May 2023

[1-May_23_Mini_and_Chrysler.jpg] David’s Morris Mini Traveller is positively dwarfed by a Chrysler Town & Country woodie convertible.
Photos by David Schwartz

Woodies in the Cove
by David Schwartz

“Woodies in the Cove” is an annual car show for woodies of all sorts — station wagons, sedans, convertibles — hosted by the Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit, Maine. The “Cove” refers to Perkins Cove, a popular tourist spot with restaurants, shops, boat tours, and great ocean views. The car show takes place on a large field in Wells, and the event culminates in a police-escorted five-mile parade south on Route 1 to Shore Road in Ogunquit, which leads to Perkins Cove Road.

In August 2019 the National Woodie Meet was held at Woodies in the Cove. The National Woodie Club is made up of regional chapters, with the Yankee Wood Chapter covering New England. I publicized the national meet in the NEMO newsletter after attending a Massachusetts event run by the Yankee Wood Chapter. Chapter members had no idea Mini produced woodies, though they were familiar with the Morris Minor Traveller.

Several NEMO members expressed interest in attending Woodies in the Cove in 2019, but most had conflicts with the date. My 1968 Mini Traveller was the sole classic Mini in attendance. Barbara and David Newman represented modern MINIs with their unique 2013 ClubVan, “Woody Cooper.” A heavily modified 1967 Morris Minor Traveller sporting a Chevy 4.6-liter V6 engine was the only other British car.

Cars from all over the U.S. and at least one from Canada attended the multi-day national event, which featured several driving tours. Most owners drove their cars, and a few even towed trailers.

At least 100 woodies were present for the car show and parade. Only one owner I spoke with had mechanical trouble, and other attendees were able to source the necessary parts to get him back on the road.

May 2023

[4-May_23_MINI_ClubVan.jpg] NEMO members Dave and Barbara Newman displayed their unique ClubVan.

The variety and condition of woodies was impressive. Vehicles ranged from Ford Model T and Model A Depot Hacks, to massive convertibles, classic woodie wagons, and a few vinyl wood grain station wagons (which have become collectible). Surprises included a 1941 Cadillac sedan, a 1947 Dodge Passenger Bus, a 1940 Packard, and a 1947 Nash Ambassador Suburban.

The British cars attracted a lot of attention. A steady flow of people stopped by my Mini Traveller, the Newmans’ MINI ClubVan, and the hot rod Morris Minor Traveller.

Initially, I was parked between the Morris Minor and a 1950s-vintage Crosley station wagon that was slightly larger than my car. The rear quarter panels and tailgate of the Crosley were painted with faux wood grain. The car doors advertised “Kettle Cove Fish Market,” and “Friday is Fish Day” adorned the tailgate. A large wooden fish served as a hood ornament, and wooden roof racks carried a surfboard. The Crosley departed early, and a truly massive Chrysler Town & Country convertible took its place (see photo).

The Morris Minor Traveller hot rod was a high-end conversion, with few original parts aside from the body shell. The Chevy V6 engine had many performance tweaks. A 3.73 Positraction rear end was fitted, as was an air ride suspension and tilt steering column. The interior was fitted with custom embossed leather seats and wool carpets. The sides and rear doors were given the American woodie wagon treatment and fitted with mahogany panels. I hope the owner started with an unrestorable Morris Minor.

The oldest car at the show was a 1913 Ford Model T. With so many years represented, it was interesting to see the progression from the boxy Model T and Model A, continuing to the slab-sided cars of the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, and finally transitioning to the streamlined 1950s Ford Country Squire and Chrysler Town & Country.

May 2023

[5-May_23_Nash_Ambassador.jpg] What was David’s favorite? This Nash Ambassador.

It was difficult to choose a favorite from so many amazing cars. After careful consideration, the 1947 Nash Ambassador Suburban gets my vote. The four-door sedan was in pristine condition and was shown with factory accessories, including a period roof rack with a cylindrical container for storing a twin bed mattress. The car has a fold-down rear seat, and the twin mattress was stretched from the trunk into the passenger compartment.

To my surprise, the Nash was not the People’s Choice winner. The award went to a 1947 Dodge Passenger Bus, which has a custom woodie body fitted to a truck chassis.

After the awards ceremony, it was time for the parade to Perkins Cove. Route 1 traffic on a nice summer weekend is brutal. However, police closed the southbound lane to all but the show cars, and police cars led the parade of woodies.

Attendees slowly exited the show field and were met with cheers and waves (though not from the drivers stuck in traffic on side streets and parking lots). Crowds of spectators were heavy once we turned onto Shore Road. My driver-quality Mini Traveller received more cheers, waves, and applause than the pristine full-size woodies that surrounded me. When the parade slowed to a crawl in the loop at the end of Perkins Cove Road, someone ran up to my car and told me it was his favorite!

You can view a video of the parade start at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=479235149319035.

The 2023 edition of Woodies in the Cove is scheduled for August 12th. The turnout is likely to be 40 or 50 cars since this year’s event is not combined with the National Woodie Meet. It is still well worth attending, with or without a Mini Traveller or Countryman.

April 2023

[1-Apr_23_Queen_Bond_Mini.jpg] A tribute to Her Majesty and 007, complete with Mini!
Photo by Jean Icaza


A Rose Garden Fit for the Queen
by Jean Icaza

Imagine, if you will, a small village in Rosemont, Scotland. With a beautiful little rose garden created for Queen Elizabeth to enjoy while on her travels to and from Balmoral Castle. Accompanied by her bodyguard and her Corgis, she would time this trip for the spring bloom of the roses. They could stretch their legs, have a delightful respite from official duties, and enjoy a spot of tea and a jam sandwich in the gazebo, all while enjoying the many colors and fragrances in her Rosemont Garden.

Now, imagine our delight at having our 1969 Austin Mini Countryman, chauffeured by James Bond, a/k/a Daniel Craig, chosen to transport Her Majesty on this delightful imaginary trip!

The Connecticut Flower and Garden Show took place on February 23rd through 26th in Hartford, Conn. This display was designed by Marci Martin, a Connecticut resident active in the Connecticut Rose Society. She had her theme and was in search of a Little British Car to use in the display.

A friend put us in touch with Marci, and our Mini fit her vision for this display. It was a fun experience for David and me.

P.S.: Daniel came home with me, as well as Her Majesty, and the Corgi cutouts not seen in the photos!

[Contrib. Ed. note: You may wonder, why is James Bond in the Rose Garden? “James Bond” escorted “Queen Elizabeth” to the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in London. You can watch that on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AS-dCdYZbo. — DS]

April 2023

[2-Apr_23_Paddington_Gazebo.jpg] Paddington Bear, on the left in the gazebo, was having tea while the Queen and 007 looked on.
Photo by Jean Icaza

Articles Needed!
by David Schwartz

We always need newsletter articles covering both classic and modern Minis. I can’t possibly make it to all the events attended by other members, so how about some new reporters covering new venues?

Owner stories are always of interest too, so write about what got you into the classic or modern Minis. Other topics might include winter car repair projects, events you attended last year that were not already covered, event previews for 2023, additions to the calendar, local cruise nights, etc.

An article can be as simple as a paragraph and some pictures. You don’t need to channel Shakespeare.

The editorial deadline for the NEMO newsletter is usually the second Monday of the month. Please send articles and photos to dschwartz1957@gmail.com by the previous Friday. Photos should be 1 MB or higher. Extra photos are welcome. If they don’t fit in the newsletter, we can always post them on the website.

There is a prize for the best article. The author gets to be newsletter editor (British Marque Contributing Editor) next year.



March 2023

[1-Mar_23_Brownell.jpg] Bob Brownell’s 1963 Mini.
Photo by David Schwartz

Father’s Day in October
by David Schwartz

HOLLISTON, Mass., Oct. 16, 2022 — The annual Holliston Historical Society Car Show & Pancake Breakfast was postponed again last year, due to bad weather on its original date, Father’s Day. Fortunately, the October rain date was sunny with comfortable fall temperatures.

(I would be happy if all the major events were moved to early or late in the season to avoid the extreme heat and humidity of summer!)

One of the show organizers is former NEMO member Paul Saulnier. Paul sold all his Minis but owns other British cars. The Holliston event always attracts a good variety of British and other marques spanning Brass Era cars to current models.

I listed the show in this newspaper and on several different British car club Facebook pages. NEMO members Iain Barker and Bob Brownell attended with their classic Minis, as did many members of British Motorcars of New England (BMCNE) with MGs and Triumphs. It was a perfect top-down day, so I drove my 1950 Morris Minor Tourer.

Cars were parked on the Holliston Historical Society front and side lawns, along the driveway, and in the parking lot. Although the turnout was high, cars were not packed in too tightly. In addition to the Minis and my Morris Minor, British cars included MGs, Triumphs, Jaguars, Austin-Healeys, and Land Rovers. Iain, Bob and I invited kids to sit in our cars.

March 2023

[5-Mar_23_Saulnier.jpg] Paul Saulnier, creator of Mini Mouse, has a new hot rod -- with Jaguar V12 power.
Photo by David Schwartz

A 1969 Jaguar XKE had a large placard out front that told an amazing story. On April 8, 1969, the car was stolen from Corcoran Motors on Rt. 9 in Wellesley, Mass. It was recovered in New York in March 2015 and returned to the dealer’s heirs. I imagine there is much more to the story than would fit on the placard, but I was unable to locate the owner.

Several years ago, Paul Saulnier sold “Mini Mouse,” his classic 1964 Mini van hot rod that was powered by a rear-mounted 427hp Chevy V8 engine. Perhaps to cure seller’s remorse, Paul bought a new hot rod and brought it to this year’s show. From a distance, it looked like a slightly oversized classic Model A hot rod. On closer inspection, a Jaguar V12 engine jumped out at you, as there is no bonnet to hide the engine. This was a purpose-built car with no Model A DNA to be found. And I thought big Healey “Nasty Boys” were unusual!

My favorite American car was a 1958 Cadillac with tail fins and huge chrome bumpers, known as “Dagmars.” There was also a beautiful 1930 Chrysler Model 99. It sported enormous headlights, suicide doors, and wheels with wooden spokes.

March 2023

[4-Mar_23_Ferrari.jpg] 1950 Ferrari 195 Coupé was the Best in Show.
Photo by David Schwartz

The rarest car at the show was an impeccably restored 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Ghia Coupé. This car was shown at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and is not a vehicle one normally sees at a breakfast cruise. The owners live in Sherborn, so maybe they figured, why not drive it locally? Cars at this show were judged by people who work in the automotive industry, and it was no surprise that the Ferrari won Best in Show.

The Holliston show runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. There is no admission fee for cars or spectators. Historical Society members serve a full breakfast in the barn, including pancakes, eggs, cake and coffee. Proceeds from the breakfast are used to support the programs of the Society.

The 2023 show is back on the schedule for Father’s Day, and that will be June 18th. I hope to see you there.



 

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