Old Car Festival celebrates 60th anniversary

DEARBORN — The Henry Ford’s Old Car Festival will extend its streak as the nation’s longest-running antique car show Sept. 11 to 12 in Greenfield Village.

The 60th anniversary show is expected to draw about 500 vintage cars from 1890 to 1932, including early alternative fuel vehicles.

Throughout the weekend, a number of what today would be called “alternative fuel” vehicles – including Stanley Steamer, Detroit Electric and Baker Electric cars that were readily available in the early 20th century market – will be on display and on the move. Curator of transportation Bob Casey will speak on those early examples of “green” automobiles at noon both days of the show.

In addition, internationally known Stanley Steamer car expert Mike May will be on hand to give a special presentation and demonstration about the Stanley brothers and their car.

At 6 p.m. Sept. 11 and 12:30 p.m. Sept. 12, a replica of The Henry Ford’s 1901 Sweepstakes – Henry Ford’s race car, which provided him with the financial backing to create Ford Motor Co. – and the recently restored original 1903 Packard trans-continental race car Old Pacific will drive through the streets of Greenfield Village.

All weekend, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the owners of the vehicles in the show, including a collection of Kissel Gold Bugs, a rare roadster of which only 30 are now known to exist. Pass-in-review parades with a panel of automotive historians will provide additional commentary on examples of pre-1932 transportation.

The Canadian Model T Assembly Team will assemble a Model T in minutes at various times throughout the weekend, and car games will be conducted at Walnut Grove. The village’s historic Model T’s will be available for rides, and children can drive pedal cars at Junior Driver’s Ed. The Silver Strings Dulcimer Society will provide music of the era.

Saturday will close out the evening with a vintage vehicle parade through the lantern-lit streets of Greenfield Village, followed by dancing and music from the 1920s by the Hotel Savarine Society Orchestra and a fireworks show.

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 11 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 12. Admission is $22 for adults, $21 for ages 62 and up, $16 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and under.

For more information call (313) 982-6001 or go to www.thehenryford.org.