CLUB NEWS

MMSCC Fall Leaf Peeper Tour and Visit to Flight Deck Brewery

It was a great turnout at Jon Lee’s Coastal Classics and Sportscar shop in Brunswick for the last driving event of the MMSCC season.  An interesting variety of 21 cars arrived and filled the parking lot of the shop. Participating marques included Jaguar, MG, Triumph, Morgan, Alfa Romeo, Austin-Healey, Porsche, Honda, Mazda and yes, even one Ferrari. Jon had graciously opened his shop on a Sunday, gave a guided tour of his works in progress, and was thanked and presented with an official MMSCC badge and declared an honorary member of the club by President Frank Wnek.

 

After an hour or so of checking out the cars and socializing, squadron leader Frank declared start up time and departure for the leaf peeper tour at 11:30 sharp. Amazingly the caravan of almost 20 cars managed to stay pretty much together through the twists, turns, stop lights and stop signs of an hour long tour through Brunswick, Durham, Freeport and back to Brunswick, arriving at the Flight Deck Brewery on the old Brunswick Naval Air Station, Now Brunswick Landing, for a sampling of brews and pizza. Many in the group lingered on the outdoor picnic tables for further socializing, I guess realizing that it was the last big gathering of the season. Based on the many positive responses received, it was apparent that a good time was had by all.

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FOUNDER’S DAY EVENT - A Visit to the Bob Bahre Auto Collection

 

Twelve of our MMSCC members attended the Founder’s Day Event at the Bob Bahre estate and auto collection in Paris Hill on Saturday July 17th.  Everyone arrived on or before 9:30, which was a good thing, since by 11 or so the place was mobbed. At least twice as many people attended the event as the last time it was held, in 2019.

 

The car collection is no less than amazing—a combination of classic US and European touring cars and sports cars.  There are not many places where you can see FIVE beautifully restored Duesenbergs all in a row; and Packards, Mercedes, Alfa Romeos, Hispano Suiza, Invicta, Cadillac, Stutz Bearcat . . . . . and on and on.  Simply amazing! And the collection open to the public only this ONE day a year.   

 

And, of course, our MMSCC cars, in their special classic car reserved parking area (thanks to Ed Avis) also received their fair share of attention. An interesting group of Morgan, Alfa, Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey, & BMW.  Someone showed up in a for real Ford GT 40! (Did you know that the 40 of GT 40 comes from the height of the car off the ground? The street version of the cars are actually 44 in.) Not currently a club member, but we MUST get him in the club (over to you Albert!)

 

Everyone was very good about vacating our special reserved parking spaces by 11:30 (as I had promised) to make space for another club. The group then decamped to nearby Norway Brewing Co for a nice outdoor lunch. As we departed there was a BIG backup of cars just arriving. Good timing!

 

Another well attended, well received event. Are we a sports car club that likes to socialize, or are we becoming a social club with sports cars? Interesting question. But either way, we are gaining members AND having some good fun! Will you join us at our next event?

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Front Street Shipyard and lunch at Delvino's

Over 20 members showed up for our ‘experimental’ midweek event last Wednesday, enjoying a nice lunch at Delvino’s in the lovely seacoast town of Belfast followed by an interesting tour of the Front Street Ship Yard. One large building housed a CNC water jet cutting machine in a well designed work space. Other building were filled with boats of all shapes and sizes getting ready for launching. In the yard there were two enormous travel lifts for moving boats of all sizes. Based on the turnout we will definitely schedule more midweek events in the future.

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MMSCC Spring Rally 2021     To South Bristol and Beyond

Eleven drivers and their navigators (and one junior navigator) participated in the MMSCC Spring Rally on a picture perfect late Spring day Saturday June 12. After receiving a pre-rally briefing from Rallymaster Frank Wnek, cars were launched at 3 minute intervals as they drove off in search of roadside clues while driving a picturesque route to South Bristol, Christmas Cove and Rutherford Island; another of the undiscovered (until then) and hidden gem peninsulas along the Maine coast. Although the rally was designed to be challenging, everyone was up to the task and the First, Second and Third place winners had to be determined  by Tie Breaker questions, since all three had answered ALL the rally questions correctly.

 

Winners were announced and some award plaques given out by the Rallymaster after an outside lunch at the Reunion Junction roadside cafe in Damariscotta. The winners were:

 

Honorable Mention   6 year old Amelia Palmier, our youngest member. 

Third Place                Sarah Rheault & Chrisso Rheault

Second Place            Ed and Cheryl Avis

FIrst Place                 Ricardo and Cathleen Palmier (and Amelia)

 

If you missed it or participated and had FUN (the main objective) there should be another opportunity to rally once again at the end of this season.

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FIREFLY RESTORATIONS TOUR (And Lunch With Sarah) ​

A group of sIxteen people, including some new members braved the rain and cold to visit Andy Swift’s Firefly Restorations barn. Four intrepid souls arrived in their ragtops. Andy gave an interesting and entertaining tour of his workshop. After an intense hour and a half of viewing several of Andy’s works in progress’ and the rooms and rooms full of anything associated with early era fire engines, their parts and pieces, motors and lots of various bright and shiny objects the group decamped the nearby home of Sarah, for a bring your own picnic lunch. Due to the lingering rain and cold, the group moved inside her carriage house and soon invaded her house looking for any available table, chair settee or bench to have lunch in a warmer spot!

 

Thanks to all who participated and especially to Andy and Sarah for hosting.

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Northern Area Dustoff

We had a good turnout yesterday for our drive to Ft. Knox...9 cars and about 15 people.  The drive up went without a hitch through farmlands, lakes and rivers.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch. We then dispersed to walk the grounds, enjoy the fort and climb the tower .. via elevator!

Great and beautiful day!

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Southern Area Dustoff

I think the count of cars at the Museum was 15: 1 Ferrari, 2 Porsches, 3 Jaguars, 2 Morgans, 2 Alfas, 1 Saab, 2 MGs, 1 Jeep (their "real" car is in pieces), and one other SUV of some sort.  A Triumph (Lou Prycl and John Freeman)  and another Morgan joined us for lunch.
 
It was a great day in spite of the cold weather.  Cheryl and I wimped out and kept the top up, but brave souls like Frank went top down all day.  Sam Selby gave a GREAT introductory talk about the museum and the 6-masted schooner, Wyoming.  It was a great start to the driving season!

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Erwin Zimmerman has lent his Bentley to two different couples for their weddings.

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Cross Country in a 356

Club Member, Eric Green, shares pictures of a cross country trip in his Porsche 356 and the story of an old friend

 

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LAST DRIVING EVENT OF THE 2020 SEASON  

Leaf Peeper Drive and Wine Tasting

Our last driving event of the season was a great success, with 24 cars and over 40 or our club members participating.  Although the navigation was not perfect for either of the groups departing from Damariscotta and Camden Snow Bowl, all did eventually find their way to Savage Oakes Vineyard in Union by just before noon.

 

Fall colors were in peak season along the drive and the weather perfect, mostly sunny and warming up to almost 70 as the day progressed. The winery graciously allowed us to use their social distancing spaced tables in a field next to the main building for our bring your own picnic. All who sampled the wine gave it favorable reviews. And of course there was some serious and semi-serious car talk and just looking over the wide variety of marques that came out.

 

Thanks to all who participated. Jack and Cathy driving their pristine Austin Healey 3000) summed the day up best:

 

“What a great event. The drive, the cars, the setting, the wine, and meeting new people. And we were blessed with a perfect day. We are enjoying MMSCC so much. “ 

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September 14th  Informal Car Show

Our September informal car show event at Owls Head Transportation Museum was well attended,  We got to admire our cars, vote for our favorites in the Concours Pas d’Elegance and also welcome a few new members to the club.  Thanks to all who attended.  

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COULD MY MORGAN BE . . . . POSSESSED?

Is There a Monster At The End of This Story? (Don’t Look!)

Frank Wnek

 

Sometimes I do think there is some supernatural power affecting the performance and disposition of my beloved Drophead Coupe. There are a lot of unexplainable things that go on as I am driving, or, from time to time attempting to start my car. Could there be some mysterious unexplainable cause for this?

It is well established that my Plus 4 Drophead Coupe is a boy. Therefore I do not feel the need to pamper it or treat it gently. Nor have I come up with a cutesy nickname for it. It is simply ‘the Drophead’, or, when being formally introduced to someone new and not a Morgan person, the ‘Morgan Plus 4 Drophead Coupe’. And, no I do not pronounce coupe European style, with an accent on the ‘e’. Nevertheless, I am fairly convinced that the Drophead does have emotions. It can certainly act happy or unhappy. Yes, guys have feelings too.

When I am driving to town on a two lane country road (Speed Limit 45) and the engine is humming along at about 2500 RPM (55 MPH on my speedometer, about 50 MPH in the real world) I can tell the car is ‘happy’ and doing its happy dance. I know the message is that this is where it likes to be – its happy place. But do I take this message to heart? Of course not. I decide to press the throttle pedal down and accelerate. And invariably at about 2900 or 3000 RPM the engine starts making this groaning sound. It’s like it’s saying ‘Why do you want to do this?  Please don’t do this to me!’ Of course I ignore that message as well.

And those aren’t the only messages the car sends me. I’m convinced it has its own ‘language’. I call it “Morglish’. It has a whole series of creaks, rattles, rings, pings, rumbles and groans that it emits periodically. Very similar to the vocabulary of the great whales of the ocean. And like the whales, I’m sure it is completely puzzled at why a human, supposedly the most intelligent of all creatures, cannot always understand its simple attempts to communicate. Good point, I guess. Perhaps I should study Morglish more seriously.

For instance, there is an off and on metallic ringing sound that seems to emanate from under the right side of the dash of my car. It seems to me that it has to be coming from the speedometer. But when it comes on I know (now) better that to stick my hands and fingers under the dash with the battery connected. That is a sure way to tease the gremlins and let all the Lucas smoke out of your electrical harness. (Been there!) And there are other noises of which I have discovered the meaning. Give me a little credit here Drophead. A squeaking of the doors means the car needs a shot of Powerlube in the door latches. Vibration of the steering wheel usually has one of several meanings. (You see, Moglish is no simple language). It could be a front wheel out of balance, low tire pressure, part of the front suspension bolts having come loose (usually the side struts from the crossframe to the side of the chassis, or the shim dampers having come loose. 

Other messages from my Morgan that I have learned the meaning of include:

 - a clunk when shifting translates to one of the u-bolts connecting the rear suspension springs to the differential (Larry Eckler translated this one for me)

 - a rough running engine with low power means a spark plug wire has

become detatched.

 - a metallic thunk from under one side of the bonnet or the other after going over a bump means one of the bonnet latches has popped opened.

Just as a few examples. So you see, I am learning to communicate with my Morgan, and understand its language. I’m not so sure that the car listens to and/or understands some of the things I very politely say to it from time to time. But that could just be its rebellious nature. I think it just chooses to ignore me. HEY, who’s the master here anyway?

Then there are the little puddles of oil that my car leaves on the floor of my garage. I must confess this is baffling to me. I am told that ALL Morgans do that. But I am not sure. I think it must be some as yet un-translated message its trying to communicate to me. But I must say, it is not very POLITE!

Which is not to say that these messages from my Drophead mean that it is possessed. That is probably too strong a word for it. But I am pretty convinced that it does have some gremlins. Admittedly, gremlins are, as a general rule, more benign creatures. But, you remember what happened to those cute, fuzzy little creatures at the end of the movie of the same name. They turned into – MONSTERS!

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July 5th Social Distance Tour

Publishing the route ahead of time for our July 5th Social Distance Tour allowed those interested in participating the opportunity to see just where we would be headed. This was important because of the less than great weather on Sunday. It also resulted in a turnout far better than it might otherwise have been.

 

We met in the lot at the foot of Mt. Battie. We chose not to go to the top knowing we wouldn’t be able to see anything because of the fog and drizzle. After passing through Lincolnville Beach on Route 1, we turned left into the hills and valleys of Northport.  Ultimately recrossing Route 1, we turned North on Shore Road and headed to Bayside. Shore Road is a lovely four or five mile ride immediate next to Penobscot Bay. 

 

In the heart of Bayside we paused for some drone photos at the wharf and to look at the colorful cottages. We then headed to Belfast. The Town of Belfast has done an excellent job converting its former industrial waterfront into a great riverfront park complete with gazebo. 

 

Masked and social distanced, it was never-the-less apparent everyone was having an excellent time together. Present for the tour was a trio of Jaguars, pairs of MGBs, Morris Minors and Porsches plus a Healey and a Triumph. The twelve cylinder E Type Jag probably had the best growl of the group. Thank you Nancy Graham for your excellent preparation for the Social Distance Tour. 

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MMSCC Holiday Party and Annual Meeting  January 4, 2020

A good turnout and a good time was had by all at the annual traditional Holiday Party and Annual Meeting in Camden on January 4th. Over 30 of our members enjoyed a pot luck lunch buffet followed by club president Frank Wnek presiding over the club’s Annual Meeting, summarizing the vents of 2019, new membership update and the tentative schedule for 2020. The current slate of officers were re-elected for another 2 year term. The highlight of this year’s events will be an overnight trip to Mount Desert Island and visit to the Seal Cove Auto Museum. This was followed by the ever popular and entertaining Yankee Swap.

New Club Website launched January 2020

In response to comments from some members at large and also board members we decided last year that it was about time to update our club website - to make it more user friendly and easier to find information such as the events schedule, to register for events, etc.

Another improvement we have made, in response to member requests, is to provide a Membership Directory of club members with their contact phone numbers, emails and a listing of the cars they own. This page of the site will be protected for members only with a password required for access. You will be provided with a generic password for initial entry after which you can enter your own personal password. And those who do not wish to have this information displayed can opt out of inclusion in the directory. Just let us know if you so choose.

 

Along with our new webmaster we plan to periodically post information on changes to the events schedule, any special short notice event opportunities that might comer up, and other sports car noteworthy news items.

 

We hope you will find the new and improved club website more helpful and newsworthy. Any ideas you might have to make it better would be gratefully received.

 

Frank Wnek

President, Mid Maine Sports Car Club