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2014-06-28 at 22:17

Blast from the past

By Matt Vis,
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THUNDER BAY -- Buy a brand new car and it will depreciate in value the second it leaves the lot.

That is unless the vehicle is pristinely maintained and it becomes a relic of a previous time. Then not only may it increase in monetary worth, but exponentially in sentimental value as well.

That’s a lesson Gates Turpin learned after buying a 1978 Chrysler Newport four years ago.

The previous owner inherited the car from her father after he passed seven years earlier, but last year her 99-year-old mother wanted to see the vehicle.

So Turpin paid her a visit.

“She was in the parking lot waiting in her wheelchair and it took a few minutes but we got her in the car. She’s rubbing the dash and goes, ‘you keep it so nice…my husband would have been so, so proud,’” Turpin recalled.

Turpin was one of a handful of proud owners showing off 52 prized possessions at the Lakehead Antique Car Club’s annual car show, which was held on Saturday at the Current River Park.

Organizer Peggy Whiting said she never knows what will turn up at the shows.

“You see something different every time. There is always one or two new different cars that really draws our attention,” she said.

Whiting said the two biggest groups that are attracted to the antique cars are seniors and young children.

For the older folks, getting a glimpse of the cars they used to drive can bring back a flood of memories. The children, on the other hand, are getting their first looks at cars that are completely different from almost anything else on the road.

Turpin adamantly believes that vehicles are meant to be driven, rejecting the notion that such a classic automobile should be confined to a garage.

His still turns heads anywhere he goes.

“I get so many looks and I probably get 200 thumbs up a day,” he said.

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