King of the Hill Car Show, Mine Hill, New Jersey
Everyone loves a car show, a car swap, a car anything, as long as it has something "good" to look at. We at Ed's Project Car Swap Meet have been at Turkey Run at Daytona, Florida, Pomona in California and Carlisle in Pennsylvania, to name a few huge events. We have seen tens of thousands of people go through their gates, yet it doesn't mean they're the only shows that get it done.
Recently, as I live in New Jersey I saw an obscure sign on the side of the road. It said "King of the Hill" car show on May 16, 2015 at Canfield School in lovely Mine Hill, New Jersey. I thought to myself, is this worth going to? Can they put on a show that compares to the big boys?
On Saturday, I got up, got ready and told my wife we're going to Mine Hill to check out this car show today. It's overcast but not raining; let's give it a try. As we approached the school, we saw cars parked along the roadway. That was a good sign. We parked and approached the school parking lot. I looked from a distance and said to Sharon, "Hold on, I've got to get my camera."
Was it any good? In short, my camera batteries wore out before I could complete photographing the wonderful cars that people brought to share with public that just love cars. The car owners were your typical approachable, and more than willing to discuss their gem car parked right next to them.
I began taking photographs and interviewing some of the car owners. Each had one thing in common; "I've been attracted to custom, vintage and classic cars since I was a kid." Most were old enough to say twenty years is a kind estimate of the time that they have had this passion.
Especially warm was Mike from Moonlight Bike Detailing in Newton, New Jersey who was sitting with his beautiful friend, right next to his showroom quality 1982 Collector's Edition Corvette with a 350 engine, 50k miles, scrubbed clean, displayed well and ready to rock the moment the urge struck. This car was a magnet. One look and you had to stop by and dream. (But, by the way, he shared his own little secret; as much as he loves Corvettes, anyone with a cherry condition 1971 Road Runner can peal him away from his Vette. Mike's at 973-876-5134.)
You love trucks? Oh man, Joe had his 2005 Dodge "Rumble Bee" looking like, go ahead, take me for a spin, you'll never get out again. The engine belonged on a B-52 bomber. It's a 6.1 liter, 394 cubic inch board stroked balanced and something else that only a motorhead could truly understand. The vehicle has rear wheel drive, black in color 610 horse power at the fly wheels. Did I get it right Joe? He has been a car man since his dad introduced him to them as a little boy in Wharton, New Jersey, 33 years ago.
Then I ran into the 1966 Nova. Dick, from Dover New Jersey, has been a GM man for 20 plus years, tries them all, and has had this sweet baby since last year.
Next I could not resist the 1951 Ford, 2 door custom with a 302 Lincoln engine in it. Andy of Rockaway sat proudly by his car admitting that he's been loving these things for more than 25 years.
A 1948 Ford Pick-up F-1, from Syracuse New York, with a chevy 350 engine caught my eye.
This show of sixty plus had so many head turners that my camera batteries let me down.
Jim from Rockaway New Jersey had a 1940 Chevy Special Deluxe that he bought 10 years ago. It more than caught your eye. You had to run to it. The flames painted on the front were just like the decals I put on my model cars as a boy. I ran to that car. It was a live version of one of my childhood fantasy cars. The flames were custom done by a pro and the new paint job never touched them. Over the years he's had four collectible cars but this one will be hard to part with….unless you want to buy it. It's a drive me car; don't just park me. Jim said it's the Sunday drive car that turns heads and gets all the friendly approving waves. To date, it's got 20k of his miles driven on it. Jim, this is a car you insure for a lot of money because someone besides you wants to drive that bad boy real bad. Yee haw, now that's a ride!
Finally, I saw this blue 1957 blue Bel-Air station wagon that was the same today as it was almost 50 years ago. Chris of Randolph got the car from the original owner, his wife's father. The car has never left the family and it was brand new when her dad got it. It was super sweet to experience. My own childhood bounced right back to the front of my brain. I remember this car well.
And there was so much more to talk about. Please follow all the pages of pictures as you will see why this was such an enjoyable few hours in May. If you live near Dover, New Jersey, put this annual spring event on your calendar. It's a juried show. The food is excellent and the Mine Hill ambulance auxiliary puts it together every year. It's a slow paced, kick around, relax, enjoy, chat, laugh and go home content kind of experience. Put it on your calendar, you'll be so happy you did.