There are a number of cruise nights and car shows throughout Connecticut this summer. Here’s one of them.
Hot rods, customized cars and classic automobiles will be on display at the Classic Car Show Wednesday, July 13. This annual event within an event – the Glastonbury Riverfest Music Festival - is popular with old and young alike. For the fifth year in a row, Bud Gilman is the man in charge.
Gilman’s credentials to run this show can be traced to his long involvement with the Eastern Chapter of the Over the Hill Gang, a club for classic car enthusiasts established in 1994. The club’s mission, according to its Web site, is to “support the sport of street rodding, antique cars and trucks; provide entertainment for the family; [and] support the community by providing good entertainment at a reasonable cost.” Gilman has served the club as a member-at-large and as an officer. This year, for the first time, he is serving as president.
“Car enthusiasts are temperamental about bringing their cars out in rainy weather,” says Gilman. This is why there is a rain date for the Classic Car Show of July 20.
A Classic Car Show provides car enthusiasts the opportunity to show off their beautifully maintained automobiles from a bygone era. Observers gets a chance to ogle over what in some instances could be referred to as works of art on wheels. People of a certain generation may remember a particular car from their youth. Others may even have owned a similar car as one on display. And still others have no knowledge of a car’s provenance, but still appreciate its intrinsic and extrinsic beauty.
Gilman credits his neighbor Paul Kogan with getting him involved in the hobby. Kogan will be bringing his 1940 two-door Chevy sedan, which has a new paint job. “It’s purple,” Gilman said. A very clear, shiny, dark purple.”
Kogan’s son, Leo, who is 22, recently graduated from Bryant College and has moved back to the area to go into business with his dad. Leo also will participate in the car show, driving what Gilman calls, “The Intimidator.” Gilman’s description of Leo’s car is “a blue 1971 Chevelle, with a white stripe and a 327 formidable engine size. But it’s still considered a small block Chevy.”
The number 327 is the bore or cylinder size. For those who are more interested in the way cars look than how they are built, it is probably sufficient to add that not only is the bore the same as the cylinder, but the bigger the cylinder, the bigger the block. However, “Sometimes a big block isn’t faster than a small block since the weight of the car contributes significantly to performance and speed,” says Gilman.
Last year Gilman brought his 1935 Chevy to the show. “This year I’ll either bring my ‘87 Buick Grand National or the ‘65 Buick Special convertible. It’s red with a white top,” Gilman says. He describes this car as having a “really distinctive red - people gravitate to it.”
Gilman estimates that there were 150 cars at this show last year, “which is a lot of people with specialty vehicles around Glastonbury,” he observes.
The Over the Hill Gang’s “big, big” classic car show will take place on Main Street in Manchester on August 7. It is the second largest one-day car show in the country, according to Gilman. (The one in Myrtle Beach is No. 1.) At the Manchester show, Gilman estimates that there will be about 30,000 spectators and between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles.