By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — Some old and unusual vehicles turned out for the Gilford Community Church's Family Car Cruise Night last Thursday, including a rare truck which was made in Concord and an unrestored 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe which was the People's Choice Winner in last year's Lakes Region Rotary Club Car Show at Weirs Beach.
Some 60 vehicles, including hot rods, dragsters, sports cars, muscle cars and pickup trucks from different eras filled the parking lot at the church for the annual cruise night, which continues to be major attraction for Lakes Region automobile enthusiasts.
A 1923 two-ton, four-cylinder Concord truck built by Abbot-Downing, the firm which made the famed Concord Coach, was one of the more historic attractions. Owned by Ted Valpey of Dover, who recently restored it, and is one of only a handful still left.
Andy Buckman, who was driving the truck for Valpey, said that Abbot-Downing built about 625 Concord trucks between 1916 and 1925 and only about 13 are still known to exist. The truck had originally been bought by Stratton and Company, which ran a mill in Penacook which produced flour up until around 1920.
Valpey said that the truck found its way to the Rowe Farm in Dover, where he first saw it and had been trying to buy it for over 30 years.
"They used it to haul around a Cletrac tractor, but I'm not sure how good it was for that," said Valpey, who brought the Concord truck five years ago and has since restored it.
He said that Thursday marked its first appearance at a car show and that he plans to make the round of car shows in the Northeast the rest of the year with the vehicle.
Another auto at the show with a lot of history was a 1917 Chalmers Record Speedster, owned by Bob Valpey of Center Harbor, which set an endurance speed record that year by averaging 81.4 mph in a 24-hour race on a wooden track at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York.
Larry Young of Belmont, owner of Young's Old Tyme Service Station in Rumney, says that he bought the business from Aaron Short, who had run the garage for 64 years and was the personal driver for General Douglas MacArthur during World War II.
Young brought along an unrestored 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe, which sports a well-rusted coat of paint and has a license plate which indicates that the car may have been used to transport moonshine liquor.
He says that he bought the car out of a garage in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 2006 and let it sit for several years before his son worked on it and it got it running five years ago.
"It's an unrestored original with the same paint job that it had when it was new. I'm not going to change a thing about it because I like the way it looks just fine,'' said Young.
Young is proud of the fact that the coupe was the People's Choice award winner at last summer's Lakes Region Rotary Club Car Show at Weirs Beach.
A 1923 two-ton Concord truck built by Abbot-Downing, the firm which made the famed Concord coach, was a big hit at the Gilford Community Church's Family Car Cruise Night last Thursday. It is owned by Ted Valpey of Dover, who recently restored it, and is one of only a handful still left. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
A 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe owned by Larry Young of Belmont is an unrestored original which sat in a barn in Charlotte, North Carolina for many years before Young was able to buy it several years ago. It was the People's Choice award winner at last summer's Lakes Region Rotary Club Car Show at Weirs Beach. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
05-26 car show 4
Bob Gage and Bill Pond by Pond's 1956 Thunderbird during Cruise Night at the Gilford Community Center on Thursday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 1205