Classic car show coming to Barnes Museum June 24

Published on Monday, 5 June 2017 22:30


SOUTHINGTON - The Wheels of the Past Classic Car Show returns to the Barnes Museum for the third year on June 24, showcasing the Barnes family’s collection of automobile memorabilia and featuring Wayne Carini of television’s Velocity Channel.

The show, sponsored by the Friends of the Barnes Museum, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of the museum, at 85 N. Main St.

Guests can also tour the museum and see the family’s extensive collection of antiques.

After Bradley Barnes’ death in 1973, his home was willed to the town, which has preserved it in pristine condition.

Trophies will be awarded to the best in show, selected by Carini, who hosts “Chasing Classic Cars,” and the people’s choice of their favorite classic vehicle.

There will also be a curator’s pick. Marie Secondo, the museum curator, said last year’s pick was a Renault from the 1950s.

This year, Jim MacPherson, who hosted “The Car Doctor” on WTIC radio until fall of 2016, will also attend the car show.

“Jim is affiliated with the AAA Automobile Club in West Hartford, which is in charge of taking care of Bradley Barnes’ 1912 Pope Hartford,” said Secondo. “It is on display there.”

Susan Smayda, the museum director, said last year’s show was “beautiful.” Secondo said 500 people attended, double the previous year’s attendance, and people brought in more than 50 classic cars.

“Last year it was a beautiful day and we had cars parked all along our lawn and back parking lot,” said Smayda. “Each year, the show grows more and more and this year is shaping up to be even bigger. Wayne Carini always brings something interesting; he’s a spectacular guy. Last year, he brought a 1921 Stutz K Bearcat, which was found sitting in a barn in North Carolina in pristine condition.”

Secondo said the museum will also be opening its barn during the show and showcasing thousands of automobile-related items dating back to the dawn of the industry. They will include oil cans, license plates - including early leather and porcelain plates - and tools.

“We only open up the barn once a year for this show,” she said. “We have hundreds of tools and accessories dating back to Bradley’s first automobile. He was the second person in Southington to own a car. “

“Bradley always had to have the most current technology,” said Smayda. “One of the most spectacular items in our collection is a pair of driving gloves. There is a piece of red glass embedded in the left hand which looks like a red taillight Bradley would use to signal turns before the blinking taillight was invented.”

Proceeds will support the renovation of the museum’s 100-year-old player piano. Smayda said this will allow the museum to play the family’s collection of music rolls as guests tour the museum.

Admission is $5 or free for children 10 and younger.

For more information, call the museum at 860-628-5426.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News, Southington Herald on Monday, 5 June 2017 22:30. Updated: Monday, 5 June 2017 22:33.