Memory lane

More than 250 vehicles of different makes and models lined the streets of downtown Seymour for the 11th annual Cars and Guitars show Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of people walked around checking out their favorite rides and later filled South Chestnut Street to watch Rick K and the Allnighters rock the night away.

Joe Bradley and Joe Reynolds of Brownstown said they enjoyed the nostalgia the show stirred up with its many classic, antique and vintage cars on display.

“I just like looking at all the old cars,” Bradley said. “It brings back good memories of good times when we had cars like this or we knew someone who did.”

One car, a replica 1955 silver-blue Porsche Spyder, caught their eyes.

Owned by Jon Stahl of Seymour, the car is a rarity, even at a car show.

“Joe was telling me, it’s the same kind of car that James Dean was killed in,” Bradley said.

An original could go for as much as $4.3 million, Bradley said.

“This is definitely my favorite one here,” he added.

Stahl said he’s had the car in his collection for about five years now.

“I was looking on the Internet and found it in Pittsburgh,” he said. “They only made 90 of the originals, and they estimate there are only 15 to 20 intact left in the world.”

He and his wife, Laura, enjoy taking the convertible out for short trips in the summer to get ice cream at Koveners Korner, he said.

“It’s a fun car to drive,” he said.

Organizers of Cars and Guitars spend most of the year planning for the car show and concert.

It’s the second largest downtown event after the Seymour Oktoberfest.

The car show and concert serve as a fundraiser for Seymour Parks and Recreation.

Through the years, money raised from the event has been used to buy and install playground equipment for physically challenged children at Shields and Gaiser parks.

The Cars and Guitars Committee hopes the event brings in enough money to donate at least another $3,000 next year which will be kept in an account until there’s enough to purchase more playground equipment.

Total money raised at this year’s show was not immediately available by press time.

Besides the entry fee for vehicles, there was also a 50/50 and silent auction, which brought in additional dollars.

Gary Colglazier, one of the event’s original founders, said the committee is looking at Kasting or Kessler parks for the next playground installation, when enough money has been raised.

He hopes to see some more corporate sponsors get involved with the show in the future, he said.

Melvin Beeker of Seymour and his brother, Harry Beeker of Columbus, proudly stood next to their 1966 Mercury Montclair, ready to answer questions or just talk about their car with others.

The vehicle was purchased new by their parents, Melvin Beeker said.

“Everything’s original on it,” Harry Beeker said. “That’s what makes it special.”

The car’s in pristine condition, looking like it just rolled off the factory assembly line, and the Beekers still have the original invoice for it, showing that it cost $4,139 new.

“You just don’t see cars like this anymore,” Melvin Beeker said. “They don’t make anything like it.”

“Nowadays, cars all look the same,” Harry Beeker added. “Back then you could tell what kind of car it was.”

The Bleekers said they like coming to Cars and Guitars because there are so many different makes and models to see and people with whom to talk.

That’s why Jon Gardner of Seymour also likes the event. In the past, he’s entered his 2001 red Ford Mustang, but he had something new to show off this time around.

Last month, he purchased a 2003 azure blue Ford Mustang Mach 1.

“I found it on the Internet and had to go to Ohio to get it,” he said.

Gardner considers himself a Mustang man and first got introduced to them by a friend with whom he worked.

“My friend Ronnie let me test drive his, and I knew after that I wanted one,” he said.

Gardner said by going to car shows, he’s able to meet people with the same interests.

“I like to see what other people are driving and talk about Mustangs,” he said. “And usually there’s quite a few Mustangs here to see.”

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.