Dan David, Newsletter editor, Belltown Antique Car Club - It was a fine day at the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds on the first Sunday in August for the 53rd annual Belltown Vintage Motorcar Meet, presented by the Belltown Antique Car Club of East Hampton, Conn. As usual it was the place to be for those who love old vehicles preserved or restored to the way they were back in the day. Some 240 antique cars and trucks of every description, all at least 40 years young, were arrayed on the grassy fields of the fairgrounds. Their proud owners were on hand to chat with spectators, many of whom were old car hobbyists themselves. Throughout the day show announcer Steven Rossi, a nationally-known automotive historian and columnist for Antique Automobile magazine, kept attendees informed about the comings and goings of the show cars and what was special about them.
Unique “Belltown Bell” trophies were awarded in 24 classes at the end of the show, based on evaluations by judging teams from the host club. Four special awards were also given, including the announcer’s trophy, which went to a rarely seen 1929 Viking sedan locally owned by Cliff Baker. The Viking was a short-lived companion car to Oldsmobile that featured a unique monoblock V-8 engine with horizontal valves. Cliff originally bought his Viking and drove it while he was in high school in Brooklyn, N.Y., parking it after he entered military service 50 years ago. It remained stored in his garage until this year, when he brought it back to life (with a little help from his friends) as his first retirement project. The now road-worthy machine is still largely unrestored.
The Belltown Antique Car Club, based in East Hampton, has 85 members in the lower Connecticut River valley area and beyond. For more information about the club and photos from the show, visit http://www.belltownantiquecarclub.org.