Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 Crosley Club Meet in Wauseon: Part III

I was out of the tent by 6:30AM on Saturday but there were plenty of folks already moving around- this was the big day!
Paul Gorrell was busy moving Hot Shot #1 to the show field.  When he got all set up he looked at his rust-covered hands and said, "if I shake somebody's hand they'll get 5% of the car." That's Barry Seel 'supervising' on the right.
VCS were the spotlight class this year and there were a TON of roadsters on hand.  I never did get a count, but I'm guessing there were 30 or so at least.
One of my faves was this driver Hot Shot that was entered in the 'Original' class.  Rough but ready, just like I like 'em.
Even the brass was getting in on the act- here's Club President Dave Anspach getting his Super Sport ready for the big day.
It's been so long since I took my '51 Super Sport apart that I am definitely going to need some help when it comes time to put it back together.  I took lots of shots like this that will - I hope - make reassembly a little bit easier.  This SS appears to be largely correct, although I don't think the radio grill should be chromed... but with Crosley, who knows?
If I need help remembering how the SS should go, I'll need even more help imagining what the interior of my Hmod should look like.  Chuck's Fibersport is the best cue I've got for my car, so I kept coming back to take more pictures.  The Fibersport's office is tidy - as any good race car should be.
Every time I turned around it seemed like there was another insane rarity showing up.  This Prewar Parkway Delivery is the only one I've ever seen.. I've almost never even seen pictures of these!  This one looked to be barn fresh, but it was amazingly original.  Upholstery, paint, and even the tires were factory.  Totally nuts.
Speaking of original, how about this Farm-O-Road?  Original paint and even the original decal on the side!  
That's Wauseon in a nutshell- everywhere else in the world Farm-O-Roads are crazy scarce (less than 500 built, I think) but here they were almost common!
The owner of this one had a sense of humor. 
When I wasn't wandering around ogling the eyecandy I hung out with the West Coast guys at their sale booth.   Left to right, that's Mike Bainter (one of the original West Coast Club members), club treasurer Ronnie Bauman and Pres Rick Alexander.  Between the three of them you could stock a Crosley dealership!
But, I guess I don't have much room to talk.  Once Mike mentioned that he'd be able to haul some stuff back to California for me in his truck I stocked up on enough parts to fill MY own personal dealership.  Probably half the stuff going back west in Mike's truck had my nametag on it. 
No story of my trip to Wauseon would be complete without a picture of Shehorns.  I ate 2-3 meals a day there the whole trip.  Did I mention that it was the only food available on the fairgrounds?
At about 3:30 the assembled masses abandoned the show field and headed inside for the annual Crosley Club business meeting.  I'd never been to one of these before and it was pretty interesting.  The club officers gave a rundown of the club's affairs over the past year and then finished it off with the awards.  I don't remember who won the best of show, etc, but I do know that Jak Phillips won the Hard Luck Award for getting his van impaled in an accident on the way out from New York. 
After the awards we cleaned the hall and had a giant family-style dinner, where I and pretty much everyone at our table ate way too much.  The dinner is the last 'official' event of the meet and I was pretty worn out.  Just as I was thinking about passing out face down in my tent, Club member Chuck Latty tells us that there's a dirt track about five miles down the road - and that the races start in twenty minutes.  Rick and Mike passed, but I couldn't miss an opportunity like that. 
Turns out that Chuck (right) is a big race fan - he travels with a track guide that lists every racing event at every track in the country - wherever he goes he figures out who's racing what, and if he can, he goes.  They had an exhibition of old race cars and Chuck knew an awful lot about all of them.
I'd never seen dirt track racing before.. it was pretty amazing.  There were several classes of cars, starting with fairly stock-appearing 4 cylinders, then a 'modified' class (that looked about as much like regular cars as Nascar racers do), and finally the fastest class, made up of vehicles that looked like giant slot cars. They moved.  The track was a 5/8 mile oval and Chuck and I clocked the fastest cars at 15 seconds per lap - about 90 miles an hour.  That might not seem that impressive, but keep in mind that the entire race consists of sliding around the track - these cars never actually straighten out!
I'd been warned not to sit too close to the track since the cars can sling a lot of mud as they make their way around the track.  At first it wasn't bad at all - I thought we were just lucky that they were keeping the dirt fairly dry, but as the night got later, and the cars got faster (and the drivers got even more aggressive) I found out that it didn't really matter.  We got buried.  The races ended at 10PM sharp and Chuck dropped me off back at the fairgrounds.  I crawled into my tent covered in dirt, stinking like racing fuel, and sunburnt to a crisp from three days in the sun, kinda the perfect way to end, now that I think of it...

No comments: