Antique Cars Bridge Generations

Amy Mevorach
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

In spring and early summer, color emerges, not only from the garden but from the garage. After winter’s hibernation, David Morrison’s cherry red ’57 Chevy is ready to roll, but not too far.
“The most I drive it in one day is 30 miles,” he said. “It takes about half an hour to get to the shows.” The antique car shows in the area are festivals with music, food courts, and prizes for the cars. Morrison’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is a memorable feature for many local residents. “Every time I go to one of the shows, somebody tells me they recognize it from Newton or Brookline from when they were a kid.”
First owned by a woman in Newton who drove it to the Cape and back, the car was bought by two brothers who had watched it on their paper route. Forty-five years later, Morrison purchased the car from one of the brothers and has cared for it for ten years.
“I always loved ’57 Chevys,” he said. “I had one growing up.” Morrison drove his first Chevy to high school, then decided he wanted to race it. “I made it into a stock car for racing track. I ripped out the interior. I had roll bars put in. I would race it at the Westborough Speedway which is now a shopping mall. My dad was my pit crew and my best friend, and my two good friends were there. I was 18, 19 years old. It was fun.”
The car shows in the area provide a setting to relive some of the glory days. One is Medfield on the Charles, which took place on June 24 this year. “Probably close to 1000 cars go to that show. They have a live band. I go early and get a spot in the shade.” The shows attract people of all ages, as generations enjoy nostalgia for the past. Charlie Harris, President of the Medfield on the Charles, calls the event, on their web site, “our own American Graffiti or a recanting of our Happy Days.... Car Shows let the minds go back in time, a really good time.”
While recreating a bit of the past, the good times continue in the present. “I get a lot of smiles, waves, beeping horns,” Morrison said. “I let the kids sit in the car at the shows. It makes their day and their parents’ day. And it makes my day to see their faces light up. The nice part about going to car shows is you meet nice people.”
A community forms around the car shows, as many of the same people frequent them all. Upcoming is the Bay State Antique Auto Club event Sunday, July 8 at Endicott Estate in Dedham.
Basic maintenance of an antique car involves changing the oil and filter and washing and waxing the exterior. Morrison also replaced the suspension, clutch, brakes and tires. “You gotta know how to work on them. Guys like me grew up working on them. It’s a hobby, something I’ll keep forever.”
Morrison and his wife, Pam, have two grown sons, David and Scott. Scott, who recently graduated from Keene State College in New Hampshire, has an interest in older vehicles. He has learned to drive a standard, change the oil, spark plugs, and distribution points.
In Natick’s annual Fourth of July parade, Morrison and about 30 other antique car owners from Natick and surrounding towns cruise down Main Street. “It’s loud,” Morrison said. “It’s fun, though.”