BANGOR, Maine — A shiny black 1923 Ford T-Bucket, with a purple-and-cream-trimmed interior and lightning bolts on the sides, was one of many antique cars on display at Saturday’s Wheels on the Waterfront event.
Owner Wayne Kimball and his wife, Rhonda, of Chester sat in lawn chairs near the open-cab two-seater as hundreds of people strolled by checking out their T-Bucket and the other 300 or so antique and modern cars and trucks parked together along the Penobscot River.
“You always get waves and head turns” from people when driving along, Wayne Kimball said. “I wanted one since I was a little kid, and I finally found this one that had a reasonable price. I bought it off a guy from Cherryfield” about six months ago.
His grandson has already said the T-Bucket is his inheritance, Wayne Kimball said with a smile.
“He’s 5,” said his wife, Rhonda, with an even bigger smile.
The second annual Wheels on the Waterfront event, sponsored by the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, was a great success, Executive Director Kerrie Tripp said Saturday afternoon, while Rockin’ Ron and the New Society Band played ’50s and ’60s music in the background.
“I’m so happy with today’s turnout,” she said. “It’s just been an amazing day.”
Vehicles from every decade stretching back to the early 20th century converged on the waterfront for the show. Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros and Firebirds were big draws, as well as cars that are not as well known, such as the 1952 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery.
Teresa Maybury of Brewer said her husband, Mark, found the Delivery through word of mouth three years ago. The vehicle at that time was embedded in the ground and surrounded by trees at a friend of a friend’s property in Kenduskeag.
“He had to cut down half a cord of wood” to get at the car, Teresa Maybury said.
The project car has been “chopped and channeled” and awaits a paint job that someday will make it a deep metallic purple, she said. The roof of the vehicle has been chopped, the hood has been “pancaked” to reduce its height, and “suicide doors” have been added. All together the sedan has been lowered about 11 inches.
“My husband has done all the work,” Teresa Maybury said. “I help out when I can.”
Maybury, who is a board member for Boy Scout Troop 15 in Brewer, which held another car show Sunday as part of Brewer Days, said she handed out hundreds of fliers advertising the event.
With around 300 unique vehicles and car enthusiasts from all over the state, together with Saturday’s sun, Tripp said she couldn’t ask for more.
“There are a ton of great cars, and these people are so incredible,” she said. “It’s like a little culture. They travel together, and hang out together.”
In addition to the cars and trucks, at least one tractor was on display and three remote-controlled trucks. Picking a favorite was hard for Tripp, but not her son Wendel Cross, 13, who attends the James Doughty School in Bangor.
“Mrs. Trask, my math teacher’s car,” he said. “It’s a purple car with white flames on it.”
The car show, which was free for attendees and cost $5 to $15 for vehicle owners, had 26 different categories that received accolades, and this year a Mayor’s Choice was added, Tripp said. The mayor was to name his choice late Saturday.
The complete list of categories will be posted Monday on the Visitors Bureau Web site at http://bangorcvb.org.
To feed the masses, local nonprofit groups set up booths to sell food, drinks, desserts and snacks to participants and onlookers as a way to raise funds, she said. There was even a bounce house for children.
Around 40 volunteers, including students from the Penobscot Job Corps and United Technologies Center, were on hand to help set up and with judging. They did “a great job for us,” Tripp said.
There is no question that the Wheels on the Waterfront event will return next year, she said.
“We’ll do it the same time next year — the weekend after Labor Day,” Tripp said.