Gunners Garage

Friends on Both Sides of the Barricades

The De Dion-Bouton drew a crowd.

The De Dion-Bouton drew a crowd.

Almost every July we go to the vintage races at Elkhart Lake in July. One of the big attractions is the Street Car Concours on Saturday evening. About 25,000 people show up for this event. It’s a big street party.

The concours takes place on the streets surrounding the famous Siebkens resort in Elkhart Lake. This is the bistro where drivers like Paul Newman and Mario Andretti hung out when they raced at Road America. Barricades are placed across the road at the top of the street right where the resort begins.

We have plenty of friends on the car show side of the barricades. Many of them show fancy cars and win awards. We are also friends with the car show judges, since we were on their team for a number of years. And we have friends who just mill around in the crowd, eyeballing some fantastically restored automobiles.

We also have a couple of friends who hang out just on the other side of the barricades with a couple of more friends of theirs. These fellows don’t have fancy cars, but they often steal the show by bringing out their ancient Indian and Harley motorcycles. They give the pedals a kick, the engines start “putt-putting” and pretty soon a big crowd gathers to watch and listen to the sounds of long ago.

These friends on the other side of the barricade are kind of like “those magnificent men in their flying machines” except their conveyances has two wheels instead of wings. And this year they brought along another friend with the most wonderful example of an unrestored De Dion-Bouton runabout we’ve ever seen. Despite dimples in the fenders, scratches on the paint and sags in the black leather upholstery, after a bit of tinkering (or was in showmanship?) the car’s engine kicked to life and the crowd applauded.

It’s always fun to see what shows up on the other side of the barricade!

Ken tinkers with an Indian that he helped restore.

Ken tinkers with an Indian that he helped restore.

The Indian owner looks ready to ride into the past.

The Indian owner looks ready to ride into the past.

Daryl enjoys his Harley and so does the crowd.

Daryl enjoys his Harley and so does the crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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