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Chrome and steel

Owners show off vintage vehicles

Owners show off vintage vehicles

June 24, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - If Bud Myers ever gave up his 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, Leonard Summers wanted it.

Actually, the car belonged to Myers' wife. Several years after she died, Summers said, Myers offered to sell it to him and he accepted.

On Saturday, 20 years later, he was asked: Why a Studebaker?

Summers said he flew on a B-17 bomber with the 8th Air Force during World War II. Studebaker built the engine.

"They got me over and back 35 times, so I figured, 'Why not?'" he said.

Summers and dozens of other owners of old vehicles relaxed and chatted on Saturday during a car show at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center south of Hagerstown. About 75 cars were on display.

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The Mason-Dixon Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) holds a show on the third Saturday each June, said Brenda Knepper of Mercersburg, Pa., the local club's president.

The club has 176 members, down from about 300.

"As the club gets older, so do the members," Knepper said.

Knepper said younger car enthusiasts often go for souped-up over original, which is not the AACA's way.

"The aim of the AACA is the perpetuation of the pioneer days of automobiling by furthering the interest in and preserving of antique automobiles ..." the club's Web site says.

Craig Moore of Hagerstown, the chairman of Saturday's show, said old cars conjure up family memories.

Although his father's 1968 Oldsmobile 442 had a hardtop, Moore looked for a convertible. He found one in Jackson, Miss.

It needed work, to say the least - a fire gutted the engine in 1981.

"The dash was laying on the floor," Moore said.

He picked the car up in 1991 and brought it back. For the next eight months, he restored it.

Moore, who works on heating and air conditioning for the Washington County Board of Education, said he got serious about having his car judged four years ago.

His car collection also includes four Model T's and one Model A.

Charles Embly of Clear Spring invested his mind and money in a different kind of Ford - a 1957 Fairlane, "probably one of the prettiest Ford ever made," he said.

"I wanted to get something I could fix up," said Embly, a real estate investor. He left the choice of hardtop or convertible up to his wife; she picked convertible.

Embly said he found one in Oregon on the Internet and grilled the owner about it several times.

"I'd ask the same questions to see if I got the same answers," he said.

Embly didn't see the car in person until it reached his home.

Embly said he fixed the dashboard, rebuilt the engine, worked on the body, painted it and put on new chrome.

Now, he's enjoying the ride.

"On a nice steamy evening, we'll drive it on the back roads and smell the fresh country air," Embly said.

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