Rodney Wood, president of Regional Group Number Five of the Early Ford V-8 Club of New England, with his granddaughter, Rose Ahearn, and his ’51 Ford
Rodney Wood, president of Regional Group Number Five of the Early Ford V-8 Club of New England, with his granddaughter, Rose Ahearn, and his '51 Ford V-8 (COURTESY PHOTO)

The Early Ford V-8 Club of New England is hosting its 49th annual Spring Tune-Up Swap Meet & Car Show on Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Fitchburg Municipal Airport at 567 Crawford St.

This will be the first real car show of the 2019 spring season, according to Rodney Wood, current president of Regional Group Number Five of the Early Ford V-8 Club of New England.

"For the past few years, we've had real nice weather," Wood says. "So we can get anywhere from 300 to 400 cars show up for the show."

Wood, who has been a member of the club since 1990, says there are about 95 club members within the New England area. The Early Ford V-8 Club international organization that is always on the move (pun intended).

Originally founded in California in 1967, the Early Ford V-8 Club is committed to preserving and authentically maintaining Ford cars manufactured from 1932 to 1953, referred to as "Flatheads" among members. Also, the club serves as a reliable resource of factual and technical information on said cars for the greater good of club members and the general public.

"Some people may believe it's about Fords, but it's about all vehicles," says Brian Richter, vice president of the club.

Indeed, there is more to this car club than meets the eye. Miller says owning a classic Ford V-8 has gotten him into some pretty interesting situations.

"I met a producer in the parking lot during a meeting up in Dearborn, Michigan," Miller says.


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"They were doing a documentary on the Reuther Brothers. They were looking for cars to be used in the dramatization scenes in between the vintage footage and interviews. All I had to do was drive my car to the studio, and they filmed it there."

The popularity of the Early Ford V-8 Club has increased immensely over the years, and it's not just car enthusiasts who are drawn in. Miller says when the weather is right, attendance could range anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 people.

"There are many things that are enjoyable about the show," Richter says, "one being the camaraderie of the members and seeing some of the hard-to-find and crazy things people have for sale."

Furthermore, Richter adds, the Spring Tune-Up is the club's only fundraiser of the year. This year's proceeds will be go to the Alzheimer's Foundation in honor of Miller's mother, who recently died from the disease.

"It's well-run," Wood says of the event. "Everyone that goes knows what they've got to do."

General admission for the show is $5 per person; children ages 12 and under are free. Parking is free, and dashboard plaques will be distributed to the first 500 cars. Additional information can be found on the Early Ford V8 Club of New England's Facebook page.

Email Jacquelyn Jarnagin at weekenderbestbets@gmail.com if you have any upcoming events that you would like to be featured in Best Bets.