At noon every Tuesday, up to 30 guys assemble at Shoey's Cool Creations, 706 S. Sandusky St., to talk about the latest updates on their cars and to make small talk over lunch.
With the average age of the group being 70 years old, conversation often gravitates to topics of health or, as a last resort, maintaining their collectible cars.
"We used to get together to talk about cars and girls, but now it's about cars and who had the last operation," Burt Park joked.
PHOTO BY AARON POST
Members of The Car Club that meet Tuesdays at Shoey’s Cool Creations pose with a 1910 Pullman car.
Park said he founded the Car Club several years ago.
"The club started when I gave a handicapped friend a ride to go out to eat, then another friend decided to join us, and another friend, as you can imagine," he said.
The Car Club first gathered at Mary and John's Hamburger Shop, but when that business closed, the men needed another place to get together for lunch.
"We like it here. They have the table space, good food and good service and a large enough parking area and they usually like us here," Park said of Cool Creations.
Restaurant owner Paul Shoemaker reiterated Park's rationale.
"We're real fortunate that they chose this restaurant to come to. They have good people and we have good service and good prices, so they keep coming back," said Shoemaker.
One member of the Car Club, who prefers to be identified only as Duane, drove a 1910 Pullman to Cool Creations Tuesday.
"I've been working on this car for 40 years," he said.
He gave several members of the Car Club a ride through town.
Vintage cars are popular among the group.
Seneca County resident Frank Bugner owns a couple.
"I have a 1909 Maxwell and a 1910 Anderson Motor Buggy," Bugner said. "And they run."
"That's the interesting thing," Park added. " They run."
Large flea markets or swap meets often have the parts car buffs are looking for to make their cars work properly.
"Some of these guys go to swap meets," said member Tom Stimmel. "Hershey , Pa., is the largest. (The meet) has vintage auto parts that line 9 miles long. People fly in from Europe and all over to go there."
The Hershey Fall Meet is the largest gathering of collector-car enthusiasts in the United States with more than 10,000 vendors which takes place in early October. The meet also hosts a car show and auction.
Stimmel said he used to race cars all over the country in the late 1950s.
"I raced in Indianapolis, Tulsa, Okla., Michigan and Texas," he said.
He said he has a love for muscle cars.
"I have a '77 Chrysler Cordoba, and one winter I modified the engine in it," he said.
Stimmel gave more insight to the older generation of collectible cars.
"Before the '40s, there were hundreds of brands of cars. Today, there's only a dozen," he noted.
He said Duane's 1910 Pullman was only around for a few years before it was discontinued. The Pullman vehicle originally was manufactured during the Brass Era (1898-1912, according to Park).
Stimmel said what he enjoys about modifying cars is having the mechanical aptitude to fix them and being able to enjoy the cars afterward.
"A lot of us knew of each other in high school and had cars then," Park said. "We all have a common interest."