Kolina Meeting 24.8.-26.8.2001 (story by A-V Nauha, pics by Karzi Sinkkonen & Sari Rouvinen)
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It was in Forssa Pick-Nick that Raimo Vuorensivu and I decided that we'd be taking the long trip to Kolina Meeting organized by JHRD (Joensuu Hod Rod Drivers) at Koli near Joensuu in Eastern-Finland. Maybe the fact that our members from Joensuu have been present in every single one of our happenings, no matter where it was held that made us decide on this course of action.
We agreed that the best way to make the trip was to drive just one car there, and since "Raipe's" convertible was showing good signs of reliability, and my car wasn't, the choice was simple. We were going to drive to Joensuu with the top down on his '65 American 440 Convertible. A few days later my girlfriend Anu Nummikari decided that she'd be interested in going as well, and she was very welcome to do so. Juha Makkonen had noted before that he'd be coming as well, but after his girlfriend Virve Mustonen decided that she'd be going too, they decided to drive their daily driver to Joensuu. A good choice since 5 people propably wouldn't have fit into the American comfortably (the top does take up extra space on both sides in the rear, along with bucket seats in the front...).
We (Raimo, me and Anu) decided to meet at Raipe's home in Tampere and start the trek from there. So it was Friday that I borrowed a car and drove it to Tampere and continued the trip with style.
The first leg of the trip Anu and I took turns in the backseat (where the wind was the wildest) and Raipe drove about 5 hours with a few quick stops along the way. The stops weren't needed for the Rambler, becouse the temporary 199cid six was performing wonderfully, and with the 2bbl intake & carb I was having difficulties believing that the 232cid had infact been switched to 199cid a few weeks before (232cid had some oiling issues due to standing still for many years in the States). It was about 2/3's of the way that we by suprise met up with Juha & Virve on a gas-station, and Anu was getting a bit tired so she decided to jump to their car and get some sleep. So Raimo and me kept going with the top down, even if it was REALLY getting a bit cold, since the sun went down a few hours back. Nonetheless, we had agreed before the trip that the way there would be roofless. <grin> Raipe had a sixpack of beer and I started hinting him that I'd love to drive the car, so he gave up and let me cruise the night about an hour before we reached our destination. I must say, his American is the best Rambler to drive I've ever tried. It just glides on the road, handles simply beautifully, even if Raipe remarked that he hadn't gotten around to checking the underbody. He didn't mind though, since the sixpack was soon gone as he enjoyed the windy evening. =)
We arrived in Joensuu around 10 PM and were warmly received by Karzi Sinkkonen & Tero Kinnunen, whom provided the beds to sleep in for the night. There was a party down at Riverside Rebels garage, as always, so we took our time relaxing and getting to know their club members. Every Rambler fanatic from the club is allready an AMCCF member, but they do have other marques represented as well, like a very cool looking chevy hot rod (http://www.riversiderebels.com). Before going to sleep we washed off the traveldust in their garage's Sauna and after a bit of dinner we went to Tero's apartment which is integrated into the garage and got a good night of sleep. Juha & Virve stayed at Karzi's place for the night.
Following morning, around 2 PM we woke up late, and enjoyed a good breakfast provided by our generous host. A few hours later we were ready to hit the road.
The cars that were to take part in the happening gathered at a local gas station, and were sent off one by one to Koli with a couple interesting stops along the way. There was time to check that the American was doing allright, and no complaints there, I washed the windshield and we were off for the short 90kilometer trek.
The Cruise to Koli was an interesting one. There were 4 stops along the way with different assignments for the particificants, the last stop being at the camping site. First one was a test of agility, one of the people from each car had to connect a bunch of bolts to corresponding nuts and do it as quickly as possible. Here's a couple pictures that show Juha Makkonen and Karzi's daughter going nuts with the bolts...
All the competition was done in good spirits, and the next stop along the way was even more interesting. In the warm summer breeze the competitor was given a metering line and the point was to hold it up as long as possible (both the line and the time to do it!). It was quite interesting, and some went all the way up to 2.5meters. Here's a pic of Juha Makkonen showing off his style.
Third stop was getting even trickier. There was a black box on the table with two holes in both ends. The idea was to put your hand in and try to guess what was in the box without looking inside. Most people got 2 out of 4 right, but only very few got all 4. This is propably becouse not all the objects were car related, and one even needed a woman to know what it was (an eyelash bender? that's what I was told anyway...). All in all a fun stop. Again following a two tries on the matter.
As we arrived at Koli camping, we got to the last stop. The sport was 'shot put' (kuulantyöntö) and the way to do it was to push a small metal ball in a kid's toy for the right distance, which was told to be the world record in the sport. The record is held by a Finnish athelete, so most people actually knew what was going on. Here's a few pics showing a Ari Tekokoski and Henna Kuskelin doing sports.
The idea to make the stops along the way was a good one, and it really was fun. There was time to hang around and chat with people and check out the cars in action along with enjoying the warm late summer day.
Now that we had arrived at the camping site we checked in, and drove the cars to the cabins.
By total coincidence most rambler fanatics had reserved cabins right by each other so we had a good collection of Ramblers to enjoy and look at while spending the evening by a barbaque fire, having a few beers and chatting about cars, hobbies, and just enjoying the relaxing athmosphere.
But back to the cars, we were looking forward to having 5 Ramblers there, but by a pleasant suprise a new rambler hobbyist J-M Partanen had decided to give the meeting a try, and he was very satisfied with the Rambler showout, as he was propably expecting to be the only Rambler there. He joined AMCCF right away.
As you can see his '64 American 330 4D 196cid from Sukevais in excellent shape, and almost original looking, with a few improvements to conveniance. The car isn't black like it shows in these pictures, it's a cool shade of black and pearly metallic brown. Here's a few more pictures: Rear of the car and a peek inside.
Sari Rouvinen's good looking '67 American 220 4D 232cid was also there from Jyväskylä and here's also another pic of Raimo Vuorensivu's Convertible.
As the evening passed there were lots of things to do, hit the sauna, take a walk on the beach, or as somepeople tried, take a cruise on the beach...
And as the owner noted, what better way to be noticed in a plain later model chevy(they're common like dirt over here in Finland due to a taxation glitch a few years back). Click on the pic to get a better view.
As the evening passed we were informed that a live band was playing in the nearby hotel, hired by JHRD and arranged at the Hotel for expense saving, so we took Tero's '67 Rebel 660 4D and headed for the Hotel. The band started playing about an hour later and soon the house was rockin'n'rollin'. And let me tell you, the band was great!
During the night at the Hotel, the winner of the cruise happenings was announced (a team from Jyväskylä if I remember correctly) and prices were given out. The best price of the evening, King of the Hill was given, to his total suprise, to Raimo Vuorensivu and his '65 American Convertible. And after his short thanks he settled back at our table to take his traditional drink from the bowl. Afterall he got a bottle of Finnish vodka along with his traditional trophy! =)
Later that night/morning we cruised back to the camping site and had a good night/morning of sleep.
Following morning we packed up and finally collected our Ramblers side by side in front of the Camping site's headquarters and flashed away with our cameras. Too bad I had forgotten mine, but happily Karzi Sinkkonen and Sari Rouvinen provided me with some very good pictures.
From left to right, '66 Classic Cross-Country Kustom 232cid, '67 Rebel 770 Cross-Country 232cid, '65 American 440 Convertible 199cid, '64 American 330 4D 196cid, '67 Rebel 660 4d 258cid, '67 American 220 4D 232cid. And below are additional pictures of the cars.
After almost filling up our filmrolls with Ramblers we headed out to Koli hill in a cruise of our own.
We got as near to Koli as was possible by cars, and started the climb to the hill itself. Some of us took the hitches to the other side of the hill as well, but most were content in walking the steep path up and down.
The view from the top was awesome and soon everyone was taking pictures and enjoying the autumn sun in the warm rocks (at least I was..=) )
After the trip to the summit, all that was left was to get in to the convertible and cruise back home. It was a GREAT trip, thanks to everyone that took part in it, exspecially the organizers!
4.9.2001 / A-V