Dave Davies of Boardman, is hoping his 1974 Mercedes is back on the road in time for the Aug. 5 Cars in the Park car show hosted by the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club. As a longtime club member, he loves his classic cars and doesn't want to miss an opportunity to take part.
Davies, a 1944 Rayen High School graduate, said he got his start in the car collector hobby prior to his enlistment in World War II. At age 16 he wanted to buy his first car and found a 1933 Plymouth being sold for $60. At the time he was working, but would have a rough time coming up with that much money.
"The fellow who owned the Plymouth would often drive me home from work," Davies said. "When he got drafted, he called me and said I could have the car for $40, but it was broke down on Salt Springs Road."
Photos special to the Town Crier
Dave Davies first car was a 1933 Plymouth he paid $40 for when he was 16. He is pictured here with it along with his cousin, Bob Wrench.
He said he got help and towed the car home using a rope. The car had a broken axle, which Davies repaired. That car was sold when Davies too entered military service.
The year of his graduation he entered the Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant in the armored division at Fort Knox, Ky. He served from 1944 to 46, working with tanks, halftracks and other motorized vehicles. He also was among the force that landed on Okinawa, Japan.
After the war, he returned home and recalls immediately purchasing a 1940 Plymouth.
"After that I was car crazy," he said. "Since then I have had so many cars it's unbelievable."
While his list of vehicles may be too large to remember, he said he always had a fondness for the Mercedes. His first one was a 1972 280SL which he loved the looks of, but not the performance.
"It was the most horrible car to drive that I ever remember," he said. "I sold it, and then I missed it, so I found another one through a friend."
His second Mercedes was a bit easier to drive. He said it was like new and he enjoyed it for a while, then sold it and found that he again missed owning a Mercedes.
Davies said he loved cars, but was not the kind of person who enjoyed working on them. He preferred buying them ready to drive and got his thrill from being behind the wheel.
To enhance his passion for cars, he joined the MOVCC 20 years ago. He said it was a perfect match in that he got to hang around with other car enthusiasts and got to cruise to different locations with the club.
"It was one of the best things I ever did," he said.
Little did he know at the time that his passion for the Mercedes would be re-ignited through a club member. Four years ago, a MVOCC member was selling a 1974 Mercedes convertible at one of the club's car shows. It was a done deal for Davies who purchased the car and has been enjoying it ever since. His most recent outing was in the Boardman Memorial Day Parade.
After the parade, he began having a vapor lock issue with the car. It ran fine when it was cold, but wouldn't start when it was hot. Presently, it is in a garage being tested for the problem.
Davies said when he gets it back, he plans on selling it and will begin the search for another vintage vehicle.
In the meantime, he is hoping to have it running for the Aug. 5 show. He said Cars in the Park has always had a soft spot in his heart.
"The main thing I like about the show is the charity we do for children," he said. "I heard our club is even getting a room at Hospice with our name on it."