Automobubbling in Brandywine

Share photos, videos, schedules and your experience touring in Brass-Era autos

Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby rendo » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:04 pm

Brass tour in the Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania and Delaware organized by the Northern New Jersey - Southern Ontario Region.
Glen Mills School
Stoltzfus Structures
Kaolin Mushroom Farms
Stoltzfus Structures Parkesburg
Ice Tools Museum West Chester Pa
too much fun casualty
beer garden at Longwood Gardens
banner image.png
Last edited by rendo on Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:13 am

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby LAN » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:06 am

The BEST tour ever 8) 8)
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:22 pm

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby jeff deringer » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:52 pm

Great looking cars! What is the red touring (probably the photographers) that is partially shown in a couple shots, and then with the two ladies in front of it? Looks beautiful.
jeff deringer
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:56 pm
Location: Camas, Wa

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby rendo » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:55 pm

jeff deringer wrote:Great looking cars! What is the red touring (probably the photographers) that is partially shown in a couple shots, and then with the two ladies in front of it? Looks beautiful.

Model 17? Buick
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:13 am

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby LAN » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:17 am

The red touring partially shown in photograph is a 1910 Model T. Ops with two ladies in front it is a Buick :D
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:22 pm

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby oldcarfudd » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:20 pm

These are terrific pictures! Even the one of me napping on the lawn! I will add a few, along with comments about the tour.

I don’t remember what I expected from a tour whose host hotel fronted on super-busy U.S. Route 202 in Wilmington, Delaware. I certainly didn’t expect scenic rural roads that rivaled the nicest on which I’ve ever had the pleasure of touring. This was a gem! Here are some shots taken a quarter mile from the hotel’s back entrance.
Jane Grove and Jerry Stout in Jane's E-M-F

A Model 17 Buick

Larry Wright and Phyllis Ims in their Cadillac

There were covered bridges, winding paths along creeks, some serious hills, and not much traffic. The first couple of days were hot and humid, but a lot of the driving was in deep woods and it was quite pleasant touring in the shade. We got unexpected rain on Wednesday at lunch time, and expected rain on Thursday afternoon that saw several drivers opt to take their modern iron. Friday was picture perfect.

Attendance was down a bit. The Woolley youngsters, Sutton and Dean, were there, but the Wozniak kids, Mitchell and Maxwell, weren’t; no Woolliaks this year! And there were no Canadians, young or old; what happened, guys? The little cutie in one of the prior pictures is Addison (Addie) Scanel, granddaughter of Sandy and Manny Rein; watched by parents Erika and Mark, Addie flirted with absolutely everybody and probably acquired 25 new honorary aunts and uncles. Charlotte (Charlie) Hughes and her 14-year-old grandson Jason Smith came as guests of Carol Storms and Ken Campbell; Jason had his first navigation lesson riding with me, and did fine.

Tour directors John and Joyce Rendemonti had a sub-theme. They showcased businesses that started small, grew through the hard work of the founders, and became successful. Monday we had a tour of Stoltzfus Structures. Amishman Gideon Zook took it over 40 years ago. His Mennonite sons mostly run it now. Most of the workers are Amish, but about 15% are “English” (that means us!) so they can take the non-driving Amishmen to and from work, and drive the trucks that deliver finished sheds to customers. “Sheds” is a misnomer; a growing portion of the product is multi-car garages, workshops, and hunting cabins. Some are quite luxurious, and even the basic ones are very well made.
An Amish workman building a shed

Tuesday’s first destination was the Kaolin Mushroom Farm. To tour it, we had to comply with an Islamic-sounding dress code; no jewelry, no nail polish, no uncovered hair, no bare limbs – what was this? Shi’ite Shrooms? Fatwa Fungi? No, just a food processing plant. No one wants to find earrings or fake nails in a package of mushrooms, so we had to cover ourselves up. The owner’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant, started the business. And it’s drudge work! An employee has to select, cut and bag a suitable mushroom about every 10 seconds. Most of today’s workers are Mexicans, and Kaolin offers them free English lessons and help with the naturalization process. Following the rags-to-riches tradition, some of the Mexican workers are starting their own companies.
You have ten seconds to choose, cut and bag a mushroom. And ten seconds to do the next one - - -

After a catered lunch at a lovely old country church, we toured the Herr’s Snack Factory. This was started about the time of World War II by Mr. Herr, who sliced potatoes by hand, fried them, salted them, bagged them, and delivered them to local stores in a van. No more. The place is huge and highly automated. Raw food is delivered at one end and bags of snacks come out the other. Good snacks, too – we sampled warm potato chips right out of the oven!
Two Fords frame Nottingham Presbyterian Church with its buttressed walls of native stone

Wednesday’s featured small business was Lou Mandich’s Last Chance Garage, where cars of various generations (but mostly pre-WWII) are restored.
Tricia and Andy Wallace's Packard at the Last Chance Garage

Gil Fitzhugh's Buick and two Fords at the Last Chance Garage

The Rendemontis' Franklin, the Nunninks' Ford, and another Ford at the Last Chance Garage

A Ford at the Last Chance Garage

Then we went on to see the result of an older rags-to-riches story. E.I. Du Pont came to this country in 1801, one jump ahead of French revolutionaries who would have separated him from his head (his father had been an advisor to Louis XVI). He had no money, but he was blessed with a good work ethic. He also had connections with names like Adams and Jefferson. He created a fortune making black gunpowder, which was in high demand during skirmishes like the War of 1812 and the Union side of the Civil War. A descendant, Pierre S. Du Pont, headed both the Du Pont companies and General Motors. He used some of his fortune to create Longwood Gardens, one of the most elegant in the country. Unfortunately, the weather turned unpleasant, so several of us drowned rats cut our walk short and went home early. Later the weather improved, and we had a car show for patrons of the five chain restaurants across the street from the hotel.
North Jersey RG President Bob Stelle's Cadillac at the car show

Thursday we visited a museum of ice harvesting tools. Back in the day, cutting ice in the winter and transporting it to warmer places for use in summer was a major industry.
The Rendemontis' Franklin at the ice museum

A poster showing the importance of the ice industry before refrigeration

A horse-drawn ice wagon, with ice saws on the wall behind

Then we explored the Brandywine River, around which we had been automobubbling all week. It was the scene of a defeat for Washington’s troops in the Revolution. Washington guarded the fords he knew about; the British knew about two others, farther upstream, and won the battle of Chadd’s Ford. We saw the house where Washington had his headquarters. We saw reenactors from the Pennsylvania Navy (go figure!) demonstrate musket shooting.
Imagine the noise and smoke if a couple of thousand soldiers were doing this!

On the way home we enjoyed our only en-route ice cream stop of the week, and a very good one it was! But we managed to save room for a fine dinner at a local restaurant.

Friday we saw a different aspect of the Brandywine. It has a significant drop as it flows from Pennsylvania to the Delaware River. This allowed it to be dammed, and the resulting power let E. I. Du Pont and his descendents build their gunpowder empire. We had a guided tour of some of the restored powder works and the home E. I. built. We also toured the home of a later Du Pont. He had become a collector of fine art and early Americana, and had put an extra 155 rooms (!) on his house to accommodate his guests and his collection. After he died the place was turned into a magnificent museum, with spectacular displays. Some of the conversion resulted in the removal of 30 bathrooms, which will give you an idea of the scale of the place.

That night we had a buffet, and said our farewells. Many thanks to Joyce and John Rendemonti for heading up this fine tour, and to Bob Stelle for Wednesday's and Friday's routes. Next year we’re meeting up with our Canadian friends on the shores of Georgian Bay. Be there!

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Morristown, NJ

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby Tall » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:58 am

Awesome photos and tour report! What was the story behind the "T" broken down in the middle of the road with cones all around?
Do you want a real tomahawk or a rubber tomahawk?
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:26 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby LAN » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:48 am

The T had a broken crank and froze up on the spot :cry:
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:22 pm

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby LAN » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:49 am

Once again a fantastic article from Gil! Thank you!
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:22 pm

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby rendo » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:35 am

Gil, now wordsmith. Great and informative narrative of a wonderful tour. Good touring with you.
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:13 am

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby Freighter Jim » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:57 pm

A footnote:

Lou Mandich is my friend.

Last Chance Garage is a " must see " for anyone in the Philadelphia, PA area ...

I did a story on Lou a few years ago on the AACA Forum ...

Freighter Jim
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:15 am

Re: Automobubbling in Brandywine

Postby john88 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:11 pm

Thank you to all that shared pictures and tour reports for this!
Drive carefully, and enjoy!

Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:04 pm

Return to Tour and Swap Meet Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests