Horseless Carriages

We biked over to Forest Park to see the Easter car show. We pretty much just went straight there and back, so we only got 11 miles. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day, perfect weather for photographing shiny chrome and brilliant paint jobs. For those not familiar with this Saint Louis tradition, there are actually two car shows, one for each of the two Muny parking lots. The upper Muny lot hosts the classic cars, while the lower lot has the custom hot-rods.

We started on the upper lot. The owners mostly sit by their car all show long. They are there to answer questions, talk to other enthusiasts and bask in the reflective glow of their automobile. One story that I heard involves the Dodge Brothers logo. If you look closely at the radiator cap the logo includes a Jewish six-pointed star. The founders of what became part of Chrysler were not Jewish, far from it. Their original logo was the intertwined D and B. They used this logo when they started as a parts supplier to Henry Ford. They would supply car parts and Ford would pay them in Ford stock. The day came when the Dodge brothers wanted to set off on their own and build their own cars. They went to Henry Ford and asked him to cash out their stock, but he refused. They had to take him to court to finally get their money. When they setup their shop they enhanced their intertwined D and B logo, to include the Jewish star. They did this purely to thumb their noses at Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite.

You can always tell a Buick, because it has either three or four holes on the front fenders. These VentiPorts were introduced in 1949 on a concept car. It had a flashing light within each hole each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane. The lights never made it into production, but the holes were on every Buick ever after.

A friend from work, Glen was there showing off his Pantera. The Pantera is an Italian sports car, built-in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The word “Pantera” is Italian for “Panther”. The Chrysler Turbine car was there and it was doing better than last year. Last year it stalled rolling off its trailer. It was running fine today. A couple of guys had bicycles that they had attached motors to. In China, this is done all of the time. I got trapped in a conversation with one of them. He was so enthusiastic that he just wouldn’t let the conversation or me go. After that it was time to head home. There will be many more pictures to show and stories to tell from this day. OBTW, Sunday was a non-driving day. 😆

Sunrise Services

Easter morning, I got up early, and attended sunrise services at the church of the spoken wheel. I biked in the Park. The chance of rain on Sunday was 100%, but in the morning the rain held off and there were even fleeting glimpses of sunshine through the clouds. Touring the Park, I got 16 miles.

It being Easter Sunday, the Saint Louis chapter of the horseless carriage society was holding their annual car show in the Park. This year was the 50th anniversary of this show. In truth it is two shows in one. On the upper Muny lot, the classic cars convene, while on the lower Muny lot, the modified cars, the so-called hot rods, can be found. The picture with this post is of one of these lower lot hot rods. On this gray day, even its orange paint job looks muted.

Since I had biked to the Park, I had a bicycle, which caused some of the car owners no end of concern. I was cautioned to be careful several times. So, I took to locking up this unruly beast and touring the car show on foot. This seemed to make the car owners happier, but also increased my geek factor.

On my way out, I encountered a couple backing out a 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car. The man was backing it out of a covered car carrier. It made the distinctive whine of a jet engine. He backed it up about 100’, but when he went to put it into drive, the engine died, again with the distinctive fading whine of a jet engine shutting down. The couple pushed it back towards the trailer, eschewing my offer of help. They pushed it close enough and then the man busied himself with the trailer’s winch. They planned to display it where it sat and then winch it to safety, when the rain came. I noticed that the truck hauling the trailer was a county parks and recreation vehicle, but that didn’t mean anything to me until later. I Googled the car and discovered that the Saint Louis Museum of Transportation owns one of the few remaining examples of this car, Chrysler owns the rest. Here is the Wiki page on this car, interesting reading.

On Saturday night, Chris and Sandi organized a dinner party at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. There were about twenty-five of us in attendance, mostly Team Kaldi’s members. Sandi and Chris were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary and Chris was also celebrating his 50th birthday. The party was organized as a “beer dinner”. Not too surprising, since the Bottleworks is a brewery.  The dinner offered a tasting menu, with six or more courses. The items offered were ones not usually found on the Bottleworks’ menu and each course was paired with a different beer. The food was good, the company was great and the beer wasn’t too bad either. 😆 Anne and I both had a good time and enjoyed celebrating Chris and Sandi’s milestones.