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June 27, 2008

Arlington Merchants Show & Shine, 2008

Filed under: Car Photo Of The Day,Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 8:24 pm

It has been a couple of weeks, but I’m finally getting around to posting about my little hometown car show. Every year the downtown merchants put on this show, usually the first or second weekend in June. It did not happen last year, as Olympic Avenue, the main street through town, was all torn up and being repaved. We didn’t even have a proper 4th of July Parade last year!

But now that disruption is over and life has returned to normal in sleepy little Arlington, washington so the show is on this year. Unlike past years, I actually got down there early this time, and found a great parking spot. Right on a corner diagonally across from City Hall. This meant my car was in the shade in the morning, and fell within the shadow of City Hall during the hottest time of the day. It was a good day, with mostly sunny skies and no threat of rain. It did rain the night before though, so I didn’t get a chance to wash the car. After the rainy Classic Motorcar Rally the weekend before, it was pretty dirty. I awoke at 5 AM, well past daybreak at this latitude at this time of year, and washed the Jaguar in the driveway, threw the rest of the cleaning stuff into the boot and drove down the hill into town.

As usual the show was completely dominated by American cars. Lots of pre-war stuff. Tons of 50s cars. Even more tons of 60s Muscle cars. And of course more Hot Rods than you could shake a stick at. My guess was a total of 350 cars or so. After I arrived I registered, and spent a bit of time cleaning up the car… mostly detailing (wheels, chrome and rubber bits.) Since the sun was out, I left the tonneau cover on the passenger side to keep the interior cool. I arrayed a few things on the luggage rack: A copy of the 2006 KZOK Classic Car Calendar, where my car starred as “Miss June” along with the SNG-Barratt E-type parts catalog with the famous “Miss January” shot of the car below Whitehorse Mountain. I figured the locals would appreciate the KZOK and local scenery recognition the car has earned. I also have a copy of the original Road & Track review of the E-type from 1961. I planted my “It is OK to Touch This Car” sign in the window, then took off to have a look at the cars for myself.

Walking as far south on Olympic as the cars were parked, I started photographing the cars that interested me. Mainly that was sports cars, which by default means non-US cars, of which there was few. Above is a Porsche Speedster.

A yellow Porsche 356.

A Sunbeam Alpine. Mine, and a Nash Metropolitan, plus this Sunbeam were the only British cars there. I saw a new Lotus Elise parked at the end of the street, but I don’t think it was in the show… it had no registration paper in the window. In addition to the Porsches (there were a couple more beyond what I shot, a 911 and a 914) there were a few German cars, several VWs, a Amphicar, a Mercedes, and this:

You don’t see these very often anymore!

There were a few Japanese cars too, but most were newer “riced” sport compacts. No 240Zs or the like.

Of course the people who organize the show actively discourage the unusual from showing up by not having ANY sort of import categories for judging. While I have no illusions or really desire to “bring home hardware” from these sort of shows, by laying out the prizes along strictly American car categories is discouraging. This area has an astounding number of very desirable foreign cars, from Gullwings to Rollers. It would be nice to see them at this show.

I did my part by talking to folks about my car, its history, its participation in events, etc. And of course I let anyone sit in it that desired.

This kid was here with his grandparents. He had on a ‘Lightning McQueen” shirt and hat, and was as animated as that character. I think I made his day.

Right across the street from my car was probably my favorite car of he day. Now I’m not a huge fan of the “T-bucket” but this one was so well executed, and had so much character and uniqueness to it, that I literally fell in love with the car.

What really attracted me to it was the unique engine. Most T-buckets have a boring old V-8 crate motor dropped in. This one has a cool little SOHC I-4 with a toothed timing belt on the front, a home-made intake manifold sporting Dual Weber carbs, and that awesome straight exhaust running down the passenger side. Yes, it blocks the door, deal with it, 😉

The little Ford just exuded character. It got my vote for best pre-war hot rod.

I also loved this 1929 Ford Speedster. I never did see the bonnet open so I have no idea what sort of engine it has, but it did arrive under its own power.

The 1922 Dodge Brothers car was another highlight in the pre-war cars. The car was a great example of a conservatively restored machine. Not over-done, it still had some old “original” repairs to wooden wheels intact.

Some details that caught my eye…

This unique intake manifold casting on this early 30s Chevrolet. I have no idea what the function to this particular form might be?

Nice curves on a late-40s Buick.

Nice arrangement of these 1930s Chevys.

Overall it was a great day. I met some nice folks, got my haircut at the barbershop, saw some nice cars.


  1. Nice photos and write-up, Chuck. I caught a pic of the very same 1922 Dodge Brothers Roadster at the XXX Rootbeer All Mopar Spring Roundup.

    Comment by Sandro — June 28, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  2. Wow… the guy must have trailered the Dodge Bros. car down to Issaquah for that. I can’t imagine driving from up here down to there… I seem to recall it is a local car.

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — June 28, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  3. The intake on the Chevy is a not-completely-useless attempt to cool the incoming charge mixture, not a bad thing!

    The Lincoln continental in the first piccy is a ragtop version of my parent’s ’46 Lincoln…cool car, REALLY crappy engine!

    GREAT photos, as usual, chuck!

    Comment by vrooomie — July 9, 2008 @ 5:39 am

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