Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Car Show at the Imperial Palace - Las Vegas

We visited Las Vegas (Nevada) and Albuquerque (New Mexico) this past June (2009). I was surprised to find an ongoing car show at the Imperial Palace Hotel/Casino, featuring lots of old/Antique/Collectible and Custom cars, of all Makes and models. There was an admission charge but some free tickets were available so, if you're planning on going, l0ok online for them. Most of the vehicles were for sale; many had their hood open so a full-image photo really didn't do it justice. Following are a sample of what was on display.
(Click on any image to enlarge it.)

This 1951 MG TD was on display on the casino floor,
offering a taste of what was in the larger show upstairs.

1954 Nash Metropolitan.

My personal pick for "Best In Show" was this
nicely customized 1940 Pontiac Convertible
featuring a chopped top
(no easy feat on a convert).

The paint job was totally AWESOME; looked like it was an inch thick!

In case you're wondering, the tail lights are
frenched into the vertical bumper guards

(making the rear look clean but a very dangerous location for street use).

Alfa-Romeo "Bat" prototypes from the mid-1950s.

A 1933 Pierce-Arrow.

A very rare 1953 Ford two-door hardtop with half glass roof.

The origin of the term, "Woody," from Ford in 1937.

Stock 1954 Chevy two-door sedan, same colors as
the '54 four-door Ro's dad had when I met her.

This 1949 Ford was mildly customized on the outside
but featured an Impala dashboard from the late 1950's inside
and eye-catching paint job with restrained scallops.

The listing claims it's a "350 cu. in. engine with 2 four-barrel carbs
and a Turbo 400 transmission";
I believe it's a Chevy 350 Hemi conversion .

Twin antenni are recessed into the right-rear quarter panel
and the stock tail-light lenses are neatly frenched in.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Marty Himes Museum

Marty Himes began his career in 1955 as a stock car race driver at the now defunct Freeport Raceway on Long Island. He went on to become one of the most successful guys in the sport of racing, eventually winning 3rd place in the Formula Libre, at Lime Rock Race Course in Connecticut in 1989.

He began an unorthodox hands-on museum in 1975 containing any and everything related to auto racing as well as the toys and artifacts of his life. It’s open to anyone, for free, who gives him a call and makes an appointment; the photos from my recent visit represent only a fraction of what you can experience yourself.

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Marty with a yard full of his old stock cars.

The original ticket booth from Freeport Raceway
has been transplanted to Marty's place in Bay Shore.

Dexter Park not only held stock car races
hosted minor-league baseball games during
the early part of the twentieth century. It closed in the 1950's.

Marty, with a home-made scooter from his youth.

Marty drives his 1938 Plymouth regularly.

You won't find gas at these prices any more.

Islip Speedway hosted stock car races
as well as 1/8 mile drag races; it closed in the 1980's.

An Irish Mail, hanging in one of Marty's garages:
popular in the 1940's, you moved the handle back & forth
with your arms to make it go and steered with your feet.
(I had one of those!)

I had one of these, too; a plastic toy ice cream truck from the 1950s.

(For more about Marty, visit http://www.thehimesmuseum.vze.com/).