MOUNT VERNON — The radiators are brass, the headlights are brass and there is brass metal on other parts of the 1915 and older cars that will be seen around Mount Vernon this weekend. Members of the Brass and Gas Antique Auto Club, a division of the Antique Auto Club of America, which specializes in restoring and driving the older cars, are visiting.
Model T owners Dick and Wendy Figgi of Apple Valley are the hosts for 26 owners who brought their cars to Mount Vernon for a weekend of touring in their cars and seeing the sights around Mount Vernon. They will also attend a dinner this evening.
John McAnlis of Wadsworth, secretary of Brass and Gas, said there are 500 members in the club, from 30 states. The club was formed in 1993.
When going to a town or an event, owners don’t drive their antique cars if they’re several hundred miles away, but pull them in covered trailers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t drive them once they get to their destination.
Thursday, the group took a trip to Dresden; Friday was a short trip the Schnormeier Gardens. On tap for today is a run to the Bridge of Dreams at Brinkhaven and Velvet Ice Cream in Utica.
For most of these oldies, 35 mph is the top cruising speed. Most have brakes only on the rear wheels; one owner said drivers plan their stops ahead of time. Many cars built in that era are right-hand drive, and most are started by cranking the engine. All of the cars have been restored to new or better condition, most with paint authentic to the era.
Two owners think their cars are the only ones still in existence.
Ron and Alice Wertz, Canfield, drive a 1914 Abbott-Detroit, a Belle Isle model, seven-passenger touring car with a 50 horsepower engine.
Al and Mary Zambi of Pittsburgh drive a 1913 model touring car, a Coey. Coeys were made in Chicago, Ill.