December 18, 2017
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Car show at Cole Museum to benefit local VFWs

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No pedigree is required for those wishing to enter their classic car or one-of-a-kind motorcycle in the Hot Rods N Heroes Car Show on Saturday, May 3, at Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor.

“If you have a car or motorcycle you’re proud of, we’ll welcome it,” said Terry Bean, commander of Whitcomb-Baker Post 4633 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Hampden. The entry fee for a car or motorcycle is just $10, with proceeds benefiting Post 4633 and Norman N. Dow-Isaac E. Clewley Post 1761 in Bangor, commanded by Lawrence Holland.

The two posts also will share the admission fee of $5 paid by adult spectators who come to the first-time show and are welcome to tour the Cole Museum as well. As always, those 18 and under are admitted free.

The car show also will benefit the museum by bringing more people to see what the facility has to offer, from horse-drawn wagon to 18-wheeler, from convertible to Mack truck to snowplows and train cars.

The car show, which will award trophies in several categories, will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on May 3, just five days after the museum opens for the season that runs daily through Veterans Day at 405 Perry Road.

“We recognized that we needed an event early in the season that brought local folks into our museum,” explained Jim Neville, director of operations. ”A friction point for us is getting people from our region to come to the museum and see the amazing Maine displays that we have, or to get them to return — you never see everything on your first visit.”

Bean would agree with that sentiment. He was enchanted by the museum’s display of restored motorcycles, which are located right across the aisle from the Cole collection of bicycles, including “the bone shaker,” a wooden bicycle from 1840 that was donated by one of Bean’s relatives, Robert Strout of Bradford.

As for the cars and motorcycles that take part in the May 3 car show, Bean is hoping to see some muscle cars such as the Super B and the Barracuda. A 1989 graduate of Hampden Academy, he has fond memories of a car once owned by his dad, a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner — violet, no less.

And, Bean has it on good authority that one of the cars showing on May 3 will be an original, one-owner 1972 Corvette.

Those wanting to sign up their car or motorcycle may visit the Facebook page at, or contact Terry Bean in Hampden.

Completed registration forms should be emailed to, Bean said. With the event running 9 a.m.-4 p.m., exhibitors may bring their vehicle to show at 8 a.m., then take their vehicle home by 5 p.m.

Proceeds from the car show will be welcome to the VFW posts, Bean said, noting that the organizations have plenty of fix-up projects that need doing.

Himself a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard as a mechanic, Bean added that members of both posts are hoping to make the acquaintance of others who are interested in joining VFW, which is seeing more new faces in its ranks as U.S. military presence in the Middle East winds down.

Neville shares that hope, pointing out that the museum’s walking stick program, Veterans Interview Program and organization of Veterans Day activities keep the museum involved with veterans all season.

“We like to maintain our commitment to help veterans, so partnering with the local VFWs seemed like a winning scenario,” Neville said.

Cole Land Transportation Museum will open for the season at 9 a.m. Monday, April 28. Regular admission is $7 adults, $6 AAA members, free age 18 and under.