G-Team Mower Meets Museum
Who would have thought a little over a year ago Don Gienger would be driving some 1,600 miles one way to lend a Museum a Racing mower?
About a year ago Liz Hahn from America On Wheels - www.americaonwheels.org - contacted Don Gienger owner operator of G Team Racing and ask to borrow a Racing Mower for their soon to open America On Wheels Museum in Allentown PA. Don Gienger and G Team Racing www.g-team.us are known across the USA and Canada for their Racing Lawn Mower Motor parts and parts used in building Racing Mower Chassis.
Liz was looking for things on wheels and felt that a racing mower would or should have a place among some of the most fascinating vehicles in the country. AOW is NOT a Car Museum in anyway. It is simply a display of the history of things that have wheels that have moved and shaped America. Everything from Pee Wee Herman’s Bicycle that was used in the Movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to over the road Semi trucks From Mac and yes races cars too.
Now most might wonder Why? I mean why should I drive all the way out to Allentown PA alone to drop off a mower? Certainly Shirley my wife thought this way even though she knew how she asked the question to. Yes I could have shipped the mower and saved me both time and money. But for me it’s not that simple. If you know me then you know what a Big Deal this really is to me. I just couldn’t send my mower away without going too.
A Museum of all things wants one of my Racing Mowers??? Is this a joke? I thought so in the beginning. But working with Liz and Linda and Sarah I soon found out more about Allentown PA and AOW and what a great honor was asked of me. Could I really help them display some History?
When one thinks of History we think old and yes I am old. But they don’t me. They want another example of what has been done with the Wheel. Mower Racing is a fairly new sport in America brought over from the British about 15 years ago by the USLMRA. If fit America well. Racing mowers that is. Heck we race everything else. So why not take a Weekend Chore and turn it into a Competitive Sport? Bruce Kaufman did just that with the help of Gold Eagle Products.
So I agreed to the loan and I had some parts to do it with too. But 07 turned out a bit different for me. I built a new chassis and motor and put some Old Sheet metal on it that was already painted and lettered that I used back in 2000 racing season. In fact that skin was seen at Lisle IL July 4th race in 2000 for the very first time. First time GTR made a USLMRA point’s race and first year for the NEW SP class. 2007 the USLMRA started the new CP class and I built a mower to compete in that class. I brought out the old sheet metal and we went racing. But who would have guessed I would win the First Ever CP Championship?? Well I did I got it on Tape and all that.
So the Mower I brought to AOW to their surprise was my 07 Point winning Championship mower with its own History.
I also went on to show them footage of 2007 Stabil Keeps Gas Fresh Finals from Delaware Ohio since they had not seen any Lawn Mower Racing before and they we shocked to say the least of the speed we reach on race day. They also made note that the mower they received was in fact the Championship mower too!!
AOW has been in the plans for some 19 years now and it is only days away from opening. While there is Dust everywhere and lots of work to do they feel they can make their opening day in April 2007.
When I arrived Thursday morning I simply walked right in and found the main office where Sarah seen me and greeted me at the door. She soon introduced me to all the others like Linda Merkel and other AOW staff.
Sarah Brennan is AOW’s Curator and what is amazing she pretty much came out of College right into this job. She definitely knew what was going on as she gave me a tour of the place. She told me of all the wonderful things AOW had planned for kids K thru 12 and others in the area. She showed me all the vehicles that were there and all the different places things would be staged for all to see. The Main Lobby will be something to see when done with all the things Sarah told me about.
Part Old and Part New. AOW is the old A&E Meat Company building with New 41,000 sq ft. addition. Now the Meat company part of the building is interesting to me too since my Step Father came from Germany to America back in 1959 where he learned his trade in the meat cutting and sausage making business. Here in Bismarck back in 1976 he opened his first shop. Gienger’s Sausage and Meats ran until 2006 till he closed it to retire.
Allentown PA like a lot of towns is old and has its share of old run down buildings. Allentown is trying to turn the tables and bring things back to their area by helping AOW. If you walk outside of AOW new and old building you will see you are in the heart of the town that was once so alive. Now run down and tired it has something new to look forward to. I hope and pray all goes well for them for they have a long road ahead of them but they have made the first steps.
Some of the other great folks helping AOW is Mac and host of other with rich history in the area. Mac, First Electric Car, Drag Racing, Dirt Track racing and host of others were part of Allentown’s history.
Hmm…………what else can I say? The road trip went well. I wish I had others with but I mowed this one alone. Don Gienger the leader of the Rough Riders Dakota Mow Posse made sure the roads were good and clear for all to travel to AOW and check them out. Like most of you know I think a lot about a lot of things. This trip and what was asked of me in loaning a mower was no big deal. I am Mower than Honored and Humbled by the asking. If by me loaning a mower and helping in some small way to bring a neighborhood a town back to life then so be it. Count me in. What it cost me in time and money to drive there and drop off a mower was pretty small change and I would do it again if asked. Everyone everywhere has something someone can use and should share when asked to help. Some might make this out to be some great gesture or advertising bit. Not so. Someone ask me and I answered their needs. In my short life here on this planet I have been blessed in countless ways. I am only helping when some has asked me to do so.
AOW is on an Amazing Journey. The Staff and helpers have their work cut out for them. They have laid in a course and have set sail on a Grand Adventure. I wish them all the luck and I plan on stopping back again so I can see things all completed.
If you read this and can help by showing up and checking them out, do so.
If you read this and all you can do is pass this letter along to others then please do so. They need to get the word out to others about America On Wheels and how it is NOT a car show and all the help they will be given their community in the future.
Thank you for reading this letter.
G Team Racing
Thank you so much for the "Mower Meets Museum" letter as well as the attached photos! I am so happy that America On Wheels was able to make such a positive impression on you, and I can only hope that all of our visitors have the same wonderful experience that you did! I cannot wait for you and your entire family to return to the Museum and see our completed exhibits! I know you will love AOW more than you already do! Thank you again for all of your time and effort, it was so generous of you to drive all the way out here to see us, but we've sung your praise to everyone we know since meeting you and you've officially become part of the AOW Family!
Thanks again for everything, and I look forward to talking to you and seeing you soon!
Sarah E. Brennan, Curator
America On Wheels Museum
This is soooooooooooooooo cool. Thank you for taking the time to write this and send pictures. We're going to write something about our meeting and the racing lawn mower in our upcoming newsletter, too. So nice that our paths have crossed.
Here's to a new found friendship, Linda
America On Wheels
5 North Front Street
Allentown, Pa 18102