September 7th, 2014 was a beautiful day. Over 140 cars and trucks showed up to support the 2014 Corsair Restoration Benefit and Car Show. By all accounts it was a rousing success.
Visitors were able to see many beautiful vintage cars, street rods, custom cars, muscle cars, military vehicles , as well as a pair of amazing fire trucks.
Perched like a huge Seagull among the vintage automobiles and asphalt was the Whitehead #21 replica on display by Andy Kosch and his remarkable support team. People we able to learn some astounding history about early aviation in Connecticut.
I feel like we may have missed something… Oh yes! For the first time in public in over 6 years, the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair, in all her yellow primed glory, was displayed with her restored wings and restored Pratt & Whitney R-2800 reattached! It was quite the sight, taking some visitors back a full 74 years back in time, when seeing a Corsair being rolled on Main Street was an hourly event for the duration of WW2.
The Corsair restoration team has had their proverbial nose to the grindstone for the past 6 months getting the Corsair into this beautiful shape. There are many names and faces that have made this project possible and with out their long hours of dedication this accomplishment would never have happened. The Connecticut Air & Space Center has some amazing volunteers!
We have lots of photos to share at the end but first we have to try and acknowledge everyone who came together this year to help make this event such a perfect day.
So a HUGE Thank You to:
Sue French and her gift shop table with many interesting souvenirs to purchase. Sue also managed to wrangle Channel 8 (WTNH) news. They did quite a long piece that ran Sunday night into Monday morning and we are really appreciative of the coverage.
The Soltis Family and especially Eileen Soltis who is already talking about improvements and ideas for next year. Just stay out of her way when she is motivated!! Just gotta love it!!! Chris Soltis – great art work and Dennis Soltis for getting everything for the booths in order and in place.
The Corsair Girls and the Chance Vought Grandmas who baked and manned the bake sale. All the ladies were there with smiles the whole day. The bake sale ended up being an amazing success.
To one of the Corsair Girls who will go unnamed, dealing with a health challenge, was there from start to finish. With that huge smile! Damn – was I impressed. Thank you! (From Ed McGuinness)
John Lott / Hankin Print. You are looking at many of his amazing photos both B&W and Color. He also took point on production for the sponsor boards… Need we say more? Oh yes, he went up in the aerial pumper truck and took the most amazing overhead shot of the entire show! Credit also goes to John for the picture of the Corsair at the beginning of this story.
Stanziale’s – Don, Kim and their crew and the Cruisin East Club. How do you thank them for going to such lengths? The food was awesome, their people were there working in that hot sun swatting bees with one hand and serving food with the other. We had over 140 cars and and innumerable amount of participants and spectators. It was a wonderful turnout.
The Town of Stratford. Thank you for arranging the truck load of barricades to help keep the parking lot safe and the for the mobile stage. We are very proud to be part of such a great community.
Museum President Gene Madara worked the day at the Corsair Bond table raising almost $500 towards the cause.
The Corsair Team. Nothing but very highest praise was heard for the work they are doing and the level of detail to which they are going to bring The Corsair back to life. The team all strive to leave their mark on aviation history in some way. Everyone working at any and every level on the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair has accomplished that very thing. As Mark Corvino and Ed McGuinness have been saying a lot recently – “It’s an honor to be a part of it”
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Midland Development Co.
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