WINDSOR — As the “obsolete” vehicles took a slow trip around the paved surface of the Windsor Fairgrounds on Monday, spectators hollered, “Nice car” repeatedly.

Those vehicles belonged to the members of the Dirigo chapter of the Maine Obsolete Auto League or “MOAL” for short. Some 24 vehicles made the circuit while the black 1953 Mercury Monterey, belonging to Bob King of Woolwich, president of the chapter, sat with its hood up. “I had a blown fuse,” he said. “I didn’t make the parade.”

No worries, however; he always carries spares. “We’ve got everything we need, including AAA and a cellphone,” said his wife, Mary King, the chapter’s treasurer and vice president.

Her 1964 red Ford Falcon had no problem making the parade even though it lacks power steering. “It’s all arm power,” she said, showing off muscles.

The parade of antique or obsolete vehicles was one of the highlights of the final day of the Windsor Fair. Another was the presence of Foiled Again, a 14-year-old Standardbred with 101 wins and more than $7.5 million in earnings, making him by all accounts, the “winningest horse in harness racing history.”

He was due to run in the 12th race at Windsor on Monday as part of his farewell tour, but posed patiently for pictures with numerous admirers earlier in the day in a temporary enclosure in the middle of Memoral Park and surrounded by the antique vehicles. Assistant trainer Shannon Murphy of Burke Stables stood next to the horse. “He loves it,” Murphy said. Next up for Foiled Again are trips to races in his home state of New Jersey and in Ohio.


“He’s a super, super horse,” said Michael Timmons, second vice president of the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs.

“We were really pleased that they brought this horse here,” said Bill McFarland, race director and first vice president of the Windsor Fair.

“That horse is beautiful. He does not look like he’s 14 years old.” said Diane Munsey of Dresden, a member of the Dirigo chapter of MOAL, who had her photo taken with him.

“What got me was he was so mild with all the cars going in and out,” she said.

Munsey drove a 1970 Ford pickup truck in the parade. “It’s a one-owner car,” she said, with 109,000-plus miles on it. It had been purchased new by her late husband, Donald.

The circuit went past the various booths selling fried dough, barbecue pork, cotton candy, past the historical building and past barns full of animals on exhibit.


Windsor Fair President Tom Foster, who was ferrying people around the fairgrounds on a golf cart, said Aug. 26 was one of the best opening days ever for the fair, which saw lighter attendance Tuesday and Wednesday. The fair offered half-price entry and ride fees on Wednesday, and Foster said that brought out the kids after school. “By 4-5 the place was mobbed with kids,” I think we made a good move.”

He estimated Friday’s attendance at 20,000.

Foster has been president of the fair for the past 26 years. “We have a good organization; everybody gets along here,” he said. “We’re growing all the time.”

In the obsolete vehicle parade, Mark Johnston, of Manchester, carried two passengers in his blue and white 1959 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible coupe which featured sideview mirrors that functioned even better as search lights, ash trays for all, and blue seatbelts that were added later. They were optional initially.

“This was one of the first Galaxies built, and they continued making them for 10 years,” Johnston said. Like some of the other league members, Johnston makes a tradition of exhibiting his car at the Windsor Fair. Others in the club were planning to take their vehicles next Sunday to the Litchfield Fair.

Johnston explained that the V-8 engine under the hood wasn’t meant for the slow parade speeds, so he kept an eye on the temperature gauge and ran the heater and a separate electric fan to try to keep some cooler air circulating around the engine, a tough job under bright skies with the temperature in the high 80s and the humidity close to 60 percent.


While Johnston has owned the Galaxie for about a decade, he previously paraded in a 1957 Buick with an idiosyncratic starter switch under the accelerator pedal, something that failed once after he was stalled on the race track at the Windsor Fair, which was formerly the parade circuit.

To restart, he followed the method recommended by the vehicle’s former owner, which involved crawling under the car on the dirt track and touching a screwdriver to two contact points to get the car restarted.

“I didn’t find that to be a good solution at all,” Johnston said.

So that car got sold to someone who shipped it to Sweden and Johnston picked up the Galaxie, whose odometer shows 44,740 miles, 243 of which Johnston added last year. The vehicle would have cost about $1,900 fresh off the assembly line; today, he estimated it’s worth $30,000-$35,000. “It depends on who’s looking for a 1959 Galaxie convertible,” he said.

All the vehicles in the parade picked up a blue first-place ribbon.

For his everyday ride, he uses a 2017 Tesla Model S, and remarked on the “great dichotomy between the cars.”


Barbara Richards of Woolwich, League secretary, said the olive-colored 1931 Model A owned by Terry Leighton of Randolph was the oldest car in Monday’s parade. The League, which has about 70 member families in the Dirigo chapter — which covers the greater Augusta-Waterville area, and three other regional chapters: Aroostook, Seacoast, Paul Bunyan.

“We’re the oldest car club and we truly are,” Richards said. “We were founded in 1945.”

“We were all one group then,” explained Mary King.

Richards said the Dirigo chapter is a classic car club — no hot rods. “There may be modifications under the hood but not to the exterior.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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