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Old cars are stars at Carriage House museum

April 24, 2001

Old cars are stars at Carriage House museum



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Leon SpessardPhoto: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

For more than 25 years, a 1910 Regal touring car that served as Hagerstown's first taxi collected dust in the Washington County Historical Society carriage house.

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The vintage automobile, along with others, will be on display for Saturday's grand opening of the Washington County Historical Society Carriage House Car Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at noon behind the Miller House, said car enthusiast John Lloyd, who spearheaded the project.

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The car museum will have rotating exhibits of locally owned vintage cars.

"I hope that school kids will want to come and learn about Hagerstown's history" in the automotive industry, said Lloyd, who is a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America, Mason-Dixon region.

The classic touring car was donated to the historical society in the 1970s by the Charles Spessard family.

Spessard purchased the car in Detroit in 1910 for $1,250, according to Lloyd.

"He used to charge 5 cents for trips from the Hagerstown Railroad Station (formerly on Summit Avenue) to the fairgrounds," he said.

Over the past year, members of the historical society and the Mason-Dixon region of the Antique Automobile Club of America cleaned out the carriage house and gave it a new coat of paint, Lloyd said. They were aided by members of the Blue and Gray Model T Ford Club and Hub City Model A Ford Club.

Using supplies donated by area businesses, the club members prepared the carriage house for the exhibition by installing lighting, display cabinets and a brass railing with a Plexiglas shield.

"It's turned out to be a great partnership, something we can really be proud of," Historical Society Executive Director Mindy Marsden said.

Vintage bicycles made by the former Pope Manufacturing Co. of Hagerstown, were found in the garage along with the touring car. The bikes will be included in the display.

In addition to the touring car, two of three locally made vehicles, a 1925 Dagmar and 1903 Pope-Tribune, will be on display.

A third locally made automobile, the Crawford, is rare and organizers were unable to get one for the display, said Lloyd.

In the parking lot across from the carriage house other vehicles will be on display. They include:

-- A 1899 Locomobile.

-- A 1906 Ford Model N Chrysler Airflow.

-- A Kaiser-Darrin fiberglass sports car.

-- A 1946 Indian motorcycle.

-- A 1959 Edsel convertible.

-- A 1924 Velie.

-- A 1918 Chevrolet.

-- A 1960 Corvair.

-- A 1954 Hudson.

-- A 1963 Studebaker.

-- A 1967 Lincoln convertible.

-- A 1957 Thunderbird.

-- A 1929 Peerless.

-- A 1934 Dodge truck.

-- Several Model A Fords.

Owners of many of the vehicles will be on hand during the exhibit, Lloyd said.

Car enthusiasts should take the opportunity to stop by because "some of these automobiles are rarely shown," he said.

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