May 16th 2021 – Commemorative Cruise to Hammonasset Park

Hammonasset turned out to be a popular destination for our second 40th Anniversary commemorative tour and a good selection of Triumphs and MGs made the trip.

Hammonasset 3Some rather ominous clouds were gathering over Harbor Park in Middletown but the skies were still blue in the direction of Hammonasset, so a good sized caravan of cars set off for a trip to the seaside.

The run followed roughly the original route with a slight de-tour to enjoy the scenic delights of route 77 from Durham to its junction with route 80. It was along this road that a memorable little cameo took place.
I was leading the convoy past a house where a young lad and his dad were working in the front yard. The little boy saw us approaching and ran towards his dad to point out the cars. I waved as we went by, and from the various toots on the horn that I could hear behind me it seems we gave a young boy a drive-by car show to remember.
That wasn’t the only positive impression we made, but it stood out as an example of the pleasure our cars give not only to us but to people who see us pass by or when parked up at the end of the run.

Hammonasset 2I think we had more or less every type of Triumph sportscar with the exception of the wedges.

Hammonasset5There was a rare bird among the group: a petrol injected TR5. I have asked the proud owner for some details about this car, let’s hope he shares its story with us.

The afternoon was not without a moment of drama as Ken Wooley’s Spitfire expired just as it was pulling into the car park at Hammonasset. The diagnosis was a failed Pertronix distributor. Fortunately MGB driver Rich Magna had a spare distributor that fit the Spitfire and Gary Dabrowski had it fitted and working in very little time so that Ken and Maryellen could drive back to Cheshire.  There’s a moral there somewhere. I am sure Pertronix units are very reliable, but it’s a lot less expensive to carry a spare set of points and a condenser along.

The afternoon came to rather an abrupt end as the clouds that had been gathering in Middletown finally caught up with us. Some put their hoods up, others braved it and were out of the rain in a few minutes and dried off before many miles had slipped by.
All told an excellent afternoon’s entertainment for us and those who admired our cars. On both commemorative runs we’ve done this Spring we have had lots of drivers waving, giving us the thumbs up, and a beep on the horn. When what amounts to a mini car show reaches the destination people ask just what these cars are, and out come the cameras.
If our hobby is to outlive us, we need to promote it, and the best advert is the cars themselves being driven and enjoyed.