Car show season kicks into gear in Tri-State

April 03, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

It came down to the wires, literally.

After figuring out the problem installing the new distributor for his 1947 ACF Brill bus -- it was crossed wires -- Gene Kelly expects to bring the bus to this Saturday's cruise-in at Long Meadow Shopping Center.

Kelly's bus, which is like the city bus he rode to Hagerstown High School in the mid-1950s, became a popular attraction at the Hub City Cruisers Cruise-In at the Meadow during last year's car show season.

However, the bus had been out of commission due to a bad distributor. Kelly and friends worked for days to get it working. They solved the problem Tuesday night.


Kelly expects to have the bus at the Hub City Cruisers' shows this season, which kicks into gear this weekend. Hub City holds car shows the first and third Saturday of the month from April through October.

"(If) anybody enjoys that bus, than I'm tickled," Kelly said.

And they do, he said. People enjoy climbing aboard for a look. Some reminisce, recalling memories of riding identical buses in their younger days.

The Cruise-In at the Meadow averages 200 to 250 vehicles, mostly cars and trucks, but also motorcycles, jeeps and specialty vehicles, club president Dave Wallech said.

Wallech is hoping for good weather this weekend.

"It's been a long winter and people have cabin fever and want to get out," he said.

Kelly, 69, of Hagerstown, is grateful he'll be able to get his bus out and on the road.

Since buying it in 1994, he has invested approximately $11,500 in the bus. That includes refurbishing it and maintenance to keep it running.

It's not easy to find parts for a 1947 bus. Kelly tracked down a distributor from a company in Grand Rapids, Mich., that cost $85 for the cap and $35 for the rotor.

"When you're looking for it, you'll pay whatever to get it," he said.

Old Detroit iron and new gold rings

Car shows will soon be rampant in the Tri-State area.

In addition to the Hub City Cruisers shows that starts this Saturday, several other regularly scheduled cruise-ins are kicking off as the weather warms.

Jack Myers, president of Mountain State Cruisers, is starting his club's car season with a wedding -- his own -- at Mountain State's first 2008 show on May 2.

Myers and his fiancée, Debra Barrett, both lost their spouses to illnesses in 2005. They met online and he got her interested in his love of cars.

They'll probably drive off in his 1965 Ford Fairlane after the car show, said Myers, 70, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

To find car shows in the region, go online to

Here are some upcoming cruise-ins:

· Classic Car Group for Children Cruise-In -- 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 12; Valley Mall in parking lot by JCPenney. Held second and fourth Saturday of the month through September (except for June 14. Date to be announced). $2 per vehicle. Proceeds benefit Dream Come True, a charity that helps terminally ill children. Averages 300 to 400 vehicles. For more information, call Larry Sulser at 301-992-4596.

· Friday Night Out by Mountain State Cruisers -- 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2; Berkeley Springs, W.Va., on the square (intersection of Washington and Fairfax streets). Held first Friday of the month from May through October. Free admission. Proceeds from food sales and 50/50 raffle benefit local charities. Features cars, trucks and motorcycles from any year from the Four-State area. For more information, call Jack Myers at 304-676-4660 or e-mail

· Cumberland Valley Classics Car Club's Cruisin -- 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 25; Alfredo's Pizza at the Giant Shopping Center, 397 Baltimore Road in Shippensburg, Pa. Held the fourth Sunday of the month from May through August. Free admission. Open to all vehicles. Includes 50/50 raffle, music and door prizes. For more information, call Bob Shoemaker at 717-532-8774 or 717-440-3192.

If you go ...

WHAT: Hub City Cruisers Cruise-In at the Meadow

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 5, and the first and third Saturdays of the month through October

WHERE: Long Meadow Shopping Center parking lot, corner of Potomac Avenue and Northern Avenue in Hagerstown

COST: $2 donation per car; free for spectators though donations are accepted.

MORE: Proceeds, including from the 50/50 raffle, benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Maryland chapter. For more information, call Dave Wallech at 301-766-7546 or e-mail

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