The antique automobile was purring north Friday on U.S. 301 from Bradenton across the DeSoto Bridge to Palmetto.
With its tall, skinny spoked wheels that had the tiniest bit of wobble, the 1912 Hudson seemed more buggy than Bugatti. Other drivers respectfully gave it a little space.
You wondered about the driver. Who was he? How did the car come into his possession? How long has he had it? How does anyone keep a 98-year-old car running?
And you wondered about the car. What’s its history? Where has it been? Did it make it over the DeSoto Bridge?
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Questions, questions, more questions.
Paul Carlsen, founder of the Braden Street Cruisers, didn’t know about the Hudson, but said it would certainly qualify for his club. Any car that’s a 1990 or older can be a BS Cruiser.
A Vietnam vet who served with the U.S. Army in the Second Field Force at Nha Trang in 1967-68, Carlsen has a passion for cars.
He has a 1969 1/2 Dodge Coronet that’s similar to one he bought when he returned home from Vietnam.
“It didn’t get beat anywhere, not off the line from red lights or at drag strips,” Carlsen said of the car with a 440-cubic-inch engine. He sold it for $1,700 in the early ’70s.
Years later, he had seller’s regret and recently bought a similar car for a lot more than $1,700.
He also has a 1955 Ford Victoria, a 1964 Ford Galaxy, a 1930 Model A Ford steel body street rod, and a 1951 Ford pickup.
“These are the cars we relate to,” he said.
The BS Cruisers, founded in 2005, has 170 members, about 45 of whom are hardcore enthusiasts. They are drawn from Bradenton, Myakka City, Sun City Center and elsewhere.
Beyond cars, members share a passion for community service, including Toys for Tots, supporting the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq by sending them phone cards and postage, supporting the Manatee Food Bank, and helping out Honor Sanctuary.
Aside from the cool cars, this sounds like a very good group. Here’s what’s on its calendar:
n Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Classic Car & Truck show, 5 to 9 p.m. the third Saturday of every month, at 1795 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., just south of State Road 64.
n Perish Grill Classic Car and Truck Show, 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31, at 320 Cortez Road.
n Flight to the North Pole Benefit Car Show for terminally ill children, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6, at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, 600 301 Blvd., Bradenton.
n Toys for Tots Perish Grill Open Car and Truck Show, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4.
If you want to know more about the club, check out its website: http://bscruisers.web. officelive.com/default.aspx or e-mail Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee Editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.