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The next show will be on October 3, 2010 (rain date, October 10).
The morning started out foggy and damp, with a light rain falling in parts of New Jersey. There was construction at the Route 1 exit, and several people drove right by it, making U-turns later on. When they got to the show, they found a parking lot already crowded with Rutgers University Physical Plant trucks and vans — that is, where the sink-holes weren’t more than a couple of feet deep.
It was a good show.
The number of cars being shown hit a new high, and while there were fewer Rams than last year, there were more classic cars. The number of slant sixes may have even beaten Chryslers at Carlisle... though the engines ranged from a 1-liter Simca powerplant to a Viper V-10 sitting under the hood of a Dodge Ram SRT10.
Partly because of the Rutgers trucks taking up spaces, partly because of the still-unfixed sinkholes (Rutgers found it cheaper to just block off the affected spaces), and partly because of the strong turnout, a new row of cars was formed on the grass; and a group of vehicles, including two vintage Dusters, a Wrangler, and a couple of Iacocca-era front-drivers, stayed in the other parking lot, so their owners could avoid the $8 ($12 for non-members) show fee.
People came from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania (as far as Allentown), and Ohio — the latter in a slant-six powered 1968 Satellite, a car whose looks were perhaps more appropriate for the Road Runner version.
Adopted Mopars were not as common this year as in the past; a Chrysler TC by Maserati convertible (in mint condition) came back from last year, a fine AMC Hornet buzzed around, and a rarely seen 1965 SIMCA was driven in by Matt Cotton.
The SIMCA 1000 was popular among the spectators, many of whom had never seen one. The small engine - less than a single liter of displacement - looked as though it could easily be lifted out of the trunk.
The engine bay was spacious and well designed, with air directed from trunk louvers into a duct that went over the fuel tank (to keep fuel cool and avoid boiling in hot weather), ending at the radiator; an electric fan drew air through the radiator, and from there it was ducted over the engine itself, cooling it directly.
The SIMCA was not just a big car, downsized; it was a well-designed vehicle intended to be what it was, and it looked good and natural, inside and out — not cheap and chintzy, á la Yaris and Fit.
The weather was perfect, as soon as the meet started; the food was good for those who aren’t on low-cholesterol diets; and there were lots of trophies and prizes. It’s a nice show, small enough to be easy and friendly and comfortable, large enough to occupy your time for six or seven hours. There are big trophies and raffle prizes including (in 2009) $25 gift certificates for Rock Auto. Judging is by popular vote. All AMC and Chrysler products are eligible (a Simca won in 2009).
The State of New Jersey has decided to improve the College Farm Road exit, providing a more generous deceleration lane and replacing an old bridge; the construction was confusing to newcomers, since they took down the landmark sign we’ve shown in the past. It would probably have helped if we had brought our larger signs, but we only had our smaller ones. Mental note: next year, MUCH BIGGER signs would be handy.
These pictures are from two years ago. Unfortunately, this year, the miles sign was lying in a ditch, and the “go right” sign we put into the traffic triangle fell over ... along with the Slant Six.
The guys at Rusty Car Coffee were kind enough to provide some prizes for us... we’re partial to the Muscle Car Espresso. Hey, why doesn’t the French Roast have a photo of a SIMCA?
The meet was traditionally held by the New Jersey/New York Slant Six club, and starting in 2007 it has been jointly held with Allpar. The number of cars and spectators has been moving up year to year, as evidenced both by registrations and by the 50/50 charity drawing.
We had more than enough burgers and hot dogs for everyone, as well as turkey dogs which most people sensibly ignored, and chicken tenders which were also generally ignored (though they were not bad). This year, we also remembered condiments, potato salad, deserts, water, and cups...but not plates. A member ran out to get those for us.
There was a 50/50 raffle ran to over $75, and numerous prizes raffled as “second chances.”
The location was the New Jersey Agricultural Museum, just off Route 1 South, in North Brunswick.
From the Turnpike, take Route 18 North to Route 1 South and stay in the right lane. It’s past the Sears and Ryder’s Lane exits if you’re on Route 1 South — the next exit after Ryder’s Lane (College Farm Road). When you take the exit, bear right onto the country lane. At this point you’ll be going slowly enough to see our signs.
The show itself is far enough from the highway for the traffic noise to be almost nonexistent, with indoor bathrooms in the Agricultural Museum (take a tour of the museum while you’re there).
This is a SMALL exit. Watch for it as soon as you pass Ryder’s Lane! We will have a sign posted if you aren’t early. Quite probably it will be the SAME sign. The Slant Six Club will also have signs...
We might have the end-of-guardrail sign next year. Or we might not. It’s no fun posting that one.
If you’re coming on Route 1 from the South (e.g. Princeton), take Route 1 North past the Route 130 interchange to Ryders Lane (to New Brunswick). Follow the ramp up onto Ryders Lane, and then down the next ramp to Route 1 South. Merge onto Route 1 South. Take the next exit - College Farm Road - the entrance to the Cook Campus of Rutgers University (as pictured above). Make a right onto College Farm Road. The Museum is the first building on the right - there is a windmill in front of the building. If you miss the Ryders Lane exit you’ll cross the Raritan River into Highland Park. Just use a U-turn and get onto Route 1 South.
You can also take Route 287 to Route 18 South to Route 1; or the Turnpike to Route 18 North to Route 1 South; or the Parkway to Route 1 South. Route 80 is around 40 minutes to the North via Turnpike or Parkway; Route 78 is even closer. (Map courtesy of Google Maps.)
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