A classic Summer’s End for gearheads in Lacey

Fans of classic cars new and old get to see 120 vehicles at Lacey fundraiser

rboone@theolympian.comSeptember 22, 2013 

Vintage cars and trucks were on display Saturday at Huntamer Park in Lacey for Summer’s End, a car show that benefits emergency responders.

The number of vehicles fell from last year due to skies that threatened rain, Lacey recreation supervisor Jeannette Sieler said, but they still managed to attract 120 vehicles of all makes and models. The city of Lacey was a co-organizer of the event, she said.

Money raised from this year’s event, the 12th annual, will be used to purchase a defibrillator for the volunteer fire department in Boston Harbor, Sieler said.

Not all of the cars were vintage, but some soon might fall into the category of classic.

Lacey Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fred Wright drove his Tesla to the gathering, the car and car company of California created by Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal.

Fascinated by the company, the technology and that the car doesn’t require gasoline, Wright ordered one in June and received it in July.

The Tesla is powered by batteries, but it hasn’t sacrificed style or power — it can reach 130 miles per hour.

“You get the best of both worlds,” Wright said, adding that he hasn’t driven the car that fast but that it certainly doesn’t lack in power.

Inside, it looks and feels like a car of the future.

Wright’s came equipped with a 10-speaker audio system, which can be adjusted with the touch of a computer screen in the center of the dashboard.

The same space inside the car of yesteryear would be home to a defroster, tape deck player and ashtray, but in the Tesla it’s a computer screen that can connect to the Internet, music and a phone. The wireless connection also can be used to troubleshoot problems with the car, and then repairs can be downloaded to it, Wright said.

A check of the Tesla website shows vehicle prices ranging from about $71,000 to about $96,000.

Plenty of pre-Tesla cars were on display, too.

John Lindstrom of Olympia brought his red 1962 MGA Mark II, a British sports car that he found in Long Beach suffering from beach cancer (rust) and other problems. He paid $1,500 for the car, towed it home, and then worked on it for the next two years.

This is the second MG he’s owned. He said he likes the design, which is very simple, but also that they’re fun to drive and handle well, although the suspension is a little stiff.

Al Schaffler of Lacey brought his black on black 1964 Ford Ranchero, equipped with a 289 V8, that he found online in Renton. It, too, was in terrible shape when he first got it, he said.

Schaffler reluctantly said his Ranchero — a car-pickup hybrid — couldn’t beat the El Camino that was parked nearby in a race, but that Rancheros were still fast because they were so light.

Tap the gas pedal and it’s easy to make the rear tires squeal, he said.

Schaffler also owns a 1968 Ford Mustang convertible and belongs to an Olympia Ford Mustang club called Mustangs West. The group is gathering next Sunday at the same location, he said.

Although the owner of two Fords, Schaffler said he isn’t loyal to one brand.

Sometimes he drives his 1971 Chevy pickup to the Mustangs West gatherings just to drive the other members nuts.

“I’m a gearhead,” he said. “I don’t care what it is.”

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service