Monday, July 1, 2013

On the Road: HCCA Modoc Tour

by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

My wife, grandson and I recently escaped Alaska's record heat to take part in the annual Modoc Tour with the Horseless Carriage Club of America. The tour was sponsored by our friends Allan and Beth Schmidt, of Restoration Supply Company. This marked the 26th year for the tour, which was held in Alturas, California. The turnout was great, despite attendance being down a little due to some illness and other situations. At right is a 1913 IHC highwheeler that Allan brought up for us to drive. It ran without a glitch for all the tours. Rain and cold be darned, it kept on going!

Allan drove his 1903 Cadillac, which also ran without a glitch. The weather was a little cool, being 41ยบ F on Wednesday morning and raining on Thursday, but Friday was sunny. Allan outran me in his Cadillac until the last day, when I decided to put the top down on the IHC. Then it was,"Katie bar the door," and the old truck picked up a whole lot of speed. Jack clocked me at 32 mph at one point, and the Cadillac could not stay with me.

Here are a few of the horseless carriages in front of the hotel before the tour began. There was a lot of  prep work to get some of them ready, but with Allan's well-maintained cars there was not much to do other than fill the oilers and  gas tank. We sure did miss seeing the Thurbers and their steam cars, but hope they will make it  next time.

The last day of the tour was the longest and ended at the Flournoy  ranch. It was a wonderful, sunny day and we drove past some great scenery through canyons and along some creeks. We saw a few deer and antelope along the way, plus a lot of old "bone yards" with some interesting looking stuff that I really wanted to peruse. Sigh, maybe next time.....

I love this picture of the the antique cars and vintage motorcycles parked in front of the old brick building. I don't know what will happen to this grand old building, as its only tenant is a used book store, and there probably isn't much chance of other renters moving in. It is truly sad to see the old store fronts closed and these little towns drying up, but at least some folks are hanging in and providing great service to try to keep people coming back.
Of course, one cannot have an old car event without a lot of good food! These folks put out a great spread for us, with barbequed chicken, a tasty salad with all the fixins, and then came out the pies. There must have been at least a dozen kinds, and try as I might, I could not begin to sample them all. It brought back a lot of memories of how the rural farm ladies could really put on a first-class feed with fresh made everything.

Wilma and Marcus had as much fun as I did, as Marcus got to drive the IHC for about 30 miles. Now it's time to begin the drive up the Alcan and head home!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging about the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum's latest news, adventures and research