GENESIS OF A “SHUNPIKER” – BEGINNING IN 1962 and EARLIER

BELZEBUTH – My 1929 Model A Ford Roadster in December 1962

My Shunpiking is nothing new. It goes back more decades than I would like you to know I have been alive. My Dad loved, collected, bought, restored, and sold antique cars as a hobby. I would travel with him to explore barns. Often he had me sit in the car and wait, but sometimes I got to explore barns, garages, and attics too – still wish he would have let me bought the Edison Cylinder Photograph and records in that attic ($25) on Olmstead Hill Road where he bought the rare 1910 Barker truck. Those explorations with him, my introduction to American History via collecting US Commemorative stamps, thanks to my grandfather in 1952, my exposure to letterpress printing, and photography, made me what I am, and enjoy today. Sorry, this reminiscing post got long, but remember, “I write for myself.”

Above, and directly below is my BELZEBUTH, with my Dad getting her ready for me in December 1962. He bought and sold cars as a hobby, wanted to make money on this one, I remember picking this roadster up in Darien, Connecticut. It had been used as a “station car” taking the previous owner to the train station every day. I begged and begged him to sell it to me, and he finally did for the $350 he paid for it – (always regretting not making something on it). She was mine on December 10, 1962. We shunpiked together until I left for college in the fall of 1964 (those are more stories I will have to relate with all my back road discoveries).

When I got to South Carolina with the Navy in 1970 I had BELZEBUTH shipped south, and used her to commute to the Navy base. I towed her to Rhode Island when transferred there in 1972, but do not remember exactly how she got to Florida when I was transferred there in 1976. Transferred to the Philadelphia Shipyard in 1977 the car stayed with my Dad in Florida, but he eventually sold her for me. But, the gentleman died, and I bought her back, and my Dad brought her to New Jersey in about 1980. But alas, sadly, with tears, I sold her the end of 1982.

Below is the inside cover of a reprint of a Model A Ford Owner’s Manual I have owned since the late 1950s. I listed my Model As as they came and went.

Below is some of the documentation of my shunpiking with BELZEBUTH. You can click on the images to see them in larger size. Do note what I had to pay for gas, my flat on I-95 in NH while heading to Maine to inspect a 1915 Model T all aluminum body Sedan for my Dad. BUT, of particular note you will see my stops in Chester, Vermont, and Grafton in 1963 and 64. Yes, definite threads to my enjoyment over the years. Also note the stops along my favorite US Route 7, and I even passed the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge where I am now writing this. I also fondly remember pulling into Main Street in Historic Deerfield in the pouring rain. But more stories for another time.

I had not even finished my Freshman year when I had to get another A. Freshman could not have a car, but I justified it as a “hobby item” and hid my “new” ’29 Tudor off campus. Purchased January 11, 1965, from Model “A” Frank, Oak Lawn, Illinois for $239.25 (of course I have the itemized receipt). I drove it home on US Route 6 from Evanston, Illinois to Connecticut on spring break. Had to replace the head gasket in Ohio, crossed the George Washington bridge after dropping a rider in NJ, burned out the rings, and with no compression barely made it up the hill home. My Dad let me drive his newly restored 1930 Cabriolet back to school. Below is that Tudor parked on campus in 1965.

High school friend, Leland, went to school in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and bought the 1930 Sedan pictured below. He agreed to sell it to me, and off I went in my 1956 Chevy 2-door hardtop to tow it back. It only lasted awhile

But, as I said before, I repurchased BELZEBUTH. I had installed the dual side mounts in 1964 from a chopped farm car my Dad had, and when in Rhode Island I had the new top and upholstery installed. Following are images of this beauty (not really restored – but a handsome driver) before she was sold again. Remember to open up my photo galleries.

BELZEBUTH’s Engine Serial Number is A1-L92965
if you have her, CALL ME
Her birthday (stamped on the cowl) is May 31, 1929
and I know the holes and warts in the body

In 1995 Cathy and I married and moved (along with the bookshop) to the waterfall in New Preston, Connecticut. Yes, I wanted another “A”, and thought having a pickup I could advertise the shop on the side. Below is my 1931 Pickup. We were working just too hard to use the truck, but… a 1930 Roadster materialized, and in September 2001 I bought and sold.

Below is some history from rayboasbookseller.com

My 1930 Roadster moved with us to Walpole. Not counting the fellow who restored it, I was the second owner, and can show you the barn it spent most of its life in. Below is during an Old Home Days’ Parade…

and with one of the brides I drove to wedding festivities.

In January 2010 I finally bought a 1958 TR3A (BLACK BEAUTY), wanting one since new. Figured I could not drive both cars at once, and a friend was begging to buy my ’30 Roadster and take it back to Connecticut, he won. Two years later I added an original 1960 MGA (BLUE BELLE) to my stable, and realized you can drive two cars at once – you pull one in, and back the other out.

Realizing this, the quest was on for a 1930-31 Tudor Sedan, the body style I wanted to die with. LADY RAB joined us on December 4, 2013. 

But with hip problems it was hard to get in and out, and she sat for two years. Decided I should sell, started her right up, and she went to a new home in September 2018. But now I am longing for a 1929 Roadster just like I learned to explore the world in. Top was never up, thus easy to get in and out.  And, the search is on — currently there are two for sale with two hours drive.  Thinking, thinking, and will have to look. Maybe I will come full circle with “shunpiking wheels”

Finally, two other things that have “captured” me for decades. I saw my first Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and then the famous one in Pittsfield while shunpiking in Belzebuth in 1963. In 1965 I found my Bartholemew Peanut Roaster in Darlington, South Carolina, and have had her since. Here I am in the 1980s getting ready to hustle popcorn at a school fair.

And, a Model C Cretors is way too big, but my reproduction 1902 Cretors sidewalk machine is just perfect. Of course you know CORNELIA. (note yours truly in same outfit, and same “good form”)

Thank you for bearing with my indulgences and memories, as always, yours, RAY

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7 Responses to GENESIS OF A “SHUNPIKER” – BEGINNING IN 1962 and EARLIER

  1. Gary says:

    I didn’t know most of this! Great stuff.

    Happy Birthday!

    Gary

  2. Jeanie Levesque says:

    Love your old cars. Great pictures too.
    Bill Lockwood

  3. Phil says:

    Thanks for the memories! Still have the remnants of a smashed fingernail from picking up Belzebuth in our ‘58 Ford. Wouldn’t have missed the experience for the world. Really enjoyed your ‘28 Tudor which I fixed up and drove in high school.

  4. Misty Haskell says:

    Amazing as usual Ray!! I too have a photo of you in the “popcorn” suit from when you so kindly volunteered at one of Wylee and Ozzee’s elementary school events!!💜

  5. heidimarie7 says:

    My father (born in 1910) had a Model A and spoke proudly of it! Beautiful photos of beautiful fun.

  6. Carolyn says:

    As always, fascinating narrative and great pics. Also a lesson in history, what a bonanza of info. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Betty says:

    I can feel your emotions as you wrote this, well done! I can picture you at RLI, sitting quietly and composing this post, with quite the smile on your face. Thanks for sharing and good luck on your latest hunt…

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