Show What You ‘Brung’
This past weekend was the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance that in all probability had a big crowd in attendance. It was also one of the rare weekends in which the northeast had plenty of sun and no heavy rain in the forecast. Those out and about would surely have run into several classic cars brought out to enjoy the sun and bask in their polished glory. Hondaheads in the know, found themselves headed in the direction of Middletown, New York for the Third Annual Formula H Honda Car Show.
The car show is the brainchild of Brian Baker, full-time Honda enthusiast and co-owner of Formula H (along with his brother, Jeff), and our member Tadashi, a self-certified Honda nut beyond redemption. Over the last two decades, the Baker brothers have poured their passion for everything Honda into Formula H which today is a certified dealer for Honda Power Equipment and one of the best resources if you are considering restoring your old Honda as well as repairing and maintaining your newer Honda or Acura.
Having built up a clientele of loyal Honda customers over the years, some of them being owners of what a Hondahead would consider a classic, the thought of organizing a show where everyone could participate and show their car took seed. In the spirit of openness and to encourage participation, the show is free to all who want to participate or spectate. Formula H also opens up its workshop that has several vintage Hondas in different states of repair and restoration along with its tiny Honda museum that houses a small but drooltastic collection including an Acura NSX, Honda N600, T500, S800 and several motorcycles.
Parked out front was Brian Baker’s pristine Honda S600 along with many Honda cars that have been produced throughout the years. There was a first generation Insight parked next to the 2010 Insight, all the Civics lined up in a row by generation, the Preludes had an exclusive corner to themselves and making up the largest gathering were the S2000s parked in a line following the S600 and S800. A sizeable contingent from NY Metro, Upstate NY and New England had come over to participate and for a while made it seem like it was an S2KI get-together.
The cars on display varied from the highly detailed to the daily driven and dragged-through-the-dirt kind. The ethos of the show appeared to be “show what you brung” despite the general feeling of solidarity and genuine mutual appreciation as attendees learned about each others’ cars or saw a car on display that they never got around to purchasing. Brian Baker was also present and personally greeted each participant. He also took several people on a tour of the facility and very patiently answered each question that was asked of him.
As the day came to an end, we are sure several people left with a new found appreciation of Honda’s history. The look of joy on a younger participant’s face (he was showing his 2007 Civic Si) as he discovered that the S600 was a chain-driven RWD car was priceless and further astonishment was in store when some people realized how high the S600 could rev. Perhaps it’d do good for some of Honda’s designers and engineers to attend such a meet to really feel the pulse of their core fan group and see how much people still root for the Honda of old.
If you are in the Middletown area, do stop by and take a look at the museum. If you catch Brian Baker on a slow day, maybe you can ask him about talk show host Jay Leno’s Honda S600. He’d start with “It’s a long story…” and you could end up spending the better part of the day there OR you can attend next year’s show . (Tentative – June 3, 2012).
Images courtesy of Tadashi & freq
Third Annual Formula H Honda show