Get lost in the 50s

SANDPOINT – Ken Bricker was 17 when he bought the 1942 Ford. He was 18 when he wrecked it.

He was walking to school in the snow; he thinks it was either January or February.

“They had only plowed one lane,” Bricker said. “I’m going fast stupid. There comes another guy, a buddy, he’s going the other way fast and we meet and I blinked. I ducked into the snow bank and he cleared the snow for a while then he threw his ass in front of him and destroyed that fender and that rear panel.”

Bricker laughs, watches the crowd pass by his car – one of 400 to 500 cars at Saturday’s Lost in the 50s car show – before continuing his story.

The 1966 Sandpoint High School graduate said he drove the car a little longer, then, before shipping it, he sold the engine to someone who planned to drop it off in a’44. The car sat at her grandmother’s house in the Sunnyside area for a while before being stored at her father’s house in Kootenai for a few more years before he towed it back to his home in Portland in the mid-1970s.

“It was just kinda out of mind out of sight, out of mind during those years, wasn’t it? I mean, I went on for the rest of my life,” Bricker said. . “I knew I always wanted to do something with it, but you know, you have kids, school, braces, college.”

He laughs.

“So finally, finally the kids are gone, and we could save some money and do it.”

While working on the car on and off, the retired helicopter mechanic said it wasn’t the last year he was able to complete it. He always wanted, always knew, that he would drive the car back to Sandpoint for Lost in the 1950s.

This is where he grew up; that’s where he bought the Ford.

“I went here for Lost in the 50s a time or two and was dying to bring the car back,” said Bricker, who now lives in Meridian. “Last time this car was here I was towing it. So anyway, it’s been about a year.”

Being able to show the car at Lost in the ’50s was “just wonderful,” Bricker said. “I can’t say enough [about how much it means].

Aged around 20 in 1965 when he bought it, Bricker said the Ford was a great car – one of the things that attracted him to it.

“It had an Oldsmobile engine with two carburetors,” he said of his reason for purchase before laughing.

Although he has not lived in the area since joining the Navy, Bricker still has family living in the Sandpoint area. He made regular trips home to visit family and occasionally attend the show Lost in the ’50s.

The Ford isn’t the only classic car Bricker and his wife, Susie, own. They also own a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle that his wife’s father bought new in Spokane, as well as a 1963-and-a-half Ford Falcon hardtop and a 1941 Ford four-door sedan.

Seeing the reaction, hearing from passers-by how much cars mean to them and how much they appreciate that they care and love cars makes a lot of sense, Bricker said.

“It’s worth it,” he added. “A lot of people my age remember it because those cars were around back then. They were old. …and a lot of people remember the way they looked. So it’s great that people are looking at it and enjoying it. .”

Like Bricker, Rathdrum’s Jack and Sherri Learn said they love sitting next to their vintage Corvette Stingray roadster—one of 16 built with the specific suspension and engineering.

The car won numerous awards, including first and a couple of seconds at the Sandpoint show. The couple said they loved the show, loved the atmosphere and that the Lost in the 50s team went out of their way to make attendees feel special.

“Look around you,” said Jack Learn when asked what makes the Sandpoint show special. “People are friendly. Everyone likes to see the cars [and] a lot of cars show up so they entertain a lot of people. It’s just a lot of fun.”

And with the show taking place downtown, Sherri Learn said there was something for everyone.

“Everyone wants to be outside. Everyone is happy,” she added.

This is the couple’s fourth time on the show, and each time they said they left Lost in the 1950s after having a great time, surrounded by people who love classic cars and celebrate it that makes them special.

The Learns have owned the Corvette for about 18 years, trading in a 1955 Buick Century for it. It wasn’t at its best and Jack Learn said he spent quite a bit of time working on it and changing a lot of things “for the better”, he adds.

He owned classic cars all his life, but had never owned a Corvette and thought it was time to change that.

“It’s probably the first American sports car that’s really a sports car,” Learn said of his desire to own a Corvette. “Ford made the Thunderbird but the Thunderbird wasn’t a sports car, it had the stock suspension and stuff like that. The Corvette was made to be a sports car, made to be a race car .”

It was somewhere at a car show that Zora Arkus-Duntov, a Belgian-born American engineer whose work earned him the nickname “Father of the Corvette”, saw Learn’s panel on the car’s unique suspension.

“We never did that,” remembers Learn Duntov, who was 85 at the time, telling her. “I said, ‘Yeah, you did, you did 16. So he crawled under the car and was under there for about 20 minutes. And he come back and said, “You got one of the 16.”

Like many classic car owners, Dave Moore said he’s owned vintage rides all his life. Growing up, he loved European cars – “horses, Triumphs and BMWs” – eventually owning them all at some point.

However, he said he has made the transition to “old, smooth-riding boats” like his 1955 Bellaire. However, he does point out that he also owns a ’69 Camaro convertible.

Although he loves them both, he’s not sure which of the cars he’s owned over the years is his favorite.

“I’m waiting for that car to come,” he said before laughing and waving at his Bellaire. “I like this one right now. It’s a 1955 Bellaire and it’s a good iconic car. I’m spoiled right now.”

He likes the memories he associates with the car, says he remembers driving in such cars in his youth with his parents.

“Just in the driver’s seat with your parents [and] they let you drive in the old days,” he said. “You know, you thought you were driving, but they were driving and you’re hanging from the wheel. And so it’s, I think, I just remember stuff like that in very similar cars.”

He remembers another time when the family took a trip to Missouri in a similar car. To give the kids a chance to rest during the 2,000-mile trek, Moore said his dad built a platform out back.

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