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Car owners reveal vehicular labors of love

Free car show at fairgrounds on Saturday

Staff photos by Fritz Busch Above: Antique Automobile Club of America Grand National Zenith Award competition at the New Ulm Civic Center Friday includes a 1911 Packard Model 30, far right; and a 1934 Cadillac Imperial Sedan.

NEW ULM — A Stillwater man who spent years restoring a 1910 REO Model G Runabout is part of the 2021 AACA Grand Nationals Zenith Award Competition this weekend.

Tom Shore talked candidly about his REO that spent much of its life in the back of a blacksmith shop. Brought back to life in the 1980s, it was often part of antique car tours in southern Minnesota.

“I bought it in 2012 at an estate sale of a collector who passed away,” said Shore. “It was not a show car then. I took it apart piece by piece and restored everything but the brass and diamond tuck upholstery, which was done by others.”

“I also like working with wood, restoring pine cabinets and refinishing old furniture, so that works out well with restoring old cars, some of which are made of wood except for the frame and sheet metal,” Shore said.

His REO is powered by a 10-horsepower engine with a two-speed transmission providing rear wheel power with a chain.

Tom Shore of Stillwater stands next to his single-cylinder 1910 REO Model G Runabout at the 2021 Antique Automobile Association of America Zenith Awards judging at the New Ulm Civic Center Friday. A car show free to the public, is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24 at the Brown County Fairgrounds.

“It shakes a lot and doesn’t go over 25 mph,” Shore admitted.

Shore said he found the correct factory color for the REO by matching untouched paint found under the original upholstery that was not exposed to sunlight.

“It’s a fun hobby,” Shore said about restoring antique vehicles. “I enjoy helping friends who restore their own cars or hire it out.”

This weekend, Shore’s REO is among 18 vehicles from around the United States vying for the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Grand Nationals Zenith Award that annually recognizes superior restorations.

Besides his 1910 REO, Shore’s antique car collection includes a 1915 Model T Touring car, 1936 Chevrolet coupe, 1940 Buick limousine, 1972 Ford Gran Torino, 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra and a 1987 Chevrolet El Camino.

Other vehicles vying for the Zenish Award this weekend here include a 1917 Locomobile 48 Sportif Victoria, 1930 Ford Model A, 1956 Ford Thunderbird, 1934 Cadillac Imperial sedan, 1931 Chevrolet Model AE, 1969 Buick GS 400 Stage 1, 1935 Ford Model 48, 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Bierritz, 1970 Plymouth GTX, 1951 Ford F-3, 1939 Ford Deluxe, 1941 Lincoln Continental, 1955 Studebaker President Speedster, 1914 Overland 795 Speedster, 1930 Ruxton Model C by Rauch & Lang, 1957 Chevrolet Corvette and 1911 Packard Model 30.

The Zenith Award winners will be part of a free, open to the public car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24 at the Brown County Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit www.aaca.org

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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