Friday morning and our little group met at the WAWA in Stafford, VA to begin our 238 mile trek to Macungie, PA. We are going to be part of the 32nd Annual Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree. We left the WAWA at 4:30 in the morning….before the sun came up….in the dark! What are people doing that are driving around that early. Shouldn’t they be home in bed? We stopped in Springfield, VA and joined 4 other cars and continued north to PA. We stopped in Thurmont, MD for breakfast & fuel and picked up 2 more cars. Since no one had any vehicle problems we arrived in Macungie around 9:30 and the place looked filled up! We picked our way through the parked cars and people walking around till we got to the rear of the event where we found enough room for 9 cars to park together….it turned out to be a good place as the weekend unfolded. We set up and began to check out the event.
The location of the event is the Macungie Memorial Park and there are 42 acres of rolling grass fields which was needed for the 1,750 cars that were registered. The event is on grass and normally that would be a good thing but with all the foot traffic and vehicular traffic by Saturday afternoon the dusty dirt was floating everywhere. Some of the bathrooms were porta potties and some were permanent facilities….but they had an attendant that told you which one was empty (I guess that’s for the people that couldn’t tell if the green or red was showing by the handle!?). It was customary to “tip” the attendant after you were done? Although I never saw him do it, I was told he also kept the units clean…. There were many vendors from pin stripers to car builders. Many food vendors were there and the variety and quality of the food was great….PA always has good food. There was a live band playing all the time, many different bands but someone was playing all the time for the 3 days we attended! Women’s World and the craft section was very special too. Usually after the Princess goes to those places I get to have a showing of the treasures she has liberated from a vendor….and she tells me that the vendor clearly didn’t know the value of what they were selling….hmmm, yeah right! Usually I just nod and think….yard sale fodder or more stuff I’m going to sell on eBay this winter. But this time the Princess and Sally actually got some good stuff and they had a good time doing their touchy/feely/talkie thing in and around all the stuff for a few hours while they trolled for treasure. I’m so happy that we now have an antique, hand operated corn creamer! You can’t imagine how long I have been waiting to cream corn, I was actually waiting for a steam powered one but the antique implement will help improve my eye/hand coordination, what a deal! As more Ladies attend the events, the organizers would do well to cater to them more….some are driving their own cars too so “car” things, that they would be interested in, would be a good idea too! Are you listening organizers? Cha-ching?
The organizers had something going on all the time, if you got bored it was your fault, they kept you busy if you wanted to be….kinda like a cruise ship! There was a race car area that was cool and they lit up the big twice motored Chrysler rail while I was visiting that area….it was neat to hear the old motors run. They had games for kids and adults to keep you occupied as if trying to look at 1,700 cars wouldn’t keep you busy. Sunday they had a pro street cruise and burn out….that was special….can you imagine how quick a 66 year old, old guy can move when a crossed up, out of control Willys is coming at you with the motor screaming and tires smoking? I have video!
The cars….there was every kind of pre-1969 vehicle you could imagine….and some you could not imagine unless you were abducted by aliens or something. I guess it’s the long winters that generate the ideas for some of the vehicles. A couple of them were very….creative. Although there were many out of state cars most of them were native PA cars. Pennsylvania has a rich history of hot rodding and I think along with California and Ohio it has to be in the top 5 states of hot rodding activity. The venue is sprawling and I couldn’t cover everywhere so the pictures I took only represent a small selection of what was there. There were many more “custom” cars than I had seen anywhere in a long time….that type of car showcases the talent, skill and imagination of a builder better than traditional hot rods do and there was no shortage of customs at the show. Although I do like cars built after 1969, a limited year event does have a special feel….everything there has someone’s dream on display….not just something that was in a showroom the day before. And with the attendance they had, it proves they don’t have to bend to the “you have to invite everyone” syndrome to have a successful event. The spectators paid $5 a person to get in and the stream of people didn’t stop, even as we left for the day! Also as we left the town of Macungie each day the local people sat in chairs along the street to watch/hear us cruise out! That was cool! I think this is a must attend show at least once….maybe twice? Get your motel room early, they go pretty fast and the Starlight Diner has great food!
We left for home on Sunday about 11:30 and one of the cars had to stop for repairs once before we got to the halfway point near Gettysburg on Rt. 15 & Rt. 30. We ate lunch and filled up the hot rods and continued south….why does it always seem longer going home than going to an event? It seemed like I was in the RedRat for days till we got home, the steady drone of the big block at 2800 rpm can take a toll. Did I say that? We did get home finally but I don’t think I want to look at the cars for a few days. But by Wednesday I’ll start to get them ready for next weekend and the adventure continues….