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Antique Autos Abound

Local car club celebrates its golden anniversary

May 18, 2008
By RICHARD NILSEN, The Leader-Herald
The Fulton County Antique Car Club is an antique in itself.

With 25 years of age being the qualifying number for a car to be judged antique, the club could qualify twice over.

Club treasurer Jason Gallup said at Tuesday’s monthly meeting in Johnstown that members don’t need to own antique cars to join.

“I can’t afford one myself,” Gallup said with a laugh. “I’ve been interested in antique cars for the past 13 years — since I was 10 years old.”

Doug Maidment, 85, is the one surviving founding member of the club. He said he was cutting a lawn in Gloversville Rudy Taglialatela, who also had a Model A Ford saw he had a Model A and suggested starting a club.

“I’ve had a Model A ever since I was 16-years-old,” Maidment said. “I grew up with them.”

Maidment said he has had a Model A ever since and expects to hand his 1930 Model A on to his son.

Maidment is serious about his Model As. He is a member of two national Model A clubs as well as the local club, the Model A Ford Foundation and the Model A Mohigan Club. He said he’s been a member of all the clubs for 50 years. When the Fulton County club started as the Model A Restorer’s Club in 1958, only Model A Ford’s and their owners participated.

“You can’t have just Ford’s now of course,” Maidment said. “You have to include ‘foreign cars’ like Chevrolets,” he said with a laugh.

Maidment said with adding more makes of cars to the club, membership grew.

“Right now, we have 63 members, and I believe there are six or seven that don’t have cars,” Gallup said.

Heading up the 50th celebration committee, Andrea Hauser said these days “muscle cars” are probably more expensive to own than antique cars.

“Street rods that would be antiques but have been modified go for more money,” Hauser said. “Cars like 1957 Chevrolets are really high in price.”

She said looking at advertisements in Want Ad Digest or on eBay would give an idea of the pricing.

Maidment said he preferred leaving cars original.

“I’m not happy when they chop up a decent car,” he said. “I’m for keeping the original. My 1930 Model A Ford still has the original upholstery in it.”

The history of the club shows the first meeting was Sept. 16, 1958 and dues were 25 cents per month and by February 1959 the official name was the Model A Restorer’s Club. The name was changed to the Fulton County Antique Car Club in 1960 to accept all antique cars. Dues went up to $5 per year in 1972. The dues are now $15 per year.

Hauser owns two antique cars, but her 1929 Ford Model A is her and her husband Bruce’s pride and joy.

“We bought it from the widow of Lyman “Jake” Saltsman, who was a founding member of the club,” Hauser said.

“We had a 1980 Chrysler LeBaron,” she said. “Bruce had been friends with [Saltsman] for many years and when he passed in 1997 his widow said we could buy it.”

Hauser said they urged her to wait and see if another family member wanted the car.

“The car sat in her garage and when no one showed an interest up until 2005 and she offered us the chance again, we jumped at it.”

At the meeting Tuesday was Herb Griffin, who restores antique cars, specializing in Fords. He had driven his 1964 Ford Fairlane to the meeting at the Johnstown Moose Club.

“I bought it Oct. 24, 1964 after it had been out a week,” he said. “I paid $2,367 for it.”

When Griffin went into the military, he sold the car and looked for it again when he came back from the service.

“I found it in a used-car lot with the left side wiped out in an accident,” Griffin said. “I never put a scratch on it.”

Griffin said it wasn’t really properly restored.

“I repaired it, but it isn’t really restored,” he said.

The club takes on various community activities, such as keeping a 2-mile section of Route 29 free of trash and debris. They were out May 14 doing cleanup.

“The 14th was a good day with just a little breeze to keep us cool,” Gallup said in his newsletter. “Our 2 miles of Route 29 is just about spotless or as close as we could get it.”

President Dave Cechnicki said with some of the older members having passed away, they are happy to welcome new members.

The club meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Johnstown Moose club and those interested can call Cechnicki at 673-2569 or e-mail Gallup at gallupnroxy@yahoo.com for more information.

Events for the club are spread throughout the year, with showings at the Fonda Fair, various cruises and even “mystery rides” led by Chuck Newkirk.

Cechnicki said there’s no telling where the group will wind up on Newkirk’s mystery rides.

May 26 will find the club at the Fonda Fultonville Memorial Day Parade and May 30 will find them at the Johnstown Memorial Day Parade.

Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be the club’s official Fulton County Antique Car Club 50th Anniversary celebration at the Johnstown Moose Club.



Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at ga@leaderherald.com.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Richard Nilsen
Dean Edwards and Herb Boger chat in front of fellow Fulton County Antique Car Club member Chuck Newkirk’s 1955 Mercury at their monthly meeting in Johnstown Tuesday.

 
 

 

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