A couple weeks ago we shot an event called, Back to the Beach, in Kenner, LA (which is basically New Orleans) on the shores of Lake Pontchatrain. It’s a weekend-long music festival culminating in a car show on Sunday; all to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the lake. It sounded like a good event, a worthy cause, and an excellent excuse to go down and tank up on some of that great Gulf Coast food, as can be seen in the pic of me going one-on-one with a killer soft shell crab Po’ Boy. Tasty!
We went down a day early so we could also take in a few of the sights in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter.
The temperature was 102 degrees that day, and I found myself strangely drawn to the signs heralding “Huge Ass Beers”. I can also say with certitude that was not false advertising!
We were looking at the potential of another 100+ degree day on Sunday, which can make shooting pretty brutal, but fortunately a light rain blew thru, dropping the temperature into the low 90’s. Not exactly chilly, but certainly more bearable.
I would normally be just starting production on the next season’s shows now, but we’re actually still finishing up the last few shoots for this current season. A couple weeks ago we shot a Corvette piece in Texas that will air on May 15th, and last week we shot an absolutely killer pair of cars in Glendora, CA. A ’39 Ford Pro-street and customized ’53 Stude.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I am a known Stude guy, but regardless, both cars were excellently done and fairly extreme, yet completely streetable. The streetable part might be debatable with the ’39 since I’m sure it bumps up against the noise pollution limits of peaceful Glendora, but man what a sound!
I had first run into the Stude and its owner, Leonard Knight, at the SEMA charity car show last year in Pasadena. There were a lot of nice cars at that show, but that one really caught my eye. It didn’t hurt that it was green either. (I’m also a known green-car guy).
I’ve always thought the so-called Lowey Coupe (even tho it was actually designed by Bob Bourke) was one of the best automotive designs ever. It also seems to lend itself particularly well to customization.
I know; most history books list Hawaii as the 50th state (at least until the Texas School Board gets a hold of them and then anything’s possible). But for MCC, Nebraska was the only state in these great United States that we had not shot in. That situation was finally remedied a few weeks ago when we shot The Last Fling till Spring in West Point, Nebraska. It took me 15 seasons to stumble onto this show altho it’s been going on for 21 years.
West Point is a town of about 3,600 people situated roughly midway between Omaha and Sioux Falls, SD but somehow they manage to pull in 700+ really nice cars to the brick streets of the downtown for this one day show.
One of the first vehicles to come rolling in on the morning of the show was a completely restored ’51 Oliver 77 tractor. (Hey, it’s Nebraska!) I ran out and flagged the guy down because this was the tractor I had grown up on. Ours was actually a ’53 Super 77, but they were virtually identical, except that ours never looked as good as this one. From a styling standpoint, these are really cool tractors (if you’re into tractors, that is). Strangely enough, the Oliver was followed by a ’47 John Deere B which was the other tractor we had on the farm. You can see that the woman driving the JD is operating the hand clutch with her right hand. Man did these take me back!
As for my gloves in this picture, I wasn’t doing my best Mickey Mouse impersonation; I was freezing! It was so cold that the cameraman was having trouble operating the camera so he ducked into a dollar store and scored a 3-pack of these goofy gloves. I took him up on it when he offered me a pair.
The weather got better as the day went on but not by much. I’m not sure it ever made it up to 50 degrees with overcast skies and a constant fine mist that you could barely see with your eye, but that was attracted to the camera lens as if it was a mist magnet. Considering the previous two days had been even worse tho with heavy rains, I wasn’t really complaining.
Lake George, in upstate New York, has been the site of the Adirondack Nationals for 22 years, and man, what a beautiful place.
This area has been a vacation destination since the people started taking vacations in this country, and it still has some vestiges of an earlier time like really elaborate miniature golf establishments that are a complete throwback to the 50’s.
The 10-day weather forecast leading up to the show had shown four days of fairly crappy weather, a beautiful Saturday (which was the day we were planning to shoot), and then several more days of crappy weather. I was more than a bit skeptical of the nice Saturday when we flew into Albany on Friday, and you could see from the air that the entire area was covered with a fairly thick, unbroken cloud layer. This is usually a bad sign but to my amazement, the forecast turned out to be spot on, and we had an absolutely stunning day to shoot.
The event itself is held on the grounds of the Fort William Henry Resort, which has also been around for quite some time. It’s situated roughly at one end of the strip that is the town of Lake George and has a gorgeous view of the lake and the low mountains that surround it. And when you pack a little over 1550 show cars onto the 18 acre property, it looks even better!