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Event: Paramount Ranch this Saturday


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#1 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 20:33

A Southern California based group will be having a concours event in Santa Monica Mountains at Paramount Ranch (northwest corner of Mulholland Highway and Cornell Rd), Saturday, April 16 starting about 11am.

Entries will be cars that raced or would have been eligible to race at Parmount Ranch. Billed as a “Concours d’Provenance,” cars will be awarded points based on historic documentation and first-person testimony, such as that provided by a period driver, owner, or mechanic.

Some of the judges expected are Dan Gurney, Jay Leno and Steve Earl. Some of the entries include Ernie Nagamatsu with his Ole Yeller, Bruce Meyer with his Von Neumann Ferrari, and Dick Guldstrand will be bringing Dr. Richard Thompson’s first Corvette.

Paramount Ranch is part of the US National Park system, and the ranger stationed there has a keen interest in the race history. He wants to celebrate and maintain the areas motor sports history.

I hope a few of you who did not know of this event may now attend, take a lunch and enjoy. There is no cost (perhaps a park admission fee) for this unpublicized event. The event chair, Bill Pollack, gave me an OK to post this info publicly. I regret I cannot make it due to conflicting engagements.

Best, Mark

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#2 TooTall

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 21:40

I will be there with a friend who just purchased a car that I helped "discover" recently. It is a Swallow Doretti chassis with a fiberglass Allied body. We believe it is the car raced in '56 - '57 by a fellow named Bill Binney. Hopefully someone there will remember the car and help us confirm it's identity. Should be fun!

Cheers,

Kurt Oblinger

#3 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 22:47

Kurt, if y'all have not already done so, try a call to Bill Binney in Golden Valley, AZ. Telephone appears listed. Perhaps he will be able to quickly verify the race history of the Swallow Doretti special.

Have a great time,
Mark

#4 Frank S

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 23:38

For those who can join the members of the "non-association" association at Paramount Ranch on Saturday, you can study up a little H E R E and H E R E (photos of PR begin about halfway down the page)

Take the Kanan off-ramp from the Ventura Freeway, south to the Cornell Way/Road left, second option if I'm remembering correctly, quarter-mile or so.

For those who can't attend, they are encouraging photography so you may eventually get a taste.

--
Frank S

#5 Seppi_0_917PA

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 02:43

Originally posted by Mark Godfrey
Paramount Ranch is part of the US National Park system, and the ranger stationed there has a keen interest in the race history. He wants to celebrate and maintain the areas motor sports history.

That's great! I did a little searching and here are a couple pdf maps of the park. This shows the remaining path of the track (it's a small file, downloads quickly):

http://www.nps.gov/s...s/paramount.pdf

Here's another one (larger file):

http://www.nps.gov/s...mountdetail.pdf

#6 TooTall

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:45

Kurt, if y'all have not already done so, try a call to Bill Binney in Golden Valley, AZ. Telephone appears listed. Perhaps he will be able to quickly verify the race history of the Swallow Doretti special.



Mark,

Thanks for the lead. I had been told by one source that he had passed away in 1996. Hopefully you're right and the other guy was wrong!

I'll take my digital and snap a few pictures.

Cheers,

Kurt Oblinger
Redondo Beach, Ca.

#7 Frank S

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 04:51

Here's the beginning of that taste:

Paramount Ranch 16 April 2005

A treat to see a few TNFers, including Kurt.

--
Frank S

#8 TooTall

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 15:51

Thanks Frank,

Nice pics, better than my digital shots, and I haven't gotten my film processed yet. For anyone familiar with a Doretti and wondering just what the heck that thing is in the picture labeled as such. It's a Doretti chassis with an Allied fiberglass body. Please excuse the condition but it had sat untouched in a front yard for over 25 years and was in a junkyard for several years before that! My friend who bought the car brought it home only three weeks ago. We had two people come up who knew the car in the day and recognized it as the car built and raced by Bill Binney. Binney worked for Ed Savin and tuned and prepped the cars owned by Savin and driven by Bob Oker. We also learned that Bill Binney indeed had passed away several years ago.

It was a very nice event, very low key with lots of good people and great stories. The head ranger for the park is a car guy and collects '50s Pontiacs and is enthusiastic about preserving the remainder of the track and using the park for car meets.

Cheers,
Kurt

#9 wibblywobbly

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 20:32

Wonderful Old Yaller pics, Frank! Thanks very much! :up:

#10 Magee

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 20:32

Oh, to be in California -- great pics, Frank

#11 Frank S

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 21:14

Thank y'all for the kind words. I always come away from these functions feeling as if I had neglected some important things—like the names to go with the images—and missed the hoped-for balance between reportorial behavior and enjoyment of the event.

A few more images and descriptions are up. I'll leave them at the end for easier selection, reshuffle after a week or so, to the "logical" order.

Paramount Ranch 16 April 2005

--
Frank S

#12 Russell_Sheldon

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 08:06

Back in 1966/1967, in the halcyon days of slot car racing, Robert Schleicher built a very nice track modelled on Paramount Raceway.

Posted Image


The construction of the track was featured in Car Model magazine, scans of which can be found here .


Kind regards,

Russell

#13 Frank S

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:30

.
That's a marvelous project. The final "hot lap" is very realistic.

Thank you for the link.

--
Frank S

#14 Paul Medici

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 05:25

Mark - thank you for telling us about this event - I'll try and be there next year - reminds me of the meets we used to have with the FCA years ago .... weeds and all, box lunches, ............... just people, cars and fun.

Frank - great photos - especially that flathead and its' three Stromberg 97s. By chance, did you happen to get a photo of the V-8 under the hood of that beautiful silver Fiat V-8?
.
.
.
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#15 TooTall

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 18:28

Frank - great photos - especially that flathead and its' three Stromberg 97s.



Interesting thing about that flathead.... count the sparkplugs.

Cheers,
Kurt

#16 Frank S

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 05:46

Originally posted by Paul Medici
Mark - thank you for telling us about this event - I'll try and be there next year - reminds me of the meets we used to have with the FCA years ago .... weeds and all, box lunches, ............... just people, cars and fun.

Frank - great photos - especially that flathead and its' three Stromberg 97s. By chance, did you happen to get a photo of the V-8 under the hood of that beautiful silver Fiat V-8?
.
.
.
.


I'll bet Mark can be persuaded to announce the date of the next Fabulous-Fifties gathering, probably in early- or mid-June.

Thank you, Paul. That is a very interesting set of classic Strombergs. I don't remember ever seeing the 8V Fiat with its bonnet open. I should have thought to ask Anton to pop it for us ... Ah, well. Maybe next time. Of course, Anton himself might have some pics to post ...

--
Frank S

#17 antonvrs

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 21:26

Paul, Frank-
I'm laughing at myself because I can't find a single pic of the 8VZ engine compartment with the engine in it! I must have 200 or more pics of the car in stages of the restoration.
Tomorrow I'll be working on it and I'll take some pics and post a couple.
Anton

#18 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:24

Man, I can't believe I missed this. :cry: I live 10 minutes away from Paramount Ranch. I didn't even know there had been a race track there. You learn something everyday....

I found out yesterday, while flipping through an issue of Calabasas Magazine at a friends house. They had a nice article on the history of the track and mantioned that in 2007 there was going to be some sort of party for the 50th anniversary of the first race. I'll be there for that.

#19 TooTall

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 20:45

Fiorentina 1,

Here is a good taste of vintage Paramount Ranch. Enjoy!

http://www.tamsoldra.....anch Homepage

Cheers,

Kurt

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#20 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 19:49

I went to check it out this morning on the way to work. The park ranger showed me around a little, including some great old pictures in the office. The main road, the straight is still there as is the bridge and some of the back section. After the holidays, when I get back into town, I'm going to go back and walk the track. Very cool to have such a great piece of racing history, 10 minutes from your house. The park ranger told me that some one wrote a book about Paramount Ranch, anyone know the name and the author? :wave:

#21 Magee

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 22:24

Check with Art Evans at Photo Data Research in Rendondo Beach. He's been actively producing books on sports car racing during the early days in California. Call him at (310) 540-8068. Good luck.

Cheers,
Mike

#22 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 18:55

Good news.
We will not have to wait ’till 2007 for a major happening at Paramount Ranch.

I can report that Bill Pollack, Art Evans and friends, will have another get together at Paramount Ranch. This picnic and “Concours d’Provenance” will be April 8, 2006. They may call it a 50th anniversary as November 18, 1956 was the first race at Paramount Ranch. Art’s forthcoming book “Paramount Ranch Remembered” should be available in April and at the event.

Can the thread title be changed so it is not date sensitive?

I hope many of you can make it to this very promising event.

Best, Mark

#23 Frank S

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:12

Coincidentally, this week I acquired what appears to be a copy of a copy of a copy of a poor transfer of the classic Cornell Wilde - Jean Wallace vehicle "The Devil's Hairpin". A very sad effort, scriptwise and actingwise, but happily there is a pretty good stretch of in-car and trackside Paramount Ranch "racing" footage (interspersed among "process" face shots of the Star and his rivals) toward the end of the film. Near as I can tell the director/editor maintained continuity with actual track sequence. It'll take some serious Photo Shop work to clean up this bunch.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image
From the Cardin Collection: Miles leads Drake through "The Devil's Hairpin"

Photos from April, 2005

One Paramount Ranch program with map and aerial photo.

More Paramount Ranch racing photos at:
Tam's Old Race Car Site--Old Racecourses--Paramount Ranch and (sorry)
it seems Al Long's wonderful photos are no longer at http://www.allongs.com - nostalgia... - Fast Racing - Part 4, at least not today.

I hope all this will entice rather than discourage attendance by those who can. Last year's gathering was perfect: weather, people, program, cars, all of the best kind.

--
Frank S
"All of philosophy consists of unlocking, exhuming,
and recanting what's been said before,
and then getting riled up about it."
—V.S. Ramachandran—

#24 corsaresearch

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 17:18

To give you an idea of Paramount Ranch, this shot was taken during the inaugural event in August 1956.

Posted Image

#25 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 20:35

Originally posted by Mark Godfrey
Good news.
We will not have to wait ’till 2007 for a major happening at Paramount Ranch.

I can report that Bill Pollack, Art Evans and friends, will have another get together at Paramount Ranch. This picnic and “Concours d’Provenance” will be April 8, 2006. They may call it a 50th anniversary as November 18, 1956 was the first race at Paramount Ranch. Art’s forthcoming book “Paramount Ranch Remembered” should be available in April and at the event.

Can the thread title be changed so it is not date sensitive?

I hope many of you can make it to this very promising event.

Best, Mark


Great, but that's Long Beach GP weekend as well. Why not a week before?

I'm the type of guy who goes to Long Beach Friday's only anyways, so I'll be there.

#26 Frank S

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 16:55

Originally posted by corsaresearch
To give you an idea of Paramount Ranch, this shot was taken during the inaugural event in August 1956.

Renée, that is a good picture. Am I right in placing it
at the entry to the last turn, just before the Start-Finish
straight? Can you read the Porsche's number on the original?



Ranger Tom supplied this list of films made
(at least in part) at Paramount Ranch
(147K for the big one)

Posted Image

Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman had several buildings
dedicated to production. They have been removed.

Frank S

#27 corsaresearch

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 18:37

Posted Image

Yes Frank, the number is clearly visible. It's 82 - Jimmy Moore's Porsche Speedster and 154 is Erb Harold's Alfa Giulietta.
Here is another image, this taken during the second meeting in November 1956, showing Harrison Evans' Ferrari Monza.

In fact, both images are part of a new book I'm preparing on the California races from March 1952 (Palm Springs) to the first Riverside meeting in September 1957.
Nice detail ... 85% of the images are in original color !!

#28 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 19:49

I just report the dates. I am sure they tried to avoid conflicts. It may be an ideal date anyway, as the main event at Long Beach is Sunday. Paramount on Saturday conflicts with the Long Beach Drifting Challenge, but the Tecate Miss Grand Prix of Long Beach Pageant at 6:30pm is very doable! The weekend before is a VARA event at Willow Springs.

Renée, thanks for sharing the photo, are they by Joe Smith?
MG

#29 corsaresearch

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 20:05

MG,
Yes, these are from the Joe and Margaret Smith archives - there are plenty of them, many of which were taken with Joe's 6x6 Hasselblad.
Fine aspect on the work of Joe and Margaret is that they didn't only shot cars but many other things that happened around the tracks as in this shot showing the Al Papp Special, No. 69Z ...

Not sure this is 1956 - could be March 1957 as well ... ??

Posted Image

#30 antonvrs

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 20:31

Hello "Renee"
I remember watching a stock car race at Paramount Ranch in 1957 from the side of the road. We had stumbled upon it not knowing there was a race going on. Won by a '57 Ford IIRC.
Thanks for sharing the photos. I'm looking forward to your new book.
BTW, I saw a copy of your GTA book sell for $350+ on Ebay recently!
At the last Fab '50s event at Paramount Ranch there was some discussion with the Park Ranger about the possibility of restoring the race track to some degree so that it could be used for TV and movie work. I don't think there's any chance of ever having races there again though.
Anton

#31 teegeefla

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:05

corsaresearch

you have a pm

#32 corsaresearch

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 09:46

Does anyone recognize some of these people ?
The lady in the middle holding the Leica with both hands is Margaret Smith, but who are the others ?

Picture was taken at Pomona in October 1956. In the back is Lew Bracker's Porsche Speedster (No. 113).

Posted Image

#33 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 15:04

That's such a great picture, man! :clap:

It's funny, but I'm sure when you first saw it, it probably didn't seem like a classic picture, but 50 years later it is. It's awesome; the cars, the people, the sign in the back, the way they dressed, the camaras, everything is cool. When is your book coming out and are you going to have something at the autobook store in North Hollywood/Burbank (not sure which city it's in) on Magnolia?

#34 corsaresearch

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 21:47

Weekend Heroes is the title I have planned for this book, scheduled for publication by the end of this year - available early 2007.
At this time I already have +500 pages and I'm sure I will get to a hefty 600. There's at least one image per page and all of them are first time publications.

As mentioned before, the major part is in original color but there's black and white as well. All images were taken by 'amateurs' like Joe and Margaret Smith (although they carried professional equipment), Bob Lytle and Al Long. Amateurs because they didn't work for magazines or newspapers. Still, they made great images and one of the advantages of the amateurs is that they used more color film than pro's - magazines were all in black and white so why bother buying expensive Kodachrome film ?
On the other side, amateurs didn't always shoot all the cars and therefore I need to go on a hunt to find some of the missing images like for instance the winner of a certain race. Luckily, there are some very nice photo-archives in the California area where I hope to find the stuff I need.


Here's another fine shot taken at the first Paramount Ranch sports car meeting.
This is Bob Drake going flat out in a very early Ferrari ... hard to believe it was taken in 1956 !!

Posted Image

#35 Magee

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 21:59

Renee,

Those pics of yours are so brilliant. Your Pomono October 1956 pic shows obvious California dwellers with their TShirts and sandles and tans.
Also, did you notice that Pit #13 is empty?

#36 Frank S

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 17:17

Calendar reminder: the Free Fabulous Fifties Paramount Ranch gathering is set for
SATURDAY, APRIL 29:

"The activity, which will start around noon, will be a
bring-it-yourself picnic. Park Service staff members have reserved the
pavilion for our use. Ranger Tom Young will be our host and
undoubtedly there will be other rangers present who are interested in
the history.

"The occasion will celebrate the publication of Art's new book,
Paramount Ranch Remembered. Copies will be available at a special
discounted price for non-members. Those who contributed remembrances
will receive complimentary copies. It is anticipated that many of
those who were there then will be present to sign autographs.

"Paramount Ranch is located at the north-west corner of Mulholland
Highway and Cornell Road. From the Ventura Freeway (US 101), get off
at Kanan Road and go south a short distance, then turn left on Cornell
Road. The entrance is just north of Mulholland on Cornell. From the
coast (CA 1), take Kanan Dume Road, turn right on Mulholland and left
on Cornell. There is a well-defined parking area. Park your car and
walk to the pavilion. Handicapped persons may be driven to the picnic
area and dropped off.

"Bring your pass holder with your name tag inside. (It's that plastic
thing you hang around your neck.) We have supplied these on some
previous occasions. If you've lost yours you can get one for a
buck..."

--
Frank S

#37 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 19:04

Frank, thanks for posting the update. This event has changed from what I had thought it would be. It will not be a race car show this year. Apparently the dirt & dust was deemed unacceptable, and the grass areas have sprinklers too close to the surface. Also note the DATE CHANGE. I will try to attend as I have never been to the site before, and I'm intrigued by layout of the 1956 circuit. It is a disappointment for me that cars will not be showing!

#38 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 01:52

Cool, looking forward to it! :wave:

What kind of cars can we expect to see?

#39 antonvrs

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 05:57

Dirt and dust? Hah! It had the makings of a really good annual event as a "Concours de Provenance". I'll be there again in the 8VZ and we'll probably bring 1 or 2 other cars.
Everyone I know that was there thought it was great last year. I had fun even though I could barely walk.
Anton

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#40 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:03

Originally posted by antonvrs
Dirt and dust? Hah! It had the makings of a really good annual event as a "Concours de Provenance".


Was that the deal started by Jm Hall on the first Sunday after Bastille Day?

#41 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 16:29

Yes, this Saturday. April 29, 2006.
We know Art Evans will have copies of his just released Paramount Ranch book, and a few racers of the era should be on hand. Bring a picnic lunch and we will see what unfolds. The “Concours d’Provenance” is planned for another time & place. I want to see the remains of the track.

Mark

#42 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 18:45

As an experiment in using still images presented as a slide show in motion, I put together a somewhat sophomoric 4MB QuickTime movie using still photos from the Paramount Ranch 50th anniversary event.

Ken Miles' son Peter is pictured with park ranger Tom Young, as is Art Evans, who released his Paramount Ranch book at the event. It is always a great occasion when the US government can offer up cake in celebration of a short lived road race circuit!

Most of the images depict the remains of the track itself. The banking, elevation changes, crossover and beauty of the area have captured my interest. I created this file yesterday as a test, and put it on our server. If you click on the link, allow time for it to load as it is fat. If not a Nick Drake fan, turn down your sound.

ParamountRanch50th.mov

Mark Godfrey

#43 Frank S

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 23:41

Very nice, Mark. Thank you.

I didn't get much other than scenic views of
the once-upon-a-time track, and of the
FIAT 8V engine:

Paramount Ranch April 2006

Link to pictures from 2005,
some of which appear in Art's book,
Paramount Ranch Remembered.

#44 Hse289

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:14

Mark, great pictures, wish i could have gone. BTW Im a big Nick Drake fan so that was a nice touch. Paul :up:

#45 Hse289

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 00:53

Just bringing it back to the main page. These pictures deserve it. :up: