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In 1936, Chevy introduced the panel wagon, a commercial version of the Chevy Suburban and the prototype for today's SUV. Designed for light-duty delivery, panel wagons came standard with a single bench seat and rear cargo area of sheet metal and ribbed interior side paneling. 


From 1947 to the late '80s, Shaheen's Speedway on Springfield's Dirksen Parkway was a hot-rod hot spot. The oval, quarter-mile dirt track known as "Shaheens," "Joe's," or "Little Springfield" became a Monday-night hotbed for midget car racing in the years following World War II.


In 1993, Denny and Sandy Dickman retired, sold their possessions and their house on Lake Springfield and launched a 10-year ocean voyage in a 50-foot Kadey Krogen yacht. In 2005, having lived enough of the nautical life, the couple bought another house near Lake Springfield and again settled into regular life. 



Duane Moore always had a love for cars, but when he had heart surgery and had to stop working, cars became his therapy. 



When Doug Jasmon graduated from Springfield High School in 1968, he had logged many hours rebuilding cars. Soon after graduation, his hobby was put on hold as he started a family and took a job at City Water, Light and Power.

After building four houses, raising children and settling down in his current home, the self-proclaimed "motorhead" got the fever again. 



Americans have a love affair with cars, but Ron Scattergood of Chatham is infatuated. His love for automobiles goes beyond a weekly wash, wax and buff.


In 1932, Henry Ford had a vision to build a unique line of Ford products for the European market. Within a decade, Ford's British manufacturers began production of the two-door Anglia - along with the four-door Prefect and the square-back Thames truck. 


Gary Bryan has an appreciation for older automobiles, but he also likes sleek, modern lines. His customized 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible feeds his fix for vintage with a contemporary twist.

Marc Levi remembers growing up in the Westchester subdivision and admiring a 1971 Corvette Roadster as it drove by.

Lew Fehring has an Indian Chief stashed in his workshop in Chatham. He also has an Indian sitting on a desk in his office. Fehring, president of Fehring Ornamental Iron Works, has an appreciation of fine vintage motorcycles and shows it by lovingly collecting, restoring and riding them.

With the advent of the green movement, people are striving to live more environmentally responsible lives now more than ever, and car manufacturers and dealers are no exception.

While we can admire the sleek lines of a Corvette and the power of a Mustang, we shouldn't forget this nation was built with pickup trucks. From construction sites to farm fields, trucks deliver. Generations of young people learned to drive either grinding the gears of a pickup on a forgiving country road or traveling with a relative to job sites with the sun just peeking over the horizon.

The Corvair was Chevrolet's muscle car that never quite made it big, but it still has quite a following. Mike Hall, a member of the Corvair Society of America, has a couple of Corvairs, including a fairly rare Corvair truck.


"Giddy up, giddy up, 409" was the refrain of the iconic Beach Boys tune embraced as a national anthem by muscle-car enthusiasts. The 409 engine had giddy-up aplenty, and Chevy bumped up production of the engine and made it available in full-sized Chevys such the Impala, the Bel Air and the Biscayne in 1962.

Every September, with a rumble and a roar, the wheeled things come home to mother. For three days, the city of Springfield plays host to the people and the vehicles that pay homage to the road spawned by the demands of what was rapid transit. The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival brings visitors from all over the world; it honors the road originally set up to link Chicago and Los Angeles. Photographer Armando Sanchez gives us a glimpse of the cars, the colors and the motion that is the Mother Road.

Tom Nichols hears hoofbeats where others hear engine noises because he's got Mustangs on his mind. And the "ponies" in his stable are some of the rarest around, including a Mustang called a High Country Special and a 1968 GT 500 KR.

It seems only fair that Verna Cutler, one of the original members of the Route 66 Cruisers, would have some really nice cars stashed in her palatial garage - and she does.

Bill Furling III feeds his need for speed.

"I actually don't care what a car looks like. I don't care what brand it is. I just want it to go fast," he said with a smile. Furling and FC Customs make cars fast for a living, so it only would follow that he would have nice, fast cars.

Americans have always had a love affair with automobiles. Life is a highway, and we drive it with passion, power and as many ponies as we can afford.

Bonnie Mogle doesn't mind leaving the house after her husband. She will get the pick of the cars left in the garage. Let's see ... should she take the rare 1968 California Special Mustang?

How about the head-turning lime green 1968 AMC AMX?

How about the zippy little 1968 Shelby Cobra kit car?

After a long day repairing cars, Kim Shirley of Kim's Auto Body likes to relax with, of course, cars. Shirley  has some really nice rides stashed away, but two favorites are a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge and a 1971 Trans Am. In original Carousel Red, the GTO roars with judicial authority when Shirley's son, Nick, hits the gas.


Joel Tjelmeland of Rochester always wanted a Jaguar because it was thought of as a "rich man's car."


Charlie Barber of Springfield has always liked performance cars.

Ditmar Walker's garage, and what's in it, is probably the envy of his neighborhood.

Cliff Greenwalt has some sweet ride. Think canary yellow, nearly 18 and a half feet long, V12, 130 horsepower, only about 450 made, only about 100 left.

Give up?

Need more hints?

Big trunk - really big trunk, convertible - OK, a 1948 Lincoln Cabriolet.

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