SAAC: Checking Out The North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, Friday, August 5th, 2011
(this page new as of 5/1/2012)

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North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011I’ve been working recently on going thru more of my pictures from the 2011 version of the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival’s Classic Car Cruise, that took place on Friday evening, August 5th.

This is the same event, of course, at which I ran across that amazing very-early-production Datsun 240Z, that was spotlighted in the most-recent feature page that was created for the SAAC web site: ‘…"History In Our Midst" - Running Into the First Datsun Z-Car Built For Sale to the United States, at the 2011 "North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise"…’ – which is located online at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/Lucky13DatsunZ/DatzunZStory.html.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some more research and making contact with people involved with planning and running the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise—not only for the purpose of making sure we present correct info in our Calendar about the upcoming 2012 version (which, by the way, will take place on Friday, August 3rd), but also since I want to put together another online feature page for the SAAC web site to cover more “general”-type of discussion, and with more accompanying pictures…which brings us (at long last!) to the page you are now looking at…

 To preface, with a very few exceptions, I have no owner information whatsoever about any of the cars that are pictured on this page that participated in the event, since the N.B. Classic Car Cruise does not use windshield cards—in the interests of “keeping it simple,” the cars are only required to park where they are told upon entering the show field, but beyond that, no sort of   “registration paperwork,” or anything like that. So, I’ll warn you in advance that I don’t have many names or other identification to accompany most of the photos on this page, and so I’m also keeping them mostly of an “overall”-type theme.

I was lucky in that most (but not all) of these really cool black antiques sported “YOM” (Year Of Manufacture) license plates, and if we are to believe what was being represented, the years indicated on the YOM plates most likely corresponded to the model years of the respective cars.

My own personal experiences with the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise date back to August of 2010, when I was very pleased to have the chance to drive my ’50 Bug there to participate—reference this picture from that one (the actual date was Friday, August 6th, 2010): http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/Lucky13DatsunZ/NBCruz6Aug201050VWr.JPG.

I did not arrive early to that one; the car show field was pretty filled-up already as I drove in (and I also remember some pretty decent lines of traffic out on Forest Road (Route 22) along the way getting to the venue as well). Prior to that 2010 event, I had only heard about the event—never had been to, nor even driven by it in its previous years of existence. What I also recall about the 2010 event also, however, was the very cool & laid-back vibe. It was exactly what a summer evening should be all about! I was not able to stay around too long, but promised myself that I’d do my best to get back there for the 2011 version.

Fast-forward now to Friday evening, August 5th, 2011, and the weather again turned out to be positively magnificent. This time I decided to go and check out the event with my '70 Convertible Bug, which was running well. And this time, I also managed to get an earlier start, which meant less time sitting on Route 22, but also a pretty neat end-of-row parking space: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/NBPCFestCruz11/70BugAtNBPC11.JPG.

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

The field where the cars are arranged for the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise is a perfectly flat, grassy manicured baseball field—it is the one closest to the road that you see when driving by “Totoket Valley Park,” reference: http://www.nbparkrec.com/default2.asp?active_page_id=60 or http://northbranford.patch.com/listings/totoket-valley-park.

The incoming cars I think first get placed along the outfield wall, and then successive inner rows are created after the initial outer rows are filled. I got there as the second row was being created; click on the following hyperlink to see where the ’70 Bug ended up: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/NBPCFestCruz11/70BugAtNBPC11.JPG.

From there, it was a simple task to get out and about and start taking my pictures--of which I accomplished many!

Before we get on to the photos, a final “tip of the hat” is due to the N.B. Potato & Corn Festival volunteer who has been in charge of the Classic Car Cruise for the past couple of years, Rich Wesley, from the North Branford Police Department. For the first couple of years, I had been corresponding with Ron Onofrio, also from the N.B. Police, and then he (Ron) referred me to Rich, who called me last week to talk about the event—both last year’s, and the upcoming one in August. I had remembered in an old Ron email from just after the 2010 version (my first experience participating), when he wrote:

“…67 cars the first year, 107 last year and 202 this year…”

This provided not only the history of how long the North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise had been running (calculating backwards, the first one would therefore have then been 2008), but also the progression of increasing participation. When I spoke with Rich, he indicated that he and the rest of the Classic Car Cruise volunteers were pretty happy with how the event has been gradually growing, mostly through a “word-of-mouth”-type approach. Rich estimated that the total for the 2011 event was approximately 250 cars on the field.

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

Another aspect of the event that Rich brought up that I was previously unaware of was that there are apparently a few car show trophies that are given out at some point (I don’t remember the exact number, but it’s small, like two or three, total). Rich indicated that a few selected “dignitaries” connected with the event are given the chance to select the winners (again, in keeping with the “keep it simple” idea).

I wish to thank once again Rich Wesley for his graciously contacting me to help fill in some of the blanks for our review of the 2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, and also, of course, Ron Onofrio for his earlier history with the event, and finally, also, Pam Gery and her staff from the North Branford Parks & Recreation Department (http://www.nbparkrec.com/), who are responsible for managing the overall Festival.

We’re very much looking forward to coming back again for the 2012 event—and we’re definitely going to bring the camera again too, since you never know what beautiful & interesting old cars will turn up! Once again, that date is Friday, August 3rd, 2012, and please refer to the official Festival web site for additional info: http://www.nbpotatofest.com/.

 More 2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise Photos...

IMAGES BELOW: First off, we'll start with several "overall type" views of the 2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise--I think you'll agree that it was quite an impressive turnout of beautiful old cars and trucks!. Once we get thru these, we'll narrow down our focus a   bit to a few more "individual subject" type views...

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

IMAGES BELOW: Next, we'll narrow our focus slightly... In the first shot directly below, can you find that Datsun 240Z about which we have talked recently???

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

IMAGES BELOW: A little more narrowing-down of focus in the immediate image below, the big blue Caddy in the foreground had a couple of identification cards on the windshield--no owner's name but a bit of info about the car itself--a 1960 Series 62 2-door coupe. This Caddy was originally sold at Tinney Cadillac Corp., in Buffalo, New York, on 3/23/60. It features a 390 cubic inch engine, rated at 325 horsepower, mated to a Hydra-matic transmission, and dual exhausts. This '60 Cadillac is 225" long overall, with a 130" wheelbase. Another card displayed illustrated that it had been written up in the January 2010 issue of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club's magazine "The Self-Starter," ref: cadillaclasalleclub.org. The red very early style Plymouth Barracuda with racing stripe next to the Cadillac was a 1965 model, owned by Jim and Anne Baker of Clinton, CT, and sports a 360 cubic inch engine. The Bakers are related to our local old car friend Bill Raccio, who was also present at this event--that's Bill himself in the third photo below--he's the guy with the light colored "Goodguys" t-shirt sitting in front of the GTO...

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

IMAGE BELOW: No info whatsoever on it, but this big black '47 Buick really caught my eye...

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

IMAGE BELOW: We've seen this cool early '50s(?) dark green GMC pickup truck before, with markings indicating the nearby "Fairways" golf driving range, located on Tipping Drive, which is just off of School Ground Road in Branford, ref: http://fairwaysdrivingrange.com/. The owners participated with this vehicle in last fall's Branford Holiday Festival Parade, ref: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/BFDHOL11/Report.html.  

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

IMAGE BELOW: And finally, after having the viewed the beautiful early Firebird, orange with black vinyl top, that was parked near the entrance to the field, we learned later in the evening that it belonged to our friend Gary DiNicola's son! Gary and his son were gracious to pose for a photo with the car. Gary of course is one half of the team who owns & manages the nearby trusted auto specialists, "Stony Creek Auto Service," ref: http://www.stonycreekautoservice.com/ - and http://branford.patch.com/listings/stony-creek-auto-service.

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011

http://branford.patch.com/listings/stony-creek-auto-service


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