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I’ve just arrived back from a fabulous two week holiday which in the first week took in a few days in Nova Scotia to visit family. From there over to Portland, Maine, northwards to the lovely coastal towns of Bar Harbour and Kennebunkport before heading back down to Salem for the middle weekend to see friends. For the second week, we headed out to Woodstock in beautiful Vermont, before making our way back to Boston and then on to New York where the two main aims were to enjoy some tennis at the US Open (I’m a long-time major tennis fan) and to celebrate my lovely partner’s birthday.

Now you might think that this would be a great roadtrip in a classic, particularly a drophead at this time of year, and you’d of course be right. Nothing too big – I think I’d find driving a ’61 Cadillac as our International Editor did a while back too intimidating – but something like a ’65 or ‘66 Mustang with the relatively modest 4.7-litre/289 cubic inch V8 rumbling away, preferably in red or yellow. Or a Corvette C2… now you’re talking!

Unfortunately, there were all sorts of practical obstacles to making the trip in a classic, not least the difficulty of picking up a car in Nova Scotia and dropping it off in the US; even with a standard modern car, this proved impossible. So in the end, we hired what must be one of the most boring cars ever made – a grey Nissan Versa, picked up at Boston’s Logan Airport after our time in Nova Scotia. If I were being kind, one word to sum up the car would be “nondescript”. If I were being unkind, well, a four-letter word beginning with “s” and ending in “t” would sum it up. It did, however, do what it was supposed to do and got us around without any fuss or bother. And thank goodness for US fuel prices – a pity the beer wasn’t as cheap…

ugh….

The lack of a classic to drive did not mean that I couldn’t at least indulge in some classic car spotting, and when possible, take a few pictures. Obviously this was difficult when driving, so some photo opportunities were missed. Among these were the only Alfa Romeo and Citroën I saw in the whole fortnight – a green 164 and a DS, also in green. I also spotted – but couldn’t photograph – an orange Opel GT, a couple of mid-1970’s Porsche 911’s, both in white, and a pair of Triumph Spitfires that had seen better days. Add to that of course, miscellaneous American classics. Oh, and the only BMW 02 I saw was a black one that drove by us in Woodstock in the late evening; indeed, I saw very few European classics, with the possible exception of SAAB’s (if you count 900 series models as classics now). Nevertheless, I did manage to catch a few gems, as I hope the photo gallery will show, and at either end of the first week, had two completely unexpected encounters that made up for any amount of missed photo ops.

Indeed, the first of these was as early as the second day of our trip – a Saturday classic car meet in Liverpool, Nova Scotia which really delivered, and not least a stop on the way to Kennebunkport, Maine which included some of the most exotic American – and European – cars ever manufactured. However, both of these will be covered in separate articles, so for now, enjoy the photos that I did manage to take when not actually driving the Nissan Porridge…

An appetiser for my findings in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

And another appetiser explaining why I stopped on our way back to Kennebunkport, Maine.

 

8 Responses

  1. Dave Leadbetter

    You had more spotting success than I had in Poland.

    That Land Rover… has the owner somehow managed to get it registered in the US with the same sequence as the original UK registration? The US plate under the bumper reads the same, HAX 112C.

    Reply
  2. Zack Stiling

    Excellent. There’s nothing like holiday car-spotting, even if other family members profess not to understand the fun of the sport. Not that I’m anything like the learned cosmopolitan that I would like to be, in my experience so far I think the best spotting is to be done around Greece and Cyprus. They seem to have a good mix of British, European, American and Japanese, all of it variably abandoned, in preservation or somehow still in everyday use even at over 40 years old.

    Top marks for getting that Nash-Healey, though I think we need to be sending someone over there to have a polite word about those wheels.

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  3. yrhmblhst

    Turquoise Camaro, mid year Corvette and 69 RoadRunner all look nice, and seeing a Nash Healey is quite a find…not sure Ive EVER seen one in person, much less just out driving around. And yes, I would call a SAAB 900 at least a neo-classic, but then Im a bit of a SAAB Snaab…
    As far as the plate on the Rover… I cant tell if its a legit plate or from what state, but, if a personalised plate request isnt already taken or doesnt clash with ‘normal’ license numbers, then yes, the owner could get a matching number with no problem. As an example , Ive had ‘SURFS UP’ since the early 80s on various vehicles. I have ‘NOT PC’ currently and have several others. However, I was denied ‘RIP 278’ because it potentially clashed with ‘normal’ plate numeration. [ of course, i applied for it for a motorcycle which uses vastly dfifferent sequence[s] than cars and trucks, but since cars now have 2 OR 3 letters and 3 or 4 numbers, I was denied. The fact that it was for a bike and no one could confuse the two was lost on the state…]

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  4. Anders Bilidt

    @tony, while you didn’t have much luck with your own wheels, you seemed to strike gold on those you spotted on your travels. Reminds me of when I went walkabout in the streets on Burlingame just south of San Francisco: https://viaretro.com/2018/08/pedestrian-adventures/

    Love the pic of the rubber bumper MGB parked between those two monstrosities. Love the patina on the early chrome-bumpered MGB even more though. My very favourite though, would simply have to be the champagne metallic ’67 Ford Galaxie hardtop. With a less conspicuous set of wheels on, it would look amazing sat in my garage…

    Reply
  5. Tony Wawryk

    The Nash Healey was the spot of the trip for me – only 162 made and I see one being driven around Kennebunkport! The Roadrunner and Camaro with the Stars and Stripes flag were parked outside the New York Public Library on East 42nd street, and attracted quite a crowd. Overall though I was actually a bit disappointed with the number of classics I saw being driven around, bearing in mind this was the height of summer.

    Reply
  6. Andrew Boggis

    Sounds like an enjoyable trip. Very nice photos and I feel sorry for the MGB owner. Here is France SUV owners tend to allow their (typically pudgy) kids bash their doors against classic cars in car parks!

    The Land Rover and its “British” registration caught my eye as whilst I was on holiday in Belgium, I saw a car with a numerically close registration. I attach a photo for my fellow anoraks…

    Reply
  7. Andrew Boggis

    @Anders, the above car is not mine, but it is a genuine 26R (as far as these can be, as will a new chassis and body they are inevitably an “irishman’s hammer” or “Triggers broom”.

    My car is a rolling chassis at present. I will do a write up in due course…but it may take some time (and quite a lot of money).

    Reply

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