DLOC-NA Annual Meeting July 31-August 2, 2015

The North American Daimler & Lanchester owners club (DLOC-NA) gathers annually in an event called “Rally” It is a 3-day weekend affair, and usually held east of the Mississippi. This year Rally 2015 was held in the vicinity of Skippack, PA with  the host hotel located in Lansdale, PA. Recent years have seen Rally incorporate another British car club’s car show, and this time it was the Pennypacker Mills car show in Schwenksville, PA.

Our Daimlers at the car show

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Some of the other car show cars

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Most of us gathered in the Marriott Friday evening for drinks, dinner, and a lot of catch-up conversation. Then Saturday morning, we headed to Skippack for a fantastic day touring SIX garages, owned by Dave Markel, containing historic & classic cars and motorcycles. Dave has bought and restored/replaced more than half of the commercial buildings along the Skippack main street, and in the process created a lovely small village atmosphere geared to tourists. We had lunch in one of his restaurants and later dinner in another.

Club member cars parked in Skippack

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Dave Markel’s collection contains American, British, Italian& German cars and motorcycles, many once owned/driven by famous people.

                     Some of the cars in the German garage.

some of the cars in the German garage.

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                The American garage

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Important race/rally cars and motorcycles

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The British garage

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The host club for the Pennypacker show is the Delaware Valley Classic MG Club; Steph & I were members for a number of years and very much enjoyed being involved with  them. I suspect they breathed a sigh of relief when we didn’t renew our membership, since we were the only people on the club drives who did not own an MG.

Our final event of a Rally weekend is our awards dinner and annual meeting. Dinner was at the Trolley Stop Hotel in Skippack and the meeting back at the hotel.

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Myrtle Beach-Charleston-Ashville

We had never been to Charleston, and had never seen the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, so a big loop South was in order. We thought about using the Daimler, but the length of the trip and need for a little more room led to our deciding the SAAB was best. Myrtle Beach was an overnight, but still interesting. Charleston was as nice as the Chamber claims, and our hotel in the old section of downtown was a perfect launching pad for sightseeing, restaurants, and the other usual tourist activities.

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Next was Ashville, NC and the fantastic Biltmore Estate. We were booked into a really nice B&B, and spent 2 days touring the estate. We had dinner one night in the Biltmore Hotel dining room…a little formal, a little expensive, and a whole lot worth it!

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our pink B&B

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The final part of this trip was to be a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Not to be…too early in the season and they were closed due to snow and ice.

What to do…come back later in the spring, of course.

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This year we decided to skip a few of the local shows we’ve been to a few times and instead go a little further to some new places. It so happens, most are South of us. I will do a separate post for each trip.

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WATKINS GLEN-a small town, that’s not much more than a village, in upstate New York. Located at the bottom of one of the finger lakes -Seneca- this town puts on multiple faces at the same time, and does it with great warmth and charm. WG was home to the first post-WW2 Grand Prix Road Race, a race course starting in front of the County Courthouse and winding 6.6 miles up into the hills above town before coming back in from the other side. The organizers were able to get the local roads closed and the trains to stop running; quite a feat that went on for 5 years (1948-52) until a proper race course was built. WG is also a center for the extensive wine culture around the finger lakes. Much like Napa in California.

We came back for our second visit to the Grand Prix Festival and SVRA races weekend September 5-8. This year we drove the SP 650 miles up and back, traveling with our friends from BRRTA, Linda & George, in their 1964 Morgan 4/4. The tops were down, the skies mostly clear, and the trip went as smoothly as the 50 year old suspensions allowed.



We arrived at the WG Harbor Hotel late Thursday afternoon, unpacked and settled in, then walked over to “downtown” and had dinner. The featured marque for 2013was the Austin Mini, and they were everywhere. Friday was an early start, so we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in town. Friday in GP Festival Celebration day; we were enrolled in the Glenora Wine Cellars rally event and had to be there before 9am to get our paperwork and assemble for the event. This event is for cars at least 25 years old, so it has more older classics than any of the other driving events. The format called for a pleasant tour of back roads for a couple hours, ending in the town of Montour Falls for a drive through the grounds of the Hospital, patients waving hello from both in and outside the buildings. Then on to a buffet lunch in a WG State Park building and staging for our 2 laps of the “old course”. These laps are done at legal speed, and the roads are not closed to other traffic. There are police at intersections to wave the cars thru, and by everyone keeping up with the car ahead, very few non-sport cars get into the procession. There are 5 different driving events plus 3 parking lot events, and all participants get to do the 2 laps as their group is scheduled. After the almost 700 participant cars have done laps, they are parked by groups in various parts of town. The Glenora Rally group was parked along the main street thru town, a great location as hundreds (thousands?) of people walked by to look at them.

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Late in the afternoon, a large number of the SVRA race cars come down from the track and park in town for awhile, then do their 2 laps of the old course and end up back at the track. The sidewalks are lined with spectators and the whole scene one big party. The local alcohol laws are modified to allow for open containers and sidewalk sales. Friday night dinner with L&F was at the re-commissioned train station at the edge of the lake.

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Saturday we 4 went to the track -Watkins Glen International Raceway (WGRI)- for a car display/show and 2 parade laps around the course during racing lunch break. Another chance to see sports cars and play race driver wanabee. We were the only SP250 there that weekend, so drew a fair amount of attention from both fans of the car and those that had never seen one. We met some SP owners, and others, that we have seen at other events over the years, along with talking about the marque with those unfamiliar with the car &/or car company. Cars on display worth mentioning include a 1955 MB 300SL Gullwing, Aston Martin DB4, classic Ferrari, Porsche 356 Speedster and a Jowett Jupiter.

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Saturday night we had dinner at the hotel with BCF friends from Horseheads, (the Erways). Before bed, it was time to put the top up as it started to drizzle. But, morning looked more promising so we started for home with it down. The wet weather held off and the trip back was pleasant.

We’ve done this twice now without seeing the physical attraction of WG State Park and all the waterfalls in the glen. No excuse; we plan to back next year and spend an extra day looking at the natural sights. We already registered for the Glenora Rally, since it will be full and closed out by mid-October of this year. The featured marque for 2014 is MG so we expect even more cars/people that usual. We’ve already seen plans for MG club participation as they try to lock up blocks of rooms in the area towns.

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Small Town America-Pennsylvania style

Saturday 6/22 we made another foray to a PA town for a “anything made before 1983” show along Main street. This time it was to Waynesboro, a small town a little north of the MD border and near Ft. Ritchie and Camp David. It was a pleasant 1 3/4 hour drive on country roads to the town, where we found about a half-dozen of our BRRTA friends already set up. They had saved us a space, so we were all together -almost all of us, anyway. Gene had parked his E Type about 1/2 block away because he entered from the other end and did not see us. The show was well organized and well attended, as you can see from the variety of cars on display. Temperature was in the mid to upper 80’s, so shade was necessary to survive. Also, lunch in a very nice air-conditioned cafe helped us avoid the mid-day heat. The only things missing were the chairs and umbrellas I forgot to put in the trunk when I took the Daimler out of our garage. Age related or just stupid????

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At about 3pm the show was over and we all headed over to Mike & Patty’s’ house for an early grill dinner on their attractive backyard deck. They’ve done almost all of the wood and stone work themselves, and it is fantastic. After stuffing ourselves, we left about 6 for the drive home over the same country roads, and it took about the same time. After we got back here, I realized the headlights and other things that power off the dash system were not working. I haven’t investigated yet, but am assuming a blown fuse. We did still have turn signals, emergency flashers  and brake lights, and the “bright” stalk on the steering column would activate the hi beams. One nice thing about driving on the longest day is that really late sunset. Here are a few shots from the cookout.

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Again, thanks to Mike & Patty for hosting the group, and for making us all aware of the event in the first place.


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A Fairgrounds kind of day

I remember how, in the mid-1950’s, the Mid Ohio Sports Car Club would rent the dirt track at the Canfield Fairgrounds and my mother would so enjoy driving around it in her TD. The Latimore Valley Fairgrounds is a throwback to that era, especially being home to the Eastern Racing Museum. The museum features the dirt track racers and Sprint Cars that used to be so popular with the weekend racer-built it yourself crowd.DSC08015


The show was sponsored by the Gettysburg chapter of the AACA; they had invited some local British car clubs to attend and be in a special featured class. 30 cars took them up on the offer, and there was a nice variety, including the wood-chassis Marcos I  had seen the previous Sunday at Lilypons, a Jenson, a V-12 E-Type, a Cobra, our SP250, a Lotus Elan, Gene’s earlier E-Type, and a nice group of Triumphs, Austin Healeys and MGs.

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As would be expected at an AACA show, there were some wonderful examples of the early years of the domestic car industry (trucks too).

DSC08004 DSC08005 DSC08003 DSC08002 DSC07994The brown truck (above right) was electric.

There were also the expected Mustangs, Pontiac’s, Buick’s, Chevy’s, Fords, Ply mouths, T-Birds, a WW-ll Jeep, a Crosley convertible and a hand built firetruck body on Crosley drive-train.

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The organizers were nice enough to give a participation trophy to every British car owner as a thank you for attending. So, a pleasant 60 mile trip back home on back roads and another event in the memory bank.

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I have to admire a club that makes their featured marque “other British”. So, in spite of an “iffy” weather forecast and having to make the 1 1/2 hr. drive solo, I headed out for Lilypons Water Gardens, the site of the 36th annual show the Chesapeake Chapter of the New England MG T Register has staged to celebrate British Cars.

And the band plays on.

And the band plays on.

To my pleasant surprise, my sort-of-neighbor (a mile or so) was there with his SP; we probably set the record for most SP’s at this show.

Joe's x-racer A-spec on the left.

Joe’s x-racer A-spec on the left.

Our class included a Taxi, Riley “barn find 4-door, newish Marcos, AC, a couple English Fords, 3-wheeler with Citreon engine (not sure it was British), Delorean, and others I can’t remember.

The show also has the usual gaggle of MGs, TRs, Healeys, Jags, Royces, Sunbeams, Morgans, etc.

Ran into Jesse, and I think the Sprite is Biff’s “Kermit”.
Sprinkles started falling about noon, so Joe & I headed out about 1. Good, quick run on I-70 at low 70’s and home before the rain got serious. A good day at a nice show! And, it was Drive Your British Car Week, you know.

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Plans for 2013

2013 trips

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Westward Ho finally a GO

Originally scheduled for the Sandy weekend, our club drive went from Westward Ho to Westward NO. November 4th dawned (an hour earlier, thank you) with partly cloudy skies and temps in the low 40’s. The drive started from Caledonia State Park (PA) ,

lined up ready to start

a 2-hr. drive for us. Put the top down, and joined the other 12 cars for a scenic run thru the South Mountain countryside. We arrived at our lunch stop (Kings Gap State Park) about noon and enjoyed the conversations, shared deserts and spectacular scenery.    

Cars on the run were a Mini, a Bini, Morgan, 2 big Healys, a Super 7 replica, our Daimler,Jag and 5 MG’s. On the afternoon run we stopped at Pine Grove Furnace State Park General Store (see a pattern here?) for ice cream.

bundled up and ready to go

Unfortunately, Sandy had caused a 3 day power outage and all the ice cream melted. Store was closed. Oh Well. Left there and 2:15 later pulled up at home. Windblown but comfortable. And before dark, which is important when your 50 year old car doesn’t have the brightest lights on the back.  This may not be the last drive of the year though, since there are tentative plans to attend the “Turkey Bowl at Summit Point Raceway Thanksgiving weekend. Weather will probably be the deciding factor.

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Dillsburg PA Farmers Fall Fair

Left Baltimore about 8am on Sat. 10/20 for Dillsburg PA and their Farmers Fair. As a part of the event the town puts on to show appreciation for the agricultural heritage and economic impact, the show includes a car/truck/tractor display on the main streets. There are a ton of food vendors, all with profits dedicated to a local non-profit organization. Our weather was in the low 60’s with sun & clouds, very pleasant. In fact, pleasant enough we did the 1:45 drive home top down. But back to the show…there were trucks

Really neat old Ford truck.

Restored Chevy panel truck

Really neat pre-WW2 Mack truck with local artisan pickle company signage.

Who knew Packard made thousands of trucks for various governments for use in WW1? This is a perfect example.

























and there were hot rods, many from the 1930’s…

Streetrod truck being chased by a Cobra replica.

Chevy streetrod.

1929 Plymouth streetrod. Strange.

and a lot of nicely restored American sedans…

The big and the little of the 57 Chevy scene.

Yellow Buick













And best of all, a great collection of British cars, most of them owned by BRRTA members…

Stan Carpenter’s ’72 V-12 OTS E-type.

Steve-Doug-Frank’s cars.







It was nice to hear the comments from people who knew of the car but had never seen one.







and Triumphs

and a Morgan

and MG’s






Presidential model used by the PA Governor to open new “black topped” roads; biggest Studebaker I have ever seen.











plus some very unusual cars with special histories.



and of course, the tractors, 2 blocks of them, most in fantastic -read not used to plow- condition.

Blocks of tractors…red, green, orange, silver, blue.

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