11 Mar

Klingberg Festival Director Mark Johnson to speak at next NEAM Speakers Event in Westport April 2nd

Mark Johnson opening the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014 (Photo Hartford Courant)

Mark Johnson opening the Klingberg History Museum in New Britain, 2014 (Photo Hartford Courant)

Westport, Conn. – On the heels of another well-attended Speakers event in February, the New England Auto Museum will follow up with a presentation by Klingberg Festival Director Mark Johnson on Saturday, April 2 at Dragone Classic Gallery & Showroom in Westport.

The third and last of the winter series scheduled to begin at 11 AM will highlight Connecticut’s storied past as the cradle of the U.S. automotive industry. Companies like Corbin from New Britain; Pope-Hartford, Columbia and Kelsey-Motorette from Hartford; Frisbee and Compound from Middletown; Cameron from New London, Stamford and Trumbull — and, of course, Locomobile from Bridgeport — all helped to establish American dominance in the early days of the automobile. At the turn of the 20th Century, Connecticut and the surrounding region was home to the innovators and pioneers such as the Duryea brothers, Andrew Riker, Col. Albert Pope and Hiram Maxim who collectively invented virtually every element of what is today’s modern car.

(Archived Photo)

(Archived Photo)

In New Britain, Connecticut on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend June 18th, 2016, more than 350 of the finest automobiles made between 1900 and the present will descend upon the city for the 24rd Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival at Klingberg Family Centers on Linwood Street. Thousands of people are expected to attend, and cars will come from eight states.

Last year’s show featured more than 50 vehicles manufactured between 1900 and 1915 featured in the pre-war section, including steam and electric cars. Nine were manufactured in Connecticut, including a 1914 Trumbull Coupe, made by the Trumbull Motor Car Co. of Bridgeport; a 1905 Columbia Brougham, an electric car made by Pope Manufacturing in Hartford; a 1900 Locomobile Steamer as well as the oldest-known surviving model of the “Hartford” also made by Pope until 1915.

Wayne Carini and his late father Bob Carini at the 2014 Klingberg Festival (Photo Klingberg Festival)

Wayne Carini and his late father Bob Carini at the 2014 Klingberg Festival (Photo Klingberg Festival)

At his presentation on April 2nd, Mark Johnson, Klingberg Festival’s Director will discuss plans for this year’s show scheduled for June 18th which will feature TV personality Wayne Carini of Velocity’s “Chasing Classic Cars” as Grand Marshall along with Wayne’s daughter Lindsay Cushing. Wayne and his family share this honor in recognition of Father’s Day and the importance of families and this year will pay tribute to Bob Carini, Wayne’s father, who also served as Grand Marshal for several years and sadly passed away in January 2016 and will be greatly missed. Wayne’s passion for cars started when he was a child working alongside his dad on such classics as Duesenbergs, Lincolns, Packards and Ford Model A’s. Then, at just 9 years of age, he experienced a life altering event: he went for a ride in his first Ferrari. This set him on a career journey dealing with all types of vintage automobile collectors throughout the world. In addition to his popular TV show, Wayne Carini is involved in and regularly attends many different car clubs and events to get young people involved in the car collector hobby. He believes that without young people’s involvement, the car collector tradition will disappear. Wayne supports the Automobile Restoration Program at Klingberg’s Raymond Hill School.

George Dragone introducing author Pat Foster at Feb. 27 Speakers event (Photo New England Auto Museum)

George Dragone introducing author Pat Foster at Feb. 27 Speakers event
(Photo New England Auto Museum)

Tickets for the Speakers event featuring Mark Johnson will be $15 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the museum’s web site www.neautomuseum.org. Refreshments and a light luncheon will be provided as part of the program. The Dragone Showroom is located at 176 Post Road West in Westport, Conn. Weather permitting, owners of classic and special interest automobiles are welcome to display their cars in Dragone’s spacious parking area.

Source: New England Auto Museum

Hagerty Regional Manager Will Corr set up at Dragone’s Westport showroom (Photo New England Auto Museum)

Hagerty Regional Manager Will Corr set up at Dragone’s Westport showroom
(Photo New England Auto Museum)

17 Feb

Automobile Industry Started in Hartford in 1891


New Britain, CT – “Hartford does not claim to have made the first automobile but does claim to have started the automotive industry,” This statement was made by pioneer auto designer and engineer, Henry Cave, who worked with Daimler Motor Company, Locomobile and with George B. Seldon to design, develop and demonstrate the first Seldon patent car.

The very first Hartford-based company to work in the automobile industry was the National Machine Company in 1891. Located at Capital Ave and Woodbine Street, they made motors for Steinway-Daimler, the engine that established the auto industry in Europe. But five years later in 1895, the Pope Manufacturing Company established the Motor Carriage Department and experimented with gas powered automobiles. Their conclusion was that these cars were very noisy, vibrating, greasy and complicated to operate. They also believed that the wealthiest citizens, the only ones who could afford such a vehicle, would not be interested in such a car.

The Pope Manufacturing Company concentrated their efforts into designing and developing electric engines and in 1897 formally offered to the public the Columbia Electric Phaeton for a price of $3,000. Henry Cave reports, “Under the direction of the production experts, these handsome vehicles were the first to be made in this country on anything like a substantial basis.’ The Hartford Times wrote,” Its cost of maintenance and operation should be much less than that of a pair of horses…never found anyone so stupid that they could not run the carriage but there are many who can’t handle a horse…6 or 8 inches of snow “no obvious obstacle”.

The Hartford Courant wrote under the title, ” HORSELESS ERA COMES”, the electric vehicle was managed and turned about with as much comfort and success as you would have in driving the gentlest horse…The idea of sitting in a rolling carriage, nothing in front of the dashboard but space…is something exhilarating and fascinating.”

The first vehicles made were made under the Columbia name. Pictured here is a Columbia Mark III Stanhope, an advertising post card produced by the Pope Manufacturing Company. The vehicle was quite simple with four bicycle wheels and seating for two. It had a gong (forerunner to the horn) and four electric lights to illuminate the way at night. One of the first well known owners was Andrew Carnegie.

The Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival in New Britain, CT on June 20th, 2015, will feature many automobiles manufactured in Connecticut including examples from Pope Hartford, Columbia, Corbin and Locomobile and is in fact the largest gathering of these early “brass era” cars in the country.

Source: Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival

Pope-Hartford back in the day

Pope-Hartford back in the day

1908 Air-Cooled Corbin

1908 Air-Cooled Corbin

07 Nov

Klingberg at the 2014 CT International Car Show Nov. 21 – 23

Governor Dan Malloy with a Connecticut-made Pope-Hartford

Governor Dan Malloy with a Connecticut-made Pope-Hartford

New Britain, CT – Once again, Klingberg Family Centers is invited by the Connecticut Automobile Retailers Association to create a display of antique vehicles for their annual car show at the CT Convention Center in Hartford on November 21-23. The exhibit last year featured four exquisite and rather rare examples of early 20th century vehicles from the collections of area enthusiasts who support the annual Klingberg Vintage Festival.

1934 Lincoln, 1905 Ford, 1903 Pope-Hartford, 1905 Stevens-Duryea

1934 Lincoln, 1905 Ford, 1903 Pope-Hartford,
1905 Stevens- Duryea

The group included a 1903 Pope-Hartford manufactured in the capitol city and a 1905 Stevens Duryea made in Chicopee, MA both owned by Jerry Chase.  Also on display was one of 38 remaining 1905 Ford Model Fs, owned by Carlton Pate. You couldn’t help but stop and gaze at a 1934 Lincoln Brunn Convertible Victoria which is one of only 12 made and one of three known to still exist. This gorgeous car was recently purchased by Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars. Wayne was on hand on Sunday of the show to greet those who stopped by the exhibit.  And, nearly everyone did stop by all three days of the event. The exhibit was positioned right at the entrance to the auto show in a wonderful, spacious location.

Klingberg Family Centers’ involvement started five years ago when the Association wanted to feature several Connecticut-made automobiles from the early 1900s. They turned to Mark Johnson, Klingberg’s Vice President of Development and organizer of the annual Vintage Motorcar Festival in June. Since then, the Automotive Retailers have served as a Gold Sponsor of the Klingberg event.

1934 Lincoln Brunn Convertible Victoria

1934 Lincoln Brunn Convertible Victoria

Source: Klingberg News


02 Jun

Klingberg Festival Honors Dads with Wayne and Bob Carini


New Britain CT June 2, 2014 – Klingberg Family Centers will be hosting their 22nd Annual Vintage Motorcar Festival on Saturday, June 14. The event is held on the agency’s 40-acre hilltop campus in New Britain to raise support for their programs serving children and families across Connecticut. A special emphasis on recognizing Dads makes this a wonderful way to celebrate Father’s Day weekend. Wayne Carini of Velocity’s “Chasing Classic Cars” and his Dad, Bob Carini serve as Grand Marshals of the festivities.

The event features a traditional antique car show (1972-older) plus an exclusive Concours d’Elegance display of truly vintage, pristine and rarely seen automobiles. A highlight of the show will be a number of Connecticut-made cars from the turn of the 20th century including the Corbin manufactured in New Britain, the Pope-Hartford and the Locomobile.

Amy Kirby of the New Britain Historical Society is arranging for a group of local actors to perform full-costumed portrayals of area businessman like Colonel Albert Pope and Philip Corbin who influenced the burgeoning auto industry in Connecticut in the early 1900s.

There will also be an assortment of “Super Cars” on display by invitation, including Corvettes, Ferraris and Maserati’s.

Professional DJ and announcer Dave Salonia provides a fabulous selection of vintage music and oldies favorites for the crowds to enjoy all day long. Dancers from the Fred Astaire Studio in West Hartford and the Stardust Dancers will light up the dance floor with a selection of ballroom and vintage dances throughout the show. New this year is a photo booth where friends and families can take fun snapshots to bring home as a memento of their day together. An expanded variety of children’s activities and entertainment make this a fun-filled day for kids of all ages.

Spectator admission $10.00; Seniors 65 and over $8.00; Children 12 and under free. ALL spectators’ parking is free at The Rock Cats Stadium at Willow Brook Park. Prompt and efficient free shuttle service will be provided by DATTCO. No dogs or alcohol allowed. Proceeds benefit Klingberg Family Centers’ programs serving children and families across Connecticut. For more information, directions and weather-related updates visit www.KlingbergAutoShow.org or call (860) 832-5526.