Vintage car club takes in North Idaho

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Wearing a vintage fur coat, Garrie Zordich of Boring, Ore., stands next to her 1910 Velie “D” Touring horseless carriage before the start of the second day of the 19th annual regional “Panhandle Scramble” tour. More than 100 horseless carriage enthusiasts drive their vintage cars that are at least 100 years old through St. Maries, Hayden Lake, Coeur d’Alene and Bayview in the annual tour, which ends today.

Who says centenarians can’t get around?

A bunch of 100-year-olds have been cruising Coeur d’Alene the past few days on their annual tour, taking in the sights — and providing four-wheel eye candy for vintage car enthusiasts.

This year, the Skagit-Snohomish Horseless Carriage Club brought 51 cars, all more than 100 years old, to tour the Idaho Panhandle area for four days. The club is based in western Washington but has members from all over, including Canada, Arizona, Montana and Utah.

The club arrived in Coeur d’Alene Sunday. On Monday, the group headed over to Harrison and St. Maries, taking its time at 35 mph, avoiding the highways. Some of the cars max out at 55; others top out at slower speeds, but 35 seems to be a comfortable pace for the old cars, according to the club’s president, Keene Brewer.

Brewer grew up road racing and as he got older, transitioned into taking care of older cars.

“It’s a passion,” he said. “Anything that has four wheels, I’m interested in.”

Jim Stutzman and his wife, Susan, who own a 1916 Ford Model T, came up from Lewiston.

“Even though they’re slow, it lets us drive roads that nobody else gets to drive,” Jim said.

Tuesday, the group left the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn to tour around Hayden Lake.

Today the club will drive their cars up to Farragut State Park and Lake Pend Oreille.

When the group is not out touring the area, they’re waxing and taking care of their cars in the parking lot of the Best Western, their home-away-from-home base.

For Jim and Susan, the best part of their car is sharing it with other people.

“We like to take people for rides, especially the kids,” Jim said. “The first thing they notice when they get in is there are no seat belts. Then they start to notice a bunch of other things missing, like the radio.”

The couple put a lot of time and work into their car. When asked how much time they spend waxing and cleaning it, Susan said, “That’s what grandkids are for.”

The Skagit-Snohomish Horseless Carriage Club will spend the night in Coeur d’Alene and leave Thursday — probably at 35 mph.

Alan Travis of Phoenix, Ariz. winds up the engine of his 1909 Delgade "R" Vouturette at the 19th annual regional "Panhandle Scramble" tour.

 

A 1920 Velie "D" Touring horseless carriage, right, is one of 51 100-year-old automobiles touring the Coeur d'Alene area this week as part of the 19th annual regional "Panhandle Scramble" tour. More than 100 horseless carriage enthusiasts drive their vintage cars that are at least 100-years-old through St. Maries, Hayden Lake, Coeur d'Alene and Bayview. The Skagit-Snohomish Region of the Horseless Carriage Club of America organizes the annual event.

 

A hood ornament adorns the front end of a Cadillac horseless carriage at the 19th Annual Regional "Panhandle Scramble" Tour.

 

Rinda Shaw of Vancouver, Wash., prepares her 1913 Buick Model 31 for a tour to Hayden Lake on Tuesday as part of the19th annual regional "Panhandle Scramble" tour.

 

The dashboard of a 1909 Delgade "R" Vouturette is seen at the 19th annual regional "Panhandle Scramble" tour. More than 100 horseless carriage enthusiasts drive their vintage cars that are at least 100-years-old through St. Maries, Hayden Lake, Coeur d'Alene and Bayview in the annual tour.

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