Classic Chrome

Classic Chrome

Vienna and Oakton seniors admire antique cars of Sunrise Assisted Living's classic car show.

Richard and Marjorie Matthes still chuckle over their first car, a 1941, two-door, Plymouth coupe, which they bought over 60 years ago for $840. Young and in love, they put their initials on the front grill.

"That was new, off of the lot," said Richard Matthes, who lives with his wife, Marjorie, at Sunrise Assisted Living at Hunter Mill in Oakton.

Although they didn't keep the Plymouth for long — Richard Matthes left to serve in World War II, and when he came back, the couple sold the car for $1,200 — they still have fond memories of their coupe.

"It was nice. I think it was a pretty color. It was a dark red," said Marjorie Matthes.

On Saturday afternoon, the Mattheses joined other Sunrise residents and their families out on Sunrise's grounds to admire the 17 antique cars at a Sunrise-sponsored classic car show. Everything from Model T Fords to mid-century convertibles was on display, and the residents examined the shiny, well-maintained cars while enjoying the weekend's cool weather.

The cars belonged to members of the National Capital Model T Ford Club.

"You have to tinker with them constantly," said Dick Jarvins of Vienna, of the antique cars. "It's an everyday love affair."

IN ADDITION to examining the cars, the residents and their families watched club members reassemble a Model T Ford from scattered car parts to a whole vehicle in under 15 minutes.

"We do this demonstration to show the simplicity of the Model T," Jarvins said.

The club members worked quickly, and they were successful. Before the watch stopped at 15 minutes, a club member hopped into the reassembled car and drove up and down the Sunrise entranceway.

"I think it's neat how simple it is to do this," said Jonathan Carr of Vienna, a volunteer at Sunrise and a rising junior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

As the residents looked at the antique cars, some could remember their first cars and others couldn't.

Resident Roland Peed's first car was a 1917 Chevrolet. He was young, and just wanted a car.

"[Driving it was] strange. No power steering," Peed said.