Source: Jenny King / Special to The Detroit News
Al Scholten of Holland, Mich. Plucked the remains of this rare 1942 Chrysler Town & Country wagon from behind a filling station and spent about five years having it restored.
Motor Muster draws expected and surprise vehicles
By Jenny King / Special to The Detroit News
June 22, 2009
DEARBORN, Mich. -- The annual Motor Muster at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village is like a big family reunion, mixing familiar faces with some very rare "relatives."
Show visitors were a spectrum of ages, and, except for the very young, they likely remembered or owned many of the hundreds of invited vehicles that lined the village streets and greens.
In a central location, volunteers were proudly showing a GMC Futurliner, one of 12 created to bring new ideas in technology to people from coast to coast.
"They were built by GMC and Fisher Body; this one was number 10," explained spokesman Del Carpenter. "The idea came from technology displays at the Century of Progress 1933-34 World Fair in Chicago.
"The buses toured in the Parade of Progress until the attack on Pearl Harbor," he said. They were then put in storage and re-discovered in the early 1950s, he said. Today only eight Futurliners are known to exist, and five are in total disrepair.
The one here was the work of some 30 volunteers over a seven-year period, under the direction of Don Mayton of Beaverdam, Mich.
The state of disrepair of Al Scholton's 1942 Chrysler narrow-back Town & Country wagon, by most guesses, would also have been described as "total." But the Holland, Mich. resident knew when he spotted it behind a filling station that the wood-sided wagon was very rare: 849 were originally made, he said.
"This depot wagon was introduced in 1941 as a plainer vehicle," Scholton said. "The next year Chrysler added things like chrome trim and luggage rack to make it more attractive."
With its Bakelite interior trim, fluid drive transmission, barn door-style rear doors and search light, Scholton's wagon is one of only a handful still registered. He started its renovation in 1993; it was complete six years later.
The one-step-up-from base model 1952 Ford Mainline shown by longtime owner William Bachmann of Erie, Pa. may not have carpeting or even interior handles for closing its doors, but it does have overdrive available at 27 miles per hour.
"There's a switch under the accelerator -- this was the first year for suspended pedals -- that turns on overdrive," Bachmann said.
Bachmann has owned his no-frills -- one inside sunvisor, 16-inch wheels left over from 1951 Fords -- Mainline for 40 years. He paid $150 for it, he said.
Davison, Mich. resident Henry McQueen bought his 1941 Ford Super Deluxe four-door sedan 12 years ago from a man who was restoring it. McQueen said the three-piece front fenders on the car are unusual. They marked the end of Ford's inability to stamp a single steel piece in that size and shape.
A supercharger makes this 1948 MG TC roadster rare. Restored in 1986, the multi-award winner now belongs to Bob Leinen of Dearborn, Mich.
The sober, black sedan does have what McQueen called a "playboy-style sunvisor. Its flathead V-8 has 61,000 miles on it. At the McQueen home, the car goes by "Nadine."
The supercharging on Bob Leinen's 1948 MG TC roadster sets it apart from other '48 models.
"The car has won a total of 55 awards," said Leinen of Dearborn, Mich. "I've owned it five years; it was completely restored in 1986."
Leinen loves the early, traditional styling of the roadster, with its right-hand steering and elegant two racing screens. He also likes the fact that he can get parts for it.
Volkswagen enthusiasts Gregory and Ryan Sanchez of Melvindale, Mich. were busy polishing their Sumatra green 1973 VW TYP3 1600 fastback - one of a three-body-style series the German automaker thought would work as a replacement for the beloved Beetle.
"I bought this out of Florida a couple of years ago and it was in good, solid condition," said Sanchez. "These never sold very well here, though 51 of them showed up a year ago for a meet in Ypsilanti (Mich.)."
The Sanchezes has earlier been showing some bicycles from the 1950s. Bikes, scooters, motorcycles, commercial trucks and military vehicles were included in the vast display at Greenfield Village.
With its air-cooled 1600 engine in the rear, the TYP3 fastback provided a good-size trunk up front, which the Sanchezes had carefully packed with hardy Samsonite luggage.
Eddie Morris of Wyandotte, Mich. said he has owned his 1936 Ford 68 with over 100,000miles on it for 35 years.
"It's all original except for paint and tires," said Morris, who works on this and his other old cars himself.
The 1969 Cadillac combination ambulance-hearse belonging to Michael Granzeier of Wyandotte, Mich., now has a different function. The family takes it camping, said the attorney, showing how the two rear jump seats for ambulance personnel fold down to provide a flat bed for a coffin. Or in the present tense, a high and dry spot for sleeping bags.
"We'll sleep in it here in the Village tonight," he said.
This GMC Futurliner was one of 12 built between 1939 and 1940. This is number 10. It was restored over seven years by over 30 volunteers.
This 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe sedan belongs to Jerry Clause of Sterling Heights, Mich. They're waiting in line at the Motor Muster parade Saturday.
1965 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to James D. Brucker of Brighton, Mich.
1964 Lincoln Continental convertible belongs to ennis Mozdzen of Dearborn Heights, Mich.
This 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible belongs to Ted and Lynne Porter of Northville, Mich.
This 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible four-door belongs to Kenneth Martin of Dearborn, Mich.
1955 Mercury Monterey hardtop belongs to Robert Anderson of Kalamazoo, Mich.
1955 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to Dr. Beverly Paurazas of Rochester Hills, Mich.
1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to Erika Knopf of Shelby Township, Mich.
This 1936 Lincoln LaBaron coupe belongs to John Forster of Royal Oak, Mich.
1964 Ford Galaxie 500 belongs to Mick Laskey of Taylor, Mich.
1936 Stout-Scarabwas brought to the Motor Muster by Ronald Schneider of Milwakee, Wis.
This 1964 Ford Falcon belongs to racing fan Al Marani of Southgate, Mich.
1948 Allard K1 roadster belongs to Robert Grandy of Linden, Mich.
This 1933 Parson-Ford Sprint racer belongs to Roy Nacewice of Carleton, Mich.
1933 Ford Express towtruck belongs to Gene Bertami of Dearborn, Mich.
Ben Harwood was having problems with his 1941 Packard 6, which attracted an antique Ford wrecker and some help from interested onlookers.
The modest 1952 Ford Mainline has been the proud possession of William Bachmann of Erie, Pa. for some 40 years. He paid $150 for the car with overhead-valve straight six and oil bath air filter. A dash-mounted prism helps the driver see a traffic light if the outside sunvisor is up.
An unusual 1951 Kaiser Dragon came to Motor Muster courtesy of owners Daniel and Laura Trczinski of Temperance, Mich.
Henry McQueen of Davison, Mich. named his 1941 Ford Super Deluxe four-door sedan with nifty sunvisor Nadine.
This shimmering green 1949 Mercury M74 sedan belongs to Troy Beverley of Garden City, Mich.
Wyandotte, Mich. resident Eddie Morris has owned his 1936 Ford 68 with over 100,000 miles on it for the last 35 years.
A first in production cars with its fiberglass body, this 1954 Kaiser Darrin with sliding pocket doors was a show stopped at Motor Muster.
Looking almost fragile, this sleek 1948 Salsbury Model 85 Standard motor scooter belongs to Jerry Ellis of Dublin, Ohio.