80 Classic Cars Stop In Payson As Part Of 9-Day Ride

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Smooth blacktops and sunny days beckon many classic car enthusiasts the Rim Country in spring.

Motorists from the Classic Car Club of America will drive through town today in their automobiles from 1928 to 1948, as part of a nine-day run in Arizona.

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Linda and Al Pelletier of Payson join Motorists from the Classic Car Club of America today in their 1947 Cadillac 8, 7523 series, seven-passenger Fleetwood limousine.

Chaparral Pines will be host to about 180 motorists in 80 vehicles. About one third hail from Arizona, the rest come from across the nation in their Cadillacs, Lincolns, Rolls-Royces, Packards and several other makes.

Linda and Al Pelletier of Payson will join in the fun with their 1947 Cadillac 8, 7523 series, seven-passenger Fleetwood limousine.

"I love its nostalgic feel," Al said.

The black limo looks likes a mafia car and denotes power and wealth.

"Most of the time when I stop somewhere, someone will ask, where's your machine gun," Al said.

The car had at least two prior owners before Linda's brother purchased and restored it.

"It's a family heirloom," Linda said.

The seats are tan leather. The heater is chrome. The odometer and clock in the dash are original.

The power windows work smoothly, but they are not quick.

In order to start the car, the driver must pre-prime the engine by turning on the electric fuel pump.

"We just have fun," Al said. "You can imagine just about anything in a car like this."

He dons his tuxedo and drives Linda to Wal-Mart shopping.

Unlike modern limos, there is no window separating the passengers from the driver, so Al can hear the Red Hat Ladies chatter when he drives them around for a night on the town.

The flathead V8 gets about 10 miles to the gallon and Al drives it the speed limit, although he said it will go 100 miles an hour.

"But my wife has gotten a ticket for speeding," he said.

Mostly the Pelletiers drive their heirloom around town.

On a fun run to the Flagstaff/Williams area last year, snowflakes gave the windshield wipers quite a workout.

Unlike modern cars, the wiper knob is located on the top of the dash.

"And the wipers are s l o w," Al said. "It took forever for them to work."

The Pelletiers are looking forward to the journey that will take them through Sedona, Flagstaff, (a train trip to the Grand Canyon), Kayenta, Chinle, Hon-Dah, Miami and Fort McDowell.

CCCA members drive on group trips, often shipping their cars all over the world, to the starting city.

The group has never been to Payson as a club before.

"People in CCCA treat you like gold and make you feel at home," Al said.

The Arizona Region of CCCA sponsored the event. Their Web site is www.arizonaccca.com.

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