I’ve been thinking about my early memories of the VAE. Gael and I weren’t married — just dating — when on occasion we would go to the VAE meetings at the Lincoln Inn in Essex Junction. I remember Pev Peake being there, because by then he was a good friend of Gael’s. Probably most of the others are gone now with the exception of Lloyd Davis. There was always a collection of old cars in the car park, a number of them being someone’s daily transportation.
Fast forward a few years to the summer of 1960. We hadn’t been married but a few weeks and living in St. Albans when a good friend, Mahlon Teachout, stopped by. The next thing I know, Gael and Mahlon had left to look at a fire truck in St. Albans somewhere. Little did I know then that that would be happening with regularity in the coming years. I guess I could have called myself an old car widow. Well, the two of them bought this fire truck, an American LaFrance fire truck, and proceeded to take it to Mahlon’s father’s shop in Colchester. They spent many hours there doing something or other, but within a matter of weeks, the fire truck became a speedster with just a seat, gas tank, and right-hand drive steering wheel, four wheels, etc.
It eventually came back to St. Albans, and we had a great time driving it around. Was it registered? Probably not, but I don’t remember. That was so many years ago when license plates got moved from one vehicle to another. I’m sitting here looking at a picture of it. Quite a thing. We took it to the Stowe Show in 1960 and that was my first memory of the Stowe Show. No trailering this beast. We drove it. What fun! Then, at one car meet at the fairgrounds in Essex that the VAE held there for a while, the track was open to folks to try out their old cars. Gael and Mahlon did just that and ended up tearing the track up, so they were asked to leave.
The next year we moved to Underhill, along with a 1934 Chevrolet Sedan (Edward), Gael’s Willys Knight, a 1927 Federal Truck, and the speedster. Eventually the speedster ended up in Barre, and then I don’t know what happened to it, but I have photos of it along with the registered number plaque and some great memories — memo- ries of the speedster and the early days of the VAE.