Perfect sunny weather put an extra gleam on the Father’s Day Car Show and the polished cars and trucks that spectators by the thousands came to admire.
“We’re glad to have sunny weather this year. We didn’t have it last year,” said Rosemary Ross, who along with her grandchildren was helping to register the vehicles competing for prizes in the 32nd edition of the popular show sponsored by Antique Auto Club of America, Shenango Valley Region.
All the best known Detroit mainstays were represented: Ford, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Pontiac, Dodge, Lincoln and others. So were beautifully restored models like DeSoto, Kaiser, Frazer, Packard and Studebaker that passed from production decades ago.
There were a few Volvos, Toyotas and Volkswagens and even an antique fire truck, all arrayed along East State Street in Hermitage.
The Stephenson men – boys and dad, actually – stopped short when they saw a Ford Fairlane Skyliner with a retractable hardtop they hadn’t ever seen on a convertible.
“I like the colors,” 13-year-old J.R. Stephenson said. “I like the blue on it. It would be really nice to drive.”
The Sharon boy’s brothers, Sam, 9, and Alex, 4, liked it, too, and so did their father, John Stephenson.
Owner Ken Stafford said the gulfstream blue over colonial white paint was the same two-tone combination the car had when it was new in 1958.
“It’s got a few nicks and bumps in it but it goes down the road,” the Kinsman man said. “I drive it just about every day.”
Many in the crowd paid special attention to models they had – or wished they could have had – when they were younger.
Bob Mason drove over from Lake Milton, Ohio, to take in the show and see if he could find a 1954 Lincoln like the one he once owned.
He was admiring the lines on a 1954 Mercury custom coupe, another popular Ford product of those days.
“I liked the body styles Mercuries had in the fifties,” Mason said. “The dual exhaust always had a pretty sound.”
By 2 p.m., the throng of spectators filled the stretch of East State Street which had been closed from Hermitage Road to Kerrwood Drive for the show.
Volunteers offered free bottles of water to anyone who wanted one to stay hydrated as they enjoyed looking over the carefully restored Thunderbirds, Corvettes and assorted sedans, convertibles, coupes and pickups in the show.
Some teenagers were paying more attention to the screens of their cellphones than the cars as they walked along with their families.
Lisa Meanor didn’t have a phone in her hands but she was candid enough to admit that old cars didn’t hold any interest for her.
“I like walking and I’m just happy to be here with my family,” the 19-year-old Sharon woman said.
Her mother felt about the same way.
“I’m not a car fan either,” Brooke Meanor said. “We’re here for the men. I don’t know how many times we’ve been here over the years but it’s a lot and we’re happy to come. The men enjoy it.”
Car Show by the numbers
554 cars and trucks
27 classes for judging
500 dash plaques