John Stacy searches for information in his 1945 Ford Rat Rod.
Seven months ago, John Stacy, of Lima, bought several vehicles in hopes of building a 1945 Ford Rat Rod. On Saturday, he parked that car in the sun at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum as part of the third annual KAPOW Car and Craft Show and Flea Market.
Stacy’s car was one of more than 100 vehicles to participate in the one-day event held in the lawn on the southwest section of the museum grounds. The event attracted more than 30 cars from last year’s total of 75 vehicles. The craft show also attracted more vendors.
“This has been a fantastic turnout,” KAPOW President Mark Selvaggio said. “We are up at least 25 to 30 cars and the vendors are up at least five or six.
“The weather is perfect even though when the sun breaks through the clouds it can get hot and we really appreciate all the people who came out to support the kids of Wapakoneta,” he said. “I had a couple people come up to me and say they like to come to our car show because we do a nice job and they enjoy being here.”
Money raised from the car show is used to support KAPOW’s efforts. KAPOW stands for Kids Are a Priority of Wapakoneta and all the money is used to help children through education programs and DARE.
“I would really like to thank the entire club for all their hard work,” the club president said. “We hope to get our name out there so people understand what our service club is all about and that more people will join to help support the children.
“The more people who attend and who are involved then the more money we can put back into the kids of Wapakoneta,” he said.
The car show is coordinated by KAPOW members Gloria and Mike Goudy, who attended a number of car shows before suggesting the fundraiser to the group.
“This is the best year so far and the museum has been very generous in permitting us to use their grounds and facilities,” Goudy said. “We have a lot more cars and a lot more vendors.”
Sponsors provided 18 trophies and 10 sponsors provided door prizes.
Gary Baker, of Elida, has participated in the event all three years. He brings his deep blue 1949 Willys Overland and a product called Beats-Um-All, or what people at car shows he attends “Willys Wax.”
He provided some specific reasons for attending the late August car show.
“I really like the town and I like the car show held downtown during the Summer MoonFest,” Baker said. “We display our waxes and show people how it works. A lot of guys here are our customers and I like to support them.”
The wax is made by Dennis Tommey of Oakridge, Tenn. and Baker buys and sells the product in the region during many of the car shows he attends. He donated bottles as free gifts.
As far as his Jeep, he and his family have had one ever since he was a child. The Willys Overland is a rare version since it is a panel style Jeep and not one with side windows.
He also favors the camaraderie of the car collectors.
“I really like the Jeep and I really like car shows because I enjoy the people, they are very friendly,” Baker said. “It is like a close-knit community. If one of us breaks down we all have each other’s phone number so we can contact anybody in town and they will come out and help us.”
Wapakoneta’s Ellie and Steve Archer, who sold refinished train carts, and Missy Johnson, who sells Pink Zebra, enjoyed the exposure of their products at the craft show.
Johnson sells 100 percent soy-based home fragrance sprinklers which are placed in containers on a heating plate to provide a home fragrance. They have 48 different scents and she also sells lotions and soaps, with products on line at pinkzebrahome.com/missyj
“I have done really well today. I was able to book five parties and sold about five items today,” Johnson said. “By attending the craft show, I got the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and have had the opportunity to make a lot of new contacts.”
She noted a lot of people showed interest in the new product and she has a team of nine consultants to help people with the products. They also can use the product as a fundraiser with 40 percent of each sale being donated to an approved organization.
“I really like the product because it is made in the USA and it really makes my home smell good,” Johnson said.
For Stacy, he needed 27 different vehicles to build his Rat Rod, which has been on the road for approximately three months.
“This is the first one I have ever owned, but I always wanted one,” Stacy said. “My father had a 1972 Dodge Charger that he found in a barn and fixed up, but he had to sell it when my brother cut his leg open and he had to pay the hospital bill.”
This car became a family affair. He built the vehicle with his friend, Joe Golden, but Stacy’s daughter, Alora, painted the Route 66 signs on the passenger’s and driver’s side doors and his son, Kevin, sanded the hood.
Stacy built the car for his wife, Sheron, and converted it from a manual shift to an automatic, but she refuses to drive it and wants him to use it to attend shows.
“I have never seen one like it and I just put on the rear bumper a 4-foot wrench on the back of it,” Stacy said. “I really enjoyed watching my daughter and seeing the truck actually come together so we can attend events like this. It is wonderful.”