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2011 Plaid Run

March 15, 2011


Last Sunday was the 8th annual Plaid Run, a memorial for Marshall Mathews and a fundraiser for victims of ALS, the disease that he succumbed to.   A fantastic variety of people and vehicles met at his home, toured the garage, and then rode a 100 mile route to lunch in Pescadero.    The fundraising was a success, with over $10,000 given.   And the ride was also a success, with only one minor breakdown that was fixed en route.


Marshall was a vivacious and likeable guy, who was enthused by any vehicle.  He had a penchant for plaid, hence the name of the run and everybody donned at least one plaid item.  Some folks wore two or three (non-matching) plaids for effect.  Marshall’s wide swath of interests was reflected in the turnout.  Everything from Brass Era cars and motorcycles to mid-century cars with big tailfins to the latest Italian exotics were there.


We’ll start with this Bugatti race car, conveniently parked in front of an impressive old tree. 



From this angle you can see the Ferrari Lusso in the garage, and the Bugatti outside.  Behind it is ANOTHER BUGATTI.  Two early Porches can be seen, and the rear end of the 1916 Pierce.



The Pierce at the lunch stop in Pescadero.  This location is a few feet above sea level, and Tsunami evacuation signs are all over the place, which we keenly noticed this year due to the tsunami that hit Santa Cruz last week, just a few miles south.



1938 Dodge woody, and 1949 Cadillac convertible



1910 Pope Hartford.  Wood frame rails, wood firewall, wood spoked wheels



Pre 16 Indian single



Cockpit of Bugatti #1.  There was an interesting story about this car.  During a race in Europe, the driver had a large lead as he went through a tunnel.  Hearing the echo of his exhaust from the tunnel walls, he quickly turned to look behind him to see who was approaching.  He then proceeded to drive into the wall of the tunnel, finishing his racing activities for the day.

The shifter pokes through a leather-covered hole in the body, to be on the driver’s right.  Magneto and wires poke through the center of the dashboard.  (nice engine turning on the dash too).  Not much room in the for the pilot or the navigator.  Dual spare tires strapped to the cowl with leather belts and buckles.


Bugatti #2





Cable operated drum brakes.  The drum is integral with the wheel hub and the rim.  Some positive camber in the front axle, to keep the pivot point of the tire in line with the axis of the kingpin.  Once independent front suspensions became popular, negative camber must have been a revelation for the drivers, giving great grip on the outside tire during cornering.


a nice job with the safety wire.



1916 Peirce, 1910 Pope Harford, 1949 Cadillac.  In the background is a Jaguar saloon, Fiat, Porsche speedster.


In the parking lot before the start.  Ferrari, Porsche times 6, Jag saloon, Jag E type convertible, another Ferrari, 1940 Ford, 36 Dodge woody, 58 Chevy pickup, 57 Ford, and A THIRD BUGATTI RACE CAR!


back row:  Shelby Cobra, new Ferrari F360, Fiat, Merc leadsled, 1938 Ford 4 door convertible, two or three Indian Chiefs.


40  Ford coupe and the woody.  Chris Carter drove the old pickup truck, his dad bought it new.




A neat jump seat on the running board.








Halibrand magnesium quick change wheelsDSC09732

big hair dryer on the side of the motor.DSC09731

Mr. BSA Clubman’s show, Barry Porter with the Bugatti Tank.  Not the prettiest car around, but it has a great history.



The early 2 cylinder Buick that the Mathews family takes on the Alturas tours.DSC09734


An early Packard with it’s number plate from a recent London to Brighton run.  I’m unsure on the date, probably 1902-04.DSC09735




I don’t know HD’s very well, but the magneto is 1912 or earlier.DSC09752


All-aluminum 426 Ford in the Shelby






E-type and the #3 Bugatti.  This one has fenders fitted over the tires.DSC09772


Lifeguard, Seabright Beach.  Note the Ferrari in the background.DSC09786


Un-Offical use only.  Note the turn signals.  Blue light on the right, with an arrow in the glass.  red light on the left, nautical style.DSC09783

Lots of doodads on the front end, including a surfboard up top.  Rotary siren on the left, then a 6volt light-up blue star, blue emergency vehicle lamp, and license plate topper with flags flying.



Acetylene headlamps, kerosene cowl lamps. DSC09789


Air springs in those big cylinders behind the bumper.DSC09790



11 Comments leave one →
  1. Lee Samuelson permalink
    March 15, 2011 10:16 pm

    Me again.
    What you call air springs, the upright cylinders with Schraders on top, connecting/separating the front of the leaf springs and the end of the dumb irons are “Westinghouse Shock Absorbers”. Leastwise that was the plate data on the Winton I registered for (our local) Reynolds Alberta Museum.
    Very complicated exposed drawing in one of the period Dykes Motor Manuals. The very same person for whom “Dykes” or side cutters are named for. He also bequeathed several tons of automotive material to the Detroit Public Library. He, early-on, made and sold do-it-yourself car mechanicals.
    Calving season and close to melting,

  2. March 15, 2011 10:31 pm

    Great photos of a colorful event. Thanks, Paul V Thailand/California

  3. Somer permalink
    March 16, 2011 3:46 am

    WOWSER! Cool cars and bikes!

  4. Tyler permalink
    March 16, 2011 4:15 pm

    Great pictures Pete. Wish I never sold my Porsche 356. Who knew there were 3 Buggatti race cars all here in the bay area?
    Of course vintage bikes will always be cooler than thier 4 wheeled bretheren.
    The last picture; is that an Austin Healey? with the windshield chopped? or is it folded back?

    • March 17, 2011 8:02 am

      The windshield on the AH was folded back. I think that they did it when they put the cover on, as it was raining during the lunch stop.

  5. brian b permalink
    March 17, 2011 6:53 am

    Great to see this many cars NOT being pushed across a stage by guys in white glvoes

    • March 17, 2011 8:10 am

      Yeah! It is sad to see cars and bikes at auction, where they just sit there like furniture and people talk about dollars and investments. It is so much better to hear and smell them running on the road, to be able to talk with the owner, touch the priming cups, help to adjust a distributor on the roadside, and to follow a Pierce as the owner swiftly pilots it around tight corners. You’ll never see an article on OL about auctions…

  6. March 24, 2011 9:16 pm

    Harley is a beautiful 1911 model 7
    BRAVO for the web site


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