Tag Archives: Saratoga Springs

Museum Gets Auto Racing Trove For Library

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When racing historian and memorabilia collector Ed Biittig Sr. of Sloansville recently decided it was time to pare down his book collection to make more room for other collectibles, the library of the Saratoga Automobile Museum was the beneficiary.

Ed and wife Betty soon had cartons filled with some 350 books ready for delivery to the auto museum, where they are currently being sorted and catalogued by volunteers headed by the library coordinator, longtime museum volunteer Jerry Hart.

“If we find we have duplicates, some of the books will eventually be offered for sale,” said Hart. “But the majority will be cataloged and added to our already extensive collection that will be made available for use by the public every Wednesday beginning in August. Our library is divided into sections on such specific topics as Buick, Ferrari or Chrysler and broader topics such as auto racing. Enthusiasts are always welcome to use the volumes for research or just for enjoyment.”

“This is the fifth major donation we’ve had,” added museum trustee Ron Hedger, who coordinates the museum’s “Racing in New York” gallery. “Along with small donations from countless supporters of the museum, Ed’s books will join major donations from the late volunteer Ed Marks, Bud Lyons, Michigan automotive engineer Don Everett and racing personality John Fitch. I’m sure followers of auto racing will love Ed’s contribution”

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park at 110 Avenue of the Pines. For more information, guests can visit the Museum’s website at www.saratogaautomuseum.org or call (518) 587-1935.

Saratoga Automobile Museum Names New Chair

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Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum (SAM) unanimously elected Gloversville businessman Charles Montano as Board Chairman at their annual election meeting of the trustees in May.

Montano becomes the fourth Board Chair of the Museum, joining the late founder and initial chairman Lewis Golub of Lake George, Bob Bailey of Diamond Point and the most recent chairperson, Jean Hoffman of Clifton Park, as head of the Board of Trustees. Other board officers elected at the meeting included Seth Rosner of Saratoga Springs as Vice-Chairman, Dr. James Hoehn of Menands as Treasurer and Robert Ensign, Jr. of Latham as Secretary. Chairs of the board’s various sub-committees will be announced at a later date.

A Gloversville native, Montano owns and operates a commercial/industrial rental business with divisions specializing in apartments and luxury home development in the downstate area. He is also a well known automobile collector, with a number of “Woodies” from his collection the focus of a recent exhibit in the Museum’s Golub gallery.

“Cars with wooden bodies have always fascinated me,” offered Montano. “But they only represent a segment of my collection and my interests. I truly love all aspects of the automotive world.

“As chairman of the Board of Trustees, my goal is to continue and expand our programs that bring these diverse communities together. Whether your focus is woodies, the brass era, auto racing, classic cars, any of the diverse makes that highlight our lawn shows or our automotive-themed educational programs, the Auto Museum is your place and I want everyone to feel welcome here.”

“Charlie Montano epitomizes the caliber of leadership and automobile enthusiasm the Museum needs to continue advancing the exceptional cultural enrichment we strive to provide for our growing communities,” said Taylor C. Wells, SAM Executive Director.

SAM Board members fulfilling their current terms include Bob Bailey, David Darrin, Wayne Freihofer, Ron Hedger, Jean Hoffman, Tony Ianniello, Eric King, Ed Lewi, Lee Miller, and Alan Rosenblum.

The mission of the Saratoga Automobile Museum is to preserve, interpret and exhibit automobiles and automotive artifacts. We celebrate the automobile and educate the general public, students and enthusiasts regarding the role of the automobile in New York State and in the wider world. In addition to technical and design aspects, our educational focus is on the past, present and future social and economic impact of the automobile

The Museum is chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York Department of Education as a not-for-profit institution. Additionally, the Museum is a member of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM).

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park at 110 Avenue of the Pines. For more information, guests can visit the Museum’s website at www.saratogaautomuseum.org or call (518) 587-1935.

Antique Car Rally Headed to Saratoga Springs

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The Great Race, America’s premiere old car rally, is coming to Saratoga Springs this Thursday, June 16, and is expected to bring up to 100 antique automobiles to the city. The overnight stop will be marked by a public event at the Saratoga Automobile Museum to mark their arrival in the Spa city, one of America’s premier vacation destinations.

The 2011 event, sponsored by Hemmings Motor News and Coker Tire, starts in Chattanooga, TN and finishes in Bennington, VT. Run from coast to coast from 1983-2007, it is not a speed race, but a time/speed/distance rally. The driver and navigator are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second, then scored at secret check points along the way and penalized one second for each second either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.

Cars start, and hopefully finish, one minute apart if all goes according to plan. The biggest part of the challenge, other than staying on time and following the instructions, is getting an old car to the finish line each day.

The first car is expected to arrive at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, located in the scenic Saratoga Spa State Park, around 5 p.m., with cars continuing to arrive each minute for an hour and a half. The cars will remain parked for two hours to allow spectators to visit with the participants and to look at the cars.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” offered Jeff Stumb, from Huntsville, Ala. He and his wife Karen have competed in the Great Race several times in his 1916 Hudson. “We have seen as many as 40,000 people at stops like Huntington Beach, Calif., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

Participating cars range in age from 1911 to 1969, with most having been manufactured before World War II. For the first time, a 100-year-old car, a 1911 Velie owned by Howard and Doug Sharp of Fairport, N.Y, will participate in the race.

The Great Race was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and was sponsored by Interstate Batteries. It takes its name from the 1965 movie, The Great Race, a comedy based on the real life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk.

The auto museum will not be open to the public during the event, with participants expected to move to their downtown hotel at approximately 8:30 pm.

Saratoga Automobile Museum Offers ‘Forza Italia!’

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On May 7, 2011, the Saratoga Automobile Museum will debut the exhibit “Forza Italia!, Fine Sporting Cars From Italy.” The exhibit will feature several cars from the renowned Oscar Davis Collection in Elizabeth, NJ. Cars from Mr. Davis’ fine collection, housed in an exclusive private Museum, have appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as well as at Amelia Island, Radnor Hunt, and other significant concours events.

Cars expected on display in Saratoga will include a prewar Alfa Romeo 6C1750, a 6C2300 and an 8C2900, along with a sporty Fiat Balilla Spyder. Postwar examples will include a Ferrari 212 Scaglietti Spyder, a Lancia B24S Nardi Spyder America, a Maserati Ghibli SS, a Bizzarrini 5300 Strada, a Fiat Abarth 750 sports coupe, and a Ferrari F40, to name just a few.

Italian vehicles embody everything that’s exciting about a country where speed, head-turning styling and pure sex appeal are standard equipment in every car. The Italian automobile industry has long been one of its country’s greatest, most visible and innovative assets. A major contributor to Italy’s dramatic postwar industrial rebirth, Italian cars continue to set trends and attract countless enthusiasts.

From FIAT, a pioneer automaker whose tiny Topolino economy car preceded Germany’s Volkswagen and Britain’s MINI; to Lancia, an early motoring innovator and successful racing marque; and Alfa Romeo, a serious technical and race-winning pre-war rival to Bugatti; to the premium postwar European sports car renaissance led by Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, Italian high-performance cars have long contested and set standards for the world’s best.

With the Fiat and Alfa Romeo marques returning soon to North America, and considering the present-day strengths of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, this is a ‘primo’ time for the Saratoga Automobile Museum to present an overview of great vintage Italian Sports and Grand Touring cars.

Open to the public through the Summer Season, the exhibit will end with the acclaimed Second Annual Fall Ferrari Festival, held in cooperation with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s acclaimed Wine and Food Festival, scheduled for September 10, 2011.

The Forza Italia! exhibit will open to the public on May 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM, and will be occupying the Museum during the summer months until September 25, 2011 at 5 pm.

Adjacent to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in the Saratoga Spa Park, The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY. Hours of operation during the summer months are: Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm. †For more information, call 518-587-1935 or visit us on the web at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.

Saratoga Auto Museum 1950s Fundraiser

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On Saturday March 5th, Saratoga Automobile Museum is celebrating their 2nd Beer and Burgers fundraiser from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The event features micro-brews and local beers, live entertainment, and food by local chef Kim Klopstock served car-hop style by the women of the Albany All Stars Roller Derby.

This year’s featured exhibition includes Right Coast Rods, Historic Roadsters & Coupes from the 1950s in the main gallery of the Museum. The second floor gallery will host vehicles made in New York along with Racing in New York exhibit.

“We have put together a wide variety of Micro Brews that will delight your taste buds,” Richard Selikoff, Development Director for the Museum, said. “You will be able to sample brews from Saratoga Brewing, Goose Island, Redhook, Windmere Bros., Davidson Bros., Ommergang, Kona and Shock Top. Sliders will be once again on tap by master chef Kim Klopstock from Lily and the Rose, she is promising to have a full selection of veggie burgers as well. Burgers are not the only thing on the menu for the evening, there will be a full selection of side dishes to compliment the beer and the burgers.” Two bands from Schenectady, Summer of Doug and The Uncle Bootsy Project will provide entertainment.

The event is a fundraiser for the Saratoga Automobile Museum. Tickets are $35.00 per person and are available at the Museum or on their website. For more information contact Richard Selikoff at 518-587-1935 x 26. The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Proper ID is required; poodle skirts are optional.

Seminar: American Motorcycle Competition of 1912

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The Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs has announced a historical seminar on motorcycles this February 26, 2011 from 11 am to 2 pm. After the large success of Marty Christopher’s “History of the Motorcycle” in 2010 he has decided that this years theme would be “American Motorcycle Competition of 1912”. Mr. Christopher thought that a seminar about competition motorcycles would be a great tie in with the Museum’s existing exhibit.

The exhibit opened in October of 2010 and will be open until May 1, 2011. There are several bikes on display for visitors to take a look at. From Asphalt to Ice is the title of the exhibit and is the third one that the Museum has put together since they decided to make motorcycles part of their changing exhibit series. Christopher has been instrumental in assisting the Museum in locating motorcycles for each exhibit and he has said that he will use the motorcycles on display as models for his seminar.

The Museum invites everyone to join in on “American Motorcycle Competition of 1912” seminar. Spend the day finding out what motorcycle racing was like in America back in 1912.

Participants will learn about the types, tracks, bikes, and of course the riders. What rules were in 1912, performance tricks, engine configurations, nick names of riders and how the riders earned their names.

“These motorcycles have been stripped of all excess and have no comfort. There are little to no decorations and safety is always in question. The rider is exposed right down to their nerves as they pull back on the throttle on the green and speed forward,” Christopher said when asked to give a brief description about what racing was like in 1912.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at: 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Hours of operation: 7 days a week, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission: Adults – $8.00, seniors and students – $5.00 with children under 6 free. For more information call Tracy Paige (518) 587-1935 x 17 or tracy.paige@saratogaautomuseum.org.

Saratoga Auto Museum: Popcorn Wagon Mechanics

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The Saratoga Automobile Museum has announced an event entitled “Popcorn Wagon Mechanics.” On Saturday, February 19, 2011 sixteen students who have been working since December of 2010 to mechanically rebuild a historic 1925 Model TT Cretor Popcorn Wagon will be in the garage again.

This session will include removing entire front end assembly, touching up the frame and underbelly of vehicle, rebuilding the front end assembly by replacing any bushings, king pins, tie rods, or any other steering rods as needed, checking the springs and bushings, paint the front axle and springs, greasing all the points that are required, and then re-installing the front end assembly. The program’s mentors will be explaining the steering dynamics and will relate them to modern automobiles.

The event is open to the public. For more information you can contact Tracy Paige at tracy.paige@saratogaautomuseum.org or visit our website at www.saratogaautomuseum.org The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at: 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Hours of operation: 7 days a week, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission: Adults – $8.00, Seniors and Students – $5.00 with children under 6 free.

National Sporting Library and Museum Grants

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The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSL&M) offers the John H. Daniels Fellowship to support researchers at the Middleburg, Virginia research center for horse and field sports, for periods of up to one year. Disciplines include history, literature, journalism, art history, anthropology, area studies, and history of sport.

Applications are due February 1, 2011 for the 2011-2012 fellowship year. Application criteria and instructions are included in the 2011-2012 fellowship brochure. Contact Elizabeth Tobey, Director of Research & Publications at fellowship@nsl.org or 540-687-6542 x 11 if you have further questions.

Located in western Loudoun County just 42 miles from Washington, D.C., Middleburg, Virginia is located in the heart of horse country and is a destination for shopping, dining, and equestrian events.

The program began in 2007 in honor of sportsman and book collector, John H. Daniels (1921-2006), a longtime supporter of the Library. Since 2007, the fellowship has supported fifteen researchers-in-residence at the NSL&M from all regions of the United States and four foreign countries.


Who is eligible

University faculty (both current faculty [tenure-track, tenured, as well as adjunct] and retired/emeritus) and graduate students; museum curators and librarians; and writers and journalists are encouraged to apply. U.S. citizens and legal residents may apply for fellowships for periods of 12 months or less. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda may visit for 180 days or less without a Visa. Citizens of countries that participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Waiver Program may apply for periods of 90 days or less (see website for list of countries).

Fellowship on Field Sports and Conservation

The National Sporting Library & Museum is committed to supporting scholarship and research in the subject area of traditional field sports as well as the connection between field sports and conservation, and invites applications from both academic and independent researchers.

At least one fellowship award each year will be reserved for a topic exploring the intersection of field sports with the evolution of conservation thought, such as methods of game keeping, the role of the naturalist from the sixteenth century forward, or the origins of the modern principles of conservation prior to the mid-twentieth century. Recent scholarship in environmental history has demonstrated that historically, hunters and anglers were often at the forefront of efforts to preserve wildlife and the natural environment.

The procedures for applying are the same as for a regular Daniels Fellowship, although applicants should specify in their cover letter interest in the conservation fellowship.

Fellows will receive

• Monthly stipend (max. $2,000/month) and complimentary housing near the Library.

• Workspace and access to computer and photocopier..

To Apply

Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2011. Applicants will be notified of a decision by late March 2011. Detailed descriptions of the book collections, including a full list of archives and manuscript collections (with box descriptions) and a partial list of current and historical periodicals and with instructions for searching and a link to the card catalog, can be found online. The website also contains a page with links to articles about highlights of the collections.

Two useful booklets, Treasures of the National Sporting Library and This is the National Sporting Library contain descriptions and essays about some of the most important individual works and collections, and free copies of the latter publication may be obtained by contacting Lisa Campbell, Librarian, at lcampbell@nsl.org or 540-687-6542 x 13 or the fellowship coordinator at fellowship@nsl.org or 540-687-6542 x11.

Race Fans Invited to Meet Hall of Fame Members

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The New York State Stock Car Association’s (NYSSCA) annual “Meet the New Hall of Fame Members” program will be held on Sunday, January 23rd at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, site of the permanent NYSSCA Hall of Fame exhibit.

Set for 11 am, the popular event will let fans and racers unable to attend Saturday night’s NYSSCA awards banquet meet and listen to the new inductees, drivers Dickie Larkin and Jack Cottrell, car owner Paul Emerick and officials Hertha and Marty Beberwyk.

“It’s my favorite event of the year,” NYSSCA Hall of Fame chairman and Racing in New York gallery coordinator Ron Hedger said. “It brings together the hard-core racing community and the area’s dedicated race fans in a relaxed setting and lets us relive the highlights of the inductee’s racing careers. We’ll have presenters Tom Boggie, Jim King, Hertha Beberwyk and myself on hand to introduce the inductees, who will then make remarks. After that, I usually ask a few questions and then we’ll take questions from the audience, so everyone gets involved in the festivities.”

For the first time, the event will be held in the museum’s main gallery instead of the Racing in New York exhibit.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Visitors should exit I-87, the Adirondack Northway, at Exit 13N, then proceed north on Rt. 9 to the Avenue of the Pines park entrance.

NYSSCA Hall of Fame members will be admitted free of charge with other visitors paying the standard museum admission. The current featured exhibit in the Golub Gallery is “Right Coast Rods” while the Racing in New York gallery features a look at the history of NASCAR in New York.

More information is available online.

New York Army National Guard Featured in Museum Exhibit

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The history of the New York Army National Guard from the Spanish American War to Iraq and Afghanistan will be featured in a New York State Museum exhibit that opened May 28 and will run through March 2011.

Entitled “Citizen Soldier: New York’s National Guard in the American Century” the exhibit includes almost 7,000 square feet of gallery space covering the service of New Yorkers through world wars, natural disasters, the 2001 terrorist attacks and Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

Wall panels, dioramas, photos, uniforms, equipment and weapons displays are being completed. The exhibit will also feature personal stories of Soldiers – past and present – including women Soldiers serving in the modern Guard’s ranks.

A restored World War II M8 “Greyhound” Armored Car was moved into position in front of the Citizen Soldier Gallery on Wednesday, May 19 as delighted visitors including fourth grade elementary school students from Jeffersonville, Sullivan County looked on.

The vehicle is just one of many display items that will be used to tell the story of New York’s Citizen Soldiers who served at home and abroad during some of the nation’s darkest times. New York Soldiers of the 101st Cavalry Group used M8s in Europe during World War II.

“This is one of the largest exhibits ever produced here,” said Pat Jordan, the museum’s Director of Community Relations. “This will be here through March 2011,” she added. “We are also developing a series of special events and programs including documentary screenings, book signings and other events that are being scheduled during the exhibit’s run.”

The New York State Museum is the nation’s largest and oldest state museum and hosts innovative exhibitions and programs year round. More than 700,000 visitors annually come through its galleries to see both permanent and temporary exhibits including the “World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response,” “Adirondack Wilderness,” and “Native Peoples of New York.”

Expert curators, historians, designers and other professionals design and produce the exhibits on site from photos and artifacts in New York’s archives and historic collections as well as using selected items on loan from private sources, like the armored car and other items from Gregory Wolanin from Albany.

“Citizen Soldier” will also include materials from the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs who have been working with the New York State Museum staff since last year to plan and support the exhibit.

The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years Day. For more information, visit the New York State Museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov

Photo: A World War II-era M-8 armored car is manuevered into position by its owner, vehicle collector Greg Wolanin, as the centerpiece of a New York State Museum exhibit honoring the service of New York Army National Guard Soldiers. The 101st Cavalry Group of the New York NationalGuard operated M-8s during their service in Europe in 1945. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Steven Petibone, New York Army National Guard.

John Steinbeck, Saratoga History Museum Fundraiser

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A talk entitled “Steinbeck’s Wrath, 1936-1939: The Santa Clara Valley Years” will be given by noted author and Steinbeck authority Susan Shillinglaw on February 5 from 7-9 PM. The event will be held at the Foothill Club of Saratoga Springs (20399 Park Place) and is a fundraiser for the Saratoga History Museum (SHM). The cost will be $15 for SHM members, $20 for nonmembers. To purchase a ticket, call (408)255-1883 during regular business hours. Coffee and dessert will be served.

Saratoga: World War Two Vets Recount Their Stories

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The public is invited to a panel discussion this Sunday, December 6th, at 2:00 pm at the Saratoga Library (13650 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga Springs). Saratoga Historical Foundation Historian Ray Cosyn will moderate as veterans from World War II recount their memories.

Participating in the panel will be George Cooper who flew P47’s in the European Theater with 77 missions; Herbert Kwart who flew a Flying Fortress as part of the 8th Air Force with 35 missions; Ed Pack, with the 59th Signal Battalion and later the 8th Corp part of those liberating the concentration camps; Bud Rideout, on of the Flying Tigers; and Mac McCaughey part of the 94th Division who landed on Omaha Beach.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free to the public. The Saratoga History Museum is sponsoring the event.

Photo: USS Saratoga During World War Two. From the collections of the Library of Congress.

NYS Military Museum Abandons Oral History Project

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The Albany Times Union is reporting that the New York State Veterans Oral History Project is being abandoned by the leaders of the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center (which is run by the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs).

The man who had been running the oral history program from the basement of the Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, Michael Russert (cousin of the late broadcaster Tim Russert), retired at the end of June after having recorded nearly 1,500 interviews over the past eight years. His equipment was sold at a loss on eBay and the program’s space has been cleared out:

The state let it go for $1,200 without consulting staff after buying it for $14,000, Russert said.

“I was really crushed when I found the studio was going on eBay,” said Russert, a retired teacher who lives in Cambridge. “They looked at it as a waste of space, and that always bothered me because it was a very valuable program for the museum.”

The collection now contains 1,595 interviews, including talks with three World War I vets and three Medal of Honor recipients. The project aims to capture firsthand stories of veterans and make them accessible to historians and to the public.

The state Office of General Services sold the studio for the museum because it occupied prime exhibit space, museum Director Michael Aikey said. He wouldn’t say how much it was sold for, and an inquiry to OGS went unanswered…

The state is not rehiring for Russert’s position, said Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg, a spokesman for the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Wayne Clark, the program’s videographer, has taken on an expanded role that includes identifying vets, coordinating meetings, doing interviews and publicizing the program…

The lack of manpower is slowing the archiving of stories from the state’s veterans at a time when many World War II vets die every day and New York service members are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Russert says.

The Military Museum is located on the web here, and the Veteran’s Oral History Program is located here. Neither sites have been updated recently (some stuff there dates from 2006, and there are currently no events scheduled for the museum). The museum has been closed for the past month while the heavy wooden doors on the building’s front entrance were replaced with new glass doors.