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May 22, 2017

The Donald Gilmore Showcase: A Weekend In Review

2017 Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase Tour, Show, and Swap Meet The TOUR - Friday, May 19, 2017 Over 60 cars including an unrestored 1909 Cadillac took on a 92-mile tour south of the Gilmore Car Museum into three counties and made stops at a former Ford Dealership, a working 1870s water powered mill and a restored historic village and museum. They were also likely the very last group of automobiles to ever cross the 1887s Langley Covered Bridge north of Centreville -- the state’s longest remaining covered bridge at 282 feet -- which will soon be open to pedestrian crossing only. The SHOW and SWAP MEET - Saturday, May 20, 2017 Despite a chilly wind and treat of an afternoon shower,over 75 cars arrived for the 2nd annual Gilmore Pre-1942 Showcase. Demonstrations were given by an 1886 Benz – representative of the world’s first automobile, a 1911 Stanley steam car, a 1916 Detroit Electric, and an unrestored 1914 Ford Model T. The public and participants enjoyed seeing vehicles, such as a chauffeur-driven 1917 Hudson Limousine complete with the occupants dressed in period attire to a 1941 Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven within the historic campus. Each of the cars that passed by had their own stories but the most amazing was that of a 1912 Sears Motor Buggy. Purchased new out of the Sears mail-order catalog, this newfangled contraption arrived by train in Waupaca County, Wisconsin. In the 105 years since, the car has never ever left that county. The original family used it for decades and it eventually went to Chet Krause, founder of the Old Cars Weekly and the Iola (Wis.) Car Show, both located in Waupaca County. The car eventually was gifted to the Iola Car Show itself and now resides in the Iola Historical Society collection. On Saturday, May 20th, 105 years after being delivered to that small Wisconsin community, the little Sears crossed Lake Michigan, landed at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI and delighted the crowds as it drove on campus. In fact, the Sears, which had not been started in many years, astonished many on Friday as it completed a 30-mile scenic driving tour, the only one of the four Sears Motor Buggies on hands this weekend to do so. Special awards were given by Museum Executive Director Chris Shires to the following: Oldest Vehicle 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dash driven by Al Scholten of Holland, MI Best Vintage Attire Pattie and Gene Birdsall of Rockford, MI Pattie was dressed as a first-class passenger of the 1917 Hudson Limousine driven by husband Gene dress as a uniformed chauffer. Preservation Award Charles Stephenson of Perry, MI for his completely understored 1929 REO Flying Cloud Best of Show Went to Scott and Susan Mrdeza of Lennon, MI for their 1923 Studebaker Light Six with Disc Wheel option The Gilmore Award Robert Frost of Greenfield, Indiana for his unrestored 1906 Leader. The car was produced by his grandfather Arthur Frost, who in 1905, converted his Columbia Telephone manufacturing company in to the Leader auto company. Robert was able to locate and purchase this example after decades of searching. Thank you to everyone from our spectators, drivers, exhibitors to the many volunteers who made this event possible - see you next year!