A gathering of vintage Fords drops by Batavia

Jul 28, 2016

If you saw a lot of nice old Fords last week, it was no coincidence.

Sixty members of the Ford V8 Club spent last week touring Western New York and the Finger Lakes. They started July 8 in Batavia and ending with a farewell banquet Friday night at Bohn’s.

During the week, their travels took them to Olean, Cornell, Binghamton and Auburn before returning to Batavia, where they stayed at the Clarion Inn.

Touring instead of staying in one spot for the week was an idea of club president Milly Scheidt of Brockport, who arranged the trip with the help of club secretary Nancy McNair of Warsaw.

McNair has been a member since 1996 and with her partner Mark owns a 1932 Roadster. He originally purchased the car as a chassis and cowl in 1982 and spent two and one-half years restoring it.

“It’s all original parts,” McNair said. “It belongs in our family. It’s a wonderful old car.”

They drove it to California for six weeks in 2013 with 30 other Ford V8 Club members from the East Coast.

“We’ve met so many wonderful people through this organization,” McNair said.

Keith Randall of Springfield, Va. is owner of three Ford V8s, although he didn’t drive one to the meeting.

His 1938 Fordor has its original plates and spare tire, he said. It joins a 1936 Cabriolet and a 1916 Model T Touring car, which his dad bought in 1958.

“I was with him when he bought it, and after he died,” Randall said. “I fixed it up in honor of him.”

The first show he took it to was the Antique Automobile Club of America, where it won first place. Since then he has won first place at a second show and at the Grand Nationals last year in Williamsport, Pa.

Randall is also a member of the Ford Model T Club whose international meet is this week in Auburn. As of Friday night, he said 290 owners had already registered their Model Ts.

“I like to drive my cars,” Randall said. “Everyone here likes to get out and show off their cars.”

That is why Scheidt suggested touring with them for the week, rather than staying in one area, she said.

“The idea is for people to get their cars out of the garage and enjoy them,” she said.

After having tours for her regional group, they decided to open it up to other clubs, which proved to be a very popular decision.

The gathering brought Ford owners from New York, Ohio, Connecticut, Indiana, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada, as well as two couples from Sweden.

“One of our members loaned two of his cars to the Swedish couples to drive while they are here,” McNair said.

The Regional Ford V8 Club meets once a month and national groups have events throughout the summer, Scheidt said.

By VIRGINIA KROPF, FOR THE DAILY NEWS