Cool Cars Rumble Into Owls Head

Posted June 14, 2011, at 3:48 p.m.

OWLS HEAD  — On Saturday and Sunday, June 18-19, the Owls Head Transportation Museum will celebrate America’s passion for cool cars with its Hot Rods, Customs, Muscle Cars & Antique Aeroplane Show. Gates open at 9:30 a.m.

“Colorful” is the word museum director Charles Chiarchiaro uses to describe this annual event. “We’ll have everything from 1930s hot rods to the raw power of 1970s muscle cars, plus the many custom creations that have evolved. They all combine to make this one of our most popular events.”

From hot rods to rat rods, motorcycles to muscle cars — come show off your power ride. Although the theme is “cool cars,” owners of pre-1991 vehicles of any make or model are always welcome to exhibit at this and all other museum (nonauction) events. Exhibitors always get in free.

The museum will also set aside an area for children to exhibit their “wheels” (bicycles, tricycles, scooters, etc.) near its popular Kids’ Corral pedal car area. Young children can practice their driving skills in the Kids’ Corral area, which features more than a dozen pedal cars and pedal planes.

Members of Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association will visit Sunday with a selection of classic racers from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

Vote for your favorite vehicle. All attendees will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award. Winners will take home a personalized mug featuring a photo of their vehicle.

As part of the day’s activities, the museum will demonstrate a few of its turn-of-the-century automobiles and give free rides in Ford Model T’s. Special children’s activities, including the popular styrofoam glider workshop, and museum tours are planned. There will be plenty of fun for the whole family.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early for a chance to see some of the museum’s pioneer aircraft in action. The antique aeroplane show starts promptly at 9:30 a.m., weather permitting. Flying demonstrations will feature aircraft such as the 1910 Farman, 1912 Curtiss Pusher and 1913 Etrich Taube which fly best in the calm conditions of early morning.

Aircraft conservator Karl Erickson and a team of volunteers have been working tirelessly on getting the museum’s fleet of World War I-era biplanes ready to take to the skies. Back on the flight line will be the 1918 Standard J-1 and 1917 Curtiss JN-4 or “Jenny,” both of which were made popular by barnstormers of the 1920s. Also seeing action will be the 1917 Nieuport 28C.1, 1916 Sopwith Pup and, of course, the 1917 Fokker DR.I triplane (aka the Red Baron) among others. An open flightline will allow visitors to get a close look at the planes and to talk to pilots.

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Coastal plane rides aboard the museum’s 1941 Stearman and 1933 Waco biplanes may be purchased anytime through the museum store. Ride certificates do not expire and are transferable. The Stearman carries one passenger, and the Waco carries two passengers. Prices are $200 and $350, respectively, and include a membership to the museum. Current museum members receive a discount.

The weekend also also marks the museum’s Corporate Appreciation Days. Corporate members, their employees and their immediate family members are invited to the enjoy the weekend’s activities free of charge.

Rain or shine, visitors will have access to the museum’s indoor collection of dozens of antique cars and aeroplanes. The museum will showcase its exhibit  “MGs & Microcars,” featuring  a variety of unique vehicles from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Event admission is $12 for adults. Members and children under 18 are free. Those who become members at the event will automatically have their names entered in a drawing for a biplane ride. The museum store will be open showcasing a large inventory of books, die-cast models, children’s items and more.

Food and refreshments provided by French & Brawn will be available throughout the day at the Caboose, the museum’s on-site concession stand. Pets are not allowed in the museum or its outdoor exhibit area.

Open every day, the Owls Head Transportation Museum is located at 117 Museum St. (off Route 73) in Owls Head, two miles south of Rockland. For more information call 594-4418 or visit www.owlshead.org.

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