Interviews

The Curves of the 50s

At the peak of a new decade, the 1950s birthed a new generation that would carry on a legacy for years to come. The Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe first rolled off the line in 1941, and was manufactured through 1952. The exterior smooth curves and original chrome and stainless trim, quickly made it a staple of its time.

We got to sit down with Ashley to photograph and talk about her 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe Fastback. She got into cars young. Her dad was a mechanic when she was growing up and he had a 1973 Ford Ranchero that she worked on with him frequently. She can remember bleeding the breaks when she was seven, barely old enough to have the strength to push down on the pedal.

Ashley started her hunt for her own classic vehicle about 2 years ago. After a long time of searching, the perfect one popped up in August of 2021. She was originally looking for a Ford Shoebox, but gained interest in the Chevy Fleetlines. She drove out from Hampstead, NH to Troy, New York to go look at one She decided that this was the one for her and brought it home. Once it was back in her territory, she looked at it more closely. It needed a lot of body work. The body mounts were gone, the floor pans had holes and the inner rockers were “non-existent.” She got to work and brought this classic vehicle back to some of its former glory. Ashley was able to enjoy it for a little bit of the end of the season last year. Over the winter, the bondo on the hood showed itself as the weather changed. They stripped the hood and repainted it. While stripping it, they discovered five bullet holes. Ashley likes to think it may have been a bootleggers car.

Her Fleetline is still a work in progress. There is still a lot to be done; the interior, the exterior, and all the wiring. It is kept in storage over the winter. Her old boss at one of her mechanic jobs allows her to rent one of their lifts for a day to be able to work on it. Otherwise, she is out in her driveway doing it old school. With the car being dropped two inches, driveway works proves to be a challenge.

This is Ashley’s first baby, her first project car. She has always loved the era of cars between the late 40s up to the early 60s. The classics from the 50s is where her heart lies. Those smooth lines, body styles and curves that first rolled off the line in 1941 is what eventually brought Ashley to love it now as it once was back in its prime.

We hope to circle back with Ashley as she continues to work on her classic, and see the final result.

Until next time.

Motor on.

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Driving

Mercedes Day at Larz Anderson Auto Museum

This summer has brought a lot of great opportunities for me to write about my experiences, and I could not be any more grateful for it. Sunday September 11th, Larz Anderson Auto Museum held Mercedes Day. An onslaught of beautiful Mercedes and their owners flocked the grounds of the estate. These cars are a testament to the craftsmanship and durability that comes with the name, Mercedes.

This event was a great opportunity to step back, observe and listen. No matter the vehicle on spotlight, it’s good to see people come together and talk about something that they love and enjoy. I found a spot to park myself and took a few photos of the cars rolling in. Here are some of my favorites.

My good friend Matt brought their family Mercedes to the show. For Matt, this car was more than just a car. It belonged to his father who passed away last year. His father bought it in 1995, when the car was 10 years old. His mother did not have any romantic attachment to it and just wanted it gone. Matt’s sister did not want it gone and kept telling Matt that she thinks their father is talking to them because she kept seeing them out and about.

Grief is a funny thing. We hold on tight to those memories of those gone before us. For some, getting rid of reminders of those loved ones is one way to help the grieving process. Matt’s mother was certain that she wanted to sell the Mercedes. They found someone down in Cape Cod who was interested and Matt agreed to take it down to them. Matt’s mother was nervous about the car braking down and offered to follow him down. Matt told her to just drive down with him.

On the way down to the Cape, she said that the car drove really nice and asked if the car had a radio. Matt’s dad had nothing but the best, of course it had a radio. He turned it on and it was her favorite song, “Somewhere Out There.” His mother got emotional as they continued on there way.

As they pulled up to the dealership, the interested party was up front and honest. He stated that the amount of money that he would offer would not be life changing. He somewhat convinced her to keep the car, stating to just let her kids and grand kids enjoy it. On their way back home, Matt turned the radio on once again and “Celebrate Good Times” started to play. Matt and his mother both agreed that his father was there in the car with them, telling them to keep the car. Since that day, they have decided to keep the car, and it will remain in the family forever.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Michel, another Mercedes owner in attendance of Mercedes Day at Larz Anderson. Michel has not one, but two Mercedes, one is a 1987 190E 2.3-16 and the other is a 1985 190E 2.3-16. The 85′ is a blue-black color and the 87′ is a smoke silver. Michel’s love for this model started way back when he used to play Gran Turismo 3. For those unfamiliar with the video game, it is a racing simulator. In order to race in the different cups and on the tracks, you have to earn your “licenses.” One of the licenses that were required had Michel in 190E 2.5-16. He had to attempt the specific license quite a few times. The game is as realistic as possible. Michel fell in love with how the car handle. He did some research on the car just to learn more about it.

A week later, his brother called him while at a local used auto parts shop. The shop frequently received rare car donations. Michel’s brother said he was standing in front of a 2.3-16. When they asked about it they were told that someone had already put a deposit down on it. The parts shop also said that the Mercedes didn’t run and it needed a new motor. They were told to wait another week to see if the other interested party actually came to pick it up. The other party never showed, so Michel, his brother and father grabbed a jumper pack and went down to pick up the car. They completed the needed paperwork, paid for the car, and then jump-packed the car. To the shops dismay, it started right up and turned out to not need a new engine. And so the love affair began.

Michel drove the car for a few years, and then sold it to someone in Montreal. After a couple of weeks, Michel and his brother were out driving when they stumbled across another 2.3-16 sitting in a driveway in Saugus, MA. Michel knocked on the door, and a little boy and his father answered the door. The father said it was his brother’s car. He got the owner’s number and patiently waited for his chance. He saved the number under the model of the car. He called a few times a week, starting all the way back in 2010. As time went on, he called less and less. He continued to call or would drive by occasionally to see if the car was still there.

One day when he drove by he did not see the car parked in the driveway. But it was just blocked by a another car, a Hummer, that the owner had purchased. Fast forward to 2021, Michel’s calls and texts had gone unanswered, but still he persisted. One day he decided to take another ride out to Saugus, MA to see if he could persuade the owner. By then, the car had been sitting for more than ten years. It had sunk into the black top and the paint was faded. But he still wanted the car. He rang the doorbell, and a much older boy answered the door. It was the same little boy who had answered the door 10 years ago. He remembered Michel and said that he would pass the interest along to his uncle. Michel gave him every single number he could possible be associated with so that he would not miss the call.

The call finally came. The owner of the Mercedes called and Michel answered the phone to laughter. The current owner, Sonny, was amused, and impressed, by Michel’s patience and persistence over the ten year span. Sonny stated he was moving away, and told Michel he would sell him the car. They agreed on a selling price, and Michel and his father went down the next day with the cash in hand. They took it home, put it up on a lift and it surprisingly had no rust, even after sitting for so long. The car is currently being repainted. So we got a chance to photograph his other 1987 Smoke Silver Mercedes.

To some of us, a car is not just a car. It is an extension of ourselves. Thank you Matt and Michel for sharing your stories.

Until next time. Motor on.

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Car Shows

Cruising Downtown 2022

As we all wind down from the long weekend, there is a lot to reflect on and be grateful for. Some of us take vacations, spend time with loved ones or spend time alone. And some of us spend out time doing something that we love. Labor Day Weekend brings with it Cruising Downtown in Manchester, NH. One of my favorite events of the year. The Manchester Rotary Club closes down Elm St., and many of the adjacent side streets so that thousands of car enthusiasts can enjoy a day of beautiful vehicles. My morning starts at 4AM with my alarm clock. Although it is early, I am excited to get out of bed and start my day. My 1962 Morris Mini-Minor was ready for her final event of the season before her seats would make their way down to CT to a friend’s shop to be reupholstered.

Before the actual event starts, show participant gather in the parking lot of the Brady Sullivan building on Elm St. I arrived at the lot at 5AM. The sky was still black and the vehicles and their owners were still waking up.

Rotary club volunteers are busy getting last minute registrations ready and handing out preregistered envelopes. People converse with each other, happy to see their friends. For some, they only get to see these people a couple times a year during car show season. The people are on of the main tings that I look forward to when I attend this event. With everyone’s busy day to day lives, it is good to come together and be able to enjoy a common interest.

As 7:15AM rolls around, everyone starts their engines to cruise together to Elm St and find their spots for the day. My Friend Abby and her 1078 Volkswagen Bus and 1969 Volkswagen Beetle are already parked and patiently awaiting the cars to cruise downtown.

Once parked, my favorite thing to do is watch and photograph them as they all roll through. One after another, the registrants for the 2022 show found their spots for the day and got out to wander the street to take in the sites. By 10AM, the streets are filled with spectators. They speak with owners of their favorite vehicles about their builds and indulge in some fair food. Several of my friends were set up along Elm St. Either with their vehicle, or with their business as a vendor. It’s worth noting that locals find it odd walking down the middle of Elm St. It’s almost like that just for the day you are transported into a different world. Here are a couple shots of what I missed coming in.

This even is always my favorite one of the year. It is good to see people that I don’t normally se and enjoy a day of cars.

Until next time. Motor on!

You can purchase photos from this event to support me on my adventures at the link below!

https://maelynnhill.smugmug.com/

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Car Shows, Driving, General Posts, Roadkill

Flip Flops and Big Blocks

It’s been a while blog world. I have had a busy summer filled with car shows, events, new friends, new jobs just life in general. Since I was last here, I have continued to conquer autocross and Louisa won a few car shows. But perhaps the biggest adventure of all was a trip to Pontiac, Michigan this past weekend.

Some of you may have heard of Woodward Ave, some may not. I was one of the people who had not. For those who don’t know, Woodward Avenue is the heart of Pontiac Michigan. It is said that this was where the first ticket for street racing. This happened in March of 1895. The road first saw big spoked wheels and wagons. But in the 50s cars changed into something more reliable and became something we used to get from point A to point B. This 13 mile stretch naturally attracted a lot of people. Drive in diners started to pop up all along the road. Unlike today, a lot of these places were family owned. Coupled with the long wide stretch of road and automotive lovers in the surrounding area, it has taken its place in car history.

When spending some time with my boyfriend at the shop where he works he mentioned the event ‘Roadkill Nights’ that was happening the coming weekend (August 9th and 10th) in Pontiac, Michigan. He said he wanted to road trip out there. Famous last words of mine, I said, ‘let’s do it’. The following week consisted of getting his Caprice road ready and a little more safe for us to travel in. We looked at the route, 11 hours, 685 miles, not too bad! Then we realized that was going through Canada which we couldn’t do. So instead it was 13 hours and 764 miles. Meh, still not bad.

Monday August 5th

I was sitting at work dying for it to be the weekend so we could head out. We decided it would be best to leave Thursday night in the early morning so we could get there Friday evening and have a little time to explore.

Thursday August 8th, 12:45AM

My alarm went off after only getting 3 hours of sleep. I was still pumped though and ready to go. We packed up really quick, loaded the car and were ready to go. I was in charge of the route. It was dark, quiet. It was 1AM. No one was around. We headed out towards Keene and hit a long stretch of road in Vermont, Route 9 (more to come on this road later). We stopped at some rest stops along the way, I slept through a lot of the morning driving. We stopped for breakfast in Weedsport, New York at a place called Cook’s Village Diner. Small, a lot of locals.

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It was good! Bacon makes any day better. We continued on in to Pennsylvania Welcome Center, took a quick break and hung out in the grass. You could see out into the distance forever. The day was beautiful.

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We stopped again in Erie, Pennsylvania at a place called Tasty Bowl for lunch. I had broccoli, rice  and chicken and tried sushi for the first time. (Yes, it was indeed, Tasty.)

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Driving definitely takes a lot out of you, or in my case, being a passenger takes a lot out of you. We stopped again in Avon Ohio for some nuggies at Wendy’s and a trip to Goodwill. Thrift shopping is fun, don’t knock it til you try it! By he time we left it was about 3:30PM. We had a little less than 4 hours to go until we would reach the hotel.

At 7:00 PM we finally reached destination number one Courtyard by Marriott. We checked in and it was definitely time for a shower and a nap. The schedule events for Friday were done, but we went cruising around anyways. There were some cool cars still out and about rolling through the streets of Pontiac. We went to a place called Moose Preserve Bar & Grill for some dinner and drinks. It had been a long 20 hours. But we made it. The fun begins tomorrow.

Saturday August 10th 7:00 AM

For someone who was only able to sleep for like 5 hours in the past 30, I was feeling pretty good. It was likely because I was just so excited to get started on the day. We had picked out breakfast the night before so we could just get up and go. We decided on a place called Kerby’s Koney Island. It was ironically right across the street from the place we went to the night before. The inside was cute, it looked it had been there for a while. We sat at the little counter across from the open kitchen. Staff was friendly, and you could tell that they had worked together for a long time. Requests were met with curiosity for their own personal cooking and carried out wonderfully. I’d come back again.

Next it was off to Woodward Ave for the main event. There were several lots off site that we needed to be shuttled to the event from. The shuttles were old schoolhouses, and I emphasize the word old. I’m more of a nervous person than not, I freak out on the T in Boston when it goes over a bump, this was something else. ANYWAYS when we arrived and got off the bus (and even little before that) we could hear the screeching of tires burning rubber. My boyfriend turned to me and asked if those were tires, I laughed and said “hell yea, I think so.”

First up, we needed to check in with MotorTrend, a subscription service to various car videos, builds, drag racing, you name it. Being a subscriber gave you access to the MotorTrend Lounge which was out of the sun, had free snacks and drinks and gave you one free beer (to start at noon). There were also a number of people who would be there throughout the day that you could meet and have sign stuff and chat with. The out of the sun part was the best to me. They also gave you a fastpass to the Dodge Thrill Rides, which was where all the tire screeching was coming from. In one section there were Dodge Chargers and Challengers drifting around course taking people for thrill rides. Our fastpass was for 2:30-3:00, so we had to wait a little bit.

First up was the concourse, the section set aside for people who registered and wanted to show their car. Most of them were Dodges, and rightfully so I suppose, but there was a lot of other cool stuff to see as well.

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Like this Prowler and Viper sitting pretty side by side

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77ish Trans Am

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72 Camaro

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70s Challenger

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Early 70s Corvette

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05 Charger

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67-68 Ford Mustang

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A mixture of things

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CJ 7

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My boyfriend and a sexy cop lady

We attempted to watch some drag racing, but unless you were in the VIP section or managed to score a seat high up in the bleachers you didn’t have much luck seeing anything. We wanted to get a glimpse of the starting line, but that turned out to be pretty difficult. So we checked out some merch, I bought a t-shirt and some stickers (of course). The day was winding down. It was just about 2:30 and time for the thrill rides. When we walked to that area, the line was so long we didn’t see the end. Someone in passing said that the wait was three hours long. Hundreds of people wee standing there. But only a handful were in the fastpass line. Thank goodness. The speaker keeping the crowd entertained had a great voice. He was talking to a kid who was in line, telling him about how they burn through thousands of tires a year, just regular tires too. They are allowed to come, make a mess of wherever they’re at and then go, no clean up required. I would guess there is someone else to do that? But who knows.

It was finally our turn to go. I started to get really nervous. Uncontrollable  laughter ensued. Queue ridiculous high pitched screeching as the Charger we where in took off and whipped around the cones. Here’s a video inside the car, and some photos I took outside.

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This was the ending of a ridiculously fun time. Here is the video of our time at the event.

We had seen all that we could and it was time to start the long journey back home. We took the famous 8 mile road back out. But there was one place I needed to stop before I left…

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Years ago I used to watch a show called Hardcore Pawn. One of those cheesy pawn shop reality shows. I hadn’t thought about the show in years, but when I was wondering what else we could do or see while we were in Detroit, this place popped in to my head. And you can bet your ass we visited.

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Maybe this isn’t cool to some people, but it was wicked cool to see. I had never been someplace that I had watched on TV. Inside was smaller than what TV made it look like, but still cool to see none the less. The owner, Les Gold, was even in the back behind the counter and I got to catch a glimpse. I was trying not to freak out, as this was just an everyday pawn shop for everyone else there. I had my fill and we left. A quick trip to Starbucks and we were back on the road.

Man, that 13 hour car ride did not seem so exciting since now we were leaving instead of going. But I was happy that we would be returning back home to the familiars of New Hampshire. It’s cool to watch how highways and scenes change from one state to the next, until you’re back where you know.

8 hours in to our excursion home, we stopped at Niagra Falls, the New York side. I know, I know, “its better on the canadian side,” but again, we couldn’t go through Canada. It was just about 6:30AM when we got there, so it was quiet, not many people were around It was the perfect opportunity to get some videos and some photos before the crowd rush came in. By the time that we reached the actual scenic view, the crowds were already starting to roll in. I did manage to grab few pictures before that though.

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Breathtaking is the only way I can describe it really. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. The view of the Canadian side was nice, and I will definitely be back again to see the opposite view. Heres a quick video of us walking around, there really arent words to describe it, so I’ll show you instead.

We stopped for some yummy breakfast,

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and we were back on our way home. We still had 7 hours to go.

When we finally hit Vermont, we were feeling good. Roads looked more familiar. The air was fresh. Route 9 awaited us again, and this time, not in the dark. This last video is of Route 9 through Vermont, our last stretch to home.

The experience was amazing. A last minute road trip I would not have wanted to take with anyone else. More adventures await us in the future.

Motor on.

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Car Shows, Uncategorized

Louisa’s First Place First

Hello everyone!!

Happy Monday, or in my case, not so happy Monday… It’s already a rough start to the week, but it can only go up from here… right?

Anyways, this past weekend was filled with car events once again. Saturday morning I had to work, so my good friends Steve and Nancy were kind enough to come and pick up Louisa and bring her to the Show of Dreams hosted by British Cars of New Hampshire. The event ran into the afternoon and I was able to make it towards the end. There were so many AMAZING British cars there. Here are a few photos.

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Louisa took home first place in her class, 1960-1969 British Cars. She was up against a few other cars, two of which were other MINIS.

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I am a proud mama.

Sunday AM was also a car day. My humble little show in Salem, New Hampshire at The Coffee Factory started early at 9AM, Southern New Hampshire Cars and Coffee.

I have been trying to get the show to be a little more professional and get myself out there. Up until now, I was just behind the scenes and no one knew it was I, *gasp* a lady, who was organizing the events. To my surprise, most everyone who started to realize it was me, was very supportive of that fact. For that, I am very happy.

My friend and sponsor Carson of Detail New England, helped me out at the show. Walking around, making connections, and manning the tent. It was a really great time! Quite a success, and I am happy with how far the show has come. Here are some photos from the day.

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Saucy! #DNE

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Short blog post this time. This coming weekend though I will be helping out at the SCCA Race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH on Saturday and then Seacoast Cars and Coffee on Sunday. It is going to be one hell of a weekend, but I am very much so looking forward to it. Until next time everyone!

Moto On!

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