Ida and John Ramsey of Idabel, Oklahoma, said they spent thousands restoring their ’54 Chevrolet Bel Air.
“We had it in the restoration shop for two years,” Ida Ramsey said. “You can spend as little or as much as you want on a restoration.
“His uncle got him a ’54 when he was younger, and we found this one in Illinois. Seeing all the cars and comparing and knowing what we did to restore ours makes you greatly appreciate all the cars you see.”
The Ramseys also entered a ’67 Chevelle in the 33rd annual Rod Run on Friday and Saturday that they purchased already restored. They were one group of many strolling through the run, celebrating the work it takes to restore and preserve vintage vehicles, while also celebrating the nostalgia and handiwork of bygone eras.
The run included parking on the square Friday night and an exhibition with concessions Saturday at the Lamar County Fairgrounds. Members of the Northeast Texas Travelers and other enthusiasts enjoyed their time viewing restored vehicles.
There was a wide variety on display, according to Pauline Burton, one of the people admiring cars.
“I have a Bel-Air convertible,” she said, “so I loved seeing all the Bel Airs here.”
Ed Mottwiler said the nostalgia was palpable.
“People look through and see things their family members used to have,” he said.
A long-time Rod Run attendee, LaBaughn Cook from Texarkana said the Northeast Texas Travelers always put on a good show in Paris.
“It’s always good here,” he said. “They put on a good show and feed us well.”
The Ramseys even brought their granddaughter, Olivia, along. They’ve done that with all of their grandchildren, Ida Ramsey said. At a car show in Carthage, Missouri, they gave a camera to two of their grandsons and “shut the place down” because the boys were running around taking pictures of all the cars.
“We indoctrinate her, you know,” Ida Ramsey said, laughing. “She said she would go in one of the old cars, but it didn’t have a DVD player.”