By Earleen Hinton
Barry Jacobs and Gary Black have more in common than just living in Oregon.
They both love their Mercury Comets.
Jacobs and Black were two of the nearly 90 car enthusiasts who brought their cars to the Oregon Lions Club’s Annual Father’s Day Car Show on Sunday.
Jacobs has a deep-red 1964 Caliente and Black has a hot-red 1965 Cyclone.
“I’ve had it about 7 years. I just really liked the model,” said Jacobs. “I even have records of when Bemis Motors worked on it.”
Bemis was the longtime Ford dealer in Oregon prior to closing several years ago.
Black has owned his Cyclone for 20 years. “I like the body style,” he said.
His first car was a 1964 Caliente and when he returned home from serving in Vietnam in 1968 he bought a 1965 Mercury.
“I served in 1967-68 and I bought one when I got back,” he said, noting that he sold the car when he married and had children.
Twenty years ago, he decided to buy the Cyclone. “I bought it as a gift for myself for surviving the kids and the war,” he said smiling.
Two rows over, a much different kind of vehicle was a very different kind of ride—Nick Hensley’s 1973 Cadillac Super Duty Hearse.
The Compton resident created the trumped up hearse by putting it on top of a 1994 F150 1-ton Ford truck, powered by a 73 IDI, 4-stroke diesel engine.
“It was a frame-on-frame body swap,” said Hensley, who is a diesel mechanic. “I worked on it for about 3 months on weekends and nights.”
The 1973 hearse has a 1942 Cadillac grill and bumper, complete with a metal skull. Two creepy doll heads’ peer out of one of the side windows and the jacked-up hearse carries a casket with the wording “we make funerals fun” on the back window.
“It’s different and it definitely stands out,” said Hensley laughing. “It weighs just under 9,000 pounds. I took went over a truck scale to find out. That’s how petty I am.”
Amanda Harbaugh of Chana, who was at the show with her 5 girls and husband Scott, found the more classic cars to her liking.
“I like the old ones better,” she said.
Scott agreed: “They have more character than the newer ones.”
Doug Aken, one of the car show organizers, said the threat of rain may have deterred some car owners from attending.
“Our hardcore people still showed up,” he said.
The Lions Club also served a pancake breakfast in the morning and then pork chops and bratwurst in the afternoon.