On August 13 the streets of downtown New Bern will be filled with more than 260 heritage and classic cars, some dating to the early 1900s.
It will be the Antique Automobile Club of America’s (AACA) 2016 Southeastern Fall Meet, the sixth time the nationwide club has brought one of its major shows to town. The last show was the 2010 Grand Nationals, which featured 511 vintage and antique vehicles.
The free exhibit is Aug. 13, with vehicles displayed on sections of Broad, Middle, Pollock, and Craven streets. The exhibit areas will be closed to vehicular traffic. The show will begin in style, with vehicles entering the show field at 7 a.m. and it ends with the completion of judging at 3 p.m.
The event is hosted by New Bern’s First Capital chapter of the AACA. “The AACA’s selection of New Bern to host this national meet was a major coup for the club and the city,” said Don Temple, president of First Capital.
“This is a win, win, win situation for all concerned. Meet goers will revel in the prowess, styling and grace of unforgettable automotive engineering, the AACA will advance its mission of preserving automotive history, and the local economy will be spurred as visitors frequent our hotels, restaurants, shops and various attractions.”
Marshall Van Winkle of Bridgeton, who will show one of his classic T-models, is co-chairman, along with Charles Wells of Fairfield Harbour, who will exhibit his maroon 1940 Plymouth four-door sedan.
Van Winkle said the rare and sometimes priceless vehicles will come from Connecticut to Florida.
He said that the automotive marvels exemplify the evolution of passenger vehicles over the last century.
“This meet is a celebration of automotive history that not only features cars, but also trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, mopeds, fire engines and other motorized vehicles that are at least 25 years old and were produced to be driven on the road and to carry passengers,” Van Winkle said.
Entries will span the ages from a 1904 Pope-Toledo Type V and a “Barn Fresh” 1924 Model T to a 1973 Mohs Safarikar and a 1991 Cadillac Eldorado.
Muscle cars, race cars, classic Ford Thunderbirds, Chevrolet Corvettes, and Pontiac GTOs will be featured, along with Auburn and Model A Speedsters, Studebaker Golden Hawks, Hudsons, DeSotos and various other American and foreign marques.
Van Winkle said one crowd-pleasing vehicle will be a 1910 Stanley Steamer, propelled by steam produced in a front boiler and fired by propane.
Wells, a retired New York City policeman who moved to the area in 1993, was born in the 1940s and wanted a car from that era. Twelve years ago he found a 1940 Plymouth four-door sedan in Lima, Ohio. He made the two-day trip to pick it up and have it towed back to Fairfield Harbour as his show car.
Although most cars of that era were black, he said color was available and he picked a maroon red from the palette as part of the refurbishing it. It has a Flat Head Six engine and a distinctive butterfly hood which opens on both sides, along with back seat doors which open toward the rear of the vehicle.
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