North Jersey Regional Tour

Share photos, videos, schedules and your experience touring in Brass-Era autos
Post Reply
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Morristown, NJ

North Jersey Regional Tour

Post by oldcarfudd » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:57 pm

The North Jersey Regional Group’s annual tour was based at the Chauncey Conference Center at Princeton, NJ, an excellent modern facility with good food
(breakfast included a custom omelet station) and easy access to lightly-traveled county roads. The tour was smaller than usual – only 18 cars, of which only two were from the Canadian contingent that normally comes south to share our tours in the years that we’re not going north to share theirs. The weather was superb. We had a good turnout of kids – Mitchell and Maxwell, the Wozniak twins; Sutton and Dean Woolley (these four kids are calling themselves the Woolliaks); and some participation from the elder Woolleys’ twin grandsons, Ben and Bud. We also had a dog and a parrot, courtesy of Ed Bitten and Donna Whitlinger.

Monday found us on some hills on the way to coffee and munchies at the home and collection of Laura and National Vice President Karl Darby. From there we went via NJ’s last surviving covered bridge to lunch at NJ’s oldest brew pub, which had good food and beverages but slow service because they weren’t expecting such a big crowd on a Monday. (Full disclosure: the day’s tourmaster – ‘twas I – hadn’t thought to warn ‘em we were coming.) After lunch we crossed the Delaware into Pennsylvania for more hills, three covered bridges, and a country airport with biplanes and gliders to gawk at, before returning to NJ for ice cream at a place my stepdaughter recommended that I still don’t know how to pronounce; it’s spelled oWowcow and it sure is yummy!
Debbie Tzountzouris enjoyed the stop at oWowcow
Canadian Michael Hoegl said he’d brought the wrong car. He had a huge speedster built on a 1913 LaFrance truck chassis; fast and noisy and smoky, but a bear to handle on narrow, twisty roads. He rode the next two days in my Model T.
Michael Hoegl's gargantuan LaFrance speedster
John Memmelaar broke a key in his Ford’s drive train, and was towed back to the hotel, where he fixed the car in the parking lot and was able to tour the rest of the week.
Portrait of John Memmelaar fixing his drive train.
Daryl and Kathy Kemerer, touring in a Flanders, were smitten by the scenery around the covered bridges and took lots of pictures – I hope they’ll post them here or on the HCCA Facebook page.

Tuesday Bob Stelle and Terri Ledva treated us to a long ride out to Pennsylvania to the former home of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning Pearl Buck, best known as the author of The Good Earth. We had a tour of her home and its fascinating artifacts from China and elsewhere in the Orient, and a catered box lunch which most of us ate outside since it was too hot under the tent. We stopped at a lavender farm on the way home, where a bit of money changed hands. Then we went to New Hope, PA, a shopper’s mecca with an ice-cream shop where considerably more money changed hands. Sam Tzountzouris needed to do some doctoring to his low band; touring in Florida in the winter and southern Ontario in the summer hadn’t prepared his T for the hills of Bucks County.

Wednesday’s main attraction was the New Jersey Live Steamers, a club that builds and operates scale model steam trains on a mile or so of track. The cars are big enough to ride on as long as bigger passengers don’t shift their weight while in motion.
Getting set for some choo-chooing!
These guys have a lot of fun and enjoy giving rides; some of them also took rides in a couple of our cars. They have a snack bar and make good burgers and franks. Before the steamers we visited Marion and Dave Lounsburys’ collection; afterward, we visited the senior Woolleys. 8-year-old Sutton Woolley gave out colored rubber bands that she said entitled the wearer to a custom tour of the Woolley house; when Fran Woolley found out, she laid down some ground rules as to just what it was that Sutton would be allowed to show. Ice cream was at Thomas Sweets; by now some cars were needing more than simple low-band adjustments. Fortunately, there were no more steep hills on the tour.

Thursday featured a short ride to Grounds for Sculpture. This had something for everyone. The kids loved it, partly because there was lots of room to run around, partly because most sculptures specifically invited being touched, and partly because their maiden aunts and ministers would have found a few of the sculptures a bit too naughty for young eyes.
Look at those old cars! No, no, the cars! THE CARS!
After lunch we had a rather long drive (we had to get around Trenton) to the beautiful riverside home of Gail and Howard Schaevitz and their spectacular collection of Packards.
From the best seat in the house, Howard Schaevitz tells Andy Wallace about his Packards.
Howard provided ice cream bars out of the back of a station wagon because, as he said: “What’s a car tour without ice cream?” Coming home we were briefly caught in rush hour traffic just to remind us that we really were in New Jersey.

Friday had very little driving. We parked our cars at Morven, the former governor's residence, and went on a walking tour of some of Princeton Borough and the Princeton University campus.
Some of our cars parked at Morven.
We saw the homes of prominent politicians of yore (Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland, both U.S. presidents), industrialists (Messrs Bristol, Meyers, Squibb, Rand, McNally and lots of others), and famous learned men (Thomas Mann, Einstein, Oppenheimer, von Neumann). We learned about some ghosts, and saw the look-alike house where Einstein (who may have been relatively intelligent but was also famously absent-minded) sometimes wandered in by mistake; the owner would entertain him for a while and then have the cops take him to his proper home. The woman who guided us did a great job of enlisting the kids’ help and keeping everyone interested. We stopped at an orchard on the way home.

After that evening’s farewell banquet, the kids put on a presentation recapping their week.
Our future tour drivers entertain us after dinner.
The Canadians are going to put on the 2016 tour near Georgian Bay. We’re looking for volunteers to step forward and do the 2015 tour.

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:17 am
Location: Ontario

Re: North Jersey Regional Tour

Post by ihayhurs » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:32 am

Looks like a great time--sorry we couldn't make it this year! Hope to see more photos posted--thanks for these, Gil.

Post Reply