Ashford Senior Center Car Cruise kicks off classic car show season

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., May. 23, 2013
The 1963 Chrysler New York police car belonging to Joe DeLuco of Coventry (pictured with his sons Dylan and Bryan) got a lot of attention at the Ashford Senior Center Car Cruise. Photos by Annie Gentile.
The 1963 Chrysler New York police car belonging to Joe DeLuco of Coventry (pictured with his sons Dylan and Bryan) got a lot of attention at the Ashford Senior Center Car Cruise. Photos by Annie Gentile.

With the month of May and warmer weather, welcome thoughts arrive of picnics, graduation parties and outdoor fun. May also brings with it the first of the summer car cruise shows, and one that is becoming more popular each year is the Ashford Senior Center Car Cruise.

On Sunday, May 19, the Ashford Senior Center held its fourth annual Car Cruise on the Senior Center grounds, along with a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, classic ’50s tunes, and plenty of food.

Every show has a vehicle or two that draws a little extra attention, and that was very much the case with Joe DeLuco’s 1963 Chrysler New Yorker police car. DeLuco said he purchased the car on e-Bay out of Detroit and learned it had once been featured on the television show “Hardcore Pawn,” a show about Detroit’s largest pawn shop. DeLuco, who resides in Coventry, said he drives the car often throughout the area, no doubt getting plenty of second looks.

While some classic cars like DeLuco’s are purchased in mint condition, others are bought as project cars needing any amount of restoration work. Such was the case for Ron DaRos of Scotland, Conn., who purchased a 1936 modified Ford pickup, which once served as a Lake Bunggee Volunteer Fire Department truck for the town of Woodstock. “I could never afford Fords, but this one fit my price range and I was looking for a project,” said DaRos. A former car fabricator, DaRos said he completely rebuilt the truck.

“I’ve been playing with [classic cars] all my life,” said David Johnson of Putnam, who was showing his 1930 Model A coupe. Johnson said the coupe is one of seven classic cars he has owned over the years, and that while he enjoys participating in the car shows, he especially likes just taking them out on the open road or letting his grandchildren sit in the rumble seat and taking them for a spin. Only recently, Johnson said he fulfilled a promise to his son of handing over a 1930 pickup he had owned for more than 37 years. “We made a deal that when he got a house that had a garage, he could have the car, and so when he bought a house in Colorado, I drove it out to him. I could have trailered it and taken it out that way, but what kind of a story would that be?  Instead I made the trip in six and half days and had quite an adventure,” he said.

Ron Miller of Scotland, Conn., said his 1932 Ford Model 18 is the first Ford V-8 that was made and the car that started the hot rod craze. “It was called ‘The Deuce’ and hot rods would typically have a modified engine and different wheels,” he said. Miller said he only occasionally participates in classic car shows, preferring instead to put on the miles going on tours with other car clubs around the country. “It’s a good, clean hobby,” he said.

“This is our fourth year now, and I have to give a lot of credit to my seniors who really do all the work putting on this show,” said Senior Center Director Judy Lucas. “They really enjoy it and I love the show, too. Ashford seniors really rock!”


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