2018 MMSCC Manufacturers Tour

The first event of the Mid Maine Sports Car Club 2018 season took place on Saturday April 7 and over 30 Mid Maine Sports Car Club members and spouses took part in the event. The BOD put together a great event dubbed the Mid Coast Manufacturers Tour. The tour took us to several mid coast manufacturers for a first hand look at some of the products produced right here in Maine.

The first stop on the tour was Lie-Nielsen Tool Works in Warren. Lie-Nielsen manufactures very high quality woodworking tools such as planes, block planes, chisels, dovetail saws and others. The group was given a tour of the manufacturing facility and a demonstration of their CNC milling machines. Lie-Nielsen also conducts woodworking workshops a list of which can be found on their web site.

The second stop was the Lyman Morse Boat Building Company in Thomaston. Since the early 1920’s more than 200 custom sailing and motor yachts have been produced at this well-known boat yard. Some of the boats under construction were quite large with several of them in various stages of construction.

The group then headed over to the Whales Tooth in Lincolnville for an enjoyable lunch before heading out for our next stop, Windsor Chairmakers. Founded in 1987, this firm is located in an 1800’s farmhouse and barn, the quintessential Yankee workshop, making fine traditional and custom furniture.

The final stop on the tour was Swans Island Blankets in Northport. This maker of authentic American textiles since 1992 uses fibers from New England family farms custom spun by New England mills and hand-dyed in their own dye house. Their skilled weavers use vintage looms and their blankets have won the Smithsonian Blue Ribbon for Craft.

Of course most members still had their sports cars ‘under wraps’ however past president Don Foster and his wife, Molly, did drive their Jaguar to show that we really do drive sports cars….but not all year round.

Perhaps the biggest take away of the tour was the realization that good old Yankee craftsmanship is alive and well. Each of the manufacturers we visited exhibited the some of the finest products available anywhere and put a lot of pride and skill into their craft.  

Safety fast. Tom

2016 Camden Foreign Car Show

For the Foreign Car Show in Camden to be a success three things are required. First, a crew of ten friendly volunteers is needed to greet, park, register and photograph owners and their cars. Secondly, those planning to show a car must be willing to preregister for the event. Attempting to park thirty or forty cars all at once as they attempt to turn into a narrow one way street at a busy intersection is a recipe for disaster without advanced planning. Finally, we need a bright sunny day.

All three elements were in place on Sunday, June 7th. The result was an excellent mix of interesting well prepared cars, volunteers who worked efficiently plus as nice a late spring day as anyone could ask for. Despite the fact that there is always competition amongst car clubs for June weekends, we actually had a better turn out than for the previous two years. In addition, we signed up several new members. This included the Powells from Orland. Their red MG TC has been in the family since new and is completely original including the paint.

The Camden Foreign Car Show features four different classes. Winners in each class are chosen through a popular voting system with a ballot being provided to each owner displaying a car. Once the four class winners have been identified, a panel of scrutineers chooses the Best in Show. 

In the Saloon and Touring Car Catagory, James Lea took the honors with his stately black Triumph Renown. In the Vintage Class, it was Sarah Rheault's snazzy Riley Imp that won first prize. The Traditional Sports Cars Early Period category went to Jim Begin and his lovely red Austin Healey 3000. Chris Milton-Hal won both first place in the Traditional Sports Cars Late Period category, as well as Best in Show. His light blue Jaguar XKE is remarkable. The Best in Show trophy was built by our own clock maker and club founder, James Lea.

Hidden around some corners in town but outside the show field were several handsome sports cars whose owners chose not to display their cars. The usual reason for not showing a car is not the ten dollar fee. The usual explanation is that the owner sees his or her car as a driver and, therefore, not good enough to be in a car show. 

Since the Mid Maine Sports Car Club places the highest premium on driving our cars, these owners are dead wrong about what we like to see in our Car Show. While all of us enjoy seeing the pampered and polished, everyone is welcome. After all, the most important trophy each year is awarded to the member that uses his or her car as intended. That is, to race, rally and tour. In addition, amongst the most popular cars on Sunday were two such cars. Rolph Frost's electric yellow Austin Seven complete with a bent wing was a treat for all. So too the flat black Citroen Deux Cheval. The Citroen came complete with a quartet of roof lamps, canvas panniers and lots of patina. Show spectators found it to be great fun when they noticed that the owner, needing a lawn chair, simply removed his lawn-chair-like front seat providing room for two. 

If you happen to see Molly Foster, Sarah Rheault, Gail Woodworth or Carol Latta be sure to thank them for their help with registration, memberships and photos. While you are at it, don't forget Don Foster, James Lea, Lew Prycl, Bud Woodworth and Albert Aniel. These gentlemen were the greeters and parkers. No one got mowed down, there was no unpleasant shouting and none of the cars suffered a fresh blemish. Don Foster came closest when he nudged our entry banner with his Jaguar S Type. 

By the way, you will also be pleased to learn that both Lew Prycl, Triumph TR 4, and Albert Aniel, Jaguar XKE coupe, have agreed to serve on the MMSCC Board of Directors. Thanks Lew and Albert. You are joining a winning team.