Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day One: Flat Black and High Octane

I walked out of the door of my hotel, and the first thing I saw was the last thing I ever thought I'd see.
A flat-black '71 Jaguar with a Chevy 383.

Purists, eat your heart out, because this is only the beginning.

On my 15 minute ride to the Hayt Hotel, where the initial gathering was being held, I was passed by Lead Sleds, Hot Rods, and Muscle Cars with engines bigger than my house.

Then I got there, and the very first car I saw was a turquoise, 1969 Mercury Cougar. The same year as my Cougar, but obviously in much better shape. I'm not a fan of the color, but given that I can count the number of Cougar's I've seen in person on one hand, I'll take what I can get.

Next to that was this sick 30's Chevy coupe. I got a chance to stand next to it while it was running; the blower is massive, as were the slicks, and the paint was perfect. Best of all, it sounded like the coming apocalypse.

Sitting by the entrance was a '49 Plymouth barn find that was beautiful in its own right, and aptly named the Ugly Duckling. The owner, Joe, told me how there were hornets and trees making a home in this coupe before he dragged it home, all because he wanted something different.

Or how about this '54 Corvette? You should see the pictures the owner Stan showed me of the car before he brought it home and repaired the mauled fiberglass body. He also built the frame, replaced the chrome, and explained to me how these early 'Vettes had the seams on the outside, covered by the chrome. The car is immaculate, and yet another example of a home built, badass car.

Speaking of badass, this '47 Studebaker truck won last year's Badass Award. Owner Justin had to make the badass award for this years winner. Truly, a great spirit of competition is held within these guys.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There were probably a hundred cars at this hotel, and there will be over 7,000 at the New York State Fairgrounds this weekend, rain or shine. Hopefully shine though.

There will be more pictures, and less words next time...I'll probably be too tired to type anyway.

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