An estimated 550 historic vehicles of various makes and models rumbled into Boyertown Community Park for the 55th Annual Duryea Day Antique & Classic Car & Truck Show & Flea Market on Saturday, Sept. 4.
“Duryea Day always offers a great chance to socialize and meet new people and hear about their cars — this seems like something extremely valuable given the past year and a half with all that COVID has brought us,” said Kendra Cook, Executive Director of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles.
Hosted by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, along with the Pottstown Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, the antique and classic car, truck and motorcycle show benefits the Boyertown Museum and helps the Museum to continue its mission of collecting, preserving and exhibiting Pennsylvania transportation heritage.
The Boyertown Museum, like Duryea Day, began in 1965 and continues to tell Pennsylvania’s industrial, cultural and technological history through the lens of road transportation.
COVID restrictions canceled last year’s event.
“It really did hurt to not be able to get together last year,” she said. “The people and their stories are as much a part of Duryea Day as the cars.”
Other than in 2020, Duryea Day only had to call off the event one other time.
“We had to cancel in 2006 when Hurricane Ernesto made having the show unsafe and impractical. That is the only other time in Duryea Day’s long history that we had to call off the event.”
Cook said Duryea Day is a time where the staff and volunteers can count on seeing some of their friends with their cars.
“This is a family friendly event and we love hearing from people who have attended since they were kids, and that they’re bringing their kids and grandkids now,” she said.
Three generations of the Frederick family attended Duryea Day.
“The older (the car) the better,” said Christine Frederick, and her grandson Niko agreed.
“I loved the DeLorean,” added Tim Frederick.
David March of Boyertown has only owned his 1981 DMC-12 Delorean for two weeks. He calls it “The Delorean of Berks County.”
“I’m using it to help promote local businesses,” said March, a retired entrepreneur who calls himself the Goodwill Ambassador. “I drive in. I do a write up. I post on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/David.March.GoodwillAmbassador).”
“Small businesses — this COVID has really hurt them,” continued March. “I learned that people are just so attracted to this car. I figure I park it somewhere and can help that small business.”
And he does this for free.
“I just get in the car and go. I focus on brick and mortar stores, especially restaurants,” he said. “I also raise money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.”
The event organizers do not put any restrictions on what car or truck can be shown — all years, makes, and models are welcome which means the event draws a wide variety of vehicles of very early cars, muscle cars, stock, hot rods, modifieds, military and commercial.
“We don’t put restrictions on age, make or type of show vehicle. It allows us to get (vehicles) that are all original, that are souped up and modified, that are in pristine condition, or that look like they were just taken out of a barn. It’s great and it means there is something for everyone,” said Cook.
Barry Mcmillan of Hilltown attends Duryea Day every year with his 12 V BMW 507 Electric Kids’ Car and photos of his BMW 507 Handmade Car because he said insurance companies won’t insure the handmade car which he estimates to be worth around $5 million.
Mcmillan explained that a 1957 BMW 507 Roadster sold for more than $5 million at a 2018 auction. BMW only produced around 250 of the cars between 1956 and 1959. He does not know his BMW’s model year because BMW doesn’t know.
“It took them a year to build.”
Jim ‘Pop’ Fitch, of Pottstown, has owned his Speedster for four years.
“I have two grand kids that call me ‘Pop’ so this car was made in Pop’s Garage,” said Fitch. “There’s just a little bit of everything in the car; the pedals are from a sewing machine, the seats are from a WWII bomber.”
Trophies are awarded in the following categories: Antique Pre War, Antique Post War, Antique Motorcycle, Antique Truck-Pickup, Antique Truck-Commercial, Street Machine, Street Rod, Sports Car.
“There isn’t really a top prize,” Cook said, “we just try to find an amazing example of each category to highlight the diversity of vehicles that come to this event.”
Rick Stirling of Glenolden and his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air took the prize for Street Machine at Duryea Day. This was the third year Stirling attended Duryea Day, but the first time he won a trophy.
The Antique Pre War Car trophy was presented to Bob Pizio for his 1930 Ford Model A Roadster.
The Antique Truck Pickup trophy was presented to Larry Rohrback of New Oxford for his 1965 Ford F100 Custom Cab.
Planning for the next Duryea Day event begins as soon as the last one ends.
“Right away, we take a critical eye to the event and what we can do to make next year better and run more smoothly,” said Cook.
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is located at 85 S. Walnut St. in Boyertown.
For more information about Duryea Day, visit https://boyertownmuseum.org/duryea-day/ or for more about the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles go to https://boyertownmuseum.org/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Boyertown.Museum.
Source: Berkshire mont