Love of cars on display this Saturday in River Hebert

Dave Mathieson
Published on August 22, 2012
Mike Gray (left), Pamela Hamilton and Jack McLellan model some of the antique automobiles that will be on display Saturday at the Heritage Model Museum in River Hebert.
Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News

RIVER HEBERT – Automobiles revolutionized the way mankind lives and interacts with one another and their modes of transportation, and many cars from the history of the automobile industry will be on display Saturday at the Heritage Model Museum in River Hebert.

One of those cars is the MG Midget.

“Once I get in it, people come from all over the world to see me get out,” said Jack McLellan with a laugh. “I roll out.”

McLellan’s has owned the 1975, four speed British convertible for seven years.

“I bought it on Prince Edward Island,” said McLellan. “It was drivable when I got it but I painted it and did a lot of work to it.”

McLellan live in Joggins but belongs to a British car club in Moncton.

He first fell in love with the MG when he was about 20 year’s old.

“I always wanted one of them and that’s the colour (yellow) I wanted,” said McLellan.

McLellan said they used to sell them at a garage in Amherst where the Tim Horton’s now sits.

“That was around 1964,” he said. “When I first went to work I couldn’t afford one. They were $2,200 new.”

He said the car gets tougher to get into every year.

“I can get in and out, but it’s tough,” he said. “I think I’ll likely get rid of the small car but I’ll keep the Land Rover.”

McLellan has had his 1973, Series 3 Land Rover for 10 years. He said it’s a very low-maintenance vehicle.

“In England, they used to use them as a tractor all day, and then at night or on Saturday’s they would use them to go into town,”

McLellan doesn’t drive through any hardcore, off road, mug bogs with the Land Rover.

“I go fishing with it,” he said. “Nothing really bad.”

But the Land Rover does offer a different kind of fun. The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the vehicle, offering McLellan the opportunity to scare passengers.

“When you’re the passenger you don’t have anything in front of you. You’re just sitting there in the seat,” he said. “That’s the scary part. People get scared to death when they’re in there. Of course I weave it a bit to get the excitement going.”

McLellan said driving the Land Rover is easy, “except when you get to one of those rotary (road circles), then you have to remember where you’re going.”

Jack Gray’s 1959 Chevy Bel Air is easy to get into and out of, and the steering wheel is on the normal side of the car.

Gray is 63-year’s old and first drove the same model car when he was 10-years-old.

“It was the first car I ever moved by myself. I moved it in the yard,” he said. Also, when I got my license I took it in a Pontiac, which was almost identical to the Chevy.

While growing up he also had two uncles who owned a 1959 and 1960 Chevy Bel Air.

“They were both the same colour (blue) as this one,” he said.

He bought the car in Joggins eight years ago and said he has no reason to ever get rid of it.

“I have fun with it,” he said. “It glides along the road really nice.”

The antique car show runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We have a fellow who’s from Germany doing a kite demonstration and, maybe, a five or ten minute magic act,” said Pamela Hamilton, Heritage Model Museum curator. “That will be at about 1 p.m.”

There will also be a barbecue, and the Rodney Gray Band will provide entertainment. Also, the museum will be open, and admission is by donation on Saturday.

“There’s lots to do for the family,” said Hamilton.