5 July 2009

Hagerty Family Car Show

Summer returned to Traverse City - after going AWOL for a week - just in time for the Hagerty Family Car Show, which was held in conjunction with the National Cherry Festival on July 5th. Nearly four hundred cars were on display. Hagerty's own Bob DeKorne was the voice of the show.

Although the population of Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties is relatively small, area residents own an extraordinarily diverse group of collector cars - everything from Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Chevelles and Camaros to a Maserati Ghibli and several E-type Jaguars were on display. The 1971 Maserati Ghibli was restored from a very rusty example by owner Dan McDavid, of Leland, Mich. According to Mr. McDavid, "The shop had to fabricate body panels including door skins and a hood. The only the salvageable piece of the hood was the frame." The body and paint work on the car was simply stunning.

As in other shows, unrestored cars are finally getting the attention due them. Two very special unrestored cars were on display, including a 1936 MG TA sports car that had been imported by a New York dealer in 1946. The owner, T. Michael Jackson, said the car has had just five owners from new, and it survived the World War II in Great Britain. The paint and interior of the car were completely original.

Doug Platt, of Kalkaska, brought his 1960 Chevrolet Impala. Again, it was a stunningly original car. Mr. Platt called it "the classic little old lady car." Platt is the third owner, and he has had it for 21 years. The car has recorded only 41,000 miles from new and still has its original spark plugs, spare and key chain. It was obviously a hit with the kids, as Hagerty youth judges gave the Impala the second-highest average score recorded since the youth judging began in 2006.

The Trophy Trolley Best of Show award went to the 1954 Kaiser Darrin belonging to Lee Abrahams of Tucson, Ariz. The Women's Spirit award, given by CEO Kim Hagerty, went to Traverse City's Sally Cole for her all-original 1951 Ford Tudor (purchased new in Traverse City). The National Cherry Queen's Choice Trophy went to the 1969 Ford Mustang of Elaine Bossingham of Benzonia, Mich.

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