SAAC: Checking Out The 2009 Morgan Car Show
Saturday, May 9, 2009, Clinton, CT - Another great Old Car Season Kick-Off for the CT Shoreline Area!
(this page new as of 5/12/2009)

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The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CTAround the Shoreline area old car scene, a sure sign of Spring is the annual Morgan School Car Show, now in its 14th year. Historically (at least as far back as we can remember), the show has taken place in the parking lot of the Tanger Outlets shopping center in Westbrook. I’ve been to at least a few of them over the years, both as a participant and as a spectator (I was a spectator last year and did prepare a detailed online report, which, at this time is still “unavailable” due to our loss of our former AOL web site hosting—it is among the many things we still have to get around to regenerating…), and have always enjoyed the fact that they’re a nice local Shoreline-focused event, and early in the season. This year marked a move of the event to the Morgan School campus, located on Killingworth Turnpike—a.k.a. Route 81—only two exits away from the old Tanger Outlets exit (#63 vs. #65).

IMAGE AT THE UPPER RIGHT: An overview of some of the cars, with the blower of the Wayne Curry pro-street '71 Opel GT in the right foreground, and other cars in the background, including the Carey Carnot '71 Nova and the Mike Ahern '30 International Pickup.

Another aspect of the Morgan Shows that I admire is that they are also all about the students, as our long-time contact from the Transportation Technology program, Mr. Jay Cole (who we had the great pleasure of getting to finally meet in person this year) has always pointed out. The students are there to learn, and the car show teaches them many things, including how to organize a work force, how to write press releases, how to technically evaluate vehicles (the students do the judging), and much more—not the least of which is also the humanitarian concept of helping out ones fellow man, which is expressed through the nonperishable food donations that are also traditionally collected from car show participants. 

As noted, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Cole at this year’s event, which was a real pleasure. Mr. Cole, I think, knew that the guy who showed up with an old VW Bug might be me, and so, when I was chatting with another couple of friendly old-VW folks, he came up and introduced himself. Mr. Cole is just as nice in person as he comes across in his correspondence. I could tell immediately that his whole purpose is to get the students as equipped as possible to go out into the world—be it to go into the workforce, or go onto continuing further education. He explained how the Transportation Technology program at Morgan has numerous opportunities for positive experience and learning (running the car show is only a small part of the good challenges and opportunities for growth that are provided), including many college-level credits that can be earned while still at Morgan. Mr. Cole spoke highly of many of his present and former students. He also talked about his ongoing efforts to secure additional funding for various projects and equipment at the school. It was obvious that he is a teacher deeply committed to his profession. I can’t say how impressed I am with Mr. Jay Cole. 

With regard to the move of the Morgan School Car Show from the Westbrook Tanger Outlets to the Clinton Campus of the Morgan School (as noted, conveniently right off of I-95, Exit #63), Mr. Cole explained that after student discussion, it was thought that there was sufficient space to hold the event right at the school, and there were many nearby amenities, such as a Dunkin Donuts virtually right next door, not to mention the Clinton Outlets that are located right across the street from the Morgan School, so that having the event happen right at the school, began to make the most sense. Mr. Cole indicated that the Tanger Outlet management was also still very supportive of the car show, and had supplied special discount coupons, that were handed out to all of the car show participants. The lower parking area on the south side of the school building was where the car show was arranged, and it was very easy to get into and out of, with a traffic light controlling the traffic flow for additional safety, and a good amount of space reserved also for spectator parking.  

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Left to right: Jerry (Matt's grandfather), Mr. Jay Cole, and super-VW-enthusiast Matt - click on image to bring up a larger versionThe fellow “old VW folks” with whom I was chatting when Mr. Cole happened by, as it turned out, were two very nice people from Westbrook—a young man named Matt, and his grandfather Jerry. Matt is a young guy--he’s still a few years away from his driver’s license—but is incredibly interested in old VWs, and even has his own 1970 VW Beetle already! As soon as I drove in with my ’68 VW and got parked, Matt and Jerry came up and started asking me questions about my car. I could tell that Matt especially had an extraordinary interest in, and knowledge of old VWs—extremely unusual for a young man of his age! He was also extremely gracious, and really came across as a genuine enthusiast—it was a real pleasure to chat with him—and with his grandfather Jerry as well. Along with talking about our cars, we also talked about past old car (and old VW) events we’d been to, and looked forward to possible future ones we’d be able to attend. Matt was also very proud of his Connecticut Volkswagen Association (www.ctvwa.com) shirt that he was wearing! 

IMAGE AT THE UPPER RIGHT: Mr. Jay Cole (in the hat) discusses his philosophy of the completely student-run Morgan School Car Show with VW enthusiast Matt from Westbrook (young man with the white CVA t-shirt, at the right), and Matt's grandfather Jerry (at the left). That's my '68 Bug in the background of this view. Click HERE or directly on the image to see a slightly larger, higher resolution copy of this image.

Of course another part of my reason for wanting to get out to the Morgan show again this year was the opportunity to distribute Time Machines 2009 car show flyers (ref: http://www.geocities.com/tbirdsofconn/timemach.html). Our friend Fred Klaus from the T-Bird Club had just gotten me a big supply of them, and I wanted to get started in making a dent in the big boxful that is sitting in my basement!  

Anyway, even though I had other stuff to do at home, I was very pleased to get out to the show for a little while, with my ’68 Bug, and also made sure to bring along my nonperishable food donation. Along with the opportunity to meet and chat with the nice people, it was also a ton of fun to walk around and check out all the cool vehicles in the show, that ranged from stock antiques to wild hot rods, from cars to trucks, and even a bona-fide Waterford Speed Bowl stock car, that Mr. Cole noted was driven competitively by one of his students! I made sure to take a few pictures along the way, and will try to include a good selection of them on this page; I’ll reserve specific vehicle comments and descriptions for the individual photo captions. 

IMAGE BELOW: A couple of cool later-model Chevy Corvettes were on display, including the beige coupe at the far left, which is reportedly owned by Don Truitt--from the window card, it is a 1987 model, "All stock, over 120,000 miles on the clock." The black convertible next to it is a 1986 model, reportedly owned by Les Browne (from what I was able to discern on the window card).

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Overview of some of the cars in the car show, with the Corvettes of Don Truitt (beige '87 coupe) and Les Browne (black '86 convertible) visible in the left foreground

Here is the text of a letter (on Morgan School letterhead), dated May 9, 2009, to participants that was handed out, with a sample copy of the judging form on the other side (so entered vehicle owners could see the categories on which their car was going to be evaluated): 

“To all participants,

The Morgan School Transportation and Automotive Technology Students would like to thank you for attending our 14th Annual Morgan School Car Show and Food Drive at The Morgan School. This has been a class tradition since 1996, and we appreciate the wide variety of cars that are represented each year. Trophies will be awarded for the best car in each category. 

All the judging will be done by the students; they work hard every year to judge each category fairly and to the best of their abilities. The judges consider five major categories: The Exterior, The Engine Compartment, The Trunk, The Undercarriage, and The Interior (a sample judging sheet is on the back). All hoods and trunks must be opened to qualify for a trophy. 

This show was organized and run by the students. The promotional items and dash plaques you received were also made by the students, we hope you enjoy them. Remember, there are no burnouts allowed at the show. Thank you very much for coming to The Morgan School 14th Annual Car Show. 

Sincerely, The Morgan School Transportation Technology Students.” 

The student-produced dash plaque commemorating the event was also very nicely done, depicting one of those all-new Camaros that are coming out right about now, with “retro” styling elements. I scanned my dash plaque and have uploaded the image, which is viewable by clicking HERE

I hope you enjoy this brief overview of the 2009 Morgan School Car Show, and please do continue scrolling down on this page to get into the photos section. I wish to thank Mr. Cole and all of the Morgan School Transportation Technology Students for their fine work in producing this year’s Car Show, which, speaking from a participant’s point of view, was a lot of fun. Anyone wishing to learn more about the Morgan School can visit their official web site at: http://www.clintonpublic.org/morgan/ .  

IMAGE BELOW: An overall view of the parking area on the south side of the Morgan School, where the car show was being staged. I had walked back up toward the edge of Route 81 to get this photo, to try and capture a bit of the overall feel for the gathering. The school building is in the background of the shot, of course.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - parking lot overview

IMAGE BELOW: Carey Carnot's '71 pro-street '71 Nova in the foreground, with other show cars in the background.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT  - Carey Carnot's '71 pro-street Nova SS in the foreground

IMAGES BELOW - Left = 1971 Opel GT owned by Wayne Curry. Right = 1930 International Pickup owned by Mike Ahern (Mookie), “...2x4 steel frame, 283 1964 Chevy Pickup engine, Speedway headers, 1940 Ford rear end, suicide setup front end, Model A buggy spring rear, Model A bed, Army canteen overflow, Dupont explosive box for the battery...”

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Wayne Curry's 1971 pro-street Opel GT The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Mike Ahern's1930 International Pickup

IMAGES BELOW: A couple more views of the "pro street" '71 Opel GT of Wayne Curry.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Wayne Curry's 1971 pro-street Opel GT

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Wayne Curry's 1971 pro-street Opel GT

IMAGE BELOW: Another overall view of Mike Ahern's "old-skool-kool" 1930 International Pickup hot rod.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Mike Ahern's 1930 International Pickup

IMAGES BELOW - Left = A detail view of the engine of Mike Ahern's 1930 International Pickup--that's a nice clean "period hot rod look." Right = Another Pickup Truck's engine--this time it's the awesome supercharged and detailed-out V8 that powers Tom Facin's 1990 Chevy 1500 Pickup--see the following image for an overall view of this super-impressive vehicle.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Mike Ahern's 1930 International Pickup The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Tom Facin's 1990 Chevy 1500 Pickup

IMAGE BELOW: An overall view of Tom Facin's 1990 Chevy 1500 Pickup--more slick "pro street" technical details in evidence!

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Tom Facin's 1990 Chevy 1500 Pickup

IMAGE BELOW: Beautiful "late era" 1969 Ford Falcon of Carl Waters; this superb example has been a Shoreline standout for many years.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Carl Waters' 1969 Ford Falcon

IMAGE BELOW: This yellow '48 Chevy Pickup was super-nicely-done--unfortunately we were not able to view a window card, so we don't know who is the lucky person who owns it.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - 1948 Chevy Pickup, owner uknown

IMAGES BELOW - Left = A cool cast car club plaque that was attached to the right rear of the pickup bed of the kool yellow '48 Chevy shown above: "RADICAL VALVE TIMERS." Right = A detail view of the front of another superb "old skool" hot rod, '32 Ford 5-window, owned by Shannon Tiso--see the next image below for an overall view of this beautiful vehicle.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - unknown owner 1948 Chevy Pickup The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Shannon Tiso's '32 Ford 5-window

IMAGE BELOW: The "classic" '32 Ford 5-window--they don't get much nicer than this one--owned by Shannon Tiso.

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - Shannon Tiso's '32 Ford 5-window

IMAGE BELOW: RJ Cunningham's 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo SS--according to Mr. Cole, RJ Cunningham is a Morgan School student, and drives this car very competitively at the Waterford Speed Bowl--impressive!

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - RJ Cunningham's 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo SS stock car

IMAGE BELOW: And we'll finish up with a view of my '68 Bug--I had to open up the trunk and engine lid for judging, but in reality, neither are anywhere near "show quality"--nor is the rest of the car, for that matter!

The Morgan School Car Show, 5/9/2009, Clinton, CT - SAAC Webmaster's 1968 VW Beetle


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