Driven by car craze PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN, Sentinel City Editor   
Saturday, 08 June 2013 08:25
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Tom Striggow in the driver's seat of his 1967 Ford Fairlane GT. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
11To that end, he has spearheaded a revival of a free weekly Bowling Green cruise-in, encouraging area enthusiasts to share their vehicles on Monday evenings.
"We had 28 show up the first week, 35 (and four motorcycles) the second week and 45 this week. Hal Huber brought his 1959 MG, and I don't think that car has been out in years," Striggow said.
Many years ago there was a weekly cruise at McDonalds on South Main Street. "Bill Snook and the late Paul Brim organized that, but that was gone a long time ago," Striggow said.
The demise of Woodville Mall in Northwood ended a weekly Monday night cruise there, spurring Striggow to try to fill the gap.
He found a willing partner in O'Reilly's Car Parts in the 800 block of South Main Street to provide the space. Neighboring businesses are also cooperating and benefiting.
"There's no registration, just a casual atmosphere where people can bring their cars, get out a chair, sit down and relax. Everybody is welcome, old car or new, hot rod or stock. Motorcycles too," Striggow said.
He also is active with the group of volunteers who help Downtown Bowling Green put on its "Classics on Main" car show the second Saturday in July.
"Tom is truly, truly motivated. He loves this community," said Downtown BG Director Barb Ruland. "He's a great volunteer and he has an incredible green thumb. He loves the cars. He's just the kind of person who does things for the greater good."
As a junior in high school Striggow shared a six-cylinder 1966 Mustang Coupe with an older brother. "It was just an everyday car to us but that ended when he got rear-ended (wrecked) driving it to Cedar Point," he said.
Fast forward to 1990, his marriage has ended, the kids are grown, Striggow finds and buys a similar 1966 Mustang Coupe, except this one has a V-8 engine. A couple of years later he bought a 1965 Mustang convertible and sold the 1966 model.
"I drove that around for about a year and had Bob Ackerman take a look at it. He found a lot of rot and rust. It was disassembled and took me six or seven years to get it back together," Striggow said.
By that time the car collector "bug" had done its work.
Various Mustangs remained his focus until he bought a Ford Ranchero off eBay from an Arizona owner a few years ago. A 1967 Ford Fairlane GT, which has similar equipment to that year's Mustang, followed. That car was also found in eBay with the owner in Pandora, a small town in neighboring Putnam County.
The '67 was originally sold in Blair, Neb., and had just 67,000 miles when Striggow bought it.
"The guy I bought from said he had put 1,000 miles on it in five years. I put 1,000 miles on it in the first month."
It's not unusual for Striggow to find two shows a weekend or travel hundreds of miles for a special Mustang or Fairlane meet.
While a Mustang show may have 1,000 cars, the Fairlane Club of America shows might have 100 show up. Striggow is promoting a Fairlane show as part of this year's Classics On Main event. The group will park in the Huntington Bank lot on South Main Street. He expects about a dozen Fairlanes will be there.
Fairlanes were built from 1955 through 1966. Over the years the line included 13 models and three station wagons. Striggow said the Fairlane Club allows vehicles from 1962 through 1976. Some of the models were branded under Ford's Mercury brand.
Last Updated on Saturday, 08 June 2013 08:55
 

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