Rock Around the Quilted Tree
Thanks to all who participated in the annual Heritage Fair Car Show, sponsored by Intren and TCF Bank of Huntley. The Best of Show winner was Bob Thomson of Woodstock, recognized for his 1969 Pontiac Firebird. The People's Choice winner was Dennis Doerge of Huntley. He was recognized for his mint 1949 Buick Super Convertible.
Thomson said he has been building hot rods out of the garage since he was 15 years old. His attention turned to high-performance boats and motorcycles for awhile, before returning to cars.
Thomson, an industrial engineer and salesman at General Kinematics Corp. in Crystal Lake, bought the "black plate" Firebird in California and set about rebuilding it from the ground up. Following four years of restoration, it hit the show circuit two years ago.
It now boasts a custom 650-horsepower engine, new paint job and a myriad of other improvements that make it perfect for "parking lot autocrossing."
"It's basically a hobby and a challenge – to build something from the ground up and make decisions on every nut and bolt. You are basically marrying a modern drive train onto an old body. ... The cost of building something like this is extremely high but you can save yourself a bunch of money because it's your own labor."
Doerge bought the mint, cream-colored 1949 Buick Super Convertible about a year ago – about the time he retired from the Buick dealership he owned in Glenview. All told, he’s been a car collector for 40 years.
“I like ’40s and ’50s cars,” Doerge said. “I’ve seen this type of car, even had one before.”
Through a national Buick club, Doerge tracked down the rare car in Bemidgi, Minn. It had sat in a garage for years and had just 254 miles on it. Following restoration – which included brakes, a gas tank and a new paint job – it was back on the road … at least every once in awhile.
“Union is a great show,” Doerge said. “I attend every year.”
The other top 20 vehicles, as selected by show participants, were:
Dennis Ball, Huntley, 1966 Chevy Chevelle SS; Tom Alford, Sycamore, 1966 Chevy Corvette; Jack Mainiero, Huntley, 1941 Chevy Coupe; Lenny Culozaco, Marengo, 1962 Chevrolet Impala; Dick Piwonka, Marengo, 1971 Buick G5455 Stage; jerry and Carol Horne, Union, 1955 Studebaker Speedster; John Archacki, Harmony, 1957 Chevy Convertible; Neil Hohlstein, Marengo, 1956 Chevy Bel-Air (Gasser); Bill Martenson, Woodstock, 1966 Chevy Nova; Roger and Kathy Porep, Woodstock, 1956 Lincoln Mark II; Al Laudato, Marengo (vehicle anonymous); John Knowlos, marengo, 1969 Chevy 2/28; Pat Bullis, Marengo, 1965 Ford Cobra; Korin and Carryl McIntosh, Marengo, 1965 AMC AMX; Howie Thomas, Hampsire, 1955 Studebaker Champ; Rick and Sara Clyton, DeKalb, 1972 Chevy Malibu; Tom Miller, Marengo, 2007 Ford Mustang; Tom Jurs, Union, 1946 International K7; Maryann Urban, Carpentersville, 1968 Ford Mustang GT, California Special.
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