When the third annual York Auto Show was canceled in June, Steve Bricker gathered friends in the industry and started throwing around some ideas on how they could do something for people who were most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Their consensus was to do a drive-by antique car parade for local nursing homes and senior centers, including Sentry Hill in York and Durgin Pines in Kittery.
“Those people in nursing homes are locked down like nobody else. They can’t have visitors,” said Bricker, who has helped organize the car show since its inception. “So, we started thinking about it and we had the idea of why don’t we bring a car show to them.”
Bricker hopes to have about 150 vintage cars, from throughout the decades, to participate in the event scheduled for Oct. 10. Staff at the facilities will bring the residents outside to get a good look at the cars.
“We’ll have vehicles that would be in the memory of the residents of these facilities,” Bricker said. “These facilities can’t wait to have us do it.”
The cost of each car to participate is $40, and proceeds will be split between the York High School Athletic Boosters and A Place to Start, a nonprofit in Kennebunk that specializes in the care of families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our kids and our seniors are the beneficiaries of this fundraiser,” Bricker said.
Some of the cars scheduled to participate include a 1923 Ford T Bucket, a 1938 Ford, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a 1964 VW Beetle, a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona clone, and a Jeep Wagoneer.
“We, as a group, are hand-picking these cars,” Bricker said. “We hope these unique, nicely restored cars are ones that the residents will be excited about. We’ll have a diverse group of cars.”
Jim Lawson, of Durham, New Hampshire, has had the modified 1923 Ford T Bucket since 2016. The car was originally a 1923 Ford Model T.
“It now has a big engine,” Lawson said. “It looks half Model T, half street rod.”
Lawson and his wife enjoy cruising the back roads as well as downtown Durham around the University of New Hampshire campus.
“We get a lot of enjoyment out of (the car),” Lawson said. “People really like to see it, look at it. If we are parked at a restaurant, we let people get into it and take pictures.”
Lawson has been involved in many car shows over the years, but said he is more excited about this event than any previous how he has been a part of.
“This is an event that I would not miss,” Lawson said. “I think it’s an incredibly good idea, and I am looking forward to it. It’s just going to be plain fun. This is an opportunity for others to enjoy (seeing the cars) that might not otherwise be able to do so, especially during COVID.”
Pete Paradis, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has had his 1964 VW Beetle for four years.
“The idea of going around to these nursing homes is great,” said Paradis, a welder by trade and lifelong resident of Portsmouth. “These people have been locked up for so long now. This can give them something different to look at it; something they can look out the window and see some of these cars.”
Bricker is still seeking some additional cars from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s to round out the fleet. If interested, call Bricker at (207) 252-1807 or email him at email@example.com.