Craig Bakay | Aug 14, 2019
The 24th annual Verona Car Show Sunday was the biggest ever, with 303 entries.
When show originator Ed Asselstine did his last one before handing the reins over to John and Julie Nizman, there were 171 entries. The very next year, that rose to 270.
“That was the big jump,” Asselstine said. “John brings in things like Party in a Box, the military displays, the firefighters demonstrations and the vendors in the building.
“The old car people feed on the vendors.
“But these are all things that make Verona special.”
“The best thing about this show is that there’s something for everybody,” said Julie Nizman.
One new thing this year was the addition of live music, in the form of ZC Top, who cranked out the ZZ Top tunes complete with beards and everything.
“The drummer’s an old buddy of mine,” John Nizman said. “But we couldn’t have had them without Revell Ford sponsoring it.”
And there certainly were a lot of vehicles, everything from sports cars, to trucks to passenger vehicles and even an old dune buggy.
When asked which one he liked best, Asselstine immediately mentioned a ’51 Chevy two-door hardtop, his own.
But, it didn’t take him very long to also point out a black Beaumont two-door hardtop, which he identified as a ’67.
It may have started out as a ’67 resto project, but it evolved into Jack Bowes’ personal dream car.
“I had one when I was 19,” Bowes said. “It was black with a red interior.
“But I wrecked it.”
Now some of you might remember Bowes as the guy who had a car repair shop in Glenburnie for many years.
So, when he wanted to put together the ride of his youth, he was faced with a formidable challenge.
You see, the Beaumont is somewhat rare. They were made by Pontiac but only sold in Canada. They were the counterpart to the Chevy Chevelle.
Regardless, there weren’t all that many of them around to begin with and putting one together wasn’t easy.
“I didn’t get a car, I got a trailer load of parts,” Bowes said of his pet project. “It took me 3 1/2 years to do and I would totally do it again.”
He said there are about six cars put together to make this one.
One of those cars came from John McDonald, who was also at the show.
“This is the first time I’ve seen it completed,” McDonald said. “Holy s...!”
But Bowes took a few liberties to put together his dream car.
The engine and drive train are from a 2000 GMC truck. The suspension and tires are upgrades and there are a few cosmetic additions.
“And gauges,” he said. “It wouldn’t have had all these gauges but I really like looking at them.”
This wasn’t his first restoration job however. In his 20s, Bowes worked on a lot of drag racers.
But this one was special.
“It was designed to be a retirement project,” he said. “And since I didn’t have a job, I worked on it all day, everyday.
“It was a lifesaver in the winter.”
And, he’s very pleased with how it all turned out.
“It’s a blast to drive,” he said. “My wife calls it ‘the Mistress.’”
By the way, at their wedding, Bowes and his wife rode in the rumble seat of Asselstine’s Model A.
Jack Bowes and grandson Boyce Bowes are all smiles in Jack’s one-of-a-kind Beaumont two-door hardtop. Photo/Craig Bakay
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