Dads, kids and cars go together

June 18, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HANCOCK - A father's looks and love affair with cars are easily passed on.

Just ask Josh Barnhart. The Clear Spring 21-year-old got them both.

"I was born into it," said Barnhart, who wore a T-shirt celebrating hot rods during a Father's Day car show Sunday in Widmeyer Memorial Park in Hancock.

Barnhart was vague when he explained what he had learned from his dad, Tim Barnhart.

"He taught me how to do all the bad stuff, stuff that will get you in trouble," Barnhart said.

Josh and Tim Barnhart were showing a burnt-orange Chevrolet hot rod they refurbished together, and Josh Barnhart also had a Ford Model A.

"He's a bad influence on me," Josh Barnhart quipped.

Though Barnhart's Model A still was painted the only color Henry Ford ever approved - black - the engine block was exposed to reveal equipment far newer than its 70-plus years. A muscular Chevrolet Camaro was parked next to it.


In all, the owners of more than 50 gleaming cars and trucks strutted their vehicles' stuff during a sweltering show.

Andy Calandrelle, 20, of Hagerstown, sat in the shade near a sparkling red Ford Mustang, its doors open to show off red-and-white vinyl seats.

Calandrelle said he's spent about $6,000 or $7,000 on upgrades since buying the 1998 muscle car in December. For him, the drive to spend so much is easy to explain:

"The love of a car, (car) shows ... This is what I live for," Calandrelle said.

Bill Guyer, 24, of McConnellsburg, Pa., said he never really intended to let the purchase of a 2003 Pontiac control his life. He already had a muscle car he wanted to restore.

"Actually, I got it to drive - I'm restoring a '79 Mustang at home - and that lasted about six months. Finally, I got the itch," said Guyer, who brought the Pontiac to the show.

Guyer said the Mustang still is in a storage shed, idling as he looks for parts.

"I can't leave anything alone," Guyer confessed.

Like Josh Barnhart, who said his father passed down a love of cars, Wayne Johnson said he learned about restoration from an older relative - his grandfather.

Johnson, 23, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., stood in front of his 1971 pickup as his grandfather, Richard Ridgeway, 67, of Great Cacapon, W.Va., talked about his 1955 Ford Crown Victoria.

"He got me into old cars," Johnson said.

A retired tractor-trailer driver, Ridgeway said he often took his grandson on trips.

From Ridgeway, Johnson learned about fixing cars and getting behind the wheel.

"I used to let him drive even before he got a license," Ridgeway said.

Calandrelle and Guyer, who sat near each other under a tree, said cars have quite a hold on them.

"You collect Hot Wheels as a kid, and you're like, 'Man, I wish I had this for real,'" Calandrelle said.

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