The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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September 7, 2013

Mayberry patrol car cruises into local show

JOHNSTOWN — A replica of the police car driven by Deputy Barney Fife rolled into Richland Township on Saturday. It was one of more than 300 vehicles on display at the fifth annual Johnstown Super Cruise.

When onlookers asked about the classic Mayberry-style squad car owned by Walt and Marilyn McClelland of Davidsville, Walt told them he bought the car because of the 1960s TV sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show.”

“I loved the show. I watched it all the time,” McClelland said. “I told my wife I wanted to create a car.”

McClelland, retired band director for Greater Johnstown School District, said he bought a basic Ford model on eBay for $1,500 in 2007.

Three years and $10,000 later, the vehicle was ready to patrol the streets of Mayberry.

He drives the car each September to actor Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, N.C., for Mayberry Days.

“I’ve been bringing it down there ever since,” he said.

The Super Cruise is all about rare and unusual vehicles.

“It’s a chance for people to get out and meet one another and see the different cars on the road,” said Gary Martin, president of Cambria County Crime Stoppers, which receives some of the proceeds from the show.

“The turnout is phenomenal,” Martin said.

Members of four local cars clubs sponsored the event held at Greater Johnstown Christian Fellowship in Elton.

Organizers gave out trophies and visitors had a chance to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“Overall it’s a great show,” said Jack Turner, event chairman.

Fred and Deb Kline of Armagh brought a yellow 1934 Ford coupe to the show.

They attend five or six such car shows each year with the coupe they’ve owned for 15 years.

The Klines don’t always see the same people at the shows.

“This time I’ve seen a lot of different people,” Fred Kline said.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a pretty nice show today.”

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on

Twitter at twitter.com/PatBuch­nowskiTD.


 

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