Car enthusiasts are among the first to arrive at the Bell Tower Festival for the Show and Shine Car Show.
Dick Pauley of Jefferson showed the oldest car in the show, a 1910 Sears car, which he also drove in the parade. The car is chain-driven by a 2-cylinder opposed engine under the seat.
Pauley explained that Sears built cars in Chicago from 1909 to 1912, selling them for $375 or $400. Sears undersold other makes but lost money on every car. The cars were shipped in crates via railway express. The cars arrived with the wheels unattached, a gallon of gas, a gallon of oil, and directions for putting on the wheels and what to do with the gas and oil.
In the four model years, Sears made 3,500 cars. About 300 of them are left, but most are in museums and many of them don’t run. Pauley purchased his 1910 Sears from a collector in Ottumwa. He doesn’t know if the car has been in Iowa the past 104 years or if it spent some time elsewhere.
Pauley and his brother Don Pauley of Clear Lake have four other vintage cars: a 1917 Maxwell, a 1924 Model T, a 1928 Buick, and a 1931 Model A Ford Roadster Deluxe.
Also in the parade was a replica of a 1901 Buick made by Gary Winebrenner. The car was driven by one of Gary’s sons, with his wife Esther Knapp riding. Winebrenner finished the car last fall after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He died this spring. Read the story about the car here: Winebrenner Buick