Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 11, 2013

Cruise In gives sample taste of April show

Car owners gearing up

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Despite cloudy skies and threats of impending rain, the intrepid car owners of the Shakers and Scrapers car club turned out for a Cruise-In Saturday afternoon at the H&R Block on West Seventh Avenue to hang out.

Patrons wandered out of local businesses, past the various cars, asking the occasional question or snapping pictures of the prettiest ones.

If they spent more time, they could have gotten an earful. The proud owners of these cars want to talk about their metallic babies, to explain why theirs is special, unique amongst the hundreds that rolled off the same assembly line.

Sean Bower doesn’t have dozens of hobby cars in his garage. He doesn’t buy different makes or models. His dad had five Plymouth Sports, and Bower’s had two. That’s THE car. His current one, Tweety, was his father’s fifth one. Bower restored it himself, and he’s also the one that painted it red. It was once canary yellow.

“It’s Tweety because it was an ugly yellow when I got it, and it had an attitude,” he said. When the hood is down, hiding the gleaming engine, the grill of the Fury III looks angry.

“I like this body style because of the eyebrows, it looks like it’s mad,” Bower said.

It takes time, expense and plain hard work to get the cars where they are, and keep them there. Making it worthwhile are the car shows, the Cruise In events like Saturday’s, and the time spent with other car buffs like themselves. The group’s major car show will be April 27 in downtown Corsicana, held in conjunction with Derrick Days.

Not all the cars in the car show will be antiques. Even the Cruise In had its share of modern and semi-modern cars, vehicles that didn’t qualify as antiques but which were nonetheless special.

John Bishop’s 1957 Chevy 3100 pickup truck was definitely one of the antiques, while his wife’s 2004 GTO was the newest of the club’s entries. Bishop has been fixing up the pickup for 5 years, using his past experiences as a machinist and car rebuilder. Last year, he blew out the engine on the pickup, and  he’s just now getting it fixed back up to his exacting standards.

“I do all my own work,” he said. “It’s how I keep myself sane.”

The members of the Shakers and Scrapers don’t haul their cars to shows in special trailers — they drive them, often in a caravan of shiny metal in candy colors.

“Why have a car like this you don’t drive them,” Bower said. “The funnest part is going.”

Donald Moreau takes his little 1930 Ford Tudor to car shows all around the country. It’s a car mechanic’s patchwork quilt of parts from cars from nearly every decade. The frame was a Tudor, but when he bought it the little car had been stripped. Since he bought it, he’s been adding the bits back, unconcerned about original provenance, but just having fun with it all.

“Everything on this car has a story,” he said. Parts scavenged from other projects, from swap meets and car shows, it has a 1930 body, a 1928 radiator shell, a 1965 radiator, a 2012 carburetor, and a top cut out of an old Suburban, and the list goes on.

He always has a few projects going on, and the Tudor is just one of them.

“I used to fish. I don’t have time to fish anymore,” Moreau said, smiling.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com