Show and Shine in the Fourth of July City

We spent Independence Day in Seward, Nebraska’s Official Fourth of July City. This town takes America’s birthday very seriously and has hosted a celebration virtually every year since the town was established in 1868. The town is located in Seward County, and both were named for William H. Seward, a Republican and strong opponent of slavery who served as President Lincoln’s Secretary of State during the Civil War.

Seward has less than 7,000 residents, but the number of attendees at this annual festival is estimated at an incredible 40,000. This year it included everything an American could want for the country’s birthday celebration such as an anvil firing; flag raising complete with reveille and the firing of an historic cannon; parades and fireworks; an apple pie eating contest; a craft show with vendors covering the entire courthouse square; live music and blocks of food trucks; Revolutionary and Civil War era soldier encampments; actors portraying Presidents Lincoln and Grant mingling with folks at the Nebraska National Guard Museum, and so much more. Happily for me, there was also a car show, so here are a few pictures of some of the entries. Note that the ’54 Willys Jeep is for sale, priced at $19,995 obo!

1936 Chevrolet Coupe
1972 Dodge Charger
Rat rod with Punisher grille
1954 Chevy Bel Air
1953 Chevy Bel Air Gasser
1959 Dodge Coronet
1954 Willys M38A1
1937 Pontiac
1930 Model A

1953 Chevrolet

I really like this eye-catching, sporty 1953 Chevy, maybe because the color is reminiscent of Nebraska’s state flower:

This particular Chevy is a Bel Air, a name that General Motors first introduced in 1950 as a luxury hardtop coupe and which would become virtually synonymous with the Chevrolet name. 1953 was significant for the Bel Air because that was the year it was launched as its own premium series with four body styles including 2-door sedans, 4-door sedans, convertibles and sport coupes like this one:

Buyers had a choice of two high-compression (7.5 to 1) Valve-in-Head engines in ’53, the 108-hp Thrift-King engine with syncro-mesh standard transmission and the 115-hp Blue Flame which could be teamed with the optional Powerglide automatic transmission.

The color of this striking Chevy is very close to one of the original paint colors called Sungold . . . .

1953 Chevrolet Paint Colors
480 Onyx Black 490 Driftwood Gray 496 Dusk Gray 498 Surf Green
499 Woodland Green 501 Regatta Blue 503 Horizon Blue 504 Sahara Beige
505 Madeira Maroon 506 Target Red 507 Campus Cream 508 Sungold
509 Saddle Brown India Ivory 

. . . but maybe they should have named it Goldenrod.

Ford Big Job Truck

Many of the car shows we frequent have been canceled this year, and I have missed them terribly. That’s why I was beyond excited to make the short trip to Elm Creek, Nebraska, to attend the show hosted by the E.C. Cruisers Car Club. There were many beautiful rides gracing the downtown streets of this central Nebraska village, and here are just a few:

1953 Chevy
1934 Ford
1951 Merc
1955 Ford Vic

It is fairly rare to see big trucks at the local car shows, so I was absolutely thrilled to see this unique entry:

It is a 1952 Ford F7, part of the “Big Job” line, and someone has made it gorgeous. The original truck would have come equipped with the 145-hp 279-ci Cargo King V-8 engine. The chassis in ’52 was available in a variety of lengths, ranging from a 135 to 195-inch WB, and the cab was either the 5-Star Cab or the 5-Star Extra. The “extra” consisted of things like sound deadener, custom door panel trim, sun visors, arm rests, door locks, chrome windshield molding and an illuminated cigar lighter. I don’t know what this particular truck had for a cab originally, but it was not neglected in the upgrade:

However big the job, it would be a blast to work it in this beast!

So many steering wheels . . . .

We recently had someone ask us if we would be interested in a bunch of old steering wheels hanging in their barn. We are always interested, so we went there to take a look and left with ALL the steering wheels. This is what 55 steering wheels look like crammed into the back of a van:

And this is what my dog looks like when she is not happy about being forced to share her van space with a mountain of steering wheels:

Some are not in the greatest of shape but have horn rings that can be salvaged like these 1955 Oldsmobile and 1959 Dodge horn rings:

A few of the others we have cleaned up so far:

1940s Chevy Fleetmaster
1953 Chevy
1955-56 Chevy
1960-66 Chevy Truck
1967 Dodge C Body