Our son-in-law Andrei grew up in Romania. He, his family and many friends commonly did their own mechanical work. There were not a lot of resources during Communism which forced the population to develop alternative systems for keeping things going.
Although Andrei was born just after the revolution, Romanians survived under a cloud of deprivation, trying to rebuild infrastructure. Learning to do more with less was still a way of life. But for Andrei and his family, resourcefulness prevailed. Through it all, the silver lining was that Andrei learned a lot out of necessity. A gear head was born!
So, when Owl’s Head announced a gathering of European vehicles, I got the call. No Russian Lada or Romanian Trabant, but probably some very interesting others. Bingo! I'm in.
When I was a kid walking to school I would pass the most beautiful car I'd ever seen, parked on the street along side the home of a local lawyer. It was, then, and still is, the Jaguar XK-E. My family had a Ford Falcon station wagon and a couple trucks, an International and a Ford, which we used to deliver explosives to area mines. The Jaguar was so different. I stood by it and admired it regularly.
There was a black XK-E and a brilliant bright red one at Owl's Head, and I was once again transfixed. But there were many beautiful, old cars, motorcycles and airplanes to admire. We were in Gear Head Heaven!
A perfect 1960s’ VW Bug. An old and very used original Citroen D2V. The Jaguars. Austin Healeys. Triumphs. Porsche. Bentley. Volvo. Old motorcycles – Harley, Royal Enfield, Indian. And, vintage airplanes by Piper, Stutz, Sopwith and Fokker. What an exhibition!
And the grand finale, a short take off and landing competition. The plane engines roar at high speed then try to get off the ground in the shortest distance, circle the airstrip, then land, trying to stop quickly. The winner got off the ground so fast the judges were barely able to mark the spot! What a show.
We had fun. Thanks Andrei.