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A history of cars at annual Castle car show

A model of a World War I aircraft created by Dick Carlson of Moultonboro Erin Plummer. (click for larger version)
July 14, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Cars from the antique to the unique were on display at Castle in the Clouds for the Fourth Annual Antique and Classic Car Show.

Classic car enthusiasts gathered by the Castle on Saturday despite frequent rains to show their vehicles that ranged from around 40 to nearly 100 years old.

The show is done in collaboration between the Lakes Region Model A Club, the Granite Region Antique Automobile Club of America, and the Profile Automotive League.

"I still think this is one of the best car shows in New Hampshire," said Jeff DeMoura, president of the Lakes Region Model A Club. "It's gotten bigger. This is definitely one of the most sought-after shows because of the location."

DeMoura said the show received 116 pre-registrations and the rest was those who came in that day.

This year saw close to 200 participants, a significant decrease from last year's 425 cars, though show organizers said the rain kept many people away.

"We're surprised that there were as many hearty souls who came out in the rain," said David Wiley, who Co-Chairs the show with his wife Karen Wiley. "We certainly appreciate them bringing their cars in the bad weather."

DeMoura said planning started in January and saw the departure of Granite Region-AAC President Jack Armstrong. Willy Carlson took Armstrong's place and while Carlson said Armstrong left big shoes to fill, he has been learning the reins.

"This show ahs gone from being relatively small to being very large," Carlson said.

"It's still a fun day, it's part of the reason we attract so many people," said PAC President Dave Russell. "They're all just good people to converse with."

Cars were lined up around the lawn for people to look at and their owners to show off.

Paul and Marjorie Hobbs of Sharon showed their 1953 Hudson Hornet. Paul Hobbs said he bought the car 11 years ago.

"I went all the way to Texas to get it," Hobbs said.

He has three other cars in his collection, including a 1956 Studebaker Skyhawk and a 1931 Chevrolet.

His oldest car was the first car he ever bought, purchasing it in 1951 at the age of 17. The car has been restored twice.

"I never stopped to think how many years I've owned it," Hobbs said.

Robert Valpey of Center Harbor purchased his 1952 Studebaker truck at a car show. The truck used to place cemetery monuments in Pennsylvania. Valpey repainted it and built a body on the back so it could pull a trailer.

"It drives pretty well, drives comfortably ay 60 on the highway, has good brakes, pretty heavy load," Valpey said.

He also came to the show with a 1955 Studebaker Speedster he found at a car show in Pennsylvania. Valpey owns around a dozen vehicles in drivable condition and takes them to local shows.

"Lot of friends that you see at these every time," Valpey said.

Rick Brown of Holderness came to the show with his 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. He has a 1922 model that is in New Zealand after an extensive tour through Australia and New Zealand. Brown has toured all over the world with that car, going through 48 countries and putting 148,000 miles on it in races across Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.

He said he is fond of the car's line.

"I love it, some people think it's boring," Brown said. When asked how it runs, "(Of) course it runs good, it's a Rolls Royce, it has to run good. It's so good. I just saw the ad in Hemmings, went to Oklahoma to buy it."

He said his car has been around the world and only stopped once because it was stuck somewhere.

Brown said it is "virtually impossible" to find parts for the vehicles, but machine shops will specially make the parts."

Other cars on display included a 1913 Model T, an old Checker Cab from New York City, and a car from Carlson's Private Resort in North Hampton.

One of the most unique vehicles on display was a replica of a World War I airplane built by Dick Carlson of Moultonboro.

The "plane" is made from various scrap parts Carlson has spent the past four years looking for. The main body is made of a tree trunk he found in Maine and he spent two months finding the tree's owner to ask to use it.

"It's all junk parts," Carlson said. "Those gears are from a cement mixer to a manure spreader."

The steering wheel was the wheel of an old 707 aircraft he found from a junked aircraft. The tail wheel is from a brush mower, other parts came from an old buggy, and a friend built the wooden guns and bullets.

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