen enthusiast gathering. Left to right in this view are CVA officials Bill Arute, Chris Fox, and then Gary Montesi of the Montesi Volkswagen dealership. Thanks again guys for a great day!!!
A few more miscelleneous type shots that I liked...
In this final section of photos from the 2012 CVA/Montesi Das Auto event, I want to present a couple more "miscellaneous," mostly detail-type photos I took that day that I think are worth adding to the documentation of this event. First BELOW is a close-up view of one of the coolest OEM wheels that VW ever put onto one of its air-cooled products--this is one of the "Marathon" sport wheels (@ 4.5" width) that I photographed on Dan Cornish's superb '72 Baja Champion SE Super Beetle. As noted in the details Dan provided on one of his display signs (noted elsewhere on this page), these particular steel wheels were manufactured by VW's OEM wheel source, "Lemmerz." Note how they are properly paint-detailed with black paint in the bolting flange area, and silver everwhere else. Also proper lug bolt head covers, and super-rare "undented" center caps!
BELOW: I snapped this candid of our buddy Greg Curello sitting behind the wheel of his cool Ceramic Green '60 Bug, while he was chatting with someone who was outside of the car...
BELOW: Original "H and H Motors Plainville" dealer script on Fred Gallipoli's super cool Java Green '66 Bug, below the license plate on the engine lid...
BELOW: Speaking of cool original dealer script emblems, how about this "Reedman Langhorne PA" script that was seen on the engine lid of that very beautiful unidentified black '66 Bug Convertible?!
BELOW: Back to Greg Curello's Ceramic Green '60 Bug again, and this time to show some very nice "originality" type details, including the running board mat (note how the ridges in the mat trail out at the end of the mat), and also how the front fender is formed so as to "fair smoothly" into the leading edge of the running board (you don't get details like this with reproduction fenders)...
BELOW: Super-kool Connecticut "vanity" EA license plate, and customized license plate frame, on the back of John Kelly's '54 Bug! I had asked John where he had acquired this plate frame, and a few days later he was able to look up his records and e-mail me with that info: "...here is the URL for the site I bought the custom license plate from: http://www.twochicks.com/ ... Regards, John..." I did try the site and it appears the company web site is temporarily down, so we will have to check back there later. Thanks John for the info!... And the two smaller vertical-format images below that capture the outstanding engine compartment (36hp) and interior/dashboard area of John's superb 1954 Deluxe Bug--wow, what a showpiece of vintage correctness--thanks again John for bringing it out!
BELOW: Another very kool Connecticut "vanity" EA license plate appearing on the back of Paul Longo's '65 Bug.
BELOW: This was the great-looking engine bay of Knowles' super-kool white '67 Squareback. We're going to assume that "BNR Motors" of Meriden (see discussion elsewhere on this page) might've had something to do with this beautiful engine?!
Reference link to some show images that were also posted to the popular "TheSamba.com" web site
If the hyperlink below doesn't work, then just search the main Samba gallery (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album.php) under the show title: "CVA/Montesi VW Das Auto Show, 9/29/2012, North Haven" or the image subject: "CVA/Montesi, North Haven, CT, 9/29/2012":
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