COMMON.GEAR Report:
Antique Volkswagen Participation at the "Time Machines 2009" Antique Auto Show, Guilford, CT, Sunday, 7/26/2009
(this page originated 9/26/2009)

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Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CTSuperb Turnout by the Antique VWs in Guilford once again!

I was woken up at about 3:30 the morning of the show by some loud thunder & lightening--and with just enough time to run around and shut windows in my modern car that's parked outside, and in the house, before the dramatic downpour started. While I was awake, I then switched on a bit of the weather channel, and saw their prediction of "scattered thunderstorms" through the day. It did not seem like it was going to be a great day for a car show--the best I was hoping for was at least not a repeat of last year's really violent weather at the car show.

IMAGE AT RIGHT: Sighting down the line of VWs in the very impressive Antique VWs class (open to all VWs and VW-powered vehicles, stock & modified, up to and including 1984).

But since it is, and always has been a "rain or shine" proposition, Time Machines 2009 was still going to happen, no matter what Mother Nature threw at it. The vehicle of choice for us for that day, since I had sold my old '68 Bug just a week or so earlier, was old "Doug," the '60 Sunroof Bug, which, thankfully, has been a faithful steed year after year--even though I don't drive him nearly as much as I should.

My commitments to being there also included working with Boy Scout Troop 441, to help park cars during the morning hours. Our Troop Chairman kept the majority of our Troop's volunteers (both Scouts and Scout Leaders) outside the fence doing battle with the spectator parking situation, but allowed me and my son Matt to stay inside the gates and work with the show car parking--this also allowed me to keep tabs on the antique VW car show class participation, which turned out to be quite impressive, thanks in very large part to the enthusiastic participation of the Connecticut VW Association (http://www.ctvwa.org/) enthusiast group (of which I am a long-time member).

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CTAs you can guess, the morning's rains, and probably the combined effects of many of the other recent rainy days, kept the atmosphere at the Guilford Fairgrounds pretty steamy and damp. There were wet spots in the field that folks tried their best to avoid, and it appeared pretty successfully for the most part. From what I saw, the spectator parking lot did not fare as well--I hope everyone eventually made it out of there!

IMAGE AT RIGHT: Detail of Steve the C/G Webmaster's '60 Bug--photo by Greg Mattesen.

The day did stay sunny and rain-free, and it appeared the show did end up with a fairly healthy turnout of show cars, spectators, and flea market vendors. Through the morning, interspersed with trying my best to keep the incoming show cars of all types pointed toward their correct class assignments, I enjoyed checking out the old VWs and chatting with many owners.

While all officially registered show cars in the Time Machines 2009 antique car show received a beautiful commemorative dash plaque - http://www.ctseaportcarclub.com/2009TimeMachines/TIM_0000.JPG , we also, as we've been doing every year since the year 2000, got some special magnetic dash plaques made up just for the antique Volkswagen paricipants--and had a lot of fun handing them out. Click on the following hyperlink to see what the Common Gear-sponsored 2009 Volkswagen class commemorative dash plaque looked like: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2009/TM2009PlaqueProof.jpg

I also enjoyed walking around to check out the rest of the show with my son--there sure were a lot of very beautiful antique cars and trucks on the show field--my only regret is that we never made it over to the flea market area--where I heard there were many bargains to be had...

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CTI would say the day turned out pretty well, considering everything (in particular the somewhat soggy show field). I heard from the organizers some preliminary total numbers of cars in the show in the 350-total range, but I think that's rather conservative.

The VW class judging typically wasn't easy, though I think the Volkswagen class winners were all very deserving--they were as follows:

1st place = Manny Feliciano '54 Bug

2nd place = Mel Cardenas '57 Porsche Speedster Replicar

3rd place = 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)!

IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: Detail of Bill Silvestri's beautiful red '65 Bug, known as "Fred's Red Bug" (check the very unique engine lid script, and also of course, Bill's kool CT "vanity" EA plate!)--photo by Greg Mattesen.

I counted 18 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).

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CTI also brought along my camera and took a few shots, many of which are featured on this page (since one of my primary missions every year is to give proper credit, as much as possible, to each and every old VW that participates. Another local internet venture has already posted a great number of car images from the show--here are the two pages-full:

Page 1: http://www.ctseaportcarclub.com/2009TimeMachines/2009TimeMachinesCarShow.htm

Page 2: http://www.ctseaportcarclub.com/2009TimeMachines/2009TimeMachinesCarShow2.htm

In closing we congratulate the CT Area Classic Thunderbird Club http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/ - and especially their hard-working Show Chairman Fred Klaus - for doing a superb job with this year's Time Machines car show, in spite of some challenging conditions!...

IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT: Some rear taillight and bumper detail from Manny Feliciano's beautiful '54 Bug--photo by Greg Mattesen.

We hope you enjoyed this review of the Antique VWs particiapting at the Time Machines 2009 event--and pleas be sure to check out the organizers' Time Machines Official Page for more info: http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/timemach.html

And if you're interested in reading more about Antique Volkswagen participation at the Time Machines antique auto shows, you can check out our report on last year's (2008) event at: http://home.comcast.net/~commonsteve/TimeMachines2008/TM08VWReport.html

Finally, if you're an Antique VW owner or enthusiast living anywhere in the Connecticut area, we also wish to invite you back to Guilford, CT for Time Machines 2010, which will be coming up on Sunday, July 25th, 2010--it's "Always the Fourth Sunday in July." And in keeping with the definition of "Antique," the VW-only class in Time Machines 2010 will be open to all VWs & VW-based vehicles, stocks & modifieds, up to and inlcuding modeal year 1985.

On to the Pictures! - Time Machines 2009 Antique VW Image Gallery

BELOW: This is a photo by Greg Mattesen, who traveled down to Guilford with several fellow Connecticut Volkswagen Association members. The scene is an early-morning "meet up spot" in Durham, along Route 77 (the parking lot of the "Time-Out Tavern," located at the intersection of Routes 17 and 77). That's Chris Fox's super-slick metallic lime green '77 Bug from Bristol in the foreground of this scene.

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: A couple of panoramic-type views from opposite ends of the very impressive line of antique VWs.

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Toward the later part of the morning, we had a few more very cool old VWs show up, and this shot presents a view from the eastern end of the VW class row, featuring the beautiful Horizon Blue '57 oval Sedan of local resident Maika Johnson of Guilford, CT. Beyond Maika's '57, there are no less than three '54 Bugs in a row: Mark Meyering's from Middletown, Diane Mierz's from Stony Creek, and Manny Feliciano's from Seymour; since we're going to try to feature the individual VWs from oldest to newest, we'll get into individual shots of those '54s first...

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Awesome beige 1954 Deluxe Sedan of Manny Feliciano from Seymour, CT. This vehicle is a fresh restoration and is about as perfect as they get. Manny's '54 was an award winner at Time Machines 2008 also. Thanks for bringing it back to Guilford in '09, Manny!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Middletown's Mark Meyering has been coming to Time Machines events with his beloved '54 Bug for more years than we can remember! Always an enthusiastic participant and a nice fellow, we appreciate your making the longer drive now to Guilford, Mark, and we wish you many more happy miles in your '54 VW!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Diane Mierz's '54 Bug has an interesting Shoreline-area history, originally having been imported into the US by George "Sonny" Lazaravich of Guilford, and then owned and driven for many years by Phil Jones of Killingworth. Diane bought it in the early '80s, and then it was restored by Joe Alackness and Tim Snyder of Royersford, PA between the years 1984 and 1986. It was a "trailer queen" show car for many years after, accumulating AACA First Junior, Senior, and Grand National awards, plus many years-worth of AACA Preservation awards as well. It spent the summer of 2008 with a noted VW specialist in Vermont, John Kaiser, who went through and got the car tuned-up and "road ready," ending its trailer queen phase. Diane now enjoys driving it for pleasure use on nice days. Most recent update to the car is a second set of stock smoothie wheels that I restored, and painted in the proper paint scheme (L41 Black outers and L87 Pearl White centers), onto which some fresh Vredestein "Sprint Classic" tires were installed (and spin-balanced), plus proper "Lemmerz" aluminum trim rings and of course, hub caps with back-painted logos. Photo credit for the top photo goes to our friend Greg Mattesen--thanks again, Greg!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: I think Maika Johnson had probably less than a mile to drive her beautiful Horizon Blue 1957 Sedan to get from her home to hte Guilford Fairgrounds to participate in the Time Machines 2009 antique car show! We had been seeing this car cruising around Guilford for the last few years, and it was a great thrill eventually to be able to meet its owners last year! As nice as this car is, it is a true "driver," and gets lovingly used quite often--how cool is that?!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Yup, that's my old '60 Sunroorf Bug known as "Doug" (and thanks Greg Mattesen for the nice photo). Doug's color is his original hue--despite the super-crummy quality of the paint job itself--obviously I had no idea what I was doing back when it did it--save for making sure I purchsed the correct VW color code paint, L346 Mango Green! More recently, I scrounged up another set of 5-bolt stock-VW "smoothie" wheel rims, and tried out a paint scheme that I'd been thinking about for a while: Mango Green outers, and Purple inners--what do you think of the result? I kinda like it, and think it adds a slightly "Bohemian" '60s'/Woodstock type of feel to the car's appearance (while still staying pretty close to stock specifications). Not obvious in the picture are the also scrounged-together set of "old school" Michelin XZX radials, in size 165R15--gotta love their classic tread pattern. The hub caps are some older smooth "non-logo" (Porsche 356 style) units that I purchased many years ago from the late great Jerry Kelly (of Bristol, CT's "Kelly Enterprises"). Yup, those are authentic Connecticut 1960 "year of manufacture" passenger plates too!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Dune buggies don't come much more beautiful or well-constructed than Scott Lavigne's metallic lime green '62--beautiful car, Scott, and congratulations on your car show award with it this year!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Chuck Ackerman drove his beautiful red '64 Beetle Convertible all the way down from Litchfield, CT to participate--thanks for coming, Chuck, and enjoy that beautiful vintage Cabrio!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: This eye-catching cherry red '65 Bug belongs to Bill Silvestri from Glastonbury, and is known as "Fred's Red Bug"--or sometimes just "Fred." In adition to the silver-painted vintage Porsche 356 slotted wheels (4.5" wide fronts, 5.5" wide rears), "Fred" sports a true "old school vintage-performance-modded" 40-horse, built by New Hartford's Robbie Smith, and satisfying Bill's "need for speed!" And with its NOS "Abarth" exhaust system, it sounds extra sweet!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Stratford's Pete Vega is a co-worker of mine, and, in addition to being one of the nicest guys in our hobby, he owns one of the most beautifully-constructed 1965 VW Beetle Sunroof Sedans around. Pete's blue '65 is beautifully constructed, and sports many very tasteful custom touches, including the chrome 5-spoke wheels. Thanks Pete for coming out to Guilford to show off your jewel of a '65 (and thanks to Greg Mattesen for the second photo of Pete's car below).

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Just like he did last year, Mahwah, New Jersey's intrepid and enthusiastic Beetle driver Fred Stedtler drove his magnificent beige '67 Beetle Sedan all the way up to Guilford to participate in this year's Time Machines car show. As always, it was a great pleasure seeing Fred and catching up with him on what-all he's been up to--and also, of course scoping out his magnificent 1967 Sedan! Thanks again Fred for making the great effort to attend this year's Time Machines show!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Greg Mattesen's Portland-based Yukon Yellow 1969 Beetle Sedan is about as nice as they come. Greg takes superb care of this slick Convertible, and just recently had some expert welding done (by northwestern CT's Vintage VW guru Chuck Pisconski), to bring the car even closer to absolute perfection. She's a real beauty, Greg, and we wish you many happy miles of top-down VW Converible driving to come!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: John Talaga drove his beautiful Savannah Beige '69 Sedan all the way from Woostock, CT to participate--thanks again for coming, and showing your cool old Bug, John!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Simsbury's Milt "Mac" McDonald owns the nicest '72 Super Beetle Sedan we know of, and keeps it in superb shape. Mac also is a strong supporter of the VW hobby in our state, serving as Vice President of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association (http://www.ctvwa.org/). Thanks Mac for coming all the way down from Simsbury once again with your beautiful '72--and for all you do to advance the Volkswagen hobby in the State of Connecticut.

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Like Mac McDonald, Bristol's Chris Fox is another hard-working official of the Connecticut VW Association hobby organization, and we appreciate all the work he does on behalf of our favorite hobby! Chris drove down his super-nice metallic lime green '77 Sedan to participate in this year's Time Machines car show--thanks again Chris! And a "related" tip-of-the-old-VW-hat is also due to Chris' better half Heather, who manages the very beautifully-done and super-informative CT VW Association web site, located online at: http://www.ctvwa.org/ - thanks Heather for all you do, as well!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: And while we're on the subject of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association, you can't think of CVA without thinking of Tolland, CT's Jeremy Clayton, CVA's hard-working President! Nobody in our state works harder than Jeremy to ensure an ongoing schedule of fun events for VW folks to participate in, and is constantly encouraging folks to get involved and join in the fun! Thanks again Jeremy for all you do on behalf our hobby! This super-kool '81 Rabbit Convertible is Jeremy's summertime cruiser, and sports a lowering job with custom wheels & tires, and a recently-rebuilt high-performance engine. Long-time participants in the New England old-VW scene may recognize the name "Mike Dane," who was the previous owner of this kool kabrio, and from whom Jeremy purchased it (a great pedigree!).

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Regretfully I don't have Paul's last name written down here, but we were so pleased to see him return to this year's Time Machines show with his absolute primo-condition 2003 model dark green "Mexi" Bug. I think I recall, from having talked with Paul at length at previous Time Machines events, that he lives somewhere up in the northeastern part of our state. Thanks again for coming down with your beautiful Mexi, Paul!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: Porsche replicars (or any cars, for that matter!) don't come much nicer than Mel Cardenas' Fairfield, CT-based '57 Speedster. I think you can see 4-bolt wheels on Mel's car, revealing its VW heritage basis. This car was parked in a row adjacent to the VWs, but was entered for show competition with the VWs (which is 100% proper, per the guidelines of the Time Machines VW car show class--"...open to all VWs, and VW-based vehicles, stock and modified..."). We were so pleased to have Mel participate with us and were postitively bowled-over by the super-high quality of his beautiful Speedster!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT

BELOW: And finally,w e finish up our Time Machines 2009 coverage of antique Volkswagen participation, with a photo of a super-nice orange "Bay-window"-era VW Westfalia Camper, that we noticed was parked over in an open area of the car show field. We know no other details of this vehicle, as there was no window card visible, but we were very impressed, to say the least! That's one beautiful Westy indeed!

Time Machines 2009, 7/26/2009, Guilford, CT


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