The Women of the Annual Car Meet in Stowe

For many years these women have worked to make our show in Stowe the successes they have been. For instance in Pat Mainetti’s case it has been somewhere between 15 and 20 years. Yes, there are also many men involved too, but this is the “quiet group”.

Thank you for your dedication

This 1927 Ford Model T Roadster Pickup is 89 years old…

with its first 28 years still shrouded in mystery…

The truck’s known history begins about 1955 when a VAEer found it for sale On North Main Street in St. Albans, Vermont.

model t ford pickupThe Roadster Pickup is locally known as an East Fairfield truck, a little village fifteen miles East of Lake Champlain in Northern Vermont. The village is known for saying yes to the railroad. The story goes, when the railroad wanted to build a line through the town in the 1860s the sleepy village center 5 miles West of East Fairfield had hysterics at the idea of becoming a rowdy railroad town. East Fairfield opened its arms to the idea… rowdy and all!

East Fairfield’s nickname is “Puddledock”that came from the Spring time hub-deep mud in the streets and the folks who live there are called “Puddledockers”; terms of endearment used to this day. When the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad came through town the transition was instantaneous. Hotels, granaries, a drug store, bars and pool halls were built overnight. Water power at the two dams on Black Creek sprouted all kinds of new enterprises. Puddledock took on the reputation as a rowdy railroad town while the little town center, just a few miles away, stayed safely away.

The story also goes that the model T spent many of its years, previous to 1955, in Puddledock, in fact the exact residence and driveway has been identified as its home. This information has been passed down from villagers long past away and the home was torn down many years ago. Is the story true, what was the truck used for and who owned it during that time has not been figured out completely, the detective works continues…

The VAEer who found the truck for sale in 1955 is Gael Boardman. The seller who brought it to Walter Benjaman’s garage on North Main Street, St Albans to sell it was unknown when Gael offered $20.00 to buy it. When Gael returned to find if the seller accepted his offer, he found a local hotel owner, Doug Kelly, had bought the truck for $25.00. Wheel Tracks found Mr. Boardman, sixty one years later, still a little upset he got “out-offered” by Mr. Kelly. Gael was prepared to go all the way to $30.00 but in the traditional way of bartering, one does not let that information out until the exact ‘correct’ time.

For many years the Model T was parked in a shed behind the Kelly Hotel on South Main Street until rumor had it that Mr. Kelly sold it to someone in the Boston area.

27 ford pickup dirtroadEnter another VAEer… John Lavallee. John’s dad and grandfather had a machine shop in Massachusetts and had decided to expand into Northern Vermont in the mid 1960s. John was a young man when he joined his father and grandfather in Winooski to inspect the building they had just purchased along the river and that is when he spotted a Model T pickup in one of the dark corners of the building. The truck then had a new owner, John Lavallee. A short time later, John heard a rumor the “T” had belonged to Mr. Kelly and after telling John it was impossible that the truck had been his, Mr. Kelly recognized the repair work he had done on the rear of the vehicle. The Model T was in fact the Kelly/ East Fairfield truck. Over the 20 to 22 years that John owned the truck, not a whole lot was done to it.

The Model T caught the eye of a dairy farmer in 1987 and again it found a new home, but this home was special… it was back in East Fairfield!

Dennis Dodd belonged to the VAE and his farm is a mile or two just outside the village. Over the 29 years the Model T hardly ever missed an area parade. Dennis and Linda’s children along with many other local kids spent many great times throwing candy to parade spectators from the pickup’s bed.

The “T” also had quite a transformation on Dennis’ farm. It got a Ruxtal rear-end and Rocky Mountain brakes. A new top and bed, a complete motor job and all the running gear trimmings along with a new coat of paint. Dennis told about the memorable hours he and his son drove the back roads enjoying the country side. He spoke of all the sights you can see when going 20MPH. He would just pop the Ruxtal into gear and chug along not having to shift, no mater how steep the hills.

So, now it is 2016 and Dennis has his attention on a 1908 International high Wheeler project. He also has a ’31 Model A sedan and a really cool home-built Model A Speedster… and the Model T pickup has caught the eye of another VAEer!

Enter the Wheel Tracks editor… The Ruxtal rear-end and Rocky Mtn. brakes was more than the guy could resist, the truck, again, has a new home. The good news is the 1927 model T pickup is only a few miles North of its East Fairfield beginnings. The bad news is the amount of filled space that had to be freed-up to make room for the “T”. All good, when you step back and look at the scheme of things…

1954 R Type Bentley

1954 R Type BentleyChristina and Paul McCaffrey’s ’54 Bentley

Are those Holley Carburetors we can see in the Bentley? Oh no, they are SUs, straight from the island!

We purchased our 1954 Bentley R-Type on 10/3/1999 from Philip Palmer – Starksboro. Original owner was Stephen John Pilkington of “The Quarries”, Quarry Drive, Ormskirk, Lancaster County, England. The vehicle was imported to Lake Placid NY in 1985. Chassis is a Standard Steel Saloon # B109ZX; 4 1/2 Litre; bench front seat; RHD; Coker Tires

We took it to the RROC ( The International Club for Bentley & Rolls-Royce Owners & Enthusiasts) national meet in Greenwich Connecticut where the local dealer completely over-hauled the brake system. They say that Bentley and Rolls Royce vehicles don’t breakdown – they only may experience “failure to proceed”. Our Bentley R-Type had a failure to stop! Once the work was finished it practically stood on the bonnet when the brakes were applied.

I grew up in Greenwich with six siblings. Our family car was always a Ford station wagon where we fought over the chance to sit in front “way back”. We took regular Sunday drives and played “punch buggy” when VW’s were spotted. My Mom always said she’d love a Rolls Royce if she could have any car she wanted. With a small inheritance from her, the Bentley became the first in our modest “collection”.

We have used it in a few family/close friends weddings. We’d love to do more but insurance restricts “commercial use”. Paul is the designated chauffeur – I’ve only driven it in parking lots and open fields. We have taken it to VAE shows in Stowe, Shelburne, St. Albans; Knight’s Point; Manchester VT; and has been a regular 1st place winner at the Bristish Invasion in Stowe. We enjoy the Tailgate competition and dressing in Vintage clothing of the 50’s era.

Bio: Paul and I were married in Ireland. We both work at the University of Vermont Medical Center in the Operating Room. Paul has been a surgical technician for 43 years; I am a neurosurgical nurse there. Paul served in the Army in Vietnam, was a City Councilor in Winooski, and was a private investigator. I formally worked as an independent stockbroker and as a Cost Estimator for General Electric/Lockheed Martin. We have five grown children: Lauren, Coberlin, Jameson, William James and John (Jack). Five grandchildren: Hillary, Marley, Paris, Taylor and Zoey. We also enjoy Lake Champlain – Sailing out of LCYC in Shelburne Bay and fishing.

1979 MG

1979 MGBDick & Kit Wheatley’s ‘79 MG

When did you purchase the MG, Dick?

I purchased in February 2006. I was looking for a reasonably priced MG, spotted this online one cold Sunday afternoon. The car was located in Maryland. I threw a bid on it (wanted to see how ebay worked), didn’t think too far ahead, then left for a tennis match in Essex Jct,. When I came home there was a message from ebay “Congratulations, you won, now pay!”

Why an MG?

I thought they had nice clean lines, the ones with the metal bumpers, my first choices were a bit pricey.

What have you done to it…any future restoration plans?

The car hasn’t needed much. I filled the tank with gas one day, parked on a hill and gas leaked out the filler cap, stained the black rubber bumper, white, so I took it to a local body shop and they painted the rear bumper the same color as the body. The front bumper was painted when I purchased it, has held up pretty well. I did replace the exhaust, so I could hear the radio.

What was the mileage when you got it and how many now?

In the 90’s when purchased, something over a 100K now.

Was there a nice trip that you and Kit have had with it?

Mostly local trips, a few garage tours. It has been a hit with our grandkids.

1979 MGB
1979 MGB

Any other points members would be interested in reading?

I had to find a carrier to bring it up from Maryland. We live on a dirt road, slightly hilly. The guy showed up with a car trailer after dark on a snowy night with a plan to back into our driveway. He could not get up to the garage, it was too slippery. The driver says “why would anyone want to live out here?”, he was from Florida. I pulled it up the driveway with the tractor and pushed it into the garage. The seller told me he would fill the rear hatch with spare parts, but the lid would not open, no matter what I did. I called a good friend, Rod Rice, the next day. Rod said his son Dave had a similar MG in South Burlington and Rod had a key to his garage. Without hesitation he said he would meet me there in 45 minutes. We looked at the rear hatch mechanism on Dave’s car and determined the only way to get into mine was to drill the lock out. Simple procedure, we found a pin had slipped out in transit, ordered a new part to replace it, everything was fine. I think Rod loved any excuse to get out of the house for something to do with a car. Rod was a great guy, helped our son with a Boy Scout project, our daughter with a school project on the Long Trail, always there ready & willing.

David Lamphere’s 1919 Franklin Touring

1919 franklin noseThis 1919 Franklin Touring has been a car David Lamphere has known about much of his life. Franklin manufactured about 150,000 cars in Syracuse, New York from 1902 to 1934. This one has a story to tell…

World War I had just finished its four year blight in November of 1918, our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, died in January and according to Wikipedia, Amānullāh Khān became king of Afghanistan.

1919 franklin interiorIn Rutland, Vermont that year George Lamphere was shopping to buy a new car. He and his wife, Eva, lived at 3 Clarendon Avenue and their creamery & dry goods store on Main Street must have been doing fairly well. There were a number of auto dealerships in the area but the one at 107-109 West Street must have caught their eye because they sold an air cooled car where you didn’t have to worry about the radiator freezing up during the winter. Another thing they might have seen in the car ads was, “you could put the accelerator to the floor, even in the desert, and run it that way all day or until you ran out of gas”. That is how good these engines were. The dealership was named Rutland Machine and Auto Company and they sold Seldon trucks and Franklin Automobiles. The Franklin touring car pictured above is the car the Lampheres decided upon.

David and Cereta Lamphere are VAE members from Westford, Vermont; George Lamphere is David’s grandfather and the Franklin touring sits in David’s garage today. The car was passed from George to David’s dad, Richard, and then to David.

1919 franklinThe Franklin Company had sold about 43,000 cars by 1919 and had the process fairly well perfected by then. They were using 6 cylinder engines in 1906 for some of their models and by 1914 all Franklins had six cylinder engines. Managing the air flow was important in these air cooled vehicles and until 1922 all that was required was a fan between the engine and the transmission to help “pull” the air through. As the horse power increased they moved the fan to the front of the engine and continued to use the cylinder fins to force air down past the hot cylinders, this was called a “down-drafter”. As the 6 cylinder engine power grew, from 24 HP to over 100HP, the company changed again in 1930, to keeping the fan in the front but now forcing air “across” the engine thus calling it a side drafter. A much more efficient way to keep the engine cool.

It appears George and Eva began a family tradition with the Franklin car. Over the years they had the 1919, a 1923 sedan and two 1929s sedans. One of those 29s later was reworked into a pickup truck which also sits in David’s garage. David’s dad, Richard, added a 1930 and 1931 sedan to the family Franklin history and then David took his turn when he was 15 years old, when he purchased a used 1930 sedan for $45.00. David also bought a ’31 roadster at one point bringing the count to eight Franklins.

Richard was an engineer and loved to tweak things and make them better. While the 1919 was in his possession he added an electric fuel pump with a pressure regulator, to keep the carburetor from handling anything over one and a half pounds of fuel pressure. He also added a fuel pressure and a vacuum pressure gauge to the dash. The ignition switch has an extra position so when you engage the starter a second battery is wired in to have 12 volts. Once the engine is running, the switch is moved to the 6 volt position.

It is probably not totally unusual for an automobile to be purchased new and be in a family for ninety eight years, but Wheel Tracks did not want to miss out telling this story.

As you have read in our classifieds the 1919 is for sale. David and Cereta need to down-size and have decided to try to find a good home for the old girl, that still runs perfectly. The hope is that the car stays in the VAE family and will have many more stories to tell years from now.

How many of you will be watching for those Rutland addresses the next time you go through. Please take a picture of what is there now and send them to Wheel Tracks.

Avery Hall’s 1928 Packard Roadster (model 533)

Avery’s 1928 Packard Roadster is very close to its coming-out party, it has been a 4 year project!

Packard’s motto was “Ask a man who Owns One”.
Avery Hall is that man!

1928 Packard Roadster (model 533)This is what Avery Hall’s 1928 Packard Roadster (model 533) looked like when he started the restoration 4 years ago. Quite a difference from the beauty we see on the front page of this issue of Wheel Tracks!

Avery found the car in Florida in the early 1990s when he and VAEer, Bryce Howells drove there and trailered it home to Burlington. The two are in a small group of 16 VAE members who have Packards, wouldn’t it be great if we could see them all side by side, in all their glory, someday!

According to “American Cars Catalog” Avery’s model 533 is the fifth series of 6 cylinder Packards that started in production in 1921. After 1928, Packard did not build another 6 cylinder car until 1937. The 33 in the model number means the wheel base is 133 inches.
The L-head straight six with a bore and swing of 3.5 X 5 inches produces 81 HP and has 7 main bearings, mechanical lifters and the Packard updraft carburetor. The publication says there were 13,414 of the model 533s produced in 1928.

Wheel Tracks has been corrected a few times on what the 5 really means in the model number 533. The 5 might simply mean it was the fifth series as noted above. We were told it also means the travel of the piston and one informant says the 5 means the number of passengers the roadster can carry. Wheel Tracks will publish any “corrections” that might be sent in our next issue….please stand by.

There is no question about Avery’s 533 when it comes to beauty and quality. When standing in front of the vehicle and looking along the side of the body you can find it has a beautiful curve as it reaches the rear of the car……a little “boat-tail” feel!

The engine compartment is very simple and easy to understand it’s workings. Even the Stuart vacuum tank is in full dress, as you can see to the left. Most of the white oak body frame has had to be replaced in Avery’s 4 to 5 year restoration. The engine was rebuilt by the “Auto Shop” and the upholstery and top was done by Michael Lemire in Richmond, Vermont

The first Packard was built in 1899 in Warren, Ohio. In 1903 the main Packard factory opened in Detroit, it was designed by Albert Kahn and occupied 3.5 million square feet across 47 buildings on 40 acres and employed over 40,000 skilled workers. In 1956, when the factory was closed, it was claimed to be the largest abandoned factory in the world.

Bill Sander’s “other hobby”

General Motors SW1500 Diesel

Bill's Lionel Train LayoutBill Sander got the “green light” from his wife Jan, about 10 years ago….at least he went with his interpretation.

Bill had been into the Lionel train hobby for some time when one day there was a comment of him maybe getting a full sized train. Jan made a comment about “that happening will be the day he could find one that fits into his garage” Bill says that was the day he envi-sioned his “mission” and of course that led to a step-up from Lionel… the 7 1/2 inch gauge model train! It fits into the garage just fine and you can ride on it.

The red locomotive on the front page is a model of a General Motors SW1500 Diesel. This unit and a second Elco RS3 model that Bill has were the two main work horses used on Vermont rail roads. They were built much closer to Road Switcher specifications and not yard switchers and were very capable of pulling their loads through our hills and valleys. There were 808 SW1500s built by GM from 1966 to 1974 and the 1500 HP engine was capable of reaching speeds of 60 MPH. The Alco RS-3 is the 3rd design variation and continued to the RS-11 design. The RS-3 was built by the American Locomotive Company and the Montreal Locomotive Works and has a 1600 HP engine. Between 1950 and 1956 there were 1418 built, 1265 for American railroads, 98 for Canada, 48 for Brazil and 7 for Mexico.

Bill’s SW1500 locomotive is powered by a gas 17 HP Briggs and Stratton engine and rides of tracks seven and a half inch wide. The 7 1/2 inch tracks are used mostly in the western states and is said to follow the example of Walt Disney’s layout in California. The eastern modelers mostly use 7 1/4 inch tracks….. Bill went with the western tradition. Bill’s model is hydraulically powered by both the wheels under the locomotive and the wheels under the second car, it has reverse, lights and a recorded sound track of the real deal as he moves along his 450 feet of track.

1988 Buick Reatta

14 year old VAE member, Jason Warren and his Reatta, are winners at our 58th Car Show in Stowe

Jason Warren and his ReattaI was very excited to find out I had won 3rd place with my 1988 Buick Reatta having entered it in class 21 for non-Ford, Non-Chevy, all, for 1966-1990 model years.  I had my car entered for judging last year, but was not available during the judging process and I think this may have hurt my chances. This year I made sure to be with my car because the judges had a lot of questions.

I bought my Reatta in 2014 with money I had earned from a part time job I’ve had since I was 11 (I’m 14 now). I found the car in Fairfax, VT and paid $640.00 for it. The body of the car was and is in very good condition mainly because the front fenders are made from a plastic polymer and the remaining body panels are double sided galvanized steel. With over 185,000 miles on the car, the complete suspension, braking, and exhaust systems needed to be replaced. As my dad completed repairs on one side of the car, I would try to repeat the process on the other side. Sometimes things worked out, sometimes not so much.

I think I chose to buy a Reatta because our family already had two 1991’s and I thought it would be neat to have my own. I like the styling and all the digital instrumentation including a fully functional CRT touch screen that controls the radio, climate control, gauges, trip computer, and full onboard engine diagnostics.

1988 was the first year of production for the Buick Reatta and 4708 were hand built that year at the Craft Center in Lancing, Michigan. All Reattas’ are front wheel drive and used GM’s popular and “bullet proof” 3.8L V6 engine with a 4spd automatic transmission. The engine produces 165HP but the car weighs 3400 lbs so with these specs, it’s performance although acceptable, is lack luster compared to its sporty appearance. I am real happy with my Reatta, but if I could choose any vehicle to own, it would be a Mercedes Benz Unimog.

I will be a Freshman at Lamoille Union High School this fall and have plans to enter into the Auto Tech Center for my Junior and Senior year. My favorite subject in school is science and I think I would like to have a future in either automotive or motor sport repair. I like all things with engines especially if they are vintage. I’m already looking forward to working at and bringing my car back to the Antique & Classic Car Meet next year.

Our Big Shew

A little history about our 58 year-old Car Show in Stowe

Using available records, the August 1960 show was advertised as the “VAE Third Summer Invitational Rally at Stowe”. That year the gathering was a two-day event with a Back-road Tour and a supper barbecue on Saturday the 6th. After supper a WC Fields movie was viewed called “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry”. Later a barbershop quartet performed and a square dance was called by Mr. Bill Chattin. On Sunday was the auto judging and award presentations.

Wheel Tracks has no records of the 1st and 2nd Rally in Stowe. If anyone would like to share their records for 1958 and 1959, that information will be published.

Our next glimpse at the Show in Stowe is 1971, billed as the “14th Annual Stowe Meet”. Over 300 cars were on display. There was mention of a new parade route, causing some confusion, but all was forgiven when everyone enjoyed the “banner supper and the film viewing” Saturday evening. It was reported that the “new flea-market was well vendered and well attended, although falling victim to frequent rain showers”.

The Fall issue of Wheel Tracks, 1980 is our next view of the show. There were 361 cars in attendance with over fifty Woodies among them. Mr. Russ Snow was the chairman and reported a record was set with 250 flea market spaces. 1980 was Russ’s second year as chair and he announced that he would like to have someone take his place the next year.

The next Wheel Tracks that mentions the show in Stowe was the 1984 issue. It had become a three day event by then and that year Dave Gonyon was chair. An “antique clothing fashion show” on Saturday was planned and chaired by Ginger Lacombe. Other plans were a cheese and wine party Friday night and a concert on Saturday. Just like this year, 2015, there were many requests for help.

By 1987 we had adopted the name that we call the show today. That year it was billed “The 30th Annual Antique and Classic Car meet” and it took place on the Topnotch Field on the Mountain Road. It also appears that the newsletter “Wheeltracks” was a single word then and had changed from a 4-season publication to monthly. Tom Maclay was by then the Show chair and in a letter to the VAE Board he rec-ommended a hand-book should be published so everyone knows how to set up and run the show at Stowe. He also spoke of the huge lack of help and the difficulty of running the show short-handed. No other details were published about the 1987 show in Stowe. The car pictured to the left on the ‘87 show flyer was the “Best of Show” the previous year, a 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible owned by Jonathan James of Meredith, NH.

Now, please, Fast-forward to 2015. Our 58th show at Stowe and our President Dan Noyes’ 1923 Model T mail truck is on our flyer. It will be happening in just a few days and “One Way or Another” our two show chairs will have a great event for us to enjoy. Bob Chase and Duane Leach, like always, are asking for your help in our show. Even if you have an hour or two to spare, they can use you. Call either one of these numbers and let them know when you can be there…. 802-253-4897 or 802-849-6174.

Wheel Tracks asked the guys what advancements they are most proud of on their watch. They replied with many. The new Display Ramp, ATM service, the very popular Crafter’s Tent, the Dragster Display, the Valve Cover Racing and the Matchbox Race just to name a few. One of the greatest advancements is our Innovative Educational Events. The VAE became a non-profit 501C3 organization a few years ago, the non-profit arm is called the VAAS, and the club has very effectively focused on education and our Vermont school students.

Come to the SHOW and enjoy three days of fun. Better yet, give us a hand for a few hours and we guarantee you will have even more fun.

Kenneth Barber, VAE Photographer Laureate

Ken BarberKen Barber’s title, “VAE Photographer Laureate”, has been decided upon by a committee of One… and that is me.

I believe 100% if you were part of that committee you would agree with me. Photography has been a huge part of Ken’s life and it just so happens old cars and VAE car shows, all the way back to Spruce Peak, has been some of his main subjects.

I had heard about this “photographer gent” from Barton, Vermont but had never met him. Then, I received two photos in the mail one day and a nice note from him giving me permission to use them in Wheel Tracks. Those photos take us back in time to 1917 during a special period in the automobile history (they are on page 2 of the last two issues).

Whenever I visit the NEK (Northeast Kingdom) it is always a treat to me and when I met Ken at the Parson’s Corner Restaurant in Barton a few weeks ago it became a special treat. I know more than got my head in the door when Carmon Brown called me by name and directed me to his table. Carmon is a waitress there and if only I had her ability to remember names and be ‘that happy’; I would have it made. I doubt if it was two minutes after meeting Ken that I knew he had a very special talent and I also knew that he was going to be one of those long time friends I would always learn from.

Ken spent most of his career as a machine operator in an area machine shop. Other than an adventure as a young man when he worked for Douglas Aircraft in California for a short time, he has spent most of his life in the NEK. The camera that you can see at his right elbow was his first real dive into photography, it is a Mamiya twin lens reflex and the “dream camera” in it’s day. The camera led him to a very good fortune one day when he rented a space for a darkroom at a local business. The landlord asked Ken if he would take some boxes off his hands that were in his attic. The boxes had been left behind by a photographer many years before. It turned out to be hundreds of glass negatives from the early 1900s.

Producing photos from those negatives and from the thousands that he has taken with his Mamiya has been Ken’s passion over many years. The bridge pictured to the left is one of his Mamiya photos from the 1960s. Ken said he waited for hours to get that shot. Photographers have a very special way of watching life’s everyday happenings and picking out scenes that you and I would never pick as important… but are very important. That is why Ken Barber is so interesting to talk to and learn from.
Ken has also been struck by the same fever that many VAEers are afflicted with. He says now that he is 86 years old, he seems to be bothered by it less these days. If you have ‘the fever’, you are required to seek out and drag home any object that even looks like a gas powered vehicle… even diesel powered will do. I remember asking Ken when we first met if he had brought any old cars home, in his days. I got the impression there had not been many. As the conversation went on and a second visit to his home plus a few phone conversations, I have determined there have been many “barn-finds” in his life…

I have seen pictures of piles of steel “basket-cases” on his trailer, only his explanation allowed me to see that it was, in fact, a car of some sort. There was a picture of a collapsed barn with a vehicle hiding in it’s shadows. Ken dug that car out and if I have correct notes, he drove that car for a number of years. Another hint that revealed his true identity was the folks he has kept company with over the years. Gael Boardman, Dave Maunsell, Gary Olney, A.K. Miller and Pevy Peake… I needed to hear no more.

Ken is flying to Arizona to visit his brother soon and speaks about his friend wanting to go on a balloon ride while out there. I challenged him (sort of) to doing the ride also, I will ask when he returns to the NEK. What photographer worth his salt would turn down a new adventure…