The 39th annual Rutland Area Vehicle Enthusiasts Car Show and Flea Market filled Vermont State Fairgrounds July 14 and 15 with spectators and collectors. The air was filled with the sounds of the kind of music — Bobby Darin! Jerry Lee Lewis! Little Richard! Temptations! — your grandparents danced to. Street Talk was there. And square!
Jeff Machain, Brandon
You’ve got to love it. I enjoy working on it. It gives me hard times, but I enjoy it. You got to love them.
RH: Tell me about your car.
JM: It’s a ’77 Nova. We bought it seven years ago.
RH: What’s that color called.
JM: Misty turquoise. The wife’s choice.
MRS. JM: That’s why her name is “Misty.”
JM: Stripped it apart. Took me 2 1/2 years from the frame to what you see now.
Tim Whitford, Ticonderoga, N.Y.
This is actually my wife’s car. It’s a ’79 Camaro RS. And she saw it on the street in Lake George about 20 years ago. She says, “Stop! Stop! There’s a ‘for sale’ sign on it.” So we stopped, and now we’ve got it.
RH: And what have you done to it?
TW: About everything. It’s the original motor and everything, but we personalized it, chromed it and different things. Bought some wheels. Gave it a new paint job. It’s the original color paint, just new paint.
Steve Patnode, Ticonderoga, N.Y.
Since I was a kid, I always had Mustangs and hot rods, and it’s just never gone away. It’s in my blood. I’m a Ford Mustang person and that’s just about all I can say. I’m a Ford lover.
RH: What’s the first Mustang you ever owned?
SP: A ’67 2-door coupe.
RH: You still have it?
SP: No, no. I have a few spare cars in a sand pit, for parts, but I haven’t built a car in, like, 25 years. The kids have taken over, the grandkids. This is my latest toy over about eight years and I’ve enjoyed every day of it. It’s a 2008 Carroll Shelby GT 500 Cobra. It’s a 5.4 SuperCharger, it’s a little over 700 horse car. It’s very quick, very enjoyable. Drives nice. I enjoy it very much. This thing sits in the garage all week long, until Sundays, until I go to a car show, every Sunday for seven years with this particular car. And I have fun. It’s relaxing, it’s enjoyable, and I love talking to all the friends and fans around the cars.
RH: Tell me about the back roads now. You can’t go back there no more?
SP: No, the state’s taken over the back roads up there. We used to go up there with our old cars and have a good time and run them and stuff, but there’s no place to do that anymore, so we have to consider and relax and enjoy our newer cars.
Francis McGinnis, Rutland
I’ve had ’56 Fords since 1961, me and my wife got married. We had a ’56 convertible, and now I’ve got four of these. They only made 603 of these, ’56 Ford Skyliner. It’s got a top you can see through. I’m just amazed by the engineering in these cars, the old ones. New ones don’t turn me on.
Steve Baccei, Rutland
I’ve been into cars for as long as I can remember. I’m 70 years old, and my first car was a ’67 Mustang, and things just progressed from there. Just a little bit here, a little bit there. Maybe it’s just the workings of it, the things you can do with them if you own a hot rod or something like that, and I guess, when I was younger, a need for speed. I bought this car new. It’s an ’82 Mustang GT. It’s been slightly modified. It’s just a hobby that keeps me occupied.
RH: You stuck with the Mustang. You must like that car.
SB: Yes, I do. This is my third one. I had a couple of other vehicles in between, but I always seem to come back to it. I’ve owned it for 36 years. It’s been through a couple of winters, but after that I just put it away. I take it out when I feel like it and just enjoy it.
Gary Neil, Claremont, N.H.
It’s a passion, and you can have a passion for this because it’s a lot of work. Everybody thinks there’s a lot of glamor in it, but also there’s a lot of work in it. In order to be good at it and to win, you have to put some time into it. I’ve lost a couple of marriages because of it. Your passion goes more toward your vehicles.
RH: The women don’t much care for that.
GN: No, they don’t have the sense of humor for it. I’m at the age now I’m almost ready to retire, and I had to think what am I going to do with my life — am I just going to sit around on the porch and watch the grass grow, or am I going to be out every weekend having fun with my car? And that’s what I’m doing. It’s a 1979 Chevy Malibu. It’s not original by any means — it’s hot-rodded. It’s got a 400-cubic foot engine in it, 40 over, almost a 409. I’ve had it since the ’90s. I’ve had it almost 20 years now, and I’ve had a ball with it. It’s been almost everywhere. We go from Lake Placid, New York, all the way to Maine, to Connecticut. It’s just what we do. Every weekend, I try to pick out a spot, and we go. I’ve been here several times in the past, and I’ve enjoyed it. So now we’re back again to try it again. We haven’t been here for awhile.
Jeremy Trombley, Hubbardton
It’s just been forever. I’ve been into cars so long. Funny story from back in the day — my dad had a Pontiac, ’75 model Grand Prix with the wheel covers, which I always kind of didn’t dig. He comes home one day, I’m in the garage, I’m 8 years old, I’ve got it sitting up on the ramps to see what it looked like jacked up. I’ve just always had fun with cars. We like to go to the drag races, car shows, pretty much everything to do with cars. I just love the classics, anything from the ’40s to the ’70s. That’s when cars were designed — they were pretty to look at, there were lots of interesting models. Nowadays, these things have gotten so rare that when you get to see one, it’s a joy to see that someone’s has preserved one.
Bob Bourn, Shaftbury
It’s a ’76 Maverick Stallion. That was the last year they made the Stallion. They only made it one year. They stopped making the Maverick in ’77.
RH: What is it about cars that fascinates you?
BB: Everything. The style, the different colors people paint them, the different ways that people do them. Some people keep them original, some people customize them. I like to look at all of them.