…and with that, the latest edition of the Spring Thaw Classic Car Adventure is in the books!
Despite the months of planning, the days of prep and lack of sleep throughout…the hardest part of the event is sitting down to write this post. How do you compress three incredible days into a few mere paragraphs? 2011 will definitely be a year to remember!
Leading up to the event, every town was experiencing heavy rains. Were we going to experience crazy weather like in 2010? Thursday morning was pouring, and while I was mentally preparing for an indoor registration…the sun popped out! If cruising twisting roads in your classic is appealing, our three days of beautiful sunshine was certainly icing on the cake!
While the weather was striking, the ‘competition’ for Hard Luck Award was unfortunately fierce. The Opko’s started us off, with a failed wheel bearing early on Friday morning. Dave Koszegi wasn’t to be outdone, and soon discovered a used motor wasn’t the bargain he was hoping for. With the 356 heading home on a trailer, we had high hopes that was the end. Matt and Lee’s BMW 2002, however, had different plans. The connecting rod was curious to see what was on the “other side”…so out through a hole it went! We weren’t finished there either. A couple of cars spat out their generator pulleys in pieces, a Sprite slowly ate it’s rear differential for lunch, and just when we thought it was all over, a Beaumont transmission pan discovered rocks are much harder then steel.
Losing your car to a mechanical failure is not fun (trust me, as 2010’s Hard Luck winner I know), but it did highlight the best part about the Spring Thaw. With each failure came a group of fellow entrants eager to assist with repairs, transport and other options. Back seats were made available, trucks and trailers offered for retrieval, and perhaps the best part…a chance to drive other classics throughout the weekend. A motor failure might be the end of your weekend in other events, but in the Spring Thaw you might just be tossed the keys to something else!
The best part, for me as an organizer, was when I walked over to the Friday Night Bonfire. When you host an event which invites cars of all marques, you’re used to seeing the italians, british and german enthusiasts hanging out in smaller groups. Upon arriving to the bonfire, however, I could see the entire group was mixed. We are no longer enthusiasts of a particular marque meeting for a weekend of fun together. We are the Spring Thaw. Enthusiasts of fantastic roads, classic cars and above all else, great people.
I commented in our first Driver’s meeting that this no longer feels like hosting an event, but rather an annual reunion of some of my greatest car-nut friends. As I sit here sifting through the photos, looking out my window at a Volkswagen desperate for a wash, I find myself drifting back to conversations at dinner with new friends, road-side wrenching sessions, twisting corners and ribbons of blacktop. You’d expect after a weekend event for 126 people that I’d need a rest, but I’m simply filled with an overwhelming urge to do it all over again. 2011 will certainly be memorable, but 2012 is going to be even better!
– Dave Hord