January 18, 2018
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50s and 60s Car Meet Draws a Crowd in Owls Head

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The New Great Race, performed at the show on Sunday, July 7, pitted the 1930 Pitcairn Mailwing Sport PA-7S against the 1932 Cragar Racer. Not quite a fair speed match, but boy, it was fun to watch! Behind the wheel of the Cragar is Owls Head Transportation Museum Executive Director Russ Rocknak. Museum Trustee and Pilot Tom Rudder is flying the Pitcairn. Photo by Jeff Larson.

Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 did not fail to deliver on the promise of a glimpse into the bygone days of fuzzy dice and big fins at the Owls Head Transportation Museum’s Fabulous ’50s, Sensational ’60s Car Meet and Antique Aeroplane Show. Despite a scorching holiday weekend hundreds of exhibitors flocked to Owls Head to show off a diverse array of vehicles from arguably the most stylish decades of the automobile industry.

Though the car meet focused on automobiles from the 1950s and 1960s, vehicles and all organized automobile clubs were invited to exhibit their vehicles on Runway 17, the Museum’s family-friendly outdoor exhibit area. As always, guests arriving in their pre-1993 vehicles received free admission at this show and all other Museum (non-auction) events.

Hundreds of registered exhibitors were complemented by the presence of several organized automobile clubs including Vettes of Coastal Maine, the Acadia Region Corvette Club and the Tri-Spokes Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club.

A special talk and demonstration from Milo Coleman, the 1963 NHRA D/Stock Car winning driving and world record holder, drew a crowd of stock car enthusiasts. Coleman was on hand with several of his compatriots and their specialized Ford Thunderbolts and Ford Galaxies. The Museum is grateful for Coleman’s presence and enthusiasm, and we look forward to welcoming him back for future events.

In addition to an assortment of classic vehicles, an array of family activities drew car enthusiasts of all ages to the Museum. Event activities always include vehicle demonstrations, dirt track racers, free Model T rides and (weather permitting) antique aeroplane demonstrations, as well as our popular Kid Corral pedal car area.

Fortunately, both Saturday and Sunday were graced with optimum flying conditions, allowing our aviation team to demonstrate a wide variety of collection planes as well as provide rides to those with special vouchers. On Sunday, Museum staff spearheaded a trivia competition, awarding a ride in our 1941 Stearman biplane to the contest winner.

An unprecedented demonstration, “The New Great Race,” pitted the most recent addition to our aircraft collection, the last surviving 1930 Pitcairn PA-7S Sport Mailwing, against our 1932 Cragar Racer. The crowd was delighted as the Pitcairn made two low, slow passes over the Cragar as driver and pilot showcased their skills in the two remarkable vehicles.

In addition to the Pitcairn Mailwing, additional aircraft demonstrated Saturday and Sunday included the Museum’s 1941 Stearman, our 1933 Waco, our 1916 Sopwith Pup, our 1916 Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8, our Nieuport 28C.1 and our beloved 1917 Fokker DR.I triplane (aka the Red Baron). Our open flight line provides an opportunity for visitors to see, hear and experience the planes close up and visit with our pilots.

Museum staff ran and demonstrated a plethora of vehicles from the collection, including a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom Derby tourer once owned by the original Hollywood “It” girl, Clara Bow. Our 1932 Cragar Racer, 1932 Harley Davidson Model V motorcycle and 1926 Pierce Arrow were among the sensational ground vehicles demonstrated at the event. A special display focused on the glory years of the iconic Thunderbird, featuring several examples from the mid-’50s.

Museum staff heard repeatedly that guests had journeyed from near and far to meet the “Clara Bow” Rolls-Royce after following the repair project for the car via social media. These “Clara” faithful even had the opportunity to experience Hollywood style up close and personal as Ground Vehicle Conservator Warren Kincaid treated many eager visitors to rides in the remarkable vehicle.

As always, visitors who renewed their membership or purchased a new membership on any event day were automatically entered in a drawing for a scenic ride in the Museum’s 1941 Stearman biplane. Four winners were drawn over the course of the weekend.

Be on the lookout for the exciting schedule of children’s free educational activities on offer at the Owls Head Transportation Museum during July and August. Programming is varied, and a morning and afternoon workshop session will be offered each day, Tuesday through Saturday. Pre-registration is required, and adults accompanying children will be charged standard Museum admission rates. For schedule information, please call Owls Head Transportation Museum Education Director Ethan Yankura at (207) 594-4418.

Our next event, the ever popular Truck, Tractor and Commercial Vehicle Meet, is coming up on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. This show has consistently been one of the Museum’s greatest audience pleasers over the years. There will be award presentations for trucks, tractors and other machinery exhibited during the weekend, and a large and diverse array of exhibitors is expected. As always, family activities, biplane ride drawings, and aircraft and vehicle demonstrations will enhance this big event!

For more information, please contact Owls Head Transportation Museum Public Relations Director Jenna Lookner at (207) 594-4418.