Vintage Car Fans Come Face to Grill with Wheels of Their Dreams in Santa Barbara
Release Date: May 19,2019
Unsettled weather no deterrent for spectators as State Street Nationals Premier Car Show stretches along 10 blocks of State Street downtown
Carpinteria resident Jack Sanford bought a 1940 Ford Fordor Sedan Deluxe in Kentfield for $125 after he was discharged from the military in 1954.
The vehicle broke down when he was driving across the country to Long Island, N.Y., to get married to his wife. Last year, the couple celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
The car was stored on blocks inside his parents’ detached two-car garage in New York until 1990.
And for a Christmas present, Sanford’s six children chipped in to have the car shipped back to California.
Sanford had hoped to restore the car and take his family for a ride in it someday, but it was put back on blocks until 2006 when a rehabilitation project began. More than 3,000 hours were devoted to the repairs, and turn signals and four seat belts were added.
The vehicle was restored to the conditions that existed when it came off the assembly line at Ford Motor Co.’s Detroit manufacturing plant in 1939.
The repairs were completed by 2009.
Sanford and his nearly 80-year-old automobile participated alongside hundreds of antique, classic and special interest vehicles on display in downtown Santa Barbara on Sunday for the 19th annual State Street Nationals Premier Car Show.
His car was parked at the corner of State and Sola streets near the historic Arlington Theatre.
“This is the first time it has been out in the rain,” Sanford said, adding that he usually takes the car for a drive once a month or lets the engine run.
“It doesn’t come outside often. When I bought it, I always thought it was a great car and it was in good shape.”
Hundreds of cars, plus a handful of vintage motorcycles, vendors and live music from area bands, participated in the one-day event, which stretched along 10 blocks of State Street between Micheltorena and Haley streets.
Swarms of car aficionados gathered in each block to admire some jaw-dropping vehicles.
The free event was followed by an award ceremony at State and De la Guerra streets.
Proceeds from the gathering support the local community, including the Downtown Santa Barbara organization, the Page Youth Center, the Goleta Lions Club and the Wounded Warrior Project, according to event organizers.