Start your engines: Summer heats up with slew of car, motorcycle shows

Barbara Woodruff, of Battery B 3rd Pa. Light Artillery, checks out the Antique Car Show presented by by the Antique Automobile Club of America at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in 2002.
Barbara Woodruff, of Battery B 3rd Pa. Light Artillery, checks out the Antique Car Show presented by by the Antique Automobile Club of America at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in 2002. CDT file photo

It’s no DeLorean, but Scott Deno’s car can transport people back in time.

“If you want to put yourself back in 1912, get in this car and look around,” said Deno of his 1912 Buick. “Every bit of it is authentic.”

Deno’s antique ride is just one of the 100 or so cars that will be on display in Boalsburg this weekend as part of the Allegheny Mountain Region Antique Automobile Club of America Car Show. Set to coincide with Boalsburg’s Memorial Day celebration, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum.

In its heyday, the 1912 Buick was one of the first cars reliable enough to drive cross-country, according to Deno, who is vice president of the local Allegheny Mountain Region AACA and coordinator of the car show. However, cruising coast to coast may not exactly have been a joy ride. For one thing, early 20th-century cars didn’t have starters.

“If you want to start the car, you have to get out front to crank it,” Deno explained.

Another standard feature today’s drivers take for granted — the windshield — was available in those days, but was considered a luxury.

“It was an expensive option that most people didn’t buy,” Deno said.

Deno’s 1912 Buick does have the optional windshield, as well as gold-trimmed gas headlights, black leather interior and a right-hand steering wheel.

“This was while the debate was still heated about whether the wheel should be on the right or left,” he said.

The Buick will be in good company this weekend. The show’s feature car is a 1929 Lincoln Touring Car, owned by locals Ed and Charlene Friedman. In addition, there will be early Fords, including a Model T, and a rare Marmon — one of about 350 remaining of the 250,000 cars manufactured between 1903 and 1933 by Marmon Motor Cars.

If ogling these antique autos sparks nostalgia for that hot rod you spit-shined back in high school, sit tight for a few weeks — the 26th annual Bellefonte Cruise is June 13-14. In addition to 500 or so antique cars, this popular event features two cruises (one open to the public, one just for registered participants) and a traditional sock hop with ’50s and ’60s covers by Jerry Carnicella and the White Shadow Band.

New to the Bellefonte Cruise this year will be a series of seminars throughout the day June 14. Cruise Committee Chairman Pat McCool said the topics are still being finalized, but participants can expect talks about the history of Bellefonte and the cruise, as well as various auto-related talks. McCool said the committee is open to suggestions from the public regarding this addition to the annual event.

Whether you prefer the carriage-like elegance of a turn-of-the-century antique car, the sleek angles of a ’60s Mustang or the sexy curves of a vintage Harley Davidson, there’s a set of antique wheels for you elsewhere in central Pennsylvania this summer. Bike enthusiasts can travel to Johnstown from June 26-29 for the Thunder in the Valley Motor Cycle Rally. If Bellefonte’s signature event whets your appetite for cruising, the Keystone Country Cruisin’ Vehicle Show will be July 4-6 at Huntingdon County Fairgrounds, the Last Cruise Car and Motorcycle Show will be July 27 throughout State College and a Car Show and Cruise will be held Aug. 9 at the Wagon Wheel Music Park in Philipsburg.

Still not enough? Visit www.carshowhq.com/eventresults.aspx for a list of car shows throughout the summer.