When Carter Turner walks down Main Street in his 1929 Mercedes replica, his dad Chris gets behind the wheel and they turn up the volume on the bluetooth enabled radio and blow up some old guys.
But on Saturday, the 14-year-old Boerne High School student proudly parked it next to the sidewalk, showing off his first car for the first time at the 35th annual Key to the Hills Rod Run.
Sponsored by the Pride of Texas Car Club, the Rod Run is the state’s only pre-1949 auto show, said event chairman Lanne Brehmer. This year, more than 300 owners exhibited their Fords, Packard, Cords and Coupes and told each other the stories of their cars and the hundreds of people who walked the barricaded street.
A lifelong car enthusiast, Brehmer, 81, sat among them all in the shade of the park gazebo, happy to see the car owners and crowds as much as the many unique street bars. Meeting Turner for the first time was a highlight for him.
“It starts with cars, but these people come from all over the United States [and] sometimes we only see them once a year, ”Brehmer said. “They are the most wonderful people you have ever wanted to meet in your life.”
The number of classic car owners is dropping, he said, and emissions are expensive to produce, which has led him to think about ending the Rod Run in 2020. “Last year was going to go on. being our last year, then my son turned around and said, “No, I know how much you love the event, love the people, and we’re going to keep it going,” Brehmer said.
Jeff Beard has been here every year for 12 years and this time he drove from Midland to the event in a 1934 Packard 1101 Roadster he bought for $ 148,000 three weeks ago. The car originally sold for between $ 4,400 and $ 5,400 during a period when the average annual salary was $ 1,000.
“So you had to have the means back then to buy a car like this,” Beard said.
The heavy equipment dealership grew up around his uncle’s gas station and today owns a total of 22 classic cars. He has eight left to fill his list of cars he hopes to someday own.
Bill Cord Hummel from Boerne brought his 1937 Cord 812 supercharged Phaeton, one of 196 such cars ever built and one of three classic cars he owns. The cord was made by an Indiana company owned by his grandfather EL Cord and is said to have sold for over $ 3,000 in new condition.
For Hummel, the Cord is a family heirloom and it proudly showed off the many modern features of Hollywood’s favorite “art deco” style car, including its hidden headlights and V-8 engine. Hummel admires engineering and design, but he especially loves the three cars he owns for what they mean to his family and to him.
“The reason people love cars – the best cars in the world – isn’t because of their beauty, it’s who they belong to,” he said. “In the automotive world, they call it ‘provenance’.”
This truth was visible throughout the event where conversations about the cars could be heard around every corner.
The story of how the teenager Turner acquired a classic car two years ago involves having “sacrificed” his off-road bike and a few other things to make the down payment. Her whole family loves racing and cars.
“If there’s an engine in it, we love it,” said Chris, Turner’s dad.