COMMON.GEAR presents:
Antique VWs at the 30th Annual Time Machines 2008 Antique Auto Show - Soggy But Fun!
Sunday, July 27th, 2008, Guilford Fairgrounds, Guilford, Connecticut

(This page created 10/1/2008; updated with
Show Chairman's Post-Event Notes as of 10/19/2008)

Navigational Links for this page: Overview | List of 2008 Car Show Winners for the Antique VW Class | Some Participant Feedback | Overall Post-Event & Concluding Thoughts | Show Chairman's Post-Event Notes | Some of the People at Time Machines 2008 | Time Machines 2008 Antique Volkswagens Image Gallery | Related Internet Links of Interest

(JANUARY 2009 UPDATE: Sorry about the fact that many of the links on this page may be inoperable--we are in big time rebuilding mode, and may be for quite some time--we will do the best we can to reactivate links as we are able--thanks for your understanding)

IMPORTANT DISCLAI5ER: 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.

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OVERVIEW

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CTThe Time Machines story took a decidedly different turn for 2008, when the organizers (the Connecticut Area Classic Thunderbird Club - http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/) found out that the expansive athletic fields of Durham's Coginchaug Regional High School--where the Time Machines show had been staged for approximately the last 20 or so years--had the possibility of being torn up for renovations and improvements during the summer of 2008. Even though the site work was not a "sure thing" (town budgets had to be planned and approved, and so forth--typical for an undertaking of that sort of magnitude), a car club can't go out and beat the drums for a car show that may or may not have a field to be held in! The CACTC folks got busy and started looking for alternatives, and soon found out that the Guilford Fairgrounds was a possibly suitable alternate site.

IMAGE AT RIGHT: It's some front end detail from Derek Shepard's kool Waterford-based '68 Squareback. Yup, those are water droplets! Hmmmm, what do you think "LUFTGEKUHLT" could possibly mean?!?!

Technically, Guilford abuts Durham at Durham's southern border; although it's "North Guilford" in that area, and the distance from Durham center to Guilford center is still about 15 total miles. Anyway, knowing that I had been involved with the old "Shoreline Antique Auto Club" back in the day--when the club actually held an annual antique car show at the Guilford Fairgrounds (also another annual one at Morgan High School in conjunction with the Clinton Bluefish Festival--yes, that's two big car shows per summer we used to run--yow!), the CACTC folks asked me what I thought about the Time Machines show being moved to the Guilford Fairgrounds. Naturally I was excited, since I live relatively nearby (I'd guess less than 10 miles west, in the village of Stony Creek), also knowing what a nice, flat, centralized field that the Guilford Fairgrounds offered (the big "hump" that appeared in the middle of the Coginchaug fields a few years ago tended to break up the car show field, and the flea market was set off in kind of a "peninsula" area, relative to the car show fields), but the ultimate decision would have to be theirs, presumably with a careful evaluation of the square footage offered by the Guilford Fairgrounds, compared to what it took to stage the show in Durham. But no matter what was decided, my support was with them--I have a lot of years associated with this car show (including sponsoring the VW-only class since way back in the '80s), and was fully prepared to do whatever was necessary to stay involved (and to keep the "VW-only" class going; it's a long-running tradition now--thankfully the show organizers were more than happy to keep it going again for '08!).

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CTAnother unique thing that came up in conjunction with the move of the Time Machines car show from Durham to Guilford was that there was no "built-in supply" of car show workers, comparable to the Coginchaug high school athletes who, I guess, would be "corralled" into helping out with things like spectator and show car parking (perhaps "facilitated" by the fact that the Durham Benchwarmers ran the sole food & drink concession at the Durham Time Machines show--the "Benchwarmers," I believe, being the organization that exists in order to support the high school athletes). What do you know, our long-time friend Fred Klaus from the T-Bird Club, who also happens to be the Co-Chairman of the Time Machines car show, remembered that I was involved with a local-to-the-area Boy Scout Troop (ours is based in Stony Creek), and asked if our Troop might be interested in helping out with those parking tasks at the Time Machines 2008 car show in Guilford. The inquiry was passed along to the Troop leadership, and it was agreed that our Boy Scout Troop 441 would supply manpower, in the form of Scouts and Leaders, at the Time Machines 2008 car show.

Those details being set, it was only left to decide which car to drive to Time Machines 2008. Given the fact that the '50 Bug got reactivated earlier this year, after approximately 3 years of "garage dormancy," combined with the "low-stress" nature of the drive to get there (very close-by, and able to easily be accomplished all on backroads), there was no question that the old dinosaur 1950 would be called-upon to provide some suitably-old VW transportation for Matt and I to the show!

Come show day, the weather forecasters were suggesting some possible early-day rain and/or thunderstorms. Time Machines, as it has always been, is a "rain or shine" proposition, so there was no question that we'd be going, and especially with our early-day responsibilities of car parking (as part of the Boy Scout Troop 441 work party). We got the old VW parked in some light drizzle, which seemed to clear a bit, as we went and got our reflective vests on in preparation for car parking.

Matt and I worked with the Scouts and a few other T-Bird club people getting incoming show cars parked, while another 'half-crew' of Scouts worked outside the gate, trying to keep the incoming spectator cars parked in an organized fashion. It was agreed beforehand that we'd work on parking up until noon, and then be released. As it turned out, the weather got worse instead of better, through those morning hours. Light rain turned into heavier and more steady rain...

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CTAnd then the thunder and lightening show started!

Yow, being out on that field, with the "overhead action" going on was quite an experience! Thankfully the really dramatic lightening didn't come until pretty late in the morning, because after a good dose of that, most of the other Scouts and Scout Leaders were very well-prepared to pack up and leave!

IMAGE AT RIGHT: Sighting down the row of VWs, with Fred Stedtler's '67 Beetle in the foreground.

Being the car-crazies that we are, though, Matt and I of course, were just getting started enjoying the event. And truthfully, the thunder and lightening seemed to go away about as quickly as it had arrived, and the rains really let up a lot after noontime also. It wasn't too bad being out there for the afternoon (well, it would've been even better with *dry clothes,* but that's a little nit-picky--ha ha!).

It was then time to try to get in some socializing and picture-taking among the VWs, not to mention handing-out of our customized "VW" dash plaques (that we get made up specifically to hand out to the VWs--click HERE to see what the '08 one looked like--these are totally separate from the "official Time Machines" event dash plaques, that all registered show cars receive, no matter what class they're in).

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CTAs a side note, it was also obvious to me that the VWs were among the better-represented classes in the entire show, in terms of number of entries! Even with the bad weather, there were no less than 14 fine old VWs entered! Old VW folks--give yourselves a pat on the back for your great dedication! And a special tip of the cap, yet again, for their great enthusiasm and support, goes to the Connecticut Volkswagen Association - http://www.ctvwa.com/ - thanks again CVA-ers!

As always, it is seeing & talking with the people that really makes these events complete. It was great to see many old VW friends there--not just among the old cars, but loyal flea-marketers too, like Chuck Pisconski all the way from Plymouth, CT, and Clay Smith all the way from North Franklin, CT. And the show car folks were just as much fun to see and chat with, including: Dave Casolino, Greg Mattesen and Bill Silvestri...also: CVA official Milt McDonald (Greg and Bill met Milt in Durham, at the intersection of Routes 17 and 77--at the "Time Out Tavern," and Greg snapped a picture of their three rain-soaked vehicles there, which I'll try to include with this report), and CVA "head guy" Jeremy Clayton (hats off especially to Milt and Jeremy for traveling not-insignificant distances to attend this Guilford event!)...more old-time CVA-ers including Jimmy Arcucci, and Fred Stedtler (Fred drove all the way from New Jersey in his beautiful '67 Bug to attend!)...and more recent good old-VW friend Manny Feliciano (Manny sold me my "interim" engine for my '68 Bug that has provided me with many trouble-free miles of driving enjoyment--at the same time, I got to see the progress he was making on his spectacular '54 Bug restoration--now completed and positively awesome!).

With time running short, it was time to try and get the judging done. Filling out paper judging forms in the rain can be quite a challenge, I can assure you! But with a few welcomed ducks-under a couple of folks' easy-up canopies, we did get a few chances to quickly fill out the forms for all the cars that wished to be judged, and then went and tallied up the scores over at the main tent, before handing all the paperwork in to the head Time Machines records-keeper.

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THE WINNAHS!

Well, as usual, we only had three awards to give out--there were easily twice or even three times that number of VWs that were absolutely trophy-worthy. In some cases, a couple of the cars that did not win this year, had been winners in previous years, so that was good to know. The important thing to remember is that it's not about the trophies, but rather about being there and participating with your fellow enthusiasts.

Also, I don't think I need to point out that there were no deductions for customizations--we welcome, as always, stock & modified VWs to participate in the Time Machines VW-only class, and cars are judged on the basis of overall quality, fit, and finish.

With all that said, congratulations this year are in order to:

1st Place winner = Mark Hatfield, 1974 Type 181 Thing, Huntington, CT

2nd Place winner = Manny Feliciano, 1954 VW, Seymour, CT

3rd Place winner = Dave Casolino, 1963 Baja Bug, Orange, CT

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SOME PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK...

DAVE CASOLINO: "...In spite of the rain it was still a good show yesterday. Thanks for all your 'behind the scene' work that was acknowledged during the award ceremony. The clock for 3rd place is a great addition to my cubical..."

GREG MATTESEN: "...I also had a great time at Time Machines today, despite the weather. It was fun caravanning to Durham with Bill and then meeting up with the rest of the CVA caravan to continue on to the show (webmaster's note: See Greg's photo below of three of the cars from the CVA caravan, in the rainy parking lot of Durham's "Time Out Tavern," located at the intersection of Routes 17 and 77; in the view are Milt McDonald's red '72 Super Beetle foreground, then Greg's yellow/black top '69 Beetle Convertible, and then Bill Silvestri's red '65 Beetle Sedan). I got to lead the pack since I was more familiar with the Guilford area than anybody else (thanks to a couple of visits to friends that I know in neighboring Stony Creek!). We had an enjoyable drive down Route 77, with plenty of twists and turns traveling through the forests and by the lake...I was sorry to see that attendance was down this year, but the weather really was pretty wet. The weathermen sure got that one wrong ('not a washout by any means,' was what the Channel 3 weatherman said). I really liked the fairgrounds location, and it was nice to have a choice of food vendors for a change. Bill and I got sausage and pepper sandwiches from one tent that were amazing..."

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BILL SILVESTRI (note that "Fred" refers to Bill's beautiful red '65 Bug, which is more formally known as "Fred's Red Bug" or "FRB" for short): "...Thanks to you Steve for sponsoring the VW class all these years and making Time Machines a special place to take our VWs!...I enjoyed washing all the cob webs from underneath Fred's pan driving in the rain with the CVA caravan. It was fun and Fred passed the leak test!...I also enjoyed sitting in Jeremy's bus during 'stormy' periods. Dang those weathermen. But despite the weather, I had a great time!...I also met Bob Baker from the T-Bird club. Bob was once neighbors with Fred Strandberg, the man who restored FRB. Bob spoke of how Fred restored the car and remembers seeing it 'in-process.' He later brought his wife over to see it and even she remembered it! They were glad to see it's still Fred's!...Also, a big thanks to Matt and all the Boy Scouts for doing a fabulous job! The parking logistics operation was flawless. I can attest to Matt working his hardest as I watched him running the cars to their spaces..."

JEREMY CLAYTON (Jeremy is the President of the state's VW hobbyist group, "Connecticut Volkswagen Association," http://www.ctvwa.com; these quotes came from the Connecticut VW Association's Yahoo Discussion Group, posted by Jeremy on 7/28 & 7/29/2008): "...We had a great time! Thanks for inviting all of us! Glad we could do the VWs proud!...I was sitting on the floor of the bus with my foot on the ground when the big lightning hit really close. All I did was pick my foot up and get it off the ground! That was as nervous as I got. All of us VW people are used to being wet, in or out of our cars. I think we all had a fun day and got to meet some new people who just wanted to get out of the rain! Thanks again to you and your son for sticking it out..."

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OVERALL POST EVENT THOUGHTS...

Well, I've asked for any "suitable for publication" post-event commentaries that the car show organizers might have wished to pass along, but at this point I've heard nothing. It's always nice to get some sort of feeling for what they thought--although I should also mention that I did get some feedback specifically regarding the Boy Scout Troop's involvement with the 2008 event, and, in general, it didn't sound as bleak as one might expect, given the crummy weather conditions, and associated low participation numbers. So, for whatever that's worth, I thought I'd mention it.

In the course of writing this report, though, I did take the time to go and visit the official CT Area Classic Thunderbirds web site (http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/), and found some general comments about Time Machines 2008 and beyond, which I'll quote here:

"...Thank you to those who participated in our 2008 Time Machines Car Show & Flea Market!...We look forward to another exciting Car Show & Flea Market in 2009 at the Guilford Fairgrounds...For those of you who have attended Time Machines in past years, we look forward to your returning to help us celebrate...If you have never attended this show you should save the date: Sunday, July 26, 2009, as it is one of the largest judged car shows in Connecticut, and expected attendance of up to 900 show cars and over 225 vendor spaces filled..."

Sounds good to us! We've already got 7/26/09 marked on our calendars!

IN CLOSING...

As always, we thank the Connecticut Area Classic Thunderbird Club for their gracious invitation for the antique VWs to once again be a part of the big Time Machines antique auto event this year. Weather conditions aside, we still had a great time, and are positively looking forward to doing it again in 2009!

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SHOW CHAIRMAN'S POST-EVENT NOTES (this section added as of 10/19/2008)

We are always happy to be able to pass along some "official words" from the organizers! In a note dated 10/9/2008, Time Machines Car Show Chairman Fred Klaus (flklaus@comcast.net) wrote:

"...I know you mentioned a few times for a show wrap up. It probably is too late to be of any importance, however, we were certainly pleased with our new location with the much improved spectator parking, permanent bathrooms and variety of food vendors.

We learned a few lessons regarding field lay out and will relocate the vendors to the three side fields to the right as you enter. This will leave the entire main field for show cars.

Despite the rainny weather we still had over 200 show cars in attendance, over 150 vendor spaces occupied and about 1,000 spectators. This convinced us we have a loyal and devoted following.

Our web page has been updated and we have reserved the Guilford Fairgrounds for July 26, 2009. We hope your Boy Scouts and their leaders can lend a hand again next year parking spectator and show cars..."

Sounds good, Fred, and thanks again!

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SOME OF THE PEOPLE AT TIME MACHINES 2008...

Thanks to our friend Fred Stedtler from New Jersey who snapped a few "people pictures. Very often we get caught up with the cars, and forget that it's the people who are just as, if not more, important to the enjoyment of the old car hobby!

BELOW: Left to right, it's Mark Hatfield holding his 1st place award for his '74 Thing, and then Manny Feliciano holding his 2nd place award for his '54 Bug, and then it's me and my son Matt, modeling our "drowned rat look" duds!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: That's my son Matt again, with Fred Stedtler himself, checking out the engine in Manny Feliciano's fine '54 Beetle.

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: 'Three Volks Guys' - left to right, it's Greg Mattesen (in straw hat, checking inside his yellow '69 Convertible), Bill Silvestri (smiling from the driver's seat of his '65 Bug), and Milt McDonald (standing, with hat and raincoat, chatting with Bill).

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

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TIME MACHINES 2008 ANTIQUE VOLKSWAGEN IMAGE GALLERY

As usual, we'll go (for the most part, anyway) from the oldest to the newest...

BELOW: That's our old '50 VW Bug, this year sporting some very "mundane" looking (though also very "vintage proper" for the 1950 model year) monotone body color wheels, blackwall tires, and small-logo hub caps. The vintage metal Coke cooler adds a bit of color splash...

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Manny Feliciano's super-fine 1954 Deluxe Beetle from Seymour, CT--absolute perfection! Manny's '54 was the winner of 2nd place in the VW-only class for Time Machines 2008--congratulations to Manny! If you look at the rear end images, you'll also notice some neat auxiliary stop lamps mounted down near the rear bumper supports--they appear to be based on '67 Bug-type backup light lamps--but with red lenses--a nice "authentic" type touch!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Joe Nevin's Chester, CT-based 1959 Sunroof Beetle--love the originality!!!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Dave Casolino's high-tech '63 Baja Bug from Orange, CT even looks great in the rain! Dave's super-fine Baja Bug took 3rd place in the VW-only class this year--congratulations Dave!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: What a thrill it was to see our old buddy Jimmy Arcucci's magnificent white '64 Beetle (based in Hamden, CT) once again--not to mention the chance to catch up with Jimmy himself!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: It's Bill Silvestri's super-cool, South Glastonbury, CT-based '65 Bug known as "Fred's Red Bug." Note the "vintage rally look" imparted by the Porsche 356 slotted wheels--which nicely compliment the "vintage hot rod" engine that F.R.B. is now sporting!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: It's Jeremy Clayton's super-funky '66 Microbus, all the way from Tolland, CT. Note the Connecticut Volkswagen Association banner that appears to be doubling as an awning over the Bus's side double doors! Jeremy, of course, is the hard-working President of the CVA. Thanks again to Jeremy and all of the CVA-ers for helping greatly with the excellent VW turnout at Time Machines 2008!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: It's our old buddy Fred Stedtler's beige '67 Beetle, driven all the way from New Jersey! Thanks again for your outstanding dedication, Fred!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: This semi-custom '68 Squareback was super-kool--it is owned by and was driven to Guilford for this event by Derek Shepard of Waterford, CT. Check out the lowered stance, roof rack (w/surfboard), front windshield visor, whitewalls with "moon" hubcaps, and much more. Squarebacks at New England car shows are unusual enough--but to see one in this nice condition was a real treat--we thank Derek again for driving out to participate with this very slick ride!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: We are big fans of the classic beauty of Greg Mattesen's Portland, CT-based 1969 Beetle Convertible--the 'ultimate summertime car' (unfortunately the rain forced Greg to keep the top up today!).

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: We never got the owner's name nor any other information to go along with our picture of this obviously beloved family member 1971 Super Beetle. We'll guess the two youngsters are the kids of the young woman owner, who I did end up chatting with at the end of the show--we wish her and her family many happy miles of "Buggin'" in their '71 Super!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: It's good-guy Milt McDonald all the way from Simsbury posing by his super eye-catching & accessorized "fireman red" 1972 Super Beetle. Yes, that's a CVA logo on his shirt, and Milt (a.k.a. "Mac") is Vice President of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association--to whom we are indebted for their great support of Time Machines 2008!

BELOW: Based in Huntington, CT, this olive green beauty of a 1974 VW Type 181 Thing is owned by Mark Hatfield. Mark's car was superb in every way, and out-pointed every other VW at Time Machines 2008, to take home a first place in class award. Congratulations Mark and thanks for bringing out your fantastic "181" in the rain!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: We've had the great pleasure of examing Laura Borhman's Durham, CT-based 1974 Beetle on many occasions and have always admired the phenomenal workmanship and attention to detail. This '74 Standard (non-Super) is truly a world-class machine. Thanks again Laura for bringing your jewel of a '74 VW out to Guilford this year to participate in Time Machines 2008!

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: For a few more miscellaneous type shots I took during the day that I didn't want to overlook including...our good friend Bill Silvestri sitting behind the wheel of his superb '65 Bug...some front end detail of Jeremy Clayton's kool '66 "Hippie Bus"...the fantastic trunk area of Manny Feliciano's '54 Bug (love that wheel color combo for the beige-bodied Bug!)...some more details of Derek Shepard's '68 Squareback, including the windshield visor, and "Empi GTV" badge on the front fender...

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

BELOW: We'll finish up with a "parting shot," which is yours truly (guy holding camera at left) and Fred Stedtler's '67 Beetle (right), as reflected in one of the chrome dome hubcaps of Derek Shepard's '68 Squareback. Yup, those are raindrops indeed! Hope you enjoyed the photo-tour of the Time Machines 2008 Antique VW turnout--speaking for myself, it was fun putting this report together and taking a look back...

Time Machines 2008 - 7/27/2008, Guilford, CT

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RELATED INTERNET LINKS OF INTEREST

(JANUARY 2009 UPDATE: Sorry about the fact that many of the links on this page may be inoperable--we are in big time rebuilding mode, and may be for quite some time--we will do the best we can to reactivate links as we are able--thanks for your understanding)

Connecticut Area Classic Thunderbird Club's Official Time Machines Info Page (includes links to class sponsors & winners lists, lists of recipients of show proceeds, info on next year's show, and much more): http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/timemach.html

Time Machines 2007 Review of Antique Volkswagen Participation Feature Page: http://members.aol.com/cgextras/TimeMachines2007.html

Time Machines 2006 Review of Antique Volkswagen Participation Feature Page: http://members.aol.com/cgextras/TimeMachines2006.html

Time Machines 2005 Review of Antique Volkswagen Participation Feature Page: http://members.aol.com/cgextras/TimeMachines2005.html

Time Machines 2004 Review of Antique Volkswagen Participation Feature Page: http://members.aol.com/foxcraft/TM2004VWsReview.html

Time Machines 2003 Review of Antique Volkswagen Participation Feature Page: http://members.aol.com/cgextras/TM2003VWs.html

Authoritative source for definition of "Antique" as applies to old automobiles--The Antique Automobile Club of America: http://www.aaca.org/

Authoritative source for definition of "Vintage" as applies to Old Volkswagens--The Vintage Volkswagen Club of America: http://www.vvwca.com/

For Connecticut Volkswagen Hobby info, state-wide--Connecticut Volkswagen Association: http://www.ctvwa.com/

Questions, Problems, Suggestions, etc., relating to Antique Volkswagen Participation in the Time Machines Car Shows, and/or anything related to THIS PAGE--we always welcome your e-mail at Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society: CommonGear@aol.com

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