Story and Photography by Ron Williams
I recently attended the Free Wheelers antique car show that benefited several AIDS organizations. This annual event was held in the Castro at Collingwood Park and included cars from early automotive history, the Lincoln used in "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane," all the way up to the muscle cars of the 60s and 70s.
During the show I approached several organization member trying to get more information about the organization, I passed out my card hoping someone would come forward representing the organization and give me more in depth information about this spectacular car club. Well as a result, I walked away with several good photos, but not much of a story.
My perspective of the car show is purely one of visual form and beauty. I know very little about any of these cars from a technical point of view. I can't tell you what year they were built, of what type of engine, etc. I can tell you this, these automobiles are alive, they have personalities, they are icons of America's love affair with machines and gadgets. Going beyond that, the automobile became the status indicator of the American middle class after the great depression and World War II. These status symbols of our American past have become a connection with a time in American life when things were much simpler.
Today, in our cookie cutter mass production society, the art of quality craftsmanship is rare in affordable automobiles. Part of the fascination of old cars, is the dedication to craftsmanship that resulted in unsurpassed quality and design. These guys obviously have a passion for this lost craftsmanship and large bank accounts as well. Automobile restoration is a religion, a worship of quality and art, if you will. All the cars at the show were in various stages of restoration, but common to every car on exhibit was pride, polish, sparkle, romance and nostalgia.
I really enjoyed this car show and look forward to next year. Hopefully, next year I'll have more information on the Free Wheelers, or is it Freewheelers?
© 1996 WebCastro and The Castro Star