PLEASANT GAP — Spring is the season eagerly anticipated by car enthusiasts. It’s when car shows begin popping up around the area, and this year’s season kicked off with the second annual Auto Show at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Pleasant Gap on May 4.
The show is organized and run by students in the school’s automotive technology program, led by instructor Mike Sipe. The students handled registration of show vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles), and judging for prizes in several categories.
The unique trophies awarded were fabricated by students using glossy black painted automotive drivetrain parts, such as crankshafts, camshafts, rear end ring and pinion gears, pistons and rods and other parts.
Proceeds from the registration fees went to CPI’s auto tech and collision repair programs. Food was sold inside the school building to benefit the culinary arts program and plants were sold to support the landscape program.
About 50 vehicles of many types were shown, including antiques, classics, muscle cars, pickup trucks and motorcycles. Spectators perused and admired the rows of cars and chatted with their owners on a cloudy, but rain-free morning.
Bob Grove brought his candy red 1939 Ford Standard Sedan from Centre Hall. The Standard featured a different front end treatment than the more well-known deluxe model that year. Both models are longtime favorites of hot rodders everywhere.
Adam Leos, of State College, showed a red 1969 Plymouth Satellite GTX coupe with its original 440-cubic-inch V8 engine and four-speed transmission. Leos found the car in Waterloo, Iowa, where it had been restored. He said he’s doing some more detailing on the car to make it nearly perfect.
“All the numbers match on this car,” he said. “It’s completely original.”
Dan Hoy showed an eye-catching turquoise and white 1957 Ford Country Sedan station wagon with mag wheels and two surfboards strapped to the roof rack, mimicking a California surf wagon of the 1960s. The Ford 428 Cobra Jet engine could haul those boards to the beach in a hurry.
Jack Bigelow, from Lewistown, showed a 1970 American Motors AMX sports car. The AMX was based on the AMC Javelin, but shortened to be a two-seater, and produced for only three years from 1968 to 1970. Bigelow’s car has a 360-cubic-inch V8. He bought it in Baltimore in 1973, and said it was once owned by one of Hugh Heffner’s Playboy magazine playmates. Only 4,116 AMX’s were made in 1970, making Bigelow’s car a rare find.
Tyler Crestani and John Walker, from the 82nd Airborne Living History reenactment group, brought a 1947 Willys Jeep to the show. The Jeep was one of the early civilian Jeeps produced after World War II, but was modified to mimic the military version used in the war.
Crestani said GIs admired the Jeep’s rugged simplicity and off-road capabilities, and when returning from the war wanted a Jeep for their own use. The Willys Company responded by producing a civilian version, which became a best seller. Jeeps have since evolved over seven decades, and are still being sold today in various forms.