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Cars and the People They Own

First let me say that with the Borders still closed because of COVID, many of our U.S. friends are just not able to attend even if the events were available.  But few, if any events of great importance are taking place in Ontario. 

This includes the WAMBO in Wallaceburg, the Old Auto’s Show in Bothwell, the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, and the Christmas in Muskoka. And while people still visit the grounds of North Buxton, the museum is still not open and any Emancipation Day Celebrations continue to be ‚Äúup in the air‚ÄĚ at both North Buxton and Uncle Tom‚Äôs Cabin at Dresden.

Never-the-less, this is Car Appreciation Month and even though the driving is limited, the car still remains to be celebrated.

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I once had a Radio Program called, “Cars and the People They Own”. In it, I described various cars and interviewed their owners.¬†

I recall one Windsor man who had a restored Marmon.  Some of the pieces were beyond restoration, so he actually turned his basement into a machine shop to make new parts.

I also spoke with a Restaurant Owner in Brantford, Ontario who not only owned a Tucker but also a De Lorian.

My highlight of course were my visits with Ray Jones. He crafted many of the cars that delight the visitors to Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, MI. On one of these occasions, he opened his many garages to show me some amazing things; a few Bugatti Bodies, an Italian car whose name may have faded from most minds now.

In Canada, one of the most quantitative collections is stored on a London, Ontario farm owned by Steven Plunkett.¬† This includes a collection of Cadillacs and LaSalle’s.¬†Until recently he held a cruise weekend every summer with the proceeds going to the cancer causes in London.

Of all the cars I ever saw, there was one that caught my eye the most.¬†Maybe I am biased, but the 1935 Ford Business Coupe, the year I was born, was very simple but completely original including a “banjo” ring around the steering wheel.¬†¬† I have only ever seen one of these, and it was from the Ottawa area.¬†¬†

I have another car favourite, also a 1935 model, The Chrysler¬†Airflow.¬†In fact, I have a model of it on my desk.¬†This car-a C-10-¬†was one of the most attractive cars on the continent according to one newspaper account, it goes on to say, “It was so futuristic-looking for its times that sales didn’t quite meet the expectations of the corporation.”

About the only cruise taking place that I know of is on the St. Clair Parkway between Sarnia and Port Lambton.  It is a dis-jointed cruise in that there are no huge convoys of classic and antique cars, just two or three at a time.  But if you hang in long enough you could see as many as thirty or more on a weekend.  Yes, the car is still there, still to be appreciated, but at least for this year, at a social distance.

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