Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 16, 2015
Car show for a cause
Sedgwick Fire Department holds 14th annual event
Sedgwick Car Show organizer Dick Doane shows three boys the equipment inside of the compartments of the fire department’s recently purchased rescue truck. A lot of the gear contained in the truck, as well as the truck itself, was purchased with funds raised by the Sedgwick Car Show in past years.
by Franklin Brown
Car owners and enthusiasts as close as Blue Hill and as far away as Lincoln, and beyond, gathered at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds July 11 for the 14th Annual Sedgwick Car Show, a fundraiser to benefit the Sedgwick Volunteer Fire Department. Owners of both new and vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles came to show off their automobiles while spectators walked the fairgrounds to view the luxury, muscle, foreign and historic cars.
See the results here.
The Sedgwick Car Show has been run by the fire department for 14 years. Dick Doane has been the show’s director and organizer for 11 of those 14 years. Doane, who moved to Maine from Connecticut after retiring, has been a firefighter since he was 18.
“This is the only fundraiser that we do,” said Doane. Last year they raised about $3,000. With the money, they purchase specialized equipment that they find or need, without using town tax dollars. Past purchases include cold water rescue equipment, accessories for the Hurst Jaws of Life tool, and turnout gear. Turnout gear, the protective clothing that firefighters wear, can cost $1,800 per person. Last year they purchased a used fire rescue truck from the Orland Fire Department for $2,500.
Doane said that it has worked well as a rescue truck, one the department never had.
With 17 classes and first, second and third trophy awards for each class, there is significant cost to hold the show, Doane said, adding that sponsors are needed. Seventeen businesses helped to purchase this year’s trophies and 10 businesses donated $100 each toward radio ads.
This year, Darlings’ “Ice Cream for a Cause” provided free ice cream to all. A donation box was on the side of the truck and proceeds went to benefit the department.
The show featured a variety of different collectibles, including a vintage delivery truck converted into a camper, antique cars, motorcycles and vintage muscle cars. A 1969 Camaro, which was awarded “Best of Show,” is owned by Mike Reynolds of Holden. The Camaro, Reynolds said, originally came from South Carolina. The original engine, an SS350, was replaced with a 1970s era 454 big block engine.
Another owner and restorer was Richard Sparks of Bucksport who brought a 1969 Ford Mustang. Sparks, who was awarded the third place trophy in the Mustang class, said the car came from New York, purchased from the wife of the original owner, who passed away. Sparks has put in a new brake system, rebuilt the engine and added new chrome parts to the car. “Once you get started, you’re addicted,” he said. “Do a little more and a little more and you go right through it. No end to it, once you start.”
Many of the participants of this year’s show either work on cars for a living or own businesses that do. Blaise Desibour, owner of The Toy Box, an auto shop, who has worked as a mechanic at the Blue Hill Garage for nearly 30 years, brought seven cars to the show, including a 1972 Chevy Chevelle, his first “muscle car.”
Jason Billings, owner of Billings Engines, brought two cars. One, a 1957 Chevy 210, took third place in the 1950s class. It is a car that he’s owned and worked on for 29 years.
Billings’ car was one of several cars at Saturday’s show with interesting stories. But not all of them have been worked on or modified. Paul and Betty Biers, from Bucksport, found a beautiful 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass with all the original parts, paint and approximately 21,000 original miles. The car has never been worked on. Since buying it, the Bierses have put 10,000 of their own miles on this car. The car, which was sold by a woman whose husband had passed away, was stored in a heated garage for 18 years.
South Carolina, New York, Ohio and even Arizona are just a few places where these cars were bought by the owners and restorers. But one particular car was purchased in Bangor—a 1967 Dodge Charger owned by Larry Bruen. He displayed the original bill of sale at a cost of just over $3,700.
Voting at the show was done by participants, and trophies were awarded just before 2 p.m. Doane said he was pleased with how the day went. “Every year, we get a little bit better. I’m looking for the magic number but I haven’t got it yet. We get up to 160 to 170—looking for 200 [participants], that would make my day.”