Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lock, Stock, and Muscle: The Golden Gears Car Club Fall Show, Iroquois, Ontario, August 27, 2017

Every since we became Corvette owners, I continue to be impressed by the remarkably full calendar of automotive events in our region.  This past Sunday the Golden Gears Car Club hosted its Fall Car Show.  In 2015 there were well over 400 cars present but last year\s show was kind of a washout, with lots of rain, a soggy field and only 165 cars made the trek.  This year, however, the weather was absolutely ideal so I took the top off of the Corvette and headed south to see what was on offer.

The venue for this event is the park alongside of the Iroquois Lock of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Opened in 1957, this lock is 935 feet long and 80 feet wide and was part of the Seaway project that included building a control dam across the river to the New York shore and the complete relocation of the village of Iroquois.  Two ships passed through the canel when I was there, one in each direction, and the lift lock raises the ships up to six feet.  The control dam is used to manage the level of Lake Ontario.

As I did not want to stay the whole day, which is typical if you are showing at a car event, I was directed to the spectators' parking lot, a short walk away from the action.  As mentioned, it was a beautiful day and the turnout was looking exceptional, perhaps even reaching 500 cars.  As I walked through the lines of interesting cars, new ones continued to come in until I departed.  Unfortunately, I was not around to hear the live music of "Eddy and the Stingrays," which would have been fun.

Cars ranged from Ford Model As to current Mustangs, with a lot of 1960s American muscle and some European oddities, such as a rather tatty Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.  Everyone was charmed by the full-sized Ford Model T accompanied by a scaled-down version driven by a boy.  For what may have been the first time I can recall at this kind of show, Corvette representation was pretty minimal.  I counted one C2, two C3s, a C4, and a supercharged C5.

Ford Model Ts, big and small

Ford Model As out in force

I spoke at length with the owner of this very nice Model A Tudor (get it?) Sedan.  Like every A owner I have met, he was very enthusiastic about the car and how much fun it is.

Among the oddities was to be found a Hudson Metropolitan, with the world's most uncomfortable-looking travel trailer. I did not realize that what I had always known as a Nash Metropolitan was sold also as a Hudson but this was the case from 1954 to 1957.  Constructed for Nash (then American Motors afterwards) by Austin in the UK, the American-designed car was styled by the legendary Italian design house of Pininfarina, who did not want their name associated in ads of such a down-market car.   The car's concept ran entirely counter to American practice of the time, being small, economical and not very powerful compared to the chrome-laden road barges of the era and in the end it was not even competitive with American Motors' own Rambler.  Only around 95,000 were built during the car's production run from 1953 to 1962.  11,500 of those were sold in Canada.

1950 Ford

Seventh Generation Plymouth Belvedere

Ford Bronco, still owned by the original purchaser

Nifty Fifties Ford

Dodge Daytona, one of the famous "wing cars" of the era

The Mustang Club members polishing their cars

1955 Ford Thunderbird

Impressively customized Chevrolet pick-up truck

The photos above are  all of a seriously hot-rodded  1935  Hudson Terraplane

A Swedish-American Hybrid: because even Volvos go better with Ford power!

Chevy II drag car, probably not used much for drag racing

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Very elegant 1938 Cadillac sedan

Pick-up truck customization gone over the top...complete with cobra

1000+ hp Chevrolet Master hot rod, regularly driven and getting a reported 12 mpg on the highway!

1974 Pontiac Trans Am in impeccable original condition.  This car has never had a change of sparkplugs.

The Golden Gears Car Club stand offered lots of memories of the club's past

Founded by young car enthusiasts in Iroquois in 1964, the Golden Gears Car Club at its height boasted 35 members, of which no fewer than five were mechanics.  However the club disbanded in 1969, only to be revived in 2012.  Judging from all the friendly volunteers at this Fall Show, the club is more active than ever and it was a great day out among the car people yet again.

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