A 1971 Dodge Challenger IPC convertible (Indy Pace Car edition, one of several made that year), on display of the grounds of the Marymount Event Center, on the day of the Open House for the facility and the LeMay family's collection. (Photo (c) by Terry Parkhurst)
This was the 35th year that the family of the late car collector Harold LeMay allowed a variety of car clubs to participate in the open house at the Marymount Event Center in Spanaway, Washington, held on the last Saturday in August. The Car Club Corral Car was on the west lawn at Marymount and hosted about 250 cars, and some trucks, on its 50,000 square feet. Those included some private individuals; however, about 150 spaces were allocated for car clubs, this year.
While this display of automotive history was held in close proximity to an auction, the various enthusiasts on hand were less focused on what someone might consider their cars worth in any financial sense, and more involved with the value that comes from making an emotional connection.
Jack Geiger with his 1970 Plymouth ‘cuda hardtop coupe was a prime example. He’d driven it down from Port Orchard, Washington. He recalled installing a Shafer street-worthy clutch and seen the roller coaster market for cars such as his; but rather than sell, he’s kept the car and figures on passing it along to his son, Jacob, who he referred to as the “head mechanic.”
Jack Geiger and his son, Jacob, with the family's 1970 Plymouth 'cuda. Powered by a 340 cubic-inch V8, equipped with a four-barrel carburetor and backed up by a four-speed manual transmission, its Shafer street clutch is still good, after having been installed in 1984 and "been through countless burn-outs," according to Jack. (photo (c) by Terry Parkhurst)
Andy Anderson of Eatonville, Washington and his pal, John McGinnis of Puyallup, Washington sat, under shade trees, by their cars: a 1957 Pontiac Chiefton and a 1957 Pontiac Laurentian, espectively. Anderson and his wife, Sandy, had owned their car for 12 years, he said. The Laurentian of McGinnis was a special breed of Pontiac: made in Canada.
“It was originally a six-cylinder car,” he explained. “Pontiacs made in Canada were based on a Chevrolet frame; so the front fenders were shorter than the Chiefton. They were also about 30 percent cheaper (less expensive).”
While you wouldn’t know it to look at it, McGinnis had modified his Pontiac with a more modern 350 cubic-inch V8, a four-speed manual transmission and a Chevrolet rear-end with higher gearing for better freeway driving.
Not far away was the 1960 Nash Metropolitan of Mike and Bobbi Jerrigan. They’d travelled in the American Motors micro-car, pulling a neat-looking, aluminum bodied, custom trailer.
Measuring out to about the same length as the Nash Metro which brought it to the open house at the Marymount Event Center, is a trailer that was believed to be custom-built. (photo (c) by Terry Parkhurst)
In the middle of the lawn, Cascade Kombis had some wild-looking customs setting on air-cooled Volkswagen platforms. The car that perhaps Volkswagen might have made, a Beetle made into a woody wagon, was setting right next to a rat-rod; both were owned by Tom Duttney, who while not a member of the Kombis (whose focus is Volkswagen microbuses and transporter buses), found common ground.
The rat rod looked like a chopped top Model “A” Ford, but was setting on a Volkswagen platform that would’ve looked at home, underneath a dune buggy:
They were the type of oddball machines, that would’ve made Harold LeMay, a man known for his egalitarian and eclectic taste in vehicles, smile. – story and photos © Terry Parkhurst -- to learn more about the Marymount Event Center and the vehicle collection there, look at: www.lemaymarymount.org