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Photographing Classic Cars and Street Rods

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by Jack R. Perry
Originally published in Hills Living magazine August, 2016

Do you remember the movie with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - ‘Grease’. Can you relate to that movie? My answer is yes, I was a ‘Greaser’ and a ‘gear head’. I love cars, the long flowing lines of the old classic cars, and the brassy exhaust sound of a street rod with a big cubic inch engine as it sucks in air and gasoline. I took auto shop in high school and even built a street rod engine from the basic block. I had grease under my finger nails back then. My Dad owned a full service gasoline station downtown Canton. I spent my time there learning about cars. I still love seeing, hearing and watching classic cars and street rods of all kinds. Some of the cars I have owned are now considered classics and restored they sell well at auction. My car list included a 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400, it came stock from the factory with four on the floor and a Hurst shifter, a Jaguar XKE convertible, a 1969 Porsche 911 sedan, a Triumph TR4, a couple of Datsun Z style cars and a VW Bug. I even earned a trophy from racing my Triumph. My current Toyota 2010 FJ Cruiser is likely to become a classic following in the footsteps of its predecessor. What does all this have to do with photography? I love seeing and photographing the beautiful and incredible cars that are displayed at the Concours d’Elegance shows across the US. The National Street Rod Association (NSRA) also holds annual events across the US with an unbelievable array of street rods. My NSRA favorite is the big show in Louisville, KY, held annually in August.

Canton, Ohio had a very popular Concours d’Elegance show here called the ‘Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles’ held at the Glenmoor Country Club. I never missed it since moving back to Canton. We did not have the standing of the premier Pebble Beach, CA concours, but the famous did attend. I met Wayne Carini from Velocity’s ‘Chasing Classic Cars’ at our local show. The Glenmoore Gathering was canceled before the 2013 show was held after eighteen years at the Glenmoor CC. It was so popular with Northeast Ohio that I believe the venue was overwhelmed. The stated reason was that “fewer major local sponsors out there to support a show like this . . .” (the underline is my editorial addition). In 2014 the revived show moved to the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, OH. On the Stan Hywet website the following was posted after the event; “The 2014 Concours d’Elegance . . . exceeded our sustainable capacity to support it . . .”. That ended the nineteen year series of Northeast Ohio Concours d’Elegance events. It is held now only at two remaining Ohio locations; Dayton at Carillon Park in September and during June at Ault Park in Cincinnati. My camera and I will be at the Dayton venue in September. I hope that it is as well attended by antique car enthusiasts as our Northeast Ohio show. We lost a major classic & antique automobile and motorcycle show that needs to return to Northeast Ohio.

Our eighteenth and last Glenmoor Gathering featured the cars of Preston Tucker and Sydney Allard. One of the features of the TUCKER 48 is the ‘cyclops eye’ headlamp in the middle of the front that would turn in the direction the car would turn. It was a rear engine car powered by a flat six from the wartime Franklin helicopter. It had a top speed of 120 mph. The ALLARD was made in England using Ford components and Ford & Cadillac V8 engines. It is the sports and racing cars where Allard gained acclaim. The Allard won the 1949 Royal Automobile Club Hillclimb and later US races at Watkins Glen and others. Some of my favorite cars are always the Stutz’s and the Hupmobiles. The Stutz Motor Company started business in 1911 and continued until 1935. It was known as a producer of America’s first sports car and luxury cars for our movie stars. They produced over 35,000 cars in their brief history. The Hupmobile was produced by the Hupp Motor Car Company of Detroit, MI, founded by Robert Craig Hupp. He may have been a relative, my mother was a Hupp. It was manufactured from 1909 through 1940, with sales of over 65,000 in 1928. The National Football League was created in Canton, OH at Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile dealership. The Hupmobile competed well with Ford and Chevrolet. It survived after the well known Cord Motor Co. went defunct and in 1939 buying some of their production dies. They shared the Cord dies in an unsuccessful joint venture with Graham-Page Motor Co. Both companies went out of business shortly after producing only 319 Skylarks with those dies.

Don’t forget we have a Classic Car Museum right here in Canton, Ohio. For more information visit their website at www.cantonclassiccar.org The Dayton 2016 Concours d’Elegance will begin at 10:30 AM on Sunday, September 18th for the public. If you want more information visit their website www.daytonconcours.com/concours.php. For more information on the NSRA events visit www.nsra-usa.com/Events. You can find many more of my photographs from around Ohio and other great outdoor places I love on my website www.jackrperry.photography. You can link to my YouTube video of the 2012 Glenmoor gathering auto tour from my home page. Follow me on FaceBook at ‘jrperry’ and like ‘ohiocoveredbridges’. Watch for my more in-depth articles and photographs of some of my favorite places in Ohio and other states. (details on the Stutz Motor Co & the Hupp Motor Co. were sourced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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