Harry Macartney hovered protectively near his 1962 Corvette convertible roadster. Its fawn beige body, matched to the original paint color, reflected the high noon rays of the sun June 20 at the annual car show at American Legion Post 419, 958 Homestead Road.
“I had a car like this in high school–Santa Clara High School. I did everything on this car myself, except the paint,” says Macartney, who still lives in Santa Clara. “It’s nice to look at other cars and be around other people who care about their cars as much as I do.”
Fifty-three classic beauties in all were on display, each with its own proud owner ready to share the car’s history.
“I’ve had [VW] bugs all my life. It’s a fun car; it’s a toy,” says Manny Sereno from San Jose. Sereno rescued his 1965 Volkswagen Bug from salvage, did a lot of the restoration work himself and had it painted its original Bahama blue. He is proud that it won first place at the April VW Show at Kelly Park in San Jose for the last three years. The front hood was up, showing a trunk holding a vintage suitcase and a spare tire with a center compartment holding repair tools.
“A lot of the pleasure of coming here is exchanging ideas and connecting with cars. You get a wealth of knowledge talking to people about cars,” says Jim Carnathan from Newark, regarding his blue and white 1955 Chevy 210 hardtop.
“It took two years–and a lot of dollars–to restore it,” he says.
“This is one of our biggest annual events,” says American Legion Post 419 commander Rick Gundo. “In 2014, we cleared about $8,000. Thanks to our local community and businesses, we’re able to raise these funds for veterans assistance and rehabilitation programs to assist local vets in our community.”
Within the Palo Alto Veterans Administration, the departments of poly trauma/traumatic brain injury, spinal cord, recreation, blind center and social services each received a contribution of $1,000. Another $1,000 was donated to the Menlo Park Veterans Administration Volunteer Services, and $2,299 went to Post 419’s Veterans Assistance & Rehabilitation Fund, which supports local veterans’ programs.
About 40 American Legion volunteers, including some from the women’s auxiliary unit, organized the car show, which included live music by the Rockin’ Blues Express, a BBQ lunch and raffle drawings.
“On top of appreciating vintage autos, this is a social event,” says George Schifano from San Jose, dusting off his baby blue 1934 Ford Victoria with a long handled duster.
La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux–a separate veterans’ organization known informally as the 40 & 8–gave free rides around the old downtown on its replica of a French train boxcar that transported either forty troops or eight horses during WWI.
“The ride is a fun event that reminds you of a time that was a bit more grim,” says Desert Storm and Desert Shield Army veteran Jerod Haskins from Sunnyvale, aboard the 40 & 8 with his wife and their three-year-old daughter.
“Wars are not games. War sucks. Younger kids are just seeing video games about war,” he says.