Monday, May 24, 2010

American (Auto) Beauties

A short drive from our Santa Fe base led us to J & R Vintage Auto Museum in Rio Rancho.

In 1959, Gab Joiner bought his first antique car, a 1926 Model T Ford coupe, which he later traded for a '28 Chevrolet.

In 1988, Gab's wife, Evonna, and her friend Melba Anderson entered the Great American Race, going from Disneyland to Boston, and became the first all-female team to finish the race.

Since I missed an entire series of lessons on auto maintenance, I can only appreciate the craftsmanship present in these restored beauties below. I can only supply the year and make of some of the 70 autos and trucks that Gab and his team have restored.

The autos and trucks are housed in a large building and proudly displayed in rows and rows.

On the right in this photo is a 1926 Ford Model T Pickup, and to the left of it is a 1924 Depot Hack.

1912 Buick Gentleman's Roadster Model 28. (The steering wheel was not moved to the left for another two years.)

The radiator cap/hood ornament on a 1915 Dodge Touring model. (It reads "Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles.")

1930 Chevrolet.

1934 Ford Cabriolet.

Two views of a 1938 Diamond T.

One of my favorites was this 1923 Paige Seven Passenger Phaeton (right and the next four photos).

1924 Marmon Model 34B

and its hood ornament.

1927 Marmon hood ornament.

In 1989, Gab, son Bill, and son-in-law Bobby drove a 1931 REO truck in the Great American Race from Norfolk, Virginia to Disneyland. Gab and Evonna ran the race together from 1990 until 2007. They won the 1995 race, which ran from Ottawa, Canada to Mexico City, Mexico, in the Buick Sportsman's Class. All of their race cars are on display, including the 1917 Marmon in which they won the '95 race.

Following the 2008 Great American Race, the Great Race went bankrupt, ending 25 years of Great Racing, but the memories linger on in the J & R Vintage Auto Museum.

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