A streak of colorful, shiny automobiles with polished silver and gold fixtures that looked like they were transported from the late 1800s into the 21st Century caught the eyes of many people on the roads in the area earlier this month.
Approximately 30 vehicles made their way through the streets of Riverbank, among other Central Valley communities, for the Western Gaslight 1 and 2 Cylinder Club’s annual tour.
“The tour is a four day event that is based out of Oakdale,” said Ryan Taylor, owner of Taylor Motor Company. “They range from the late 1800s to about 1910.”
The tour made a stop at Taylor Motor Company on Third Street where they displayed their vintage cars and socialized with each other and a few community members.
Taylor explained that the Taylor Motor Company is an extension of Taylor Automotive in Modesto.
“We specialize in mechanical restoration, repair, service and engine building for pre-war cars especially teens and pre-teens cars (1942 and earlier),” added Taylor. “With the decline of demand for rebuilt engines we turned to specialty work. Now we are capable of complete mechanical restoration and much of the electrical restoration.”
Taylor is a third generation engine machinist that grew up around old cars and he said it’s not uncommon to find Taylor, his father and his 91-year-old grandfather, a WWII veteran, on site at the downtown Riverbank location.
The tour of old cars showcased a variety of automobiles and in the lineup were cars like Mitchells, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and REO’s along with a Stanley steam car, Winton, IHC highwheeler and a Ford Model F.
According to the Horseless Carriage Club of America’s website (www.hcca.org), many collector car clubs throughout the U.S and the rest of the world recognize specialty marques or a broad spectrum of makes and years of manufacture. Very few remaining collectible automobiles represent the dawning of the age of the automobile industry. This unique period of automotive history covers the turn of the century to the end of carriage coachwork, gas lights, hand cranking and extensive use of brass.