Vintage Car Show in Hartford Gives Couples Chance to Show Pandemic Plans | Local News



HARTFORD, Vermont – Lin Vaughn was online late last year when he noticed a friend in Virginia was selling a 1942 Dodge pickup that he had refurbished.

“He saw it on Facebook and said, ‘What would you think if we had one? Lin’s wife Linda Vaughn recalls. She has accepted.

This vehicle became the Strafford couple’s first Rat Rod, which they’ve restored together since December and showcased at Carz’s 10th annual Show & Swap on Saturday at the Connecticut Valley Auto Auctions in Hartford.

Couples sharing the vehicle restoration experience was a theme at the auto show, with the COVID-19 pandemic adding motivation to take on projects they might not have had time for in the past . This was the case with the Vaughns.

“It’s kind of cool because she’s 50 percent, so she can’t complain about the money I spent on it,” Lin Vaughn said with a laugh. “We put our personality into it.

This personality included black plastic rats residing on the hood of the truck, antique door handles as car door handles, and a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey with two shot glasses that serves as an overflow reservoir for liquid from chill – it was Lin’s idea to use the bottle and Linda’s idea to add the shot glasses. Keys helped prop up the side mirrors, and Lin Vaughn built the truck bed from scrap wood he obtained for free from a furniture store in Bradford, Vermont. The center console is an old ammo box.

“It was fun to think of things to do,” said Linda Vaughn.

While this was her first restoration project, her husband has restored vehicles in the past. But the truck was his first Rat Rod, a type of project vehicle known to use a mishmash of parts.

The Vaughns used whatever they could get their hands on. The rear fenders of the truck are the front fenders from a 1942 Packard, the wheels from a Firebird, and the rear bumper from a Model A Ford. The couple estimate they invested around $ 10,000 in the truck, including its purchase price of $ 5,500.

“It’s kind of the difference between the Hot Rod people and the Rat Rod people,” said Lin Vaughn. “They brag about how much they spent on it. We brag about how little we spent on it.

The Vaughns weren’t the only couple celebrating their shared hobby. Also in attendance were Claremont residents Christie Manco and her husband, who declined to give her name. They were there with their 1986 Buick Regal, which they bought in the summer of 2008. She estimated it took about eight years and $ 60,000 to restore it.

“It was a complete rust job,” Christie Manco said. “This one needed everything: interior, engine, wiring, everything. “

She worked on the upholstery and focused on the outdoors, while her husband did the mechanical work. It was the first vehicle she worked on and she loved the experience.

“It was tedious, but to see the end result, it was very satisfying,” she said. “It was a difference day and night.”

Karl Macela from Claremont was one of the Carz Club members who registered vehicles at the entrance. He estimated that around 80 cars were there just before noon.

“I think the shows this year are less,” he said, a continuation from last summer when the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for people to come together, although the Show & Swap took place last summer as many more closed down. “People who want to go out, the shows we have tend to be bigger.”

Some attendees, like Macela, are mechanics by trade – he worked in an auto shop, runs an auto parts store, and taught auto mechanics at Sugar River Valley Regional Tech in Newport, NH.

This was the case for Dennis Ford of Alexandria, who was showing off a 1966 Ford F100. He and his wife have worked in car restoration for about 30 years, and the shiny teal pickup is one of them. his latest projects, which cost around $ 10,000 to restore, according to his estimate.

“This truck is near and dear to my heart,” Ford said of the pickup he drove from Alexandria that morning. “I fell in love with teal and turquoise.”

He and his wife, who organize an overnight cruise in Bristol, attended around 20 auto shows this summer, although she was unable to attend on Saturday because she was working.

He has attended many auto shows over the years and has greatly enjoyed the camaraderie that comes from the advancements people have made to their vehicles.

“It’s fun to see how everyone makes their own car to match their personality a bit,” said Ford.

Ford became interested in working on cars as soon as he got his driver’s license, and he’s had more time to do it since retiring from the New Hampshire State Highway Department last August.

While there were a few shows last year, including the Show & Swap in Hartford, there weren’t quite as many. This summer, like a restored engine, they came back roaring.

“This year, you could literally spend the weekend at two or three shows in Vermont and New Hampshire,” Ford said.

This article is shared by a partner of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit


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