Car crazy

If you show it, they will come

If you show it, they will come

June 14, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

It's not a DeLorean and Ted Barnhart's not Michael J. Fox, but when the Berkeley Springs, W.Va., man gets in his 1971 Dodge Demon he goes back in time.

"It's just kind of like reliving history. You're going back in time, so to speak," said Barnhart, 55. Barnhart has owned the car since he was 21.

When Barnhart takes the Demon or his 1939 Plymouth two-door sedan known as a Deluxe P6 to a car show, others also relive history and share their memories with him.

"It's a pretty good conversation piece," he said of the rare Demon.

Area car show participants say restoring classic cars and taking them to car shows and cruise-ins is often done for sentimental reasons. Like many hobbies, it's a chance to meet people with similar interests.


"They say, 'Well, I used to have one of these or one of that,'" Barnhart says. Dodge quit making Demons after the company got flak for the name, Barnhart says.

Olin Pryor bought a 1929 Ford Model A Phaeton in February 2005 for multiple sentimental reasons, including it was made the year he was born.

"I was a young buck during the second (world) war. My dad had a '29 Model A Ford (Roadster) I learned to drive on," says Pryor, 77, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

On Sunday, Pryor plans to take his Phaeton to the Martinsburg Cruise-In, sponsored by Norwalk Antique Car Club and Main Street Martinsburg. T-shirts will be sold featuring a picture of the antique auto.

Pryor says he finds it interesting to compare the older cars with the new ones at car shows.

Ron Nowell's desire to fix up a 1967 Chevelle Malibu and take it to car shows was borne of a love of old cars.

"I think what sparked my interest was seeing Little Joe Cartwright on the 'Bonanza' show advertising Super Sport Chevelle and driving it across the prairie. It just looked so good to me, I had to have one," says Nowell, 61, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Nowell's Malibu looks like the Super Sport, but has a smaller engine.

For Irv Gish, the '58 Chevy Impala hardtop he fixed up is just like the first new car he ever bought. When he got married, he sold the car so he could afford to buy furniture.

"There's a lot of people who have sentimental connections to cars they had when they were teenagers and growing up," says Gish, 69, of Halfway.

"It's a hobby," Gish says. "Going to shows, you ... talk to other people. You spend the day there talking, meeting other people with old cars. You just get enjoyment out of people looking at your car and talking about it."

Car shows and cruise-ins schedule

Here's some of the many car shows and cruise-ins that are scheduled for the Tri-State area this summer. Generally, admission is free for spectators. For more, go to

· Country Roads Car Club. Every Friday evening through September, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. off U.S. 340, next to Alex Chevrolet, east of Charles Town, W.Va. Cars, trucks and motorcycles. Also, 50/50 drawing, oldies music and food. Food donations accepted for Jefferson County Community Ministries Food Pantry. Go to

· Classic Car Cruise-In. Saturdays, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15. 4 to 8 p.m. Mill Creek Intermediate School, Bunker Hill, W.Va. Sponsored by Inwood-Bunker Hill Lions Club. Food, beverages and music. Call Dan Lohr at 304-229-5003 or Cindi Trenary at 304-229-2939.

· Cruise-in at the Cineplex. Saturday, June 16, and the first and third Saturdays of each month through September. 5 to 9 p.m. Hagerstown 10 Cineplex, 20135 Leitersburg Pike northeast of Hagerstown. Call 301-797-7270.

· Cruise-in at the Meadows. Presented by Hub City Cruisers. Saturday, June 16, and the first and third Saturday of each month through October. 5 to 9 p.m. Long Meadow Shopping Center. Call Scott Newton, 301-992-0290.

· Father's Day Classic Car/Truck Show. Mountain State Cruisers Car & Truck Club, Sunday, June 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Widmeyer Park in Hancock. Proceeds donated to the Panther Playground project at Hancock Elementary School and Ali Ghan Shriners' transportation fund to take children and their families to Shriners Hospitals. Moonbounce, swimming pool, Chinese auction, music and food. Call Jack Myers at 304-676-4660.

· Martinsburg Cruise-In. Sponsored by Norwalk Antique Car Club and Main Street Martinsburg, Sunday, June 17, 1 to 5 p.m. Parade of pre-1980 cars starts at former Martin's parking lot on Raleigh Street and leaves at 1 p.m. for downtown Martinsburg, W.Va. Cars park along Queen Street and side streets. Call Main Street Martinsburg at 304-262-4200.

· Mason Dixon Corvette Club and Antique Car Club. Displays at fifth annual Father's Day Fly-In, Sunday, June 17. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rider Jet Center at Hagerstown Regional Airport (take U.S. 11 to Henson Boulevard). Also static aircraft displays and food. Call 301-791-9119.

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