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The Third Annual Royals’ Garage Sunday Car Show benefitting the Lakeville Hose Co. saw its best collection yet of an incredibly wide variety of vehicles, from rare antiques to brand new – and already modified – Camaros and Mustangs. It was cool to see a European-only Citroen CX sitting fender to fender with a Stutz. Beetles sharing tarmac with Toronados. Nomads nuzzling NSXs, Cobras looking askance at arch-rival Vettes while dignified Jaguars made friends with crouching Cougars.
“Vehicles” was a deliberate choice of words, because the show was not just about cars... pick-ups, delivery trucks, even a soapbox derby car fitted with a two-stroke were in the field on Lime Rock Park’s 2,200-foot front straight, where every car – um, vehicle! – had its own space to become a star under patriotic red-and-white banners snapping sharply against blue skies.
Despite the very difficult task of picking the “best” cars in each year’s show – there are so many worthy entrants – at some point the bullet must be bit and champions recognized. The Royals’ Garage Sunday Car Show awards four trophies each year: Skip’s Selection, The Royals’ Crown, Firemen’s Favorite and The People’s Pick.
The first winner to cross Lime Rock’s finish line was to receive the Skip’s Selection trophy... a perfect 1927 Seagrave Suburbanite fire truck, owned by the J.H. Ketchum Hose Company of Dover Plains, N.Y. Ketchum Hose has owned the fire truck since new. “The attention to detail was mesmerizing,” Skip said. “A gorgeous truck.”
Next up was the Royals’ Crown winner, chosen by the Royals family, headed by Glenn and his brothers: an ex-NASCAR Daytona beach racer – and we mean lower case beach, as in sand and surf. Russ Truelove of Waterbury not only owns the 1956 Mercury Monterey, he was the one who raced it when Daytona’s track was speeding north up the sand then south down Route A1. Ninety year old Russ all smiles as he was handed his trophy.
The Firemen’s Favorite award went to a car that can certainly light up the rears – a black 1940 “all-steel” Willys Coupe cradling a 426 Hemi supercharged with an 8-71 blower. The crowd was aching for owner Mike Dragan of Litchfield to drop the hammer and shake the hills... but there was too much of a crowd to do it safely,. So... maybe some other time, Mike!
Last but not least was the award for The People’s Pick. Showgoers and even other entrants filled out a ballot to vote for their favorite vehicle in the show. When Victoria Royals – she’s the pretty trophy presenter in the photos – finished the tallying-up, the winner was a muscular 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am in a beautiful dark blue. Entered by Connor, Aiden and “Dad” Bartholomew of Southbury, Conn., the Trans-Am perfectly embodied the spirit of the show; real cars owned by real people.
I hope I’ve painted a bit of a picture for you of the third annual Royals’ Car Show at Lime Rock Park, but if I haven’t, you can count on the track’s stellar photographers, Greg Clark and Casey Keil, to do the job.
Click here and you’ll see what I mean.