Fraternizing Hemis, Hoods, and Classic Cars
Jun 02, 2011 01:32PM ● Published by Anonymous
If the (auction) price for this classic car example doesn’t make your heart race, at the least, its proof of passion; a passion for cars. In this case, Corvettes. And for nearly every type of car on the road today, there is a group of car enthusiasts dedicated to discussing, detailing, and showcasing the best of the best examples, from Model-T owners devoted to restoring America’s first mass-produced car (1908–27) to speed-hungry hot rod racers who sport muscle-powered beauties.
For members of the many car clubs in our region, their love affair with a particular make and model was sparked by an early encounter, experience, or acquisition of their first car. “Back in the ’50s, I would street race the rich kids in town, along the stretch of road from the Severn River up to where the new World War II Memorial is today,” recalls Carroll Hynson, Jr., a lifelong Annapolitan and car collector. “I’d lose the first race on purpose, and then beat them on the second for double or nothing,” he says laughing. Today, Hynson’s love for speed is channeled through ‘everything Corvette.’ “I absolutely love the Corvette,” says Hynson. It’s certainly more than a hobby. Hynson is a member of Corvette Annapolis, a social club founded in 1991 that’s “dedicated to the promotion of America’s sports car the Chevrolet Corvette, and the camaraderie among Corvette owners in the greater Annapolis area,” says the club’s website. The club regularly meets at local diners to discuss the finer points of ’Vette ownership and enjoy each other’s company. They also host car shows that are often open to all types of classic and contemporary vehicles. This month (on 6/25), the club will participate in the “Corvettes, Camaros & Classic Twilight Fun Show at the Green Turtle in Edgewater. There’s also a philanthropic side to this well-organized club; proceeds from their shows this summer will benefit the Arc of the Central Chesapeake.
There are many dozens of similar clubs and car shows held throughout the region Annapolis, Baltimore, St. Michaels, Ocean City, and seemingly any locale with space large enough to host a couple hundred vehicles. Creatively-named clubs such as the Wheels from the Past Car Club, Potomac Ramblers, Lost in the ’50s Custom Car Club, Street Survivors of Maryland, and Salisbury Strictly VWs Auto Club are especially active spring through fall. While some clubs cater to a niche vehicle, there are many that are all-welcoming. Weekend group drives to destination restaurants or boutique towns are not uncommon. For some clubs, the destination might even be a stretch of clear highway, in Western Maryland perhaps, ideal to test the speedometer.
Nicholas Bieber is a member of the River Region Mustangs, Maryland Chapter. The small group grew as an offshoot of the much larger Bay Side Mustangs, as a more informal cruising group. Bieber,
who is 26 years old, inherited his passion for the Ford Mustang from his parents. The Bieber family owns several ’Stangs (classic and contemporary) and regularly venture on Saturday cruises. They are often on the receiving end of “ohs” and “ahs” as they zip past other motorists. “Our club started because we wanted to do our own thing; local cruising, a small group, lots of fun,” says Bieber.
This past April, car collectors and enthusiasts from throughout the state, gathered at a strip of old farmland in Millersville (Gerst Farm) on an overcast Saturday for a Street Survivors of Maryland hosted car show and swap meet. Car after car rolled onto the grass and into position. Multiple hot rods, a ’65 Mercury Comet, ’78 Chevy Nova, a ‘’04 Nissan 350Z roadster, ’02 Ford Mustang, dozens more unique vehicles, and many tables selling vintage automobilia stood side-by-side. The hoods were popped open and stories were swapped. The dedication to each vehicle was evident. And the camaraderie of the well-attended event was as much on display as the cars themselves, proving that you don’t need to own the most expensive car on the lot to appreciate this thread of American culture. Join a club, drop the throttle, and enjoy the ride.
Regional Car Clubs
A sampling of active car clubs on both sides of the Bay Bridge. There are many more individual clubs throughout Maryland.
Bay Side Mustangs:
River Region Mustangs,
Wheels from the Past Car Club:
Kent Island Cruisers Car Club:
Chesapeake Classic Car Club
Wheels that Heal Car Club
Strictly VWs Auto Club
Chesapeake Region Antique Automobile Club of America:
Flying V’s Corvette Club:
Street Survivors of Maryland:
Lost in the ’50s Custom Car