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Weston Rolls Out Classic Cars In Honor Of 98-Year-Old Hometown Collector

Alden Sherman with daughter Jane Sherman Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Dr. Arthur Ashman with his award-wining 1964 Porsche 356 SC Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
MC Peter Bush, Awards MC Jim Petty, Weston Center for Senior Activities Director Wendy Petty Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Show funds purchased this bus for the Weston Center for Senior Activities Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
1963 GT 250 Ferrari Lusso — a $2.5 million car Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The 1936 Harley-Davidson “Knucklehead,” the bike the saved the company. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
1966 Mustang Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
1957 Thunderbird Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Foreground — 1979 Fiat 124, a fun car to drive, and Tim Cataldo’s Rally Round the Ivy League car Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Decals from the rally colleges Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
1949 Cadillac Club Coupe owned by Andrew Benenson. Body of the frame restoration, and a "period correct” modified engine. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Two 1927 Bugatti Type 37s — The scourge of European race tracks in the late 1920s Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Ferraris — 2004 360, 2010 590 GTB, 2008 599 GTB Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

WESTON, Conn. — Classic car enthusiasts flocked to Weston High for a special annual show named for Austin Sherman, a 98-year-old hometown collector who has rebuilt some unique cars that he drives around town.

The 5th Annual Alden Sherman Classic Car Show was held at Weston High School on a glorious early fall Sunday. The show’s proceeds go to the Friends of the Weston Senior Activities Center.

Car enthusiast Peter Bush, a DJ on The Fox 95.9-FM, served as master of ceremonies, strolling the site and describing the over 200 cars on display.

Wendy Petty, the Senior Center’s director, said the money raised supports programming and recently helped the center to purchase a new bus to help more of the town’s seniors participate in its activities.

Show attendees were treated to the sight of a wide range of vehicles, European and American alike, some unique and valuable, others more common. There were a half-dozen Bugattis, some of which were the scourge of European race tracks during the late 1920s, as well as Ferraris, Jaguars, Porsches, a few VWs and an assortment of Austin-Healys and Sprites.

The U.S. was represented by many Mustangs, Thunderbirds (mostly the real ones, the two seaters!), Corvettes and an assortment of other interesting vehicles.

Among the highlights were Type 37 racing Bugattis, as well as a few passenger models, all with custom bodies prevalent during the 1920s and 1930s.

Among the Ferraris was a 1963 GT 250 Lusso, one of of 350 built between 1962 and 1964. Two knowledgeable observers estimated its value at more than $2.5 million. Actor Steve McQueen owned a 1963 Lusso that sold at auction two years ago for $10 million, a reminder that provenance often adds value to specialty cars.

There was an award-winning 1964 Porsche SC belonging to Dr. Arthur Ashman of Westport. It is the last of the “handmade Porsches,” Ashman said. He acquired it as he left the Army in Germany, and after driving it very little for 25 years, it’s a Sunday driver with 113,000 miles that has not been restored.

Among the motorcycles was a 1936 Harley-Davidson “Knucklehead, the motorcycle that kept the company alive,” said the bike’s owner, Buzz Kanter, who is also publisher of American Iron magazine, the biggest Harley magazine. Its engine was a breakthrough that changed the dynamics of the competition with Indian, the other major American manufacturer.

Asked what this piece of history is worth, Kanter said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not for sale.”

An interesting, though minor car compared with the historic marques that dominated the show, was a 1979 Fiat 124. Its owner, Tim Cataldo, started the Old’s Cool Tour, a “Rally Round the Ivy League” held in September: 50 cars drive a circle route, stopping at all seven Ivy League campuses in cars at least 25 years old — or from their graduation year.

A fully restored 1949 Cadillac Club Coupe showed off an engine modified with “period correct” speed equipment. Talking about the work done on the car, owner Andrew Benenson joked that he claimed the shop that did much of the work on this car “as a dependent on his tax return.”

The show is a two-day affair that began Saturday with a Tour for Autism that included 30 cars. The tour started at the Senior Center, stopped first at Alden Sherman’s home to look at his collection, and ended with an Oktoberfest celebration at the Weston Historical Center.

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