AACA - CHESAPEAKE REGION

                    Recent Event Photographs

2019  Tour: NB Center for American Automobile Heritage

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On Wednesday July 31, 2019, fifty members and associates of Chesapeake Region traveled to Allentown, Pennsylvania to tour the NB Center for American Automobile Heritage. After lunch at a nearby restaurant we were directed to assemble at the impressive Lodge of the NB Center.

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Visitors toured the Lodge and viewed the many interesting exhibits that were on display.

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Before the tour began, we assembled for a group photograph.

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Keith, our tour guide, who operates the facility for the owner, briefed our members on its fascinating history, and its owner's objectives to preserve the heritage of the American automobile.

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The massive Lodge building was reconstructed from historic structures in the local area. However it is only one of many buildings at the Center.

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A large projection screen, visible in the distance, is a reminder that the massive, multi-building facility is built on the former site of the Allentown Drive-in Theater.

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Upon entering the first building, we were met with a large display of vehicles.

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Each car is tagged and ready to hit the road at any time.

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John examines a vintage Hudson.

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A favorite American vehicle marquee of the owner: Buicks of many years and models were displayed.

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Keith, a veteran of hands-on automobile restoration, here discusses methods to preserve original automobile interiors.

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Once a common sight in our area, a recreated Sinclair gas station resides on the campus.

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Upon entering the building housing the mechanical shop, this quite-deteriorated 1966 Volkswagen Bus immediately catches your eye. It's here for stalization, not restoration.

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It was used by civil rights activist Esau Jenkins of South Carolina, to ferry African-American residents of Johns Island to work or school in nearby Charleston, reportedly instructing them on the way about votor registration, and how to achieve it.

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The vehicle will be placed on the National Historic Vehicle Register and be displayed as is on the National Mall in Washington, DC from September 20 to 26. Subsequent use or sale of the vehicle is unknown.

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Phil takes paticular interest in the rare 1942 Oldsmobile "woodie" wagon being restored.

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To ensure correct restoration, a second, similar 1942 Oldsmobile - on loan from its owner - was being used as a model for the first.

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The sign explains the philosophy of the expert restoration craftsmen.

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Inside the woodie wagon.

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Keith explains the art of metal formation.

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Not received well in its time - with its futuristic styling - a Chrysler Airflow stands out now among its contemporaries.

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A specially-built Vatican Cadillac... certainly fit for a Pope.

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Its large formal roof.

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The project "white board" in the upholstery shop.

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Keith explains the art of correct auto interior restoration in the upholstery shop.

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Our visitors admire more restored vehicles in yet another large building.

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Matt and Cali peer inside one of the vehicles.

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Certainly the era of iconic vehicle mascots.

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The distinctive "sailing ship" mascot of the vintage Plymouth.

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Packard build many vehicles for military use during World War II. This restored sedan is similar to the one pictured below.

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General Eisenhower speaks with General Bradley beside his 1941 Packard Clipper staff car, in this photograph displayed at the Lodge. Note the camouflage draped carefully above.

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A standard NASCAR "Car of Tomorrow" badged as a Buick.

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A Buick Dealer neon sign.

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One last look at the array of meticulously restored vehicles.

Our Chesapeake Region, AACA members and associates appreciated the opportunity to visit this truely impressive facility for the preservation of our American automobile heritage. We sincerely thank Keith for the very informative tour, and Mr. Bulgari for his passion, to undertake such an important preservation endeavor.