The train was rolling on the tracks and the people kept flowing onto the village green as Boothbay Railway Village Museum held its Antique Auto Day: Sock Hop, Soda Pops & Whistle Stops event on Saturday, July 17.
Between 65 and 70 vintage cars, trucks and one motorcycle were on display for all to enjoy. The local Murky Water Band cranked out the ’50s-themed music from the Village Stable and employees and volunteers served up hamburgers, hot dogs, soft pretzels, popcorn and more – and later, root beer floats – consistently between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors also enjoyed lawn games and the many displays and amenities offered at BRVM.
Father and son David and Jeff Boston, after stopping to admire a 1987 Chevrolet El Camino owned by Neal Reny of Boothbay, said they were enjoying the display of antique cars.
"It really takes you back," said David Boston of Kennebunk, who added that it had been a few years since he and wife Carol, as well as Jeff, of Limington, had visited the Boothbay region. Boston said he used to drive El Caminos (a 1972 and a 1974) with a company he worked for.
"It is nice to be back in Boothbay," said a smiling Carol, who caught up with her husband and son a few minutes later. Carol had been watching the two grandchildren. "It's been a lot of fun today."
Geoffrey Kansa of Boothbay Harbor and his family brought their "souped-up" Radio Flyer wagon, made by Kansa and his father Robert from recycled parts found at the dump and modified in part by a local metal fabrication shop.
"It was a memorable first birthday gift for our daughter," said Kansa, who added that his family was into collecting old British race cars. "The engine opens up for storage.”
Drawing a lot of attention was the black 1957 Jaguar, an XK 140 drop head coupe model owned by Yvan and Donna Dupay of Blue Hill.
"We have owned it for three years and my husband has done all the work on the car," said Donna Dupay. “It is a very comfortable ride.”
Boothbay resident Doug Fowle brought his 1960 Land Rover, an 88 Series II model, to the show.
"I still use it in the winter to plow my driveway," said Fowle.
Also drawing much attention was the oldest vehicle in the lot – a 1904 Oldsmobile Runabout. It stalled a couple of times while touring the grounds and the owners finally drove it into the parking lot and put the car in the trailer.
Catching up with BRVM founder George McEvoy, he mentioned the good turnout for the event and "There's a little bit of this and that," referring to the varied display of antique cars and trucks.
Ted Foss of Durham, formerly of Boothbay Harbor, had his 1965 Chevy Corvair convertible, a Monza model, on display. One passerby inquired about its unique color. Foss said it was "Evening Orchard."
"I bought it in Florida in 1971 and sold it after a few years. It sat in a local garage for 16 years before I reacquired it," said Foss.
The event was the second big event of the summer season at BRVM (Olde Village Days was held July 4) celebrating Maine’s Bicentennial. The event was hosted in partnership with The Maine Obsolete Auto League (MOAL). Established in 1948, MOAL grew into four chapters: Aroostook Region in 1956, Seacoast Region in 1963, Paul Bunyan Region in 1964 and Dirigo Region in 1965.