The small farming town of Sprague, Washington is getting a reputation for its cars. And trucks. There are dozens of vehicles in the collections of Dave Jones and Dave Thompson, who have accumulated lots full of unrestored classics. To some, they are an eyesore, rusting away in the elements. For car lovers, they are a cross between a museum and a time machine to a better, more innocent time.
This 1940 Packard woody wagon sits in Dave Thompson’s car lot in Sprague, Wash., Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Thompson was told that Ansel Adams drove this vehicle on a trip through Montana and Yellowstone Park, so he’s hunting for provenance.
Did Ansel Adams sit here? Car collector Dave Thompson of Sprague, Wash. was told that this 1940 Packard woody wagon was once driven by the famous photographer on one of his Montana/Yellowstone trips. Proving that is a different matter, but he’s still hopeful.
The coach maker’s medallion is still on a piece of wood in a 1940 Packard woody wagon and collector Dave Thompson is using all the clues at his disposal to prove the dilapidated wagon in his lot was once driven by Ansel Adams on a photography trip through Montana.
Rachel Thompson, 4, right, and her brother David, 9, stand inside a 1930s Packard in their father’s lot in downtown Sprague, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Dave Thompson collects old cars, and his kids spend a lot of time amongst the wrecks.
Dave Thompson, far right, and his family of Sprague, Wash. stand with Dave’s impressive collection of Ford Model T cars, mostly just piles of parts, Thompson’s car collection, in downtown Sprague and at a rural acreage he owns, has become a kind of tourist attraction. Thompson’s family includes David, 9, Zach, 13, and Rachel, 5, and wife Jewelle.
Dave Jones of Sprague, Wash. has filled his shop, a storage building and an empty lot with old commercial trucks of all shapes and sizes, mostly those made before 1960. His lot has become a bit of a tourist attraction so he is working with a photographer to publish a picture book of his collection.
Dorothy and Gary Giddings sit in front of their antique store in downtown Sprague, Wash., Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Because two prominent car collectors have gathered mountains of old cars and parts, Dorothy has been selling a lot of old parts, especially those for Ford Model T and Model A cars.
Because of the reputation of Sprague, Wash. as a place to find old car parts, antique store owner Dorothy Giddings has begun stockpiling old parts with the help of local collectors so she can sell them to visitors or over the internet.
Antique store owner Dorothy Giddings, right, is filling an old building with old car parts with the help of car collectors Dave Thompson, reflected at left and Dave Jones, reflected center, in downtown Sprague, Wash., Wednesday, May 16, 2013.