You can tell when you’ve arrived at Lou Natenshon’s annual open house in a town north of Chicago. The streets around Lou’s house are lined with cars you probably desired to own since you started collecting Matchbox or Hot Wheels toy cars.
You never know what will show of at Lou’s mid-May shindig. Rolls-Royce and Jaguars are commonplace. Dream car collector Joe Bortz arrived in an Airflow sedan that needed air in the tires. “Darn it, I forgot to fill them before I left,” said Bortz.
Lou’s party is a place to find out whether Jeff Powell still has his 1916 Studebaker or whether Leon Flagg is going to keep promoting first-class car shows like he did with the Milwaukee Masterpiece. You might run into old friend that you haven’t seen in awhile, like Bob and Sheila Joynt. Or you might make a new friend or two.
Some cars like Rex Barrett’s 1950 bullet nose Studebaker Champ have been to the open house several times, but there’s other cars like a Chevrolet woodie that seem to be making their debut after a long restoration.
This year the open house took place on May 14. It was downright cold outside and the skies were gray and cloudy, but the cars still came to line the streets. There were classic Triumphs, MGs, Saabs, Jaguars, T-birds, Porsches, Chevys, Bentleys and many more marques.
The truth is, it’s hard to stay away. I was planning to spent the weekend fixing my garage door or tinkering with one of my many other projects, but the desire to see some gorgeous chunks of iron won out so I took a little 417.4 mile jaunt to visit Lou’s open house again.