Heritage Essex hosts Ford frenzy car show

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fredFORDs-at-heritageby Fred Groves

Niagara, Comet, Durango, Mustang…

Any way you call it, it’s a Ford.

Friday afternoon was turned into a Ford frenzy at the Essex Railway Station as Heritage Essex hosted a car show that was specifically for one brand of auto.

“We found out that they have been selling Fords in Essex for 91 years,” Bill Gay of Heritage Essex said.
Gay added that a recent announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Windsor plant would be getting a big financial boost is another reason that the local heritage group decided to put on the show that attracted well over two dozen cars.

“We thought we would let people know that its nothing new and it goes way back,” he added of having a strong Ford brand in the area.

Essex dealership Ken Knapp brought several new models to the show on Friday, but it was the vintage cars that got all the attention.

Norm Larocque of St. Joachim brought his classy looking red 1956 Mainline that he said took 10 years and nearly $40,000 to restore.

“When I bought it, it was a race car, it had a roll bar in it. I drove it like that for two summers and then I got tired of driving it in a straight line,” Larocque commented.

He said he was first attracted to the Ford brand as a kid when his grandfather had a 1956 Crown Victoria.
Asked if his Mainline is fun to drive, Larocque smiled but also recalled how sometimes restoring the car was a little frustrating.

“There was a time when I let it sit there for six months,” he admitted.

With just 20,000 miles on the engine, Larocque is proud of his car that took second in its class at the 2016 Autorama at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

Another award winner at the drive-in on Friday was Claude Dube’s 1949 British Ford Prefect that he said has brought in 35 plaques of recognition.

Dube, of Harrow, might be a car guy, but it’s better to call him a craftsman. Everything on the car he handmade to look like the original with a few modifications.

“My wife originally found it in Amherstburg and she bought it for me as a gift,” he said.

Cup holders that pull out from under the front seats, a 1960s tough-sounding 350 four-barrel engine, and a meticulous attention to detail are some of the features of Dube’s car.