MV Olde Car Club’s weekly classic cruise gives back to community
By Billy Ludt
A lasting legacy among Mahoning Valley residents is the classic cars they maintain decades after they’re manufactured.
The Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club keeps this tradition alive with a weekly car cruise at the Austintown Senior Center, 100 Westchester Drive, that has brought classic-car enthusiasts and owners together every week since May 9. The event runs every Tuesday until Sept. 12 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Many classic-car owners breathe new life into their vehicles, investing thousands of dollars for swapping out body kits, changing front and rear ends and putting in new engines to keep them on the road.
“We do it because we enjoy it,” said club chairman Richard Posivak. “But we also do it to make some money.”
That money translates into a donation the club makes at the end of the cruise for a room at Hospice of the Valley. The club will fully purchase a room at Hospice after years of payments. The money is raised from sponsorships and registration fees for cruises and car shows.
A separate car show the club puts on also raises money for a select child from the Valley with excess medical expenses.
“We do it for the kids,” Posivak said. “When you see that family receive that money, it makes all the time you put into these cruises and shows worth it.”
He added, “All the money we make goes to charities of some sort.”
The senior center provides the lot and makes food inside for attendees. A DJ comes to the cruise every week to play classic music and car owners are entered into weekly raffles.
Bob Knapp of Berlin Center is the owner of a 1955 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan, and he brought his car to the cruise this week. He had the same Sedan before deploying for Vietnam, and lent it to a friend for when he returned stateside.
But when Knapp returned from the service, he said he discovered his friend totaled the car, and it wasn’t until recently he purchased another.
“It’s about what you did as a kid,” Knapp said. “When you’re a kid, you get in your car and take girls out on dates and go to the beach. It just makes you feel good. It’s because you valued it then, but you couldn’t get it.”
Dennis Ingram of McDonald had his 1940 Ford Deluxe on display. He said his interest in classic cars started in the late 1990s, right about when his kids started moving out.
“Having these car shows means everything, really,” he said. “Otherwise, it would just be five or six people hanging out at a drive-in together. The amount of work they put in to organize these cruises, most people don’t realize how much effort it is. There’s a lot of work put into it and doing it on a weekly basis, I’m sure that’s a lot harder.”
The Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club is having its 39th annual Antique, Classic & Special Interest Car Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Boardman Park, 375 Boardman-Poland Road.