Antique Cars to Parade Through Rocky Hill and Montgomery
By Barbara A. Preston | September 21, 2022
Catch a glimpse of a parade of antique cars that will roll through Rocky Hill and Montgomery on Tuesday, September 27 and again on Friday, September 30.
"This will be a tour of nearly 120 pre-war automobiles, including a 1907 Model K Ford touring car. It is a Montgomery event worth seeing," says Skillman resident Daniel E. Ungar. He is coordinating a photography team that will be documenting the entire tour (and assembling a slideshow for the closing banquet).
Antique cars from a previous Glidden Tour. The tours are held annually by antique car hobbyists to celebrate automotive history.
The 76th Revival AAA Glidden Tour of New Jersey's Revolutionary Roads is for automobiles manufactured prior to 1943, as originally built—only safety modifications permitted.
On Tuesday, September 27, the Glidden Tour will be departing from the Crowne Plaza hotel in Plainsboro at about 8 am, traveling through Kingston and Rocky Hill, and passing westbound through Montgomery on Route 518.
On Friday, September 30, the tour will leave at about 8 am for the New Jersey National Guard “Militia” museum in Lawrenceville. After viewing the museum, the caravan will come up the Great Road and turn eastbound onto Cherry Valley Road. At Route 206, they will turn north, then fork off at Bridgepoint Road and continue north on the scenic River Road, passing by the former Campbell Farm.
Unger, an alumni trustee of Princeton University's student-run radio station WPRB, says his team of photographers "will be going modern," and will "scoot around the caravan and get photos of them arriving at each venue and passing through scenic downtowns and bridges."
He adds, "I do own The Green Hornet, the 1933 Pontiac in which my grandfather taught my mother to drive. I keep it in a rented space in Hillsborough. My son has taken on the 1922 Ford Model T my father restored, also kept in Hillsborough. (My sister took the Model A down to Virginia.)"
Planned itineraries of the 76th Revival AAA Glidden Tour begin on Sunday, Sept. 25.
Princeton/Princeton University self-directed tours of the university and surrounding town. Followed by a barbecue. Sunday, Sept. 25.
A lecture at a local college theater entitled, “Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution”, followed by a tour of Bucks County, PA. Covered Bridges, Barns and Stone Homes. Monday, Sept. 26.
Visit Washington Crossing on both sides of the Delaware River, which includes presentations, movies and touring a colonial village. Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Tour Monmouth Battlefield and nearby sites. A historical interpreter will detail both battles. Wednesday, Sept 28.
Roebling Museum’s contribution to major bridges will be explored, followed by lunch aboard the battleship USS New Jersey. Thursday, Sept. 29.
Enjoy Princeton Battlefield and the Morven Museum, then finish our tour by driving the Millstone Valley Scenic Byway. Friday, Sept. 30.
Unger is a member of the New Jersey Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). He says he "was the first to volunteer (as an amateur) to take photos of the tour, so I also got tasked with organizing and assembling the slideshow on the fly."
"I am blessed to have a team of amateurs more talented and more experienced with photographing old cars than I," he said. "I ... will be driving their Model A Ford throughout the tour. After the tour ends, I will append photos of the closing banquet and cars being loaded onto trailers to my slideshow, then we will email links to it to the tour participants."
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History of the AAA Glidden Tour
In December 1902, AAA conceived of a tour of different parts of the country where a variety of road conditions would be encountered with the 1904 World’s Fair at St. Louis as the final destination. Three major routes were selected, leaving from New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Officially, 77 cars participated in the run, of which 66 made it to St. Louis. The 1,350-mile run from New York to St. Louis took 18 days and culminated August 12 with a grand parade through the city to the fair site, featuring the 66 finishers and 200 local cars.
AAA provided the participants with maps and descriptions of the routes through their areas, along with local driving laws and licensing requirements. They sent out pilot cars to mark confusing turns in the route with confetti and encouraged local motorists to drive out and meet the touring groups and to accompany the groups out of town. The clubs arranged for letters of greeting from local officials, offered listings of local hotels, assisted in securing reservations, arranged for meals, and, in most instances, provided some form of entertainment. They also arranged for cars to be lodged overnight in a centralized location so they could be viewed by the public, and if repairs were needed, arranged for suitable overnight garage space.
One of the original participants, Charles J. Glidden, who was a wealthy New England industrialist and avid automobile supporter, became the most notable sponsor for the next year’s tour. Subsequently, as Glidden continued this offer over the years, AAA tours became known as the Glidden Tours.
Today, AAA is involved with the re-creation of the original tours, working with the Vintage Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA) and the Antique Auto Club of America (AACA). Now known as the Revival AAA Glidden Tour, this annual experience is one of the most prestigious touring events in American auto history. This year the tour will be held in beautiful Princeton with 116 vintage cars participating.