by Ed Botchie
More than 100 vehicles registered to participate in the 36th annual National Chrysler Products Club Meet in Budd Lake, N.J. This year's event was hosted by the club's newly formed Skylands Region, led by Bob Kapral and Tom Buss, with help from the club's National Meet Committee.
Several tours throughout the meet, from July 16 through July 20, allowed club members to explore this section of northern New Jersey, starting with a cruise to the 1950s-themed Chatterbox Drive-In; Thursday’s driving tour led participants to the Space Farms Zoo and Museum.
Friday saw tours in both the morning and afternoon. The Sterling Hill Mine tour included a museum with rocks from all over the world. Sterling Hill is known for its fluorescent minerals; the displays were boring in plain light but dazzling under black lights. Some of the minerals there are found nowhere else in the world.
Waterloo Village is an entire village along the Morris Canal, and its church is still in use. It also has reconstructions of early American farms and of the structures of the original settlers of this area thousands of years ago, the peaceful Lenni Lenape Indians.
The meet included the annual members meeting, fun auction, and banquet, in addition to the show. The annual fun auction, hosted by Jay Astheimer, raised $758. A model train set took the highest bid. Also, the recently started Chinese auction, run by Dottie Shultz, brought in $275.
107 vehicles registered for the show, held July 19 in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Budd Lake. 44 were day-of-show registrants. The meet was co-sponsored by Power Portal and John Johnson Dodge; Allpar.com sponsored the hospitality tent.
Best of show was awarded in three classes. For the pre-war class, Chris Chervanka won with a 1929 Chrysler Coupe. For the post-war, 1946-1959, Chip Loree won with a 1956 Chrysler Imperial. For the post-war 1960 and up, Pete Harrington won with a 1966 Chrysler 300.
A tour on Sunday went to the Morris Canal inclined plane, which moved canal boats up and down a steep area; it was a huge setup that used a water wheel way underground to place the boats on cradles to move them through the canal. Members then traveled Thomas Edison’s Concrete Mile, an experimental roadway from the days when U.S. roads were nearly all dirt.
As for the future, the 2015 meet will be held in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, where several previous meets have been held, said board member Bill Schimeneck. Among the many tours and activities, there will be a stop at the Stoogeum, a museum dedicated to the Three Stooges.
The location for the 2016 meet still is undecided, but a likely location is Grantville, Pennsylvania, not far from Harrisburg.
NCPC members Janice Harmon and Joseph and Jennifer Deinlein contributed to this article.
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