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The Ridgefield Meet 1967


1937hd45
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Just got a PM from Forum member hddennis telling me about a You Tube video on the Ridgefield Meet from 1967. Old movie shot by Frank Blefari and converted and posted by his son Frank Jr. Great cars great people, great show all 1942 or older it died in 1995.Be sure to view Part TWO  Bob 

 

 

 

 

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WOW Bob do those "movies" bring back memories. the first time I attended the Ridgefield car meet was  about 1964 - my parents heard about it on the radio . It set in my mind that an 'old car meet' was for cars built 1942 and earlier. In the early 1970s when I drove my 1941 Packard 120 station wagon there it was only because we had to many people going plus the picnic lunch to fit in my 1931 Franklin Derham bodied victoria brougham - that car fit 4 people period. Ridgefield was the best meet ever, had a flea market too. Notice that the cars are not roped off, were just parked by class and the spectators did not paw the cars to death nor ask you how much it was worth and then think you were a billionaire because you owned one. Even up until the early 1970s anyone who owned a car with running boards was considered somewhat mentally unbalanced ( really - they did) , that determination ended about a decade later when you were then considered a "rich" eccentric who 'invested' in old cars so that made you rich. I liked it better when they thought I was nuts, still do ( and yes, I know there are people reading this who know me and are thinking , yeah he really is) .

One of the highlights of the Ridgefield meet was seeing ( and hearing) Peter Helck drive down from his home in Boston Corners, NY in his Locomobile 'old 16' race car that won the Vanderbilt Cup race. You could hear him coming when he was half a mile away.

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How well I remember the Ridgefield meet. In fact, if you remember, Bob, I bought my very first flea market part from you. It was an accessory steering wheel for my 1912 Ford touring because the original one was too small and I wanted a little more leverage. Not sure, but do I see Ralph DeAngelis walking around the flea market around 1:18 in the second flick? I tried to identify others, but the camera was moving a bit too fast.   Memories...

 

Frank

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3 hours ago, oldford said:

How well I remember the Ridgefield meet. In fact, if you remember, Bob, I bought my very first flea market part from you. It was an accessory steering wheel for my 1912 Ford touring because the original one was too small and I wanted a little more leverage. Not sure, but do I see Ralph DeAngelis walking around the flea market around 1:18 in the second flick? I tried to identify others, but the camera was moving a bit too fast.   Memories...

 

Frank

 

 

 That will be 53 years this Fall, sure glad I meet all the people I did over the years, really miss the ones that have gone. Frank who shot the movies passed away in October. Bob 

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I lived on the east coast from about  1985  until 1996 and participated in the Ridgefield meets during those years.   Those were some really great meets and lots of great memories. I always considered Ralph and Tiny DeAngeles my East Coast parents. They were always just great and welcoming people as well as the glue that held that event and the local regional group together. I miss them a lot. I imagine these earlier meets were really something.

 

Here is a photo from the "1912 Ford Section" of the Ridgefield Show,, probably around 1992' ish,  courtesy of Chris Paulsen. I know for a fact that these two cars still have the same caretakers!!!!

 

Thanks for sharing these films. I will be watching them over and over....

bobandguy1912tourings.png

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I would attend when I could get a ride........I never had a decent car till after college.............Louie Biondi (sp?) and his son were always there, along with MaGee’s, McGowens, ect.............great memories.

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And there were also the Tunick brothers there as well , usually arguing with each other. Ralph DeAngelis and Louie Biondi were great guys.

Flea market guys/vendors were Frank T. Snyder from NJ who always wore a Stetson hat and bolero string necktie selling literature and Rick Shnitzler was there from Pa. also selling literature - great people.

Lots of odd cars were always there : 1923 Franklin station wagon , unrestored totally original 1935 Oldsmobile conv coupe, John Linhardt of Queens, NY would drive up from long island in his 1934 Packard LeBaron V12 boat tail coupe  ( car now in the Bahre collection in Maine). Author Ken Purdy was always there in a Bugatti. Don Carlson had a 1932(?) Cadillac phaeton.  It was the best pre war car show around.

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20 minutes ago, edinmass said:

We recently lost Don Carlson.......he was  great old time collector. So many of my old mentors are gone. 

 

First met Don Carlson when I was looking for my first Model T, so that was before December 1966, "Lightning Striking" was playing on his shop radio. Only time in my life I remember what song was playing at any time. Useless trivia, but at least it is shared now. The Regal Underslung was my favorite, got to see it a second time at Pebble Beach, now it is in Europe. Bob 

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Many of the people in these film clips are long gone.  And I've never seen even one Bugatti being driven, let alone two.  But there are many opportunities to see cars of these vintages.  They'll be on tour, and they'll be parked in public venues, and not behind ropes, at lunch time and at various destinations.  They'll be on:

 

Any HCCA national and most regional tours

 

Any AACA Snappers tour

 

Once a year on the VMCCA 1-and 2-cylinder tour.

 

Any Glidden tour.

 

Any Model T or Model A club tour

 

Any steam car tour

 

Many one-marque gatherings like Franklin Treks or E-M-F Homecomings

 

These tours are happening all over North America.  There are websites with calendars to tell you where and when they take place. Come out and see the cars and ask questions.  If you're lucky, you might score a ride!

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This show would always bring out all the brass cars and Classics. I remember Gus Lovi and Bill Schiff would drive their cars from Kingston to Ridgefield every year. One in a Model T Ford and the other in a Hupp.  Ridgefield was the first show that I drove my Packard to.  Still miss it.   John

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29 minutes ago, StanleyRegister said:

Maynard Leighton's Stanley #4031 in the first video at 1:31, Louis Biondi's Stanley #1163 in the second at 0:20 and 1:33 .

 

 

 

Better yet Mark Herman has it listed on the HCCA website, the red 1912  Ford with Factory nickel plated brass next to it belonged to Maynard's brother in law here in town. 

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1967 was before my time at Ridgefield . My first one was probably 1976 when I went with my buddy and an old time collector, Ed Malley. This does bring back memories of a lot of people from those years who proved to be mentors over the years. In 1976, I was just finished playing around with SCCA racing and small formula cars. We went to this meet and after that I HAD to have one of these old cars. Frank Blefari sold me my Model A Town Sedan in December 1976, and the rest is, as they say, history.

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Hope nobody minds this update, found my Ridgefield Meet photo album, the videos were shot in 1968.

 

David Domidion's 1910 White Steamer. think the restoration was a month old

 

 

Louie Biondi's 1904 Stanley, he put a lot of miles on the car that day giving rides. That restoration was fresh also. 

 

 

Hit the two photo limit, back tomorrow with two more. Bob 

 

 

 

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Thank you Bob for those two photos. I didn't know Dave Domidion was into early cars, I only knew him and Jane for the Springfield built RR Phantom I cars they had and were devoted to. Dave was a good guy and owned one of each body style offered By RR for their Springfield built Phantom I. Quite a collection. He and I got to be friends when I sent him a note looking for PI window crank handles - he called me wondering what Springfield RR I had as he knew them all and why it needed handles. I told him I had a Derham bodied Franklin and they used the same interior door handles as the Springfield RR made by Harry McFarland Co,. of NY City . Dave thought that was great as he 1) didn't know which  coach work builders McFarland supplied besides Brewster, and 2) he told me his Father had worked for Franklin so he was happy to supply some parts for one,  never figuring that he would!

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Dave Judie Domidion would have a different car at Ridgefield, there was a 1912 Buick, 1910 Stoddard Dayton, the White Steamer,  and Derby or Ascot Rolls. I think City Island was his place of birth. He captained a yacht for President Hoover at some time. Worked for free at a Rolls Royce dealership just to learn how to service and rebuild them. Great guy that I got to meet early in the hobby, he helped with a lot of restorations of great cars.  Bob

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The Bill Oexle 1928 Chrysler Roadster, the first restoration I got to work on. I was 16, think he handed me a small brush and a quart of gloss black paint. painted ever nut and bolt head on that chassis. The car is on the carpet at the Nethercutt collection, saw it two years ago, what a nice surprise. Bob

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Bob, I believe the photo with the Chrysler roadster shows the north road ( don't know the name of it but I am sure you do) of the show field. At some time when the flea market that ran along the edge of the firled expande3d it wrapped around the far edge of that row  and it was there that I bought my first pressed steel toy Graham sedan ( made in 1932) that was 20 inches long and needed a total restoration. My parents were with me and my mother didn't say anything but my Dad just smiled and thought it was pretty neat. I learned about the toy from a friend who lived about 10 miles north of me named Gates Willard who had a mint original black 1935 Packard standard 8 convertible coupe. Gates was a great collector of pre war toys and was my mentor when it came to that. He bought a 1955 Chevy convertible new and it was his daily driver for years. LOVE these photos , they are a real time warp for me.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Looking at that pile of parts I think that is a 30-31 Ford deck lid on the left, just sold it last month. Most of the A parts are from a 1930 Cabriolet I parted out. That was a 50/50 buy out with a friend, one of my better $25.00 investments. Bob 

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My first job out of college was at Burndy Corp in Norwalk, CT. I was there 1961-1965. I attended the Ridgefield Meet once or twice during those years. Only recollection I have is of an ancient race car with the number 16 on the radiator. Folks, we are talking the LOUDEST CAR EVER CREATED BY MANKIND. WOW!!! Happy daze indeed. 

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I think Old16 was at Ridgefield twice, this shot is from 1967, it is now in the Henry Ford Museum. Peter Helck also owned the Benz-Mercedes and drove that down from Boston Corners, New York in 1965. It is now apart getting the cylinder liners repaired in Jay Leno's Garage. Bob 

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The first video at 1:11 or so appears to show my 1919 Locomobile Sportif in the background -- the big blue-green touring car. At that time Lee Davenport owned it, in original condition. He lived in Greenwich CT, but since the car came out of Ridgefield I can easily imagine him taking it back for a homecoming. He drove the car a lot on area tours and meets. The car is now restored and living with me down in Texas.

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3 minutes ago, jrbartlett said:

The first video at 1:11 or so appears to show my 1919 Locomobile Sportif in the background -- the big blue-green touring car. At that time Lee Davenport owned it, in original condition. He lived in Greenwich CT, but since the car came out of Ridgefield I can easily imagine him taking it back for a homecoming. He drove the car a lot on area tours and meets. The car is now restored and living with me down in Texas.

 

 

Here it is in 1971 unrestored. Bob 

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Wow. Do you have any other photos of that beast? This photo must have been taken right before the restoration began, as I know they were working on it during the '71-'72 timeframe. I have photos of the disassembled car with a newspaper in the foreground with a headline saying "McGovern Wins Primary" or something like that,

 

Like I've said in the past, if you guys ever revive the Ridgefield meet, I'll bring the Locomobile up all the way from Texas.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 8:24 AM, Walt G said:

Even up until the early 1970s anyone who owned a car with running boards was considered somewhat mentally unbalanced ( really - they did) , that determination ended about a decade later when you were then considered a "rich" eccentric who 'invested' in old cars so that made you rich.

I actually DO remember that. 

 

In 1971, I knew someone who was restoring a late 1930's RR Phantom III. He had ordered a set of the rubber strips with the retainers & end pieces for the running boards from the factory, which Rolls Royce actually still stocked at the time.  Many of us thought he was kind of eccentric and somewhat 'unbalanced' by spending that kind of $$$ for the parts PLUS shipping all the way from England, which itself was very expensive as they came in a long cardboard tube and took a couple of months to arrive when he could have probably made them himself from local material.  Of course, by decade's end, most of our attitudes towards that had all changed.

 

Craig

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  • 9 months later...

Thanks for posting these , Bob.  Glad to see dad's old home movies could spark such lively conversation and great memories. 
So many names mentioned here of guys that dad knew & I'd see at the shows when I was little.  I always had fun going over Ralph & Tiny DeAngelis' house as a kid. Always a new car in one of his barns.
Dean recently told me the story of the Old 16 race car and how it ended up at the Henry Ford Museum and no longer runs. 😞

-Frankie
 

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:34 PM, jrbartlett said:

The first video at 1:11 or so appears to show my 1919 Locomobile Sportif in the background -- the big blue-green touring car. At that time Lee Davenport owned it, in original condition. He lived in Greenwich CT, but since the car came out of Ridgefield I can easily imagine him taking it back for a homecoming. He drove the car a lot on area tours and meets. The car is now restored and living with me down in Texas.

 

 

Lee and Ann were good friends. He drove the Loco extensivly early on.........and used it mostly locally. The car was well known in New England for years............

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