Out & About: Bushy Run car cruise a lesson in automotive history
Visitors to Bushy Run Battlefield usually learn a particular kind of history. The 213-acre Penn Township historical complex was the site of a 1763 battle between British soldiers and Native Americans warriors during Pontiac’s Rebellion.
On July 6, visitors got a snapshot of the history of the automobile during the ninth annual Classic Car Cruise hosted by the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society.
Coming from far and wide were all kinds of wheeled vehicles, from early examples of the horseless carriage to modern muscle cars also destined to become classics.
“There are some magnificent cars here today,” said volunteer Rob Malloy, adding that society members hoped the cruise would draw new visitors who might not have been familiar with the site or its history. Proceeds are marked for operations and programming.
Every car owner had a story to share, and here are just a few:
• Not many people have heard of the long-defunct Graham-Paige automobile company, so Don Adams of Harrison City was at Bushy Run to educate them.
Adams bought his 1941 Graham Hollywood in 2010 off of eBay from a seller in Arizona — in rougher shape than he had been led to believe.
It was basically just a body full of holes that had been filled with chicken wire and putty — no frame, no engine, no windows: “It came off the car carrier tied together with bull rope.”
Still in the process of restoration, Adams says, the matte black sedan “attracts attention everywhere I go.”
• Art Comer bought his bright blue 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 in 1966 when he got out of high school. It was his everyday driver for a while, then went into storage. It was a dragster in the 1970s and ’80s, but now it’s back on the street.
“I lost a lot of women over the years, but I still have the car,” Comer says.
• Mitchell Dolney of North Huntingdon tooled up in an all-original, orange 1975 Honda Civic.
“From day one, the Civic was an economy car that people drove to death, so you don’t see them much any more,” he said. “When people see it, they like to share their own memories of Civics they had.”
Bought in Cleveland, Dolney’s Civic bears an old student parking sticker from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.
• One thing that drew Jim and Candy Jones to their 2006 Ford Mustang was its bright red paint job.
“It’s just so pretty,” Candy Jones said.
The Penn Township couple bought the ’Stang in March. Their “pleasure car” comes out on nice days, often for a trip to the golf course. Luckily, the trunk is big enough to hold two golf bags.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .