The Route 56 Classic Cruisers Car Show at Hillsboro’s Memorial Park Saturday celebrated another year of American car culture.
In addition to raising $3,000 for the annual Marion County Toy Run, the event offered visitors a chance to stroll down memory lane, according to Dan Kinning, media relations officer.
In the show’s 15th year, 51 cars were registered, which was down slightly from 2012. But the show had a good mix of cars, ranging from the late 1920s to early 2001.
Another highlight of this year’s show, according to Kinning, was the presence of a 1967 Pontiac GTO.
“Even though there are still a lot of them around, we don’t see many GTOs in shows like we used to,” Kinning said. “I know of only two GTOs in Marion County—and one of those is mine.”
The second one, owned by Leroy and Florence Penner, south of Peabody, made its debut Saturday at the Hillsboro show.
“This is our first show here and also in Burns and Newton,” Leroy said. “Next weekend we will be in Wichita.”
The Penners decided to buy a GTO because it was the car they owned when they got married.
“We traced our original one back to Wichita, but found out it was wrecked,” he said.
The couple then searched on eBay and found a similar GTO with 95,000 documented miles. He also found out the car only had two previous owners.
The original owner, he said, was a woman who put 91,000 miles on it.
“The other owner was a man who bought it from her and put 3,000 to 4,000 miles on it in 14 years,” he said.
“Every time I would bring one up (on the Internet) something wasn’t right with a car,” he added. “My wife was getting mad at me, but on one car someone took the four-speed out and put an automatic in, or vice-versa, and I knew how that was going to look.”
After finding no major problems, though, Leroy said he told Mark Juhl, who had the car on consignment, if he dropped the price by $1,000, he would buy it.
Leroy said he thinks Kinning is correct in that Marion County has only two GTOs, with the next closest one in Butler County.
Proofing its authenticity, the Penners display a plaque stating their 1967 GTO is all original.
“A true 242 survivor,” it states.
General Motors noted the car was built in Kansas City, Mo., in December 1966.
“It has also been featured on the national television program, ‘Lokar Car Show,’ as part of Masters Entertainment Coverage Black Top Nationals in 2011,” he said.
Another classic car couple, Bub and Linda Lovelady of Marion, brought their 1931 Chevrolet to the show.
As for its value, Bub said the vehicle couldn’t be bought for $40,000.
“What a lot of people don’t understand, is that it takes years to build one of these right,” Linda said.
Once they bought the ’31 Chevrolet, Bub said it took four years to complete the project.
“We started from the (original) frame, up,” he said. “The only other original part was the car’s body.”
By the time the interior, motor and paint was completed, a lot of time had gone into it.
Unlike several years ago when cars were hidden away in someone’s barn, that’s no longer the way it is, according to Bub.
“Now when you do find one, you can’t afford to buy it,” he said.
Car show results
The following awards were presented during the show.:
• Best of Show, Bill and Karen Loveland, 1938 Chevy Business Coupe.
• Best of Show Motorcycle, Jim and Leanna Hefley, 1953 Harley Davidson FL.
• Dave Unruh Memorial Award, Jeff Kilmer, 1933 Ford Vicky.
• Motorcycle, Mark McVicker, 2001 Harley Davidson Heritage.
• Best Ford, Larry Sorenson, 19631⁄2 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback.
• Best GM, Jim Hardy, 1968 Chevy Corvette.
• Best Other, Mick and Dody Franklin, 1946 Hudson Sedan.
• Best Ford, Larry Zahn, 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury.
• Club Choice, Jarvis Whiteman, 1966 Ford F-250.
• Best Import, Rick Myers, 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
• Ladies Choice, Doug Reinecker, 1972 Chevy Nova.
• Best GM Truck, Wayne Bagby, 1936 Chevy pickup.
• Best Ford Truck, Gary Nooney, 1936 Ford pickup.
• Best Antique, Jake Wiebe, 1930 Model A.
Top 10 Awards were presented to Leroy and Florence Penner, 1967 Pontiac GTO; Calvin Dirksen, 1971 Plymouth Cuda; Bub and Linda Lovelady, 1931 Chevy Coupe; Jane Neis, 1939 Pontiac ST 8 DLX; Bruce and Diedre Serene, 1966 Hertz Shelby GT 350 H; Loran Luthi, 1966 Chevy Chevelle; Gary D. Helmer, 1950 Ford F-1; Gary Cooper, 1929 Ford two-door sedan and Glen Schlesener, 1964 Chevy.