November 2022

[1-Nov_22_MiniLinePlusMGA.jpg] Mini line plus an MGA at Gore Place.
Photo by Nels Anderson

British Cars Invade Gore Place
by David Schwartz

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 25 — Gore Place, the former corporate office of the Waltham Manufacturing Company, which built Metz automobiles, is the site of a classic car show organized by the Motorheads Car Club, in conjunction with the Waltham Museum and owners of Waltham-built vehicles.

I thought it would be fun to stage a mini-British Invasion at a show that is heavy on muscle cars and reached out to the organizers about reserving an area to park all the British cars together. Motorheads representatives were very receptive to the idea. They requested a car count the day before the show and asked us to stage at the Waltham BJ’s Wholesale Club so we could drive in as a group. I reserved a place on the main lawn, wanting to be in the middle of the action.

We didn’t have enough Minis for a full-scale British Invasion, so I reached out to other car clubs and friends to recruit additional British cars. Sixteen people responded, and several more were tentative. I requested 18 spots, figuring a few people would drop out at the last minute or have car trouble, and we would pick up a couple of extras. Parking spaces are sized for ’60s American land yachts, more than enough to squeeze in some extra LBCs.

Fall is my favorite season for attending classic car events. My wife Betty and I had a comfortable drive on back roads from Framingham to Waltham, and we didn’t need the heat or faux A/C (my dash-mounted fan).

Most participants were able to meet at the staging area by 8 a.m. We departed BJ’s at 8:10 for the short drive to Gore Place. Classic Minis led the parade so we could park together. A variety of other British car marques followed. At least four clubs were represented — NEMO, the Boston Area MG Club (BAMG), the Bay State MGA Club (BSMGAC), and the Austin-Healey Club of New England.

NEMO Minis in the parade included my 1968 Morris Mini Traveller, Bob Brownell’s 1963 Austin Mini 850, Iain and Nuala Barker’s 1967 Morris Mini Cooper S, Shahin Kia’s 1966 Austin Cooper S, and Adam Blake’s 1967 Austin Mk1 Cooper S. It was great to see the Kia car in person.

November 2022

[2-Nov_22_MultiMarqueCarLine.jpg] The multi-marque British line included a Land Rover. Note the lion perched on the roof.
Photo by Nels Anderson

The BAMG cars featured a variety of British marques. Gary Hampton drove his 1960 Triumph TR3A and Nels Anderson his 1963 Land Rover Station Wagon, complete with safari accoutrements. (The large stuffed lion on the roof is always a hit, especially when it roars via remote control!) Gerry Lodge drove his 1972 MGB, and Robert Fish brought a 1968 MGB.

BSMGAC members Dana and Kathy Booth drove their “Nasty Boy” 1955 Austin-Healey BN1. The car was tastefully upgraded with a Mustang V8 engine and 5-speed manual transmission. It looks like a stock Healey until you peek under the bonnet.

Dana wore an aviator cap and goggles as protection from the morning chill. The car was a milestone birthday present from Kathy. Betty and Kathy Booth bonded over their common interest in musical theater and costumes. (It was a nice diversion from all the car talk.)

An unexpected attendee was Don Blais in his 1959 MGA roadster. The car is white with a red interior, and is so nice we let him park with the Minis.

David Mailly met us at the staging area in a really sharp 1958 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite. David heard about the show from Dana Booth.

Dile Holton brought his 1972 Triumph TR6, and Tim and Sharon Russell arrived in a 1976 TR6. They are friends of other attendees.

We knew Ed Alderman planned to join the group at the show with his 1970 Morris Minor Traveller. Although we reserved space, we did need to ask a classic Saab 900 to move over to make room for the Morris.

Wendy Birchmire planned to meet us at the staging area in her 1993 Mini Mayfair. Unfortunately the car broke down after a short distance and had to be towed home. Wendy opted for a “do-over” and drove her 1973 Union Jack Mini 1000. “Jack” made it to the show but suffered a brake failure en route. Wendy described the pedal going to the floor, and how she downshifted and drove very slowly. Jack’s master cylinder was empty. Iain Barker diagnosed a leak in one of the rubber brake lines. He topped off the master from the large bottle of brake fluid he carries.

November 2022

[3-Nov_22_Nasty_Boy.jpg] The Booths’ ‘Nasty Boy’ Healey.
Photo by David Schwartz

Our official group had 16 cars, but BAMG membership director Gerry Lodge directed traffic and recruited a Jaguar E-type and modern XK to park at the end of the line next to the Morris Minor. So, we had 18 cars in the British Invasion line, plus another Jaguar a few cars down. An MG Midget and Austin-Healey BJ8 were elsewhere on the field.

Gary Hampton and I have a running joke about the prevalence of Hawaiian shirts at car shows. We both own Woodie Wagon Hawaiian shirts and decided to wear them to the show. I found my shirt in the Owls Head Transportation Museum gift shop. Betty said she would not be seen in public with me if I bought the shirt. She left me no choice.

There were far too many interesting cars and trucks to cover them all in this article. Personal favorites included the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office 1954 Ford F250 Paddy Wagon accompanied by two special officers. Kids had a good time climbing into the back.

There was a replica of the Ghostbusters movie car, a Cadillac ambulance complete with roof top accessories. A black early ’50s chopped Mercury had beautiful yellow and orange flames on the hood and doors. Ironically, there was a period child’s car seat mounted on the back seat. A 1939 Ford Pickup hot rod had little ground clearance, a huge V8 engine and a number of humorous details.

The show also featured plenty of original cars, including a nicely restored 1962 Volvo 544, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado convertible with loads of chrome and moderate-sized tail fins, and a fully-optioned 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. That was the first year for the front-wheel-drive Toronado, and the lack of the transmission tunnel allowed for loads of leg room.

November 2022

[4-Nov_22_DavidAndGary.jpg] David (left) and BAMG member Gary Hampton model the latest in Woodie Wagon-themed Hawaiian shirts.
Photo by Betty Lehrman

A Ford Model A club parked together in the shade on the upper lawn.

Four Metz automobiles built between 1911 and 1915 were showcased in front of the Gore mansion. They were joined by a restored 1901 Orient, which was also built in Waltham. The Orient used a single-cylinder 4.5hp French-built Aster engine, which was water-cooled. It had a top speed of 23mph and was a true horseless carriage. I love seeing Brass Era cars at a muscle car show!

The awards ceremony was delayed and many cars departed before the announcements were made. The plan was to notify the winners ahead of time, but this didn’t happen. Bob Brownell’s Mini 850 won a trophy, but he left before the awards ceremony, so they gave it to the next in line.

Our British cars were well received by other car owners and the general public. The British car owners I spoke with had a good time and agreed we should do it again next year.

I am happy to report that Jack and Wendy made it home safely with the brakes intact.

November 2022

NEMO Holiday Party Dec. 3!
by Faith Lamprey


The NEMO Holiday Party will be held at Black Dog Bar & Grille in Putnam, Conn., on Saturday, December 3rd, at 12 noon.

For you folks with a GPS, the address is 146 Park Rd., Putnam, CT 06260. Their phone is (860) 928-0501, their website https://www.blackdogbarandgrille.com.

Take Exit 45 (Kennedy Drive) off I-395. Kennedy Drive becomes Park Road. Black Dog is about a mile from the exit. This restaurant was formerly called J. D. Coopers and we have gone there a number of times for our Holiday Party in past years.

We need a head count, so RSVP by e-mailing me at faithlamprey@gmail.com or calling (401) 766-6519. Leave a message if necessary. Let me know how many are attending (and ages of any kids). As of now, we will be ordering off the menu, but may look at buffet options if sufficient numbers will be attending.

To the delight of many, we will be holding a Yankee Swap, so plan to bring a wrapped gift (try to keep the cost below $25). A Yankee Swap means that someone else may “take” your gift when it is their turn to pick. (Warn your kids so they don’t get upset if this happens!) And please, no more than one gift per person.

Our Holiday Party is one of our more popular events every year and this central location in Connecticut is convenient for the majority of our members. Hope to see you there!

As COVID is still with us, we ask that for the protection of all who attend (especially us older folks) that you be vaccinated and boosted.



October 2022

[1-Oct_22_Windup.jpg] Paul Galipeau added a touch of whimsy with his ‘wind-up’ Mini and roof-mounted Radio Flyer go-kart wagon.
Photo by Wendy Birchmire

Look at All those Minis!
by Wendy Birchmire

STOWE, Vt. — Mini was one of the three featured marques at the 2022 British Invasion in Stowe, along with Triumph and Lotus — though I didn’t expect to see 25 Minis across four classes plus one in the Concours d’Elegance! They were joined by about 550 other cars registered in 67 classes.

Out of respect for Queen Elizabeth, who passed away on the eve of this year’s British Invasion, the event did not feature a Queen impersonator. Michelle Dickson, who has played that role at Stowe for many years, instead conducted the Ladies’ Hat Competition as herself.

There were four cars in Class #12, Mini Saloons 1959-1969 eight cars in Class #13, Mini Saloons 1970-2000 five cars in Class #14, Mini Variants 1959-2000 (including Estates, Vans, Mokes, Pickups and Cabrios, plus the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet) and eight cars in Class #15, MINIs 2001-present.

I was pleased to see Adam Blake’s Austin Cooper S in the Concours d’Elegance.

I brought “Jack,” my Union Jack Mini “show car” to the Invasion twice before, so this year I decided to bring “May,” my “daily driver.” May is a Japanese domestic-market 1993 Mini Mayfair, and I trailered her to Stowe. There were so many unusual cars in Class #13 that I did not expect May to be competitive — even though it was the only Mini with an automatic transmission and air conditioning! I was shocked, but pleased, that my car took home 2nd place.

October 2022

[3-Oct_22_Lennon_Tribute.jpg] Not a Mini or MINI but certainly worth a mention was Ernie Boch’s John Lennon tribute Rolls-Royce, on display apart from the show.
Photo by Wendy Birchmire

One of the more unusual cars on the field was a Rolls-Royce tribute to John Lennon, supplied by Ernie Boch. The car sides, roof, and bumpers were yellow, with flower decorations on the sides and stylized flames. You never know what will show up.

The 1st-place car in Class #13 was a 1978 Austin Mini 1000 owned by Paul Galipeau from Magog, Canada. It was wonderful that the pandemic was at a level where Canadians could cross the border and attend this year’s show. Paul’s car was painted yellow, red and blue, had a giant wind-up key attached to the bonnet, and a hot-rod Radio Flyer wagon on the roof. Iain Barker identified it as a Canadian-specification Mini based on the high-mounted front bumpers and pyramid reflectors on the wheel arches. Paul placed a small child in the Radio Flyer wagon so the parents could take a picture.

The Class #12 winner was a 1967 Cooper S owned by Michael Lamire. Michael’s car was red with a black and white checkerboard roof and Minilite wheels.

Once again, the Class #14 winner was David Icaza’s 1969 Austin Mini Countryman. Green with wood trim, it still sports its iconic surfboard on the roof rack. Dave, how many years in a row has your car won?

October 2022

[2-Oct_22_Hats.jpg] Elina and Filippa Blake shared the award for ‘Queen in Training’ in the Ladies Hat Competition.
Photo by Adam Blake

The Class #15 1st-place car was a 2015 MINI Cooper S Convertible owned by Cheryl and Tom Patty. The car sported a British flag decorations on the bonnet, side view mirrors and seats. Other cars in the class included an electric 2023 MINI Cooper that gets 120 miles per charge and a 2005 MINI Cooper S owned by long-time NEMO members Paul and Judy Nevin.

The Concours Touring Class was won by Adam’s 1967 Austin Cooper S. This was Adam’s first year attending the British Invasion. He made it a family affair and was accompanied by his wife Annica and their three children, Filippa, Elina, and Magnus. They opted for the full British Invasion experience, with a six-hour drive on back roads, including food and gas stops. Annica followed the Mini in a chase car, and one child rode in the Mini each way.

The girls won the “Queen in Training” award in the Hat Competition. Magnus really deserved an award for his very British costume as well. The kids had a great time and Adam’s Mini performed flawlessly!



September 2022

[2-Sept_22_Lunch_Charles_Nancy.jpg] Our hosts once again were Nancy and Charles Gould.
Photo by Dmitry Bykhovsky

25th Microcar & Minicar Classic
by David Schwartz

SUDBURY, Mass., July 15-17 — After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the Goulds’ 25th Annual Microcar & Minicar Classic took place at their new home in Sudbury. Charles sent out a “Save the Date” feeler at the end of June, and by July 2nd decided the event was a go. They had two weeks’ notice and lots of help from family and friends to pull it off.

Their new house is in the woods at the end of a cul-de-sac with plenty of parking along the road and in the large driveway. Discounted lodging was available for out-of-town guests at the nearby Fairfield Inn. The original plan was to limit attendance, and there were about 60 people at any given time with some turnover each day. The event format was a slight variation on the time-tested formula due to the Goulds’ move from Newton to Sudbury.

I arrived at about 6:45 p.m. for the Friday evening reception and pulled in at the bottom of the driveway near Wendy Birchmire’s 1993 Mini Mayfair. Wendy’s car had overheated and volunteer mechanic extraordinaire Jon Chomitz was already on the job. Wendy made it home safely in the Mayfair and wisely decided to drive her air-conditioned MINI on the Saturday tour.

The reception happy hour provided an opportunity to reunite with old friends and make new ones. There was a good selection of wines, microbrews, soda and water. Nancy, Charles, Tiana, Monique and Jonathan were wonderful hosts. The event flyer said cheese and hors d’oeuvres would be served, but there was actually a catered dinner buffet.

Saturday morning began with pastries, bagels and coffee at Chez Gould. The weekend weather forecast called for temperatures in the 90s. Extreme heat is brutal for old cars and their (old) drivers on the round-trip drive to Mount Wachusett. I clip an oscillating fan on the dash rail of my 1968 Mini Traveller that helps circulate the air. Linda Abrams opted for A/C and drove a first-generation MINI Cooper on the tour instead of her Citroen 2CV. A couple from N.Y. attending for the first time also drove a MINI.

For classics, we had my Mini, plus the Goulds’ Mini and Mini Moke, making a Mini/MINI total of six cars. Three other British cars participated in the tour: a Daimler SP250, an Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite and an early 1960s Hillman Minx convertible.

William Ellis mapped out a new driving route that first sent us east on twisty back roads through Sudbury, Wayland, and Lincoln before looping west to Hudson Road and our traditional regrouping stop at the Lake Boone Convenience Store in Hudson. This gave the cars and people a chance to cool down, and time to adjust the clutch in the Goulds’ Isetta.

We continued following the new driving directions to a group photo-op at a scenic overlook in Harvard, Mass. Three cars got “lost,” or got ahead of the main group and missed out on the photo. Then it was on to the lunch stop at Barber’s Crossing in Sterling.

September 2022

[1-Sept_22_Barbers_Lunch_Stop.jpg] A familiar stop for a break during Saturday’s drive — Barber’s Crossing for lunch.
Photo by David Schwartz

There were several false starts after lunch due to the Fiat Jardiniere’s “failure to proceed.” The mechanics eventually resolved the problem and the group followed a new route to the Wachusett Mountain auto road. Most cars made it to the summit, though Charles, who was driving the Jardiniere, and a guest who was driving the Isetta decided not to chance it. This was the first time in years my Mini didn’t relieve itself of coolant upon my switching off the engine in the summit parking lot. I attribute this to not following a slow car and dropping below second gear. All the cars made it to the top without overheating, though some were air cooled so who would know?

After leaving the mountain, the final regrouping stop was at the Sterling Ice Cream Bar for some well-deserved cold treats. At this point we were running a tad late and headed directly to the Goulds’ for an excellent catered dinner. This was followed by Charles’ famous frozen margaritas. Faith Lamprey joined us for dinner, despite a looming British Marque press deadline.

Sunday there were more pastries, coffee and bagels at the Goulds’ house, followed by a relatively short drive to Alpha Cars in Boxborough. Dmitry Bykhovsky and his crew at Alpha Cars have been bringing interesting Russian (and Ukrainian) cars to the Microcar event for several years. Dmitry invited us to tour their restoration shop and showrooms, which thankfully were air conditioned. Alpha Cars deals in low-mileage luxury and sports cars as well as motorcycles. Their facility and vehicles were very impressive.

After the Alpha Cars tour, I headed home to pick up Betty and spent the afternoon avoiding the heat at Lake Cochituate. Many other attendees participated in another drive in the country, a lunch stop, and a tour of the American Heritage Museum in Hudson.

The weekend was certainly jam-packed, and the Goulds pulled it off with only two weeks of planning! The tours and activities are great, but my favorite part of the weekend was catching up with people I hadn’t seen in three years.

September 2022

[3-Sept_22_Paddy.jpg] Paddy sitting in Barbara Newman’s Mini after signing the dashboard, Watkins Glen Mini Festival, September 2018.
Photo by Barbara Newman

Remembering Paddy Hopkirk
by Dave Newman


Famous Mini rally driver Paddy Hopkirk, MBE, passed away on July 21, 2022, at the age of 89 due to cancer.

Paddy first became famous in Mini circles, and is best remembered for his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally win driving the BMC factory entry Mini, car #37, registration #33EJB, with co-driver Henry Liddon. If you see old and new Minis sporting a white square on the door with 37 on it, that is the reason why.

The Internet and many books about Paddy Hopkirk go into great detail about his many other races, rallies and even the Le Mans 24-hour races, along with his Life Membership in the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), and his various businesses, which carry on after his passing. Read them and be amazed at what a life he had.

I had the good fortune to interview Paddy for the Marque in 1999 at the “Mini in the Park” show in the U.K. Always a low-key guy, he gave me an hour of his busy time in the Press Tent. And during the interview, a face appeared through the flap door to the tent, and Paddy jumped up and said, “Hrach! Come in, my friend!”

Hrach came in and Paddy asked if I knew Hrach. I replied, “Yes! Hrach is our Club President!”

After the interview, I saw Paddy once again, as he was parked in the Press Area. He met my wife Barbara and daughter Christa. They had a great conversation, with Barbara talking about her love for the Mini, and both she and Christa got a hug from Paddy. Then he was off to be interviewed on the outdoor stage by the show announcer.

We saw Paddy again in 2018, at the Watkins Glen Mini Festival. This was an event that Barbara and I could not miss! Paddy was the Guest of Honor, and spent many hours each day doing interviews, talking with Mini owners, posing for hundreds of pictures, signing the dashboards and bonnets of dozens of Minis, and walking around the paddock and pits for the classic Mini races. Never rushed, he took the time to speak to anyone who wished to talk, and told us about his past races and his involvement with the BRDC, two years as President.

Paddy was charming and entertaining, giving his honest but reserved opinions on things. He attended many events around the world and I am sure anyone who met him thought him a genuine gentleman. Never one to “toot his own horn,” he nevertheless was the legend of Mini fame all over the world. Both Barbara and I will miss him dearly, as will millions of others.



 

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