Restored Rusty Relics Tour

The Nicolo Bulgari Center

For American Automotive Heritage

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tour organized by Ken Hartos.  151 photos follow.


1.  This picture was digitally photographed off an auditorium-sized projection screen in the main hall of the NB visitor center, during showing to the club of a video recording the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Buick Club of America hosted by the Center in 2016.  Other shots from the footage below lack the precise dimensions and illumination of raw photography, while attempting a presentation in a few frames of Mr. Bulgari's stunning automotive venue.

2.  It is a special pleasure to present several stills of Mr. Bulgari with cars and working facilties in the set of pictures, his not being on the premises.

3.  The 27-acre property used to be site of former Allentown Drive-in theater.

4.  Pictures from the archive.

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7.  Buick Club of America 50th Anniversary featured event, July 27-30, 2016.

8.  Restored Rusty Relics tour bus parked at entrance to Visitor Center.  Cropped out of the picture, a road course where cars are tested.

9.  A rainy day.  Club member Andrew Pardu caught up with the bus in Allentown.  His classic Packard was not out of place at the fabulous compound.

10.  Within the entrance of the Visitor Center, Mr. Bulgari's eclectic elegance an immediate clue of what's to come in the tour.

11.  Library and reading lounge.  Model of U.S. Navy 8-CS-1 Curtiss reconnaissance and torpedo bomber of the 1920s.  Possibly only model of a prototype, as Curtiss apparently lost the contract for production of the planes to the Martin Company.

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13.  After 80-mile bustrip from Akorn Discount Tire in Fair Lawn, tour group gets lunch out of the way in main hall of NB Visitor Center, a meticulously restored and modernized classic Pensylvania stone barn.

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15.  Built on the Hudson Eight chassis, Railtons were made in Britain by Fairmile Engineering Company of Cobham, Surrey, from 1933-1940.  The '36 was powered by a Hudson 8 engine. Two lightweight 1935 models were claimed to do zero to sixty in 8.8 seconds.

16.  1928-31 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan.

17.  1939 Studebaker Champion.

18.  1933 Buick Victoria, eight cylinder engine.  Buicks that Mr. Bulgari remembers from his childhood in Italy made a lasting impression, and to this day Buicks are his favorite cars.

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21.  1935 Nash Ambassador 8 Sedan.

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23.  1922 Oldsmobile Super Sport . . .

24.   . . . and its 233.7 CID V-8 engine, capable of 60 HP @ 2710 rpm.

25.  1939 Chrysler New Yorker series Town & Country Convertible; ash woodwork; offered with 8-cylinders only.

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27.  Whenever Mr. B. visits the Center he has the staff take out any number of cars to joyride on the landscaped road course around the property.  All cars are garaged on trickle chargers keeping their batteries fresh, and other maintenance is kept up.

28.  1946 DeSoto Custom Series Convertible.  From the Standard Catalog of Chrysler:  "Gyrol Fluid Drive with Tip-Top Shift four-speed was standard in Customs, optional in Deluxes."

29.  DeSoto concept of flying mermaid.

30.  1941 DeSoto Custom S-8 five-window coupe.

31.  Not military paint.  "Just old paint!" Dave Czirr points out.

32.  The real military paint.  1941 Packard Clipper.

33.  1929 Willys Knight Model 66B.  In the background, a 1950 Oldsmobile 88 convertible, judging on fender/headlight trim (see picture 43) and grille.

34.  Willys Knight on Horseback mascot.

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36.  1936 Hupmobile Coupe.

37.  Another patina of old paint!

38.  Hupmobile's Buck Rogers-era rocket ship hood mascot, featuring nice set of hotrod side pipes!

39.  1942 Hudson Super Six.  The '42s are on the rare side because the company had to shut down production half way through the year in order to support the war effort.  

40.  Tailend of '42 Hudson Super Six.

41.  1941 Cadillac Series 62, First Generation.  First year for headlights fitting into fenders.

42.  1946 Buick Series 50 Super Woody Wagon.

43.  1970 Buick Riviera.  GM brought out eight generations of Rivieras between 1963 and 1999, plus two concepts, in 2007 and 2013.  '50 Olds behind the Rivera.

44.  At the sign of the Sinclair friendly dinosaur, working gas station pumps best fuel formulas for older cars.

45.  Next location on tour: building with detailing bay where cars are made show ready, more storage and hi-tech photography facility.  1939 Studebaker Coupe-Express in for some TLC.

46.  1938 De Luxe Ford Convertible Sedan.

47.  1941 Oldsmobile Two-door Business Coupe.

48.  1941 Mercury.  First year for this grille.

49.  1942 Oldsmobile Series 42, "B-44".  The ad copy said it is “Power-Styled Like the B-19”.

50.  1941 Nash Ambassador.

51.  1935/36 Auburn 851 or 852, judging on door hinges, hood side trim and bullet-shaped headlights.  ID with lead from Dave Czirr.

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53.  Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire, missing its grille.  Temporarily!  Armstrong Siddeley Motors Ltd. of Coventry, England, has a long history of producing luxury cars.

54.  Fast asleep 1942 Desoto Series S-10 Custom Four-door Sedan.  Only series with "Airfoil" hidden headlights.

55.  Prewar production ended Feb. 9, 1942.

56.  1934-35 Buick.  New on these models: 16-inch wheels.

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58.  Classic Bonneville.

59.  EARLY SUBWAY -- Heritage Center curator Keith Flickinger introduces "coach car" made by Studebaker.  Beginning around 1901, the battery-powered car ran in tunnel linking U.S. Capitol Building with Russell Senate Office building.  Could carry ten passengers, move at 12 mph.  Ran backwards for return trip.  Click on the picture to access D.C. Subway archival photo.

60.   First generation Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager.  1984?

61.  1935 Dodge "New Value Line" Business Coupe.  Great ram mascot, with the RAM brand established 75 years later on FCA trucks.

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64.  Ford Model T, the 1915-17 edition. HVA (Historic Vehicle Assoc.) "Road Trip Century" imprint on the side announces this car was driven from Detroit to San Francisco along a route taken by Edsel Ford in a Model T, in a similar trip to attend a 1915 Pan Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

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66.  Who knew the U.S. Dept. of the Interior maintains a National Historical Vehicle Registry?  Keith Flickinger displays a plaque honoring a 1933 Graham.  Not just any 1933 Graham, but one in the following pictures.

67.  Hi-tech photo studio for producing archival images.

68.  The studio goes completely dark and a split-second strobe gets the picture in frame without shadows or reflections -- such as are all too obvious in the accompanying pictures, made in available light with an SLR digital camera!

69.  Will this car ever get the treatment?

70.  In a building dedicated to all sorts of auto body work, Keith describes how wood components of old cars get fabricated.

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76.  Shop is also equipped for metalworking.

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80.  It's all about shaping metal.

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83.  Next building stop on the tour, ready-for-anything mechanical repair facility.  1947 Chevrolet Convertible gets some work on its rear brakes.

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93.  Kieth introduces tour group to upholstery shop methods and issues, like finding cloth that is original or that matches original.

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95.  Can anything be done with this rusty hulk of a Buick?  Someone must be optimistic, or why else would it be sitting in a work area?

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97.  Anyone seen an old Buick that's missing a wheel?

98.  Parts storage.

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107.  1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe, Convertible Sedan, one of 387 built.

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112.  Amazing hood mascots wherever you look!  This one on a 1934-35 Buick.  But see the similar ornament on the 1933 Buick in picture no. 18.

113.  1928 Studebaker.

114.  1926 Gardner Griffin.

115.  1934 Lincoln Greyhound.

116.  1934 Chevrolet Standard Series.

117.  1937 Packard 120.

118.  1937 Chrysler Two-Door Custom Imperial Convertible.

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120.  1933 Marmon Sixteen Victoria Coupe.

121.  1935 LaSalle Coupe.

122.  Graham, judging on the splayed front bumper.  Between 1932-36.   If only I had taken more pictures!

123.  For 1936-38, the Pierce-Arrow company's last new car got four-headlight arrangement.

124.  1942 Chrysler Two-door Coupe.

125.  1931 Franklin 153.

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127.  1941 Dodge D21 Deluxe.  Streamlined ram ornament mounted on top of hood.

128.  Dodge family coat-of-arms featured in winged crest decorating nose.

129.  1937 Graham Cavalier.

130.  Supercharged Graham engine.

131.  1932 Lincoln Model KB.

132.  1934 Buick.

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134.  Fiat 500, as produced between 1957 and 1975.

135.  1949 Plymouth Series 18 Special Deluxe, Six Cylinder.

136.  1957 Ford Custom Ranchero.  Featured in "Hemmings Daily" newsletter of Friday, Jan. 4, apparently on loan from NBAAH.  The article tells of weather problems encountered by a trio of pickups on their way to the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Click on picture to jump to Hemmings article.

137.  1937 Chrysler Royal . . .

138.   . . . with fender skirts.

139.  1950 Pontiac Silver Streak.  Verticle "teeth" added to upper section of grille; missing in '49, and again in '51, etc.

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141.  1935 Hupmobile 527T Sedan.

142.  Dale Earnhart Jr.'s 88 NASCAR ride.

143.  Jeff Gordon's 24 car.

144.  Plymouth emblem.  Maybe a designer's rendering.

145.  Nash model parked strategically in main hall.

146.  It wouldn't be a Pennsylvania barn without a wood pile!

147.  Towering outdoor theater screen is still used for its original purpose of showing cinema.

148.  A thing of strength.

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Thanks for looking.  For info, email: e13gene@gmail.com