Engines were revving and tires were polished this weekend for the eighth annual Cruisin’ the Heartland.
Hundreds of classic automobiles, from 1950 Chevrolet Bel Airs to 1964 Corvettes, lined the streets of downtown, all with their own unique story.
One such vehicle parked downtown was a 1917 Model T Ford. The vehicle was bought in Adair county by Bryan S. Miller and has remained in the family for 100 years. The current owner is Mike Miller, grandson of Bryan S. Miller.
“My grandfather bought it new 100 years ago,” Miller said.
After it first was purchased, Miller said the family drove the Model T for about 14 years. It then was parked and the rear axle jacked up and used to operate a saw.
“A lot of people would do that back in the day,” he said. “They would saw firewood to heat the house with. So this was a motor to run the saw.”
Following the use of the car as a power source for a saw, the old Model T was parked in a shed behind the Miller home until 1955. That year, Bryan’s son James Miller purchased the car and it remained in storage until 1992 when it was moved to Elizabethtown by Mike Miller.
Elvin Smith Sr. and Harold Lewis restored the car, which had become dilapidated over the years.
“So, it’s been really fun,” Miller said, noting the car doesn’t have an automatic starter, it has to be cranked. “It’s just been fun. There probably aren’t too many cars this old that are in the same family.”
At the event with Miller was David Pepper, who said the Model T has gotten the most attention out of any vehicle he has had at the show, adding he has been every year.
“Sometimes, I have five cars down here, I’ve never had anything like that,” he said. “Who else has had a car for 100 years?”
Pepper, of Hardin County, was showing a torqoise and white 1955 Chevy Bel Air during the event. He said he had the same type of car in 1955 and it played a part in the courtship with his wife. They have been married 55 years. And, he just likes the car.
“I’ve always liked the torquise and white ’55 Chevy ever since I was a kid and got behind the steering wheel one day and said, ‘I want one of these,’” he said.
Also parked along that stretch of street was Lucian Borders, who Pepper said he has been friends with since they were in grade school. Borders, from Tennessee, is the man Pepper bought the Bel Air from. Borders said he purchased the vehicle at a flea market.
Pepper said both of their passions for classic cars and restoration is something that has bonded them throughout the years.
“We both had this common interest that we never dreamed about,” he said.
Also at the festival with a Bel Air – a 1957 model colored red and white – was Edward Sea of Lawrenceburg. He said he just likes the styling of it.
“It was made in the ’50s and I was born in the ’50s,” he said.
Sitting along another street in middle of Cruisin’ the Heartland watching over his ’64 Chevy Corvette was James Raney, who was in town from Louisville. He said he attends quite a few car shows and has previously attended Cruisin’. He said there typically is a good crowd and nice cars.
“It’s one of the better ones around,” he said.