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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Unique car comes home to Taft

  • Glenn Owen to show car made during WWII and first sold in Taft at West Kern Oil Museum's Pioneer Days
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  • Saturday's West Kern Oil Museum Pioneer Days event will have a couple of new wrinkles this year.
    There will be the traditional barbecue, display of small gas engines, the model trains, quilters and plant sale.
    The event, which begins at 9 a.m., also will unveil the newest addition to the Museum's motor pool and will feature two production rig demonstrations by employees of Key Energy.
    Glenn Owen is donating a 1942 Dodge coupe that was originally purchased in Taft.
    His sister, Mary Edwards, came across the car in Placerville, where she now lives. She grew up in Maricopa.
    "She said the car needs to be back in Taft," Owen said, and acquired. He bought it, brought it home on a trailer and got it running.
    It was during the 2010 Oildorado Days celebration that they planted the seed for returning the car to its first home.
    "Everything on it is original, and that's just amazing," he said. "The fuel pump and carburator are original."
    The interior and paint are original, too.
    "It actually runs good."
    It hasn't been driven much since it rolled off the showroom floor in Taft – just a shade over 54,000 miles.
    Owen is in the process of rewiring the car "from one end to the other."
    "I want to leave it original as long as I can," he said. "Eventually I want to restore it to its original condition."
    He has the history the car, including the bill of sale for original owners Tim and Isma Fanning, who lived on Buena Vista Place and bought it on Dec. 15, 1941 from local Dodge and DeSoto dealer Taft Garage and Auto Supply Company.
    "At that time there were 17 car dealerships in Taft," Owen said. "I have the certificate from the Highway Patrol, which in those days had to calibrate the headlights, that is dated the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked."
    Owen said very few cars were manufactured after that due to the war effort.
    "That's what makes this car even more unique," he said.
    He even has a receipt from when it was serviced Nov. 17, 1978 at Cal Wills' Standard station at Tenth and Kern. The lube, oil and filter and other service provided cost $18.54.
    The car will be on display with other Museum antique and vintage vehicles.
    Vintage Production Co., with Alan White directing, will dish up the barbecue of tri tip and chicken. Fred and Barbara Holmes made a $500 donation to the effort.
    Museum volunteers will provide homemade desserts.
    The barbecue begins at 11:30 a.m. and costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10.
    All Museum exhibits will be open and the horseshoe pits will be operating.
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