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The Carthage Press
  • Classic cars on a classic Square

  • Most area car enthusiasts kept their classics in the garage because of the gray mist that fell on Saturday, but two long-time Carthage residents braved the weather for the annual Winter Car Cruise on the Carthage Square.
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  • Most area car enthusiasts kept their classics in the garage because of the gray mist that fell on Saturday, but two long-time Carthage residents braved the weather for the annual Winter Car Cruise on the Carthage Square.
    Frank Saferite and Bill Daniel brought their classic cars out of the garage and showed them off in front of another Carthage classic, the historic Jasper County Courthouse.
    Saferite brought out his 1950 Chevy Nomad station wagon, while Daniel displayed his 1940 Mercury convertible.
    "I will put it in the garage when I get home, but they're made to drive," Daniel said when he got his rare car out on a misty day. "They're not made to sit."
    "Mine needed a wash job anyway," Saferite added.
    Daniel said his Mercury convertible is one of about a dozen classic cars he's built or restored over the years he's operated Daniel Motors, a car lot on North Garrison Street just north of the I-49 interchange.
    He said he built the 1940 Mercury back in 1983 and has put about 100,000 miles on it since then on special trips to California, the east coast, Michigan, Louisiana and other places.
    "They didn't make a lot of these cars," Daniel said. "This one has a Chevy 350 motor. It took about a year to build it. I've got a bunch of other cars, but this one is probably my favorite."
    Daniel said he's sold cars from his lot since about 1980.
    Frank Saferite's 1955 Chevy Nomad was the most expensive Chevrolet one could buy at the time at between $3,000 and $4,000.
    This one was "a basket case," when he bought it, Saferite said.
    "The man who had it before me, he started to restore it, then he gave up," Saferite said. I bought it from a man in Neosho. I worked on it for about four years. It was totally disassembled, there wasn't any engine in it, transmission, there wasn't any glass in it, no paint on it. The doors were off of it, every bolt in that car was off of it."
    Saferite said he upgraded the Nomad when he restored it, installing a 350 Chevy motor and overdrive transmission, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, electric wipers and electric windows.
    "It drives nice," Saferite said. "I don't drive it every day but I drive it when the weather is decent. Today, it needed a wash job anyway."

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