The 97’s Picnic
Newport, RI
July 10, 2004
Pics by A.B. Shuman
 

Hi All
   The 97’s Picnic, Newport, Rhode Island, scenic and exclusive, famous for huge summer mansions their wealthy owners once called ‘cottages’, is the home of American yacht racing.  But, on July 10, local sailing folk accustomed to the sounds of wind whistling past mast cables, the rush of foam-flecked blue water past a well-turned gunwhale and the snap of blindingly white sails, tried to fathom the hissing of multiple carburetors, whining superchargers and the light-stealing qualities of bare primer, coupled with more than a whiff of raw gas, when cars of “The 97’s” snorted, popped, and rumbled into town.
   The 97’s - named for the Stromberg carburetors that populated the tops of most early hot rod mills -- is a loose affiliation of young and old codgers from the Northeast dedicated to traditional-style hot rods. There are no meetings, no dues, no rules, but they gather once each summer, usually in Massachusetts, to exercise their iron, bench race, and check on what changes they’ve made to their cars.
   This was their second trip to Newport (following a decent interval of 5 years), and a good 25 cars showed, most of them fenderless roadsters, most flathead-powered and absolutely none carrying anything billet or tweed. The locale was Ft. Adams State Park and the capper was a visit to Russ Daly’s fabrication shop, after a breezy run past the million-dollar homes and manicured lawns on Ocean Drive on the edge of Narragansett Bay, a condensed version of Monterey, California’s famed 17-Mile Drive.  So now, it’s on with the show!!! Enjoy..... AB!!!

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Since it was a gathering of The 97's, Paul Aldrich brought along 12, 6 on the torque-laden nailhead Buick in his '40 Tudor, & 6 on a homemade manifold wrought by the New England drag-racing pioneers, Fran & Ralph Bannister in the early '50's.  Aldrich is

 

 

 

Since it was a gathering of The 97's, Paul Aldrich brought
along 12, 6 on the torque-laden nailhead Buick in his
'40 Tudor, & 6 on a homemade manifold wrought by the
New England drag-racing pioneers, Fran & Ralph Bannister
in the early '50's.  Aldrich is also restoring the Bannister
Bros.' famous flathead dragster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chopped in '34 Coupe, in a lighter shade of pale primer.

 

Chopped in '34 Coupe, in a lighter shade of pale primer.

 

 

 

 

Model A, late flatmotor & 6-71 blower.

 

 

 

Model A, late flatmotor & 6-71 blower.

Ok, that is a 650-cfm 4-bbl carb & a too late scoop, but it's a

 

Ed Bergquist's flawless 100% real '32 5-Win with SCOT-blown late flathead.

Ok, that is a 650-cfm 4-bbl carb & a too late scoop, but
it's a ‘gennie’ generator.

 

Ed Bergquist's flawless 100% real '32 5-Win with
SCOT-blown late flathead.

Note: front palte:  TIN 2, shorthand for steel deuce.

 

Ed's cousin, Roger, feeling sheepish about leaving his early '50's chopped & channeled '32 Roadster home.

Note: front plate: TIN 2, shorthand for steel deuce.

 

Ed's cousin, Roger, feeling sheepish about leaving his
early '50's chopped & channeled '32 Roadster at home.

Tried to slip in with his deucified GMC monster pickup.

 

Strange, but true:  Old Shawmut Motors roadster, boased on a beheaded '31 Model A coupe on a '40 Ford frame, from the early '50's.

Tried to slip in with his deucified GMC monster pickup.

 

Strange, but true: Old Shawmut Motors roadster, based
on a beheaded '31 Model A coupe on a '40 Ford frame,
from the early '50's.

Strange peacock paint & 265-inch Chevy were added later.

 

Bird will stay, but a flathead will replace the SBC.

Strange peacock paint & 265-inch Chevy were added later.

 

Bird will stay, but a flathead will replace the SBC.

Howard Hasting's wonderful '29 Lowboy a top Deuce rails.

 

Howard Hasting's wonderful '29 Lowboy atop Deuce rails. 

 

 

 

A pattern-maker, Howard created the unique bronze windshield frame & whittled the bird's-eye Maple garnish over the dash.

 

A pattern-maker, Howard created the unique bronze
windshield frame & whittled the bird's-eye Maple
garnish over the dash.

 

 

 

Real hot rods have flat batteries.

 

Real hot rods have flat batteries.

 

 

 

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