Cars! Radnor 2015

Radnor Concours d’ Elegance 2015

Check out my other blog pieces on Shows O’ The Past:

Every year, I go to the fabulous car show in the regal rolling hills just outside of Philadelphia to see art jewelry of the wealthy.  The hills really are regal…. like filled with American Royalty: the Captains of Industry and their affectations. There are plenty of snappy blue blazers… goofy loafers that look like bedroom slippers…. clenched jaw accents from nowhere… their cars of similar pedigree and provenance, and well… me.

I had a blast…. literally… I found the beer tent early. Some local brewery was hawking their product and I decided to give their pils a nice and extended tryout. Well I never found that tent later in the day (they must have moved it), but if they are reading this… a “big thumbs up” as the product did what it was designed to do.


I love these cars and I am always fascinated by the technology that goes back to the early 1900s. What always strikes me is that the stuff back then is pretty much the same as it is today. Pistons, rings, plain bearings (force fed oil), valves, headers, gas, oil…… turbo and super-charging, even the braking systems were similar with drums still in use today.

The technology in our cars is a mere refinement of what went before. The engineers back then envisioned variable valve timing and lift, variable ignition timing, among others but lacked the manufacturing sophistication and or the controls systems we have today with electronics to make them real. To be fair, some of this was implemented such as variable ignition timing but the operator controlled this via a lever on the steering wheel and it took electronic controls to fully exploit the full potential of this technology.

Chopped: Check out the 1930 Stutz, 113 HP SOHC 322 in-line eight, had no paint on the coach. It was covered in canvas.  Wow.  And yes, it was chopped at the factory…… cool. Chopped is a modern hot-rodder’s term for shortening the A and B-pillars to lower the roof line.  Fabulous.

Electric: How about the 1923 Detroit Electric? Tesla Motors is no innovator. Range was 80 miles with a top speed of 20 MPH…. not bad for ninety years ago eh?

Comrades Unite!: That is a genuine 1957 Volga sedan built in that most commie of communities, The Soviet Union. Yes, they had Robins Egg blue paint there too! (Probably stolen by a spy named Natasha after feeding cigarettes, whiskey, and accent-laden wiggles to a hapless Ford supply manager and then smuggled out of the USA via submarine.) I asked the nice owner Dmitri about the availability of parts. He said the same engine is still in production! Parts are no problem.   Plastic bits like knobs are reproductions, but most of the parts are very easy to come by as they built pretty much the same thing for forty years. The radio? Oh yes, it is an all-tube design and a monster with its multiple components taking up most of the space behind the dash. Dmitri said it works great once it is warmed up. He drove it in from Brooklyn.

What a lesson in economics…. The commies didn’t waste money and capital to refine the same thing over and over… they put the money into the people!!! We in the west want fancy stripes, and pipes that growl, and horse power that makes men manlier. Who is helped by these selfish pursuits? Better to put that money to work directly for the people. We should learn from the Russians and tax those awful wealthy who want more and more and more…… take those bucks and give it to the people! Tube radios can sound pretty good you know… once warmed up.

Something About Taking These Pics

A quick confession: When I am under the influence, sometimes I don’t like to think. I know, I know, you can’t believe this but it is true. I cheated, threw out all my knowledge (actually it kinda runs away after the fourth one), and put my camera in Program mode and full ETTL II flash. Totally automatic. Why Program mode? I don’t know, I just thought I would try it out. The results? Crap! Virtually every photo was overexposed in places and just didn’t look good. Thank goodness for post processing in LightRoom. Seriously, automatic modes work, but they don’t work all that well. If you want to get great results, you have to put in the effort and learn how to do it correctly. I can do better, but the beer got in the way.

The Equipment:

  • Canon 5DSr
  • Canon EF 24-105 L f/4.0 IS
  • Canon Speedlight 580 EXII

Location Types: Car Show. Galleries: Cars. Tags: 5DSr and Cars.

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