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An antique car show this Saturday will close part of Caroline Street--and open up a world of wonder

 Back in black: Saturday, Caroline Street in Fredericksburg drives back in time, with antique cars in abundance.
Andy Gotchel
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 6/3/2010


Caroline Street will look a little dated this Saturday, as more than 200 antique cars will fill the road for car enthusiasts and casual fans alike.

The Historic Fredericksburg Region Antique Automobile Club of America will host its 53rd annual antique car show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The club's show chairman, Jay Brown, said car knowledge is not a prerequisite for stopping by.

"Most people probably past 30 have some identification with an old car," Brown said. "They remember a car from a drive-in movie with their best girl."

The car show was originally in area parking lots, but was moved downtown two years ago, and to Caroline Street last year.

"Old cars and antique shops mix very well," Brown said. The new location helped double the number of visitors last year; Brown estimates that more than 3,000 people will come through the show, in addition to more than 300 automotive participants.

Car clubs from all over Virginia, and even Pennsylvania, will be visiting for the weekend, including the Virginia Classic Thunderbird Club from Williamsburg, which will bring 40 of its members.

Club president Andy Gotchel said Saturday's show is different from other regional shows because clubs will come to Fredericksburg for the downtown dining and shopping.

"There's other things you can enjoy," he said. Gotchel will have his 1969 E-Type Jaguar at the show.

There will be 22 classes of cars present from 1900 to 1985, but one of the club's charter members doesn't even consider the later cars antique if they have air conditioning or power locks.

"'Antique' is what fits with the era of the person you're talking to," said Lloyd Scott, 83, who's been with the club since it was founded.

"I guess I was a country boy, born in Caroline County, and I liked cars," Scott said. "I liked to take a piece of rust and I'd make a shiny, driveable car out of it."

He usually showcases his two Fords--a 1923 Model T and 1931 Model 8--but he is not registered this year because of surgery recovery. He hopes to "try to make one lap."

The club hopes to continue to see more interest in the show and the cars, and Gotchel said members are willing to explain how they found and preserved their cars.

"It's something you can learn about," Gotchel said, "and see cars you've probably never seen before."

For others, the draw might be the walk--or drive--down memory lane.

"There's a nostalgic trip and memory that an old car can spark," Brown said.

Caroline Street will be blocked from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Charlotte Street to Amelia Street.

The show will also take place on the 100 and 200 blocks of Hanover Street.

Sara Mitchell: 540/374-5000
Email: smitchell@freelancestar.com

What: Antique car show Host: The Historic Fredericksburg Region Antique Automobile Club of America Where: Caroline Street, Fredericksburg When: Saturday, June 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.