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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Anton collects vintage vehicles, enjoys ‘keeping them alive’

  • Bruce Anton has been collecting vintage vehicles since age 16, when he received his first car for his birthday and Christmas. This was a 1951 Packard, bought for $150 by his parents, (the late) Charles and Ruth Anton.
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  • Bruce Anton has been collecting vintage vehicles since age 16, when he received his first car for his birthday and Christmas. This was a 1951 Packard, bought for $150 by his parents, (the late) Charles and Ruth Anton.
    Along with his dad, Bruce Anton continued to collect cars, and he now has 12 - ranging from a 1928 Packard to a 1984 Avanti. “I am currently not looking for anything new,” he said.
    How should a car collector prepare for winter? “It is good to clean and wax it,” Anton said, adding cars, “should not be parked outdoors, if they are restored.”
    Another tip is to “make sure the gas tank is full,” Anton continued. “I was advised to do this to store for the winter to keep corrosion from forming.”
    One year-round tip is to keep mice away, he said, and “Irish Spring (soap) works better than moths balls, but I don’t use it. I don’t have a problem with mice. ... Mine are not in a wooded area.”
    Nearly all of Anton’s 12 vehicles are in garages, and he rotates driving them, advising people to continue to drive a vintage car throughout the winter. “I drive them every couple weeks,” he said.
    Anton is a member of the Loafers Car Club but does not compete in shows, although he goes to cruises. He takes his oldest car, a 1928 Packard. This is his only car that has been professionally restored. It also is his only car older than the 1950s.
    His 1984 Avanti is Anton’s favorite car for everyday use. The Avanti make was founded after Studebaker was out of business, he explained.
    “I spent more on oddball cars that not many people collect,” he said. “I have sold some, and my dad sold some.”
    He also enjoys driving his dad’s 1982 Porsche.
    The rest of his vintage vehicles are American cars, including four Packards. In addition to his first car, the ‘51 Packard, and his 1928 model, he has two ‘55 Packards.
    He has two Studebakers, a 1959 pickup and a 1960 Lark.
    His others are a 1952 Crosley, a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a 1964 AMC Rambler and a 1968 Ford pickup.
    What is the most challenging thing about owning vintage vehicles? This is finding parts, Anton said, “or if you can’t get parts, making modifications to keep it running with existing parts.” He buys his car parts at local stores.
    He has no Chevrolets, but said “in my opinion, the 1957 Chevrolet is the most popular collector car in the world.”
    Any vehicle more than 25 years old is considered an antique, Anton explained.
    Page 2 of 2 - What is most rewarding about collecting cars? Anton said, “for people that like old cars, keeping them going - alive. If you don’t do that, they will be piles of rust.”

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