Of course it didn't help that I'd been humping pretty hard to get everything ready in time. Some readers may not be aware that our original September date for the meet had to be postponed because of the massive Butte Fire, which tore through the Gold Country, and came within a few miles of our meet site last month. My friend Marty and his wife (who did lots of legwork on the meet) actually had to evacuate their house in Jackson and there was a very real question whether we might have to cancel the meet altogether. Luckily, the wind took the fire away from the cluster of Gold Rush era towns that we had chosen for the meet, and the region escaped with relatively few losses compared to neighboring Calveras County. We pushed the date back to October 24-25 and hoped that most members could reschedule.
Aside from rushing to redo planning for the meet, I was hustling in order to have a running Crosley ready to drive to the event.
Last year, after a week in which I drove to Colorado, trailered a deep storage Crosley home, then trailered it to the annual meet in Buellton, and then home again, I had a revelation: I'm done with trailers. I didn't get into old cars so I could haul them around behind an appliance car - I got into old cars because I love driving them. After last year's meet I swore I'd drive a Crosley to the next one.
On Friday afternoon I loaded the car up with tools, spares, oil, water, gas and luggage and headed out on Highway 16 for Jackson. I'd done a 50 mile road test through the Delta, but hadn't been on any highways or grades yet, so I wasn't sure how happy the car would be on commuter roads that climbed over 1200 feet in elevation. My worries were unfounded. The Crosley buzzed along at 45, 50, 55, running smoothly aside from a loud rattle that came from a loose washer in the custom shift set up.
My biggest worry was varying my speeds. A set of used pistons and a receipt for new rings and pistons had come with the car, so I figured I should drive as if I was seating the rings. That means varying speeds/rpm during the break-in period, and since I didn't know if the car had been driven at all since the parts were installed, I figured I should err on the side of caution. Not the easiest thing to do on a two lane highway with a 55-65mph speed limit, but I managed to do it while staying out of people's way.
Liv showed up soon with the dogs and the extended Moe family - Jen and Mike, Liv's sister and brother in law, had offered to provide roadside assistance for Sunday's Crosley Cruise, and had come up with a truck and trailer. Since they were bringing an empty trailer, I 'volunteered' them to haul the Denver wagon for my friend Dean - he'd managed to awaken it from its 46 year sleep earlier that week, but had only driven it two miles so far. All involved thought it would be prudent not to drive it the 45 miles to the meet under the circumstances!
Longtime readers of this blog know (after at least a half dozen previous meet reports) what happens next: I provide a rundown of cars on hand, the stuff that traded hands at the swap meet, what got donated to the raffle, and then wrap up with the goings on at the club dinner. I'll have the full details in the write-up in the next Tin Block Times, but for now i'm going to save us all a little time and just let the photos tell the story.
Next up: The Crosley Cruise.
The show field - that's a lotta Crosleys
First time out for Martha Straube's wagon - she picked up an award for a nice car
Gary Cochrane's Nissan-powered Super Sports heads a row of open cars
Club founder Dave Brodsky brought some rare and choice parts for the swap - I picked up a steel crank + strapped main crankcase and original JaBro paperwork. Note Service Motors' 70 FOOT trailer full of Crosley parts in back!
Russell Martin brought this amazing custom Crosley/Indian/BMW build. You can't see his awesome "Crosley Motorcycles" t shirt
Swap meet goodies
I 'borrowed' this photo of the '50 Farm-O-Road Firetruck from owner Bob Chase
Winner of the "Bob Carson" Award for Best Travel Adventure
Orv Madden has a buncha Packards and one Crosley - exactly like the one his folks had when he was a kid
Wagon row. The green Woodie up front picked up "Best of Show" - and earned it! Exterior was beautiful and the interior was even better
Mike Chicconi and Bob King tinker with a new motor
Nick Shelley and Bob Baxter with Bob's amazing Tin Block lamp - a total work of art!
Nick brought his freshly-finished electric conversion Farm-O-Road. Amazing project! The Stoner's super clean coupe and Mike Blackburn's '51 delivery in back
Club prez Rick Alexander auctions off Sherri Stein's mind-bending project: hundreds of vintage club photos arranged to form a Crosley wagon. In a word: wow!
Don Rauch relaxes behind his shiny Braje-equipped Hot Shot
One of the coolest cars in the club: Glen Brynsvold started building his Skorpion in the fifties and still has - and drives - it!
Pride of the show: Kip Fjeld's Miller, Marty Stein's Siata and Lee Osborne's Shannon Special. Probably more horsepower here than in the rest of the show combined!
Ronnie Bauman with his newest toy - hard to believe this was a plain-jane stocker 15 months ago
Something for everybody