With a 1910 Stanley Steamer, Daryl Kendall and Andy Robeson enjoyed traveling from Pennsylvania to show off the classic parked next to the Sampson County History Museum.
“I think it’s the oldest car on the tour and it’s been running hot,” Kendall said. “That’s good. A Stanley Steamer has to run hot. It blows water to make steam and that’s a good thing for us.”
The Sampson County History Museum welcomed the North Carolina Regional Group of the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) during its 65th Annual Tour, held from July 18 through July 22. In the early 1900s, automobiles were called horseless carriages because of their capability to transport people and freight without a horse.
“It’s a lot of fun because a lot of people have not seen a lot of these cars,” Kendall said about driving the car owned by Robeson. “And a lot of people have not seen a Stanley Steamer.”
The vehicle has a boiler up front and a two-cylinder engine is bolted directly to the rear. Kendall operates Kendall’s Steamcar Restoration & Repair in Chambersburg, Pa.
“I’ve done it since I was young, so it comes natural to me,” Kendall said about his 37 years of experience. “For some people, it may be a challenge to them, but not me. It’s a lot of fun.”
Chris Woodson, director of the museum, was pleased to see the cars roll in.
“I think it’s neat to be able to host these kind of events,” Woodson said. “It’s also something that the community in general can get interested in.”
Woodson said there’s always been a fascination with classic cars throughout history, which advanced throughout decades.
“These real old ones were just one step away from horses and buggies,” he said. “Now, the horse has been replaced with a motor. Now the cars we have nowadays are very high-tech and streamlined. It’s amazing to see that evolution of technology of what amounts to a very short time in history.”
The Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods car club also stopped by Friday morning to look a the vehicle built in the early 1900s. CEO David King, a founder of the History Museum, said camaraderie exists between organizations such as the Horseless Carriage Club and other groups preserving history. King also took pride with the sturdiness of classics close to 100 years old.
“The cars nowadays are made out of plastic and Styrofoam,” King said. “Very few of them will still be here. These cars will be here forever, if you just paint them, take care of them and keep them inside.”
Kay Raynor, board president of the Sampson County History Museum was excited about the visit from the HCCA and the Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods.
“It’s history and it’s timeline of transportation,” Raynor said. “The earliest transportation use horses and animals and look at where we are today.”
Brian Kelm of Mount Pleasant, S.C., said a lot of people took interest in his hand-cranked 1914 Ford.
“It has a lot of odd thing about it and people really get into that,” Kelm said. “I let people start it, it’s pretty easy and they have a lot of fun with that.”
The recent journey, which featured stops in North Carolina was his first tour.
“I usually drive it 15 or 20 miles and work on it,” Kelm said. “Now I’m driving it for about 200 miles.”
Robert Lyon, a president of HCCA from Columbia, S.C., enjoys the tour and the people involved along the way.
“This is kind of like a family that travels together,” Lyon said. “It’s good to be around them the whole time and seeing new places.”