Classic Appeal: Museum car show brings out enthusiasts

BROWNSVILLE — Roy Leal considers his 1932 Plymouth one of his greatest treasures.

The bright red vehicle took a lot of resources to restore, but Leal — who participates in car shows frequently — said the smooth ride was well worth it.

Leal showcased the Plymouth at the Historic Brownsville Museum‘s Classic Car Show, the museum’s first show in about six years.

“(The show) … shows how many people preserve the past for future generations. There are a lot of these (cars) in the woodworks, but here we give people a chance to show their talent and collection,” said Fernando San Miguel, museum board member.

It also gives the local community something to appreciate, said Lydia Blanchard, an employee at the museum.

Blanchard and San Miguel were the minds behind the event. They managed to bring about 20 vehicles to the museum for the community to enjoy.

“It’s something people were really looking forward to. The car enthusiasts love taking photos with the cars, and they really are beautiful, amazing vehicles,” Blanchard said. “People were already asking when the next one would be.”

The response: sometime by November, Blanchard said.

The appeal in old vehicles can vary from person to person, but for Leal it is the nostalgia factor.

“It brings me back to the past, when things were simpler,” Leal said. “These cars were built to last.”

Leal loves older models so much that he frequents car shows all over Texas. He’s participated in shows in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas and San Antonio.

Christopher Phillippe arrived toward the end of the show with his 10-year-old son, Christopher.

“Old cars tell us how things used to be compared to how things are now. Besides that, they’re fun. Each one is unique … now cars all look the same,” Phillippe said.

Christopher shares his father’s enthusiasm for cars. He loves the variety of the older models, he said.

“I think old cars have a lot of variety. It was easier to pick them out from the crowd, and there was a lot of work put into them,” Christopher said. “You could customize them any way you want, and now it is a lot harder to customize cars.”