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1955 Reading PA Car Show Roster- Any Still Around?


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Here’s a list of cars attending a car show in 1955 at Parrish Steel in Reading PA.  Parrish was a big supplier of steel frames to the auto industry.  Note they had new 1955 models in attendance as possibility a show of support for their corporate customers.  Seems like some of these cars, especially the really older ones, might still be out there at shows today. 
 

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Wow ! What a fantastic show ! Really got me daydreaming. Thanks, Terry ! I see that most of the cars are from Pennsylvania. Maybe around 8 or so from 'Jersey. One from Delaware. Can you Eastern guys tell me the approximate average radius most of the cars came from ? Are we talking something like 100 miles ? Even less ? Imagine so many strong, young, old car guys bringing their pride and joy treasures  to a relatively local show ! What percentage, just a WAG, would you think actually fired up and drove there ? Hmmmm.......   Perhaps significantly more than half ?   -   Carl 

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Interesting to see a car owned by a Kingsley. Unfortunately not related. It's not a really common name, but most of my family has been in cars forever. Wish it was a family member, that would have been cool. On the other hand, my father's father worked at Fischer Body at the time, so my family probably had a hand in the new cars on display.

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Here’s the 07 Chadwick.........fantastic car, I have managed a ride in this on back a few years ago. All three that survive are owned by one collector out west..............

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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What a fantastic array of marques.  You would think that they would nearly all be around today.  Someplace.  Even spectator parking would be a dream for us!

 

I looked for, but didn't see, the name of a collector I knew.  He was 90 when I was a kid in the 1970s.   He had an 03 Olds and some obscure tiller steers.  I drove him in his 28 Buick as my first antique  driving experience. 

 

This is quite a testament to what is still a very strong collector car culture in eastern PA. 

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8 hours ago, C Carl said:

Wow ! What a fantastic show ! Really got me daydreaming. Thanks, Terry ! I see that most of the cars are from Pennsylvania. Maybe around 8 or so from 'Jersey. One from Delaware. Can you Eastern guys tell me the approximate average radius most of the cars came from ? Are we talking something like 100 miles ? Even less ? Imagine so many strong, young, old car guys bringing their pride and joy treasures  to a relatively local show ! What percentage, just a WAG, would you think actually fired up and drove there ? Hmmmm.......   Perhaps significantly more than half ?   -   Carl 

Practically all of those cars would have been driven to the event. Actually, I'm surprised that there are not more large brass cars since there were many in the area. The early AACA meets in the Philadelphia area always had cars from north Jersey and Long Island.

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Back in the days where most clubs prohibited trailers............and most of the owners couldn't have afforded them anyways. We drove all over New England in a 20 HP Stanley and thought nothing of it............along with about thirty other steamers. Early on I knew many collectors with large collections who did not own a truck or trailer......that doesn't happen anymore. To be fair, road conditions and speeds have changed drastically.

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Though I never knew these people, 

I recognize a few cars and owners on the list

from our AACA region's history:

 

#10 (1911 Cadillac) was owned by the same man

     until he passed on about 10 years ago.  The car was sold.

#77 (1915 Ford Model T) is owned by the entrant's son.

     It is often seen at our current annual region's show.

#197 (1931 Studebaker) is a long-wheelbase phaeton

     formerly owned by a Pennsylvania governor.  It is owned

     by the entrant's daughter and is often seen at local shows.

 

It's satisfying to see such continuity, as old cars are

kept from one generation to another.

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3makes says it all, COURTESY used to be prevalent among drivers - it is no more for the most part, particularly if you are going 1/2 mile an hour slower then what the driver behind you thinks you should be going

as they need to be at their destination asap. They are the same people who sit and don't move when the light turns green for some time because they are texting or talking on their cell phones. Politeness, Respect, and courtesy are ancient history just like the cars are that we love .

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I just noticed #48, Leonard Schwartz of Altoona  PA; had a 1919 Ford in the show.

 

The last I saw that car was in, about 1976, still in Altoona,then.  I have no idea where it is now.

 

I was in his maze of garages; and I purchased several old Harley-Davidsons.  Sadly, places like that are all gone now. 

 

intimeold 

Edited by intimeold (see edit history)
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9 hours ago, C Carl said:

... Can you Eastern guys tell me the approximate average radius most of the cars came from ? Are we talking something like 100 miles ? Even less ? Imagine so many strong, young, old car guys bringing their pride and joy treasures  to a relatively local show ! 

 

You're right, Carl, most of those cars came from 

100 or fewer miles away.  The cars I mentioned above

would have driven 60 to 80 miles each way.   And from

old accounts I have read about our own AACA region's

activities, the cars would indeed all have been driven.

I wonder whether the owners had a banquet afterward

and then stayed overnight, leaving the next morning.

 

The same small roads and highways of 1955 are

all still here.  I wonder what traffic was like then:

There were fewer cars overall, but now, the interstates

have taken away a lot of traffic from the 2-lane roads.

Would the net result mean that the number of cars

on the smaller highways is unchanged, though the

average speed may have increased a bit?

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#145 1911 Model T is alive and well, still wears the same paint and windshield sticker.  It's in Ohio and owned by Paul Rose.  Since the show, it's had new top, tires, and crankshaft, but not much else is changed.  Mr. Plank is no longer with us, was a well known collector in Winchester Virginia for many of his last years.

image0.jpeg

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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i got my license in 1954 and would drive the 1905 unrestored Packard 85 miles from West Chester to Hershey. It would cruise comfortably at 50 and it was fun to pass Model A's on trailers. In those days you drove to meets and on tours. The cars were basically owned by collectors such as my father who wouldn't think of having a car that couldn't be driven.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/6/2020 at 9:53 AM, Restorer32 said:

#39,  the 1910 Pullman is still alive and well and would have been driven from York,  PA,  a distance of around 100 miles.

#39, The 1910 Pullman is indeed alive and well.  Here are some pictures from around that time period and how the Pullman looked at the time and a much more recent picture of the car. 

Pullman 1.jpg

Pullman 2.jpg

Pullman 3.jpg

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 6:17 AM, edinmass said:

Back in the days where most clubs prohibited trailers............and most of the owners couldn't have afforded them anyways. We drove all over New England in a 20 HP Stanley and thought nothing of it............along with about thirty other steamers. Early on I knew many collectors with large collections who did not own a truck or trailer......that doesn't happen anymore. To be fair, road conditions and speeds have changed drastically.

I've been seeing a lot who bring more than one car to a meet via nicely decked out semi-trailers lately.   

 

The cars are impressive enough, but some of these semi-trailers are also nice enough to live inside.

 

Craig 

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  • 3 months later...

This also serves as a reminder that “ownership” should be replaced with “custodian” when it comes to our possessions. Personally I try to be a good custodian when it comes to historical items in my possession currently. Other stuff....I may just be a user. I’m not sure what new items I own today will be sought after in later years as a desirable antique.

Scott

Edited by Stude Light (see edit history)
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Car #182, the '27 Graham-Paige, is listed as belonging to Harry Furst, of Middletown, Pa.  Harry died in 2013.   He owned a number of antiques and classics over the years, many of them Packards, but his obituary reported that his most prized automobile was a 1929 Graham-Paige 827 Victoria Coupe -- which he owned until the time of his death, I believe.   

 

The Parade of Progress printed program may have been correct, and the '27 that they listed was one of Harry's earlier acquisitions.  But the "1927" might have been a typo, in which case the '29 was quite likely in the show, and is most certainly still "alive".

 

Harry once told me that he purchased the car from the owner of a repair garage or service station, in amazingly original condition.  The garage owner was threatening to turn the car into a tow truck (which was common practice in the '50's).  But Harry pestered and pestered the guy, and he finally relented and sold Harry the car.  One thing that impressed me about the '29 Graham was that it has "factory" automatic backup lights.

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That’s an amazing list of cars!

 

As a historical side note, this shows what sort of work the host of this show did.  My bus was also at Parish Steel in Reading during the early 1950s... but she was in pieces, just a pile of newly formed steel, getting shipped to Philadelphia for assembly.  I found this original stenciling behind the undercoating on the steel frame below the driver’s seat.

 

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Edited by Brill_C-37M_Bus
Missed a word... (see edit history)
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In August of 2005 I went to the Karl klieve sale In Cincinnati and bought both of the Duesenberg j frames he had. One of them was still in moss green paint with Parrish frame co stenciled on the frame. We fully restored the frame and painted over it when I built the movie world rental Judkins limo that is now owned by the late Clive Cussler. Somewhere I kept photos of that stenciling for historical purposes. Duesenberg J and 1929-32 Henney hearses were purpose built also with Parish frames and lycoming straight eight engines and fenders almost identical to Duesenberg front fenders that were pressed by union city body company in Auburn Indiana. A cord company. Neat stuff! George Albright Ocala Florida. Email gnalbright@gmail.com 

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