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A cool case of gridlock

Sun., June 17, 2007

So many cars, so little time.

Last year, Kurt Larsen missed the annual Car d’Lane Classic Car Show. This year, he arrived more than an hour early Saturday.

The roaring engines and shiny cars that circled downtown Coeur d’Alene on Friday night posed silently on the street Saturday. Virtually every color of the rainbow was there, the vibrant reds, blues and yellows gleaming.

“I started out taking photos of every car, but there got to be so many of them,” said Larsen, of Coeur d’Alene, whose father owned a ‘55 Chevy.

He was joined later in the day by thousands of people walking through the streets admiring the hundreds of classics and hot rods parked downtown in the 17th annual Car d’Lane Classic Car Weekend event.

Of the cars on display, one pint-size race car attracted attention from a much younger crowd.

Ten-year-old Cole Kenworthy invited kids to jump in and have a seat in his 1958 Moss Quarter Midget. Parents gave their children the nudge of approval to get into the car.

Cole’s father, Brian Kenworthy, bought the car for his son five years ago. Kenworthy, of Seattle, began searching after seeing a similar car in a private collection. His search started on eBay, but his housekeeper, after noting Kenworthy’s interest, mentioned that her husband had one in their garage he might be willing to sell.

“It was sitting in our driveway by the end of the day,” Kenworthy said.

Owning the Midget will become a family tradition when father and son pass the car on to the youngest boy in the family, 5-year-old Austin. Cole Kenworthy drove the Midget frequently until school and extracurricular activities took prescedence. The father and son plan to restore the car in a few years.

For Bill Hartzell, retirement provided the right opportunity to restore his Metallic Blue 1971 Chevy Nova.

“I bought it brand new,” said Hartzell.

Hartzell and his wife, Carolyn Hartzell, drove the Nova 700 miles from Grants Pass, Ore., to participate in the show. It has about 381,000 miles, Bill Hartzell said. The complete frame-off restoration took him a year to complete. When you’re retired, you can work on it all you want, he said.

Mike Perich, who has attended the show five times, said he saw more hot rod, backyard-type work this weekend than in past years.

“You can relate more to it, like you might actually be able to afford it, unlike some of the $300,000 work you see here,” Perich said.

Perich is in the process of restoring a ‘64 Chevy Nova. He used to own a body shop and is doing the work himself.

“Me and my dad came out because we both like muscle cars,” said Michelle Perich, who attended for the first time.

The father and daughter drove from Canada for the event.


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