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Now before you take us wrong, we have a deep love affair with the AACA fallmeet at Hershey. Driving down from New York and seeing the first overloaded pick-up going there our heart will jump with chocolate joy. Upon leaving after the Saturday concours the homesick fevers start before Hershey Park Drive is behind us. No question about our feelings for the the greatest autojumble in the world. Yet in a good relation one should be able to tell about what's bothering you as well:
Hershey you've got a problem. And we truly hope you can think up a solution.
This is the Hershey we like to see and what's still there, lively busy and addictive. In places like here at the north side of Chocolate all looks fine. Lots of stand, lots of people, great atmoshere. Only too bad that also truckloads of non-automotive stuff was being sold (when stopped the AACA checking like we have seen in other years?). In the very same Chocolate field, but then on the south side - in earlier years the very heart of the show - we found vast empty areas that look... like an average parking lot. Or an asphalt desert. Both pictures taken on Friday around 11 in the morning. So at a time that new arrivals hardly can be expected. And this is not only in Chocolate. In the remote fields behind Stadium and Giant center the situation is similar. Come on AACA Eastern Region, don't let Hershey loose its muscles!
The issue is not new and it is known to most who comes here. We don't judge, we don't know for sure what causes are. But we strongly believe that finding a solution is no rocket science.
Already we're looking foward to next year's Hershey 4 - 7 October. To meet good old friends once again. To enjoy even more of the fun we had this year. More great american food. More of Cowboy John's autoparts. And the stand of an even bigger cowboy. And two wheeler cowboys (this Thor just did a full coast-t0-coast! the Motorbike Cannonball! Be sure to check his digital-nomad dashboard). And sales promotions like you only will see once every four years. And life-size toys (only in America!). And 1 Million dollar tin in the car coral. And a 2 Million dollar dual cowl tourer at RM Sotheby's. And the miss of the year oily rag Packard Roadster, sh.t !) And museum quality collector stuff. And the sexiest Locomobile we ever saw (how about a pointed twin ass like this, WoW! ). And the rarest american made cyclecar, a 1914 Trumbull. And the coolest Marmon V16 two seater of the planet.
So Yes, YEs, YES ! Despite the things we we don't like, despite the issues we we must critisize, when it comes to voting, we would vote for this sweet little town in Pennsylvania.
Hershey we love you! (tomorrow a post-war Hershey report)
Martin 'Thornycroft' Shelley reported yesterday to us regarding his long-long time Thornycroft project (you may remember his progress reports from these pages) that it is finally warming up the tarmac:
"At last the Thornycroft is a runner and a good one at that. Just over a week ago I was joined by my son Philip for a day out driving the car alongside a bunch of veteran motorcyclists who had gathered at the Scottish Museum of Flight at East Fortune aerodrome in East Lothian where the R34 commenced its transatlantic flight in 1919 and where I had flown model aircraft in the 1960s and raced vintage bikes in the 70s.
The car performed faultlessly, running for well over an hour without attention and covering something over 25 miles. She started first time every time and all the systems worked as designed, the trembler coil/magneto dual ignition, the exhaust pressure fed fuel system, the cast iron on cast iron rear brakes, the hand throttle (pictured in one shot with the Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle in the background). It was all very gratifying, and I felt pleased to have reached this stage with the car.
There is still some development work to be done, as the inlet manifold is icy cold even after a long run, so the inlet air needs heating (for which there is provision via a muff around the exhaust manifold) and at some point the touring body will need to be refitted (it was removed after construction in March 2009 and remains in storage in Kent).
However, it's nice to have a car on the road not an interminable project. Last Saturday I was also invited to talk to the VSCC Northern Dinner about the restoration, and as the previous weekend, all went to plan, and it seemed to be appreciated by the assembled company.
Thanks for all your encouragement and support over what now seems a very long time!"
Martin Shelley (photos Philip Shelley)
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