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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Classics and hot rods of all kind line the street at Harrington Car Show

HARRINGTON, Wash. – A sleepy wheat farming town of about 400 people in Lincoln County was the destination for more than 200 classic cars and hot rods Saturday.

With hoods popped and doors ajar, it was a menagerie for auto enthusiasts to mingle, marvel and talk shop in a quaint, countryside setting.

Hosted by the Studebaker Garage in memory of founder Allen Jay Barth, the 12th Annual Harrington Car Show featured much more than Studebakers. The freestyle show was open to all makes and models, with 22 award categories from pre-1929 to modern.

Larry Wainwright, of Deer Park, said he likes the show because it is friendly and laid back.

“No one has their nose in the air thinking they are better than everyone else,” Wainwright said, as he taped his entry form to the windshield of his light green 1970 Chevy Chevelle.

A pair of rusty 1940s -era trucks were proud to show off farther up the street.

Elvin Brincefield, from Ephrata, Washington, owned his 1942 Chevy pickup for 20 years before he fixed it up – by installing the motor and transmission from his race car. He appreciates the rust patina.

“You don’t have to worry about somebody scratching your paint job,” Brincefield said.

His friend Chris McCart’s truck is a Frankenstein hodgepodge of a cabin, frame and bed from different trucks welded together. “Forty-eight-ish, a bit of everything,” his entry form says under make and model.

Brincefield and McCart competed in the “Rat Rod” category, a class for souped-up beaters.

Melissa Druffel was frantically polishing her friend Jerri Berg’s ’51 Chevy inside and out. Berg, who is from Moscow, Idaho, chuckled and offered to buy her breakfast.

“I grew up with hot rods,” Druffel said. “It bugs me when things are dirty.”

Berg bought the car as “an overall daily cruiser” a year ago from Stockton, California. Her goal is to hit as many car shows as she can this year and it was her first time to Harrington.

“This is a lot bigger than I anticipated,” Berg said. Most small town shows she has attended have been tiny. “It makes me happy to see.”

Ben Wille, a Nine Mile Falls resident who often visits Harrington, said the show gets bigger every year. Latecomers Saturday had to park on side streets.

Tim Deprey, president of the Central Washington chapter of Studebaker Drivers Club, displayed his 1955 Studebaker Commander across from the street from the Studebaker Garage.

The defunct car brand runs in his blood. When his family moved to Yakima in the early ’70s, his mom wanted a pre-war car, so his dad came home one day with a ’41 Commander. She still has that car and won a trophy with it in Harrington two years ago.

“It’s amazing, we all have a car we’ve had for at least 40 years,” Deprey said.

His two brothers have Studebakers they bought as teenagers.

Deprey remembers riding in the front seat between the stick shift of the family’s spare car, a Studebaker truck they sold in 1980. When it showed up on Craigslist about five years ago, his brother bought it, fixed it and gave it to him. He uses it to tow an old Shasta trailer to go camping.

Personal stories like these are swapped all day as car owners hang out in camp chairs on the sidewalk.

The Harrington Car Show is held the third Saturday in May every year.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.