Whether a person is a Chevy, Ford or Mopar lover, one thing is for certain: Northwest Ohio has some awesome cars. Some of these classic cars have been featured in the Monday editions of The Lima News throughout the year. Many of the car owners share their stories behind why they own their cars. We surveyed a panel of car enthusiasts asking them for their top picks from this year’s Real Wheels features. The results are shared here.
By Merri Hanjora - firstname.lastname@example.org
No. 1: 1967 Chevelle SS Pro Street. Lou Varrato, of Lima, own this classic. He said these cars were big back when he was in high school, but he couldn’t afford one then. He can afford one now. Varrato jokingly says, “The car goes nine seconds between gas stations.”
No. 2: 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Joe Lombardo, of Lima, has owned this beauty for 25 years. He and his wife enjoy taking it out on special occasions, especially when the sun is shining.
No. 3: 1973 Dodge Challenger. Brian Engel, of St. Marys, was looking for a set of golf clubs in Lima when he happened to drive by this 1973 Dodge Challenger sitting in a parking lot. Engel’s birthday is March 29, 1973, the exact date this Challenger rolled off the assembly line.
No. 4: 1956 Chevy Bel-Air Convertible. Al Elsass, of Wapakoneta, purchased this classic for $100. At the time of purchase, the top was blowing off, and the rubber was blowing off the tires as it was being towed home. “My friends were laughing at me for buying it. Today they wish they had it,” Elsass said.
No. 5: 1955 Chevy 3100 Pickup. Ken Davis, of St. Marys, went to buy this truck and was told it sold just the day before. He contacted the new owner and expressed an interest in buying it if he ever wanted to sell it. A year later, he received a call. The truck sat in his garage for 20 years before he restored it.
No. 6: 1972 GMC 4x4. John Bilopavlovich, of Lima, purchased this truck from his brother. The truck was used to plow snow in its heyday. Bilopavlovich stripped it down to its frame and began a complete restoration on it. “A lot of the younger kids are into it, and they give me the thumbs up when they see it,” Bilopavlovich said.
No. 7: 1955 Ford Pickup. Bob Zimmer, of Ada, built this truck himself. It took him two and a half years to complete it. The truck had been a semi pulling box trailers. Zimmer and his wife feel like the truck resembles a Pug dog, and their license plate reads PUGGLZ1.
No. 8: 1966 Chevy Corvette Stingray Coupe. Dennis Shaw, of Elida, has owned this stunner for 47 years. The car won Best of Show at the 2016 Corvette Car Show in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The 1966 Chevy Corvette set sales records that year, selling 27,720 units.
No. 9: 1974 Yenko Nova. Keith Hunt, of Lima, has owned this car since high school. He cherishes the memories he made while driving his car. “I had some good times at the Springbrook Drive-In. These kids today don’t know what they are missing,” he said. “Those were some of the best times of my life; a guy and his girl could be alone for a few hours at the drive-in.”
No. 10: 1972 Dodge Charger. Frank Sanborn, of Woodstock, made plans to check this car out for a friend. The friend ended up telling him he was not going to buy it, so Sanborn did. Sanborn then did a complete restoration, taking the car back to its original condition. Sanborn lists himself as a die-hard Mopar fan.