Like Paul, my thoughts on the Baltimore CC get together are extremely positive. Meeting everyone was a blast, and the event hosted a surprisingly diverse amount of vehicles, some of which weren’t even part of the show! I’ll also discuss the experience of driving to Maryland from New York and back. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t exactly free of drama.
Various routes will take you from New York to Maryland. This is obvious, but it didn’t occur to me that my Garmin GPS unit and the Waze app would offer different opinions on which way to go.
My instinct was to use the Garmin because it generally does a better job at visually informing the driver of various things. Unfortunately, the GPS unit lost the ability to report on traffic conditions long ago. Apparently, the majority of the power cable needs to be close to the windshield in order for live updates to work.
Where did my Garmin want to send me? On the same exact route that Google suggested. I-84 to I-87 to Route 17, then hop on the Garden State until hitting I-95, which would take me the vast majority of the way there.
Waze recommended a much different path. I-84 to I-81 to I-83. Pretty simple. And it saved me about fifteen dollars in tolls too!
Overall, Waze did an excellent job at getting me to Maryland. But there were some issues. The most glaring problem I encountered was the app simply freezing up, which happened twice during my trip. Waze also shut down unexpectedly for reasons unknown. I hesitate to blame the app because its entirely possible my otherwise flawless Galaxy S7 could have caused the problem. Ironically, my saving grace was the Garmin, which helped me with directions when Waze would malfunction.
So how did the actual driving aspect of the trip go? Reasonably well, although a couple of intense thunderstorms made things a bit dicey for a bit. My biggest scare happened about forty five minutes into the trip on I-84, when I ran over a sizable pothole that completely frazzled both myself and the car.
One of the benefits of dash cam ownership is the ability to show people exactly what I experienced. But for those of you who can’t view the video, here’s what happened: my front passenger side tire slammed into a pothole at about 70 mph with a loud “thwack!” and it prompted me to shout an expletive because I immediately became convinced that my trip had ended almost as soon as it began. Fortunately that was not the case. I credit the survival of the tire with its size: the 215/55R16 tires probably have enough sidewall to shake something like this off and come out unscathed.
Possible NSFW language
The rain was much less frustrating. Although it got a bit hairy at the intersection of I-81/I-83, the Focus powered right through it. The microphone on my dash cam records sound as if the cabin of the car was underwater, so it was interesting to hear how actual water impacted the playback. About thirty seconds in it really sounds like I’m taking a shower inside the car.
Due to some traffic around Harrisburg and the reduced speed caused by the heavy rain, it took me a total of four hours and fifty minutes (without stopping) to get to my hotel. But despite everything I just showed you, the drive really wasn’t bad at all. And I felt a lot less tired after the trip than I thought I would.
Paul’s coverage titled toward the classic cars, and while my content will also feature older vehicles, there were a lot of more modern cars at the show that deserve a shout out as well. First up is this beautiful Jaguar F-Type R. These mid level F-Type variants come standard with all wheel drive and a 5.0 liter supercharged V8, which puts out 550 horsepower and boasts a 0-60 time of under four seconds.
This F-Type S boasts a 380 horsepower version of the supercharged 5.0 liter V8. Obviously a bit less impressive than its R brethren but still pretty quick.
There were at least two Alfa Romeo 4C coupes at the show. With a 1.7 liter turbocharged four cylinder with an output of 237 horsepower and 258 Ib-ft. of torque, the 4C is actually slightly faster than the Jaguar F-Type S.
On the more vintage side of things was this F-100, which was in great shape. I unfortunately didn’t get a shot of the bed, but it was also painted red, and it looked fantastic.
If I remember correctly this Land Rover “Lightweight” half ton is a former military vehicle.
On the other end of the spectrum sits this 2006-2008 SL55 AMG. Output from the 5.4 liter V8 was probably 510 horsepower and 530 Ib-ft. of torque, which is still impressive by contemporary standards.
Like the Mercedes, this Saab 9-2X is also a rare breed. As a better dressed WRX, the Aero died far too young, which is why it was so great to see one.
The Saturn Sky also had a short lifespan. But people are still drawn to these cars, as there were two of them at the show, and they looked like they were in great shape.
This 1991-1993 Mitsubishi Galant is another car that is probably worth collecting at this point. These are quite scarce now.
Any gull wing car is generally cool. And this McLaren 720S definitely fits the bill. these things can do a 0-60 run in just 2.7 seconds.
How about some old and new cars in one picture? The M2 and 2002 are both coveted by enthusiasts. And these particular examples are rocking some excellent blue paint jobs.
The Toyota Pickup is a pretty rare sight these days. Newer Tacoma models are the exact opposite.
This Land Rover Defender attracted a lot of attention at the show. I don’t think there was even a hint of dirt on it either.
The same goes for this heavily modified Mustang. The owner even put nitrous oxide in it.
Fortunately, pretty much all the other cars at the show were tastefully modified, like this BMW Dinan 5. Dinan is an aftermarket company that works with BMW to sell upgraded models with factory warranty coverage. I believe they’re quite rare, and even more exclusive in wagon form.
The wide-eyed Toyota MR2 comes from an era when Toyota was a little less boring. This Spyder was absolutely dwarfed by both the Town and Country behind it and the late model Pilot to its right.
This Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint is also on the smaller side of the spectrum, but no less interesting.
The same cannot be said for this mid-nineties Impala SS. With a length of 214.1 inches and a 115.9 inch wheelbase, this full size is over a foot longer than the current Impala.
Unlike the Impala, this Volvo P1800 is probably much easier to park. It also has some interesting aftermarket side mirrors.
This 1987 Fiero GT may look stock, but it actually sported the Cadillac 4.9 liter V8. Total output for the 4.9 is 200 horsepower and 275 Ib-ft. of torque, which probably makes the Pontiac go quite fast.
Fiero enthusiasts often earn praise for outfitting their examples with more powerful engines. A fourth generation Toyota Supra owner would be criticized for doing this though, as the car already came equipped with a good powertrain. The popularity of The Fast and the Furious franchise doomed a substantial number of Supra models, so its nice to see that some owners opted not to do anything to their cars.
Does the Nissan 240SX also deserve to remain stock? The owner of this example answered that question with a definitive “no.”
There were also a surprising number of imported Nissans at the show. I believe I photographed two G-TR models and one Skyline.
In contrast to the G-TR and Skyline, the Pajero probably isn’t a vehicle most enthusiasts would import into the United States. But its still pretty cool. And rare, at least in these parts. The turbo graphics indicate that this particular Mitsubishi is equipped with a diesel engine.
The Focus ST was once forbidden fruit, just like those Nissan sports cars and the Pajero. And it may very well be again after all the 2018 models get sold. My suspicion is that we’ll get the new model, but it hasn’t been announced yet. Until then, we’ll just have to occupy ourselves with the ST models we have here, which are possibly both the first and last of their kind. I snapped some pics of this example due to its unique look, which is likely some sort of vinyl wrap.
There were also a surprising number of Ferrari F430 models at the show. I counted three at one point.
In post apocalyptic Australia, a former police officer probably wouldn’t be driving a Ferrari. They would choose something like this matte black Nova instead.
A modern reboot of Mad Max could even feature something like a late model Civic Type R.
Speaking of movies, do you remember the 1994 movie The Chase starring Charlie Sheen? I always think of it when I see red BMW models from that era. A 325is coupe was used in the movie. This is a 323i.
And while we’re on the subject of red convertibles, this Triumph TR3 deserves a shout out.
I have no idea why the kid was giving me the stink eye.
Paul covered the 1964 Lincoln Continental in his post about the meet up. I just wanted to include a shot of the rear and the interior as supplemental material.
This Rambler American was also already discussed, but I wanted to inquire about its reputation. My dad’s reaction upon seeing these pictures went something like this: “See? Even back then they had sh@tboxes!” Was that the general consensus on this model in the 60’s, or did my dad just have a bad experience associated with this model that he’s projecting onto this car?
These Corvettes certainly aren’t poop boxes.
Here is a car that one could plausibly call a box of poop. These second generation Cavalier’s were certainly not segment leading. My aunt had a wagon of this vintage and I never liked riding in it. Although it did have that distinctive GM exhaust growl.
This B5 Passat also resided near the Cavalier and was not part of the show. And next to it is an Accord sedan of similar vintage.
There actually were a lot of classic sedans on the outside fringes of the show. When I spotted this second generation Camry I hoped it was an All-Trac model. But alas, it was merely a V6 LE. Oh well. Still pretty cool to see one in such great shape.
This Mercury Grand Marquis LS hails from the same era as the Camry, but couldn’t be more different. And it still has whitewall tires!
Sadly, Thomassen Lincoln-Mercury no longer exists. Looks like it was replaced with an Audi/Porsche store, which is an interesting combination of brands.
Last but certainly not least was this Nissan/Datsun 280 with vintage plates in a very excellent green. Overall, the show displayed some very diverse vehicles and a good time was had by all.
I departed the Hunt Valley Towne Center at about 12:40, after having a great lunch with my fellow curbivores. Oddly enough, both the Garmin unit and Waze app were in agreement about which way to head home, which was kind of a mix between the two routes they sparred over a day before. The biggest difference was substituting I-81 for I-78, which then took me to I-287, a road which I considered the home stretch, given my familiarity with the area.
Fortunately, the weather was much better, and not long into the trip I spotted a genuine CC. The Chevrolet Spectrum is a pretty rare sight these days, and this specific example is a survivor that appears to be in good shape.
Definitely NSFW language
Was there drama on the trip back? Yup! On I-78 in NJ I encountered a construction area that temporarily killed my good mood.
For those of you unable to view the video, I’ve included some screenshots that explain the situation. Basically, I was cruising at about 70mph in this construction zone when I failed to notice a NJ state trooper parked in the median. Since I believed that speed was far above the limit in that area, I immediately became convinced that I had just bought myself a very expensive ticket, hence the two expletives. The cop car had its lights on and wheels pointed toward the highway, which contributed to my feeling that I was about to have a short conversation with a police officer.
The cop stayed put. In hindsight, its pretty obvious they were just there to slow everyone down, because clearly no work was taking place on Saturday. Definitely fooled me!
Because I was momentarily flummoxed, I failed to notice what was under construction. This led me to make a quick decision to shoot into the left lane, because my lack of attention led me to believe those lanes on the right were dedicated to the exit and not a continuation of the highway.
And here is a screenshot of the signs I should have read. All I’ll say is that a trucker pulled the same maneuver before I did, which you can barely make out in the video. Perhaps he thought he was getting pulled over too.
But I quickly returned to my post meet up vibe, which kept me energized throughout the trip back to New York. The drive was worth it. I look forward to future shindigs. Everyone was awesome and it was a great experience.