Dan Bremmer, a member of the South Georgia Car Club in Lake Park, leans on his 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe, with it’s upgraded Cadillac Escalade engine and powertrain. (Staff photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — The cars were back again Saturday, for the 40th year on the lawn of the Albany Mall. There were flashy cars, fast cars, utility vehicles — many of them dating to the 1950’s or earlier.
Once each year the Artesian City Car Club gives classic car buffs an opportunity to show off their rides and maybe pick up a trophy in their category of competition. Older visitors get a chance to re-live their memories and younger folks can see how cars have changed through the years.
There were 47 entries this year, according to club president Chuck Morton, from the 30-member home team and from other clubs in South Georgia and Florida.
“We’ve enjoyed good weather almost all our 40 years of the show,” Morton said, “But the prediction of bad weather hurt us some today. In the past we’ve have more than 120 entries for some shows.”
According to Morton, the club exists mostly for members to have a chance to socialize with other car people in Albany as well as those in nearby cities. They have a Christmas party every year and a couple of “cruise-ins” each month, where members talk some more about their cars and drive them around, Morton said.
Bill Berry, sometimes known as Major Berry of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, brought his pride and joy, his red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. When he ran across it a few years ago, it was love at first sight.
“I bought it on the spot, without talking about it to my wife. When I told her, I discovered just how comfortable the back seat really was,” Berry joked.
Dan Bremmer, a member of the South Georgia Car Club in Lake Park, was there with his 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe — that’s what’s on the outside, anyway. The part that used to make it go has long-since been replaced with a Cadillac Escalade engine and powertrain.
“It’s computer controlled,”Bremmer said, “so it runs real well. We drive it all over the country.”
Although not displayed at the show on Saturday, Bremmer said he still has the 1955 Dodge he bought when he was 16 years old.
Jack Vann, 72, of Sasser came to show off his Mack Truck with more than a million miles logged since 1963.
“I always wanted to buy one,” Vann said, “and I ran up on this one in 1988.”
Vann said he’s used the 50-year-old workhorse to haul logs and even for hauling hay the day before the show.
George Hagan of Albany brought his 1929 “repli-car,” a Fiberglas replica of a 1929 Ford Model A. Hagan said the car was made in 1984 from parts molded from original metal Model A parts — only this one sports a Ford Pinto engine and automatic transmission.
“For a parade car it’s perfect,” Hagan said. “There’s no clutching with all that stop and go.”
Morton said a few happy exhibitors at Saturday’s Mall show would receive trophies for wins in their categories of competition. Also planned was a Best of Show award for Custom, Original and Best Presentation, Morton said.