scott12180

Hemmings Cruise In's

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About a month ago I drove my '32 Packard to one of the Cruise-In events held at Hemmings Motor News in Bennington Vermont.  The weather was picture perfect.

 

Which is perhaps why, even though I arrived around 4:30 pm and the event was not scheduled to start until 5:00, there were no parking places remaining.  I left and drove home.

 

So If I attempt another Cruise-In before we lose evening daylight, what time do people usually arrive for this 5:00 show?  4:00?  3:00?  2:00?   One concern is that due to not-so-modern headlights I will need to leave for home at least an hour before dark, so I can't let myself get blocked in. 

 

Anyway, it seems like it could be a fun evening. . . . if I can park my car !

 

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Sorry to hear you turned around and missed the event. Yes, we typically get some folks who show up early to grab the shady parking spots - more of 'em if the weather's super-nice. If you do have special needs like weak headlights, let the folks checking you in know so they can try to get you a parking spot toward the front.

 

Hope to see you and the Packard next time!

 

dan

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18 hours ago, scott12180 said:

if I can park my car !

Just do what a cheeky Kiwi would do. Don't park it, just leave it somewhere.... in the middle between rows, then you are first out! :lol:

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I couldn't stay long to see all the cars but it appeared that there was no cut-off date to park in the cruise-in area.  In other words, I think I saw cars which were made in the late 1990s and even into the 2000's.  I could have brought my 2004 Toyota truck and as long as I said it was a "collector car", put it in the show.

 

Forgive me if I came away with the wrong impression but I am new to the idea of a "cruise-in".  Is that true, though, that anything and everything can be cruised in and displayed?

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We hold a cruise-in at our shop every July (July 28 this year, if you're in the area!) and I'm always surprised by the early birds. Our event starts at 11AM and goes until 3. Lat year I arrived at 7AM to start setting up and there were already a half-dozen cars parked with the guys unpacking their chairs and coolers and all the other stuff professional cruisers take to shows. FOUR HOURS EARLY and maybe more since they were there even before I was.

 

I should also note that these early birds are the first to leave. They've already been there for a full day by noon, so they're burned out and ready to go. They show up early to get the good parking spots, sit around for hours before anyone gets there, then leave before the show even really gets started. I find it very annoying but I don't have any way to stop it--we share a parking lot with other businesses so I can't close it and even if I could, when early birds show up, what am I going to do? Turn them away? Professional cruisers are the most delicate little flowers in the universe and their feelings are VERY easy to hurt if you turn them away or tell them their car doesn't belong.

 

Anyway, that's a fairly typical cruise-in situation. Lots of really boring, nothing late-model cars showing up early to get the best spots so spectators can walk past and ignore them while looking for something--anything--that isn't a brand new Corvette or Mustang. It's hard to know where to draw the line at what constitutes a "collector" car and if you start turning people away because you're judging them "not worthy" then you're going to have some guys with hurt feelings telling everyone they know how awful the show was. It's usually safest to just keep the guidelines loose to avoid the whining. I'm sure Hemmings has learned this is the case as well.

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Hemmings takes a big-tent approach to the hobby, and our cruise-ins reflect that approach. All enthusiasts are welcome, regardless of what it is they're enthusiastic about. Yes, we do get people who show up in late-model cars - mostly modern muscle cars - but by no means are they the majority.

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Put an "older than" message and then the new stuff isn't eligible.

I agree that there are those that are enthusiasts of the newer stuff like Vettes, Chargers, even trucks and more power to them.

And if your show is lacking for participation then what the heck.

And even though I will try and enjoy the conversation with someone that talks about whet a deal he got on his Helcat that is parked next to me its just not my cup of tea.

So, here is a guy that shows up in a 32 Packard and there is no place to park because the tent was full. I can certainly relate to his frustration. Probably would look for another venue that has the "older than"  ad.

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There are two local cruise ins every week near my home. One 2 miles away and one about 3+ miles away. Both are  mid week, not sponsored by anyone, and are held in a section of a parking lot that is there for the surrounding shops/stores that border the lot . Open to any and all, and most of the cars that show up are 25% pre war and 75% post war. The closer one to me can see pre war Packard, Pierce Arrow, Cadillac (V16) Lincoln , Ford ,Chevy, Plymouth etc. People start showing up about 5 pm leave about 10-10:30 pm. I have no issue (this is taking place on long island in western Nassau County about 4 miles from the Queens border) driving my pre war cars at night, do not find issue with possible dim bulbs in tail and headlamps - the dim bulb modern car drivers seem to give and have great respect for the old cars.  No one I talk to has ever had an issue in over a decade these have been taking place.

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3 hours ago, Walt G said:

There are two local cruise ins every week near my home. One 2 miles away and one about 3+ miles away. Both are  mid week, not sponsored by anyone, and are held in a section of a parking lot that is there for the surrounding shops/stores that border the lot . Open to any and all, and most of the cars that show up are 25% pre war and 75% post war. The closer one to me can see pre war Packard, Pierce Arrow, Cadillac (V16) Lincoln , Ford ,Chevy, Plymouth etc. People start showing up about 5 pm leave about 10-10:30 pm. I have no issue (this is taking place on long island in western Nassau County about 4 miles from the Queens border) driving my pre war cars at night, do not find issue with possible dim bulbs in tail and headlamps - the dim bulb modern car drivers seem to give and have great respect for the old cars.  No one I talk to has ever had an issue in over a decade these have been taking place.

 

Those are like the Saturday morning coffee meets that I see around here.

Any time a bunch of enthusiasts seek out that comradery without much organization is most enjoyable.

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>> So, here is a guy that shows up in a 32 Packard and there is no place to park because the tent was full. I can certainly relate to his frustration. Probably would look for another venue that has the "older than"  ad.

 

I understand Hemmings philosophy on the "big tent" approach.  Nothing against anyone with a genuine collector car of any vintage.  I do have a problem with guys driving in with their "collector" 21st Century Toyota's just looking to grab a parking space.

 

 But the big tent approach has a backlash.  Around here there is very little antique car activity --- meaning pre-War.  I stopped going to shows years ago when out of a hundred cars my 1926 was the oldest, and there might have been less than a handful of Model A and earlier era cars. And it snowballs.  At the Hemmings cruise-in, first glance suggested that my '32 Packard would have been the oldest car.  I probably won't go again.

 

I know I sound all piss-and-vinegar and sour grapes, but the fact is that where once in the 1970's when I started in this, the entire show would have been filled with pre-war iron, dozens of Model T's and Model A's, several brass cars. . .  Today, you just don't see that.  Where did they all go?  To the crusher?? Guys I know with early stuff have talked about a pre-War only show or cruise-in or tour.  Not happened yet.  I would organize it, but I don't know of anyone around here with such a car ! (Well, maybe two guys).

 

In the meantime, I just drive my Packard for my own enjoyment.  And folks love seeing it in the parking lot at the grocery or liquor store.

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I'll second scott12180's feelings. You go to a car show and all the good spaces are taken up by the Mustang/Corvette/hot rod crowd. They get there super early. Meanwhile, I drive my '21 Franklin to the show, get there about a half-hour early, and find I can get a space in the very back row in the dirt. 

 

I really can't complain, but I will. Seems to me there should be some special parking reserved for us early cars (say, pre-30). 

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1 hour ago, scott12180 said:

 Around here there is very little antique car activity --- meaning pre-War.  I stopped going to shows years ago when out of a hundred cars my 1926 was the oldest, and there might have been less than a handful of Model A and earlier era cars....

 

in the 1970's when I started in this, the entire show would have been filled with pre-war iron... 

 

I know what you mean, Scott:  Every year, there seems to be 

a bit less activity with the early cars.

 

But here's a constructive way to view your situation:

Don't ask what a car show can do for you;  ask what you can do

for the car show.  Think what the presence of your 1932 Packard,

with your friendly and interesting explanations, can do to entertain

children, make the show broader, and advance the hobby.

After seeing a few smiles, you may look forward to the next show.

 

Maybe attend the show with a fellow pre-war owner, for some company.

 

Our region's AACA roster in 1964 showed that people overwhelmingly

had cars from 1920 to around 1932.  Those cars were 32 to 44 years old,

much as 1974-1986 cars are today.  So interest changes.  Around 1970,

one man's 1940 Pontiac was disparaged at a show, so that he doubted

whether he would want to continue his involvement--but he pressed on,

and today he's an AACA Past President.

 

Keep up your flexibility and your warmth, and events will be

more enjoyable! 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I agree with you John 100%.  Prewar cars are not often appreciated by the general public.  People gravitate to the things they can relate to and not many people today can relate to that era of an automobile.  When I’m at a show, which is way too infrequently anymore I look for the prewar, the independent makes and anything else that is not part of the main stream muscle car group.  Ok, there an exception if a real Yenko or Baldwin Motion car is there.

 

A local retirement/ care facility near my home used to hold a car and tractor show on their property.  I would take my 1964 Plymouth Belvedere 49 k miles all original 4 door there in its plane Jane glory. Black wall tires, radio delete, turquoise color with matching floor mats and totally boring compared to the SS Chevys, GTOs and the like.  My Plymouth would get a lot of looks and comments from the home residents as in a conservative environment like they were in their day a lot of them owned and drove cars like my Plymouth.  Lots of smiles and statements like “ I used to own one just like that”.  

 

So show how your car for the benefit of those who appreciate it’s quality and bygone time.  It may not be for everyone attending but those who appreciate what you have will be glad you’re there.

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Well you know you just can't drive those old cars. They're unreliable and with 6 volt electrical systems, they never start anyway. And even if you do manage to somehow get it running, they only went about 20 MPH, so you can't drive in traffic and they overheat at anything above 50 degrees outside. Plus the brakes are so bad that you'll probably need to drive on the grass to get it stopped so you don't hit the car in front of you. And if you have mechanical problems by the side of the road, you'll never be able to get it fixed and you can't call NAPA and get parts. You'll probably have to just throw the car away after that. They're totally unusable and miserable to drive. I'd much rather have a Chevy 350 and an automatic transmission--that way my old car drives just like all my other cars and I don't even have to think about anything when I'm driving it--I can canoodle on my phone and get stuff done while I drive. That's definitely better.

 

/50% of the hobby

//maybe 60%

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I love going to these types of meet ups with my pre war cars.  In the Detroit area they are called car cruises and some of them are weekly and some or one off events.  You are correct that you do not see many pre war cars at these at all.  The reason I take my pre war cars to these events is because people are highly interested in the cars.  Lots of great questions, lots of people thanking me for bringing the car out, lots of people saying it is so nice to see something besides a hot rod or muscle car, etc.   Of course there are lots of people not interested either, and that is ok.  I do not go for awards and I am not a big fan of judging either(just not my thing), but so far this summer the cars have been bringing home the awards.  The 31 Model A got a peoples choice award at the cruising with the classics Wednesday evening event and then it got best in show at another local cruise in.  Of course it was the only pre war car there were probably 100-200 cars at each event.  The 1922 Maxwell got the peoples choice top 5 award at a show called the Wilson Barn cruise where there were 400 cars and probably only about 4 pre war cars total there.  It also won the peoples choice at the depot town Thursday night weekly cruise.  All of the peoples choice were done by voting so that tells me that people are really enjoying seeing and talking about the cars so I will continue to bring them out to share with others!

 

Typical Depot Town Thursday Cruise night and it goes for three city blocks.

depottown.thumb.jpg.c1e00f5f1977a957d5f9869e46678023.jpg

 

The Maxwell with the award

maxwelldepottown.thumb.jpg.dcd8750cf8a5deb9f09c050fc6d334b9.jpg

 

Another typical Monday night cruise night at a different place

carcave.thumb.jpg.4d42242820e1f6b1e2d791162bce2cf4.jpg

 

The Maxwell at the same event when it was just getting started

carcave2.thumb.jpg.378804792a7a21848e554983374fde82.jpg

 

Here is the Model A at a different Wednesday evening event

cruisin.thumb.JPG.c0836ec7b8af965e250612252b0df42b.JPG

 

 

So I say bring those old cars out and don't assume people don't want to see them just because there are no other pre war cars at the event!

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I won't drive a gas-lit car at night, so I don't do cruise nights.  But there's a very active cars and coffee group here, although ours is called Cars and Croissants because it used to meet at a French bakery.  The founders are into exotic muscle - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati.  Porsches, 'Vettes, Jags are sort of ho-hum.  The founders asked me to bring a car, and I demurred because I didn't have their kind of car.  "Oh, no," they said. "You can come in anything interesting, and your cars are definitely interesting."  So I show up in a single-cylinder Cadillac, or a 1912 Buick, or a brass Model T, or a Stanley.  And they draw a crowd.  I ask kids if they wan to hear my duck, and then I blow the bulb horn, and I let them blow it.  Then I take the bulb off and blow into the horn, to show them where the term "blow the horn" comes from.  Then I let them sit behind the wheel.  A year ago on New Years Day, temperature 28, I drove the Stanley.  With cross-country ski clothes, motorcycle gloves, a lined cap with ear flaps, and a snowmobile suit, it wasn't bad except for my cheeks.  The other guys are now convinced that I'm totally insane.

12370954_1157114711005745_3625941655445650923_o.jpg

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8 hours ago, oldcarfudd said:

The other guys are now convinced that I'm totally insane.

I like it that way! Long live eccentricity and unbounded behaviour.

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Also love your beautiful car! You and the Stanley in the cold make a great picture.  Thank you.

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