Rare originals meet at Nebraska show

One entry in the Grand Island, Nebraska, auto show waited 72 years to make its show debut. Gaylen and Judy Rainforth bought the 1934 Chevrolet Master two-door coach only last year and decided to display it as-found ‘ with only 21,108 miles on the odometer and a few chips in its black finish. They even built an elaborate display depicting a Depression-era gas station and its attendant performing the service a finely attired young lady required on her car.

3401F.jpgThe antique Chevy certainly wasn’t the only “barn find” among the 100 or so entries in the 33rd Annual Tri-City Street Rods Auto Exhibition at Fonner Park on January 22-23, 2006, in Grand Island, Nebraska, but it was the only one that had not been restored, modified, or at least detailed.

Rod Phelps displayed his 1953 Chevy pickup in its original finish ‘ half faded green, half surface rust ‘ with the tree he extracted it from still wedged in the 3401A.jpgbumper, but he has upgraded the running gear so it made the 90-mile trip from Lincoln with no trouble.

Except for one flat rear tire, it appears that Fred Schritt might still use his faded red 1934 Ford shop truck in his custom motorcycle business. He also showed a black-primered ’40 Ford pickup with a chopped top and flathead running triple carbs and high-compression heads.

3401B.jpgRestoring and customizing pickup trucks must be a popular pastime in the four-state area represented by show entries. Two shops displayed modern chassis and contemporary Ford engines for mid-’50s F-100 pickups. Rod Roy brought his nicely restored, green-and-black 1941 Chevrolet pickup from Hays, Kansas, and Norman and Cynthia Evans showed their custom ’53 F-100.

Providing variety to the restored and modified cars and trucks, Gary Kimbrough and John Blomenberg set up an elaborate 12 by 50-foot electric train layout. Several pre-1957 Lionel trains ran among buildings depicting eastern Nebraska cities and through the prairies and bluffs of the West, and passed hundreds of scale model cars and a 1920s-era circus set.

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