After the weather gods intervened and changed the show to Sunday, June 3rd, Dave and I hit the road to Xavier High School for the Eric J. Kalber Memorial Car Show.
Where to start looking? Within seconds of arriving I was distracted by shiny things, three of them in fact, so the Middletown Toyota display with its trio of new vehicles, became our first stop. We met Lori Heden and Alex Robson, and got an up-close and personal look at the 2013 Scion FR-S, which Alex said was just released to dealerships on Friday. With rear-wheel drive, 200hp boxer engine and six-speed transmission, Scion’s new baby looks like a winner to me. He also showed me a screaming yellow 2012 Scion tC and the cute 2012 iQ, while Lori was kind enough to pose with the cars for Dave’s camera.
Dave and I have come across an unusual 1936 Auburn at several car shows over the last two years, so we were pleased that we finally got to meet the car’s owner, Herb Caso of Cromwell. I kiddingly told Herb I have been “stalking” his car and have admired it at Hammonasset Beach, Main Street Middletown and the Berlin Fairgrounds. “I saw the car in Hemmings Motor News and bought it in New Hampshire in 1983,” according to Herb. “I’ve done a 100% restoration. They only made 13 of this particular model.” With its sweeping lines and art-deco looks, the Auburn is a head-turning beauty.
While I was talking to Herb, I noticed that Dave had also been distracted by shiny things in the shape of Middletown resident Carl Marino’s beautiful hand built, one-of-a-kind 2002 Harley Custom Trike called “The Eagle.” The eagle-shaped metalwork on the trike was amazing and gathered a lot of attention throughout the show.
Allan Uzwiak, from Chester, CT, put about 300 hours into building his metallic blue 2011 Superlite Coupe. Looking like a refugee from the Grand-Am race series, the ground-hugging car drew lots of admiring glances. “It was a pretty quick build,” Allan said. “I love this car. I drive as often as I can. It’s easy to drive and I can get 25mpg if I’m careful!” The Superlite is built on an an aluminum chassis that carries CNC-machined aluminum suspension arms and race-bred double adjustable shocks. Helping the power from the LS376 Corvette engine get to the ground is a Ricardo transaxle from a Ford GT.
Middletown resident Steve Baldwin was eager to tell us that his Chevy AC International Coupe would be the featured car at this year’s Middletown Antique/Classic Car and Truck Show, to be held at Middletown HS in October. The car, built in 1929 and featuring the first six-cylinder engine manufactured by Chevrolet, is something to see. Not content with one great-looking ride, Steve had his 1987 GMC Caballero parked next to the Chevy.
Starting his racing career early in life, 15-year-old Nick Sowa, from Middletown, had his 2011 Ford Legend Coupe on show. “It has a 122hp, 1250cc Yamaha engine and is about 10 ½ x 5 feet in size. I race this car in New Hampshire and at the Waterford Speedbowl. I’m off to a bit of a slow start with three fourth-place finishes at Waterford this season.” Nick told us that his ambition is to race one day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Another car that caught my eye was Todd and Bev Lucas’ 1962 Chrysler Newport. The golden beauty has 62,000 original miles, a 361 V8, push-button transmission, power windows and seats and an original price tag of $2,964.