Cars on High Street

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Jon and Barbara Slocum, founders  and organizers of Cars on High Street – and proud owners of a small collection of classic cars

Hot rods, sports cars, muscle cars, classic cars — and one good old Jeep — were among 30 plus cars at Fountain Park Thursday, Aug. 17,from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, for the first “Cars on High Street’ meeting.

The meet-up is the brain child of Jon and Barbara Slocum of Chestertown, who teamed up with Chestertown’s Main Street program to create a downtown event for car lovers of all persuasions. With the blessing of the town council and the police department, they arranged to have parking slots reserved on all four sides of the park, sent out the word, then waited to see what showed up. The results were a feast for the eyes — and an education in auto lore.

Ted Capel and his wife, Brenda, and daughter, Kimberly, with his ’34 Plymouth hot rod

One of the biggest eye-catchers was Ted Capel’s  cherry red 1934 Plymouth coupe, which took the prime spot at the corner of High and Cross. Capel found the car — in original condition though dusty and rusty – parked in a barn, where it had sat for 60 years after its first owner, Lawrence Meeks, went to serve his country in World War II in 1941. Meeks had bought the car new from Corey Motors in Chestertown.  But he only got to use it for a few years. Meeks died in action in Normandy, three days after the Allied invasion in 1944 — and the car sat undisturbed until 2001, when Capel learned of it and bought it and restored it. It took him three years and four days to finish the restoration.  It would have been under three years, his daughter said, except for the pesky last-minute transmission problem! The car was featured in a photo spread in Street Rod magazine, and it certainly turned heads on High Street.

Bill Sharp was there with his red 1975 Stingray convertible.  He said that the car had just arrived from California three days ago.  This was only the second Corvette he’d owned.  He’d gotten the first one at a good bargain. Sharp said that when his cousin, who buys and sells Corvettes, saw the first one, he told Sharp that he could get about twice what he had paid for it if he was willing to sell.  Sharp was willing.  And so he able to get this prized new one for “practically nothing!”

Bill Sharp and his 1975 red Stingray Corvette.

Other cars on display around the park included a Ferrari, a Porsche, an MG, a Triumph, and plenty of vintage Detroit iron. A good number of spectators dropped by to enjoy the show, as well, many of them gazing enviously at the fine machines arrayed around the park.  All the owners were very willing to discuss their cars’ features and histories and thus there were quite a few groups of three or four people gathered around an open engine discussing horsepower or which year had the best model.

Washington College sophomore Harry Sesselberg, from Fairfield, CT, displays his 1986 station wagon.

The Slocums plan to hold their Fountain Park car party from 6 to 8 p.m. every third Thursday, and they welcome all car owners and car lovers. If the event proves popular enough, they hope to expand it to perhaps two Thursdays a month. They also have hopes of attracting one or two food trucks, or possibly getting a couple of the nearby businesses – a restaurant or coffee shop, perhaps Dunkin’ Donuts – to stay open during the meet-and-greet.

The next Cars on High Street will be Thursday, Sept 15, from 6-8 pm.  Their Facebook page is Cars on High Street.

Washington College sophomores Zoe Greer and Calisa Gayle hold a photo album that chronicles the car’s restoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Letters to Editor

  1. Chris Cerino says:

    Great idea!!!! This is the kind of event, driven by private citizens on a grass-roots level and assisted by Chestertown’s Main Street program, that we need to keep adding to our repertoire to keep bringing people downtown. Thanks to everyone who displayed their vehicles. Here’s hoping that this becomes a new Chestertown tradition.

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