You may have seen some very classy cars in the area last weekend.
From Thursday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 26, Franklin County was visited by a group of enthusiasts who are working to preserve automotive history.
Forty-two members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America came to the Panhandle to take in the sights. The trip was hosted by Wendell and Helen Goodman of Atlanta and Mexico Beach and Jackie and Larry Peterson of Atlanta.
Robert Taylor, a spokesman for the club, said the group does about three trips a year. He said the hosts of each trip plan everything in advance. “When we get there the work is all done,” he said.
The visitors stayed at the Best Western in Apalachicola and visited many local restaurants. Jackie Peterson said Sejal Patel was a delight to work with.
The group spent time simply cruising in their beautiful automobiles, but they also visited a number of local attractions including the Crooked River, Cape St. George Light, and Cape San Blas Lighthouses.
Jackie Peterson said lighthouses were the theme of the trip.
They also stopped by the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum to which they gave high marks as well as the Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in Apalachicola. They even visited the Apalachicola Maritime Museum for boat tours.
All but two of the vintage cars were trailered down.
Taylor said club members are supposed to own a car built before 1916 although there were some much newer vehicles on the Lighthouse Tour some built as late as 1931, a mere 85 years ago.
Helen Goodman said most club members do not participate in car shows. “We keep the cars original and only do safety repair,” she said.
Taylor said he had three daughters along on the trip who had grown up around his collectable cars and become hooked on the hobby. He said he and his young family made their first classic car trip to Detroit in 1970.
Ray and Terry Besh, member of the Atlanta Chapter drove their 1934 Ford Coupe from Atlanta to the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately it was out of commission last weekend but the Beshes still came along to enjoy the fun.