Author Topic: Vintage car show  (Read 4768 times)

Stephen Piwowarski

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Vintage car show
« on: December 31, 2014, 10:38:06 PM »
As Stewart said, the Ford people seem very well organized. There is a Pine Tree State Model A club and a Down East Chapter of the Model T Association. Not looking to exclude other classic vehicles, what other clubs and associations are out there that would be worth getting in touch with should this event come to pass? It should probably be during a month with a likely chance of good weather and perhaps have a rain date as well. If we could partner with another organization might be willing to handle the responsibility of getting the world out to car owners while we could focus on the logistics and getting people to the event.

Steve

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 01:02:44 AM »
Just a half-witted opinion here but..  "Come see the contraption that killed the original railroad!"  I wonder if we should be showcasing how the railroad improved society with its technology, rather than showing the technology which improved upon (and ultimately made obsolete) the railroad.

Though I suppose there's another event.

I'm not wholeheartedly against it- just not much of a car fan I guess.  Food for thought...

See ya
Jason

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 01:09:08 AM »
Ok, that was a little harsh, I'm sorry.  A vintage car show as an event would be a good way to show the railroads interaction with modern society, and we show the railroads entire history.

It is a neat idea.

We always planned on a 1910 day.  Maybe we do a 1931 day and an 1897 day as well.

See ya
Jason

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 01:50:26 AM »
Jason,

No apology necessary. You bring up a good point. In a sense I agree with what you've said and in a sense I don't. While I do believe that cars did indeed kill the original railway, I think there is a greater  purpose that the railways served, and one that is still very much relevant today. Simply put, if a large group of people want to see cars in several places, the most efficient way to move those people is via the railway. While not ignoring or denying the existence of cars, we are focusing on what the railway does best: moving large groups of people to designated places.

The slightly less simply put response: In their heyday railroads met our transportation needs while cars meet our transportation wants. The interstate highway system was just "gilding the lilly" making even long distance travel convenient by automobile. Railroads struggled to keep up by improving service, offering additional amenities, and luxuries. But as I learned in church and school as a boy, always getting what we want instead of what we need spoils us and makes a greedy. People love the personal freedom of the automobile, and perhaps that has to stop, or reach its logical conclusion.

I don't think there will ever be another mode of public transportation that comes close to railroads efficiency and sustainability. In that sense automobiles have yet to come close. Also, the railroad achieves another thing the car fails to- down to its core railways are a community affair while the automobile is a personal, individual one. So when we lost the small railways, we lost our small communities too.

There are so many things the railway did which have yet to be improved on by other forms of transportation technology, why not focus on those? I like the idea of those different era days by the way.
Steve
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 02:23:04 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2015, 01:40:33 PM »
In our evolving thinking about special events, let us not lose sight of the fact that such events are proven to bring in more visitors than just our usual train ride. While some might feel that such events mean more work, the additional income derived allows us to do more to restore and rebuild the WW&F. Even if an event has only a tenuous connection to our mission statement, if in the end it propels us forward toward our goal, let's not discount it.

Antique car, truck and farm machinery shows, music events, ice cream socials, etc. are merely the modern-day equivalent of the old-time picnics and festivals held during the heyday of the WW&F. Even the Easter egg hunt and pumpkin patch fulfill that role.

Bill Sample

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2015, 03:22:53 PM »
About 10 years ago I visited the Severn Valley Railway in England during one of their Autumn Gala weekends.  The SVR built an authentic  "Kidderminster Town" station with a cobblestone access road at the south end of their line.  During this weekend a horse-drawn omnibus was brought in and offered rides in the station area - I took a ride to see what it would have been like to have to travel on an omnibus over cobblestones and it certainly was a rough ride. I could see how the horse or mule drawn streetcars over iron rails would have been quite an improvement.
Jason gave me an idea in his first comment above about showing how railroads improved travel. It brought to mind my SVR experience.  I wonder if we could get a "real" wagon or coach - steel-rimmed wooden wheels only, no modern rubber tires - to offer some "bounce and jounce" rides from Alna Center on the authentic Averill Road. A short talk by the conductor on the return trip could mention something like "Those of you who just took the wagon ride now know firsthand how the railway improved transportation experiences compared with the road travel then available." Maybe a freight wagon could be standing by to illustrate mow many wagon loads it would take to fill a freight car.   
I also enjoy old cars enjoy attending joint vintage vehicle/rail events and am not surprised with the interest in the Model T railcar.  The vintage vehicle people know a treasure when they see it (thanks again, Leon and "Start" and the others that care for it!).   

Philip Marshall

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2015, 05:26:06 PM »
I understand the Talyllyn Railway in Wales hosts vintage car shows and has found them very successful in terms of bringing in visitors, so if it works for the Welsh Two-Footers then why not in Maine?

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 12:20:04 PM »
All the ideas discussed so far in this thread are great, showing lots of imagination. But -- if we're going to do something like this, let's start small and grow into it as we gain some experience. It takes a couple or three years to gain momentum and reputation so that folks will turn out. If turnout for the first event is disappointing, some folks will be discouraged and suggest that we forget it and try something else.

Mike Fox

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 08:57:49 PM »
I agree with Wayne. One location for the display of the vehicles. And if some want to participate in a photo shoot, then perhaps that can be worked in.
Mike
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Jeff Schumaker

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 09:09:27 PM »
All the ideas discussed so far in this thread are great, showing lots of imagination. But -- if we're going to do something like this, let's start small and grow into it as we gain some experience. It takes a couple or three years to gain momentum and reputation so that folks will turn out. If turnout for the first event is disappointing, some folks will be discouraged and suggest that we forget it and try something else.

I agree with Wayne. I think a vintage car show might be the way to start, as opposed to basing a show around a particular year. You have the area Model T and Model A clubs as a base to work from, plus the AA group on Facebook.

When I read Jason's comment,  "Come see the contraption that killed the original railroad!", it gave me a good chuckle. But, the more I thought about it, it would be a catchy slogan to put on posters advertising the event. Maybe soften it a bit by saying,  "Come see the contraption that competed with the original railroad!"

Just my two cents.

Jeff S.
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 09:49:02 PM »
Don't get me wrong, folks, I like the idea of having the vehicles on display at Alna Center, so that visitors have to ride the train to see them. The way I envision it, if the old parking lot is a display area, it can accommodate perhaps 20 or 25 or 30 cars. If more than that show up, they could be directed to Alna Center. Or Sheepscot could be the overflow display area. Or the car owners could be given the option of display at Sheepscot or Alna Center when they sign up. We are fortunate that we have the ability to offer more than one display location. I do think the idea of having some "tableaux" at Alna Center, with our Model AA unloading freight or other vehicles waiting at the crossing for the train or other scenarios. My point in posting what I did above was to temper expectations for the first year or two, until the event has established a reputation.

John McNamara

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 02:13:15 AM »
Don't forget that we only own a small piece to land at Alna Center.
-John

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 03:10:53 AM »
Hi All,

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. As Wayne said, I think it is important for people to ride the train to experience all of the cars. I envisioned a participants mainly at Sheepscot and Alna Center. Perhaps 15-20 cars at Sheepscot and 5-10 at Alna Center. I would think parking them in front of the car shop would work well. Not sure about Alna Center- it would have to be worked out with a land owner as John said. In essence, I don't think it should look or feel like a car show: focus less on the display of vehicles and more on the display of scenes including vehicles- even if that scene is cars parked by the railway station or car shop.

I'd encourage everyone to think a little bit out of the box. What could we include that would be unique and different from other car shows? I agree we should focus on quality rather than quantity, so what qualities do we think the event should have? For example: should we focus on a particular manufacturer or a particular era? Should we limit the number of cars? Should we invite other organizations as well to get them involved? Should we encourage period dress? Should we have other 1920s-30s era activities going on and who should run them?
I like Bill's description of the SVR event too, by the way. Thanks for sharing!

This event could be a lot of fun, and, ideally, not include too much work for us. Like I said earlier, we could focus on running the trains and just have some general logistics available for the car owners and other participants.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 04:24:30 AM by Stephen Piwowarski »

Keith Taylor

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 07:30:06 PM »
Ok, that was a little harsh, I'm sorry.  A vintage car show as an event would be a good way to show the railroads interaction with modern society, and we show the railroads entire history.

Interesting perspective...but I have to say I look at things differently. Our mission is to teach history and the automobile and its affect on other forms of transportation is an integral part of history. Folks need to know that "in its time" the railroad was the only means of getting goods and people to distant markets. History is constantly evolving. Before the W&Q came to town farmers got their goods to the port in Wiscasset, but by horse and wagon. Even after the railroad came and made that job quicker and easier and probably cheaper in lost time....history didn't stop. When a faster and more convenient method of transport came along, farmers and loggers went with what was quickest and most economical. We all love the charm of our steam locomotives and beautiful coaches with their fine woods and superb craftsmanship. But cars alone are not what killed the narrow gauge. The fact that the road didn't actually arrive in any cities, nor could you board a coach and have it added to a train headed to Boston or even Portland is what did the narrow gauge lines in....not cars alone.
We do have a story to tell, and an important one. But we also need to tell the whole story, not just what appeals to us.
Keith
P.S. I do enjoy antique cars as well as steam trains....but I like antique motorcycles even more!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 10:20:03 PM by Keith Taylor »

Dwight Winkley

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Re: Vintage car show
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 09:55:25 PM »
I would not want to drive my 1931 auto into Alna Center. Two much brush to hit the paint. Plus this could be a big group of vehicles, trying to get in and out on a one lane "wagon trail".
dwight