June 25, 2017

Essex Historical Society and Antique Car Enthusiasts Hold Show and Tour on Glistening Sunday Afternoon

Essex Historical Society hosts antique auto show

Cars… antique cars… beautiful antique cars… 40 beautiful antique cars showed up for the “Fall Foliage Antique Motor Tour and Car Show” held on the on the grounds of the Pratt House in Essex on Sunday, October 16.  Sponsored by the Essex Historical Society and the Belltown Antique Car Club of East Hampton, these glistening and shining automotive beauties of days gone by, were truly a sight to see.

Among the participants, behind the wheel of his 1912 Model T Ford “Speedster,” was Bruce MacMillian, who is a serious antique car buff, as well as a modern day politician. MacMillian is presently running for First Selectman of Essex on the Republican line.

However, MacMillian considers his 1912 Motel T as far too precious for campaigning. For that, he puts his 1925 Ford in service, which is getting quite a bit of mileage these days.

Antique auto owner/candidate likes old cars

Also, attending the antique car show and tour was John Beveridge, who is the President of the show’s co-sponsor, the Belltown Antique Car Club. Beveridge, who lives in Essex and has three garages full of old cars, shared some interesting insights as to why some perfectly normal men, and sometimes women, go absolutely nuts about old cars.

One of the reasons is “nostalgia” for the old days, says Beveridge. Another attraction is the relatively simple mechanics of old cars.  “Mechanics are a big part of the attraction for us” he says.

Auto club President John Beveridge

This means that when you have to fix an old car, more likely than not you can fix it yourself. By contrast, “You can’t even open the hood of a modern car,” the antique car leader says.

“These old cars are fun to fix,” and when the job is done, the owner gets “instant gratification,” he reports. In addition, the aesthetic value of an antique vehicle is a big draw for an owner. Also, “There is a wonderful functionality of the vehicles and its parts,” croons Beveridge.

A bright red welcome to the car show

Not only old guys are interested in old cars, according to him, young people are into them as well. However, the younger crowd favors “muscle cars,” such as Chevy Cameros and Ford Mustanges. The old guys, if they have the money, favor Bentleys and Jaguars, he says.

Big Red, coming at you

As for the antique auto club, people join not only because of their common enjoyment of old cars, but also because of what the club President calls the “social aspect,” a fancy way of saying being among friends. The club even has a slightly cornball slogan, “Car guys are good guys.”

A more modest entry

The antique auto club holds three events a year. The first is the “Spring Dust-Off Motor Tour; next is the Annual East Hampton Antique Car Show,” which is always held on the first Sunday in August, and, finally, there is the “Fall Foliage Antique Motorcar Tour and Car Show, held this year with the Essex Historical Society.

Black is beautiful!

As for the price of these vehicles, a 1932 Packard “Pheton,” owned by Ralph Herman, who owns Antique Auto Service, goes for $180,000. Herman says that that his company takes care of at least 40 antique vehicles. Club President’s Beveridge’s 1936 Ford would go for $85,000, and he has no intention in selling it.

Off for a grand tour around Essex

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