ARLINGTON — For Rachel Brown, sharing a love of cars is a family tradition.
“This is my dad’s car, he’s had it for more than 30 years,” said Brown, who showed her dad’s 1940 Willys Coupe at the Point Gardner Vintage Auto Club’s annual Drag Strip Reunion and Car Show at the Arlington Municipal Airport on Sept. 8.
“We’ve been coming here for probably seven or eight years,” said Brown of the show, which is the only one her family goes to. “We just love this show, we love the nostalgia. It’s always treated us right.”
Brown’s experience with vintage cars began during childhood.
“My dad got me started welding when I was 12 years old, but I started learning all the different body styles when I was 10,” said Brown. “My brother and I started working on cars as projects early on, so we had cars to drive in high school. It’s pretty neat, not a lot of kids can say that they can do that.”
For her father, Joe Brown, the car that he brought to the show isn’t just eye candy for vintage auto enthusiasts. It’s a physical representation of his past, as the car has been his for more than half his life.
“Originally I bought it in a partnership deal in 1979,” he said. “After that I bought out the other share and started building it in 1980. I finished it and started racing it at the end of the ‘83 season and most of the ‘84 season.”
A strong love for cars brings another sense of pride for Rachel Brown, who currently owns three vintage rides.
“I was kind of the only girl who was working on the cars. It’s still kind of strange. I’ll start asking a guy about his car and he usually thinks that because I’m a girl, I don’t know anything. And usually it turns out that I know more about his car than he does!” she laughed. “I encourage any woman to get into the car culture. It’s very rewarding.”
The PGVAC Drag Strip Reunion and Car Show can be rewarding in another way as well, as all of the proceeds are donated to area nonprofit organizations and charities.
“We’ve had a bigger attendance this year than we’ve seen in the last three years,” said Dana Sprouse, PGVAC member. “We’ve had great support from area businesses in both Arlington and Marysville.”
Arlington resident Rob McLean has attended the show every year since its inception to either check out other cars or show his 1932 Ford pickup. His love for cars spans back to his grade-school years.
“I was about 7 years old and I watched American Graffiti,” he said. “I fell in love with the little yellow coupe. I grew up and never quit thinking about having a hotrod.”
For a young man interested in owning his own hotrod, money was an issue.
“I couldn’t afford to buy one. So I built it from the ground up,” said McLean. “It took me eight years to complete. But now I have an unlimited amount of fun and I’ve only put about $4,000 into it.”
Having the opportunity to share stories about cars and meet new people is quite a draw for McLean, who looks forward to the show every year.
“This is a place for every kind of car person to come and express themselves,” he said.
The PGVAC Drag Strip Reunion Car Show is held on the first Saturday in September. For more information visit www.pgvac.com.