A 1937 Ford Sedan Delivery will be one of the Salem cars attending the Concours d'Elegance. (courtesy John Drzal)
Next weekend hundreds of classic cars will make their way to Forest Grove for the annual Concours d’Elegance. A handful of vintage Salem vehicles will be among them.
Like a 1919 Ford school bus.
Or a white, 1937 Ford Sedan Delivery.
That’s the car John Drzal is bringing to next weekend’s show.
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He said the model he drives is rare-- roughly 9,000 total were made.
Getting original parts is difficult and that’s one of the reasons people turn to modifying them.
“Mainly you want to be able to be safe on the road,” he said.
The car has new steering and a 200-horsepower engine. He said the car likely came off the factory floor with an 80-horsepower engine.
His more than 80-year-old car keeps up with other cars on the interstate, reaching speeds of more than 70 mph.
Drzal said he and wife enjoy taking the car on Sunday drives.
When he’s on the road driving to Silverton for instance, he said fellow car lovers will blink their headlights at him.
Going to a car show is a little different because, “Everybody at a car show everybody thinks their car is the best,” he said.
A 1919 school bus will be one of hundreds of cars at next weekend's event. (courtesy Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance)
During the Forest Grove show, hundreds of car enthusiasts will compete in 50 judged classes.
“A concours show is the best of the best,” Drzal said. “There’s not going to be any slacker cars.”
Drzal said a lot of money can go into classic cars. Some of the paint jobs cost upwards of $20,000.
“Those are the kind of paint jobs I could shave or you could put your makeup on by looking at the reflection,” he said.
Chip Chipman is bringing his 1941 Willis coupe painted “Lamborghini gold.”
Chipman said he finished the car seven months ago and most everything inside is hand-built.
There’s a stereo system in the trunk that Chipman said “can make the bass jump about half an inch when I turn it up.” Under the hood, there’s a 502 engine with aluminum components that he hand polishes.
Usually Willis cars are used for drag racing, but Chipman said, “I’m in it for the beauty of the car, not necessarily the speed.”
He said working on classic cars is a hobby both he and his wife enjoy. The pair took two-and-half years to finish the Willis.
Chipman said everything they’ve done to the car is a dream.
There’s gold leaf on the trim that gets as many comments on as the rest of the car.
“Mine and my wife’s biggest thrill at a car show is when somebody walks up to us and says: ‘Oh man, that’s a beautiful car,’” he said.
The show takes place at the Pacific University Campus on Sunday July 21 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 2043 College Way, Forest Grove.
Tickets cost $17 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for teens and free for kids 12 and under.
Advance tickets are available online.
Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.