Proud of their rides at Car d'Lane

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Ed Greb of Coeur d’Alene shows off his 1917 Ford Model T roadster at Car d’Lane on Saturday.

COEUR d'ALENE - As the old saying goes, they sure don't make 'em like they used to.

Take a look at Ed Greb's 1917 Ford Model T, for example. The jet-black roadster was parked on Sherman Avenue during Car d'Lane on Saturday, sporting skinny spoked wheels, big round headlights and a stagecoach-style rooftop.

Like any vintage ride, the Model T was all steel, glass and leather - not one piece of plastic in sight.

"I've had it for six or eight years," said Greb, a Coeur d'Alene resident. "Bought it from a guy I met one Monday night at Paul Bunyan's in Hayden. I'm into Model Ts."

His roadster is almost entirely original, from the cursive "Ford" nameplate on the car's front grill to the old-school hand brake. There's only a couple of new parts: an engine starter, for convenience (in 1917, cars were started with an external crank), and a 12-volt battery.

"They're simple," Greb said of the Model T. "There's a little (four-cylinder) engine in 'em."

Greb owns two classic Fords. His second Model T, a 1920s touring car, was a time-consuming project. He rebuilt the 90-year-old ride "from a pile of rusty parts."

Because Greb is legally blind, he cannot drive either vehicle. But that hasn't stopped him from enjoying his finely-crafted machines.

"I have a neighbor that drives them for me," he explained.

About a block away, Gary and Johanne Haymond of Hayden sat beside their 1954 Chevrolet Delray on Lakeside Avenue. The couple bought the now-beautiful car - its bright paint job is surf green and Indian ivory - about eight years ago.

"Found it in a field out here," Johanne recalled.

The Delray was in rough shape back then, rusty and broken down. Gary brought it home and fixed it up.

"It needed just about everything," he said. "Seven years of blood, sweat and tears right there. It's getting a lot of compliments."

A 125-hp engine, the car's original motor, keeps the old Chevy running smooth.

"Pretty cool somebody put that together 57 years ago," Gary said.

The Haymonds planned to cruise in Friday's Car d'Lane parade, but the Delray overheated right before the procession began. They got it started again, though, and moved the car into position for the Saturday showing.

"We are excited about being able to be here," Johanne said.

Back on Sherman Avenue, among all those hot rods, cruisers and classics, a vermilion red 1954 International truck was one of the shiniest rigs around.

Twenty years ago, owner Mike Houx of Athol purchased the International for $50.

"That's when I started working on her," he said. "I got it done last year."

He dropped in a Chevy V8 engine, installed an automatic transmission, added power steering and power brakes. The mechanical challenge appealed to him; he enjoyed the building process.

Now, his resplendent red truck churns out 300 horses, and it's worth considerably more than $50.

Not bad for an old '54 International.

"I started working on cars when I was 16 years old," said Hough, who moved to North Idaho from Vancouver, Wash., when he was a young man. "It's kind of my hobby."

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