Sam Hallowell, the head of Rhode Island chapter of the New England Chapter of Ferrari Club of America, invited me to join some Ferrari Club members at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. I only live about 25 minutes north of Rhinebeck, and since I have not made it down for the weekly show held at the rustic air field, I couldn’t pass up the chance for a nice drive, and maybe even a flight in a Bi-plane!
Arriving early, we were given the opportunity to go up in a 1929 New Standard D-25, a four passenger bi-plane. Sam even got us a group discount.
I wasn’t planning on going up, but when I saw the ear to ear grins from the people who went up before me, I decided to share in the the thrill. Besides, how many times in life can I get to look so goofy in cap and goggles!
I managed to get the front seat, with the pilot sitting in the third and last row of seats in the plane. The 15 minute flight took us out to the Hudson River.
We banked sharply a couple times to circle back towards the airfield. The Kingston Rhinecliff bridge can be seen in the distance.
Unfortunately, I got a call from Michael Greenspan shortly after I landed from my flight. He was stuck on the side of the road about 25 minutes away with no brakes! I had convinced Michael to drive up for this event to unite the “America Sisters” his 330 America with mine at Rhinebeck, but it was not meant to be.
I commandeered Mike Meehan’s chase car to try and rescue Michael and Dori. We left our Ferraris parked on the lawn at the areodrome in search of some brake fluid and the Greenspans.
Upon arrival, it was clear we were not going to get 4969 back on the road so easily. It seems the bolt securing the crankshaft pulley came off, and the pulley cut the brake line as it worked itself off the crank. Lucky for Michael, and some careful use of the emergency brake, he saved the car. Without the bolt, and a cut brake line, Michael’s day was done. We decided the best solution was to have the car towed to my house a short drive north and we would work out a plan of attack for the repair another day. I lent the Greenspans my Mustang Fastback to finish the rest of their day, and to get them home. I think I got the better deal on this horse trade!
We got back to Rhinebeck Aerodrome in time for the afternoon air show, and enjoyed seeing everything from a Rotary engine firing up, to a Piper Cub doing acrobatics.
All of these planes on display were operational, and it was nice to see such preservation, and functionality.
Thanks Sam for putting this event together, and if you do it again next year, I’ll be there!
Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.
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