Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Bloom: Victor Car Show 2009


One thing about the long winters here in western New York is that the landscape turns into an automotive wasteland. Unless you're really into '90s shitbox beaters (the '80s ones all returned to the earth some time ago) or Outbacks, Quattros and X5s, for about five months there's precious little of interest to be seen on the roads. Right around the time you've forgotten that there ever was, spring arrives, and with it, the pleasant realization that among this region's many splendors are an intractable group of eccentrics who can't wait another day to bring the Daimler Dart out of storage, and so that's what you see sitting next to you at the intersection, idling loudly, top stowed, on a brilliant 40 degree morning in April.

By early summer the automotive ecosystem is as diverse and colorful as any in the world, and nowhere is this more evident than at the annual Sports Car and Vintage Auto Festival hosted jointly by the MG Car Club of Western New York and the Victor Lions Club in nearby Farmington. They boast that it's "the East Coast's largest one-day car show," which is really just a fancy way of saying that it's big but not that big, because, really, it's not. But in its all-inclusive and dizzingly random scope—where else are you going to see a 1923 Bentley, a pair of Renault Alpines, an Amphicar, a hundred-point body-off restoration '49 Hudson Commodore convertible, and a Ranchero-ized Lincoln Continental Mark IV all in the same place?—the Victor car show, as most people refer to it, is pretty hard to beat.

Some other highlights:


Lots of pretty Jags, but this sinister fixed head coupe might have been my personal best in show. So gorgeous, and so evil.


Sweet Lancia Fulvia driver.


Not generally a fan of '50s T-Birds, but this one, sans portholes and typical fat whitewalls, just looked awesome.


How much more charismatic is yesterday's baby Lambo Jalpa than today's generic, dime-a-dozen Gallardos?


And what could be more ghastly than a Mondial with wire wheels? Answer: a Mondial with chrome wire wheels!


My dream car, sitting there with a for sale sign right in the window. Super nice guy. He wanted six for it. (Cough.) Said he had a guy who could fix all the rust for a grand. (Cough, cough.) Riiiight. I'm going to buy a Quattroporte someday, but it won't be this one.


A '70 to my dad's '69, but otherwise nearly identical to the car that is indelibly embedded as my earliest automotive memory. An absolutely awesome and bafflingly undercelebrated vehicle.


As always, some of the coolest cars on view were to be found in the parking lot.


See above! Full slideshow below.


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