When it comes to owning and maintaining a classic auto — usually a vehicle 25 years or older — the usual repairs and tweaks can become a bit more challenging.

Jim and Nancy Knight, from Rumford Point, sat on lawn chairs placed in front of their classic car at a recent Tuesday Cruise Night at Roy’s All Steak Hamburgers in Auburn. They were enjoying fried food from the take-out stand while greeting guests at the auto event.

“This is my 1962 Chevy Impala,” said Knight, pointing to his license plate with his nickname NIGHTSY on it. “She has a 1936 Ford coupe (pointing to his wife) and I have a 1941 GMC pick-up truck.”

Knight said that the secret to maintaining a vehicle comes from “washing the cars regularly and keeping on the wax.” He added that it also helps to “keep it out of the snow.”

Also at the Cruise Night event is Larry Levesque, from Hartford, Maine, who admitted that he was born with an interest in cars and anything that went fast.

“While my family would watch football or baseball on television, I would watch NASCAR,” said Levesque.


He stood proudly next to his 2006 Ford Mustang that he built and upgraded himself.

“It is a stock GT from the factory,” explained Levesque, noting that he’s added the engine and a few other enhancements that make it what he calls a “modern muscle” vehicle.

Levesque said that oil changes and tune ups are key to keeping a car operating at its best. He agreed with the Knights that washing and waxing is important for a vehicle that you want to keep and maintain.

“You should take pride in a vehicle especially if you want to enter it in shows,” said Levesque. “It also helps to maintain an everyday car for the road.”

Levesque recommended cleaning and waxing by hand with a rag. “You can do a better job this way.”

He also recommended keeping the car away from snow, preferably in a “heated garage.”


Ron Rokowski, of Harrison, Maine, keeps his 1936 Ford 5-window coupe in heated storage throughout the winter season. He bought the 1936 coupe 12 years ago. And while it has every appearance of a 1936 vehicle, looks are deceiving.

The shiny new paint on the vehicle was done in 1987, replacing all the original paint from 50 years prior. Under the original hood is a Chevy V-8 engine with an automatic transmission and the front end of the vehicle is from a Ford Mustang. It even has power seats.

“I can get parts at any store,” said Rokowski. “If there’s a problem, they send away for them.”

Ron Blanchette, from Lewiston, knows the parts routine from his experience with his three variations of the British-made Mini Coopers. The sub-compact was made with a variety of parts that were designed to make a car that’s economical and affordable.

“I can go into a parts store and they will ask for the year and make of the car,” said Blanchette, noting that this won’t do him any good. “I need to tell them that they will find a part from another car that will be the right one to fit the Mini.”

Blanchette urges car owners to fix problems with vehicles as they arise.

“If there’s a knocking sound in a car, it is probably not going to get better,” said Blanchette, standing next to his 1971 Leyland-Mini Clubman. “While driving here this morning, suddenly the horn wasn’t working!”

And so it goes. Classic cars need the same type of work as their counterparts, it just takes a little bit of research to find the parts sometimes.

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