SAAC web site main page header, new as of 8/30/2013 - click directly on the image to bring up the photo upon which it is based, which was taken along scenic coastal Route 146 in Guilford, CT, in December of 2011. Photo subject is 1960 VW Beetle...

"A not-for-profit, hobby-oriented, Shoreline-focused, for-the-fun-of-it resource run by Antique Auto Enthusiasts for Antique Auto Enthusiasts"
We take a lot of pride in our often-updated, comprehensive, & highly detailed CALENDAR - please do check it out - YOUR SOURCE for local-area antique auto happenings!

We Will Always Remember September 11, 2001... Have You Forgotten?...
Fall
2012/Spring 2013 News Flash: Love of Freedom and the U.S. Constitution (including the 2nd Amendment) have also not gone out of style...
not by a long shot...

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Date of creation of this web site: 26 October 1998 - Date of latest update(s) of this web site: 11, 13, 19 February, 1, 9, 1, 11, 12, 14, 17, 21, 24, 26, 28, 29 March, 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 14, 20, 22, 24, 28, 30 April, 1, 6, 9, 12, 15, 19, 23, 27 May,  1, 2, 10, 13, 16, 19, 25, 27, 29 June, 2, 3, 10, 11, 15, 18, 24, 28, 29, 31 July 2014 (most recent highlights in RED - And please also be sure to hit "Refresh" or "Reload" on your internet browser to ensure you are viewing the latest updates to this page)

*7/24/2014 IMPORTANT UPDATE - Another important cruise night fundraiser happening tomorrow evening, Friday, July 25th, 2014, at the Milford McDonalds cruise that is run by our friends the Blood Sweat and Gears Car Club: "Rallying For Ryan" - please see this photo (click directly on that link--thanks to Mike Long of BSGs for posting it originally on Facebook) for all the important details, and make plans to attend and lend your support if possible! Please see the "Cruise Nights" section of our Calendar page under "Fridays" for more general information about the BSG's always-popular Milford McDonalds Cruises!

*7/18/2014 IMPORTANT UPDATE - Wanted to make you aware, on very short notice, of an important benefit cruise night event coming up on Monday, July 21st, in North Haven, CT, benefiting the family of a departed fellow local old car guy, Edward "Frenchie" Beauvais. The event is organized by his friends from the Doo Wop Cruisers car club, and is also being helped greatly in the publicity department by Jerry of the Brass City Cruisers car club. We thank both Frank from Doo Wop and Jerry from Brass City for all their help with gathering up this important event info on very short notice, so that we can hopefully get the word out to as many local car folks as possible, prior to July 21st. Please click on this link to the Official Flyer (thanks again Doo Wop Frank), and/or the dedicated info page at the Brass City Cruisers site (thanks again Brass City Jerry), and we've also added it to our Calendar page ... I hope to be able to be there, at least for a little while, on Monday evening, to help support his wonderful charitable cause... Have a great weekend... Over and out for now...

*7/3/2014 IMPORTANT UPDATE - Quoting from Essex Auto Club representative & car show co-chairman Tim Lynch’s (timlynch3@me.com) broadcast e-mail message as of about noontime 7/3/2014, with subject line “Car Show Rain Date”: “…July 4th Car Show Rescheduled… Due to forecast, the EAC car show has been rescheduled to SATURDAY, JULY 5th… Everything else remains the same… Hubbard Field, North Main St. Essex CT… Show car registration from 8 am to 10 am… Show open to public from 10 am to 2 pm… We can’t control the weather, but we hope you can still make it!... Any Questions?  Contact Tim at 203-858-1102 or timlynch3@me.com …” Sounds good--thanks Tim for the heads-up about this very reasonable & prudent-sounding decision by the Essex Auto Club car show team, and we look forward to being there on Saturday! Further details are on our our Calendar page ... Over and out for now...

*7/2/2014 - Happy July (already?)! I know the weather forecast sounds possibly threatening for later this week, but we are thinking positive thoughts about getting out to Old Saybrook on Thursday night of this week (7/3) for the American Legion Post 113 Special Cruise Night event (see the 6/27 updates section directly below for more details also), and hopefully some other events on the weekend, and on into next week... Let's see, such as... The Jonathan McMahon memorial scholarship benefit cruise in Newington on Saturday evening (7/5)... The Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers' Guilford Ashley's Cruise on Wednesday evening (7/9)... The Beachcombers' Black Hall Grille in Old Lyme Cruise also on Wednesday evening (7/9)... The Guilford Apple Pi Robotics Cruise at Bishops on Thursday evening (7/10)... And there are many other events of interest upcoming, so please do check out our Calendar page  for more info (including the helpful list of "Other Sources" near the top of the page for many other places to browse for upcoming event listings)...  Over and out for now!

Special Cruise Night Upcoming 7/3/2014 at American Legion Post 113 in Old Saybrook - click on the image to bring up the entire flyer!*6/27/2014 - Another weekend upon us--wow! Summer is really rolling along! I hope yours going well, and happy to report that mine's going reasonably well also... There have already been a good many cool car events that I have had to miss (due mostly to various family obligations), and I am sure there will be more, but as always, we keep thinking positive about the next ones we'll hopefully be able to make it out to!... Speaking of which, we heard just yesterday, via some Facebook posts by our friends Frank of the Niantic-based Beachcombers Car Club, and Ian of "100 Percent Kulture" fame, about a special cruise night happening next Thursday evening (7/3/2014) in Old Saybrook, that is run by a superb organization. I am speaking of the American Legion Post #113 in Old Saybrook, and the special event flyer for the special 7/3/2014 event that Frank and Ian had passed along to us is viewable at the following hyperlink (or you can also click on the small cropped graphic image from it that appears at the upper right): http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/3July2014SpecialAmericanLegionCruiseFlyer.jpg ... What a great time this is sure to be, and, again, benefiting a great organization! I am very much hoping to make it out there to Old Saybrook that night! Thanks again Frank and Ian for keeping me on the mailing list, and of course to our long-time old car friend Hal Farrington who has always been a big fan and booster of the American Legion, and who told me about this great cruise night earlier in the year!... You can also look for more details about this, and many other events on our Calendar page , which we of course are contstantly updating with more and more car event and cruise night info all the time!... Have a great weekend!... Over and out for now!...

Team Avery sign as seen in Old Saybrook--click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*6/1/2014 - Team Avery's "Hope, Love, Cure, Ride" is happening TODAY (6/1/2014) in Old Saybrook! If you've been around Old Saybrook the last week or so, I'm sure you've seen the comprehensive signage that's been placed "everywhere." The small image you see at the upper right is a photo I took this past Thursday when I was in town, and made a point to pull over and take a couple of photos of it--this particular one was at the corner of Route 1 and Elm Street (click directly on the image--or HERE-- to bring up a larger view of the scene where the sign was posted)--with Elm Street being the location for the event--just a little ways down the street, at the Old Saybrook Fire Department's Clark Memorial Field (a.k.a. "Firemen's Field"), which actually is almost across the street from "Pasta Vita," which you can see from the highway. The flyer that I have posted on our Calendar page does not give a lot of information about the Car Show portion of the Hope, Love, Cure, Ride event: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/1June2014-TeamAveryHopeLoveCureRideAndShowOldSaybrook.jpg - nor did the official web site for the event (as far as I could tell anyway): http://www.teamaverycdkl5.com/ . So I e-mailed the person who was listed on the flyer for more info, Felix Leopoldino, and he got back to me with a couple of very helpful responses. From his first e-maled note of 5/29: "...Bikes go off about 11:15 am so show up after that and you should be good to go at noon with music & food… Any one and passenger showing a vehicle get in free [no charge] but if you want to eat we ask that you buy a wrist band for a discounted price of $10.00… Thanks ;~)… Felix Leopoldino/Team Avery… Ps: If you’re and early riser we will be having people setting up and crowds showing up between 8:00 and 9:30. Bikes registration starts at 9:30 and they will be walking around seeing the sites and have breakfast, etc….” And from Felix's more recent note back to me, from yesterday: "...Car show is free, drive and 1 passenger can eat BBQ & lots of stuff for $10 each... Good time to show up is after 11:30 till 12:30… Thanks ;~)… Felix Leopoldino/Team Avery..." Very cool! Thanks Felix! Going to try to get over there this afternoon! Looks like one positively awesome day for it! Maybe we'll see you there! GO TEAM AVERY!

*5/1/2014 - Happy "Uno de Mayo!" Ha ha!... Here's another important heads-up regarding The Kenny Fletcher Memorial Cruise at Valli's Construction in Portland, CT, that we just heard about this evening. As you know, it got pushed to its  Rain Date, which is this Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. Regarding the starting time for the event, however, we just heard from Lori Brown of Valli's Construction tonite who says: "...Hello Steve, just wanted to let you know we are a go for this Saturday, and we will be starting at 1pm instead of 3pm so if you could get the word out there for us that would be great. Thanks and hope you can make it on Saturday. Lori..." Thanks very much Lori--and we are happy to pass that imporant information along! Hre's the flyer once again, for reference: ..http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/26April2014KFletcherCruiseAtVallisPortlandFlyer.jpg (note that there are key phone numbers on that flyer that you can call for more information).... Readers, please check out our Calendar page, for details on this, and many other upcoming events (including at least two very cool local summertime Friday night cruise nights, in Milford, and North Branford, that kick off their seasons tomorrow evening, Friday, May 2nd, 2014)... Wishing everyone a great upcoming weekend...

*4/26/2014 - HEADS UP: The Kenny Fletcher Memorial Cruise at Valli's Construction in Portland, CT, originally scheduled for today, has been POSTPONED to its Rain Date of Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. Thanks to our friend Mike Brown at Valli's for the prompt e-mail heads up this morning with that information--and here's their flyer, for reference: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/26April2014KFletcherCruiseAtVallisPortlandFlyer.jpg . We have updated our Calendar page, and hope to get up to Portland next Saturday!... Still planning to get over to Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook today for their Open Shop event, however!

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Connecticut, coming up on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 in Wallingford - Click on the image to bring up a car show overview from the 2013 version...*4/24/2014 - We have one BUSY weekend coming up indeed! Referring to our often-updated Calendar page, please scroll to April 26th (which is this Saturday) and April 27th (this Sunday), and you'll see that there is a whole bunch of cool car stuff going on, on both days, in our area! Weekends don't get much better than this! Speaking for myself, I'm looking forward to as much of it that I can take in as possible!... Last weekend, of course, was Easter Weekend, and the old car hobby planners and organizers were respectful of that, with few to no car events happening that weekend. One weekend before Easter, however, we got out to a really cool "season opener" type gathering in New Haven, on Sunday, April 13th, which I mentioned in the 4/10 updates below--that being the "WPLR Spring Classic Car Show." What a fun day it turned out to be, with tons of great old cars and trucks, and many friends old and new (including the pleasure of meeting in person for the first time several folks who I'd only known thru the Facebook world, like Citroen driver Phil Caron, and Corvette driver Tony Cervone). I am happy to say that I was able to drive old Doug the '60 Bug to participate (old Doug ran great!), and also brought my camera along--here are a couple of overview type shots: First a view from the northeast corner of the show field: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/WPLRNewHaven13Apr2014-OverallNECorner1k.jpg - and another view from the northwest corner of the show field (you can see Doug the '60 Bug in this shot): http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/WPLRNewHaven13Apr2014-OverallNWCorner1k.jpg . The WPLR radio folks who organized this event ran it to benefit Connecticut Food Bank too, so knowing that it was all for a good cause made the day doubly great. Thanks to all the 99.1FM WPLR folks for a very nice job with all of it!... Ok, I don't want to ramble on too much more about this coming weekend's events--you already know you can go to the  Calendar page to check out tons of details about all of them. But I do want to just briefly highlight one of them, about which I just ran across a great video two days ago, that covers the 2013 version, and gives a great overview for the basis for the event--I am talking about the "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Connecticut" event, that is coming up this Sunday, April 27th, in Wallingford, CT. If you have 30 minutes some time between now and Sunday to check out this video, which features our local old car friends Bill Raccio and Ted Aub (who are key organizers of the WHVVD-CT event) talking about what it's all about, honoring our country's Vietnam Veterans, and All Veterans, I think it'd be worth your time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weZGxptrdZE . And there is a lot of old car content in the video, since, of course the WHVVD-CT event features a fantastic car show! Here's the official web site for the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Connecticut celebration: http://www.ctwhvvd.com/ctwhvvd.com/Home.html - and they also have an official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connecticut-Welcome-Home-Vietnam-Veterans-Day-Celebration/242221882500661 ... I am planning to be there with Doug the '60 Bug, and really looking forward to it. Click on  the small image at the above right (or HERE) to bring up a larlger view from the 2013 event) on Sunday, so maybe I'll see you there!... Have a good weekend... Over and out for now...

*4/10/2014 - Happy April! Sorry for the one-month-plus stretch between check-ins here--but let me assure you that I've been going crazy updating our Calendar page with all sorts of great event information--which, as I always strive for--is also as verified as possible... As this is being written, we have a great-looking weekend coming up, weather-wise, and how wonderful is that?! I have some non-car-obligations on Saturday, but let me tell you, I'm revved-up for getting out to New Haven on this Sunday, April 13th, for the WPLR Spring Classic Car Show, to be held at Sports Haven on Long Wharf in New Haven! Very cool! And it benefits a great charitable cause too! I just registered today, so I'm all set! Can't wait! Here's the detailed info that is published about the event by our friends at 99.1 WPLR FM: http://www.wplr.com/home/2014/03/22/991-plr-classic-car-bike-show . I registered to participate in the 'PLR Spring Classic with Doug the '60 Bug, and I'm looking forward to getting old Doug out on the road again, and also to check out the show, and see lots of fellow old car enthusiasts as well! It's been a LONG WINTER!... Ok, that's about it for now--let me get back to some other work here, but if you have the chance, and you are Facebook-compatible, please come by and visit, send me a friend request, or whatever, at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steve.fromsaac - and also check out the SAAC's Facebook page, where we try to post a lot of various old car even-type news & stuff quickly that comes across our desk, at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shoreline-Antique-Auto-Connection/517414825015371 (please consider giving us a "Like" there too--thanks!)... Hope to see you this coming Sunday at the 'PLR show in New Haven! Drive carefully & have fun!

*3/1/2014 - Happy March! But is this friggin' winter EVER going to end?! All this harsh Global Warming is really tiring me out!... Anyway, please check out a new just-added udpate to our Classified Ads page (it's another new Wedding Transportation Request), and also a new June 7th event added our often-updated Calendar page... What more can I say but: keep shoveling, keep doing your best to stay warm and hopefully we'll be talking SPRING very soon...

*1/22/2014 - Boy is is cold out there! Come on SPRING!... Please see some new just-added udpates to our Classified Ads page (including a Wedding Transportation Request), and also our Jarvis Creek Critters page... Stay warm and we'll be talking again soon...

*1/17/2014 - Happy New Year & Let's Roll!... Looks like we made it through another holiday season, and can't wait for the 2014 old car season to start back up!... We have been keeping busy, as we always are, with updaing the Calendar page, with lots of various event listings--including, as of today, this coming season's first officially confirmed Cruise Night listing (thanks to our friends the Round Town Cruisers--way to get that publicity out early!), so please do check out the Calendar page at your next convenience!... I have a couple of small antique VW wheel restoration projects moving slowly along, to help keep me amused while the weather's not super-great outside, and I hope you too have perhaps an old car project or two ongoing as well... I've also been having a lot of fun communicating & interacting with many friends in the Facebook world, with whom I've been able to "connect" due to common interests in my local town of Branford, the local-area old car scene, old VWs in particular, also collie dogs, and much more. If you are Facebook-compatible, please do drop me a line! I'm on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/steve.fromsaac and I also maintain a moderate Facebook presence in the name of Shoreline Antique Auto Connection at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shoreline-Antique-Auto-Connection/517414825015371 ... Ok, that's all for now--see you online and/or on the road again soon!

Doug the '60 Bug gets into the Christmas spirit by visiting the Christmas Caddy, 12/8/2013, in Branford - click directly on the image to bring up a view of the scene in front of Town Hall...*12/12/2013 - Taurus AND Tires are both GONE as of today... A couple of nice guys who my local old car buddy Harry Debernardo put me in touch with came and grabbed the Taurus last week, and the tires are heading up to a new owner in Meriden around lunchtime today. Works for me! Thanks again to everyone who pitched in to help get the word out & effect the sales of everything, including Harry, also Will Fleming, and Jack Danovich! Thanks again guys!... Well, it's been a busy past couple of weeks, with ups and downs... I think I mentioned in the 12/5 updates installment below that we had seen the "Christmas Caddy" staged at BHS for the Branford Holiday Festival Parade, Saturday evening, 11/30/2013, that is organized every year by the great folks at Branford Parks & Rec. I did not get to view the parade itself, due to other commitments that evening, but I did take a few pictures of the old cars staged at BHS, and enjoyed chatting with many great old car folks. Here are a few highlights, with some hyperlinked images you can click on, from that evening: First, upon getting there, I saw Dave Pooler's beautiful '55 Ford Convertible parked next to Bill Raccio's family's '65 Cooda. It was a pleasure catching up with both of those gentlemen, and also this nice photo-op when Harry Debernardo and John Astarita were talking with Bill at the wheel of that awesome Cooda. Right nearby them was a beautiful early '50s Ford Convertible that I'd seen in these parades in the past--I don't know the owner, but he was very gracious to pose for a photo with his "illuminated" antique Ford! An awesome vintage Chevy 4x4 pickup truck right nearby had "Polished Boutique" markings on the side, and I was later to find out that they are a popular local business--be sure to check Polished Boutique out on Facebook! Right next to the P.B. Chevy was another pair of cars that I recognized--the '35 Ford of Audrey Fitting and the '60s Comet of, I believe, her daughter and son-in-law--two very cool cars! A superb trio of antique Fords, including '60s Falcon, '50s Sedan, and '60s Mustang, were in between the Cooda and the Christmas Caddy. And a very cool '70s hot rod Buick Skylark GS was also staged just across the parking lot, also looking ready & rarin' to roll. I'm sorry I don't have any good pictures of Will Fleming's super-cool '66 Chevelle (picture-taking in the increasing darkness was generally not good, and the pictures I did include here were rather heavily "electronically manipulated" to bring out detail), but as Will was driving in to the BHS parking lot (with, I think, Brad Benoit's Firebird behind him), I happened to be out by the driveway taking a picture of Harry Debernardo's super-fine '79 Trans Am, and so Will's car coming in behind Harry's T/A made for a dramatic looking scene, accenting Harry's awesome gold Pontiac. I hope everyone had a good time driving in the parade, and I'm sure the spectators enjoyed the "rolling antique car show!"... The following morning (Sunday 12/1) we heard the news that our long-time old car friend Gordi Davis from New Hampshire had passed away. What a shock--I still can't believe he's gone. Please visit Gordi's Facebook page to view many memorials and photos. His close friends and family organized a wonderful memorial gathering in Keene that we were very happy to be able to attend, this past Saturday (12/7)--it was really not surprising from attending that amazing gathering how well loved and now, how dearly missed he is. Rest in Peace, Gordi...  Finally for today's updates (and relating to the small picture at the upper right), I was very pleased to drive Doug the '60 Bug down to the center to Branford, on Sunday 12/8/2013, to drop off some toy donations with the "Christmas Caddy" folks. Click on the small holiday Doug image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up the scene in front of Branford Town Hall when we stopped by there. Bravo once again to the Pantani Family who organize and run this wonderful old-car-themed humanitarian event... And finally, to round out the day, I stopped by the "Anderson Lookout" (part of the "Branford River Gateway" scenic overlook area) at the edge of the Branford River, on Montowese Street, for a quick Doug photo-op before heading back home... In all, it felt good supporting a good cause, and also getting in a bit of air-cooled Volkswagening at the same time... Finally, in other news, we are still continuing to kick butt updating our Calendar page with more and more new 2014 event listings. A recent major infusion of info came courtesy of our local shoreline VW buddy Bill Arute who is president of the CT VW Association, which produces a whole bunch of fun events thru the season (including fun events run in conjunction with Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, and also Montesi Volkswagen in North Haven). Great stuff! Thanks again Bill and CVA-ers!... Over and out for now...

Christmas Caddy image from The Sound feature, 5 December 2013 edition - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*12/5/2013 - "Christmas Caddy Alert" - In Branford This Coming Weekend... If you are a Branford resident, please check your "The Sound" issue that just arrived in yesterday's mail, December 5, 2013 edition, page 9! Per the article (by Pam Johnson), the toy collection event is going to be happening this weekend, at two different locations: 10am to 2pm, Saturday, December 7th at Branford Wal-Mart, and 10am to 2pm, Sunday, December 8th, at Branford Town Hall!...   For those not familiar with the background of The Christmas Caddy, here is an excellent Branford Patch article from last year: http://branford.patch.com/groups/events/p/ev--the-2nd-annual-christmas-caddy - and I was reminded of it due to seeing "The Christmas Caddy" itself getting ready to participate in this year's Branford Holiday Festival Parade, which took place this past Saturday, November 30th, 2013. I was able to check out the cars staged at BHS, and among them, here was the Christmas Caddy getting ready to roll that evening: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/ChristmasCaddyPreParade30Nov2013AtBHS1k.JPG . I also went ahead and uploaded a couple of images of the Sound article, which should hopefully be readable on your computer screen. Here's the entire article: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/5Dec2013ChristmasCaddyFeatureInTheSound-1k.JPG - and if you click on the small image at the above right (or HERE), you'll bring up an enlargement of just that photo from the article (photo credit: Renee Pantani), and the photo caption... God bless you, Pantani family and the entire Christmas Caddy team... Over and out for now...

*12/3/2013 - Gotcher sweet tires here too... Get 'em before they go on Craigslist! In Branford now, must go, super nice set of four 205/75R15 Hankook whitewall radials, probably less than 1,000 miles on them, and one is brand new actually (a replacement for one that got punctured). I had them on my '03 LeSabre for a very short time, and they got displaced on the stock LeSabre wheels recently by four new snowtires, since I need to have some good traction on there for my daughter who is driving the car these days. I need 'em gone now. $100 for all four, and they are located in Branford. First come, first serve, cash talks, no "tire kickers," heh heh... If interested, please e-mail commongear@aol.com ... Ok, and here are some PICTURES: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/LeSabreTires-OverallFromNewOne-1k.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/LeSabreTires-TreadsView-1k.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/LeSabreTires-SizeDesignation-1k.JPG ... Oh! And we're still working on our Calendar page (as we are all the time), and have just added several new & interesting early-season 2014 events... Never too early to start "Thinking Spring!"... Over and out for now...

'92 Taurus for sale in Branford - click for larger view*11/17/2013 - Gotta move this one along, so... FOR SALE: 1992 Ford Taurus LX station wagon, VIN 1FALP5847NG276158 (feel free check that VIN out on the Taurus VIN Decoder at: http://www.taurusclub.com/vin_check.html), one family owned since new, ~197k miles. 3.8L V6 engine, automatic transmission. Runs and drives. Never any accidents, ever. Have title... The car has its OEM 15” alloy wheels (all four in very nice shape), and 4-wheel disk brakes with ABS. Always maintained (including regular transmission fluid servicing), and preventive head gasket replacement was done at ~100k miles. Car has factory roof rack, quality DrawTite brand aftermarket receiver trailer hitch... PLEASE NOTE: rear gate on the car *does not open*—it appears that the key activation for the gate & rear window is somehow disconnected (as far as we can tell anyway; it is not due to any exterior distress)... Current Town of Branford dump/beach pass sticker on the front bumper, good to March 2014! Woo hoo!... Asking $500 - CASH ONLY, NO TIRE KICKERS OR TIME WASTERS... I also have available, for an extra charge of $100, potentially to go with the car, if you are interested: two brand-new, never used mounted & balanced quality name brand Dunlop Graspic studless snowtires for the car. This matching pair of wheels/tires was purchased new, fully mounted & balanced, from Tire Rack, specifically for this ’92 Taurus (correct wheel size, correct tire size). The wheels are generic black steel wheels. As noted, this pair of wheels/tires is brand new and have never even been on the car... If interested, please e-mail commongear@aol.com ... Ok, and here are some PICTURES: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusLeftRear-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusLeftFront-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusRightRear-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusRightFront-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusFrontEnd-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusFrontInteriorSteeringWheel-WEB.JPG ... http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusAwesomeSnowtires-WEB.JPG ...  http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/TaurusAwesomeSnowtiresSide-WEB.JPG ... Sorry to take up this valuable news space, but there it is. The car is located in Branford, by the way. I have since replaced the old Taurus with an '01 Subaru Forester. I'll do my best to post a picture of it next chance I get... Over and out for now!

John's beautiful '73 Ghia, Guilford, CT, Sunday, October 27, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view of the car and its owner!*10/27/2013 - No time to write much right now, but did want to say that it has been a LOT of fun finally catching up on a few old car events again, after having the second half of my summer snatched away due to nitty gritty family obligations! I am only going to briefly highlight today (Sunday, 10/27/2013), since it is so fresh in my mind right now. Today I was very pleased to get out to a really great local old car event, just over in Guilford, at Moroso Performance Products. It was the "Spooktacular Cruise-In" that was a joint venture between the Moroso folks and the Apple Pi Robotics folks. What a great idea, and a great way to have some old car fun, while also helping out the Apple Pi Robotics young people and their mentors--they are indeed our "best and brightest" for the future! I drove the  '70 Bug over there (which I also happily admit I've been able to drive to a couple of other old car events in the area recently as well). The weather was tip-top perfect, and it was a great day to be out and about in an old car! Special tip of the hat to a dedicated local old car guy who is always volunteering his time for worthy causes like this, Bill Raccio, who was still manning the admission gate, even at the late hour I arrived!... Here is a photo from when I first got there. I parked next to a very beautiful white '71 Super Beetle Convertible that I had seen at one of the Apple Pi cruise nights at Bishop's in Guilford a couple of years ago--and also was happy to say hello to the owners as I was on my way out--very nice folks. In the left background of that shot I think you might also be able to make out our buddy John Mainetti's awesome red late model Mustang Cobra. Here is a better view of John's beautiful 'Stang, as it appeared today at the Moroso Spooktacular event.  John is of course, better known as "John from Stony Creek Auto," which is of course our favorite local car garage. Great seeing you, John, and thanks for graciously posing for a photo! I have more shots from the Moroso Spooktacular, and may try to share them at some point--but for now, please don't hesitate to visit my Facebook page where you can touch base with any feedback you may have on this wonderful event, and/or any other local old car subjects of  interest... Finally, and related to the small image at the upper right, I decided to travel back home toward Stony Creek on the beautiful coastal Route 146, which, from Moroso, takes me through the center of Guilford, right past the Green, before  heading further west. So, I'm finally past the Green, and  taking the quick right turn onto Water Street from Whitfield, and what do I see but a gorgeous yellow late model Karmann Ghia Convertible! Definitely have to pull over for a quick photo-op! And what a pleasure to meet the enthusiastic owner John, from Guilford, who was gracious to pose by the car (a '73 model) with his beautiful little doggie who I think is named Maggie! Click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE)   for a nice photo of John, Maggie, and John's Ghia! Great meeting you John, and enjoy that gorgeous Ghia!.. Over and out for now...

*10/14/2013 - Kwick Kool Local Kar Stuff Alert: Upcoming THIS COMING WEDNESDAY EVENING (10/16/2013) in Guilford--it's the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers' Ashley's Cruise Night! Thanks to Lucille from the SRTC for forwarding the flyer: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/GuilfordAshleysCruise16October2013Flyer.jpg ...

*10/12/2013 - I am still in a bit of a "Post-Hershey Haze" (and that includes attempting to dry out--'nuff said!), but didn't want to overlook the very important updates to our Calendar page that we just got posted--and they include a couple of rain-postponed (there's that "r-word" again...) events from last weekend that got pushed up to tomorrow (Sunday, October 13th), and also one new one just added for next weekend (a "Cardone & Daughter Automotive" Open Shop event in Westbrook, on Saturday 10/19). Ok, I think that covers it for now! Don't forget to check the Calendar page for several cool old car things-to-do upcoming tomorrow (10/13) right in our area!

*9/30/2013 - Last day of September already?--unbelievable!... But we sure have had some great weather lately, and many cool car events in our area have benefited! Lots more to come, too, so do check out our Calendar page for more info. Just added one this evening that's upcoming on Sunday, October 27th, right in Guilford, at Moroso Performance Products (located of course on Carter Drive, right off Goose Lane, which I believe is also Exit 59 off of I-95)! It's called the "Spooktacular Cruise In," and sounds like a ton of fun! Plus there is Apple Pi Robotics Team involvement with the event, which is a great group of motivated students and dedicated mentors. Very cool, and a tip of the hat to Rick Moroso and his company for all their work to make it happen! And a tip of the hat to Will Fleming of Blood Sweat & Gears car club for the heads-up, too!

That time of year again! Guilford Fair Season! Click on the small image to bring up a view of the webmaster's '60 Bug sporting an official 2013 Guilford Fair Bumpersticker!*9/12/2013 - Well, not that it was enjoyable viewing, but our family watched a few 9/11/2001 retrospective specials on television last night--they really helped put back in perspective the events of that day, and also made us appreciate the many changes in our world that have taken place since then. I thought a lot about my own memories and feelings from that day 12 years ago, and also how I feel now. Sobering stuff, but I'm glad we watched it...  On a much lighter note, I was doing some internet browsing yesterday and ran across a listing for a very cool, very exciting-sounding local right-in-our-back-yard Shoreline area event--with automobile enthusiast participation opportunities--upcoming next month. It is a weekend-long extravaganza at the Guilford Fairgrounds called the "Shoreline Oktoberfest," and reportedly contains "Car Cruise Events" as part of the overall goings-on, scheduled for Friday evening (10/18), and Sunday afternoon (10/20). The official web sites for the event don't seem to mention the car cruises at all (at the time of this writing, anyway), but the listing I observed yesterday on the Special Interest web site (within the CT section of the "shows" area) did. So, I put together everything I could possibly find about the event at this time, for our Calendar page (scroll down to October 18th to find it), and I'm also going to try contacting the organizers directly to see what other details I can possibly find out (and also update/augment our Calendar page listing with) about the specific auto enthusiast participation opportunities at Shoreline Oktoberfest. I also wish to add that its Facebook page notes that some very worthy charities also benefit. So, all-around, it sounds like an event not to be missed!... And finally, would you believe that I've finally activated a Facebook page, so that I can also check-in & interact with visitors & friends in this new & interesting way. Having a Facebook account also allows me to more easily access the rest of the "Facebook world" in general (of which I am growing to appreciate the usefulness more and more). Here's my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steve.fromsaac - please do feel free to pay a visit, ask questions, make comments, invite me to check our your page, etc., etc.! *9/16/2013 quick additional updates: I just added some hyperlinked images, including the one at the upper right, to document the fact that we have put our three official 2013 Guilford Fair bumperstickers (thanks again Larry from In A Flash!) to good use, in the most public and conspicuous way possible--hopefully to help get The 2013 Guilfod Fair onto everyone's radar screens (and don't forget The Guilford Fair's Facebook page too!). The Guilford Fair starts up this coming Friday, folks, September 20th! Anyway, please click on the image at the upper right (or HERE) for a view of Doug the '60 Bug sporting his GF sticker. Here's the Creeky '69 Bug ready to roll with its GF sticker. And finally, as often seen in grim I-95 commuting traffic, here's the old '92 Taurus, also as-stickered-up for 2013! See you at the Fair!

*9/10/2013 - Yes indeed, an important anniversary date in American history coming up tomorrow--don't think I need to explain... Well, even though I've personally been missing out on tons of cool car events lately (due to many dreary, non-car-related family obligations), I have been, wherever possible, working to keep our Calendar page fresh and updated as much as possible with interesting upcoming car event listings. I don't know if it's actually true or not, but it seems September is one of the busiest months of the entire year as far as car events in our area--unbelievable the number of new events we've been adding for September--and early/mid October too, for that matter! So, please do make sure you check out that Calendar page when you get a chance... Hey, thanks to our friend Larry from In A Flash Studio in Guilford earlier today, I am now "fully set" with bumperstickers for a favorite local-area event that is soon-upcoming within the next cople of weeks. Can you guess what event I am referring to? Stay tuned for when I get a chance to get those cool stickers onto my vehicles! For now: Thanks again Larry!

*8/30/2013 - Felt it was time for a new header for this page. I will try to rotate them a bit more often. The subject in this new header image is Doug the '60 Bug, which has always lived his life on the Connecticut Shoreline--believe the previous owner (our family is only the third owner of old Doug, since the early 1980s) bought Doug from the original owner in, I think I recall his saying, North Branford (though I will attempt to track down and verify that fact, now that I am thinking about it). Doug's production date was December 31, 1959, which makes him only a little younger than yours truly (my "production date" was October 26, 1959)...  And of course, the roadway on which Doug was photographed, back on December 29, 2011, is the scenic coastal Leetes Island Road, a.k.a. CT Route 146. Doug is facing west, headed toward Branford, in this view. This particular spot is popular in the summer for the "crabbing crowd." There is a culvert under the roadway that allows tidal water to flow in and out of Guilford's "Lost Lake," which is out of the frame to the right in the original shot. And to the south (out of the frame to the left) are salt marshes and a meandering river leading out to Joshua Cove... Wishing everyone a nice upcoming Labor Day Holiday Weekend. Don't forget to check the Calendar page for several old-car-related things-to-do that will be avaiable...

*8/19/2013 - We just heard that the Apple Pi Robotics Cruise Night at Bishop's Orchards in Guilford is on for this coming Thursday evening, August 22nd, 2013! Fantastic! What a great idea for a grand season wrap up for the series, which benefits such a great cause! Please check our Calendar page under August 22nd (that's this coming Thursday evening!) for more info, and make plans to attend this wonderful local Shoreline-area old car event, benefiting some great local young people!

Time Machines 2013 Teaser on page 5 of the August 1, 2013 issue of "The Sound" - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*8/1/2013 - Wow, was "Time Machines 2013" this past Sunday, 7/28/2013, at the Guilford Fairgrounds GREAT or what?! Speaking for myself, anyway, I had one tremendous time. What a great turnout of beautiful old cars and trucks, including the "featured class" of hot rods, modifieds, and customs--wow, what a beautiful array! Too early to try to get into any more details right now, but I did want to tip my hat to Shore Publishing (which I believe is a division of The Day out of New London), and their local newspapers, "The Guilford Courier," and "The Sound" (which is their Branford-focused publication). When the August 1, 2013 issue of The Sound arrived in our mailbox yesterday, I got around to thumbing through it, and on page 5, noticed a familar-looking vehicle in a picture, and the headline: "Love A Bug?" Of course, I recognized the vehicle pictured as the '65 VW "Herbie" Bug of Brent St. Louis, who is an active volunteer worker with the CT VW Association, and who drove all the way down from Enfield, CT, with his family, to participate in the show. How cool that The Sound chose to represent their Time Machines 2013 coverage (the article was a teaser to go and look at their "Zip06" web site for the actual article with photo gallery) with a photo of one of the fantastic antique VWs that participated (ok, I admit I am a little biased)! See the small image at the upper right, showing that issue opened to the pages 4 and 5 spread, and with a red arrow indicating the TM2013 feature as highlighted with Brent's eye-catching Herbie Bug, and then click directly on the image (or HERE) to bring up a larger-format copy of the same shot. Again, I can only say, very cool! For your info, here is a photo of the cover of that particular The Sound issue, with, interestingly, another old-car-themed photo--not related to Time Machines, however, but rather focusing on a fundraiser held recently at the Pine Orchard Country Club. I don't recognize the car in the shot, though it sure looks to be an grand oldie indeed! Here is another photo of the feature on page 5 of that The Sound issue, so you can read the headline ("Love A Bug"--nice play on the phrase "The Love Bug," which of course is the legendary Disney movie where "Herbie" became famous), and perhaps even the text. The newspaper feature of course, pointed our attention to the online story, which was published by The Guilford Courier, and which featured a cool video from the car show, as well as a photo gallery. The online article is called "No High Beams Here," and you can click directly on that hyperlink to bring it up. In the photo gallery from that article, the nice shot of Brent's Herbie Bug appeared, as well as many other familiar local old cars, including Brian Spear's super-cool '41 Hupp Skylark, and the beautiful interior of Dave Kelly's fantastic '53 Hudson Super Wasp. From what I could see, all the photo credits went to Richard Esposito of The Courier. Nice Job by Shore Publishing, The Sound, and The Guilford Courier!... And one more Major Tip of the Hat to the great people of the CT Area Classic Thunderbird Club for the great job produding yet another fantastic Time Machines event, which is not only a ton of fun, but also, very importantly, benefits many worthy charitable causes... Over and out for now...

*7/26/2013 - Looks like the Beacon Falls Lions Club Bethany Airport car show, originally scheduled for this Sunday, 7/28, has gotten pushed to its rain date of Sunday, August 11th, per the e-mail I received today from Flacarf@aol.com - so I've updated the Calendar page with that info... But don't forget that "Time Machines 2013" happens rain or shine, this Sunday, 7/28, at the Guilford Fairgrounds--be there, or be square!!!

Bug Eye Sprites posed on, you guessed it, the Stony Creek Town Dock--as seen on the cover of the September 2013 Hemmings Sports & Exotics! - Click directly on the image to bring up a full view of the front of the magazine!*7/24/2013 - Very important and very late-breaking news to bring you this afternoon! Our local old car buddy Bill Raccio told me just this morning that there will be a classic car cruise at Hammonassett Ford in Madison this evening, with WDRC radio people in attendance, and with a benefit cause for the Wounded Warrior Project. It reportedly will run from 5pm to 9pm this evening--Wednesday, July 24, 2013. The listing on the WDRC web site - http://www.wdrc.com/page.php?page_id=401 - indicates 5pm to 7pm, but Bill says that’s most likely just the hours that the WDRC people will be there, and that he has a flyer that says the function lasts until 9pm. So, why not try to get out there this evening? It’ll be a lot of fun, I’m sure, with a great, high-visibility location right there on busy Route 1, and, again, benefits a GREAT cause. Thanks again Bill R. for the heads up!... I mentioned in the 6/8/2013 updates section below about how the dreaded “glowing generator light” had appeared in old Doug the ’60 Bug, leading to my bringing a spare (previously replaced due to a howling bearing) 6v generator up to “Joe’s Auto Electric II” in Middletown (770 Newfield Street, Middletown, CT 06457, 860-613-1433, www.joesautoelectricii.net), where it was a pleasure to do business with the owner, Jon Albert (and also find out that he’s also an old VW enthusiast!). The rebuilt unit that I picked up from Jon that day had been tested with the regulator to make sure the system worked fully. Jon also did some magnificent cosmetic work as part of his process--the generator itself was drop-dead gorgeous, looking factory-fresh in every way, including a beautifully refinished voltage regulator bolted to the top, with all fresh-looking wires and attachment hardware, and with both halves of the generator pulley (and dome-shape pulley nut stand-off) looking perfect with “just the right amount of gloss” black paint, and a beautiful set of shims and gleaming pulley nut (functioning as the “cherry on top”). The price, I thought, was extremely reasonable for the amount of work that had obviously been put into this beautiful generator by Mr. Albert. I left there feeling happier than ever that I had been referred to Joe’s Auto Electric II, and could not wait until I had the chance to try installing it… It was a couple more weeks until I found a clear weekend day to do the generator replacement. I knew I wanted to pull the engine to do the job, and so I knew that all of that would add considerable time to the overall effort—hence the need to find an unobstructed day. I have heard that generator replacement is possible with the engine in the car, but for me, I felt that to get everything just right, I wanted to be working with a clear, unobstructed engine… This past Sunday, July 21st, 2013, turned out to be Generator Replacement Day. I’ll spare you the “gory details,” but start to finish, it was about a 7-hour job (good thing I’m not paying myself to work on my car, huh?!). I imagine that Joe’s Auto Electric could’ve done it in a much shorter time. But what a nice sense of satisfaction when I finally got to the point of starting up the ’60 Bug and having a nice quiet generator AND with the absence of a glowing generator idiot light! Yes, I’ll admit that I enjoyed a couple of cold self-congratulatory adult beverages after that one! Click on this hyperlink to bring up a photo of the rebuilt generator, as-installed on the engine... It sure is nice to know about yet another local-area expert who can help us out with our cars. From what I could see, Joe’s Auto Electric II is a highly-capable shop for all sorts of auto repairs, foreign and domestic, in addition to their “specialty” of automobile electrics. I would certainly not hesitate to recommend them!... Oh! And relating to the small accompanying image at the upper right, the latest Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car (September 2013 edition; just showed up in my snail mail box a couple of days ago) has a very nice feature about Bug Eye Sprites, and in particular three cars that have come through the Branford-based “Bug Eye Guy’s” shop (bugeyeguy.com)… Evidently the Hemmings writer/photographer came to Branford to do photos for this feature, and the cover of the magazine shows the feature cars arranged on none other than the Stony Creek Town Dock! If you’ve ever been down there, this is where the very popular Thimble Islands tour boats depart from. The opening two-page spread for the article inside the magazine has the same photo, covering two entire pages! If you click directly on the small image, which I made by placing the magazine cover on a computer scanner (or HERE), you’ll bring up a large view of the entire front page of this particular Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car issue. And here is a photo I made of just the “sidebar” piece covering the upper half of page 25 and focusing on The Bug Eye Guy himself (photo credited to noted local Branford photographer/antique auto enthusiast Tricia Bohan!), that was part of the overall article (which covered pages 18 through 25 of the magazine). How great to see some of our local scenic waterfront appear in a national magazine, and also the great exposure for one of our local antique auto experts!... That's all for now--maybe see you at Hammo Ford later this evening....

*7/15/2013 - Hey ho--there's an interesting new "Car For Sale" listing on the Classified Ads page as of this evening!... Also, very happy to report that I was actually able to make it out to a car event this past weekend--specifically the CT VW Association's fantastic VW car show at the Elks Lodge in Westbrook, on Sunday, July 14th--wow, whatta show! Check out this view of just a part of the show field! Great job by the Connecticut Volkswagen Association folks with this one!!!

The Webmaster's gnarly '69 Bug at Roberts Food Center, North Madison, CT, Saturday, July 6, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*7/10/2013 - Well, not a lot of old car news to report on since my last check-in here, I am sorry to say. But that is not because there hasn't been enough cool local old car stuff happening--much to the contrary! Just check our  Calendar page for yourself to see what-all's been going on, and what more great stuff will be happening in the days, weeks, and months ahead!... In my part of the world, there have been a lot of family-type obligations that have kept me from getting out to so many of the great summertime car events that we enjoy so much. It's unfortunate, but what are you going to do?! I have also recently finished up a month-long master cylinder replacement on my gnarly '69 Bug. This was one of those projects that started out innocently enough, but which developed into a much bigger job, as I discovered more stuff that needed to be replaced along the way (more delays as parts are waited-for, and also finding the time to do the work, which is also an issue for me, working a full-time job, and so forth). I started the job somewhere around the first of June, and only finished it up maybe about a week and a half ago. I am happy to have had the '70 Bug available in the mean time, though, with which to be able to do some old car driving here and there. But since the '69 is once again in "back on the road" status, I've been trying to drive that one around as much as possible--and that includes not only pleasure driving, but also various shopping trips, and other mundane-type driving. The small image at the upper left is from last weekend (Saturday, July 6th, to be exact), when I had to be out in North Madison, and happened to stop at Roberts Food Center by the traffic circle. Click directly on the image (or HERE) to bring up a larger overall-type view. Yes, I've been leaving the top up lately, because I've had to drive it places where I've needed to leave it for short periods of time, and with the "contstant thunderstorms threat" type of weather we've been having lately, I don't need to come out to a car filled with water!... Here are another couple of shots from another very hot and muggy afternoon, yesterday (Tuesday, July 9th, 2013), when I had to stop in to Super Stop & Shop on Leetes Island Road in Branford: View A (too bad about that "Friendly's" that's been closed for what must be at least a year or so--I miss it...) and View B (notice the hubcaps change I decided to try out--eh, it's something different...). Make no mistake, the car is no showpiece, but it's super-solid, performs well, and is an absolute kick to drive!... Ok, I that's it for now. As always, I am looking to get out to local car events, and perhaps I might actually be able to make it to a few in the near future. Wish me luck!!!

Great old Ford Convertible photographed 6/8/2013 at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, CT - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*6/13/2013 - Oh boy, two, count 'em two fantastic auto events I am so happy to be able to report that I was able to make it out to recently--namely the Central CT Region AACA's fantastic Glastonbury Car & Truck Meet on Sunday, June 9th, 2013, and then the Main Street Middletown car cruise yesterday evening (Wednesday, June 12th, 2013)--both were positively awesome! I drove the '70 Bug out to both--Matt came with me to Glastonbury, and then met me at the Middletown event since he had to work later. We handed tons of Time Machines 2013 flyers out like crazy at both, and also took many pictures--so stay tuned for a few shots from both. Great job by everyone involved with both events--they were fan-tas-tic!... I want also to go back now and make a bit more mention of an event that I was pleased to make it out to on Saturday afternoon, June 8th, that was briefly mentioned in the 6/8/2013 updates section below. It had been mentioned about the previous day's and night's rains (Friday, June 7th, on into the early morning of Saturday, June 8th), and perhaps that might've factored into a sliightly lighter-than-usual turnout for the Open House/"VW Road Show" that was held at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, with significant participation from Connecticut Volkswagen Assocation members. Being both a fan of Cardone & Daughter Automotive, and a long-time CVA member, I had to try my best to make it out there (even though I had several other things going on that day). As had been mentioned previously, I got there late, and drove a "brand-x" automobile (the '03 LeSabre), but had a great time checking in with CVA buddies like Bill Arute, and Chris Fox, and also, of course, Nancy & David, their old-VW specialist Don, and all of their staff, who were so gracious to host this gathering. I was happy to have my camera there to record some of the scenes. If you click directly on the image at the upper right (or HERE), which was a very cool old Ford convertible that was in one of the shop bays (which I believe might be for sale--call the shop to inquire!), you'll bring up a larger view. And this view shows another view into the shop, with the same old Ford at the right, an old Porsche up on a lift, and other various oldies visible in the background (let it not be said that Cardone & Daughter Automotive doesn't work on "all sorts" of cars!). More evidence of the various types of cars that get brought to C&D Automotive for various services include these beautiful British and German specimens that were just outside of the shop bays. Of course the "trademark" C&D Automotive '74 Super Beetle was parked out front, and I was able to get an interesting angle shot using it as a foreground object, with some of the shop building and interesting array of cars-for-sale out in front of the building. Bill Arute had his super-kool '74 Standard Bug on display parked out by the roadside, featuring "early look" fenders & lights, a dechrome job, and BRM-style wheels. And finally, I was very pleased to get a photo of Chris Fox posing between the LeSabre, and his '96 VW Passat station wagon (formerly my daily driver before the Buick, and on which Chris has been doing an amazing fix-up job), with some nice Cardone & Daughter Automotive signage visible as a backdrop. Finally, like was also mentioned last time, don't forget to check out the handbill for "Enchanted April," upcoming at "The Kate" in Old Saybrook, in which both Nancy and David will be acting! It runs July 18th thru the 21st, and I've added the details to our Calendar page. I would like to thank Nancy & David Cardone and their entire staff for setting up a really wonderful and welcoming Open House for the VW folks, and also hope that they "Break A Leg" at their upcoming stage performance!!!

*6/10/2013 - The new event listings being added to our Calendar page just keep on coming--just got like three or four new and/or updated ones added as of this evening! One in particular that I wanted you to be aware of is upcoming this coming Saturday, June 15th, in Durham. I only learned about it recently, and the person from whom I requested a flyer got it to me as quickly as possible, and so I feel it's necessary to highlight it here as quickly as possible also--it is the "2013 Strawberry Festival Car Show & Craft Fair," to be held at Notre Dame Church (272 West Main Street--a.k.a. Route 17--in Durham) by the Knights of Columbus Council 12289, and benefiting an excellent cause: Wounded Warrior Project. Please see the listing for this great-sounding event (complete with clickable hyperlinks to both the front and back of the official flyer) on our Calendar page plus all the other new/updated ones as well... Over and out for now!

1950 Buick at Tri Central Motors, Saturday, June 8, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*6/8/2013 - I had a day of many & varied auto-related experiences today! And a couple of them I even have some photos ready to go, to help illustrate. At least one other will have to wait for the next installment, however, since I want to give it proper space as well. As you probably noticed, we had some pretty hellacious rain over from Friday into Friday night around here. I could not believe how gorged the local streams and waterfalls looked this morning. They had a lot of excess water to drain. Our lawns are going to be growing like crazy, I predict! Sharpen up those grasscutter blades!... My first stop on my Saturday agenda was "Joe's Auto Electric II" up in Middletown, who had been rebuilding a 6-volt generator for Doug the '60 Bug. I got an early start and took the highway up there. Not far off of the Country Club Road exit (from I-91) I had to stop and photograph this really cool old McCormick Deering model "WD-40" tractor that I saw parked in a field; here's a front view, and here's a rear view. That was neat!... Next I got over to see Jon at Joe's Auto Electric, and I must say, that generator looks super! And Jon assured me that I can bring the car up there if I get into a jam instaling it--that's always nice to know. Thanks again Jon!... From there I started heading back south again, and got onto Route 17 through Durham. Just south of Durham center, I decided to stop and take a couple of pictures of some of the old cars at "Tri-Central Motors" (that I had been driving by for years and years). I got a couple of overall-type views: here's one from the north and here's one from the south and here's the sign on the building - and I thought that the '50 Buick that is shown in the small image at the upper right was very cool also (click directly on the image or HERE to bring up a larger view). What do you know, while I was there taking some pictures, a vehicle drives up, and it's the son of the owner! I was prepared to get chased away, but it was a pleasant surprise that Tony Cavallaro (who runs "Tony's Metal Shop" in Middletown, and does stick, MIG, and TIG welding, complete with mobile service; 860-918-4680 or acavallaro@snet.net) was pleaesd to see interest in the vehicles at Tri-Central Motors, all of which, I believe, are for sale! It was a great pleasure to get a tour of the highlights of the Tri-Central collection, which include several very unique and interesting (and low miles too) old military vehicles, from the WW-II and Korean War eras. Tony was gracious to pose for a photo with one of them, and here's another super-interesting one, which was reportedly a 1941 Command Car. Tony said that several of these old military relics have been in local 4th of July & Memorial Day parades (I believe he said in the town of Madison, and possibly other towns as well). It was a real pleasure being able to meet and chat with Tony, and he was so gracious to spend some time with me talking about the vehicles, and also mutual people we both knew, and so on... My final "auto-related" stop yesterday was out at Cardone & Daughther Automotive in Westbrook, who were hosting an Open House for old car folks, with invitation to members of the Connecticut Volkswagen Association. I got there late, and I am embarrassed to say that I drove my '03 LeSabre(!), but it was great to be there, and say hello to Nancy & David, and their staff, who were so gracious to host this gathering, complete with hot dogs, and burgers on the grill, and more. I will write more about this fun event in the next installment (& have some accompanying photos to share also), but I did want to mention the handbill that Nancy handed me, for an upcoming production at "The Kate" in Old Saybrook, in which both she and David will be acting! It is called "Enchanted April," and runs July 18th thru the 21st, and I've added the details to our Calendar page. Sounds very cool, Nancy & David!... Might try to get up to Glastonbury tomorrow, for the Central CT Region AACA car show--we shall see. Have a great rest of your weekend!...

*5/30/2013 - Wow, what a great Memorial Day in Stony Creek and Branford. We were so pleased to view, and in some cases also participate, in a few of the observances and activities surrounding the day, which is dedicated to remembering all the soldiers who gave their lives for our country and  the cause of freedom. Within the main Branford Memorial Day Parade, on Main Street, in the center of town, there was a very nice turnout of old cars that participated, and at least a couple of them I had never seen before (and one of those was even a VW!). I took some pictures and will do my best to gather up a few to share with you, at least as hyperlinks, hopefully in the next installment on this page. Mrs. Webmaster and I both were very honored to drive our old VWs in the Branford Memorial Day Parade as well. Anyway, stay tuned for more on all of that, and a special note of THANKS to the Branford Veterans Parade Committee for inviting antique autos back again this year to participate, and of course, THANKS VETERANS... Due to other family obligations later in the day, I was not able to make it back out to Hamden to check out the rescheduled (see below) Quinnipiac car show that day--though I am sure it was well-attended, as it usually is... I ran into local Pontiac Trans-Am driving buddy Harry Debernardo today, who mentioned to me that he had attended the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions car show, that was also held on Memorial Day Monday, and said he had fun and saw many cool old cars--sounds like fellow local T/A driver John Astarita also attended that event, and took home a car show award in the process!... With my modern daily driver in the shop this week, I've been driving the Creeky '69 Bug daily, and have had a lot of fun--even though I had to hoist up the tattered top so that I could drive it in the rain (and park it in the rain while inside at work) during the early part of the week. Here is a shot from today's early-morning gas-up at the southbound I-95 service area in West Haven, CT... Ok, that about covers it for now. Please do be sure to check out the Calendar page for details of several old car events happening this coming weekend--and also the "Cruise Nights" section of that same page for various weekly evening old car things that we have also been able to gather information for (for instance, Harry D. told me that his club's Newington Panera Bread cruise night will be happening this Saturday evening--again, please check the Calendar page for details)... Over and out for now...

*5/26/2013 - Hope I can perhaps save a couple of drives out to the non-existent car show at Quinnipiac U. today--we just got back, after having attempted to check the organizers' web site ("...Visit our website at CTCLASSICCHEVY.NET..." is a clip from the show listing currently appearing on the Special Interest Vehicles web site) and only got a black screen, so seeing that the skies were clear, we drove out to Hamden. Oh well! There was a handwritten sign at the entrance to the Quinnipiac parking lot saying that the show was postponed to tomorrow, FYI... I would like to wish everyone a great rest of your Memorial Day Weekend, and a special note of THANKS VETERANS, and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

*5/17/2013 - Just a very quick note for now, as I've just posted some more updates to the Calendar page, and I also need to make special note that the Morgan School's 18th Annual Car Show & Food Drive will be happening TOMORROW (Saturday, May 18th, 2013), since they ended up having to invoke their rain date (event was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 11th). So, pleaese get out there to Morgan in Clinton (right nearby the Clinton Crossing shopping center, right by the highway exit) tomorrow if you can, to support those hard-working kids, and also the Shoreline Soup Kitchen, which the food drive portion of the event benefits--THANKS!

Colorful view of old car front ends at the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day CT event at Guilford Fairgrounds, April 21, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger, uncropped view...*5/2/2013 - Happy May! The weather has been taking a nice slow & gradual turn toward Spring, which is fine with me. I hope you’ve been able to take advantage of some of this nice weather and have some old car fun lately. I have been having some myself! Even though I had to miss the CVA Spring Dust-Off event up in Mansfield, CT this past Sunday, April 28th (thanks again CT Volkswagen Association for all your efforts to provide a fun day!), I did get out to the “Kenny Fletcher Memorial” Cruise at Valli Construction in Portland, CT the previous day (Saturday the 27th of April), which was positively phenomenal. Check out these sample photos that I snapped while I was there (handing out Time Machines 2013 flyers to all the cars, also): View A, View B, and View C. Wow, the Fletcher event sure was quite the scene!...  And, referring to the small-but-colorful image at the right (click directly on it, or HERE, to bring up a larger, uncropped view), I was also very pleased to get over to the Guilford Fairgrounds, to take part in the positively magnificent “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day CT 2013” event, on the previous Sunday, April 21st. Here are a couple more overall-type views of the WHVVD Guilford event--wow, what an impressive turnout: View A, and View B... I drove Doug the ’60 Bug to the WHVVD Guilford event, and entered in the car show (handed out TM2013 flyers too, of course!), but only spectated at the Kenny Fletcher Portland event (did drive the Creeky ’69 Bug to Portland, though!)… My hat is off to the great folks who produce fantastic events like these, that highlight and support such immensely worthy causes! If our local old car buddy Bill Raccio, who worked his heart out on the WHVVD Guilford event, has any “approved for publication” words about the event, we’ll get ‘em onto this web site (and I can assure you that I have plenty more photos with which we can further document that great day as well). And I'm also soliciting some post-event words from the Fletcher Memorial event organizers at Valli Construction as well… Ok, the other two things I wanted to mention this evening also also very important. The first is that we have a new Wedding Transportation Request posted on our Classifieds Page, and it is upcoming next month, so please do check that out... The second thing I wanted to mention is that I added a couple of new Jarvis Creek-related images to the "Jarvis Creek Critters" page--so please check that out some time at your leisure also... That covers it for now--over and out!

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Banner hung over Route 1 in Guilford, photographed 4/15/2015 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger copy of the photo. And DON'T MISS THE EVENT, Sunday, April 21, 2013, at Guilford Fairgrounds!*4/16/2013 - In talking with our buddy Bill Raccio at the West Haven Wal-Mart car show on Sunday, and also from having talked with him several times previously about all the balls he's been juggling regarding the upcoming Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans CT event (this coming Sunday, 4/21/2013 at the Guilford Fairgrounds), I learned that the big colorful banner he had commissioned for the event had finally been hoisted over Route 1/Boston Post Road in Guilford, at the spot where banners get hung--roughly right in front of the Ashley's ice cream shop. I wasn't able to get over there on Sunday, but I did head straight over there after work on Monday, and had my little compact camera with me, and was able to snap a couple of images--click directly on the small image at the right (or HERE)   to bring up a larger copy, and here's another more overall-type view of how the banner appears over the roadway (that's some of the Big Y/Wal-Mart shopping plaza in the right background of that shot). VERY NICE JOB Bill, and everyone involved, with the banner--and of course with everything else connected with the event! Dedicated people like Bill have been working like crazy getting everything set in place for the event--including, of course, the Car and Motorcycle Show that is a main feature of The Celebration. I am really looking forward to it, and hope to see you all there on Sunday! God Bless America and our Veterans..

WPLR Spring Classic car show, Sunday 4/14/2013, West Haven, CT - Click directly on the image to bring up a large overall panoramic view...*4/14/2013 - Wow, what a nice day to be out and about with an old car! Ah, let me back up a bit. I am happy to report that I was able to make it out to a couple of old car events today, and then later in the day I was able to get out and about in my own old car a bit for some local pleasure driving. So, technically, I didn't drive an old car to either of the old car events today, and I realize that's my loss. I still had some stuff I wanted to do on the car that was in the "staging area" (namely Doug the '60 Bug), and so I opted to drive the modern car (the '03 LeSabre) out to the car events, and bring along with me the newly-acquired Time Machines 2013 flyers that our buddy Fred Klaus supplied me with earlier in the previous week, so that I could hand them out at the events... Let me back up one more bit before getting into today's events, though, to mention that I feel bad about not having made it out to Westbrook, yesterday (Saturday 4/13), to take in the Cardone & Daughter Automotive Spring Open Shop event. I just had too much stuff going on at home (both car stuff and other stuff), and it didn't work out for me to be able to get out there. I hope that everyone who attended had a great time, and I absolutely applaud David and Nancy Cardone, and all the staff of Cardone & Daughter Automotive for hosting such a wonderful event (and this is just one of MANY similar events that they host at their shop throughout the season). We are so lucky to have such a wonderful local Shoreline-area business who really understand our old cars (and our modern cars too), and help us keep them on the road and usable (as I can personally attest, from their having ministered to several of our old cars over the years--thanks again Cardone's!)... Back to today--my first destination was the West Haven Wal-Mart parking lot, for the WPLR Spring Classic car show. Wow, talk about a healthy turnout! That particular Wal-Mart has a unique "annex" parking lot, which nicely keeps the car show separate from the "normal riff-raff" (like fat old guys driving '03 LeSabres...), and it was at least 3/4 or so full when I was there--impressive! If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), you will bring up an overall panoramic view that I shot from the "main" part of the parking lot. I enjoyed running into old buddies like Fred and Rocko Gallipoli from West Haven, with their VW Squareback and classic Mini, also the super-hard-working Bill Raccio from Branford, driving his trademark red '65 Barracuda--and handing out flyers for next weekend's "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans CT 2013" extravaganza that will be held at the Guilford Fairgrounds, on Sunday, April 21, 2013--this is one event that is not to be missed--and not just for the huge car show, but also for all the other attractions and displays, and of course, the opportunity to welcome and thank all Vietnam Veterans--and Veterans of all wars. I'm really looking forward to it! Oh, and also our local vintage Pontiac Trans-Am driving buddies Harry DeBernardo and John Astarita were present with their black and gold T/A's respectively, and it was enjoyable catching up with them also (Harry in particular has been a huge help with tire detailing ideas and product suggestions, now that I am running RWL tires on the LeSabre... Thanks again Harry!). And finally, those die-hard cruisers Will and Jimmy from Blood Sweat and Gears car club--great seeing you guys too! Anyway once I got Time Machines flyers handed out, I ran around and took a few photos (here are a couple more overall shots from the West Haven Wal-Mart WPLR Spring show (click directly on the hyperlinks): View B, View C, and View D), and then moved along... I was not far from my second destination of the day: Heav'nly Donuts on Route 34 in Derby. This was a benefit event, collecting nonperishable food donations for a food pantry. It was fun checking out the cool cars there too (and also, of course, handing out TM2013 flyers while I was at it). Here are a couple of shots (again, click directly on the hyperlinks): Overall view front-center from the road, another view from a little further east looking back at the Heav'nly Donuts building and participating cars, some more of the great old cars participating including a vintage AMC Gremlin, and this kool kustom Krosley woodie wagon was the focal point for the food collection. Great job by everyone involved supporting a great cause, and having some old car fun in the process!... In all, I had a lot of fun checking out those two events--it was a great way to finally break out of winter mode!... When I got home I finished up a few more small tasks with Doug the '60 Bug, then gave him a nice wash and tire-detail treatment, and then took him for a nice little local pleasure drive. Happy to say old Doug ran great, and I'll share a photo or two with you from that little excursion next time... Best to all, and please make sure to keep watch on our Calendar page, as new events and cruises are always being added... Over and out for now...

Webmaster's '70 Bug pausing for a photo near some blooming crocuses in Stony Creek, CT, Thursday, March 28th, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger, uncropped view... And HAPPY EASTER!*3/28/2013 - The weather sure seems like it's trying to improve--and I'm sure it will, slowly but surely! Go Mother Nature!... It looks like we are on the verge of a major Springtime holiday weekend--namely Easter--and I wish you and your family a wonderful day, and hopefully some happy time together. I know that a lot of folks have to work tomorrow (Good Friday), but I am fortunate to have it off as a holiday, courtesy of my employer, so I plan to put the day off to good use by hopefully slogging through our annual income tax return, rather than waiting until "the bitter end" to do so, as is the usual case with me! Anyway, wish me luck with that!... As always, I am still cranking along on adding & updating more and more 2013 old car events to the Calendar page. This is a busy time of year for that activity, but I really enjoy it! Make sure you check out the Calendar page for all the "latest and greatest" in old car event listings for our area (and I should add that we strive to make sure that the events we list are as directly verified as possible, and not just "internet flotsam" shuffled along--but even with our lisitngs, you should still call ahead to verify)... In some cool (well, cool to me!) automotive updates from this end, I am very excited to report that a new/slightly old daily driver has been pressed into service by yours truly, follwing the "death" of my long-running '96 VW Passat (though that car may live on at the skilled hands of another old VW friend to whom we passed it along). I am referring to my dad's old 2003 Buick LeSabre, which has been sitting for many years following the end of his driving career, and his passing a few years later. After a long & involved paperwork process, as of last week, I finally got the car registered--"Oh what a feeling!" (and it's not even a Toyota, ha ha!). The car needs going-through and freshening up, since it was sitting for such a long time, and some new tires for sure--and so, as of today, since the new tires showed up yesterday, I have the car out to Stony Creek Auto for a get-well check-over (& also to mount up the new tires). Can't wait to get it back! Ha ha! And, oh yes, I'm also a recently-new Buick Club of America member, and am currently attempting to join the local-area BCA Chapter as well. Here's the "Me and My Buick" thread at the AACA forum that I recently started up, where I'm planning to post lots of updates about the car, as we go along: http://forums.aaca.org/f163/2003-buick-lesabre-dark-bronzemist-metallic-348028.html . Yeah, I know it still has 15 years to reach "antique" status, but I still think it's a cool car!... Ok, and related to the fact that the Big Buick is away on its "get well visit" with the good guys at Stony Creek Auto, I still had to get to work today, and so I drove the '70 Bug! Happy to say it ran great, and it was a thrill to be finally back behind the wheel again of this great old car. I got out of work early, and from recent drives around the Stony Creek area, I remembered that there was a local roadside spot with some beautiful blooming crocuses, which to me, are such a wonderful sign of early Spring--and so I had to stop for a photo with the Bug of course! If you click directly on the small reduced & cropped image at the upper right (or HERE), you'll bring up a bigger overall shot of the scene. Looking at it makes me think Happy Spring Thoughts!... All the best to you and your family for the upcoming holiday weekend, and see you on the road!-

Doug the '60 Bug makes it onto the "Black Steelies" international web site! - Click directly on the image to bring up a slightly larger view...*3/12/2013 - Wow, is Spring finally on its way? I am cautiously optimistic! The longer daylight at the end of the day helps my outlook, as does, of course, the continual melting-away of the snow. I have even seen several shoots of what I'm guessing are crocus and daffodills popping up in some sundrenched flower beds around my neighborhood already--really gives you a good feeling to see that those plants have also not forgotten what time of year this is... I guess it's going to be getting chilly again toward the end of this week, but we can handle that, after what we've been through... Even though I have not placed a great many updates on this main page lately, I have been diligently hammering away, adding more and more 2013 old car event listings to the Calendar page, which is one of my favorite early-Springtime pursuits! Yes, even though this page has been somewhat neglected lately, I've been doing my best to check in with event and cruise night organizers, to try to make sure I have the best, most accurate info possible to add to the Calendar page. I know that I get frustrated when I am not able to verify that I'm looking at actual up-to-date information, or just someone's "best guess" about what's going to be happening this year (based on what happened last year). And I always try to pay special attention to those events that are more near the Shoreline area. For instance, I recently saw a listing for an extremely admirable local event that benefits the family of a revered local military veteran, the memorial scholarship in his name, and also the local high school. It is the "3rd Annual Cruise Night at Valli's, in Memory of Kenny Fletcher," that will be happening on Saturday, April 27th, at Valli Construction in Portland (with rain date of May 4th, the following Saturday). After adding the event to the Calendar page, I wrote to Valli Construction to see if they had a flyer, and a short time later received a very nice correspondence from Michael Brown of Valli Construction, with color copies of the event flyer. I have since scanned the flyer, and added it as a clickable hyperlink to the event listing. Thanks again to Michael Brown, Michael Bellobuono, and everyone involved in putting together this great-sounding early-season event, benefiting great causes and the memory of  revered military veteran Kenny Fletcher... Ok, beyond that, the only other thing I wanted to touch on for this evening was a neat bit of exposure that Doug the '60 Bug got on a cool new international web project called "Black Steelies." Their mission is summarized in their header slogan: "There hasn't been a car built that can't be improved by a set of black steel wheels." In this age of chromed-out, mega-diameter, space-age-looking alloy wheels, the old school sensibility of the simple black steel wheel seems to be making a quiet comeback--at least with some of us! Anyway, a couple of years ago, I had posted on a popular VW enthusiast web site a couple of pictures of Doug wearing some skinny (4.5" width) Porsche 356 wheels, that I had refinished in gloss black paint, in a snowy Christmas Eve setting (right here in little old Stony Creek, CT). The pictures came out pretty neat, and I guess the Black Steelies folks eventually ran across them. I have created a "composite" image showing their header and one of the Doug pictures (there have since been more recent photos posted on their main page), which you can see at the upper right--and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you'll bring up a slightly larger version. Thanks again to Pete Accini and everyone at Black Steelies (http://blacksteelies.com/) for the exciting spotlight for our humble 1960 Bug with local Shoreline-area roots!... Enjoy our developing Spring of 2013, and see you on the road again soon... Over and out for now...

Branford Fest "Gary The Welder DiNello Memorial" Classic Car Cruise, 6/17/2012 - click directly on the image to go to our report...*2/11/2013 - Hoo boy, a "snowshoveling workout" indeed it was! One "for the ages!" Check out these accumulation numbers that a friend passed along. We worked hard and got thru it--maybe even with a little bit of "family bonding" in there to boot! I am so thankful that our power never went out--THAT would've been a real problem for sure. The roads out there, even this afternoon as I am typing this, are not in great shape. Normal two-lane roads--even the local state Route 146--are down to about a lane and a half--meaning that the advent of a car coming in the other direction is something that needs to be carefully anticipated and planned-for, with appropriately low speeds--down to a crawl in many cases, when you and the other car are actually passing by each other, sometimes inches apart! I don't know when the state and the towns are going to get a better handle on this situation, but based on my local driving today, it's SCARY! So, like they say on TV and radio, "if you don't have to go out, then stay put!" That advice has never sounded more appropriate to me than today!... One thing that this "forced isolation" (with power that is) has allowed me to do was focus a bit on cleaning up the last details on my review of the 2012 Branford Festival "Gary The Welder Memorial" Classic Car Cruise, an online creation for this web site. I had a lot of pictures and a lot of notes that I wanted to pass along, and have been working over the past few weeks to get it all together, and into some sort of manageable format. I have to admit that hearing from Barb Barringham recently about the Branford Festival's need for someone new to chair the car show for 2013 (see the 1/14/2013 updates section below) has spurred me into working on finally finishing up this new online feature. Along the way, I had a lot of fun researching cars and car owner information, based upon notes that I took on the day of the event, and, in some cases also doing follow-up research on information that the car owners had posted about their vehicles, via window cards or other display materials. In all, it was really a lot of fun, and made me appreciate all the more the effort that goes into restoring and maintaining these great old cars, and the obvious love that their owners lavish upon them--and all with good reason, of course! There are some great old cars and serious old car people in our local Shoreline area for sure!... But getting back to my online report, which I recently finished ("more or less" finished, that is, since I always seem to find errors, etc., that are necessary to go back in there and correct, etc.), you can see a small image at the upper right, which is one of my photos from the 2012 Branford Festival Classic Car Cruise, and if you click directly on it (or HERE) you'll bring up the actual report. I welcome your feedback about anything contained in it, if I missed something or mis-reported something, or whatever--please do e-mail me about it, and I can go back in there and make any needed corrections. But for now, it's "finished," and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Great job by Kevin Cudgma and everyone who made this most enjoyable event possible! And please do keep in mind Barb Barringham's solicitation for help running the 2013 version... Ok, that's it for now. Be careful out there on the roads...

Ted Aub honored as "Person Of The Week" in the 2/7/2013 The Sound issue - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version, photographed directly from that issue of the newspaper...*2/8/2013 - Eh, I gotta admit that I'm "not too psyched" about the "weather event" that is happening outside today, "as we speak." I know there are folks who love skiing, snowboarding, and what-not, and I certainly respect that. But, speaking for myself, all I know is that I can't drive an old car in these conditions, and I also know that I have a substantial "snowshoveling workout" ahead of me. But, we have to make the best of it! We chose to live in Con-tax-necticut, so that's what we get this time of year!... I am happy to report that I am still working, on an ongoing basis, adding & updating more 2013 old car events to the Calendar page , and that's an always-fun pursuit for me, as it allows to me "daydream" about attending all those wonderful events that are upcoming in the warmer weather!... And I am also happy to report that I am nearly on the verge of being finished with my report on the 2012 Branford Festival "Gary The Welder DiNello Memorial" Classic Car Cruise, which was such a wonderful event in town, in a beautiful historic location, and with so many beautiful cars to admire and study. Please be sure to stay turned for that, and also please keep in mind that the Branford Festival Committee is still looking for someone to Chair the 2013 Branford Festival Car Cruise--please refer to the 1/14/2013 updates section below, where I've included Festival Co-Chair Barb Barringham's soliciation, and other details... Which finally brings me to the "main story" for today, which is also indicated by the small image at the upper right, featuring none other than well-known local old car enthusiast, automobile-related business owner ("AA Auto Parts" of Branford, ref: http://branford.patch.com/listings/aa-auto-parts), and hard-working Veterans Advocate, Ted Aub. Mr. Aub was featured in the most recent issue of the local Branford-focused newspaper, "The Sound," as their "Person of the Week," and with important news about an upcoming fundraising event he is organizing in Branford, on March 9th, at the "WoodWinds" banquet facility, benfiting the "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" event, which is upcoming on April 21st at the Guilford Fairgrounds (antique car participation opportunities at that one!). I have included the entire transcript of the article on our Calendar page (scroll to March 9, 2013), so you can read about the nature of the event, how to sign up to attend, and other important details. The small image at the upper right is a photo that appeared with the araticle, on page 2 of the 2/7/2013 Sound issue--click directly on it (or HERE) to bring up a larger version of the shot. The cover of that particular Sound issue also featured a photo of Ted, and the big article on page 2, entitled "Planning a Tribute to Vietnam Veterans" (words and photo by Pam Johnson of The Sound), which is where featured photo of Ted above came from, is also provided as a clickable hyperlink. Great job and hats off Ted Aub for your great work with our Veterans!!!

Red vintage Ford Pickup Truck spotted on Route 146, eastbound, Saturday, February 2, 2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a large, uncropped version of the shot...*2/2/2013 - Happy February! We're getting closer to Spring, slowly but surely! I always like to use the "Pitchers and Catchers report date" as a measure of how much we can almost taste Springtime! And for your info, that's less than two weeks away (February 11th through 13th, per this web site). And the "inferior" Punxatawny Phil (inferior compard to our own beloved Essex Ed that is!) is also predicting that Spring is on the way as well, reference this CNN news page from earlier today. All sounds good to me!... As this is being written, there is a beautiful bright sun up there in the sky, doing its best to warm temperatures and warm spirits--and I am being positively affected for sure! I had to get out to the local post office this morning, as a matter of fact, to mail a package, and looking at the nice clear & bright day, there was no question that I wanted to take an old car on this errand! The '70 Bug was parked closest to the garage door, and so it was an easy choice to fire it up for the ride over into Stony Creek Village, to the post office branch that's located right on Thimble Islands Road, across from the water. Thankfully the car ran great, and it was a real pleasure to be behind the wheel of an air cooled VW once again. After I made my post office stop, I pulled the car over by the edge of the water, down towar the Town Dock, and shot a couple of quick pictures to capture the beautiful day. This view is looking back eastward toward the Village, and this view is kind of similar, looking a bit more toward the water, with a nice warm sun for illumination. Where I was parked was only a few steps from where the Thimble Island tour boats leave during the summertime. Wow, what a beautiful day!... Pretty soon it was time to get rolling back toward home base. As I got to the end of School Street, where it intersects Route 146 (a.k.a. Leetes Island Road), and had to stop for the stop sign, I looked up the hill to my left and saw a gorgeous red mid-1960s-era (best guess anyway) Ford Pickup Truck on its way eastbound along route 146! How cool! I gave a "thumbs up" as they drove past, and then I got onto the road eastbound a little ways behind them. Knowing I had my camera along, I decided to speed up just a little to catch up with the beautiful Ford Pickup, and see if I could snap an "action photo" or two. The small photo at the upper right is a cropped-down version of one of the shots that I managed to capture, and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger, uncropped view of this great old truck as it motored eastwasrd toward Guilford along Route 146. What a great sight! And I'll leave you with one more shot of that cool old Ford that I managed to capture.... Have a great rest of   your weekend!

End-of-Parade ceremonies following the "Essex Ed Groundhog Parade" in downtonwn Essex on Sunday 1/27/2013 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger uncropped view...*1/28/2013 - Good evening!... I am so happy that I was able to make it out to the charming Connecticut River Valley town of Essex yesterday (Sunday, 1/27/2013), on a bright and brisk day, to check out the festive and fun “Essex Ed Groundhog Parade” that took place in the center of town. What a great time! Smiles everywhere by participants and spectators alike (including my sister-in-law Pat who I was surprised to see there)! And several really cool old cars in the parade too! I took many pictures, and am pleased to be able to share a few of them this evening, via hyperlinks--and also in the form of the small "teaser" photo at the right, on which you can click directly (or HERE) to bring up a larger, uncropped view of some of the "end of parade" ceremonies at the traffic circle at the western end of Main Street, in front of Talbot's--you can see the fantastic 1925 Model T Ford Sedan that towed Essex Ed up the street, plus Essex Ed himself in the background of the shot, looking quite festive in his "Marching Band" uniform, complete with Sousaphone!... I got there about 15 minutes before the 2pm start of the parade, parked up on side street up the hill from Main Street, and walked down, encountering lots of people along the way, lined up along the street. Pretty soon I heard the drums and noisemakers coming up the hill on Ferry Street, and eventually making the right turn onto Main. I had my camera ready and tried to get some reasonable shots of the antique cars, who were near the head of the parade (click on the following hyperlinks to bring up the images)... At the front of the antique car contingent was a spectacular '36 Ford Roadster (one of the owners of which we talked with later on following the parade--very nice guy, and an Essex resident), followed by a '69 (going by the vanity EA plate) Jaguar XKE roadster (top down!), and then (I believe) Bob Powitz' Saybrook-based '35 Ford Sedan.... This next shot features a fantastic '34 (or so?) Buick, followed by a superb early '50s MGTD in bright red... Here's a good shot of that fantastic MG, with a nicely "patina'd" Model A Ford just behind it... Here's a better overall shot of that fantastic "patina'd" Model A, and with an open Model T Ford just behind it... The second-to-last antique car in the impressive parade line-up was this magnificent late '20s or early '30s Packard Sedan, and with "Essex Ed" himself coming up in the distance, on a trailer being towed by a closed Model T... Finally, of course, I had to get a shot of the '25 Model T that was towing Essex Ed, in all his glory... From what I could discern, Essex Ed appeared to be wearing a sign that proclaimed a special annivesary of the Community Music School of Essex (make that the Centerbrook section of Essex, "Building community through music since 1983," so that would be their 30th year)... And here's one more slightly different perspective, as I turned and looked up the street right after Essex Ed had passed by, behind the parade of beautiful antique cars... Which brings us up to the first hyperlinked photo that I had presented back at the beginning, showing an overview of the end-of-the-parade ceremonies with guest speakers, fife & drum corps ("Sailing Masters of 1812" from Essex), and more... Wow, what a great day!... I wish again to extend my thanks to Mr. Jim D’Alessio, President of the Essex Board of Trade (and also of J. Alden Clothiers in town), who was so very helpful in fielding my inquiry about any possible opportunities for non-Essex residents to participate with old cars in the parade (which, as a result, allowed me to publish the opportunity on our Calendar page, for everyone’s info). Great job by the People of Essex with this fantastic event, guaranteed to warm up even the chilliest of winter days!... Finally I need to make a Special Note of Thanks to the great people at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook (http://www.cardoneanddaughter.com/) for helping me out with my recent 1960 Bug’s recent exhaust system stud issue (this is what happens when yours truly gets behind a wrench!). They really did a superb, thorough job, and, again “really got me out of a jam” with their careful and professional work on my old car. I could not be happier! Thanks again to Mr. David Cardone and all of the staff of Cardone & Daughter Automotive! To commemorate Doug the '60 Bug being "back in action," I had to take him outdoors in the light snow that had fallen overnight from Friday into Saturday, for a couple of photos. Here's a rear view of old Doug, and here's a front 3/4 view, in some nice later-afternoon low-angle sunlight... Who knows--maybe Doug the '60 Bug could even make it out to the Essex Ed Parade for 2014?! Onward and upward...

*1/14/2013 - Still more cranking this evening on adding & updating more 2013 old car events to the Calendar page... And I also need to bring to your attention the Branford Festival's need for someone to Chair this year's Branford Festival Classic Car Show, which happens on the Rear Green area (behind Town Hall), on Sunday of Festival Weekend--which I believe is also Father's Day (this year's Branford Festival is listed to run June 14th thru 16th, per http://branfordfestival.com/, so that would mean the Car Show would take place on Sunday the 16th of June). I would like to quote from the 2012 Branford Festival Committee Co-Chairman (ref: http://branfordfestival.com/page/13199-Committee) Barb Barringham’s e-mail of 1/11/2013: “…Hi Steve, Kevin Cudgma who has organized and run the Branford Festival Car show for the last couple of years needs to take a year off for health reasons. I was wondering if you might be interested in filling in for this year? I know you have plenty of "car contacts" and I'm sure Kevin would assist you in any way he can. Think it over… and let me know if youare interested. Thanks! Barb…” And here is a link to the Branford Festival’s 2012 Car Show info page is at: http://branfordfestival.com/page/17837-Car-Shoe. I had to tell Barb that my hands are more than full with old car hobby responsibilities--not the least of which is maintaining this web site, plus maintaining my own cars, etc.--and added to that fact is that I am already a committed Branford Festival volunteer (I work at the Branford Exchange Club's fried dough booth every year), and that I could not volunteer (shades of the Guilford "Taste" car show situation that I reported on in the 1/10/2013 updates section below...), but that I'd be glad to help spread the word about the Branford Festival's search for a 2013 Car Show Chairman. In a follow-up e-mail dated 1/13/2013, Barb Barringham wrote: “…Totally understand! That would be great if you could (publish) a little notice about us needing someone for this year. We'll see what happens from there!... Thanks!... Barb…" If you are interested in getting in touch with Barb Barringham to discuss what Chairing the 2013 Branford Festival Classic Car Show would entail, please contact her via e-mail at: BBarringham@rbcbearings.com ... Here is a report I constructed about the 2010 version (which was still being held on the Front Green at that time): http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/BFDFSTCRZ10/Report.html - and I am also working on a report about the 2012 version "as we speak"... Oh, and a couple new "for sale" ads were just added to the Classified Ads page this evening as well... Over and out for now...

*1/10/2013 - Wanted to extend a Belated Happy New Year wish to you and everyone for 2013! I am still going crazy adding & updating 2013 old car events to the Calendar page. This is certainly an exciting time of the year, when more and more event listings start to pop up--and let me extend a "thumbs up" to all those who start to "get their ducks in order" early in the year toward whatever event they are planning. At least getting the name and the date of the event "out there" early I think is very important--you can always fill in details about the event later... One upcoming (but not necessarily car-related) local event in particular that caught my eye recently when I was browsing the Guilford Fair web site’s “Other Events at the Fairgrounds – 2013” page (http://guilfordfair.org/about-the-fairgrounds/other-events-at-the-fairgrounds/), was the “Taste The Shoreline In Guilford” event, scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd, 2013, at the Fairgrounds, reference: http://guilfordct.com/community_events/events_taste_the_shoreline.html . I remembered back two summers ago, that the “Taste” event had incorporated a car show as part of the overall-goings-on (which featured not only lots of great locally-based foods and drinks, but also live music and dance performances by local schools and groups, plus other entertainment and exhibits of a varied nature). I participated in the car show portion of the event with my ’70 Bug, and really had a great time—the whole thing really had a great “community vibe.” See the 8/7/2011 updates section below (if I haven't cut it off yet, that is!)  for a few more comments & images. I remember that our local old car buddy Bill Raccio organized the car show at that summer of 2011 “Taste” event, and did a wonderful job. In all, there were many fond memories, and I was disappointed not to see the car show come back for the 2012 “Taste the Shoreline"... So anyway, once I saw the “Taste” event for 2013 listed on the Fairgrounds web site, I clicked on the hyperlink, which then took me to a dedicated Guilford Chamber of Commerce web page for “Taste The Shoreline in Guilford 2013,” http://guilfordct.com/community_events/events_taste_the_shoreline.html . No sign of any “car show” sidelights there, but I went ahead anyway at that point and sent a snail mail to the Guilford Chamber (1300 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437) to ask if there were any thoughts about doing a car show for 2013, similar to the 2011 event.  A few days later, I received a very nice e-mail note from Michele Call, Administrative Assistant with the Guilford Chamber (chamber@guilfordct.com). In her e-mail dated 1/7/2013, Michele wrote: “…Steve, we are eager to have a car show and you are like an answer to our prayers! We do not know how to run a car show though. Bill from Hocon Gas did the one we had a few years ago but he is actually running his own event this year (not on the same date). Do you know anyone who would be willing to run the event? I know I ordered 3 trophies and he handled the rest. Please let me know if this is something you are willing to do? Thank you for your note! Hopefully we can work together and make this a success!... Best, Michele…”... As my hands are more than full with the hobby work I do on the SAAC web site & related projects (and goodness knows that, as Michele also noted, our buddy Bill "from Hocon Gas" Raccio has his hands more than full with old car projects this year as well!), I had to reply back to Michele that I was unable to help them run a “Taste the Shoreline car show,” but did offer to publish the Guilford Chamber’s solicitation for help in this area... Fast forwarding another day or two, and I received another very nice note from Michele--here are excerpts from her 1/9/2013 e-mail: "...Steve, This sounds like this could solve my problem… Please use the chamber e-mail (chamber@guilfordct.com) and I am so happy that you asked so early and we can get this out to the car enthusiast community hopefully in time for someone to step forward and help us run the event... Thank you so much!!  Michele..." So, there you have it. The Guilford Chamber wants to have a car show as part of the 2013 "Taste The Shoreline In Guilford" event. They just need someone to help them out with running  it. That date, again, is Sunday, June 23, 2013, and the location is the Guilford Fairgrounds... Contact the Guilford Chamber of Commerce at chamber@guilfordct.com if you can help them out!

*12/27/2012 - Just added a whole slew of 2013 VW-enthusiast events to the Calendar page, thanks to the superb creativity and early planning efforts of our friends from the Connecticut Volkswagen Association. Great job CVA-ers! Can't wait for the 2013 car event season to start up!

Photo-op with the webmaster's '70 Bug by the James Farm Road "wings," in Stratford, CT, Tuesday afternoon, December 18, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a similar larger overall view of the scene...*12/26/2012 - Oh boy, the holidays are a mean evil b*tch! Sorry, just kidding, of course! But you know that there is always a grain of truth. I am not going to say that I will necessarily be happy when the holidays are passed, but let's say that, ah, I won't be unhappy once we get thru the holidays (okay, I said it)... Last time (below), I wanted to focus on the awareness of the Newtown tragedy, and how folks in our area are recognizing it. I did not intend to make it sound like I only noticed the one that I focused on in the installment below (the sign in front of Rita's/TNT Seafood in Branford), but that was just how it worked out as I drove home from work that day. Since then, in more local-area driving I've done, I've found similar signs of support for Newtown at many other locations, such as a nice sign at the corner of Leetes Island Road and Thimble Islands Road (across from Stony Creek Package Store) expressing "peace and love from Stony Creek to Sandy Hook," and also a very nice note on the electronic message board that's in front of European Specialists on Route 1 in Branford, also signs & banners I saw just this morning driving around in downtown Guilford, and also over in Westbrook (just off of the Horse Hill Road exit #64, on the way over to Route 1, on Grove Beach Road North). I think it is safe to say that we are all one with the people of Newtown... Getting back to the day that I drove the '70 Bug to work last week (Tuesday, December 18th), I think I mentioned having a couple of other pictures to share from the day. The first thing I did when I got out of work that day was to drive over to James Farm Road in Stratford, to see if I could get any good photo-ops by the iconic "wings" that adorn the bridge over the Merritt Parkway. The small image you see at the upper right is one of those photos, and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger view of the general scene where I took those shots in the fading afternoon sunlight. Those familiar with the Merritt Parkway in that area are probably also familiar with the fact that there are two sets of wings, on both the north and south sides of the bridge. The fact that there is a sidewalk on which I could put my tires on for the photos (& allow for other drivers on James Farm Road to pass by with minimal obstruction), on the south side, and none on the north side, made my decision for me about where I was going to park the car for the photos! Here is a far shot showing the car where it was parked by the south side set of wings, and with the north side set of wings also visible. I've always liked those wings, and they seemed to go well with posed photos of the car!... After fooling around with getting James Farm Road photos for quite a while (gotta maximze a photo-op like this with as many photos as possible, from as many different angles as possible), it was time to wrap it up and head for home, which meant getting onto good old I-95 in the northbound direction. I dd my best to capture a couple of "rolling" shots during that part of the journey as well. Here's one neat shot from somewhere around West Haven or so, with a bright setting sun at my back. And then I also managed to grab another "typical view" of what it's like out there on I-95, doing battle with the big trucks (this shot was from right around Long Wharf, northbound, with a tiny bit of the Forbes Avenue mechanical bridge over the Quinnipiac River, at the very right side of the view). Definitely have to stay on your guard and drive as defensively as possible when you're out there on the interstate in your old VW, sharing the road with many other more powerful and higher-performance type vehicles... Okay, and finally, I wanted to touch briefly on one more subject that I only hinted at in the last installment below--that being a "mini-project" for Doug the '60 Bug, which involved some exhaust system changes & upgrades, based on some ideas I had about an old-school "retro" kind of look & sound for the car. I figured the exhaust system project was fairly "low tech" (and therefore within the realm of my admittedly limited mechnical abilities to accomplish). Well, wouldn't you know that I would break off an exhaust stud during disassembly of the old (totally stock specification) muffler system! Whatta pain! BUT, living where we live here on the CT Shoreline, we are very lucky to have a local old car specialist to whom we can bring old car problems like this, and know that they will understand it and be able to deal with it! I am speaking of course, of Cardone and Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, which was the company that sprang to mind when I was thinking those defeated thoughts of "what do I do now?!" The great folks at Cardone & Daughter Automotive were happy to accept old Doug in for a get-well visit, and so, as of this morning, that's where he's staying and being ministered-to by the Cardone & Daughter Automotive old car experts. I can't say how happy I am to have been able to bring my car there, and it really gave a frustrating situation so much more of a positive spin, knowing that the car would be dealt-with in an appropriate way, by knowlegeable, capable people. Here's a photo from yesterday morning, when I had gotten old Doug the '60 Bug out of the garage and hooked up to the tow bar behind the '96 Passat. I again extend my thanks to Cardone and Daughther Automotive of Westbrook for being there for us!... Ok, that's it for now. Hope you're doing your best to deal with these holidays--as I am doing my best to deal with as well at this end! Best regards and talk to you again soon...

A sign to make you think, Route 1, Branford, CT, Wednesday evening, December 18, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*12/21/2012 - Today marks the one-week anniversary of the senseless and tragic elementary school shootings in Newtown, CT. As this is being written, a memorial tolling of the bells, 26 times, to represent each one of the Newtown victims, will happen in less than a half hour. In the last week we have been hearing about the extraordinary lives lived by those who were lost, and it reinforces the sense of loss. I extend my sincerely sympathies to the families of those who lost loved ones, or are in other ways affected. Diane, who works out in the western part of the state (closer to Newtown), has a co-worker who lost a child in that incident, and it sounds like everyone there is feeling s sense of shared grief. I can’t imagine what the families must be going through. Let’s try to keep those families in our thoughts and prayers... Not too much new in the old car world from this end, though I did manage to drive my '70 Bug to work a couple of days ago (on Wednesday, December 18th), to take advantage a bit of the mild temps and recently rain-washed (to remove, we hope, salt that had been spread earlier). I got out of the house super-early, and in the heavy rain (after, of course, a quick re-coating of my old standby "Rain-X" on the windshield--most old car drivers I think know about Rain-X!), but also mild temps. Happily the car ran great all the way in to work (and I am continually counting my blessings for being able to have taken advantage of the superb antique air-cooled VW engine rebuilding skills of John Kaiser from Vermont, who did just that for the '70 over this past summer--thanks again John!). After work that day, knowing I had a bit of extra extra time, and had my compact camera along with me, I decided to try to see if I could capture a few "photo-ops" with the '70 Bug. I am happy to say that I was more or less successful, in that I was able to get a few neat "static posed," and also "driving action" shots (thank goodness for digital photos, becuase it took me well over 100 exposures to be able to end up with just a few shots that looked decent--I can't imagine what I would've had to pay in the old days of film and conventional phto processing). I will share more of those "better shots" here the next chance I get, but for now, I wanted to spotlight a sign that made me stop and think, that I passed by on my way home on local roadways in Branford that day. It was a message board that was placed out in front of the "Rita's"/"TNT Seafood" restaurant on Route 1 (oops, I guess they're two separate businesses--here's a TNT Seafood info page), right near Ford of Branford. I've seen this sort of sign placed out in front of this business in the past, often advertising the cruise nights that they used to run there a couple of years ago. As I was in my '70 Bug, and had the camera with me, I stopped for a couple of photos. The small image at the upper right is one you can click on directly (or HERE) to bring up a larger, simiar view. And here are a couple more shots, including more of an overall view, including an illuminated Christmas tree that was also out in front of the business, and one more shot from the opposite angle, with the sign more in the foreground. Still can't get over what a senseless loss this was, especially, as previously noted, that we are hearing it told of what special and unique people the Newtown victims all were... Anyway, for now that's about all I think it's appropriate to say... Definitely will be wanting to share with you some more of the shots from this past Wednesday that I took, and also some minor news about some more old car "mini-projects" that have been occupying a bit of my spare time and attention lately... For now I wish everyone reading this as Merry a Christmas (and/or as Happy a Hanukkah) as may be possible (and/or whatever other seasonal holiday you may celebrate), and also all the best for a Happy New Year... Please also keep the Newtown families in your thoughts and prayers...

The Christmas Caddy door banner - click directly on the image to bring up another view, from the 2012 Branford Holiday Festival Parade...*12/5/2012 - Sorry for lack of updates lately--typically busy as usual. Hope you all survived the Thanksgiving holiday, and also the post-Thanksgiving hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas later this month. This time of year I have to say I am kind of happy just to be able to survive... One thing over the long Thanksgiving break that was really cool (literally and figuratively!) and of a local old car nature, however, was the Branford Holiday Festival Parade, which took place on Saturday evening, November 24th, with a tremendous muster of antique cars (I counted a total of 15!), plus the usual plethora of old tractors (most of them from Van Wilgens, I'm sure), plus a couple of great old fire trucks, and of course tons of people representing various groups and organizations in town riding on floats and also walking. What a wonderful evening--and all amazingly organized to a superb level by the Branford Parks and Rec Department--bravo to them, and all who helped out!... I definitely want to talk more about our experiences participating in the Branford Holiday Festival Parade (I am happy to report that I did participate, with the '70 Bug), but for now, only want to highlight a couple of brief things that were related to it.... The first, which is related to the small image at the upper right, is a local Christmas toy drive that uses a beautiful bright red '65 Caddy Convertible as its symbol, and which is happening this coming Sunday, December 9th, at the Branford Green. The "Christmas Caddy" participated in the above-mentioned Holiday Festival Parade, and I took a few pictures of it, but not fully realizing the meaning of the "Christmas Caddy" banner that was displayed on the side of the car until the Branford Patch published a story about it just this morning (click on that hyperlink to go straight to the Patch story). What a great thing that the late Bruce Pantani's family is doing to remember him and his devotion to Branford and to his fellow man! If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) you'll bring up another shot that I took downtown at the conclusion of the Holiday Festival Parade, and here's another shot of the beautifully decorated front of the Christmas Caddy at the Branford High School staging location prior to the start of the parade. And how great that the local Branford-focused newspaper, "The Sound," also featured a story on the Christmas Caddy, in the December 6, 2012 edition (here's the cover of that Sound issue--don't forget that BHS's "Dark of the Moon" starts its run tomorrow evening!), on page 11. Click HERE to see The Sound's article, with photo, about the Christmas Caddy toy drive--and don't forget to bring a toy down to the Branford Green on Sunday, from 10am to 2pm!... And the other thing I wanted to briefly mention relates to another banner on an old car that appeared in this year's Branford Holiday Festival Parade--that being for the 2013 Columbus Day Parade that will also be happening in Branford! Here's a view of the banner, as it appeared on the magnificent '41 Cadillac that drove in the Holiday Fest Parade, and I am happy to report that I've been in touch with the Branford Italian American Social Club (who are coordinating the 2013 Columbus Day Parade in Branford) and its president Jeff Vailette, and will be working to bring details to our Calendar page about this parade, scheduled for October 13th, 2013. Here's a copy of the electronic announcement flyer for the 2013 Columbus Day Parade that Mr. Vailette forwarded along to us... Ok, I think that about covers it for now... Talk to you again soon...

The Webmaster's '70 Bug at Gozzi's Turkey Farm, Guilford, 11/21/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*11/22/2012 - Happy Thanksgiving! Stuff I'm thankful for today include family, friends, a job, a nice place to live here on the Connecticut Shoreline, and so much more. Our Military Veterans who sacrificed so much for our country, our freedoms, and our ability to pursue life as we do it here in the United States, deserve our unending thanks. And closer to the reason for this web site, I am also thankful for the many automotive specialists who work to help make our hobby so enjoyable by servicing and repairing our cars--both the antiques and the modern ones as well. Back years ago, it was Steve Valentino of "Import Specialist" (now located in Branford, as a matter of fact, ref: http://branford.patch.com/listings/import-specialists-llc) who figured out some frustrating electrical issues with my daily crasher '96 VW Passat (just recently having surpassed 200k miles--an achievement that I think Steve is greatly responsible for), and great folks like the guys at Stony Creek Auto Service (ref: http://branford.patch.com/listings/stony-creek-auto-service) who have been working hard to help maintain the old Passat, and several other of our vehicles, in more recent years. On the more specific old car front, it's the great folks at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook (http://www.cardoneanddaughter.com/) who've been solving many of our old car problems and issues, helping us keep the oldies rolling along. And then I have to give special thanks to a fellow up in Northern New England who had my '70 Bug thru this past summer, while he was doing an unbelievably thorough and detailed complete rebuild of the car's original engine, which had sustained a burned piston earlier in the springtime. The car finally came back home earlier in the fall of this year, and it is literally like driving a brand new 1970 Bug. So, it certainly goes without saying that I'm thankful for great old car experts and great-running old VWs! The photo at the upper right is one I took yesterday when I was out and about a bit on the local roadways with the '70, and decided to stop at the well-known Gozzi's Turkey Farm (http://guilford.patch.com/listings/gozzis-turkey-farms) on the Boston Post Road, at the western end of Guilford. If you click directly on that small image (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger view of the car at the active Gozzi's scene, where lots of kids and families were checking out the "trademark" Gozzi's colorful turkeys. And here is one more "overall-type" view of the busy scene at Gozzi's yesterday (the Bug is slightly visible at the very left side of the scene)... I hope everyone reading this is able to enjoy some time together with family today, and also to reflect on the many things we all have to be thankful for...

*11/18/2012 - Sorry for lack of updates here lately--I will get some going next chance I get. Just a quick note to thank the Branford Veterans Parade Committee and everyone involved with last Sunday's Branford Veterans Day Parade for a superb job. I was very pleased to participate in the parade in the antique car contingent with my 1960 VW Bug, and, as always, it was a great privilege to be able to help show support and gratitude to our country's Military Veterans for all their magnificent contributions. Stay tuned for a much more detailed account of the 2012 Branford Veterans Day Parade and Observances... Anyway, for now, I am also updating the Classified Ads page with a couple of new items. Hope all are well, and happy upcoming Thanksgiving Day to you and your family...

*11/4/2012 - We are still alive and well--bruised and battered, to be sure, after five days without electricity, and many related trials and tribulations--but so much more fortunate than so many people on the CT, NY, and NJ coastlines, following Hurricane Sandy. My heart goes out to all those who were devastated by this storm... Next, please check the Calendar page for details about another 2013 event we just added--good job by the CT Council of Car Clubs getting their June 3rd event notice "out there" good and early, so that folks can make plans!... Finally, don't look now, but just a couple of days from now, we face what may very well be the most important election of our lifetimes. The future of our country, as we know it, hangs in the balance (and I don't believe that's an exaggeration). Please make sure you get out there and VOTE on Tuesday. Make your voices heard! Let Freedom Ring... God Bless America... and... LET'S ROLL!!!

The Creeky '69 Bug out for a little exercise on Saturday, October 20, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*10/21/2012 - Did a bit of local driving yesterday (Saturday, October 20, 2012) just to be able to say I got out with my '69 Bug to enjoy at least some of a positively magnificent fall day (mostly dominated by continuing house projects). If you click on the small image at the right (or HERE) you'l bring up a larger version of that shot from yesterday. And here's one more with a bit more of the still-vibrant fall colors in our neighborhood... Boy, time sure flies! Where did summer go?! … Not all has been humdrum in the old car world for me lately, though, as I am happy to say that I was also able to make it to the big antique car meet in Hershey, PA (AACA National Fall Meet), and so I was able to get in a good dose of old car culture still, amidst this fall which has been very much focused, for the most part, on overdue house projects...  Still hoping to get out to a car-related event or two before the snow flies. Branford of course does a Veterans Day Parade (11/11) to which antique cars are invited to participate, and then we also have a "Holiday Festival Parade" (11/24), in which old cars can also participate--check the Calendar page for details on both. And even a *few* actual old car events appear still to be on the local old car hobby calendar—you can check the Calendar page, for instance, for details on next weekend’s (10/27) Cardone & Daughter Automotive “Open Shop” gathering in Westbrook... If all else fails, I can still bundle up and drive the Creeky Bug to work (on non-precipitation days, that is)! Yeah, baby! Ha ha!... So, as always, we remain upbeat... By the way, if you are aware of any fall (or even winter?!) local Shoreline-area events in which old cars can participate, we'd be happy to add 'em to the Calendar page, so please do keep that in mind (feel free to e-mail event details to me at CommonGear@aol.com)--thanks!... Over and out for now...

*10/5/2012 - Sad update to the Jarvis Creek Critters page, upon our losing our beloved 12 year-old rough collie Roxy. She was really a one-in-a-million dog, and will be very much missed. I added a link to a page of favorite Roxy photos to the Jarvis Creek Critters page (within the Roxy section), and I will also add it here--click HERE to go to the Roxy commemorative pictures page. We miss you girl!

*10/3/2012 - Oh boy, sorry for the long time since last check-in! I've been busy with a lot of "non-old-car stuff" lately (family obligations, house maintenance, etc.), and haven't had much of a chance to check in here--nor do much of any "old car stuff" either, for that matter. What I have kept focus on, however, is making sure to keep our Calendar page as updated and accurate as possible. Make no mistake, we are so fortunate to have such a vibrant old car hobby here on the CT Shoreline--there are so many wonderful people who organize things, sponsor things, make things happen, that add so much to all the fun we can have with our old cars. Why, just today I updated the Calendar page with new events and some revised event listings that illustrate how fortunate we are!... First, I want to make mention of the East Haven Police Department Local 1662 having moved their Annual Benefit Car Show from this Sunday (10/7), to the following Sunday (10/14), due to weather predictions. This was a postively great day that we participated in last year, and good job looking-ahead by the Sgt. Mulhern and all of the organizers to make sure it happens on a better day, weather-wise. As always, we are huge fans of the E.H.P.D., and appreciate all the work they do keeping us safe... Second, I was also pleased to update the listing for another Sunday, 10/14 event about which we recently learned more details--that would be the Connecticut Volkswagen Association's Fall Foliage Tour (in which they've always welcomed non-VWs to participate). That's really a fun day also--great work, as always, by the hard-working CVA volunteers setting it all up... Third, we just heard from our good friends at Cardone and Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, that they're going to be holding one of their always-fun "Open Shop" gatherings for all old car clubs and old car folks, at their shop, on Saturday, October 27th, at their shop on the Boston Post Road. The management and staff of Cardone & Daughter not only provide a tremendously valuable service here on the CT Shoreline with their specializing in antique auto service, repairs, and restoration, but they also are so eager to "give back" to their customers and the old car community in general, with so many of these wonderful "open shop" gatherings througout the season. The October 27th event is the "season wrap-up," and I would suggest is a "must attend" (we had such a temendous time attending last year's!). Thanks again Nancy, David, and all of the Cardone & Daughter Automotive staff!... As always, more details about all of the above-mentioned events can be found on our Calendar page ... Finally, just a couple of miscellaneous hyperlinked photos that I wanted to pass along, to show that "not all is lost" in terms of the occasional bits of "old car fun" at this end... First, thanks to the superb organizing efforts of the Connecticut Valley Region AACA (of which we are dues-paying members), we were very pleased to drive our '70 Convertible in one of the Big E's 5pm parades around the fairgrounds, on Wednesday, September 19th (Connecticut Day). Here's a shot of some of our "crew" with the car prior to the parade, and here is another overall view of the staging scene with some of the other old cars from the CVR-AACA contingent. What a fun day!... Next, it was another great day organized by our friends from the CT VW Association, on Saturday, September 29th, when we participated in a fun & informal VW show at Montesi VW in North Haven. What a great job organizing by the CVA, and what great hospitality by Gary Montesi and the whole Montesi VW dealership staff! Here's a picture of the '70 Bug again amidst the fine turnout of old VWs at Montesi last Saturday... Ok, and finally, this has nothing to do with me, but it's a local old car sighting that I thought was kind of cool--a very slick-looking Volvo P1800 that I saw this afternoon in the parking lot of Coastal Beverages/The Meat House, on Route 1 in Branford, near the Cedar Street intersection. Pretty cool car! I guess it was technically an "1800E," which was produced 1970 thru 1971, per the wikipedia page. Left rear view, left front view, and detail view of emblem on the rear of the car... Very cool to see great old cars like this "out and about" doing their thing!... Ok, I think that about covers it... Over and out for now...

*9/11/2012 - "LET'S ROLL"... No need for me to explain that today marks the 11th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 coordinated terror attacks on the United States by militant Islamists, where so many American lives were lost. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were flown into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City by hijackers, with both buildings subsequently collapsing. American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia by hijackers, with great damage and many deaths resulting. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA, thanks to the efforts of heroic passengers in overpowering the hijackers. In all there were 2,996 deaths and more than 6,000 injured. The anniversary of September 11th attacks reminds us that we need to stay strong and stay vigilant, and also need to keep in mind the great heroism, and sacrifices made by our first responders and military personnel... Please see the Calendar page for a few new events added yesterday, including the Branford Veterans Day Parade, upcoming on Sunday, November 11th, where antique auto owners have once again been invited to participate--an excellent way to help pay tribute to our country's military veterans... Over and out for now, and GOD BLESS AMERICA...

Bishops of Guilford Apple Pi Robotics Benefit Cruise, 8/30/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*8/31/2012 - Friday again! And the last day of August too, sigh... Just last night I am happy to say that I finally had a chance to get out to one of the Apple Pi Robotics-benefit cruise nights over at Bishop’s in Guilford (so ably assisted by our old car friend Bill Raccio), and even though I got “ambushed” by a family relative member showing up unannounced just as my daughter Sarah and I were about to leave the house, we still decided that it was “better late than never” to get out to the cruise night—and we are very glad we did. It was already turning very much into twilight as we got there around 7pm or so (it had been listed to run 5pm to 8pm), but we still had fun meeting nice people, checking out kool cars—the essence of what a cruise night is supposed to be all about! I didn’t see our friend Audrey Fitting from the Thunder Rods Car Club, but I did see her car, plus a couple of other notable T.R. cars there. Of course Bill R. was there to help greet the incoming cars. Also saw our old buddy Joe Sandella from a distance, busily chatting with folks and checking out the cars. And then we met a nice family from Madison, who were there with their early (flat windshield—so must’ve been either ’71 or ’72) Super Beetle Convertible, and were able to exchange some “convertible stories”—since Sarah and I had driven there in our gnarly ’69 Bug Convertible! Yes, happy to say that ongoing attempts to tune the thing to run better seem to have finally been yielding some positive results—the car’s a lot more enjoyable to drive these days. Anyway, I would like to thank all the volunteers, advisors, and the hard-working, highly-motivated Apple Pi Robotics team student members themselves for setting up and running a most wonderful local Shoreline-area cruise night--and not to mention Bishop’s Orchards of Guilford also for providing the most wonderful venue—one that I’ll look back upon fondly for a long time to come. And I took some photos to help remember it also, such as the one at the upper right, which if you click directly on it (or HERE), will bring up a larger version, with Bishop's famous "Little Red Barn" in the background... Here are a few more shots from the evening, including a view featuring a spectacular GTO convertible (you might be able to make out one of the VWs in the upper left corner)... our local Trans Am-driving friends John Astarita's and Harry Debernardo's black and gold T/A's respectively... Another view of various kool cars with a bit of the Red Barn and other cruise night activities in the background... And some of those same cars from a different angle. I certainly do not claim these shots to be a comprehensive documentation of the event, and perhaps we can work up a dedicated feature page with more shots from the evening... Oh, I also almost forgot to mention the great time that I had this past Saturday, August 25th, when I drove the ’69 Bug up to Ian Targonsky’s super-kool first annual “100% Kulture Summer Hot Rod & Kustom Summer Show” at the Berlin Fairgrounds in East Berlin, CT. I had to make it an early morning run due to other stuff that I had going on later in the day, but, boy, it was a very enjoyable experience! Ian and his staff did a magnificent job of setting it all up, and the “freeform style” of the Berlin Fairgrounds made for a most interesting and fun browsing experience, with cars parked all over in various spots, and also some interesting flea market browsing—oh, and kool music too! The variety of cars in particular made for fun viewing (& picture-taking)—there is so much creativity, engineering, and yes, in many cases senses of humor displayed in so many of these cars! I had fun running into our old-VW buddy Jeremy Clayton from the CT VW Association there also. As noted, I took many pictures, and so I’ll look forward to sharing some here soon also. Congratulations and Thanks to Ian and company from “100% Kulture” for the positively great job with this event!... Enjoy the upcoming Labor Day Holiday Weekend! Over and out for now...

*8/24/2012 - Happy Friday!... Ok, here is my Pick Of The Weekend... it is TOMORROW (Saturday 8/25) at the Berlin Fairgrounds... It is called the "100 Percent Kulture's 1st Annual Hot Rod & Kustom Summer Show," with online info pages: http://www.100percentkulture.com/Images/FRONT-August-2012-4inx6in.jpg and http://www.100percentkulture.com/Images/100-Show-August-2012-4inx6in.jpg . And please see the Calendar page for more info... I am hoping to get up there at least for the early part of the day, and hope to drive the '69 Bug! Hope to see you there!

Parked under a crescent moon, Wednesday night, August 22, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*8/23/2012 - Still more events being added here and there to the Calendar page , including some updates to existing ones as well. Please be sure to check the page for all the latest and greatest about upcoming car stuff (even some non-car stuff occasionally, such as The Animal Haven's Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon on September 23rd in North Haven, and also the always-great Guilford Fair on September 21-23, in Guilford, of course). And there are others... The gnarly '69 Bug has been keeping me entertained lately. Perhaps there was some "divine intervention" working when the '70 Bug developed some engine problems earlier in the year--with it being laid-up, I kind of had no other choice but to try to make some progress on the '69, which had been sitting for a while. I have been mentioning to you occasionally some of the stuff I've been trying to get done with the '69, and how it has been fighting me here and there. I feel that as of a few days ago, however, that I'm starting to make some real headway, with a long-overdue spark plug change having produced what appear to be some very nice improvements in performance. Make no mistake, I am by no means an automobile expert, and so while I'm just doing my best, my lack of know-how may be making simple stuff sound harder than it really is. I fully understand that. The fact that I have to find odd bits of spare time here and there to try to accomplish stuff on the car (since I work a full time job, have a family, house, pets, etc., that all need attention) also does not lead to lots of timely project progress. Anyway, the past couple of days I've finally felt that I could enjoy the car a bit. This is certainly not to say that it still does not have a lot of stuff that needs attention, and I am fixing/adjusting little things here and there on a continuing basis. But finally, some driving enjoyment (I think VW called it "fahrvergnugen" in an ad campaign from the '90s) seems like it can be added to the mix... Starting with yesterday evening (8/22), here are some hyperlinked images from places I've driven it lately: Scenic CT Route 146 not far from the Branford/Guilford border... Getting some gas at the Exit 56/Leetes Island Road Mobil station in preparation for a run out to Madison... And later in the evening, under a nice crescent moon, a photo illuminated by a streetlamp (click HERE or on the small image at the upper right to bring up a larger image)... Fast forwarding now to today (8/23), I had to get out to Guilford for another errand. First stop was a photo-op over by the town boat ramp, with the famous and much-photographed Grass Island red barn in the background... Next I made a right turn off of Whitfield Street on my way back up and detoured over for a photo-op by the Guilford Agricultural Society sign at the southeast corner of the Guilford Fairgrounds. Don't forget that the Guilford Fair is just about one month away. I saw some activity there today too--no doubt folks getting prepped for next month... Finally, I made my way back up to the center of Guilford, and parked by the edge of the Green, across from Page's Hardware... While I was parked there and snapping a couple of pictures, I noticed that a war memorial inset into a huge granite boulder was nearby, and so I took a couple more photos that incorporated the memorial (which commemorated those Guilford residents who fought in WW1). Here's one from the perspective of the memorial... And here's one from the perspective of the car, looking toward the memorial... Finally, I have to include a photo of the brass plaque itself with all those Guilford names of soldiers who fought in WW1--including Bishop, Darrow, Hall, and Lee who gave their lives... Ok, that about covers it for now. Watch out for gnarly-looking light yellow old VW Convertibles on local roadways. Hope you are well, and we'll look for you out there...

*8/15/2012 - As always, I've been adding more events here and there to the Calendar page as I've been able, but wanted to direct your attention this evening in particular to the one new event that got added tonight that is happening exactly one month from now, in Newington. It is a benefit cruise night in memory of and to benefit the family of a young man from Guilford, Jonathan McMahon, who was tragically killed in an accident last month on Route 1 in Guilford. Our local Trans Am driving friend Harry DeBernardo and his club the Charter Oak Firebirds, who run a monthly Saturday night cruise night at Panera Bread on the Berlin Turnpike, have organized this special event after meeting the family of Jonathan, who, it turns out, was an avid Trans Am enthusiast himself. We can only imagine the sense of loss that Jonathan's family must feel, and we also tip our hat to the Charter Oak Firebird club for reaching out to them and honoring Jonathan's memory in this way. Please check the Calendar page under September 15th for more details about the Special Cruise Night In Memory Of Jonathan McMahon.

*8/6/2012 - Couple more items have been added to the Calendar page as of this evening--either directly via a heads-up from our local antique MG-driving friend Bob Howard, or as seen in the CT MG Club's newsletter (I am a dues-paying member, even though I don't own an MG). The ones Bob told me about are for enthusiasts of cool old machinery (in other words, they are not "car" events per se); one is happening later this month in Mystic, and the other in early October in East Greenwich, RI--thanks again Bob for the info! And then in the MG Club newsletter, I read about the upcoming British Car Gathering on the Madison Green, near the end of September--on that one I did some internet searching and found some additional references, with which to build the listing (I've been to it before, and it's really a lot of fun--and the location is a beautiful spot right in the heart of the Shoreline... And more are being efforted as we speak, as received a couple of e-mails this evening about a car show upcoming at University of New Haven next month, and also a benefit dinner & car cruise event later this month for a fellow old car guy who was recently injured--both of those I'll be getting onto the Calendar page the next chance I get, and I appreciate the folks who sent those notices along keeping us in mind for help getting the word out to the old car hobby community...*8/7/2012 Update - Just got those two above-mentioned items added to the Calendar page as of this evening (specifically the 8/23 Pete Rocco benefit cruise in Simsbury, and 9/29 UNH-ASME car show in West Haven)... One other minor item I wanted to mention this evening is how pleased I am with the very nice job mounting and balancing those wheels & tires for the '69 Bug that I talked about in the 8/5 entry below, as accomplished by the good guys at Stony Creek Auto - who, incidentally, also accomplished some needed repairs and tune-up on our gnarly old 1990 Ford F250 pickup, getting it back in shape for more use on into this fall and beyond. Really appreciate it, Stony Creek Auto guys! I took a couple of pictures of how the wheels/tires set looks, right upon getting them all back from S.C.A.--here is an overall view, and notice how that 5.60x15 bias ply blackwall that I'm going to stick in the car as the spare, stands out from the other four 165R15 whitewall radials (even though they are all on identical 4" wide wheels). And look at this other image which is more of an end view, to see how comparatively fat those 165s look next to the skinny 5.60x15 "Pneumant" (German Democratic Republic manufactured, no less). Anyway, I can't wait to get 'em onto the car, and of course I'll post a photo or two when that happens... For now, have a good evening and I'll talk to you again soon...

Karmann Osnabruck assembly line, circa late 1960s - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*8/5/2012 - Well, as sometimes happens, I have had other "non-car stuff" come up that has prevented me from either getting out to the North Branford Potato & Corn Fest Classic Car Cruise on Friday evening, and also the Belltown Show today at the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds. I hope both were/are great successes! I'm sure Belltown was better than last year, given that the 2011 was the first-ever rain-out in the show's 45-year existence! If anyone has any reviews and/or photos from either event, please do feel free to pass them along, and maybe we can feature them at the SAAC web site some time... But some minor old car car progress got done yesterday, in that I re-did the connection of the hose connnecting the gas filler to the gas tank in the '69 Bug (I was experiencing strong gas smell when taking right turns with a full tank), and also got four fresh new skinny whitewall radial tires (165R15 "American Classics" sourced from Universal Tire in Hershey, PA), plus one good used bias ply blackwall tire (the original spare from the '70 Bug), plus five freshly-painted gloss black 4" wide stock wheels, over to Stony Creek Auto for mounting and balancing--all torward an eventual "proper-appearing" set of wheels & tires for the '69. Here's the stack of all the pieces before I dropped 'em off yesterday... At least some of the inspiration for getting that stuff done was a very cool vintage assembly line photo from the Karmann factory in Osnabruck, Germany that someone recently forwarded to me--showing nice fresh black wheels wearing nice fresh skinny whitewall tires, on fresh new Karmann Ghias and Bug Convertibles (also note the Porsche 914s visible in the left background); a guess of 1969 for the date of that photo I would say is not at all unreasonable. Click on the small version of the photo at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up a large copy of this great old photo!... Anyway, I'll do my best to check in again when I get the mounted & balanced "sneaks" back from S.C.A., and/or when I'm able to get 'em mounted up on the car... Oh! Also just added a very interesting slightly older car for sale--very nice, very well cared-for, one-owner, with lots of life left, and a very reasonable asking price, and located very nearby--check it out on the Classified Ads page ... Ok, I think that about covers it for now... Have a great rest of your weekend... Over and out for now...

The Webmaster's '69 Bug may finally be semi-drivable, as of August 1, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*8/1/2012 - Happy August! Still plenty of summer to go! Hope you are able to get out to some of the many car shows & cruises that are upcoming in and around our area... I wanted to hightlight tonight another recent upate to the Calendar page regarding a great-sounding event (importantly benefiting a great cause) in Beacon Falls that got postponed from this past weekend (original date was Sunday, 7/29), due to weather. It is the 10th Anniversary Beacon Falls Lions Club Car & Bike Show, and it has been rescheduled now for Sunday, August 12th. We thank the event Chairman Mike Carrafiello for keeping us in the loop regarding the date change, and have made sure to update it on the Calendar page. Mike followed up with a nice note from earlier today--here is an excerpt: "...Thanks Steve for taking care of the new date for us... Mike Carrafiello, Chairman..." We are happy to help get the word out, Mike! Readers should take note that Mike's Lions Club event on the 12th of August in Beacon Falls benefits the Yale Pediatric Eye Disease Center, so, as noted, it is an undoubtedly great cause... Well, back on July 4th (see the update section for that date below), I was pretty pleased with myself, having finished up installation of a stock-type exhaust system, and air cleaner and associated hoses, on the project '69 Bug. Since that time, I've gotten it started, and drove it around a tiny bit. I noticed, however, a reluctance to stay running after the engine got warmed up--that is, it would tend to stall when slowing down & coming to a stop, which was not only annoying, but also made me not want to try driving the car any place. Since then I've been tinkering with it here and there, to try and figure out what was going on with it. A new replacement ignition coil, a used centrifugal advance distributor that I had laying around, and a new fuel filter were among the first steps, and showed some promise, but were definitely not the roots of the problem. I decided more substantial measures had to be taken, and so I ordered a brand new replacement carburetor, and discovered a brand new replacement vacuum advance distributor on my parts shelf that I had bought some years ago for my former '68 Bug, but had never used. Both of those items got installed and adjusted two afternoons ago, along with a set of new replacement ignition wires that I also discovered I had on my shelf. As the car sat in the garage, though, I did not attempt starting it after I got all those items installed. Fast forwarding to this afternoon, I moved cars around to get the '69 to the garage door opening, and started it up. It seemed to run decently! Next I took it out for a short neighborhood area ride of a few miles, and, it appears so far not to want to stall out now, so I am cautiously optimistic that perhaps the car may finally be reliable enough to drive places! Still planning to change the spark plugs, and then an oil change I'm sure also would not hurt. But again, we are cautiously optimistic... Took a couple photos after my local drive this afternoon too. If you click on the small one at the upper right (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger version of the same shot, which shows a bit of the current look of the engine. And this is a straight on view that better shows off the engine a bit better. Finally, in that first shot, you saw a little bit of the yellow '73 Super Beetle Convertible (Mrs. Webmaster's car)  that is presently sitting next to the '69--here is an overall shot showing both cars... So anyway, here's hoping that I might be able to make up in August some of the old car driving that I've been missing so far this summer... Hope you are getting out there with your old car as well--this coming weekend, for example, there are definitely some cool things happening, including the North Branford Potato & Corn Fest Cruise on Friday evening, the Belltown Show on Sunday, and many more--check the Calendar page for details... Over and out for now...

*7/26/2012 - Are we "on a roll" or what?!... Just added another couple great-sounding events upcoming on August 25th in Wallingford, CT, and a Monday night recurring Cruise Night in North Haven (both of the above being "Doo Wop Cruisers" car club productions), plus an exciting-sounding new September 15th event in Meriden (a "Disturbed Image" car club production), to the Calendar page as of this evening... And more are being efforted "as we speak!"... Have a good evening...

*7/25/2012 - FYI, I just added a great-sounding benefit event upcoming on September 8th in Northford, CT, to the Calendar page as of this evening, so please do check that out at your convenience... Otherwise, I don't know about you, but I can't believe how great the big Time Machines 2012 car show & flea market was, this past Sunday (7/22) in Guilford--wow! Great job by Fred, Wendall, and all of the CT Area Classic T-Bird Club! Definitely planning to write more about our TM2012 experience as I get the chance... Over and out for now...

Ocean Beack Park Cruise Night, Monday, July 16, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*7/18 (& 7/20) 2012 - Good evening! I have another very quick but very important note, again directing your attention to the Calendar page, where I've just added a cool, new, and very local event upcoming on this coming Saturday, July 21st, in Clinton, CT--it is a Car & Bike Show that is connected to the 2012 Clinton Bluefish Festival--very cool!! I just heard about this today, and so wanted to make sure to highlight it here, as well as on the Calendar page, so that hopefully if you're looking for something old-car-related & fun to do locally, that'd be an excellent choice, I'd say!... Other important things that have been added/updated on the Calendar page as of this evening include the "Blue Slope Fall Festival" upcoming in October (the 13th & 14th, that is), in Franklin, CT (our buddy Clay Smith reminded me about that one--thanks again Clay!), and also a very important date change (from Sunday the 2nd to Monday the 3rd of September) for the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers' always-enjoyable "Labor Day Weekend Car Show," in Westbrook, CT--mark your calendars for that one!... And finally, getting back to this coming weekend, I don't think I need to remind anyone about the big Time Machines 2012 antique auto show & flea market that is upcoming, rain or shine, on Sunday, July 22nd, at the Guilford Fairgrounds, in Guilford, CT. I'll see you there!!!... *7/20/2012 - Sorry, I had wanted to get this stuff added to the 7/18 section originally, and ultimately didn't have time, but it should've been there, so I'm adding it to this paragraph. I am referring to my great pleasure at having been able to make it out to New London on Monday evening (7/16) of this week, to take in the always-fun Ocean Beach Park weekly summertime cruise night (which is co-sponsored by the great local oldies station "KOOL 101"--a.k.a. WKNL 100.9FM). My reason for getting out there (well, in addition to the fact that it is a just plain fun, summer-flavor event) was, as you might guess, to get more Time Machines 2012 flyers distributed. After running around to try to get one flyer into each car there, I took a little more time to walk around to snap a few photos, to try & capture a flavor for what a nice gathering the Ocean Beach Park cruise night really is. There were tons of spectators checking out the cars, also walking the boardwalk & checking out the active adjacent amusement park rides, and in general enjoying the wonderful ocean breezes on a warm & bright summer evening. The small image at the upper right is one of my favorites, showing a beautiful 1931 Model A Ford Roadster, warmly illuminated by some nice low-angle sun, with one of OBP's colorful buildings in the background--and festive merry-go-round also, of course! Click directly on that small image (or HERE) to bring up a larger version. Next, I have a few more hyperlinked images (click directly on the links to view the images) from the OBP cruise that evening; they are as follow: Another overall view looking west toward the merry-go-round and OBP building again, to capture the busy scene... A view looking toward the east, with another of the OBP buildings ("Boardwalk Creamery"), plus tons of cars and spectators (KOOL-101's DJ was set up at the front corner of the "Creamery"  building)... Farther away from the Creamery building, but again looking east at the overall scene with cars and people... Finally, one more closer-type view that I liked, with a few of the may cool cars in the cruise visible--Classic Caddy foreground, and Classic Chevy Nomad (among many others)... In all, it really was a wonderful evening, and I absolutely tip my hat to the Ocean Beach Park management team, and KOOL-101 also, of course!... All right, that covers it for now. It's looking like this coming Sunday is going to be MAGNIFICENT for the Time Machines 2012 car show & flea market (even though, it's of course a "rain or shine" proposition), so I'll look forward to seeing you there!

*7/10/2012 - Just a very quick note for now, to direct your attention to the Calendar page, where I've just added an event upcoming on this coming Saturday, July 14th, in Haddam, CT. Sorry for the late notice on that! And I also added our good buddy Chuck P's big Terryville VW enthusiast event happening on August 12th, which our other local Shoreline buddy Jerry Otrin just alerted us about (that one definitely slipped my mind--thanks again Jerry for the note), and which has been raising funds for worthy local charities for the past 20 years (bravo Chuck and Company!). And then a couple more in addition to that: great sounding Wallingford and Monroe benefit car events on Saturday, July 21st (day before Time Machines 2012 dontcha know), and a long-running event in Orange happening on Sunday, September 30th. Over and out for now...

Exhaust and associated component updates on the Webmaster's project '69 Bug, July 1, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version...*7/4/2012 - Happy Independence Day--the Glorious 4th of July! I hope you and your family have a nice one today, and also perhaps try to keep in mind the Spirit of Independence with which our country was founded. It seems that our freedoms are continually being threatened and eroded, especially lately, so we need to keep vigilant, and make sure we make responsible, informed choices in the voting booth. We owe that to all the people who fought to build this great, free nation, and also to future generations. Something to think about... I am feeling bad about not making it out to many car shows lately--a combination of various non-old-car factors have been causing that--though I have "filled in" a few spare spaces of time with making more progress on the project '69 Bug Convertible. When we last left off, as you may have read in the 5/24/2012 updates section below, we were so pleased to have the Stony Creek Auto guys set up the front end alignment on the car. In more recent weeks, I've been concentrating on changing over the "hot rodder" exhaust that was on the car when we got it, over to a "stock-type" exhaust--and along the way switching out some other related parts in the engine compartment. To try and provide a bit of "before and after" contrast, I've gathered up some photos, old and new, to share with you. First, here's an "engine running" photo that was supplied by the previous owner, that was taken around 2004. Note the custom air cleaner and rear breast plate, and also the "capped-off" fresh air outlets at both sides of the fan shroud (appearing to have been closed off with cast caps from a chain link fence?!). And here's another "as-received" photo I took of the engine during a visit to see the car at the previous owner's house in Meriden, CT, in March of 2010. Also visible in this one is the custom aluminum billet degreed crank pulley (stock would be black painted stamped sheet metal construction). For an image illustrative of the exhaust system itself, which was objectionable to me in how it "hung down" and "stuck out" below and behind the car, here's one from April 2010, right after we got the car home. I do admit that it had a nice mellow tone, but these kinds of exhausts are just not "me," and so it had to go. And just last night, as a matter of fact, I found a local buyer for it, so, happily, the custom header/muffler system is not going to clutter up the garage. And later in April '10, I put on some old work clothes and got dirty doing my best to clean it up a bit, and assess its true condition (note that I've already switched out the "marathon" wheels that were on the car as-purchased; I later refinished those and still have them). Lastly, as you can see in the small image at the upper right (which you can click directly on, or HERE, to bring up a full-size version), is a picture from this past Sunday, July 1st, 2012, when I finally got the stock-type exhaust, oil bath air cleaner, and stock associated fresh air and carburetor preheat hoses installed (ok, yeah, that's an oil spot beneath the car also--some things never change...). I have not started it up yet, but am very happy with the improvement. Make no mistake, there is plenty more engine compartment detail stuff that I have yet to do, but the nitty-gritty basics are there now, and I would say I have some renewed enthusiasm to keep going... Oh, and I just remembered and think it's worth noting that there are some quality parts sourced from Berlin, CT's Bug City (who we mentioned in the 6/24/2012 updates section below), that were integral to the structural refurbishment of the '69 Convertible--would have been expensive and unweildy to ship, but very easy to drive to Berlin and just load 'em into the car--so, again, another tip of the hat to the good folks at Bug City for their parts help... Ok, that about covers it for now. Again, I hope you have a great holiday, and I thank you for visiting the SAAC web site. God Bless America.

*6/24/2012 - Oh, I feel bad for not having gotten out to any of the car (and/or firetruck) events in our area yesterday--I got involved in some important chores around the house, and then a family-related activity, and with how one thing typically leads to another, no car events were possible. I hope our friends the Saturday Nite Cruizers had a great show up in Meriden yesterday, and the Shore Line Trolley Museum had a successful fire apparatus show in East Haven yesterday, among the many events that were happening. If I can, I would like to try to make it out at least briefly, to the East Haven Our Lady of Pompeii Knights of Columbus show up on Route 80 today (probably just as a spectator), so wish me luck on that! Looks like another brilliant day for it... Since I last wrote, I had a lot of fun checking out the Branford Festival "Gary 'The Welder' Memorial" Classic Car Cruise on Father's Day (6/17)--even participating with our family's '73 Ford Pinto Squire (a.k.a.: "The Country Squirt"), and then out toWallingford with my kids the following evening, to spectate at the HUGE CSRA event at Mountain Ridge Resort (and also hand out tons of Time Machines 2012 flyers)... A couple of nights later, I heard that the rescheduled Main Street Middletown cruise was one "hot time" (in more ways than one--thanks to Mother Nature's ongoing heat wave!); unfortunately I did not make it to that one, but it sounded awesome, as it typically is!... In other news I would like to tip my hat to the good folks at our local auto specialist garage, Stony Creek Auto, for helping us out with some needed repairs on a couple of our older cars ('73 Bug and '92 Taurus--and '90 F250 coming by soon for its own "get well visit"), to keep them in the "usable/driveable" column--thanks again guys!... And speaking of quality companies to deal with, though I was not personally involved, I would like to tip my cap and send along a note of Thank You to Dave at Berlin, Connecticut's very well-known old-VW parts specialist/supplier, Bug City, for really helping out Mrs. Webmaster this past Friday, when she drove up there to purchase some parts for her '73 Super Beetle. Dave took the time to personally check out the car, and offer solid advice about what was needed, and what was not needed, in order to solve its issues. It was really nice of Dave to do that, and, like I have felt on the times I've purchased parts for my old VWs there, she will also not hesitate to do business with Bug City again in the future...  Finally I would like to pass along this morning a link to a recent New Haven Register article about our local music legend, Northford's own Rockin' Richard Phillips--who many of us in the old car community know from his many years of service for rockin' oldies music at car shows and cruise nights, but who is also very well known on the doo-wop music scene for his radio show, where he shares his knowledge and enthsuiasm for this wonderful style of oldies music! Check Rockin' Richard's article out at: http://nhregister.com/articles/2012/06/16/news/doc4fdd138913a1e547838687.txt... Ok, that about covers it for now. Have a great rest of your weekend!

*6/13/2012 - Hey, we just heard that the big Main Street Middletown Cruise (originally scheduled for this evening) has been postponed to the rain date, which is next Wednesday, June 20th! Please be sure to check the organizers' web site for more info: http://ecoverthehillgangcarclub.com/events.shtml... We've also just added a new Norwich event for Saturday, July 28th (that benefits a great cause) to our Calendar page, so please do check that one out also...

"The Grimace" and assistant out by the road interacting with traffic, Friday evening, June 8th, 2012, at the North Branford McDonalds Cruise Night - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*6/7 (& 6/8)/2012 - Bring On The Weekend! I happened to drive by the North Branford McDonalds on Route 80 again today, and decided to stop for some coffee, and, what do you know, they had a new revised flyer posted on the entrance doors, that lists all of the upcoming dates for their "Every Other Friday" Cruise Nights (hosted by none other than local music legend Rockin' Richard Phillips himself!), and the next upcoming date for the event happens to be tomorrow evening, Friday, June 8th! How great is that! And what a great way to kick off the weekend! I took pictures of the flyer again (like I did for the 5/24 update section below), and added a couple as hyperlinks, plus a complete transcription of the wording on the flyer, to the event listing that is within the "Cruise Nights" section of our Calendar page--so please do check that out at your earliest convenience, and hope you can make it over to the North Branford McDonalds tomorrow evening--I plan to do my best to be there also!... Several other old-car-things are happening in and around our area on Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th too--again, please do check out our Calendar page for details... Like I said, Bring On The Weekend!... *6/8/2012 Quickie Follow-Up-Dates - Happy to report that I was successful in getting out to the North Branford McDonalds this evening to check out the scene, hand out some Time Machines 2012 flyers, and also take a few pictures! It was a beautiful evening, and there were already many beautiful old cars & trucks assembled by the time I got there, around 6pm or so. I ran into several familiar folks from the local old car scene, including Firebird Trans Am drivers John Astarita and Harry Debernardo, also noted '37 Ford hot rod driver Joe Sandella. It looked like someone other than Rockin' Richard was spinning the tunes (possibly one of his employees?), but they were still cruise-night-perfect! After I handed out flyers, I snapped a few photos for fun on this beautiful evening. The one you see at the upper right is none other than McDonalds' well-known purple cartoon mascot "The Grimace" (formerly known as "The Evil Grimace" years ago, but I guess he has gone in for some "attitude adjustment"... and/or a Prozac prescription). They sent Grimace out to the corner of Routes 80 & 139 to wave at cars, and it appeared he had an assistant with him, presumably to make sure he didn't wander out into traffic! Click directly on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up a larger shot of "Mr. G." doing his thing out by the road... And here now are some hyperlinked images to show what a seriously kool evening it was in the old car sense as well: Overall scene from Route 80... Overall scene from Route 80, western side, far view... Lineup of cool old cars viewed from the rear of the adjacent North Branford Fire Department parking lot... Lineup viewed from the shopping plaza/behind McDonalds... The scene at the front of McDonalds, with a beautiful black Chevelle and Joe S’s red Ford hot rod sedan in the foreground... Another lineup scene from the Route 80 perspective--kind of a compressed telephoto shot, with people browsing... Finally, an awesome Ford and Chevy pair on the other side of the building, with a bit of the adjacent Dairy Queen building in background (I heard that evening that the D.Q. owner was not allowing the cruise to spill over into his parking area... as my daughter would say: "frownie face")... Thanks to the North Branford McDonalds and all their helpers for staging this fun local cruise night!... Ok, "Let the Weekend Begin!"

*6/5/2012 - Angelo's Back! He was found by our friends the Medlyn's on Sunday morning! Wow! Welcome home Angelo, and enjoy your well-deserved rest after your two and half days "on the lam"... Thanks for everyone's concern and good thoughts through this ordeal. These stories usually don't have good endings. We all realize we are lucky to have our big guy back...

*6/1/2012 - Still no news on Angelo, but we are still hopeful & doing what we can. Here is an announcement on Branford Patch. Please keep Angelo in your thoughts, and your eyes open if you happen to be hiking in, or driving through the area this coming weekend--thanks--it is appreciated... Next I have a very time-sensitive notice of a car-related nature that comes to us via a broadcast e-mail dated today (6/1/2012) from Sheri Kalber Amato, (ejkscholarshipfund@sbcglobal.net) concerning the 7th Annual EJK Car Show, that is scheduled for this weekend at Xavier High School in Middletown. Quoting from Sheri's note: "...Please be advised that the Car Show has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 3rd--same time, same place--10 to 3 at Xavier High Schol... Visit http://www.ejkcarshow.com/ for more details..." Sounds good, and thanks Sheri for the heads-up. Readers should remember that the event importantly benefits the Eric J. Kalber Memorial Scholarship Fund at Xavier. Considering the weather forecast, I'm sure the switch to Sunday was a good decision... Next, here is an update on another car event upcoming this weekend in our area--one about which we talked a bit in the 5/31/2012 updates section below--namely the Car Show that is associated with the North Branford Touch-A-Truck event, scheduled for Sunday, June 3rd, at North Branford High School. Quoting from Rosemary Cassidy (rfcass101@yahoo.com) of North Branford Park & Rec, in her e-mail of 6/1/2012: “…Hi There!… I work with the North Branford Park and Rec and our first 'Look-But-Don't-Touch' Classic Car Cavalcade is coming up! This is being attached to our 12th Annual Touch-A-Truck event that is being held this Sunday (June 3rd) at the North Branford High School Auditorium. The events are from 1-4 (Although we ask the cars to get there around 11 or 11:30 so that we don't have them driving around where there are families and children walking around). I believe my boss Pam has been in contact with you about this but I was wondering if you would be able to send out the word to your friends interested in classic cars. This is our first year and we are trying out best to get the world out! We figured one last push right before the weekend might help! I have attached a flyer as well to this email, maybe you would be able to send that out too?... We really want this to be a fun event that draws people to show off their cars and would love your help. We do have three trophies, for the top three favorites in show. We are having the public vote for those three and then the top ones will be announced towards the end of the event. .. So like I said, if you could spread the word please do! We hope to get a good number of cars this year.. Thanks so much!.. Rosemary Cassidy, North Branford Park and Rec…” Sounds great--and thank you Rosemary, and all of North Branford Park & Rec, for your work setting this event up--very cool that classic car owners are now able to be a part of this wonderful annual North Branford tradition! Click HERE for the 'North Branford Classic Car Cavalcade' flyer that Rosemary sent along... Ok, I think that about covers it for now. Have a good weekend, and thanks again for keeping Angelo in your thoughts...

*5/31/2012 - Wow, it was an eventful Memorial Day Weekend indeed! I missed the Friday North Branford McDonald's cruise night (see 5/24 update below), but did take in the Ford of Branford car show on Saturday, with my son Matt, in the family's '73 Ford Pinto(!), and spectated at the huge Quinnipiac/Hamden car show on Sunday, and drove a couple of our old VWs in the Branford Memorial Day Parade on Monday (thanks again to Branford Veterans Parade Committee and its Chairman Dr. Whelan for the gracious invitation). Way too early to get anything together in the way of reports or photos on any of the above, but will effort it as we are able... Oh, and from the Ford of Branford show, we heard about a new Saturday cruise night in Newington, thanks to a couple of Charter Oak (Fire)Birds guys we saw there, and have added it to the Calendar page--so please check that out at your convenience... Oh, and in addition to the events listed for this coming weekend, as shown on our Calendar page--and specifically for Sunday, June 3rd, I wanted to pass along a couple of links for published articles relating to the "12th Annual North Branford Touch-A-Truck" event (1-4pm, North Branford High School parking lot), that this year is also incorporating a "Classic Car Show" as part of it(!). The articles are as follow (click on the hyperlinks): New Haven Register, Shore Publishing, and North Branford Patch. Of course, this is just one of many old car related events happening this coming weekend in and around our area,  so please check the Calendar page for all the details... Finally, please keep your eye out for our beloved big smooth collie guy Angelo, who seems to have disappeared earlier today, from the Branford/Guilford line area of Route 146 (Sawmill Road/Medlyn's Dairy area), and if you see him, please drop me an email note at CommonGear@aol.com - there is a reward. Thanks!

Flyer for 5/25/2012 Cruise Night at North Branford McDonalds - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view of the information presented...*5/24/2012 - Happy Memorial Day Weekend eve! This is an important weekend, especially Monday, 5/28, which is Memorial Day proper, to think about the great sacrifices made by our country's soldiers for our freedoms. Old car drivers in our area have a nice opportunity to help remember and pay tribute to our soldiers, both living and deceased, via the invitation that was extended again this year by the Branford Veterans Parade Committee to participate in the Branford Memorial Day Parade on Monday morning in downtown Branford--check the Calendar page for more details... And speaking of the Calendar page, I also just got a couple of important things updated on it, including a locaton correction for the upcoming June 10th Deep River Rotary Club car show, and also newly adding the July 14th Haddam Neck "Junkpile Jamboree," which I just ran across while browsing internet listings. I've attended both events in the past and have had great times at both, so I am happy to be able to pass along accurate info about them... This afternoon was also quite eventful for me in an old car sense, and I am happy to have had my camera along with me to record a couple of scenes... First, while I was driving home from work, I happened to be heading through North Branford, and thought that I'd stop for a coffee at the North Branford McDonanads--that's the one located at the corner of Routes 80 & 139, next to the Dairy Queen. How cool it was to find a flyer in the window advertising tomorrow evenings's (Friday, 5/25) Cruise Night there! Happily I had my camera with me and the workers there gave me permission to photograph the flyer. If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) you'll bring up a larger version of the flyer, that is hopefully easy to read. What a great way to start off the long weekend?!... Moving along, next I already knew that I had to get home to grab a trusty old-VW repair manual that I was hoping had front end alignment specifications in it, since the Stony Creek Auto guys had called me earlier in the day requesting them--for our old '69 Bug Convertible that I had dropped off the previous day. This is a car that we had purchased a few years ago, and upon which our long-time old-VW friend Chuck Pisconski (sometimes known as "Mr. Masterseries" due to his top-notch auto restoration coatings and supplies business) had lavished many hours of skilled welding and related repairs, approximately one year ago--after it was discovered how many serious "hidden rust issues" the car actually had. Anyway, along the way, Chuck also had discovered that the front end of the car was also damaged, and so he built up a nicely refurbished new front end for the car as part of his work, that would, of course, ultimately have to be set up and aligned properly before the car could be safely driven. So, that's what I had finally gotten around to requesting from S.C.A.--knowing that alignments is one of their specialties. Thankfully I found the manual and got over there to see that the car was already all set up for the alignment procedure! I got permission from John to take some pictures, and so here are a few views (click on the hyperlinks): a straight-on overall view... a medium-far overall view from the right... a medium overall view from the left... a close up level view (were you can see some of the alignment tools in place)... and finally, another close view from a lower angle, to show off some of those nice fresh front end details that Chuck put together for us... Thanks again to the Stony Creek Auto guys for taking on the "slightly unusual" (I'm sure, compared to their usual automobile alignment jobs) request of setting up the old VW!... Finally, to cap off an already-auspicious Thursday evening, we traveled out to Westbrook, to pick up Diane's beloved '63 Karmann Ghia, at the completion of some work done on it by the great folks at Cardone & Daughter Automotive. Again, happy to have brought along my camera (click on the hyperlinks to bring up images)... Diane was very happy to have her car back, and running in tip-top shape again, thanks to the efforts of the Cardone folks!... David Cardone was gracious to pose with Diane and the Ghia for a photo too!... Diane decided to take the highway back west toward home base. I snapped this first shot, which I think illustrates how much the cool old Ghia stands out from "normal traffic"...  Next, I sped up and captured this shot out my passenger window as I passed by... And finally, I knew I had to get off the highway to tend to one more (non-car-related) errand, and I snapped one more shot as Diane and the old '63 Ghia sped away in the left lane... Later on it was great to hear how pleased Diane was with how her Ghia was running. Thanks again to Cardone & Daughter Automotive!... Ok, that about covers it for now. Have a great upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, and please Remember Our Veterans...

*5/8/2012 - Just got a couple of updates done on the Calendar page--some important additions to the Branford Festival Car Show listing (6/17/2012), and also a new 6/10/2012 East Haven benefit car event listing that I ran across during some recent internet browsing, so please do check those out @ your convenience... The other thing that I wanted to highlight today is my quest for a new (used that is) commuting vehicle. I just updated the Classified Ads page--within the "Wanted" section, with what sort of vehicle I'd ideally like to find (that is: something reliable & ready-to-drive, with an automatic transmission, not too high miles, and AWD a definite plus--yes, Subaru Outbacks or Foresters would fit in there nicely...), so please review that ad some time @ your convenience also, for further details, and/or e-mail me (to: CommonGear@aol.com, that is) with anything you have or know of  that might fit the bill! THANKS!

Gadsden Flag flying in front of The Sail Bag Lady's shop on route 1 in Madison, 4/21/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*5/5/2012 - Happy Cinco de Mayo! As if I need a reason to drink some Corona! Ha ha! It is Saturday afternoon as I am typing this, and it's been a good day so far--now easing into a good evening--I hope the same for all of you... Just a couple of quick bits to go along with some updates that I just got done on the Calendar page (new local events added on 6/9 and 6/10, and an update to the 7/29 Beacon Falls Lions Club car show--thanks to our friend Mike Carafiello again for keeping me on the mailing list for that info)... I know I talked in the 5/1/2012 updates section below about some of the stuff that I was fortunate to be able to attend/do/participate in from last weekend, but now I'd like to push it back to one weekend previous--specifically Saturday, the 21st of April. I had the good fortune to be out and about. The "main event" that day was a first communion ceremony and social gathering afterwards, over in Madison. It was a nice day so I decided to drive the '70 Bug--top down of course! After the church activities in downtown Madison were over-with, there was a bit of down time before things spooled up at the social gathering afterwards, so I had the chance to do a bit of local driving-around, and as luck would have it, I also had my compact camera with me (though not with a fully charged battery, unfortunately, as you'll read about toward the end of this paragraph)... On the way over to the center originally, I had seen a beautiful yellow flag hanging out in front of The Sail Bag Lady's location (155 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443, and web site: http://www.sailbaglady.com/ - also this interesting article http://madison-ct.patch.com/articles/these-flags-fly-from-ships-to-space). The flag that caught my eye was a striking yellow "Gadsden Flag," and I knew I wanted to get a photo of it, on this sunny morning--click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up the full, uncropped view. It turns out that I had met Bettina the Sail Bag Lady many years ago, when her ex-husband was into old VWs, and I enjoyed finding out what she's up to these days, via some internet searching. Check out this photo from a Madison Patch article showing the Sail Bag Lady with a letter from Space Shuttle astronaut Mark Kelly & the Merchant Marine Banner that she made for him: http://o2.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/600x450/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/1b624e2098159081d0d89acec3a23a8 - caption for the photo: “Displaying the commemorative letter and photo for the flag she created for the Space Shuttle" (with photo credit to Ellyn Santiago). And here is a separate image of the flag itself as shown on The Sail Bag Lady's web site http://sailbaglady.com/images/bigflag-usmarine.jpg. Pretty cool!... Next, right nearby, I stopped again just a couple of doors up from Landon Lumber (which is located at 134 Boston Post Road) on the other side of the road from the Sail Bag Lady's location, since I had seen a pretty cool looking big old Ford F700 truck that lookd to be for sale. Turns out it is a 1958 model with low reported miles. Here's an overall shot, with my Bug also in the scene for size reference. Here is also a photo of the window card, in case you are interested in calling. And here are a couple of cool stickers that were on the side truck, that presumably are part of the deal... A last stop that day that I wanted to mention was a little further west, still on Route 1, but in Guilford. I needed to pick up some beverage supplies so I stopped in to Shoreline Wine Merchants, located specifically at 1015 Boston Post Road (near the Route 1 & Route 77 intersection, north side of Route 1), with web site: http://www.shorelinewine.com/. While chatting with the very helpful owner, he noticed my top-down Bug outside, and we got into a bit of a discussion about convertible-driving opportunities during the Spring. Turns out he owns a 1987 Alfa Romeo sports car, which, I pointed out, was "officially antique" (per AACA definition) as of this year, and I also handed him a Time Machines 2012 flyer! Unfortunately my camera battery had died by that time, ans I was unfortunately not able to get a shot of my car posed in front of the Shoreline Wine Merchants storefront. But let me say that the owner's a good guy, and he enjoys driving his antique car, so it's all good!... Over and out for now...

North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, 8/5/2011 - click directly on the image to go to our new dedicated feature page...*5/1/2012 - Wow, May already! The season is speeding along (as it always seems to do, once the nice weather is here). I was very fortunate to attend a few really cool events last weekend, one of which was car-related, and the other of which was not. Friday evening, April 27th, we were very pleased to check out the Guilford High School Theater Arts production of "Evita" at the Guilford High School auditorium. We are related to one of the dedicated adults who is very involved with the technical aspects of the productions at GHS, Mr. Dave Valley, and we had been hearing from him that their Spring production of "Evita" was one of their best ever--and after having seen it, we would agree! Great acting, great singing, and great sets, too, of course! Great job by everyone involved! That evening waiting in the lobby before the start of the show, by the way, I saw another familiar face (from the automobile world) who relates to another of the subjects that I want to bring up here tonight--it was none other than Gary DiNicola, who is one half of the team who own and run our favorite local automobile garage, "Stony Creek Auto Service." Browsing the show program, I could see that Gary also had a relative who was involved with this "Evita" production, and was obviously there to support and enjoy the show also! Anyway, from looking at the GHSTA web site, it appears there are a couple more performances still to happen this coming weekend, so if you like theater, you will not be disappointed with this fine production of "Evita"! BRAVO to all involved!... The car-related thing that I also managed to take in last weekend was the Connecticut Volkswagen Association's "Spring Dust-Off" gathering up at Mansfield Hollow State Park, in the northeast part of the state, not far from UConn, on Sunday, the 29th of April. I drove the '70 Bug up there, which, by the way, ran GREAT (thanks to the fine work that Cardone & Daughter Automotive had performed on it recently), and was able to pick my son Matt up from UConn (where he was studying for finals), and enjoy the show a bit with him, before taking him back to school. I was also very fortunate to have met earlier in the morning with our old-VW buddies Greg Mattesen and Bill Silvestri, and have an enjoyable breakfast with them, before proceeding up to UConn to pick up Matt, and also his friend Jim (who happens also to be from Branford), to check out the Dust-Off--which was a tremendous gathering of VWs and VW people, by the way! I'll try to effort a couple of pictures from the Dust Off, next chance I get, but for now, thanks again to all the CVA folks who made it a great day!... The great weather that day was also not lost, by the way, on the folks who attended the Belltown Antique Car Club's "Spring Engine Show," the same day (Sunday 4/29), in East Hampton, judging by the write-up in the just-received May 2012 issue of their newsletter "The Belltown Bulletin." Great to hear it!... Finally, to wrap up this evening's ramblings, I would like to direct your attention to our just-completed report on the 2011 North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise from last year (specifically Friday, August 5th, 2011). You already know, from the 4/8/2012 updates section below on this page, that we saw that really cool & historically significant early Datsun 240Z at the event, and already created a feature page about it. This time, we wanted to document the event in a more "general overview" sort of way, to spotlight all the things that we liked about it (such as the fact that we saw Gary DiNicola there too!), and learned about it, from doing some research, and contacting key people involved with it. You can click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to go directly to the new feature page--hope you enjoy browsing it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!... Over and out for now...

Spectacular trio of antique British cars at the 4/21/2012 "Wheels" exhibit in New Haven - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*4/21/2012 - Today I was too busy to drive my old car, as I had to run in to work for a while to get a couple of things done, then also get back over to the Madison House to see how my relative was doing. But in between those things, I did manage to take a mini-stop-off in New Haven, to see what there was to see in connection with the "Wheels" art + motorcycle + antique car "happening" over in the arts neighborhood that's approximately southeast of the green, and which I think is referred-to as the "Ninth Square" district. The "Wheels" event that was going on there you may have read about on our Calendar page, and though I knew I could not commit to being there for the number of hours that the event was to run (12noon to 7pm, as per advice I received in response to some questions I had forwarded to the organizers), I thought it might still be pretty cool to go and check out for a few minutes. I had my compact "travel camera" along with me, and though it doesn't take as good pictures as my bigger camera, I am still happy to have been able to capture a few images from this unique New Haven event. The first view that most visitors probabably got was upon approaching the closed-off (pedestrians only for the day) section of Orange Street, where the organizers, "Reynolds Fine Art" are located, plus many other gallerys and restaurants, etc., and seeing lots of people, plus several cool old cars and motorcycles assembled here and there (pretty sure that was local Shoreliner Orlando Amato's beautiful red T-bird). Over directly in front of the Reynolds gallery were a few very cool custom motorcycles out front on the sidewalk. And then there were a couple more beautiful two-wheeled machines (one custom and one stock restored) inside the gallery as well, along with many other art objects. I believe Branford's own Eastern Fabrications may have been responsible for one or two, as I recalled seeing them mentioned in the event publicity, and recognized their style. And speaking of two-wheelers based in Branford, the famous bicycle shop "Zanes" also was set up nearby with a tent, some of the bikes they sell, plus a few of the cool art projects they recently commissioned. Directly across from the gallery, and adjacent to Mr. Amato's fantastic T-bird were a fantastic striking trio of British cars--a Rolls, an MG coupe, and an open Bentley. They appear both in the small image at the upper right, and also in a larger view that you'll see by clicking on that image (or HERE). They were "automotive artwork"  for sure! Walking a little further down, on the same side of the street, I ran across automotive artwork of a different style--a couple of ultra-funky old VWs that consisted of a custom-painted early '70s microbus, and a kool lowered '60s Squareback. Turns out I had met their owners last summer at the "Time Machines 2011" car show, which had featured VWs. They were very gracious to pose for a photo with their neat old Volkswagens. And then, a little further down were some very beautiful old Studebaker Avanti automobiles. Now there was another car that in my opinion could be considered "rolling art." I think you can see how the dark colored Avanti in the foreground's headlights are differently shaped from the beige one next to it, which was an earlier version (from a card on the windshield, it was noted to be a '63 model, and traveled from Southbury, CT to participate). All in all, it was a unique and interesting experience, and I'm glad I stopped by to check it out! Nice job by Mother Nature too, providing some nice sunny and warm weather to go along with it!... Finally, if you've been following the dedicated updates & guest book web site about how recovering local volunteer firefighter Frankie Palumbo is doing, I'm sure you were happy to read that he got out of the hospital recently, and is now working on rehab at Gaylord in Wallingford. Though I don't know Frankie nor his family personally, I can certainly see there is a lot of strength and perserverence mustered there, and I send along my prayers and good thoughts for Frankie's continued progress... Ok, that about covers it for now. Sounds like we're only going to get about a half a day tomorrow, before the big rains come in--but I guess we need 'em. Have a good rest of your weekend...

*4/19/2012 - Just a very quick update for now, to go along with another update that I just got done on the Calendar page--that being a June 3rd event in North Branford that sounds interesting: To an annual "Touch-A-Truck" that the town has been holding for a few years now (which has had worthy benefit causes) is being added this year a Car Show! I've been in touch with the North Branford Parks & Rec Director about details, and for now have added what I know to the Calendar, and the listing will be augmented as we receive more info... I've also been in touch recently with the reps at the North Branford Police Department who are involved with the Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise in August, who are helping me not only with correct info for this year's event (specifically happening Friday, August 3rd--see the Calendar for more info), but also in my effort to get a new feature page together about the 2011 version event, which was where I captured the photos of that magnificent & very historic Datsun 240Z that was mentioned a couple of updates ago on this page (the 4/8 section below). So, anyway, please do stay tuned for that new feature upcoming also... Finally, a quick tip of the hat is due once again to the fine folks at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Westbrook, who, of course, ran that very nice open house gathering at their shop this past Saturday (as was talked about in the 4/14 update directly below). Some of you may have noticed that my beloved '70 Bug was already there even before I got there--that is because it was in for some needed repairs. Anyway, as of earlier today, I have the Bug back, all fixed, and I could not be happier! David Cardone and his staff did an extremely thorough and comprehensive job, and the car now purrs like a kitten! I wish to thank Cardone & Daughter Automotive for their fine work on my car, and recommend them highly! How lucky we are as Shoreliners to have such a great local resource to help keep our old cars in top shape! We will definitely be doing more business with Cardone & Daughter Automotive in tne future--as a matter of fact we already are. On the same trip to go and pick up the '70 Bug, I also flat-towed Diane's '63 Ghia out there, as Diane had a list of things that the car needed, and Mr. Cardone welcomed her to "bring it on down!"... Ok, that about covers it for now. Have a great upcoming weekend, and if you happen to see a tan VW convertible being driven around by a man with a big smile, that'll be me!

Scene at Cardone & Daughter Automotive "Open Shop" gathering, Saturday, April 14th, 2012, Westbrook, CT - click directly on the image to bring up larger overview image from another perspective...*4/15/2012 - (Un)Happy Tax Day! Ha ha! Actually, I think we have a couple more days, legally, to get our tax returns postmarked (Tuesday, 4/17 according to my copy of TurboTax). Happy to report that I managed to slog thru my federal & state returns already, so all that is left to do now is to print and mail... First of all, I would like to suggest once again, as I did in the 4/8 updates below, that you consider leaving a get-well message for local volunteer firefighter Frankie Palumbo at the CaringBridge web site that was set up to provide updates on his recovery progress, and allow vistors to leave messages of inspiration to him and his family, who, I'm sure appreciate knowing that folks are thinking of and praying for all of them--the URL once again is: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/frankiepalumbo ... And speaking of guest books, yes, I have noticed that the no-charge provider of ours has recently shut down operations, so I need to spend some time investigating other options--hope to be making some progress on that soon... The past couple of days, I am happy to say, did provide some opportunities to get out and about with an old car, though, so that is pretty cool. Though my beloved '70 Bug is still in the shop, on Friday afternoon (4/13), I did some garage car-juggling, and managed to free up 'Doug' the '60 Bug again! On Friday afternoon, I had to travel over to The Madison House (rehab facility), on the west side of Madison, to visit a relative. Here's a picture of Doug with the main entrance to the facility in the background.... From there, I took a bit of a "scenic route" on the way home, and on my way up Moose Hill Road in Guilford, I found some nice blooming forsythias, which made a nice "Spring backdrop" for another photo... Finally, when I got back home, I decided it might be fun to make a wheels & tires switchover, to an older set of "wide whites" on stock rims that I hadn't used in a while--so, here's a picture of the work scene for the "sneakers" changeover... The following day, Saturday the 14th, I knew was the date of the Cardone & Daughter Automotive "Open Shop" gathering in Westbrook, and I was determined to get over there to check out the scene (even though I also had another Madison House stop on my agenda). I got there around 11am or so, and the place was really active, with tons of cool old cars and folks enjoying themselves! Here's an overall shot from the northwest, another general front view scene, an overall view from the northeast, an overall view from the southeast (overlooking at the scene on the west side of the building--maybe you can see Doug the '60 Bug in the background there), and here's one more sort of "artful" shot near the front corner of the building, incorporating a couple more cars. Finally, you can also click on the image at the upper right (or HERE) for one more semi-comprehensive overview of the scene. Those are just a few of the pictures I took, during the time I was able to visit. I also had a great time chatting with local old car friends such as Jack Tary, Hal Farrington, Bob Ruggiero, Steve Holtz, Bob Howard, and many others. Perhaps we can put together a dedicated page with more pictures & commentaries in the future. For now, a huge THANK YOU to David and Nancy Cardone, and all of their staff, for the most wonderful hospitality. We really had a great time!... And driving home from the Cardone gathering on Route 1, I recognized a very beautiful red early '60s T-bird roadster heading eastbound, which I'm pretty sure was Orlando Amato's--very cool!... Finally, I had to stop off in Guilford Center on my way home, and getting a good parking spot at the south edge of   the Guilford Green, I was very happy to snap this neat image looking north; believe that white structure in the distance is the First Congregational Church of Guilford, on Broad Street. Here's one more shot, from a different perspective, that shows how the '60 contrasted with most other surrounding automobiles that were parked near the Green... All right, that about wraps it for now from here... Thanks again to the Cardones for their fantastic hospitality yesterday... Enjoy the rest of your weekend... And don't forget to finish up your tax returns!

"Lucky 13" The Historic Datsun 240Z - click directly on the image to go to the new feature page about this great local antique auto!*4/8/2012 - Happy Easter! And another beautiful weekend is certainly in session. I hope that today you might have occasion to get together with family today. At this end we attended one very nice family dinner yesterday evening, and another is scheduled for today. Not a good time to be on a diet, I guess!... Well, my '70 Bug is going to go back into the shop tomorrow, so I will be missing the chance to tool around on pleasure drives like I've been doing lately (such as my mini-tour of East Haven that was documented below), but I'll look forward to doing so again hopefully in the not-too-distant future.... Back on family stuff again for a minute--I want to pass along a web site where you can write some good thoughts down as local (Stony Creek Rescue Fire Co. 5) volunteer firefighter Frankie Palumbo recovers from a serious auto accident--it's a nice way to let him and his family know that they are being thought of: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/frankiepalumbo - and you can read this article at the Branford Patch for more information: http://branford.patch.com/articles/frankie-palumbo-being-frankie-as-he-faces-long-road-to-recovery . We extend our best wishes to Frankie and his family and friends, and hope that he's up and around agian soon!... Next I wanted to mention a new car event that we added recently to the Calendar page, that is upcoming next month, at Ford of Branford (specifically, Saturday, May 26th). I received one e-mail about it, from their sales manager, and asked a couple of follow-up questions, so if & when we receive any more info, we'll add it to the listing. So, please do check that one out at your convenience.... Oh! And then I would also like to mention the upcoming "Open Shop" event next weekend at our friends, the old car specialists Cardone & Daughter Automotive, in Westbrook, happening specifically on Saturday, April 14th! They are such nice people, and it's a wonderful event! Again, you can check out the details on our Calendar page, and here's their electronic flyer for the event also... Finally, to go along with the small graphic at the upper right, I have been working recently on a new feature page to help tell a wonderful story about a fantastic local-area antique car that has a unique history. I ran across it at last August's North Branford Potato & Corn Festival Classic Car Cruise, and only "rediscovered" my photos of it recently, which, thankfully also contained a good photo or two of a display board that told the car's very unique story, in the owner's words. I augmented the transcription of that story with my own photos of the car that I took at that 8/5/2011 event, plus a few other tid-bits about the car that I was able to find via some internet research. The feature is all about "Lucky 13," the historic First Datsun 240Z Built For Sale In The United States! Click on the image at the upper right (or HERE) to go to the new page! Pretty neat!... Ok, that's all for now. Have a great rest of your weekend...

70 Bug at East Haven Town Hall, 4/1/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*4/2/2012 - Happy April! It seems as though we've drifted back into a more "seasonable mode" of weather & temperatures the past week or so, but that's fine, since we have left winter behind at this point! I am happy to report that I was able to get out and about in an old car a bit this past weekend--yesterday, Sunday, April 1st (Palm Sunday), to be exact. I had to get my daughter over to a function in the center of town (Branford that is) around mid-day, and so she suggested we take the '70 Convertible Bug, since the weather was pretty decent. I also remembered that I had seen a really cool old neon sign on a building in East Haven a couple of weeks ago, when I had been dropping my grasscutter off for spring servicing at my favorite local power equipment store (Gargano's, of course!), and decided I'd try to head back there and snap a picture. It was a business called "A&A Cleaners," located at 29 Hemingway Avenue (I think it's right next to a modern looking Dunkin Donuts). Unfortunately there was a modern vehicle parked in front of it, but I'm still happy with having captured an image of the sign, the colorful awning, and with the '70 Bug as a model... From there I drove up toward the center of town. I stopped at the East Haven Town Green, which is the beautiful 2.4 acre grassy park with many trees, plus civil war and firefighter memorial monuments, located 2 blocks east of Town Hall, where the East Haven Fall Festival is held, which also by the way, includes an antique car show (see our Calendar page for info on this year's, which will be happening September 9th). I parked the car along the edge of Park Place, and viewed westward for this shot, which has some of the Green in the view, and sighting toward Town Hall in the distance (the Civil War canon from Fort Hale and the Gazebo on the Green are slightly visible at the very left side of the shot)... From there, I had to go and get a shot of the car sitting at the edge of Main Street, by the East Haven Town Hall. The shot at the upper right is a closer view, which you can click directly on  (or HERE) to bring up a larger version of the same shot.... With my East Haven mini-tour over, it was time to point the car eastward again. I decided to head back into Branford along the coastal Route 142, a.k.a. Short Beach Road, which eventually becomes Shore Drive. I paused for a photo-op on the bridge over the Farm River, with the Branford shore on the left, and the East Haven shore on the right... Then I took a quick detour down to Branford Point, and found a spot to park and record a scene with some of the blooming daffodils, in the spirit of Spring!... My final destination was one more photo-op over by our favorite local automotive garage, Stony Creek Auto Service, on Route 146 (a.ka. Leetes Island Road) in the Stony Creek section of Branford. I had seen a cool older Porsche 911 parked there, and thought it might look cool to get a shot of the comparatively pedestrian-looking '70 Bug Convertible sitting next to the menacing-looking air cooled Porsche. With the sun finally starting to come out a bit more, it made for a nice final scene for the mini-tour out to East Haven and back... Hope you had a good weekend; talk to you again soon...

East Haven Police Local 1662 Car Show, 10/9/2011 - Click directly on this image to go to our feature page on this fine event!*3/25/2012 - Hello again and hope you are all doing well. Not too many car things accomplished at this end over the weekend, and it looks like the weather is going to cool off this coming week, and become more "seasonable"--no worries, though, since we know that Spring is officially in session!... I did have a couple of very wonderful experiences this past Thursday and Saturday nights, though, when I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Branford High School Performing Arts production of Elton John & Tim Rice's "Aida" ("The Timeless Love Story"). Oh boy, what a tremendous job BHS did with this one for their Spring musical! Like last Spring, when I got to see their phenomenal production of "Phantom," I can't get the beautiful music of "Aida," so wonderfully sung by the BHS student actors, and accompanied by an outstanding live orchestra, out of my head! I can only say "Bravo!" once more! The BHS cast & crew deserve the "ironman award" this year, also, in my opinion, due to their having staged the show no less than six times (Wednesday 3/21 thru today 3/25, and with two performances yesterday 3/24). What a job, what a show! And to add one small car-related bit of flavor to our Aida discussion, it was very cool to see Branford's local "European Specialists" independent car repair company (370 East Main Street in Branford, and online at SwedishPerformance.com) salute the show with a special message on their sign--click here to see the photo of it I took today... I would also like once again to direct your attention to the Calendar page today, with a few more new and/or revised local Shoreline-area event listings just added, including a benefit "fun run" happening 4/29, and originating in Westbrook (thanks Bob Powitz for the heads up), and no less than three East Haven events also: 5/19 benefit car show, 6/23 benefit fire truck show, and the 9/9 fall festival car show (thanks Wayne Sandford for sending along the info on all of those)... And speaking of East Haven, I also want to mention that I've been working on putting together a new feature page to spotlight a most wonderful car show that I attended on October 9th, 2011, at the East Haven High School, that was staged by the East Haven Police Local 1662, and all of their helpers, friends, and supporters. I think these days its important to show our support for local police forces who put themselves in danger every day in order to uphold the law and keep us all safe. The East Haven Police in particular deserve our support, and we are happy to salute and thank them for the job they do every day. But getting back to the 10/9/2011 E.H.P.D. Local 1662 car show, you can click on the small image at the upper right, or HERE, to take you to our new feature page, featuring our impressions, plus several photos. Thanks again to East Haven Police Local 1662 for the great car show--and also for the jobs that you do every day... Finally, just a quick note to mention the sad recent passing of long-time old-VW friend Richard Borchers, who left this world way too soon. Always a friendly face at the car shows, Richie from New Jersey was also a devoted animal lover. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. Here is a thread at the AACA forums that has a photo and link to his online obituary listing. Rest in peace, Rich... Over and out for now...

*3/22/2012 - Happy Spring! Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! A couple more updates to the Calendar page have been made as of this afternoon, including a couple of events, and at least a cruise nite or two also... Enjoy this magnificent weather!

*3/17/2012 - Happy St. Patrick's Day! Just a couple of very minor updates to the Calendar page as of this morning, so please do check those out at your convenience!... Hoping to get in a bit of old car driving this weekend also, and we'll check back in at some point with our accomplishments... For now, enjoy some green beer (in the immortal words of WPLR's 'The Wigmaster' - "Don't Drink and Drive--Drink and Stay Put!") and the rest of your weekend!

*3/8/2012 - Aloha again! A few more minutes here to check back in, finally, during a busier-than-normal week... Wow what a day today--definitely feeling some "Spring In The Air." And don't forget that this coming weekend, on the overnight between Saturday and Sunday, the clocks will be "springing forward," which is definitely ok in my book, since it gives us an hour more of afternoon sunlight. Don't forget to be extra-careful in the early mornings next week, though, when it's going to be darker than normal, and harder to see kids standing out by the road waiting for their schoolbus... Let's see, in other news, I've added another couple of events, plus a confirmed cruise night, to the Calendar page, so please do check those out @ your convenience... I also spent a little time gathering up some photos and background info from some more local pleasure driving with the '70 Bug I was able to accomplish late last Saturday afternoon (3/3), when the sun was pretty low in the sky, and top down without even any gloves needed (okay, I admit that a hat & a windbreaker over my longsleeve sweatshirt would've been nice)... The first photo-op location was approximately the Branford-Guilford town line, on Route 146, a.k.a.: Leetes Island Road. There is a very tight slow turn right by there, where the predominantly east-west road has to take a quick north-south zig-zag under the Amtrak line (railroad tracks). This is also about where "Hoadley Creek" empties into the tidal marsh, and I think the "Hoadley Neck" small land peninsula would be just to the left of the view shown (here's a marked-up Bing.com "bird's-eye" view of this location). I am parked on the south side of the railroad tracks, and the south side of the road also. This picture was taken viewing south, with an inactive wind-driven generator on a tower visible in the background. And here's the same location, but viewing from the marsh side of the road... And then, I continued on eastward, eventually into Guilford center after that... This next photo location is the Guilford Town Green. I am parked on Park Street, which borders the east side of the green, and the views are looking west, with St. George's catholic church (on Whitfield Street, which borders the west side of the Green) and the Guilford Civil War "Soldier's Monument" (in the middle of the Green) visible in the background, along with a bit of the setting sun. The red building in the "looking northwest" shot (featuring some warm setting sunlight) is "Greene Gallery" --this and others are mapped out at this merchants map - http://www.guilfordgreenct.com/Guilford_Green_Directory.pdf... And here's another shot at the same location, looking more generally westward. The lack of other cars parked in those diagonal spaces on the east side of the Green at that time made for some interesting picture-taking... Being able to get the car out in general on an early March day--just as with many other of the unusually mild & clear days through this past winter--has certainly done a lot to keep my spirits up--and I hope the same for you...

*3/3/2012 - All I have time for right now is to note that several new events (car events, cruises, and even one "non-car" event) have just been added to the Calendar page... I will check in again next chance I get! Bye for now!

A bit of slushy snow on the CT Shoreline, Friday morning, 2/24/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*2/24/2012 - What was that white stuff that was found on the ground when we got up this morning?! Thankfully it did not amount to much--at least not as far as my driveway is concerned. It appears it amounted to a bit more in the minds of the Branford Public Schools System, though, since they cancelled school today, plus all after-school activities. The kids are very happy, I'm sure, though I wonder if this means they're going to take away another day at the end of the school year. The kids in Branford already had the majority of their "winter break" obliterated, with only Monday and Tuesday of this week being "official days off"--while Wednesday thru today were "official in-session" days--that is, before the overnight snow showed up. So, maybe the administrators felt bad about that, and gave the kids one more free day of the week they were "supposed to have had" off (before last winter's multi-snow-days changed all the rules)... One thing I am happy to have been able to do this morning was take a little advantage of the "transformed landscape" that the snow effected, and drive my '70 Bug outside (top still down from last weekend!) for a couple of photos in the snow (read that as:"slush," by the time I got the car outside). I made sure not to venture out onto the general roadways, though, since salt and sand are the mortal enemies of old VWs (and probably most other old cars as well). It was a good excuse to get the car fired up, and the photos were kind of fun (which I can say, more or less comfortably, here in late February, when I know that the worst of the winter is now past us). Click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up a larger version of that shot, and also click on this hyperlink to bring up another view of the '70 touching some "virgin slush" with its tires... Speaking for myself, I can't wait for more nice weather, either, though, as that '70 Bug is such a joy to drive... The next subject I want to bring up today is of importance to all old car folks in Connecticut who enjoy the opportunity we have--right now--to display "Year Of Manufacture" (YOM) registration plates on our antique vehicles. It seems that, for whatever reason, our illustrious state legislators have decided that YOMs displayed on antique vehicles may not be totally cool (in their eyes). Our local antique MG-driving buddy Bob Howard reminded me about this issue, when he e-mailed me yesterday, with a forwarded broadcast email from a CT Council of Car Clubs (4-Cs) rep, concerning what actions 4-Cs may be recommending concerning the issue. As it turns out, I had also been on original distribution for those particular 4-Cs broadcast emails, and have been posting them at a forum thread within the AACA forum's "Legislation" section; the actual thread address is: http://forums.aaca.org/f133/yoms-threatened-ct-fwd-4cs-322630.html . I again thank Bob for thinking of me, and I am happy to post that thread link, so you can go and read everthing that's been published on the issue so far by the 4-Cs (who are a great organization, looking out for all of us old car enthusiasts in the state of Connecticut)... Finally, please check out the Calendar page for two more great-sounding, newly-added events. The first is upcoming a week from tomorrow (Saturday 3/3) at F40 Motorsports in Portland--one of their informal & fun-sounding "Cars & Coffees." I haven't made it to one of those yet--have to see if that one might work for a quick run up from the Shoreline (especially if the weather's nice)... And the second event just-added is upcoming on Memorial Day weekend (not "the one you are thinking of," though, which I stopped years ago making fruitless inquiries about to the organizers--nowadays I just wait for someone to tell me about it...). The Memorial Day weekend event that was just added is at a very cool venue, and also benefits a very worthy cause, which is eminently ok my book... Oh! And, not old-car-related (though the artist is an old car person!), but I also added a new photo exhibit, happening thru most of the month of March, at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, in Stony Creek... So, make sure you check the Calendar page... Okay, that's it for now, enjoy the snow, but also get ready for SPRING!

Westbrook 2011 Labor Day Weekend Car Show, 9/18/2011 - click directly on the image to go directly to our new feature page...*2/21/2012 - Still can't get over this weather! I'm more than happy with the mild temps, clear roads, and lengthening daylight, to be able to get an old car out & about on occasion during these days of late winter. And it's not even daylight saving time yet. I'd say Spring is definitely on its way... If you have been watching TV lately, you probably have seen an often-run commercial for a car made by the Infiniti car company called the "M Hybrid" ("...Finally, a hybrid you'll actually enjoy driving..."). The general theme of the commercial seems to be many progressive eras of "hybrid" (and/or just plain "electric") cars through automotive history, with some "unknown lightning-fast vehicle" flashing by each scene in the background, and startling the subjects in the scene. In the '70s scene (judging by the clothing of the people and the washed-out colors), people are talking in a car dealership parking lot (apparently a salesman and two customers), and in the background of that scene there is at least one of those odd "triangular-looking" electric cars called a "Citicar" - here's an example image of one from the internet: http://www.rpmgo.com/images2009/CitiCar-1.jpg . And, what do you know, here is someone's fuzzy screenshot from that actual Infiniti ad, apparently copied right off of the television screen: http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Toyota-Corona-Infiniti-M-Hybrid-Commercial.png . The reason I bring this up is that you may have read the earlier mention of my having read in a recent Shore Line Trolley Museum newsletter an article written by the son of a recently-deceased member, Bob Rice from Killingworth (see the 2/14/2012 updates section below). I just ran across another article online that notes that Bob Rice did indeed work for the Citicar company in Florida at one time, ref: http://www.ecedra.com/bobriceevent.html . How about that! And here's the link to the article again that his son wrote for the Trolley Museum newsletter (which, as noted, I was able to access electronically via the "members only" section) : http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/BobRiceArticleFmTrolleyMuseum.pdf . Bob really was quite a character. Little did we realize just how great an impact on the automotive world our old friend Bob Rice made. We again extend our sympathies to all of Bob's family and friends... The other thing I wanted to highlight tonight is the new feature page that I've been working on the past few days, specifically highlighting the most wonderful "Labor Day Weekend" Antique Auto Show that was staged last September 18th, 2011, in Westbrook. Due to the severe after-effects of Hurricane Irene, the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers car club had to move it from the originally scheduled date (Sunday of Labor Day Weekend proper), up a couple of weekends. I am sure there was a lot of behind-the-scenes scrambling required to bring that off--but bring it off they did, and in grand style, with a most wonderful event. We are so happy to have been able to participate once again! Thanks again SRT Cruisers for another great old car time on the beautiful Shoreline! Click directly on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to go check out the feature page on the 2011 Westbrook Labor Day Weekend Show... Over and out for now...

A stop by The Guilford Gun at Alder Brook Cemetery, Saturday 2/18/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*2/18/2012 - Wow, what a great day to be out and about in an old car today! Today of course is Saturday the 18th of February--and NOT a date when you'd normally feel comfortable taking an old car out for a pleasure drive! But, for whatever reason, Mother Nature has seen fit to make much of the current winter season so far, not that uninviting to old car drivers. The lack of super-cold temps (to say nothing of the lack of snow), for the most part this season, has kept the dreaded salt and sand that our towns and state love to spread, invisible (or at least minimized). I am doubly lucky to have a drivable old car in an accessible spot, so that I can fire it up and take it for a pleasure drive, with minimal hassle. So anyway, given how nice yesterday afternoon was (when I just had to exercise a half vacation day!), and how much like it today was supposed to be, I made a promise to myself to take an old car drive, around mid-day. The ride of choice was the '70 Bug Convertible, given its position in the garage. "Top-down, you bet!" (with apologies to Gibbons, Hill, and Beard, reference the slight rewording of a line from their classic: "Manic Mechanic"). I couldn't have enjoyed myself more, driving with the top down today! Make no mistake, I had my wool cap pulled down and my ski gloves on, but, in all, it was very comfortable, even on the small highway run out to the Hammonasset Connector (Exit 62 off of I-95, and then south toward the water)... The Connector was pretty lightly populated, and so I saw no reason not to pull over by the famous "Turtle Rock" for a photo-op (at least a few others have documented this cool geological formation for the internet, here's a good one: http://www.ctcameraeye.com/?p=2511 - scroll down to the bottom part of the page)... What an awesome day for a "Hammo" visit (that is: Hammonasset State Park, in Madison, of course)! Once inside the park, I drove to the western side first, and stopped for a photo-op with a pavilion and some seagulls in the background (this is the same part of the park where the C.S.R.A. holds their very popular "CT USA" car show in the fall--in the huge paved parking area right nearby--benefiting breast health initiative, ref: http://ctbhi.org/events/ct-street-rod-association). Then I drove out to the eastern end of the park, "Meig's Point," and stopped for a photo-op at the edge of the Nature Center parking lot. And then, on my way out, I stopped one more time on the main road, just north of the rotary, for another photo, looking eastward toward Clinton ... I decided to drive home again on Route 1, which was great. I saw a couple of other cool old cars along the way, including a Porsche 356, and a Cobra roadster (don't know enough to be able to distinguish real from replica--but I can assure you, it sounded quite healthy). Of course I took the left by the Shoreline Diner, to head down Route 146, and just a bit down the road, I decided to turn into Alder Brook Cemetery, for a couple of photos, including one with many very old gravestones in the background, and another with "The Guilford Gun" (a very interesting known history of the Gun is published at: http://www.chs.org/finding_aides/ransom/040.htm - and here's one more more very very informative link of interest about it: http://ctmonuments.net/2009/09/guilford-gun-guilford/), which sits at the eastern edge of the cemetery--here's that shot (and the small one at the upper right also hyperlinks to this same image)... From there, it was time to point the car back toward home base. It sure was a beautiful day to be out in an old car, and enjoy a magnificent mid-February day. Hope you were able to get outdoors also today, either in an old car, or just outside to smell the fresh air.

Cool '68 Chevy wagon spotted Friday evening, 2/10/2012 in North Branford - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*2/14/2012 - Good evening & hope you’ve been continuing to find ways to enjoy this ongoing unusually mild winter—be it driving your old car around a bit, or doing anything else fun that might not be possible in snowy or otherwise bad weather... I was saddened recently to learn of the passing of two great local people. Late last week I opened up the just-received December 2011 issue of the Shore Line Trolley Museum’s (www.bera.org) official newsletter, "Branford Electric Railway Journal," and read with sadness of the passing earlier in 2011 of the legendary Bob Rice, from Killingworth (it says in the article that he passed away on May 13, 2011, at CT Hospice). I met him in the early days of the Connecticut VW Association (circa mid-1980s), as he had a strong interest in both VWs and electric power (and trains too of course)--I believe he built at least a few electric-powered VWs. He was quite a guy, and infectious in his enthusiasm and zest for life. The Trolley Museum article appears to have been written by his son Charles Rice, and recounts many of the amazing accomplishments of this wonderful man, along with many humorous anecdotes that will bring a smile to the faces of people who remember Bob’s "larger than life" personality. I took the liberty of copying the electronic version of article about Bob that is posted at the Trolley Museum’s web site “members only” area (I am a dues-paying member), converted it to a .pdf document, and uploaded it to our server, so that everyone can read it (there are also some priceless pictures of Bob that are included). Click directly on the following link: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/BobRiceArticleFmTrolleyMuseum.pdf - and you can also read the official obituary that was published for Bob, online at: http://www.tributes.com/show/Robert-Bob-Rice-91468702 . Wow, what a loss... The second local person of note who passed away recently (just earlier this month) who I was very sad to read about was Thomas Yester of Branford, with whom I had worked for many years, via the SAAC, for maintaining & publicizing the invitation for antique autos to participate in the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades in town. Thomas was the long-standing Chairman of the Branford Veterans Parade Committee, and was always extremely gracious to communicate with me well ahead of time to make sure I was able to publish the parade invitations at the SAAC web site, and always promptly and graciously answered all of my follow-up questions. It was only a few years ago when I finally was able to meet Thomas in person, at the conclusion of one of the parades—and he was just as gracious—just a really nice guy. Branford lost a wonderful person in Thomas Yester. You can read Thomas’ obituary online at the Branford Seven web site, at: http://www.branfordseven.com/obituaries/article_82258952-55e9-11e1-9204-001a4bcf6878.html . It is worth noting that both Bob and Thomas served honorably in the US Military, and we are extremely grateful for their honorable service to our country. We extend our deepest condolences to both of their families... Oh! Even though I was not driving an old car myself at the time, I did experience a very exciting “old car sighting” this past Friday evening, February 10th, 2012, when I was driving through North Branford on Route 80. As you can see from the small teaser photo at the upper right (which you can click directly on—or HERE—to bring up a larger overall view), it was a very cool older Chevy station wagon—more specifically, a 1968 Chevrolet Caprice Estate station wagon, complete with the woodgrained sides and back! It also had some cool aftermarket mag wheels, and what looked to be a larger-than-stock exhaust pipe. I was not able to hear it run, but did manage to snap a couple of quick pictures of it, when it was parked in the parking lot of Town Line Wine & Spirits (http://townlinespirits.com/index.htm) at 2430 Foxon Road (a.k.a. Route 80). Here’s one more photo of the car as it sat in the parking lot, from a different angle. How cool is that?! Great to see other local old car folks getting their great old rides out and about while our roads are still clear this winter… Finally, just got around to one more needed update to the Jarvis Creek Critters page, concerning the auspicious stage appearance made by our own “Angelo The Wonder Dog” (a.k.a. just plain Angelo), in the fantastic recent Branford High School fall 2011 production of “12th Night”—check out the "Angelo section" of the Critters page for info & photos!... Oh! And one more new cruise listing was just added to the Calendar page, so you can check that out also at your leisure... Ok, that's it for now. Happy Valentine's Day, and we'll talk again soon...

*2/7/2012 - A new listing has just beed added to the Classified Ads page--within the "Wedding Transportation Wanted" section, so please do check that out next chance you get... Thanks!

'54 VW Driving, Sunday, January 29, 2011, Stony Creek, CT - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view*2/2/2012 - I don't know about you, but I'm continuing not to ask questions about this ongoing mild weather! Normal commuting-type travel has been easier and less stressful than for a "typical" CT winter, and there has also been the wonderful added bonus of streets being clear enough for taking the occasional old car ride out & about too, which I definitely have been enjoying (whenever possible)! I know it's only the 2nd day of February as I am writing this, but I would not be at all unhappy if we continued in this weather mode right on ito Spring... Another thing that has gotten me excited and "Thinking Spring" today was the fact that I was able to sell a set of old VW wheels--actually finalizing the deal just this morning, with a fellow from eastern MA. We arranged a meeting spot at an exit along I-95 near the RI/CT border that was approximately half way for both of us. I took the morning off from work and had a nice drive out, and was very pleased to meet the purchaser "in person" for the first time, after many e-mails. It was very cool how he was "into" old VWs and old VW wheels, just like I am. Meeting up with him today was fun and made me realize that there are many other old car folks who are eager to see the return of the "old car season" here in the Northeast!... The transaction was worked such that he only purchased a set of wheels--which still leaves me with a set of cool tires in excellent shape (a matching set of 155R15 raised white letter BF Goodrich radials)--and, so, "the wheels are turning" again in my head, about a future set of wheels to refinish now, for eventual fitment with the BFG's. And, as usual, I am having fun exercising some creative brainstorming toward that eventual goal. And, what do you know, during some garage moving-around-of-stuff activities last weekend, I discovered that I had some "refinishing stock" of old cruddy-looking stock VW wheels needing restoring! What a nice coincidence! So, next chance I get, I'm going to be bringing all of those up to my Friendly Local Sandblaster Guy (Nils in North Branford, of course!). The only thing I'm slightly worried about is not having any good "painting weather" soon enough (since it's still only early February), so perhaps I'll delay getting the wheels up to Nils for a bit longer while... Anyway, getting back to the theme of old car rides to take advantage of this weather, part of the garage activities last weekend included getting the old '54 VW Convertible out and running for a bit. And, what the heck, a little local drive might also fit in, given the clear roads, and relatively mild temps--so we did it! As the '54 is technically Mrs. Webmaster's, she drove, and I rode--and also snapped a couple of pictures along the way... Here's the view heading west thru the "Swedeville" section on Route 146/Leetes Island Road... Here we are driving up Thimble Island Road, through Stony Creek Village... We stopped for a couple of shots near the water, including a far view from the rear of the car, a closer view of the front of the car, and one more close view of the left rear of the car... And finally, one more good action shot as we headed back eastward along Route 146 (which corresponds to the small picture at the upper right)... When we got home, we yanked the starter out of the car, as it has to get sent out for needed rebuilding--so the '54's not going to be running again for a little while... Ok, I think that about covers it for now. Enjoy your weekend!

Webmaster's '70 VW in a snowy driveway, Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a similar view in larger format...*1/28/2012 - Wow, we've sure been thru some roller-coaster weather (to borrow a favorite weatherman's cliche) since I last checked in! Last Saturday (the 21st of January) we had quite a snowstorm. I estimate we got a solid 8" accumulation at our house--but thankfully it was of the light and dry variety, which was not too bad for shoveling. And then, what to you know, a few days later it was all gone--thanks to a combo of mild temps once again, plus some rain. And today, as this is being typed, it's quite a fantastic day out there--bright and clear, with mild temps. If I don't get the '70 Bug out for a drive today, I'm going to have to try to make a point of doing so tomorrow. But getting back to last weekend--I did manage to roll the '70 out, at least to start it up and let it run a bit, on Sunday the 22nd of January, after most of the shoveling was done around the house. The small image at the right shows the '70 Bug parked nearby the trusty old '92 Taurus wagon, which had yet to have the snow brushed off of it--and you can click directly on the image (or HERE) to bring up another shot, showing a bit more of the overall front of the Bug. And then here's one more shot, from another perspective, and further contrasting the normally garage-dwelling Bug, with the always-outside Taurus. Between the stark white of the snow, and the "cold" metallic silver of the Taurus, the tan color of the Bug (actually the VW color is called called "Savannah Beige" - and if my memory serves, that's VW color code L620) really seems to take on an extra "warmth" and richness. Anyway, for now, I am glad once again that the snow is in our rear view mirror. Let's keep thinking positive about the lengthening daylight hours, the fact that February starts next week, and also keep fingers crossed for a continuing relatively mild rest of the winter... In other news, I've been working on updating some of the other pages here lately, such as the Calendar page, which I consider one of my primary jobs, since it contains important and time-sensitive information... And the Classified Ads page also received some much-needed updating--mostly in the area of housekeeping (there were many badly out-of-date listings there), though a couple of recently-new ads also got inserted... *1/28 Late-Day Update: We enjoyed a wonderful visit from our old-VW friend Greg Mattesen today! And he took advantage of the nice weather to drive his magnificent turquoise '63 Bug! I had to snap a couple of quick pictures of Greg's '63 in our driveway: Left Front, and Right Rear. It was great seeing you, Greg, and hope you had a nice ride home in your cool old VW... And finally, I got some long-overdue updates incorporated on the Jarvis Creek Critters page, due not only to having to note the sad passing of a couple of our beloved pets within the past couple of years, but also to announce the happy arrival of a couple of others. And I also added another small new section on that page, where I inserted a couple of photos that I took during the height of the storm surge that was part of Hurricane Irene, that hit our area last August. For those who are familiar with where Route 146 crosses Jarvis Creek, the images should appear pretty dramatic. Thinking back on that time, we dealt with a number of hardships, including a massive chainsawing task to clear our driveway and path to our house--and not to mention a full week without electricity. But, we also know that there were many who dealt with far worse situations, and our heart goes out to them... Ok, I think that about covers it for now. Have a good rest of your weekend, and hope you can get your old car out a bit, to take advanage of these once-again unusually-mild weather conditions...

Webmaster's '70 Bug at Stony Creek Village, Saturday, 1/14/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger, uncropped view...*1/14/2012 - I know it's going to come to an end sooner or later--but, even with the cooler temps we're having this weekend, there is still some good old car driving weather yet to be enjoyed out there! I have been very fortunate to have been able to drag "Doug" the '60 Bug out for a few local pleasure driving excursions lately, as you may have read in recent updates on tis page. Today, however, Doug got switched out of driving rotation again, with the '70 Bug Convertible replacing him (I don't have a name for the '70--not yet anyway...). Temps during mid-day were more than mild enough to fire up the '70 and go for a (top-up) pleasure drive around the beautiful local Shoreline area. First I drove down into Stony Creek Village, and snapped a couple of pictures by the water's edge. The small image you see at the right is one that I cropped down from the original scene--however if you click directly on it (or HERE) you will bring up the original image in large format. In this scene, the car is parked along the edge of Thimble Island Road, with some of Madeira Park and Stony Creek Beach visible in the background, and the houses visible further in the backgroud I believe are located on West Point Road... From there, I drove back up to Route 146, and took a right, to head in the eastward direction, toward Guilford. I really enjoy that stretch of Route 146, as it meanders along the coast, with many beautiful salt marsh views along the way. Here is one "action shot" from driving Route 146 eastward--no salt marshes visible, though I believe the actual location is on the downhill section just past the Moose Hill Road/Shell Beach Road intersection... In Guilford center, there were a ton of police motorcycles & uniformed officers gathered--watching TV later, I found out that they were honoring a police officer who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty--his funeral was taking place at the time, at St. George's Church on the Green; that was very sad to learn about, as he sounded like a great guy, and left a young family (here's a Madison Patch article with more info)... Then it was time to turn the car back westward toward Stony Creek again. A last "photo op" spot was Quarry Road, which intersects Route 146, and at the end of which is the actual working quarry from which comes the world-famous "Stony Creek Pink Granite." The spot where I stopped for a photo shows some of the starkness of winter, with gray, leafless brush lining both sides of the road (which passes thru a fresh water swamp in that area also). I also made sure to take advantage of the warm sunlight at a favorable angle for one close-up shot... The trusty '70 VW now sits back in the garage, awaiting our next outing. Maybe a well-deserved oil change might be a worthwhile Sunday activity tomorrow... In other local-area old car news of note, our long-time old car friend Ron Denison (from the old SAAC Club days) sent along a note with a link to a YouTube clip showing his beloved '69 Lotus Elan roadster being started up for the first time in a reported 20 years! That's very exciting! I hope I transcribe the YouTube link correctly here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjO8A39QaBU - hope that works (but I'll come back and correct it if it doesn't, so please be patient). I believe the YouTube video was created & posted by the person who is working on the car. Ron's note (dated 1/10/2012) attached to the link read: "...My friend Wayne has had my Lotus for 4 days... check out the YouTube (link) attached... looks good so far... Happy New Year to you guys, Ron..." I don't know if I've ever seen Ron actually drive his Elan, but it sure is exciting to know that he's getting closer to being able to do so again. The Lotus Elan, some of you may remember, was "Emma Peel's" vehicle of choice, in the old TV show "The Avengers," and in more recent history, the generally accepted thinking is that it was inspiration for the original Mazda Miata sports car. Anyway, sure is great news about Ron's car, and we look forward to seeing him on the road again soon in his cool Lotus!...

Webmaster's '60 VW out & about, 1/7/2012 - click directly on the image to bring up a similar, larger format view...*1/9/2012 - Wow, another positively awesome weekend-just-passed! I am not asking too many questions—just trying to continue to get out there and take advantage of it, while I can (since it is no secret to any of us what “typical” January weather is like in Connecticut). Again, I consider myself very fortunate to have an old car in an “accessible” spot, such that nice days can be taken advantage of without too much hassle—and for now, it continues to be “Doug” the ’60 Bug. I had a bit of a “mission” this time, too, as I wanted to go and get a couple of photos of the legendary summertime outdoor seafood restaurant “The Place” (http://theplaceguilford.com/), which has been talked-about recently in a thread on the popular old-VW enthusiast classifieds & discussion forums site "TheSamba.com" (the actual thread address is: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=461925). Nothing like a clear and sunny mid-morning for an old car ride eastward along scenic Route 146, to the center of Guilford. I got Doug parked on the little access road that is adjacent to the restaurant (shared with its neighbor to the east--what appears to be a bank or something), and then captured some typical views, including a view looking east, and also a view of The Place looking northwest from the other side of Route 1. It looks like they must’ve been busy selling Christmas trees there a short time ago… On the way home, I took Rt. 146 again, but decided to take one more detour at Shell Beach Road, which is the road leading out onto “Leetes Island” proper. The gatehouse at Shell Beach (general info: http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/site.asp?siteid=25 – and also some commentary: http://soundbounder.blogspot.com/2010/03/shell-beach-in-guilford.html) was unmanned, which allowed me to drive slight past it, and then stop the car for a photo overlooking a bit of scenic Island Bay, to the west. On the way back up the hill toward Rt. 146, I took a left turn onto the small cul-de-sac called Island Bay Circle, and had a pleasant conversation there for a couple of minutes with a resident who wanted to show the old VW to his young son ("the next generation" of old VW enthusiasts?!)—that was pretty neat!... Finally, closer to home, I noticed how blue a fresh water swamp near us looked in the bright sun (normally this time of year it is the color of ice), and had to stop the car for a couple more photos—click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up a larger view. In all, it was a fun little Saturday outing… The other thing I wanted to share with you today is a nice e-mail note that I received from frequent SAAC web site visitor and Saab Sonnet driver/enthusiast Eric from Fairfield County, who checked in on 1/6/2012: “…Hi, Happy New Year! I noticed that you've included more regional (out of state) car events on your site for 2012. That being the case, I thought I'd share the following event with you that you might want to include at some point: I have no affiliation with the event but 'Swedish Car Day XIII' (www.swedishcarday.com) will take place on Sunday, August 26, 2012. The official website isn't yet updated but their Facebook site (www.facebook.com/swedishcarday) is chock full of information and updates. The event takes place each year at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA just outside of Boston. It's a beautiful location and there's always a wonderful turnout of cars and people. -Eric…” I explained to Eric that the occasional out-of-state events generally creep onto the Calendar page only during the cold, off-season months—but definitely appreciated hearing about the cool-sounding day devoted to Swedish cars, up at the Brookline museum, where many other “special days” devoted to various marques and/or marque groups also happen thru the season, reference: http://larzanderson.org/ for more info. Thanks again Eric for the check-in!… Ok, I think that about covers it for now!

"Cardone & Daughter Automotive Open Shop," 11/5/2011 - click directly on the image to go to our full report...*1/1/2012 - Happy New Year, and welcome to "Official Antique Status" all 1987 model year automobiles!... Wow, the New Year could not have started off with any nicer weather--it was a positively magnificent day! I was fortunate to be able to participate with a family group for a "New Year's Day Hike" through many scenic trails in the area, including salt marshes, woods, and fields. We feel so fortunate to live in an area where such beautiful outdoor surroundings can be enjoyed. I hope you were also able to get out there to drink in some of this beauitful day in Southern Connecticut also... Taking further advantage of the holiday break, here and there, whenever I can, I have also been working a bit on getting another new feature page together, to document more properly and completely, another wonderful recent local-area old-car event in which we were very fortunate to be able to participate. I already wrote about it a bit here, within the 11/20/2011 updates section below--though given the nature of how this page works (I keep building the page as much as possible, but eventually get to point where the oldest stuff needs to occasionally get cut back), stuff does not stay here permanently. A dedicated feature page, in addition to being a much more "permanent record" type of documentation, also allows for many more images to be uploaded and displayed to further illustrate the story. And so what I have been working on has been processing a good number of photos to be able to add to the new feature. The "event" I am talking about, of course, is the very wonderful "Open Shop" social gathering, Saturday, November 5, 2011 that was sponsored by and held at the facility of "Cardone & Daughter Automotive" of Westbrook, CT. The staff of Cardone & Daughter Automotive really went out of their way in 2011 extending lots of "old car goodwill," through hosting many gatherings at their shop through the year, and the November 5th "Open Shop" was the final one to "cap off" their very busy season (I was fortunate also to attend a CT VW Association gathering there in June also). Anyway, please do check out the new feature on the 11/5/2011 Cardone & Daughter Automotive "Open Shop" by clicking directly in the small image at the upper right (or HERE). Thanks again to all of the friendly Cardone's folks for their hospitality!... Ok, I think that about wraps it for now. All the best to all fo a happy, heathly, and propserous New Year!

Shoreline Sightseeing with Doug the '60 Bug - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*12/30/2011 - One very cool thing about having some holiday season time off from work is the possibility of taking some extra time out to do some exploring at a slow & leisurely speed. Aided by the continuing (knock on injection-moulded plastic!) nice, clear weather, I was able to get in some local exploring utilizing an old car, yet--and then some additional time to process & upload a few images to add as hyperlinks here... "Doug" the '60 Bug, of course, was my ride of choice. And not that I've never been to any of the places I drove to yesterday (12/29/2011), but, again, it was having a bit of free time, to take along a camera, and visit a couple of these local spots that I enjoy, that made it a fun little drive... The starting point was Stony Creek Village, where I wanted to capture a couple of photos in front of the well-known Stony Creek Pizza & Market on Thimble Island Road. Here is a long overall view, and here is a close-up, with the signage readable. Gotta love this place, with its wonderful pizzas, plus all sorts of other dishes & baked goods (eat-in & take out)... Next, I pointed the car eastward toward Guilford... A quick photo-op was afforded in front of Breakwater Books (http://www.breakwaterbooks.net/), which is located right on the Guilford Green (scenes from a Meryl Streep movie were supposedly filmed right near there this past fall, see: reference 1 and reference 2)... After that, we drove south on Whitfield Street to the Guilford Harbor landing... Once there, I parked for a shot with the well-known "red barn" on Grass Island visible in the background (a slightly different perspective compared to my "usual" car shots at the boat launching ramp). It was interesting to see that the Grass Island barn is featured on the 2011 Official Guilford Christmas Ornament, too!... From there, it was back up Whitfield Street, with a quick park & photo-op in front of the well-known "flying saucer" condos (right across from the Seaside Avenue intersection; here is a NY Times reference about those iconic condos); some subsequent googling indicated that they are apparently called "Whitfield Shores"... And then it was right down Seaside Avenue after that, for a quick photo at Jacobs Beach, the gates to which were happily open, allowing a neat "ocean background" photo-op... After the Jacobs stop, we continued back up Whitfield toward the center of town again--but not before stopping for a quick photo-op next to an Oval Window Bug (note the shape & size of its rear window, compared to the more modern-looking back window of Doug the '60's) we knew about in a local neighborhood (this Oval is a 1957 model--which was the last year for oval back windows)... After that quick stop, it was time to point the car back westward toward Stony Creek--and one last photo-op stop at the inlet to "Lost Lake" (just north of Guilford's Joshua Cove), which passes under Route 146. If you are familiar with this page, the "logo" shot I use at the bottom (which hyperlinks to this photo I took from behind the wheel of our '50 Bug, back in 2008), it is the same spot. The setting provides for many beautiful views in many directions. The small image at the upper right hyperlinks (click directly on it or HERE) to a a larger copy of the same shot, which is looking approximately southeast, with some of the tidal cove in the background--and also shows off the "seasonal" look for Doug... Backing off a bit, and looking more toward the east, I took this shot... After that I moved around toward the left rear of the car, and took a shot looking toward the northwest, with the Amtrak rail line visible in the background (unfortunately the culvert under the rail line where the water passes thru to the large expanse of Lost Lake on the north side is obscured by the car!)... And then finally, one last "far" shot, looking more toward the west... Hope you enjoyed the little tour!... Wishing you all the best for 2012...

The 2011 Branford Holiday Festival Parade - click directly on the image to go to our report on antique vehicle participation!*12/29/2011 - Wow, we had an "interesting" experience on our way up to do that previously-mentioned "Christmas I.O.U. shopping" that I mentioned below in the 12/26/2011 section. It was early afternoon, and we were driving along northbound on I-91 (heading up to Cabella's), in pretty heavy traffic, middle lane, when all of a suddent we got rear-ended! Amazingly, we didn't lose control (we were doing about 70mph when it happened--cruising along with surrounding traffic), and managed to pull over, as did the guy who hit us. Thankfully my old "beater" '96 Passat wagon didn't show any noticeable damage. The guy who hit us was driving a late model Dodge Avenger with NJ plates, and seemed somewhat flustered. After chatting with him for a few minutes, he finally admitted that he had nodded off at the wheel (!), and was planning to get off the next exit for some coffee--wow! We finally agreed that it was a "no harm, no foul" situation, and decided to continue on our separate ways. Thankfully the rest of the trip was uneventful!... Amidst some other ongoing holiday social obligations, we also managed to also get another mini-project for this web site completed--it is a report on the recent 2011 Branford Holiday Festival Parade, that was held Saturday, November 26th, and in which many really cool antique vehicles (cars, trucks, and farm tractors) participated--us too, with "Luigi" the '56 Ghia! We had a number of pictures and remembrances from the event that we wanted to share, and happily, as noted, we found some time to get it all incorporated into a dedicated feature page. Click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), which shows a Christmas wreath that was on the front of one of the participating vehicles in the parade, to go directly to the report. We had such a great time participating in that most wonderful event!... Ok, that's about all for now. As the old "Hill Street Blues" (tv show) sergeant used to say: "Let's Stay Safe Out There..."

Vintage Airstream Trailer party lights for the 2011 Christmas holidays - click directly on the image to bring up a larger, uncropped version of this shot...*12/26/2011 - In addition to an important update that I just made to the Calendar page this morning (correcting an inexcusable error on the projcted date of the "Time Machines 2012" antique auto show--thanks again Bill Arute for noticing!), wanted also to check in with a couple of post-Christmas Day reflections. I often find the holiday season to be somewhat stressful--something to be "survived," so that "normal life" can be resumed again--and I guess this one is no different--perhaps even a little more so than usual, due to a variety of factors. Make no mistake, being able to see family and friends is always nice. But I also enjoy the opportunity to do some writing and reflecting, and spend a little time outdoors--and my goal is to also get some of that done during this holiday break. Mother Nature has also been extremely gracious, providing us with some continued clear & relatively mild weather (it's a positively magnificent bright day setting up out there as I type this), and I am so happy to see that there are at least a few more top-shelf old-car-driving-days yet to come (at least based upon what the weatherman has been saying lately); I have to do some "Christmas gift I.O.U. shopping" with my son today, but maybe can get old Doug the '60 Bug out for a little local pleasure driving later on (and will try for perhaps a photo-op or two along the way, possibly to share with you here in a future installment...). I was inspired to take a couple of non-old-car photos also, though. Here is a shot of a freshwater swamp near us, where a bright morning low-angle sun provided some nice illumination of the scene, just a day or so ago... And when I zoomed in, I found some ducks appearing to be having a good day swimming around and doing a little food scrounging below the surface... In the spirit of the holiday season, and even with a little bit of "vintage transportation" flavor, I am pleased to present a couple of shots of some innovative & festive lighting accents that Diane came up with, to adorn a couple of large potted plants that sit presently in our dining room. If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger, uncropped version of the shot, showing the vintage Airstream trailer party lights that got installed a couple of days ago. And here is an overall shot of the two plants that received that particular treatment (augmented by some regular white mini Xmas lights)... Ok, I think that about covers it for now. Best wishes to all for happy holiday times with family and friends--AND hopefully being able to fit in a few things that you want to do, also, during this holiday break...

"Branford" sticker on the webmaster's '60 VW Bug, photographed 12/16/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view*12/17/2011 - It's not often that I find a block of relatively free time with which to get some stuff done with one of the old cars, and/or sit down and compose a few more words in the way of some updates for the SAAC web site--but yesterday and today I was/am able to do a bit of both!... Right now, as I'm typing this, it's late afternoon on Saturday (12/17) , and the house is pretty quiet, as Diane is out with Sarah, picking up Matt at school (he finished exams today, and is now officially on Christmas recess from UConn). My job was to get our Christmas tree up today (we acquired it last weekend--though not in nearly as stylish a manner as our buddy Greg--see the 12/15/2011 updates section below), and the lights strung, both of which are now completed ("family tree decorating" will take place tomorrow, when some other extended family members are also due to show up for some holiday breadbaking)... Anyway, getting back to old cars, last weekend I found myself with a similar block of free time, and decided to do some garage car-wrangling, so as to get old "Doug" the '60 Bug back out to an accessible spot in the garage, and even enjoyed a bit of local-area driving, with a pleasure drive over to Guilford's beautiful downtown center and back... Yesterday (Friday 12/16), I took a half day off from work, and decided to do another "switcheroo" of Doug's sneakers in the afternoon. I pulled out a set of silver-painted Porsche 356 wheels with 155R15 Vredestein radials that I had done up a few years ago, and replaced the "mod" two-toned (mango green body color outers & purple centers) stock VW wheels with "old school" 165R15 Michelin XZX radials, that had been on the car during the early portion of the year (recall this shot of Doug from June with those particular wheels & tires). In the midst of the changeover, I took this comparison shot of the slightly smaller Vreds on the 356 wheels and the slightly larger Mich's on the VW wheels. And once I got them all onto the car, I took another overall shot, complete with the "smooth" (non-logo, Porsche-style) chrome dome hub caps in place. In all, I'm happy with the visual change, and the nice, fresh, supple Vredesteins (as opposed to the old, hard, Michelins) provide some nice ride & handling qualities. I'm hoping I can get in a decent amount more cold-weather driving with Doug before the "heavy salt & sand season" sets in!... Once I got Doug rolled back into the garage, I was inspired to take a picture featuring a "Branford" sticker that I put on Doug's back window a couple of years ago, as it reminded me of the many fun things the town has organized and sponsored this past year, which I've enjoyed & appreciated, such as the Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances, the (summertime) Branford Festival and Holiday Festival & Parade (organized by the Parks & Rec Department), the town's Independence Day fireworks, the great "Jazz On The Green Series," also Branford High School dramatic productions this past year including the spring musical "Phantom of the Opera," the fall play "Twelfth Night," and much more. Oh--and I'd be quite remiss without a tip of the hat to some great things that happen within our town's villages also, such as the annual "Blessing of the Fleet" organized by the Stony Creek Church (and the accompanying "Cars On The Lawn" antique auto display organized by the Brainerds!)--the annual "Stony Creek Christmas Pageant" too, and also the always-fun "Short Beach Days" at the other end of town. Anyway, if you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger view of the shot from which the small one was cropped. And I also have to put in an extra plug for Stony Creek--as Doug wears his original "I Am A Creeker" bumper sticker on the back (and lately, a festive Christmas wreath on the front, as well)... Lately we sometimes seem to get overloaded with the pessimistic, cynical, negative messages of the "occupy" this, and "protest" that crowd--but the reality is that we have a wonderful way of life here, with many opportunities to grow & prosper for all--let's keep up that positive, can-do, All-American spirit--and block out the "nattering nabobs of negativism" (I'm sure the late Spiro T. Agnew probably never thought that phrase would get recycled in 2011!)... Thanks again to all the good people who make Shoreline towns like Branford, Connecticut great!

"Herbie Gets a Christmas Tree," 12/10/2011 - image by Greg Mattesen - click directly on the image to bring up a larger, uncropped view of this wonderful scene...*12/15/2011 - Showing off some wonderful Old Car Holiday Style, our local-area old car friend Greg Mattesen did a magnificent job with some recent holiday-themed photos (from which the small picture at the right was cropped), having just returned from a family trip to acquire a fresh-cut Christmas tree, on Saturday, December 10th, 2011—utililizing his ’64 VW Bug “Herbie” as transportation of choice (note the tree up on Herbie’s roof rack!). Quoting from Greg's note dated 12/11/2011, to which a couple of great shots were attached: "...We got our Christmas tree yesterday. Since the weather was so nice, we took Herbie to pick up the tree. The drive over and back was an exercise in patience: old Herb doesn't like the cold very much, and it's a pretty hilly drive over to...where we like to get our tree. But it was still fun to get the tree in an air-cooled VW..." As noted, the small shot shown here was cropped from a much larger shot, capturing a really beautiful holiday scene--click directly on the image (or HERE) to bring it up. And here is another shot from the same trip, showing a front view of Herbie "Fully Loaded" (with Christmas tree that is), plus a festive wreath attached to the front bumper. Great shots, Greg, and thanks for sharing!... Finally, in the category of local-area car event news, please check the Calendar page for a new-for-2012 Shoreline-area Cruise Night listing that was just added today! The listing came to us courtesy of our old car friend Jack Tary, who forwarded info he had received from Don Brookes of the MisFit Cruisers (same group who ran the extremely popular Essex Fire Department Tuesday cruise nights during the summer for many years). The new cruise is a replacement for Essex, and will be happening on Tuesdays, and nearby at a beautiful park in Deep River--again, please check the Calendar page for more details. Thanks again Jack (& Don) for the heads-up!... Ok, I think that wraps it for this installment. Good luck with all your holiday preps... Over and out for now...

2011 Branford Veterans Day Observance and Parade - click directly on the image to view our full report...*11/25/2011 - I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a good one. I am happy to say that I was able to successfully get thru all of the vaious family obligations that were on my busy schedule yesterday, and also enjoy some turkey and trimmings in the evening to cap it all off. It was a nice opportunity to reconnect with various family members, and I am again thankful to my employer for providing the day off--and today too, as a matter of fact! "Black Friday," as I guess today is called, was also a busy one for me, with more running around on various family errands, including one stop into a clothing store with my son, so that he could get some stuff he needed for school--and which thankfully wasn't a madhouse scene, as I had been fearing, and we got in and out of there with minimal time and hassle, which was great... Then I took some time to put a few more finishing touches on the new feature page that covers our very positive experiences participating in the recent Branford Veterans Day Observances and Parade, which took place a couple of weekends ago, on Sunday, November 13th, 2011. The day was a beautiful one, and all of the events were memorable and honorable in the cause of paying tribute to our Military Veterans. I always find myself saying this, but this year, the meaning of Veterans Day became even clearer and more significant to me, and I am so happy that I was able to get over to the center of town with an old car, to be able to take advantage of the gracious invitation extended by the Branford Veterans Parade Committee to all antique auto drivers to participate. It was also great to see some other antique automobile and antique fire truck drivers also participate, and made for an even more colorful, interesting, and exciting day. Anyway, the first draft of the new feature page covering our experiences at the 2011 Branford Veterans Day Observances and Parade is now suitable for viewing--click on the fire truck image at the upper right (or HERE) to go directly to the new page. And please do feel free to point out any typos, mistakes, omissions, etc., that I may have made--I'd like the report to be as complete and accurate as possible--thanks!... And again: Thanks Veterans.

Branford, CT's Veterans Day Observances 11/13/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version of this scene*11/23/2011 - Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I was fortunate to have a little bit of vacation time still left this year, to be able to take a half vacation day today--and so avoid at least part of "The Worst Travel Day Of The Year." Thankfully, things weren't very bad, traffic-wise, on the roads, and I was able to get home with minimal hassle. For some out-of-town relatives who were trying to make their way here the previous night, however, I heard traffic was hellacious--but thankfully they made it in one piece!... I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, and hopefully you're able to spend some time with family. And we certainly have much to be thankful for, here in America, and also within our CT Shoreline area, where, as old car enthusiasts, we enjoyed a fantastic 2011 season, with many fun events. And I made sure not to put all the old cars away yet, so that I can drive one in this coming Saturday's (11/26) Branford Holiday Parade, for which I already pre-registered--I am looking forward to it, and thank again the Branford Parks & Rec Department for all their work in making it happen. Sounds like the weather Saturday should be pretty nice too!... Let's see, in addition to several new updates today to the Calendar page I was able to get done today, I also wanted to mention that I am working on a small dedicated feature page to document the very memorable time I had participating in the Branford Veterans Day Observances and Parade, which were held two weekends ago, on Sunday, November 13, 2011. Goodness knows, one of the things we are very thankful for is the spirit and dedication of our country's Military Veterans, who have given us so much. Branford did a great job once again with its annual ceremonies at the Town Green in tribute to Veterans, and the Parade through the downtown area that took place at the conclusion of the ceremonies. While the page I am working on is not complete yet (perhas I'll have time to complete it during the Thanksgiving holiday break), I did want, at this time, to share at least one image from the day that I was able to capture, that, to me, captures some of the spirit and feeling of the Branford Veterans Day Observances--it is the small image at the upper right--and if you click directly on it (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger, more complete version of the image on your computer screen... So, please stay tuned for our (hopefully soon-upcoming) Branford Veterans Day feature, and don't forget to Thank A Veteran.

Cardone & Daughter Automotive "Open Shop" 11/5/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*11/20/2011 - A quick chance to reflect here on a Wonderful Season Wrap-Up at Cardone & Daughter Automotive… My son Matt and I had fun attending this event, on a beautiful warm & bright Saturday morning a couple of weekends back (11/5/2011). We had managed to get “Luigi” the old ’56 Ghia out into a more accessible spot recently and it seemed like a very good opportunity to have him handy to be able to drive out to the Cardone gathering (about which we had known ever since receiving their broadcast invitation back in September)... With the nice forecast leading up tothe weekend, our anticipation was building for getting out the Cardone’s event—it sounded like the perfect way to get in some old car fun, without any of the “pressure” associated with car shows—plus, it was a close and scenic drive, being only a couple of towns east of Stony Creek on the Shoreline... Matt was psyched to come along with me to the Cardone’s event also. We knew that we’d only be able to take in an early portion of the gathering due to some other commitments later in the day (the entire Cardone & Daughter 'Open Shop' Social was listed to run 10am to 2pm)... We got to Westbrook in good time, got ourselves parked, and set out to check out the scene and say hi to lots of people we recognized--including, of course, Nancy and David Cardone, who seemed to be enjoying themselves greatly. Also took some pictures along the way too, a few "overall-type" of which we'll hyperlink. We recognized familiar vehicles of Didier Rocherolle (’50 Citroen), John Kuzminski (’90 Ford F450 mini-pumper), Audrey Fitting (’35 Ford), Bill Arute (’74 Bug), Jack Tary (’55 Chevy), and CT MG Club notable David Werblow’s well-traveled MGTF roadster. We also saw the famous ’59 MGA of TV personality Kevin Hogan (which is featured on the web site of another notable Westbrook-based old car company, Rich Willard’s “Vintage Motorcars”). And of course the “Trademark” two-tone ’74 Super Beetle of Cardone & Daughter Automotive was parked right outside the office too!... All too soon, Matt and I had to get rolling, onto our other obligations. We really had a great time, and greatly appreciated the wonderful hospitality of Nancy, David, and the entire staff of Cardone & Daughter Automotive!... Old car enthusiasts on the CT Shoreline would do well to check out Cardone & Daughter Automotive for high-quality professional service and repairs to their old cars--as a satisfied repeat customer myself, I have no problem recommending them highly! And they are equally skilled with both foreign and domestic autos! Cardone & Daughter Automotive is located at 177 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, CT 06498, telephone: 860-664-0727, web site: http://www.cardoneanddaughter.com/ ... Ok, now, for some pictures, click HERE (or directly on the small image) to bring up a larger scene that corresponds to small cropped one at the upper right. And here are a few more general overalls to help document what a wonderful scene it was: View A, View B, View C, View D, View E ... We again thank the fine folks at Cardone & Daughter Automotive for a wonderful way to wrap up the 2011 Shoreline-area Old Car Season!

*11/17/2011 - Very quickly, just got next Saturday's (11/26) Branford Holiday Parade event listing updated on the Calendar page , based upon a phone call today to the Branford Parks & Rec Department--as you can read from the updated listing, antique autos wishing to participate need to pre-register with the Parks & Rec Department--so, again, please do check the Calendar page for more details... Finally, I would like to apologize for the lack of news updates here lately--there have certainly been many wonderful & old-car-news-worthy events happening in our area lately, such as the great Cardone & Daughter Automotive "Open Shop" gathering at their Westbrook shop on Saturday, 11/5, and also the Branford Veterans Day Parade this past Sunday, 11/13, and we do indeed wish to write more about our participation in both, and much more as well. For now, Happy upcoming Thanksgiving wishes to all...

*11/9/2011 - A weather-postponed event (formerly scheduled for 10/30--now upcoming this Sunday 11/13) has been updated on the Calendar page, so please do check it out on our Calendar page... And finally, please remember our Veterans this coming Veterans Day--which is Friday 11/11/2011--and all throughout the year! God Bless America.

*10/30/2011 - It appears that old nasty global warming reared its ugly head again yesterday... and I am NOT psyched about the "glorious white coating" appearing on the ground this morning. I hope it goes away as quickly as it came--since there are still several more old car things yet to come this season!... But it's also not a bad time to look ahead a bit, to some of the wonderful cold-weather events that are planned for our region, into and thru the New Year--I've just added several today to the Calendar page, so please do check 'em out, and then check your own calendar, to see if you can possibly take in a few of them--I know I'm going to be doing the same... Over and out for now...

*10/21/2011 - Several new events have been just-added to the Calendar page, including at least a couple of new ones happening tomorrow, Saturday, 10/22, so please do check 'em all out on our Calendar page... Have a good weekend!

CVA Fall Foliage Tour, 10/16/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger version of the same shot...*10/19/2011 - Aloha! Happy to report some more Fall Fun with Antique Autos as of this past weekend! On Saturday the 15th of October, we were very pleased to attend an old-car-themed social gathering at a private residence in Old Lyme, CT. As it turned out, Mrs. Webmaster had some other obligations that morning, and so she drove herself there, in her '63 VW Karmann Ghia; our daughter and I drove there in the '70 Bug. The weather was positively spectacular for the early afternoon hours in which the gathering was held. There was quite an eclectic mix of old cars--we wethe only VWs there, and there were all sorts of other old cars and trucks, including domestics, British, and German makes. It was a great opportunity to socialize with old car friends old and new, not to mention check out some beautiful antique machinery, in a relaxed country setting by the shore. I took some pictures, and will share with you for now two hyperlinked views that show our VWs (click on the links to bring up the images): This first shot shows a bit of Mrs. Webmaster's '63 VW Karmann Ghia in the foreground, along with a slick MGA, and other beautiful oldies. And, this second shot shows my '70 VW Bug in the foreground, within a line of several other beautiful old cars and trucks. We thank the organizers of the Old Lyme gathering for inviting us to be a part of this fun day!... The following day, Sunday the 16th of October, we were extremely pleased to take part in a portion of the CT VW Association's popular annual Fall Foliage Tour, which this year had been planned for an interesting route around the Lower CT River Valley. Even though we were only able to take part in one leg of the tour (we drove the '70 Bug again), we had a ton of fun. We joined up at the tour group's East Haddam stop at Gillette Castle (here is one image ome of the group in the GC parking lot), and then drove in the long caravan out to Salem Four Corners, where we had ice cream. The small image at the upper right is one shot from the drive between East Haddam and Salem (ous son Matt drove that leg, so I was able to some "action" shots along the way), and if you click on it (or HERE) you will bring up a larger version of the same shot. Two more shots I captured during the drive that I'd like to share are this one showing a line of VWs stretching out ahead of us as we drove, and this one where the group had slowed down a bit to cross a bridge, with some of the most vibrant fall colors of the tour nicely illuminated by afternoon sun. What a fun time! We had to break off from the group in Salem, since we had to drive up to UConn right after that, but we thoroughly enjoyed the chance for some fun fall motoring with many like-minded old-VW drivers!... Finally, I wanted to mention that, evengh we were not able to participate, "in person," in The Animal Haven's 2011 "Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon," which took place on Sunday, September 18th, 2011, in North Haven, CT, we were very pleased to be a sponsor of the overall event again this year--which allowed our name to be included again on this year's official commemorative t-shirt (which all participants and sponsors received)! Check out the front of the shirt design, the rear of the shirt design which listed all official sponsors, and this marked-up close-up to show that we were indeed on there! We salute The Animal Haven once again for all the great work have been doing for pets in need of new homes, for the past 60+ years!... Ok, I think that about wraps it for this installment. I hope you are able to enjoy some fall motoring with your old car during this very nice ongoing, wonderfully balmy, 2011 fall season that we are fortunate to enjoy here in Southern Connecticut! Over and out for now...

East Haven Police Union Benefit Show, 10/9/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a similar view in larger format*10/10/2011 - Even though it seems to be 'non-PC' to say so these days: Happy Columbus Day!... Wow, what a nice weekend-of-magnificent-weather just-passed! And how great that there were local old-car-things-going-on that we could take advantage of with our old cars! Speaking for myself, I stayed pretty close-to-home thru the weekend, partially due to various family and extended-family logistics issues (not only was our son Matt scheduled to come home from UConn thru the weekend, but our nephew Chris from CA who attends Conn. College in New London was also going to be in town). And then our daughter Sarah also has school and social-related stuff that she needed transportation to and from thru the weekend. As it turned out, though, having to be more close-to-home wasn't too bad at all, since there were no less than two very cool antique auto shows in which I was very pleased to participate!... The first local-area antique auto event I was able to take in was happening on Saturday, at the Tanger Outlets shopping center in Westbrook. The event was a car show, advertised as a benefit for Middlesex Hospital, and so, quite worth supporting, in our view. Matt and Chris were both interested in attending, so the three of us drove out there, around noon or so. We were too late to enter for the judging, but the volunteers still let us park the '70 Bug among the car show vehicles. From there we did our best to walk around and see everything we could of the superb turnout of fantastic old cars. We took some photos too--here are a few hyperlinked overall-type images: Tanger/Westbrook View A... Tanger/Westbrook View B... Tanger/Westbrook View C... Tanger/Westbrook View D... Tanger/Westbrook View E (check out those "twin" Cyclones--wow!)... Tanger/Westbrook View F... Tanger/Westbrook View G (I recognize that black '35 Ford!)... and, finally, one with Matt, Chris and the '70 Bug... The following day, Sunday, was equally magnificent, weather-wise, and so it demanded at least an attempt to take in another local old car event. A glance at the calendar revealed an East Haven police union benefit car show happening at East Haven High School, which would be convenient to get to. This time I "flew solo." The '70 Bug ran great again-and was looking extra-spiffy, thanks to the stock wheels with whitewall tires set that I decided to re-install the previous afternoon. Nothing like a "change of sneakers" to spice up the experience! Anyway, I got there around noon or so (again), and this time was able to register--I was given registration card number 221--and looking around at the amazing turnout, there was no doubt in my mind that there were fully that many cars on the field--it was packed! I again brought my camera along and tried to take a reasonable number of shots to document the very fine turnout. If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), you will bring up a typical shot from the East Haven event. Here are the hyperlinked overall-type images I thought gave a good taste of the gathering: East Haven Police Show View A... East Haven Police Show View B... East Haven Police Show View C... East Haven Police Show View D... East Haven Police Show View E (this is sort of an enlargement of the small image at the upper right)... East Haven Police Show View F (yeah, had to get the VW into at least one!)... Perhaps we can get into more detail eventually on some of the superb standout subject vehicles we ran across at both the Westbrook/Tanger and East Haven/Police Union events, but for now, I would like to congratulate and thank all involved for the work that was done to organize and produce these wonderful local old car events. All your efforts really seemed to be rewarded with magnificent weather and very healthy participant and spectator turnouts!

*9/28/2011 - Another quick one for this evening: Just updated the listing for this coming Saturday's (10/1) Chester Air & Land Festival, with some very important info for those considering participating with your antique car--please do check it all out on our Calendar page...

*9/15/2011 - Quick one for this evening: Our Classified Ads page (with a new "Wedding Transportation Request") and our Calendar page (with new and/or updated listings for Sunday, October 23rd--that's a great sounding Wethersfield benefit car show run by the E.C. Over The Hill Gang car club, and an equally great-sounding "Open Shop" on Saturday, November 5th at Cardone & Daughter Auto in Westbrook), so please do check all of those out--and also the rest of the Calendar page for that matter, since there are still tons of old car things-to-do upcoming (especially this coming weekend--wow). And then, of course, this weekend is also the Guilford Fair... Drive safe and have fun!

Guilford Fair Bumpersticker on the back of the webmaster's '70 Bug - click on the image to bring up a larger view - and VISIT THE FAIR THIS WEEKEND!*9/13/2011 - Oh my--here's another "wow" moment--the Guilford Fair is upcoming this weekend! Between earthquakes, hurricanes, getting kids off to college for the first time, the 10-year anniversary of September 11th--plus the everyday demands of life, somehow our usual anticipation of the Guilford Fair got sidetracked. I happened to think about it at work today, and also realized that I did not have a 2011 Guilford Fair bumpersticker yet in my possession to be able to show off proudly, as I usually like to do! I sent out some e-mails to folks I knew who were connected with the Fair, and soon I received a follow-up note from David Rosenthal, whose company, Blue Sea Designs, created the beautiful current Guilford Fair logo, as well as, I believe, the very sharp-looking official bumpersticker, that I believe was significantly freshened up as of a couple of years ago. David, as it turned out, had some stickers, and said he'd drop some off for me at the kiosk at the entrance to the Fairgrounds, so that I could pick them up on my way home. When I got there, I fortunate to be able to thank David for them in person, as he had just dropped them off! Once I got home, I got busy applying them to both my '70 Bug (nice weather driver), and my '96 Passat (crummy weather driver)--and then taking a couple of pictures for documentation sake. If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), you'll bring up a large version of that same picture, showing the 2011 Guilford Fair bumpersticker applied to my Bug's rear window. And then here are a couple of other hyperlinked pictures featuring the stickers: An overall view of the back of the '70 Bug, and a view of the 2011 Guilford Fair bumpersticker applied to the back of the Passat. As I always say, the Guilford Fair is one of the truly great things about the Shoreline! And the stickers I proudly display on my cars are my way of trumpeting that fact! Thanks again to Mr. Rosenthal for his significant help with stickers, also Guilford Fair web site manager Lisa Dudley, and everyone involved with continuing the great tradition of the Guilford Fair. Make plans to enjoy this the Guilford Fair weekend!

Let's Roll! - 9/11/2011 - Never forget September 11, 2001! - Click on the image to bring up a larger view*9/11/2011 - Wow, can't believe it's been 10 years already now since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our country. Checking the TV and radio today, there are many retrospectives being broadcast, which are bringing back very vividly the events of that tragic day, in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, PA. I remember I was at work when it all happened, and, remember walking to the company cafateria, where there were TV sets broadcasting the still-unfoldding events, and co-workers just standing watching them, with mouths open, trying to fathom what was happening. In the days, weeks, and months after September 11th, we were to more fully comprehend the nature of the attacks, perpetrated by religious fanatics from another part of the world who sought to destroy our country & way of life. We also were to learn many stories of great bravery and heroism from people who were involved in that day, or who were close to those who were involved. One story that has stayed with me since that time in particular was the story of the passengers of United Flight 93 who understood what was happening, and who took genuinely heroic steps to avert even greater tragedy, in their attempts to overpower the hijakers of their plane, ultimately ending with the plane crashing into an open field in Shanksville, PA--averting much greater death and destruction. In an important address to the country following the September 11th attacks, President Bush borrowed the phrase, "Let's Roll!", that had been used by American Hero Todd Beamer, a passenger on Flight 93, moments before the passengers took action to overpower the hijackers, and it became a rallying cry for America that still lives on today. I am proud to be able to display a commemorative plate with that phrase on the front of my car today. Click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) to bring up a larger one--both of which were taken today, 9/11/2011. Despite what some politicians are saying, American Exceptionalism is still alive and well. The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave will definitely live on... And finally, it seems fitting that today we also added the Branford Veterans Day Parade antique auto participation opportunity (Sunday, November 13th, 2011) to pay tribute to our country's soldiers & military personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our American freedoms and way of life (that the terrorists hate so much) to our Calendar--please check Calendar page for more details... God Bless America.

*9/9/2011 - Another great-sounding, brand-new multi-faceted event (including an Antique & Classic Car Show), benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Milford, is going to be held on Saturday, October 15th in that town--please check Calendar page for all the important details! Several more event listings have also just been added today, so, again please do check out the Calendar page at your next convenience...

*9/6/2011 - A fun-sounding and multi-faceted CT Seaport Car Club car show in Shelton, benefiting a great cause, upcoming this Saturday (9/10) has just been listed--please check Calendar page for all the details--thanks to our friend Mark Milosky of the CT Seaport Club for the heads-up...

*9/4/2011 - Good Night Irene - I guess hurricanes are Mother Nature's way of letting us know who's still in charge. We lost our electricity around 5am on the Sunday of the storm (8/28), and didn't get it back until late last night--just hours short of a full week without juice. It was quite an ordeal--though I also know that there were people with far worse situations to deal with. I also did lots of "bonding" with my chain saw over the last week, dealing with many big trees that fell on or near my property--but again, thankfully not impacting the house nor the vehicles. I am mentally and physically exhausted, but, again, thankful that it was not worse than it was. I hope all SAAC web site visitors may have been similarly fortunate thru the storm and its aftermath... One more quick but very important note involves the storm-related rescheduling of the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers' Labor Day Weekend Car Show in Westbrook (which was originally supposed to be happening today) to Sunday, September 18th, so please do be sure to check out our Calendar page for all of those important details--and thanks again to our friend Lucille from the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers for passing along that very important info about one of our favorite Shoreline old car events!... Over and out for now, and in the immortal words of the late comedian Red Skelton: Good Night and May God Bless.

East Haven Memorial Car Show, 8/20/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view*8/21/2011 - Wow, what a great time out at the 4th Annual East Haven Memorial Car Show at East Haven High School (just off Route 80, and not far from the North Branford line) yesterday! The weather was picture perfect, and I was pleased to dry '70 Bug Convertible out to the event, with the top down, of course! I got a bit of a late start, arriving at the show somewhere around noon or so. East Haven High School provided a very nice venue for the show, with plenty of parking; the lot looked to be around 2/3 to 3/4 full when I got there. I paid my $10 registration fee upon pulling up to the show field entrance, though I guess the dash plaques & goodie bags must've already run out; I received a windshield card that I believe #131 inscribed on it--so that certainly indicates a very healthy turnout. Knowing that the event was held to benefit "The Gary 'The Welder' Dinello Scholarship" (at Branford High School) made it a special cause to try my best to support, though, so I was still very happy to have been able to contribute toward the fund with my entry fee. The show car parking appeared to be more or less "free form," and I was allowed to park wherever I wanted. After I got the car in place, I got out and set about browsing all the fantastic old cars and trucks that were on display--had my camera with me also, so took the opportunity to snap several, mostly overall-type views. If you click on the small image at the upper right (or HERE), which shows some front end detail of a beautiful pair of classic '50s American cars that were on display at the show--a Mercury and a Chevy, you'll bring up another overall-type view of the event (which I've labled "View B"), with those same two beautiful cars in the foreground of the shot. Here are a few more overall views from this wonderful gathering of great old cars in East Haven yesterday (click on each hyperlink, which will bring up a large photo--use your browser's "back" button to return to this page): View A, View C, View D, View E, View F, View G (that '51 Mercury was one of my favorites!), and View H (had to get my VW in one shot, of course!). Hope you enjoy the shots, and I look forward to sharing more, perhaps on a dedicated feature page. I had to get back going on my way to other responsibilities, so could not stay around for awards--I'll try writing to the organizers, though, and see if there may be an "approved for publication" list of award winners, and/or any other post-event words/reflections. I had a great time, and once again tip my hat to the people who made it possible, and dedicated their efforts to remembering Gary Dinello, and support his memorial scholarship... Other than that, just wanted to mention that one new event has also been added to the Calendar page as of today... Have a good rest of your weekend!

Stony Creek Cars On The Lawn, 7/30/2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*8/7/2011 - "It's not the heat...it's not the humidity...it's the RAIN!" Those are my sentiments from this morning, upon driving my '50 Bug (the same vehicle that is featured on the header of this main SAAC page) out to the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds, with the goal of participating in the 45th Annual Vintage Motorcar Meet held by the Belltown Antique Car Club. The rain was moderate to light--but steady--my whole way up there (I headed north thru Durham & Middletown & eventually Portland & Cobalt), and got there about 9:45am--to see the last few Belltown club volunteers packing up in the rain. I drove up and had the pleasure of speaking with Jim Way of the Belltown club, who explained to me the situation with the non-stop rain, forecast for lots more, and the club's subsequent decision to call off the show (first time in 45 years, for this traditionally "rain or shine" event). Jim was extremly gracious to present me with one of the show goodie bags, which contained not only a beautiful brass dash plaque, but also one of the club's superb reprints of the 1947 Hartford Automobile Jubilee program. I asked Jim if he'd pose for a photo with his beautiful Model A Ford, and my Volkswagen Bug, and so now I have that commemorative image--along with a few others from my Rain Adventure--and look forward to presenting them here at some point. The route back home chosen was south into Moodus, across the East Haddam Swing Bridge, down into Chester, and eventually Route 80 west to Guilford, and then back down into Stony Creek--upon which the rain finally seemed to trail off. Wow, what a drive--and thankfully the '50 VW got me there and back in one piece. I thank Mr. Jim Way of the Belltown Club for being so gracious to me today, and I look forward to getting back to Haddam Neck for the 46th Annual Belltown show in 2012!... By contrast, this past Friday evening's North Branford Potato & Corn Festival classic car cruise night had perfect weather! And one heck of a turnout too! I took a ton of pictures, and will be presenting some of those here at some point also. I drove my '70 Bug there, and believe I was the only Volkswagen. The variety of cars was tremendous, and the vibe was completely laid-back & positive. I even had the thrill of running into a few great old car friends of note, while walking around: Bill Raccio of the Shoreline Recycled Teenage Cruisers, and also Gary DiNicola of Stony Creek Auto! What a great evening! Thanks to the N.B. Parks & Rec Department, the N.B. Police Department, and the legions of volunteers who make it all happen! Anyway, again, stay turned for more coverage of Potato & Corn Cruise 2011!... Finally, I want to go back to last weekend (Saturday, July 30th, to be exact) for a couple more brief event words, and a couple of hyperlinked photos. I had two quality local old car events that I really wanted to hit that day--the Stony Creek "Cars On The Lawn" antique auto display at the Church of Christ Congregational (part of the annual "Blessing Of The Fleet" day-full of Village festivities), and the Guilford Chamber of Commerce's "Taste The Shoreline" event at the Guilford Fairgrounds, that also this year incorporated an antique car show! How cool! I did my best to spend time at both, and also take some pictures. This is just a brief report for now, and ideally, I'd like to write a lot more about--& share more photos of--each. I drove my '70 Bug first to Stony Creek, and got parked on the church grass along with Wink & Betty Brainerd's '79 MGB Roadster, Don Mei's late '50s Corvette Roadaster, Dave Pooler's '50 Ford Woody, a '73 Pontiac Grand Am who's owner I do not know the name of, and last but not least David "The BugEyeGuy" Silberkleit's '54 Austin Healey Roadster. Clicking on the small image at the upper right (or HERE) will bring up a larger overall view - and here are a couple of others: Don Mei's Vette, with various goings-on in the harbor across the street (looks like some folks ready to get wet from the fire boat's water sprayer!)... An overall view of some of the Cars On The Lawn, with the Church as a backdrop... Another overall view, from the rear, with my VW in the right foreground... I had a great time participating! Thanks again to the Brainerd Family, the Church of Christ Congregational, and everyone who made this fun summer old car gathering possible!... From there, it was just a short driver over to Guilford, to take in some of the antique auto show at the "Taste The Shoreline" event at the Fairgrounds (that our friend Bill Raccio had been a prime mover in setting up). There was quite a good assemblage of old cars already there, and I busied myself getting some photos, since I knew there was only about an hour left of the car display (and the food & drink part of the Festival looking to be going "full bore"). Again, I hope to present more of them in the future, but here are a few overall-type shots: Colorful lineup of front ends... A view from another part of the field, with a spectacular Roadrunner in the foreground... Another view from another angle, with, in the foreground, a car Bill was telling me about that was owned by friends of his, and which he did some work on--the '65 Barracuda of Jim and Anne Baker of Clinton... All too soon the cars started moving out, and I eventually did the same. I again tip my hat to the Guilford Chamber of Commerce, and the hard-working Bill Raccio, for making the "Taste The Shoreline" antique auto show a reality!... And one final reminder for this evening: updates have been made to both the Classified Ads page (one new for sale ad) and the Calendar page (several new events especially have been added there), so please do check those out... Over and out for now!

*7/26/2011 - "Hot times" at the Guilford Fairgrounds this past Sunday, at the "Time Machines 2011" antique auto event (if you were there, I know you know that is meant both literally and figuratively!). I was busy amongst the VWs all day, so I have little to nothing else to report about the overall show--though I am also awaiting some approved-for-publication words from Show Chairman Fred about it, and I'll be sure to pass those along. For now, thanks to the CT Area Classic T-Bird Club for a great job, and also thanks to all the antique Volkswagen owners in particular, who really made my day in particular by turning out in very strong numbers for the Featured Marque class display (my count was 53 VWs total, including both stock & modified)... And finally for now, please check out the Calendar page for a couple of new and/or revised upcoming event listings... Over and out for now...

*7/22/2011 - Still much too hot to fool around much on the computer, but for now, please be aware that the recently-new "Car For Sale" listing on the Classified Ads page (see the 7/15 installment below) is now no longer active--as the car has been sold. Secondly, two more new events have been just added to the Calendar page . And finally, Get Ready For "Time Machines 2011" on Sunday! The weatherman says the temps should be significantly more moderate by Sunday, so we should be in good shape. See you there!

*7/19/2011 - Several more new events just-added to the Calendar page as of this evening! Too hot to do any more typing for now! Stay cool and see you at “Time Machines 2011” this coming Sunday!

Time Machines 2011 banner strung across Rt. 1 in Guilford, July 2011 - click directly on the image to bring up a larger view...*7/15/2011 - Hello! First, a quick heads-up to advise you of an interesting new "Car For Sale" listing on the Classified Ads page , and also a cool-sounding event by our friends the Saturday Night Cruizers (not to mention benefiting a good cause) for September 17th added on the Calendar page... Wow, what a positively great day we had this past Sunday, July 10th, participating in the Connecticut Volkswagen Association’s “Volks-Meet” at the Lebanon Fairgrounds in Lebanon, CT! I would like to write more about all of our wonderful experiences that day, and perhaps put some pictures together to go with the words--but that will probably be a project for the Common Gear Antique Volkswagen Society hobby web site--so I’m going to refrain for now from getting into the details of the great Lebanon event here. For now, though, I would like to thank the good people of the CT VW Association (http://www.ctvwa.org/) for all their hard work in organizing and running this most enjoyable day of Volkswagen fellowship out in the country!... Sunday, July 10th was also, by the way, the day of the Haddam Lions Club's annual "Rollin' On The River" antique car show at Haddam Meadows. I did not make it over there, but our old car friend Jack Tary did, and said it was a great time--perhaps we can put together a mini-feature with some of Jack's photos (thanks again for sharing, Jack!)... Finally, it also goes without saying that I’ll look forward to seeing everyone next Sunday, July 24th, at the “Time Machines 2011” antique auto show & flea market at the Guilford Fairgrounds. Check the Calendar page listing for more details (and don’t forget that we have complete scans of the actual official TM2011 flyer all posted online—the hyperlinks are included in the event listing). The “Volkswagen” marque feature I’m sure will make this year’s Time Machines event especially memorable and fun. And don’t forget that it happens rain or shine! To go along with this Time Machines mention, I wanted to report that I was also out and about in my '70 Bug recently, and found a great TM2011 advertising banner for the event strung across Route 1 in Guilford, near Ashley's ice cream place. I made sure to pull over and snap a couple of pictures. If you click on the small image at the above right (or HERE), you'll bring up a larger view of the scene. Here are a couple more hyperlinked shots that I also took (click directly on the links to bring up the images): A wider view of the overall scene with the car and the banner - and also a detail view of just the banner. How cool is that?! Good job by the CT Area Classic T-Bird Club and the Town of Guilford for doing a great job publicizing this big-time old car event happening there next Sunday! Hope to see you there!

Central CT Region AACA's Annual Antique Car Show, 6/26/2011, Glastonbury, CT - click directly on the image to go our full report!*7/7/2011 - I think I mentioned in my 6/29/2011 updates below about having been able to get over to East Haven, on Sunday, June 26th, to catch (and, yes, even to participate in) some of the Knights of Columbus car show that was run by the Our Lady of Pompeii Church K of C organization--this was after having spent the earlier part of the morning up in Glastonbury, at eth Central CT Region AACA car show. I was well into "1960 Bug driving mode" at that time, and, as noted, had a lot of fun driving Doug the '60 Bug to those events that day, plus for several other non-car-show purposes in the week or two since then--and also a period of time before that weekend too. Anyway, for now, I am pleased to present a hyperlinked overall view of the East Haven K of C car show--to which I've added an arrow to indicate my '60 Bug--as "proof we were there!" (click directly on that hyperlink to bring up the photo). Thanks again to the great people associated with the Our Lady of Pompeii K of C who ran that event, benefiting a great cause (Knights Charities, who do so much good in the world). I am pretty sure you can find a bunch of car show photos at the event's dedicated facebook page... I'm back driving the '70 Convertible Bug again now, which has also been very enjoyable. It's a great thrill to be able to drive a convertible in the summer--something I've never really experienced in all my years in the hobby--I guess it was "about time!" Stay tuned for more old car driving adventures, as we are able to experience them--and report back about them. If you check the Calendar page, you'll notice there's a VW event upcoming on Sunday 7/10, out in the country in Lebanon, CT, run by our friends at the Connecticut VW Association, and we're definitely planning to check it out, plus maybe a cruise night or two thru what sounds like it's going to be a nice-weather weekend (keep your fingers crossed!)... Finally for today, to go along with the small image at the upper right, which is a scene from the previously mentioned 6/26 Glastonbury car show run by the Central CT Region AACA, I wanted to let you know that our report on that event is now complete and ready for viewing! You can check out "Glastonbury 2011" by clickingon that image--or HERE. We hope you enjoy it, and again thank the fine people of the Central CT Region AACA for their very fine work!


Table of Contents (latest updated items in red - Warning, most, if not all, of these links DO NOT WORK at this time--sorry for this inconvenience)
CALENDAR (Our selected listing of upcoming Shoreline-area antique auto events)  (Last updated 2/11, 2/13, 2/19, 3/1, 3/9, 3/11, 3/12, 3/14, 3/17, 3/21, 3/24, 3/26, 3/28, 3/29, 4/1, 4/2, 4/6, 4/8, 4/10, 4/14, 4/20, 4/22, 4/24, 4/28, 4/30, 5/1, 5/6, 5/9, 5/12, 5/15, 5/19, 5/23, 5/27, 6/2, 6/10, 6/13, 6/16, 6/19, 6/25, 6/27, 6/29, 7/2, 7/3, 7/10, 7/11, 7/15, 7/18, 7/24, 7/28, 7/29, 7/31/2014)
PHOTO PAGES INDEX (See & read about recent local antique auto activities!)  (Last updated 2/8/2013)
CLASSIFIEDS PAGE (local old car-oriented ads: for sale, wanted, & unclassifiable)  (Last updated 3/12, 7/15, 7/19, 8/7, 9/15/2011, 1/24, 2/2, 2/7, 2/21, 5/8, 8/5, 8/18/2012, 1/14, 5/2, 7/15/2013, 1/22, 3/1/2014)
RESOURCE GUIDE (local places for parts, service, restoration, what-have-you)  (Reactivated January 2009; latest updates as of 2/10/2009; please send us your recommendations for inclusion on this page)
LINKS PAGE   (Last updated 2/12, 9/6, 12/12/2010, 4/6/2011, updated, at long last, with an excellent new Local Car-Related Link, as of 8/1/2013)
NEWS HIGHLIGHTS PAGE (Selected news items of interest to the old car hobby)  (Last updated 7/27/2007)
EDITORIALS PAGE (Voice your thoughts on the old car hobby) (Last updated 9/15/2002)
CONNECTICUT AUTOMOBILE LICENSE PLATES  (Last updated 2/13/2011)
CONNECTICUT PINTO REGISTRY (Last updated 4/20/2007; regenerated as of 1/20/2009; last updated 1/24, 9/4/2009, 1/22, 4/14, 10/17/2010)
OUR ANIMAL APPRECIATION PAGE (Last updated 6/11/2009)
JARVIS CREEK CRITTERS (Our own animals) (Reactivated January 2009; latest updates as of 2/7/2009, 1/24, 2/14, 10/5/2012, 5/2/2013, 1/22/2014)
FYI (This brings you to our important disclaimer, etc.)  (Last updated "quite some time ago")
CONTACT US!  (Last updated 9/12/2013)
THANKS! (Last updated 9/12/2013)
ENJOY THE CT SHORELINE ANTIQUE AUTO EXPERIENCE (This brings you to our little tribute to our local Route 146 Scenic Road...) (Last updated 11/17/2008)


FYI

WARNING: If you get behind a car wearing this plate on I-95, BEWARE, it's probably going SLOWER than you think... CLICK DIRECTLY ON THE IMAGE to bring up a larger typical view...IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: 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 Shoreline Antique Auto Connection 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.

© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by
Shoreline Antique Auto Connection - P.O. Box 3353 - Stony Creek - CT - 06405 - USA

We take a lot of pride in our often-updated, comprehensive, & highly detailed CALENDAR - please do check it out - YOUR SOURCE for local-area antique auto happenings!

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CONTACT US!

E-mail the SAAC Webmaster | SAAC Webmaster @ Facebook | SAAC has its own Facebook presence now as well!

***Please be sure to Visit and "Like" The Shoreline Antique Auto Connection's FACEBOOK Page too!!***

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Thanks for Visiting Shoreline Antique Auto Connection!

Please keep in touch--let us know what you think! Use the E-mail and/or Facebook links below...
E-mail the SAAC Webmaster | SAAC Webmaster @ Facebook | Guest Book | Message Board

(We've decided that Facebook does fine as a replacement for both our former clunky Guest Book and Message Board!)

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ABOUT THE BELOW LOGO: The photo that is the background basis was taken by me from behind the wheel of our 1950 VW Beetle, on Sunday, May 11th, 2008 (click on that hyperlink--or HERE--or on the logo below itself--to bring up a larger, unmodified copy of the original picture), not long after I had gotten the car reactivated after a long period of garage dormancy. The photo location is of course, Leetes Island Road/Route 146 (heading westbound--back toward Stony Creek, of course!), just slightly west of the Sachem Head Road/Sam Hill Road intersection, and where a large tidal pond empties and fills via a culvert under the roadway. It becomes apparent why Route 146 is an official state-designated "Scenic Road"--its 12.2 total miles, stretching between Branford and Guilford, was officially designated on May 29th, 1990 (ref: http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=2094&q=305520).

Shoreline Antique Auto Connection Logo - Do you recognize our beloved Shoreline Scenic Route 146? Click on the image to bring up a larger, unmodified view.

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