Bill Schlichting
Curry Coastal Pilot

Newlyweds in their 80s were the winners of the Best of Show prize during the 20th annual MDA Car Show Saturday.

Paul and Patty Friedt of Grants Pass received the top award for their 1956 Ford Pickup with a fade-stripe paint job.

“That was my son’s work,” Paul said of the paint job.

The Friedt’s, both 80, have been married for one year. His first marriage lasted 57 years. She was married 20 years. Their previous spouses died two days apart.

Both love cars and, he said, he has found love again with his new wife.

This year’s show garnered $3,800 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, including a $500 donation from the Curry County Cruisers car club. The show, sponsored by Lucky 7 Casino, featured 80 cars.

A variety of cars were on display in the grass behind the casino. Cars ranged from stock restored vehicles, hot rods, rat rods, classics and a few newer vehicles. At least two, a 1929 Ford and a 1960 Cadillac, have belonged to the same family since originally driven off the dealership lot.

The 1929 Ford pickup belonging to Sam Vitale, and the 1960 Cadillac Deville belonging to Sam Alaimo not only have been in the family all these years, but both have the original equipment.

Another 1929 Ford was also on display, but it was retrofitted with a newer V-8 engine.

A rare find was a 1949 Crosley station wagon — 48-inches wide to fit through the doors at Macy’s. The car, with a 26-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, has a top speed of about 40 mph, its owner said.

Spectators noted how much the car resembled a Willys. The owner said that’s because Willys bought Crosley, which still makes appliances, and copied the design.

Spectators also viewed Thunderbirds, Rancheros, many muscle cars of the 1960s and a 2001 Plymouth Prowler.

Unlike previous years, Dayle Niemie, who has helped organize the show, presented everyone participation awards.

Funds help local MDA programs and services, including support groups and equipment for clients. The proceeds support a clinic at Providence Medford Medical Center and help send children with muscle-wasting diseases to MDA summer camp.

Donations may be sent directly to MDA, P.O. Box 1298, Brookings, OR 97415.