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Hoosier Tour

Nearly 50 classic Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs were on display at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly plant during the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival Hoosier Tour. James Bartlett of Houston talks about his 1935 Auburn Supercharged. Journal Gazette video by Chad Ryan.

Chad Ryan | The Journal GazetteNearly 50 classic cars parked in the half-circle drive in front of the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant on Tuesday as part of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival Hoosier Tour. GM employees used part of their lunch breaks to come out and view the cars, which later headed to Peru and Kokomo to continue the tour.

Classic cars take to the streets

GM plant a tour stop as vehicles driven to Auburn-Cord festival

Dozens of classic Auburns, Cords and Duesenberg cars converged on Fort Wayne’s General Motors Assembly plant Tuesday to let the people who build the most up-to-date trucks have a peek at what the auto industry was producing years before they were born.

The arrival of the cars, which came from California, Maine, Texas and several other states, was part of what is called the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival Hoosier Tour to promote the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival which starts this weekend in Auburn.

The tour, which is in its 39th year, will also make stops in Peru and Kokomo before heading for Auburn for the start of the festival.

The hope was that workers at GM’s mile-long truck plant would be able to come out during their lunch break to admire the cars, but few workers, who get 30 minutes for lunch, had time to make it to the event and make it back on the job.

The lack of audience didn’t seem to bother the owners, who seemed happy to have anyone take notice of their cars, which ranged from a one-of-a-kind Auburn from the 1920s to never-restored cars in their original condition.

Joe Stromski, who works in the box line at the plant, wandered briefly among the cars and simply said, "Beautiful."

Stromski, expressing a little bit of amazement, said he’s lived here 20 years and has never gone to the auto museum in Auburn or the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg Festival. "The guys at work don’t know about them."

Kevin Bolger, an electrician at the plant, was taking pictures of some of the cars, marveling at some of the workmanship, and lamenting that he had a friend who was crazy about old cars like this but wasn’t there.

Just as amazing was that many of the cars weren’t hauled to the GM plant in trailers but were driven by their owners, some from as far as Texas, Pennsylvania and Missouri, to take part in the tour through the state to Auburn.

"It’s just a hunk of metal, that’s all it is," said Al Light of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, when asked if it made him nervous to drive his near-priceless 1936 Cord 810 Phaeton on long trips on the highway. If you can’t enjoy it, what’s the sense of having it, he said.

Cameron Petersen of Missouri had the same attitude about his 1935 Auburn Club sedan. "It’s just a car in the end; that’s all it is. For most of us it’s not the value of the car monetarily. It’s the value historically."

fgray@jg.net Dozens of classic Auburns, Cords and Duesenberg cars converged on Fort Wayne’s General Motors Assembly plant Tuesday to let the people who build the most up-to-date trucks have a peek at what the auto industry was producing years before they were born.

The arrival of the cars, which came from California, Maine, Texas and several other states, was part of what is called the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival Hoosier Tour to promote the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival which starts this weekend in Auburn.

The tour, which is in its 39th year, will also make stops in Peru and Kokomo before heading for Auburn for the start of the festival.

The hope was that workers at GM’s mile-long truck plant would be able to come out during their lunch break to admire the cars, but few workers, who get 30 minutes for lunch, had time to make it to the event and make it back on the job in time.

The lack of audience didn’t seem to bother the owners, who seemed happy to have anyone take notice of their cars, which ranged from a one-of-a-kind Auburn from the 1920s to never-restored cars in their original condition.

Joe Stromski, who works in the box line at the plant, wandered briefly among the cars and simply said, "Beautiful."

Stromski, expressing a little bit of amazement, said he’s lived here 20 years and has never gone to the auto museum in Auburn or the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg-Festival. "The guys at work don’t know about them."

Kevin Bolger, an electrician at the plant, was taking pictures of some of the cars, marveling at some of the workmanship, and lamenting that he had a friend who was crazy about old cars like this but wasn’t there.

Just as amazing was that many of the cars weren’t hauled to the GM plant in trailers but were driven by their owners, some from as far as Texas, Pennsylvania and Missouri, to take part in the tour through the state to Auburn.

"It’s just a hunk of metal, that’s all it is," said Al Light of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, when asked if it made him nervous to drive his near-priceless 1936 Cord 810 Phaeton on long trips on the highway. If you can’t enjoy it, what’s the sense of having it? he said.

Cameron Petersen of Missouri had the same attitude about his 1935 Auburn Club sedan. "It’s just a car in the end; that’s all it is. For most of us it’s not the value of the car monetarily. It’s the value historically."

fgray@jg.net

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