The Tuesday morning driver's meeting was exciting as we were joined by five very official and very serious Secret Service agents at the hotel where the Road Tourians were staying. They were the advance team for President Obama's visit to the local General Motors plant that afternoon. They seemed to notice our cars but definitely not a lot of chit-chat from them.
Our first stop on Tuesday was Rocky Hinge in Girard, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown. Rocky Chamblin and his son Brad greeted us and we took a tour of their facility. Besides the hidden hinges they are famous for, they also produce some trick items such as bear claw assemblies, billet cowl door lift and a very cool electric '55 Chevy taillight/gas door opener to name a few. Rocky Hinges is yet another example of American craftsmen manufacturing quality products right here in the USA.
It was a two hour drive east across I-80 to the Pennsylvania town of DuBois. We had an invitation to see the amazing muscle car collection of Don Frezell. Housed in two adjoining buildings Don's collection includes a cross section of some of the most rare and desirable of the high performance vehicles of the last 50 years. Included are two early 60's Z-11 Chevys, one of which is the famous Old Reliable IV which was built by Grumpy Jenkins and driven buy Dave Strickler. Mixed in the collection are rare factory MoPar race cars and some Mustangs and Fords to keep things even. Don prided some great sandwiches for the group and it was another fantastic AMSOIL/Street Rodder Tour stop.
Our afternoon drive was long as we traveled four hours to the town of Port Jervis, New York where we were going to be guests of honor at a special monthly cruise being held in our honor. What we found when we arrived in Port Jervis was really amazing. The main drag in the town had been blocked of for cruising and the streets were line with cars, trucks, and motorcycles of all different styles. The cruising went on from 6PM until about 8:30 when awards were given out to winners of different classes. Many thanks to Harold Butler who helped to coordinate our visit to Port Jervis. It was a fun evening.
Wednesday was a day I had been looking forward to all summer. We visited the Woodstock Festival site and the new and very beautiful Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Forty years ago at the tender young age of eighteen I made the trip to the hillside in upstate New York and became part of what was the defining moment of the 1960's. I have made one return trip to the site in 1996 with the original Road Tour coupe but it has really changed since then.
After a beautiful 45 minute drive from Port Jervis were met at the Bethel Woods by Jodi Kane who is in charge of group visits. Jodi did a fantastic job of showing us the grounds and the incredible facility that has been built at the original site. There are summer concerts each year at Bethel Woods but for me the crown jewel was the museum. It is an amazing collection of artifacts and items that tell the story of not only the concert itself but what events in our nations history lead up to that moment in August of 1969. It really tells the story of the 1960's. Our stop at Bethel Woods was a high point in our Classic Automobilia Road Tour week.
From Bethel we headed on to Sturbridge, Mass. Were we visited the home and shop my good friends Sue and Dennis O'Brien of O'Brien Truckers fame. O'Brien Truckers is famous for their cast aluminum car club plaques, license plate toppers and vintage cast aluminum accessories for hot rods. Their home and facility are beautiful and we had a wonderful evening with many local rodders showing up to enjoy some pizza and beverages. We were also joined by automotive journalist Steve Magnante. Many of you may know Steve from his in depth work on the Speed Channel's coverage of the Barrett Jackson Auctions. It was yet another great evening on the Classic Automobilia Road Tour.
We are almost at our destination of the NSRA Northeast Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. We will make a stop Thursday morning in Brookfield, Mass at the facilities of Intercity Lines, the official car transporter of the Road Tour series. From there it is on to Burlington . Check back and see the rest of our travels on the Classic Automobilia Road Tour.