Saturday might have been the peak of the area’s heat wave, the cars on display at the Brookdale Hills Senior Living Classic Car Show have seen a lot worse — and lived to revvvv about it.
Come to think of it, so have their owners.
Fred Beeghley pulled his 1970 Chevy Impala into the show, bedecked her seats with diner food, 8-track tapes, and whatever molecules have accumulated in it all the years he’s owned it.
“It was my everyday car for 30 years,” said Beeghley, 86. Now of course it has a gorgeous coffee bean paint job complete with airbrushed skulls on the back.
Brookdale Hills is a large senior living complex off Locust Drive. This was the first year they put together a car show, with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association. The show itself was free, but they offered a raffle and goodies like hot dogs and hamburgers.
The cars at the show were from just about every decade, from a ’62 Ford Falcon to a ’30 Model A, owned by Richard Mond from Vallejo, who said he likes “life in the slow lane.”
Mond, a walking Wikipedia entry about his car, was happy to tell anecdotes about its history. Want to know why they were all painted black? Mond said it was because Henry Ford found that the color “Japan Black” dried the fastest, so production could be as speedy as possible.
The mohair seats of the Model A were original and threadbare in parts, but they still had a magnificent lustre. It was easy to picture Bonnie and Clyde leaning out of the windows and spraying lead from their Tommy guns.
Especially proud of his car was Jack Remington, who owns a blue, ’69 Dodge Super Bee with all original parts and paint, except for new upholstery. He’s the original owner, too, and like Beeghley, probably never knew that one day he’d have a shining, sought-after classic car.
“Mopar or no car?” he was asked.
“Haha, yes!” he answered.
Remington said his car was even the centerfold in a car mag once, where the editors dubbed him “Remington Steel.”
What was most amazing about his car was the rich paint job that has stood up to 48 years of sun and weather. He motioned to the white stripe along the back of his Bee, which showed some cracking.
“If I were repaint this, it would be worth less,” he said.
So the cracks and imperfections stay, like character lines.
And that’s a pretty good metaphor for a car show at a senior living center.