I don’t know anything about cars. I can barely tell a convertible from a Hummer and I tend to forget where I park in the parking lot—I wish our car was painted yellow or pink because it would be easier to spot.

Yet I can’t resist a good photo opportunity.

During the Civic Holiday weekend, we drove to the U.S. We usually stop after crossing the border to put our passports away and grab a cold drink. This time, as soon as we exited the International Bridge, we spotted a strange gathering of classic cars. “Let’s go!” I begged Feng.

Regular cars were parked all around the lawn, most sporting a bunch of bumper stickers: “Impeach Obama,” “Welcome to America: Speaking English or Get the Fuck Out,” “Capitalism Built This Country, The Democrats Want to Destroy It With Socialism,” “Deport All Illegal Immigrants,” “Don’t Trust the Liberal Media,” “Politicians Prefer Unarmed Subjects” etc.

“Great, a Tea Party gathering,” I said, lowering my voice so that I wouldn’t get shot.

For a minute, I hesitated. A Chinese born under Mao and a French with a big camera… not sure we were exactly fitting in. We parked our old Toyota Corolla—ahem, a Japanese car, another big faux pas—and paid $2 to enter.

Yes, people stared at us. Well, really, it was mutual.

Yet it was really cool to see all these classic American cars here, parked on the lawn. Polished Ford or Chevrolet radiator caps, funny vanity plates and quirky dashboard—and sometimes, Betty Boop or the Pink Panther behind the wheel.

I could almost hear Don McLean’s American Pie playing in the background:

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye

Can-Am
Hawaiian Dancer
Yay, a Tea Party Gathering!
Chevrolet
Be Cool
Half Opened
Chevrolet
Ford
Neighbors Help Neighbors
The Border in the Background
Car Show
Ford
Complex Engines
With Feng in the Mirror
Drive It Like You Stole It
Betty Boop
Monkey Under The Hood
The Pink Panther
The Dashboad
A & W

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16 Comments

  1. Nigel August 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Haha, I can imagine the look on people’s faces :-). The cars look beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      The cars were really cool. I’m not even into car and I wouldn’t have minded driving the Betty Boop.

      Reply
  2. Gail at Large August 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I love car shows, but automobiles of a certain era tend to attract, um, a certain demographic. My favourite shows are the ones that are combined with aviation (they tend to go together) as they draw a wider audience.

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      I had no ides that cars and airplanes could go together for such show! Interesting. Yeah, there was definitely a demographic thing going on there…

      Reply
  3. brandon August 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    yeah my grandfather has a 58 chevy bel-air he’s as far left as I am, just don’t assume all wrench monkeys think that way.

    just as well before it was the US is a a loose knit group of indian tribes…we absolutely never bothered to learn their language nor did they try to wholly deport us for being immigrants

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Of course, we can’t generalize. This car show clearly gathered the demographic Gail mentioned but hey, doesn’t mean all car buffs are the same 😉

      Reply
  4. Jeruen August 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Hello from Santiago!

    Anyway, I have this hypothesis that people who participate in these classic cars gatherings, together with people who are into big bikes like Harleys, would have a higher probability of being a Republican. I wonder why. It’s like if you prefer these rural-inspired gadgets, then you’re conservative, and most likely to be anti-liberal and anti-Obama. I don’t understand that.

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Hi “Santiago”!

      I didn’t realize you were there already.

      Yep, I agree with your analysis (why wouldn’t I… you are a PhD!) although it is just a probability.

      Reply
  5. Jorge August 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Very interesting! I do not care much about cars, I do like to take care of mine just enough to keeps its value and avoid any malfunction in the middle of the highway. I find it amusing listening my friends or co-workers (mostly males) talking about their cars as if they were very expensive pieces of art. I sense, and it has been talked about in the news, that the US is tilting towards isolationism, it happens when the economy is bad in any country. I am so glad I chose Canada to live in!
    I wish I were with you at that event to see their faces 🙂

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Like I said, I’m not a car buff but I do read a lot of American novels where there are often references to these classic cars, so it was cool to see them.

      Reply
  6. expatraveler August 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Car shows are always fun! Love the pics.

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  7. Soleil August 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    It’s embarrassing that it was a conservative gathering, but what nice cars those are! I should know a lot more about cars than I do, since I’m from Michigan, the car capital, but I know pretty much nothing. I like to look at them though!

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Do you have like a car museum or something in that state? I’d love to visit Michigan some time.

      Reply
  8. Mel August 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Why were you in Ogdensburg? Is there anything to do there apart from find random car shows? We might be heading that way this weekend.

    Reply
    1. Zhu August 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      On our way to Lake Placid. There isn’t much in Ogdensburg really, just a border town.

      Reply

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