CHRISTIAN AVARD / STAFF PHOTO
Bart Carlson (right) and George House, both of of Melvin Village, N.H., inspect Carlson’s 1910 Buick at the American Precision Museum in Windsor on Tuesday. The stop is part of the New England Brass and Gas Tour, which starts in Rutland.
WINDSOR — See a large group of Model-T Fords, Buicks, Cadillacs, Hudsons, Sterns or Chalmers on the road this week? It’s very likely the bi-annual Horseless Carriage Club of America’s New England Brass and Gas Tour.
Hundreds of antique car enthusiasts from all over the country and even New Zealand are in Vermont to enjoy the summer driving in their vintage cars. Tuesday, they were among hundreds of drivers who visited the American Precision Museum in Windsor and were taking in the fun in the sun.
Nancy and Doug McNair traveled thousands of miles from Tahoe City, Calif., so they could drive their 1909 Chalmers in the tour. They said it was a trip they couldn’t pass up.
“Our car is stored at my grandfather’s in New Hampshire and the New England tour was close by,” Doug McNair said. “We planned the trip a year ahead of time and just did it.”
Rutland is the 2013 host city for New England Brass and Gas Tour, which runs through Saturday. All trips start at the Holiday Inn in Rutland and stop at several destinations along the way.
After the American Precision Museum, participants travel to King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Quechee Gorge in Quechee, Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater, then Killington and back to the Holiday Inn.
The remainder of the tour includes a mystery destination in Rutland, the Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury and Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain in Ticonderoga, N.Y. The week ends with a grand banquet, and organizers plan the next Brass and Gas Tour for 2015.
“It’s the camaraderie and seeing the world at 25 mph instead of 70 or 80 mph,” Nancy McNair said. “It’s people with common interests and great storytelling.”
The last time Rutland hosted the Brass and Gas Tour was in 1999, according to Bart Carlson of Melvin Village, N.H. He is a Brass and Gas veteran and a proud owner of a 1910 Buick.
Carlson said Buick was one of General Motors’ finer lines and production increased after Model-T Fords were first introduced.
So far, the weather has cooperated with the Brass and Gas Tour. The recent thunderstorms have not affected travel plans and participants hope the good weather will be favorable for the rest of the week.
As for Carlson, he couldn’t ask for more than traveling in his antique Buick on Vermont roads to welcome the summer.
“Buicks are reliable,” he said. “This has a powerful 48-horsepower engine. You need horsepower to do the hills and roads. Some of the roads are testy. We just came up a dirt hill road this morning. It was challenging.”
Mornings and evenings are the best time to catch a glimpse of the 120 antique cars in the New England Brass and Gas Tour. They can be seen at the Holiday Inn off Route 7 south in Rutland.
For more information call the Holiday Inn at 775-1911.
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