By Jessica Kelso
Elm Staff Writer
Main Street Chestertown’s monthly tradition of Cars on High showcases antique
automobiles and modern vehicles from across Kent county, ranging from vintage trucks
to 2000s convertibles. Located on the 300 High Street block, this event drew the
attention of young car owners and veteran car collectors alike.
Open to all members of the community, the bustling atmosphere brought community
members together over a shared passion for cars and the stories that accompany them.
The legacies that follow so-called “garage queens” — cars collected but not used —
span from famed automobile designers to personal memories. While these collectibles
may not gain mileage from use, their sentiment drives the industry.
2007 Carroll Shelby convertible owner Bob Willet said he keeps his car in peak
condition specifically for the style and its manufacturing claim to fame. According to
Willet, other than routine maintenance, he elects to keep as much of the vehicle true to
its original form.
“If you got the money, go get it,” Rob Joiner, owner of a silver 1940s Chevy pickup
said. “You don’t know how long you’ll be here.”
According to Joiner, he acquired his truck “just for fun” at a car show in Delaware and
has since updated its tires and internal mechanics to modernize the vehicle while also
maintaining the vintage aesthetic.
Another owner, Paul Showalter, 12-year owner of a 2004 Corvette convertible,
purchased and kept the vehicle for its stylistic design. Complete with a white exterior,
red leather seats, and flip-up lights, his car is kept in pristine condition.
Showalter is currently looking to sell to “the right person.”
Among these car lovers, there has been a rise in electric vehicles.
“This is the way we’re all headed,” community member and owner of a 2021 Nissan
leaf electric Bruce said.
Jon Hanley, owner of a 2022 Kia EV6, claims that his motivation in choosing this
nature-friendly mode of transportation is the environment. With the continuous increase
in pollution around the world, he believes it is important that we all do our part.
“I’m not gonna save the planet, but if everyone did what I’m doing, it’ll all add up
someday,” Hanley said.
According to Inside EVs, the average electric car accelerates from zero to 60 miles
per hour in under five seconds; the average gas-powered car accelerates at five to eight
seconds. Barring the acceleration, the styles between cars are nearly indistinguishable
to the average driver.
According to Barbara and Peter Ellis, owners of a Mercedes EQB 300, their car
charges from zero to eighty percent in 33 minutes — the perfect amount of time to
break on a road trip and grab a simple meal.
They elaborate that, though charging stations are not yet as accessible as gas
stations, smart technology embedded in electric cars tracks and monitors the amount of
power in the car and its distance from the next charging station, ensuring drivers have
adequate time to pull over and charge their cars before destination anxiety sets in.
Every car has a story, some with legacies bigger than others, but together,
Chestertown automobile enthusiasts have built a community of their own.
Photo Caption: Cars on High fans also often go to the annual Car Show, which is scheduled this
year for Oct. 7 also located in Chestertown, Md.
Elm Archive Photo