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May 31: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Glenn driving his DJ-3A with Ann riding shotgun.

On Friday May 31st Ann and I arrived at Glenn’s house to find Smithfield’s Breakfast Club waiting for us. They are a group of vintage car lovers from Maine who join each other for breakfast once a week.

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Glenn introduced us to everyone and then led us through some of his amazing Al-Toy collection. I’ll be surprised if I ever see a larger or nicer group of cast aluminum toys than his.

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These are just his nicest Al Toys!

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This is a very rare Al-Toy box. They are plain enough that I can understand why many were thrown away.

After the quick tour, we went to visit Mike and see his Shenecker Backhoe Truck project. Glenn took Ann and I in his DJ-3A (after we got it jump started).

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Adam seems to the chief welder and he has expertly melding two different trucks into one. In addition, he’s fabricated/fixed the rear frame and operator’s area. Kaiser Willys never made the truck strong enough to handle the backhoe and this particular backhoe’s frame was broken nightly when used regularly.

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This is a restored truck frame that will hold the Scheneker Backhoe unit.

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Here is the ongoing restoration of the backhoe.

As you can see in the pictures, the old frame had been welded and patched all over.

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This and the picture below show the damage that was done (and patched) to the frame by the backhoe.

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They’ve rebuilt a replica of the original Scheneker frame modification, only they’ve done a cleaner job.

Next we dropped by to see Ray’s FC-150. Ray’s a new comer to the group, though he’s owned the FC for a while. The guys from the breakfast club had been meaning to drop by Ray’s for a visit, but never seemed to find the time until we came to town. Ray’s refurbished the FC and uses it often.

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After Ray’s we all dropped by Vintage Wiring of Maine, a shop owned by Joe Hall. Vintage Wiring creates wiring harnesses from the 1920s forward for people serious about installing early looking harnesses. The shop tour was fascinating in part because the two weaving units from the late 1800s that are still used in the shop to create the fabric weaving that simulates the vintage wiring found on old vehicles. Another fascinating aspect were the patterns for the harnesses they have (over 100) that they use to layout the wiring.

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Just some of the harness patterns they have available. The patterns are rolled into the tubes.

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Here’s one harness attached to a pattern.

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This weaving machine is an oldie, but a goodie.

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A customer asked Joe to create a new harness from an old one he had. The harness owner has marked all the wires so Joe can create a new pattern and then the new harness.

After seeing the shop, Joe showed us some of the vehicles he’s restored and some of the projects he’s still working on. He’s got a variety of jeeps and dodge ambulances.

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He’s also got the only CJV-35U with a MB grille I’ve ever seen. Joe’s a smart guy and knows the history on all his rigs. He says he’s never seen another example like his either. The grille looked original to me. Ann says I was doing a lot of “huh, really?”

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I learn something new every day!

After the visit with Joe, Ann and I thanked everyone and headed to Bangor. On our way through Ann spotted a memorial to WWII that was topped by a jeep. It was the Cole Transportation Museum, which is just off I-95. We thought about venturing inside, but we decided we’d rather get the campground setup and relax. We’ll save it for another trip.

Thanks to everyone for making our trip to Smithfield great!

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The Breakfast Club plus me.

 

3 Comments on “May 31: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring

  1. jeepjunkie

    WOW….Seems like your little trip gets be
    tter and better everyday. What a group of guys to spend a day with. Imagine how many stories this group could tell you if you had the time to just hang out and be “a fly on the wall.”

  2. glennstin

    We sure enjoyed Dave and Ann stopping by tiny Smithfield, Maine, home of The North Pond Hermit. The Breakfast Club discussions solve all problems, no matter the nature. We’re all experts, just ask. Someday though, we need help with that odd-ball Spicer Two stick PTO on Mike’s Scheneker Backhoe. One handle runs the pump shaft and the other runs a belt pulley for an unknown purpose. Anyone ever see another?

  3. Colin Peabody

    Geez, I would have loved to have been able to be in that group photo!. Visiting at Glenn and Toni’s place is always an adventure. You got to see the largest and most complete Al-Toy collection in the country. All the prize ones are in the glass display case and the “Also rans” are on shelves. You got to ride in Miss Willy, a California transplant to Maine and meet Glenn’s best buddy Jimmy Ryder and then on to the Vintage Wiring. Was that pink Jeep in the photo a Surrey or just painted like one?

    Your trip sounds great so far and thanks for helping us Jeep nuts see some of our great country, but also see some of the other Jeep collectors and their toys around the country!

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