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Owners, enthusiasts fill parking lot for festival’s celebration of cool rides

KINGWOOD — Cars filled the Kingwood Civic Center parking lot Sunday as the annual Buckwheat Festival Car Show got underway.

One of the most unusual vehicles on display was a Volkswagen Diesel driven by two surfboarding skeletons.

“I picked it up Memorial Day,” Brian Garbart said about his 1972 Volkswagen Diesel, “It’s an auto stick. I’ve been looking for parts and pieces to completely restore it. My four daughters, ages 4 to 13, are helping me with the restoration.”

He said when he bought the car he had to transport it on two trailers.

“It was a puzzle,” he said, “And you had to be a detective too, to decide where the pieces fit together. I found it in Tunnelton. I put the word out that I was looking for a bug and someone called me and said they had a deal for me.”

“When I was in Florida I decided I wasn’t going home without a surfboard. You can’t have a bug without a surfboard,” Garbart said. “I’ve got the old 1950 coolers to go with it, too.”

For Clay Friend, it was all about the memories.

“My dad had a 57 Chevy when I was growing up,” Friend, of Point Marion, Pa., said. “I said I have to buy one, I found this one in Ohio. It was a basket case that took me 30 months to get it in shape. I did all of the work but the paint job.”

Friend said he is no longer able to drive, but his wife drives him so he can show his car.

Preston County resident Kirk Martin said he shows his 2021 Dodge Challenger at a lot of events. He said he likes old Dodge cars but couldn’t find one.

“I bought this one,” Martin said. “It’s for showing and for cruising.”
George Harrison, from Waynesburg, Pa., said his car, a 2023 Dodge Challenger Hell Cat, is a last-call vehicle.

“That means I got one of the last ones. I bought it because my wife liked it,” he said. “We traded in two vehicles to get it.”

Taylor Jeffries and Shelby Cavender, of Kingwood, said they weren’t showing a car but enjoyed looking at the ones on display. Jeffries said he didn’t have a particular model he wanted to see, but said he liked to older cars.

Kevin Keener said at a recent Drag Racers Hall of Fame in Charleston, his 2009 Mustang Roush took the Mayor’s Choice award.

“I’m a Mustang guy,” he said. “The patriotic painting was under the hood when I bought the car. The owner passed away and his family had it up for sale. I went to Virginia to get it.”

For Dave Trader, of Morgantown, the Buckwheat Festival Car Show is an annual event.

“We come every year,” he said. “This is one of the biggest turnouts we’ve had in a while — great weather, great people and nice cars. We’ve seen so many cars and trucks over the years it’s hard to pick a favorite. My daughter, Hannah, likes the Chevrolet Bel Airs and Ford Sunliners.”