The good folks at Fairview United Methodist Church wanted to do something to help their preschool ministry, The Learning Tree, so they decided to put them in the fast lane. The Learning Tree Car Show was held at the church on May 10 with a parking lot full of fascinating cars, activities for the kids and plenty of lookers to admire the exhibits!
The church, 2508 Old Niles Ferry Road, gave trophies for “Best Of” in several categories, including Best of Show, Pastor’s Choice and overall Club Participation. Children and adults alike seemed to enjoy the cars and activities, as car enthusiasts roamed around the lot, visiting, talking and swapping stories.
One of the favorite stories had to come from the 1964 Ford Falcon that came with the Falcons club, representing the Tennessee Valley of Falcons. The Falcon was built in the U.S. between 1960 and 1970, although club members say the car is still being built in Australia. Janice and Paul Matthews from Cleveland, Tenn., brought a wedding photograph with their car. Their 1964 Falcon was bought by Paul in November of 1963, “the week that JFK was killed,” said Paul.
“It was a graduation present when I graduated from Hamlet High School in Hamlet, N.C.,” said the proud owner. “I tell everyone I’ve had her longer than I’ve had my wife.”
The price tag was $2,639, with $39 of that being taxes, Matthews remembers. “Today? Probably $20,000,” he answers, in response to questions about its worth today.
Paul and Janice drove off into the sunset in the car when they married in August of 1966. Two of their children did the same when they got married.
The Fairview show had stories in every space. Lee Sharp with the National Hot Rot Association brought his car, a speedster that boasts 160 and 180 mile per hour rides. Other cars were models of perfection with custom paint jobs, careful restoration and proud owners.
Proceeds from the show went to help The Learning Tree Preschool program. For more information about The Learning Tree, call 865-983-9066.