Classic cars on display through Sunday at the mall

VIENNA, W.Va. – “Every car here has a story,” Roy Meredith said Monday.

The Pioneer Antique Auto Club brought a collection of antique vehicles to Grand Central Mall, where they will be displayed through Sunday.

Meredith, president of the antique car club, said about 24 vehicles of various makes, models and years are on display in the mall.

“Everyone along the line had a car like one of these,” Meredith said of the onlookers at the mall. “Maybe it was a different color, but everyone can relate to one of them.”

The auto club started in 1961 and has about 200 member families, Meredith said. There is one original charter member left from the 1961 group, Dorothy Hamilton.

Meredith said the oldest car on display in the mall is a 1931 Ford Model A, belonging to Rod and Joyce Fox of Belpre. Meredith had met one man Monday who remembered the Model A he had owned and told stories associated with the vehicle.

A woman was walking in the mall early Monday morning when she pointed out to Meredith that her aunt used to have a Chevelle like the one being displayed.

“It’s fun; it’s neat to see the people come in and still enjoy the cars,” Meredith said.

The newest car on display is a 1975 Buick LeSabre, which belongs to Tony and Velma Wright of Little Hocking.

Although there was a variety of makes and models, 15 to 18 of the vehicles on display were manufactured by General Motors Co., Meredith said.

A key component of this year’s show are three Ford trucks on display near the Body Central store in the mall.

The trucks, all three from 1946, are owned by Steve Lehew of Walker.

Lehew purchased one of the vehicles in a restored condition and owns the unrestored version as part of his collection, Meredith said.

Lehew had the truck stored in a barn in Leachtown for about 40 years and used it in its prime for moving and hauling items, Meredith said. Now, he has plans to restore the truck, Meredith said.

Carl Tucker of Washington, W.Va., owns a 1965 two-door Ford Mustang with an 1089 engine and automatic transmission he purchased in North Carolina about five years ago.

Tucker said he enjoys old cars and doesn’t prefer one make or model over others. He also owns a 1970 GMC pickup.

People ask him about the white Mustang with a red interior. “It’s a nice car, pretty economical, and a lot of girls ask me about it,” Tucker said.

The display will be in the mall this week during operational hours, with the exhibit set up in the northern half from Center Court and Belk’s Court to the Sears entrance.

Other events presented and attended by the car club include cruise-ins at the south Parkersburg Wendy’s on the second Saturday of each month beginning in June and running through October; the Market Street Cruise-In in downtown Parkersburg and participation in the Parkersburg Homecoming and West Virginia State Honey festivals.