By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Terry Adam and his wife, Chris, waved to friends and strangers as they cruised around downtown Goshen in their purple 1941 Willys.
“This is a good thing,” Chris said, as the Goshen couple took part in the fifth annual First Fridays Goshen Cruisin’ Reunion.
“I built this from the frame up in 2000. It’s a lot to do...and took about nine months,” Terry said. “My dad passed away in 1999 and Willys used to be a big drag race car in the ‘60s and I thought it would be a good tribute to my dad. This is the ultimate. It gets about 12 miles per gallon and with a 647 horse power engine, you can’t beat 12 miles per gallon. We’ve put 23,000 miles on it. We do drive it.”
Terry says he was a “grease monkey” as a youngster and always liked helping his dad with his cars.
“I got it in my system. I like to tinker with cars,” Terry said. “We had to sell some cars to build this one. “I quit counting the receipts at $68,000.
The couple enjoy going to car shows and have won awards like best engine and other categories.
“If we don’t win, it doesn’t matter,” Chris said. “There’s a new generation coming up and they appreciate what we have. We like people to appreciate what we do.”
The sidewalks were filled with people, young and old, sitting and standing as hundreds of spruced up cars and trucks cruised around and around the blocks for four hours Friday evening. The drivers were revving their engines while stopped at a red light.
“We really are enjoying this. It is very nice. The street rods are what brought me here,” said Len Tibbie of Illinois. He was camping in Middlebury with his wife, Luana, and they saw an advertisement for the event.
“I really like the 40s Willy and that 1954 Corvette. It caught my eye,” Tibbie said. “I used to have a 1939 Chevy two-door sedan.”
The cars cruising around the Goshen Courthouse Square brought back memories for his wife, Luana.
“I remember going cruising around the square where we lived,” she said, laughing and waving to a couple in a convertible that drove by.
Lloyd Legendre of Louisiana sat beside the couple, holding his camera.
“It’s the nostalgic ride and living in that era,” Legendre said, about his reasons for attending the event. “These cars will never be around again. It draws a lot of people and it’s good for the community. They just never make cars like this anymore.”
Nine-year-old Alston Glick kneeled on the sidewalk, looking for his favorite classic cars — the Nova’s.
“My sister’s name was Tara Nova and she passed away,” Alston said.
And with the resilience of a child continued naming favorites.
“I like the Chevys and Hondas too, and the “Fast and Furious” cars.”