We showed up the day before the show. Our Valiant’s windshield wiper linkage broke in Edison, New Jersey, and so we cruised through two torrential downpours largely by staying at 65 mph so the rain would slide off the windshield as quicky as possibly, ironically giving the Valiant driver better visibility than the 300M driver, who used her wipers but found the rain falling too hard for good visibility. We discovered that our tail-lights were not bright enough for these conditions, though, and will have to follow Rick Ehrenberg’s advice on brighter replacement bulbs.
The rain had stopped before we got to Carlisle, but when we hit the show, thinking we’d park the Valiant with the A-bodies and put the banners onto the tent, the rain came pouring down again. There was just one car in our row at that point (other than ours), a nicely preserved four-door slant-six Valiant (the only other one in the show as far as we could tell) that appeared to be used as a daily driver. We searched for the tent but the location we had didn't make sense, and then we just searched for a tent with four chairs and a table. That turned out to be the right one; we'd mis-transcribed the tent location.
We went to check in at the hotel, and the rain stopped, so we came back, and just after emptying the floor mats of the Valiant - apparently it leaks in the rain! - the rain starting to pour down again, so we parked the Valiant under the tent to keep it dry, hung one sign in the rain, and took one photo under cover of the show brochure.
Most of the day was spent relaxing and touring the show; we got the banners up, the giveaways out, and the tablecloth down. At 2 pm, Bob O’Neil spoke on budget restorations and answered numerous questions from the audience on a variety of topics. Then, at 3 pm, Mike Holler talked about fuel-saving gadgets, gizmos, and technologies.
The catNET team arrived at around 3 pm with their turbine-powered racing kart. This amazing-looking gizmo is powered by an ancestor of the turbines used in Chrysler cars, which came within 24 hours of being approved for production in one of the K-based vehicles - and was nearly approved in 1966 as well. Boasting immense torque from a small, light engine with few moving parts, the turbine could burn most fuels easily - this one runs on biodiesel though it originally ran on alcohol - and in the final form engineered by Chrysler, actually had decent gas mileage. The one on this kart was originally used as a starter for a fighter jet.
Even as it was being set up, the turbokart drew a constant stream of visitors to the tent; and as long as it remained, it attracted people, drawing them from their path into the gravitational well of the Allpar tent. We need to thank Bob Sheaves and his catNET team for bringing it.
At 10:30 am, we started out through the field in search of cars belonging to people who had signed the sheet at the tent. The cars and trucks were truly impressive this year, as we looked at three Chargers, four Daytonas, and an assortment of other vehicles spanning the years, ranging in size from Neon to Dakota. At noon we returned for the cookout, with Michael Stanhope acting both as food procurement officer and chef (and Dave’s wife acting as setup chief). Awards and trophies were given out after lunch - a list will be posted here.
A clerical error resulted in the same trophy being allocated to two different people, and Mathilda Patterson’s award will be given a little late. There will be some changes for next year, including rating cars on a scale instead of picking one or another as the best and using a computer to tally the scores, to make life easier on the judges. This is the final list of winners; if you would like to add some details about your car, please do. We will have more photos soon.
After awarding the trophies and whatever certificates we could, we passed out door prizes to anyone who wanted them.
The Neon throttle body was not offered again - bronzing turned out to be too expensive - but we did give out a 1992 TBI driveability manual; a 1966 Dodge brochure in mint condition; a new oxygen sensor for a 2.2/2.5 TBI; a radar detector tripper; and other goodies. The GM oil filter didn’t find any takers.
At 2 pm, Bob Sheaves showed a Chrysler video on how turbine cars work, and then described the many technologies that stemmed from turbine-car research, including the modern catalytic converter design and variable-nozzle turbochargers - patents which brought Chrysler no small amount of revenue. He also described the sharing of turbine technology with Ford and GM.
While many people leave the show fairly early, at 5 or 6 pm, most of the Allpar contingent remained to see Chris Sheaves fire up the turbine kart. This meant staying for the wing-eating contest and the swimsuit contest, which went on until about 7:30 pm (and included the subtle removal of a contestant whose attire was deemed inappropriate).
While neither Bob nor his son, Chris, were able to get in a few key facts - like why the turbine was so important, the fact that it runs biodiesel, or why everyone in the audience should visit Allpar - they did manage to gather a number of catcalls by pointing out (correctly) that the turbine is louder than an open-header Hemi. They also had a hard time convincing people to get away from the fence, which, even at a good distance, was hit by a 200° wind. The turbine’s small exhaust flame was not visible to most people, and small puffs of smoke (released when Chris cut the fuel) were the only evidence of combustion. Those sitting near to the turbine-kart heard the intake whine; those on the other side heard the exhaust noise, and what sounded like gunshots when Chris cut the fuel. It wasn’t necessarily visually interesting, but it was noisy no matter where one sat.
Following the turbine-kart demonstration, which was perhaps not received by some of the audience in proper historical context, came the annual burnout contest. We heard that the second vehicle in the contest - a truck spray-painted black with a spray-painted Confederate flag on the roof - almost immediately blew its engine and had to be towed out. Most of the Allpar contingent had stayed to see the turbine started up, and left just before the burnout contest, but the stands were nearly full as people watched tires converted back to oily smoke.
Sunday is the most relaxed day at Carlisle, with some people arriving early and trailering their cars, others making one or two key purchases and driving off, and others arriving late and hitting areas they missed, or enjoying the shade and company of the Allpar tent, which started to fill up around 10 am. The catNET crowd showed up, sans kart, to get feedback on the show; and Bruce Brewster arrived in his Cordoba-style 1977 Dodge Charger Daytona, on his way to Carlisle’s winners’ circle, after placing first in his class.
We never did see some people, including some who ordered shirts. That includes Stratuscaster, who was burned out of his apartment; we took up a collection for him in his absence, and collected $85 in cash (overall, $450 was raised including PayPal contributions).
We had to leave early, at 1 pm; but there were about a dozen Allparians still at the tent when we left. On the way home, we managed to lose the gas cap to our 1974 Valiant... the painted variety... and we’re searching out a new one. It would have been far better to lose it before the show!
Our slant six Valiant got 20 mpg overall, but this trip brought out the need for carburetor adjustments, and the Pilot brand fuel we filled up with in Carlisle caused nasty pinging up hills. The Valiant’s carburetor was rebuilt by the same mechanic who put in Mighty brand spark plugs (incorrectly gapped) and set the timing to 12° before top-dead-center (as opposed to at top-dead-center). Once we rebuild or replace the carb (a rebuilt one is showing at $100 minus core charge but we can probably do it from the $15 kit), we can try advancing the timing a bit more.
For next year, these changes will be made:
Did you miss the show? Or do you want to do it again without waiting a year? Come to New Jersey in October for the joint Allpar/Slant Six Club annual meet near New Brunswick, conveniently located by the Turnpike, Route 1, and Route 18. More details will follow.
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