Peveril Field Peake – A founder of the VAE

I didn’t know the man, he died in 2007 at the age of 79, but after talking to many of his friends I wish I had. The first Wheel Tracks newsletter in May 1953 contained a three page written by Pevy about a trip with his friend to Pennsylvania in his Model T. A good beginning to get to know Pevy. Here are the first two paragraphs:

an uneventful journey - peveril field peakeThe fun part of this project was listening to the ’Pevy stories’ from his friends, some I can not print. Doris Bailey told about the day that Pevy and his friend John Keefer was on a trip to Boston in his Model T (from Bristol no less). While driving through a village they spotted a neat pile of leaves on someone’s lawn and decided to drive the ‘T’ through them. The leaves went flying everywhere. On their way back the same leaves were again raked into a neat pile but this time an anvil had been hidden in them. Yes, you guessed it….they drove through the leaves the second time and the anvil did a job on the car while someone was watching through a curtain slit in the house. The car made it home but you could tell the ‘T’ has issues. Lloyd Davis tells about the day Pevy sold his 46 Caddy to Adrian West but found he had mistakenly agreed to sell it for way less than its value. While Pevy drove the Caddy to it’s new home with Adrian following he was still mulling over his mistake taking many detours on the way. Adrian finally took the lead and the Caddy made it to Morrisville. Bill Sander has the car today, a picture of it can be seen on page 16. Lloyd also tells about the used VW Beetle that was delivered to Pevy back when the car was first introduced to this country. It had stayed in the driveway for a number of days before Pevy figured out how to get it into reverse. I am told Pevy had quite an Irish temper. He had been known to ‘beat-up’ a car when it refused to start. In one mid-winter story the car actually started after its tires and hood got a thrashing. VAE member Joe Kailin is originally from the New York City area. Joe tells about the day he heard a recent story about some New Yorker running Pevy and his Model T off the road. Meeting Pevy for the first time, Joe pretended he was the New Yorker but seeing the Irish temper come across Pevy’s face Joe immediately told Pevy he was joking. Later when the two became good friends, Joe invited Pevy to go with him to visit family in the city. New York City found out what real snoring was that first night Pevy went to sleep!

Pevy was a serviceman for the Oldsmobile dealer in Middlebury for some time and spent many years working as a quality control person at GE in Burlington. Pevy was a very intelligent man and had an encyclopedic memory. All whom I talked with remembers his ability to recall the smallest details of anything including cars.

1928 willys knight model 56Pevy owned a 28 Willys Knight and in 1957 he entered the car in the first Stowe Antique and Classic Car Show. The main reason, I am told, that he bought the car was because it had a ‘hot water heater’ and that was good for the Vermont winters. The car also has a 9 quart oil sump because it has a sleeve valve type engine and Pevy found out all that oil gets thick when it is cold out and starting the engine is a task. He could be heard a mile away when the car would not start. The car was passed around and traded among VAE members over the years and today sits in a barn in northern Vermont. Pevy paid $35.00 for the car in 1953 when he bought it from someone in New York, the present owner paid Pevy $12.00 in the early 60s for it. VAE names like Chuck Hill, George Farr, Gael Boardman and Lloyd Davis come up as either owning or ‘using the car a lot’.

valve sleeve engine diagramThe valve sleeve engine was invented by Charles Knight in 1905 with smaller engines still using the technology today. Mr. Knight was annoyed by the noise the ‘puppet valve’ type engine made and developed this very quiet engine. The 6 cylinder engine has a ‘vacuum operated oil rectifier’ that recovers the oil before it gets burned and goes out the tail-pipe. One VAE member remembers a picture of a Willys Knight with a caption asking how one would know if the car was running or not. The hint in the picture was the plume of smoke that billowed from the rear of the car. The rectifier worked great but would get plugged easily thus causing the blue smoke. The big question I have now is….will I be seeing this 1928 Willys Knight in any future Stowe Car Show? I hope I do.

The VAE 40th Anniversary Tour

As you can read from Bill Sander’s minutes of the Saturday meeting it was just about 20 minutes in duration. My kind of meeting.

Saturday, July 11, 2009
There were 14 cars on the tour that went to Plattsburgh, NY for lunch at Geoffrey’s Pub and then on to the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum which is housed in several buildings on the east side of what was the Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

After the meeting, we arrived at the Ferry Dock and as I was the lead car, I told the ticket taker that we were a automotive tour and that there were 14 vehicles of various makes and models on the tour.

They managed to get us all on the same Ferry and we enjoyed a ride on the lake who’s founding we were celebrating.

In an effort to get a good photo of the cars, I asked the attendant if I could get permission from the Captain to come up to the wheelhouse in order to get an overhead view. He readily agreed. As I stopped by to thank him on my way down, what to my surprise should he pull out of his travel bag, but a current copy of Hemming’s Classic Car magazine. (Remember folks, they are out there, we just have to find them.)

We got to the Pub in good shape and were treated to a fine lunch at reasonable prices.

A short drive later, we were at the museum, where we met our tour guide Richard “Dick” Soper a very knowledgeable local volunteer.

After our introduction, we started the walking tour which last a little over 2 1/2 hours. As we were all standing outside commenting on how enjoyable and informative the tour was, in the not too far distance, many heard thunder. A harbinger of things to come – in buckets!

Hastily, decisions were made and plans were changed as a number of members decided to head back via the Ferry and not to complete the tour as planned.

An intrepid sextet, lead by 2nd. VP Wendell and Mary Noble in their 1930 Dodge Brothers roadster; Gael and Judy Boardman, in their 1917 Locomobile; David Stone in his 1930 Ford Model T Sedan, Don Lovejoy in his 57 Chevy, Joe and Judy Paradise in their Triumph and Clark & Isabel Wright decided to follow the original planned route and headed north into the ominous oncoming storm. In the meantime, Judy Boardman lost her hat so an unscheduled stop was made. Due to the design of the Nobel?s roadster‘s top, Mary had to literally hold the convertible top down while Wendell drove.

There is no doubt, that as time goes on, the rain story will be enhances and grow exponentially and sound something like the story of the fish that got away. As Gael pointed out in no uncertain terms, the 3 oldest cars did it! Congratulations to our intrepid drivers.

July 12, 2009
Seven cars met at the Shaw’s parking lot in Colchester and proceeded down Spear St. (to bypass Shelburne Rd.) toward Basin Harbor and the Maritime Museum.

Again your scribe lead the way and I was told that I was going too slow. True there was a parade of cars behind us so I went a little faster.
As we did the day before, we ate lunch first at the Red Mill located right on the airport of the Basin Harbor Club and enjoyed another fine meal at good prices.

As we had let it be known that we would be happy to join up with other like-minded enthusiasts. Our group was met by Dave and Joyce Silveira (members of the Vermont British Car List) with their sparkling white MGB.
We were also met by two former VAE Presidents who were dining at the Red Barn. Rod and Betty Jean Dolliver in their 1931 Model A Roadster Pick-up (Which by the way needed some human intervention to start it-the guys pushed it.) and Larry and Mrs. Johnson driving their Woody Station Wagon.

After our lunch we formed up and toured the Basin Harbor Club’s grounds and received may whistles and applause. Kind of a mini-parade. Then we were off to the Maritime Museum down the block.

A grand visit to some Vermont nautical sites. Another great day.
We are all back home tired but safe and sound after an enjoyable tour of the lake and celebrating the founding of Lake Champlain.

A very special note of thanks to Wendell and Mary Noble for putting this program together. Cheers and well done folks!

On the following page you will see some of the 150 photos of the tour, It was grand fun and we missed all who could not attend. We look for more tours in the near future. So, keep tuned and plan on coming even if your classic is not running.

Now for a surprise: Everyone who was on the tour will receive a CD of all the photos that I took (about 150), as well as an 8 X 10 photograph of their appropriate group. If you were in 2 groups you get 2 8 X 10’s, with my compliments. (gf)

Sander’s VAE Meeting 2007

Looking to the east, the morning of May 20th dawn with low dark rain clouds and obscured mountains and the streets were wet from the last night’s rain.

By 10 AM a hardy group of VAE “Wheel Nuts” had gathered for a short road tour to the Sander’s automobilia complex. A few drops of rain did materialize, but then, as by some miracle, the clouds parted, the sun began to shine and the temperatures rose.

At 1 PM with 33 members participating in the meeting and having brought fine examples of down home culinary products, the covered dish event went on and was again a total success. Even without any specific food designations, the delicacies were many and varied. When the dinner bell rang, there was great scurrying to the serving tables and everyone had their fill with some even returning for seconds. (And you know who you are.)

As President Andy Barnett had a previous engagement for the date of this meeting and could not attend, 1st. VP, Nancy Willet made her executive debut conducting the meeting (to the resounding sound of a ground swell of applause from the gather membership and their guests) in a first class fashion.

Member Gene Napoliello explained the events of the June 2nd meeting which will take place at the Sheraton and is part of the welcoming activities of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Founders Tour which is being held in Vermont this year.

The meeting adjourned about 3 PM, with the attendees leaving gastronomically full and satisfied after a great meal and another informative tour and Club meeting.

If you have never attended a VAE meeting, you are missing out on a truly great social and informative opportunity, so the next time you can, come on down and join the fun.

Lastly, but not least, a grateful thanks to the Sander clan for all their efforts on behalf of the
V. A. E.

British Car Week

British Car Week has become an annual tradition that occurs during the last full week of May. This celebrated week has been chosen as a commemoration for the wonderful British automobiles of the past, and their enthusiastic owners, who have so proudly kept them maintained for all to see and appreciate many years after their production.

This special week is intended for all British car owners to get their British cars out on the roads in their little corner of the world, and give them the exposure they so rightly deserve. While not only heightening the awareness of these charming vehicles for new enthusiasts, it will also help assure their preservation for many years to come for others to appreciate.

For 2005, this event will take place during the week of May 28th through June 5th. The nice thing about the timing is that it will coincide with the weekend of the VAE Shelburne show! Please tell your British car friends to get the LBC out on the road and come to the Shelburne Museum for the show. If you don’t have your Shelburne reservation, get it now. See the “Drive Your British Car Week” web site at for more information on other activities for the week.

Plattsburg Transportation Museum

Located on the former Plattsburgh Air Force base is the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum (CVTM). It is located in a building at 12 Museum Way on the base and it celebrated its first birthday in the Fall of 2004.

The concept for the museum grew out of the find of a Platsburgh-built Lozier Type 82 limousine. Dr. Anthony Vaccaro located the Lozier in Washington State and noted that there were not missing parts from the vehicle. He then transported it to Ontario Canada for total restoration. Three years later the Lozier was fully restored.

In 2000 the Museum was started by a group of history and auto enthusiasts. The original intent was to dedicate it to the Lozier Automobile, however the collection has diversified into many makes and forms of transportation including trains, airplanes (and a cockpit simulator) to other classic autos. Some of which are still being restored and prepared for display.

The Museum is a continuous work in progress and is housed in three of the Air Base’s buildings. The design of the facility is to make it a hands on show. There is a area dedicated to children which allows for child friendly activities.

As the museum is run mostly by volunteers, hours have been limited to weekends and by special appointment. Their web site can be found at: or telephone them at: 518-566-7575.

A British Car Tale

Reference to persons is purely coincidental. Edited and enhanced from Brit Car Week email

Once upon a time, there were three people very much alike. Harry, Jennifer and George. They lived in different parts of the State but shared a common link in that they liked to tinker with the car, spending time at home, have an occasional Bar-B-Q and channel surf the TV or the Web. But, they each knew that something was missing. They were all in the doldrums of life.

After a day’s work, they each drove home in their family type car and would think of what there would be to do when they got home. Each realized the options were somewhat limited, they thought. So, they would decide to have an early supper, take care of the kids, watch some TV and go to bed.

But this day, during this repetitive and rather boring routine, Harry spotted a slick little sports car heading toward him. As it drew nearer, Harry could see the driver was wearing not only a baseball cap turned backwards but also a massive smile on his face. Just about the same time, Jennifer saw a similar car. Neither had seen a car like that in years, actually Harry hadn’t seen one since his military days. “WOW”, they thought to themselves. “That guy looks like he is having the time of his life.” Harry waved as the little car passed and the car’s driver gave him a thumbs-up and a bigger smile. Jennifer did likewise. “Boy, I could sure have fun in a little car like that”, they thought.

Over the next week, both spotted the cars again, but this time they noticed many other little sports cars with women and men drivers. Their drivers looked just as happy as the original fellow they had seen. By now each was starting to get curious. The following week, as luck would have it, Harry spotted four cars at an outdoors restaurant and being a little curious, he decided to stop and talk to the owners. Jennifer saw a similar group the next day and experienced the same curiosity. They stopped in their individual towns and met the car’s drivers and their passengers. Harry and Jennifer wanted to know all kinds of things, like “where can you buy one, what the costs were, were parts available, how to find a good one” and so on.

They learned that there were several British specific car clubs and a club for all makes in the area. Both were invited to attend meetings where they spoke to club members and decided to join the club that was for all makes and two British specific make clubs, one local and the other an international club. They made new friends at the meetings, found books on the car hobby and learned more about British cars. The next project was to locate a car, which Harry found listed in a club newsletter and Jennifer found through one of the members. Harry became a proud “owner” (but, he looked at this as not an ownership but as a historical artifact’s caretaker) and serious participant, as did Jennifer.

Later they learned what got all those little British cars on the road the day they saw the first one. It was Drive Your British Car Week. So now there was no longer any doubt as to what they would find to do after a day’s work and on many weekends by themselves or with family.

Oh yes, George. Well George is still at home after returning from another humdrum day’s work, having had an early dinner he is sitting on the sofa watching TV and thinking about getting ready for bed. Be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends that the 9th annual Drive Your British Car Week is the week of May 22nd through May 30th, 2004.