Classic cars cruise Main Street

June 09, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

A yellow 1934 Chevy, a red and white '55 Chevy, a pink '57 Chevy, a '65 Chevelle, a dull gold GTO, another '57 Chevy and another '55 Chevy, this one with a shortened body. Frank Richardson rattled off the cars and their years as they cruised down South Second Street on Saturday afternoon as part of the second annual Cruisin' Main event.

The event raises money for the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts and the Christmas Light Fund of the Downtown Business Council, said Beth Luka, retired executive director of the arts council.

Last year's event drew 138 participants, Luka said. With 198 cars registered this year, she expects to raise at least $2,000.


The older sports cars and classics came in waves along with modern cars as the traffic signal up the street changed every couple of minutes.

Richardson, 58, of Scotland, Pa., preferred the '57 Chevys.

"They're in my era," Richardson said. He and his wife, Judy, watched the cruising from the porch at The Shook Home as they visited his mother-in-law, Edna Frank, 97.

Frank said there were too many cars to pick a favorite.

Shook Home resident Andrew Keckler also enjoyed the show from the porch, greeting drivers with a wave.

Even though Keckler, 78, of Waynesboro, Pa., has never driven a car, that didn't stop him from critiquing the cruising cars.

"They were OK. Better than the new ones, anyway," he said.

A few newer models were mixed in among the classics once the drivers parked their cars in Town Square and along Main Street.

There was a yellow 2002 Dodge Viper and a purple 1998 Plymouth Breeze with black stripes.

There were at least 25 Corvettes, new and old.

A black 1939 Packard drew considerable attention.

Owner Richard Ray, 56, of Chambersburg, drew some chuckles from the crowd on the Shook Home porch when he stopped out front and held up his cell phone, a candlestick phone with pulse dialing.

Ray got the Packard about 41/2 years ago. It had been sitting in a dealer's warehouse for 40 years with approximately 15,000 miles on it, he said.

This Packard, a Junior Packard, would have cost $880 in 1939, compared with the Senior Packard that would have cost more than $4,000, Ray said.

The Junior Packard saved the company during the Depression when many car companies folded, he said.

Stephen Caldwell's preferred wheels are his dark British racing green 1966 Austin Healey Mark III.

"This is the exact car I wanted. I graduated high school in '66," said Caldwell, 53, of Chambersburg.

Caldwell bought the sporty convertible six weeks earlier from Steve Cook, of Fayetteville, Pa. He said he's at least the fourth Steve to own the car.

Even the U.S. Army showed up, represented by a sporty black Humvee with yellow trim.

The armored unit with bulletproof glass had stylish seats to match its color design and a blasting stereo in the trunk with at least six speakers.

"If they needed it for war tomorrow, they'd yank the stereo, paint it and put (Army) tires on it," said Sgt. Tom Williams with the Chambersburg recruiting office.

The Hummer was on loan from the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion.

"I'd have to say it's been fairly successful," Williams said. The Hummer draws people in so recruiting officials can tell them about the Army.

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