Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 10, 1975 · Page 27
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August 10, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 27

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, August 10, 1975
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Page 27
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1C -August 10,197 5 Photos by Frank Wilkin Classic and Antique Cars All in a Row at Marion's Autoville Caring for and Restoring Them is Hobby of Marion Family Antique Cars Mark FamilyDates me long distance to tell me where 1 could find it in Texas." limousine which was used in "The Godfather." By Connie Shearer Staff Writer and Jim Marion and their sons, ''·'· Sam. Eddie and Tommy, have an interest; ing and priceless collection. '.. ' v It's priceless in the sense that it is impossible to.put a dollars and cents value on a 1922 Ford, or a 1947 Continental, or a 1935 Chrysler. Marion is owner of Marion's Autoville at Tyler Mountain. His interest in cars was the basis for his used car and truck business, but the basis for his collection of 25 antique-and classic automobiles lies in the purchase of a 1930 Ford truck which he bought six or seven years ago to use as an advertising gimmick for his business. 'Marion decided then that he would buy a car for the year representative of the birth of each member of his family. Earlier this year he surprised his wife by purchasing a 1922 Ford to commemorate their 22nd wedding anniversary. * * * . THE STORIES behind finding sonie of Longing for Day When He's Old Enough to Drive Tommy Marion Inspects Classic 1965 Corvair the antiques are as interesting as the cars themselves. The 1922 Ford was found when Mr. and Mrs. Marion were traveling in Pennsylvania. It was completey restored by a blind man and donated to the Science lor the Blind Foundation. Inc. The foundation had been renting the car to various Ford dealers around the country to be used in the showrooms for advertising purposes. When the Marions found the car. they discovered that the foundation was interested in selling, and they were interested in buying. The 1935 Crhysler is called the mystery car. It is. one of eight such cars made by the Chrysler Corp. as a prototype tor the 1936 model., The cars were not to be sold. The one which Jim Marion now owns somehow or other got out of the factory and was sold. Marion traced the car through the previous owners and finally located it in New Jersey in what he terms "extremely run down condition." MARION BOUGHT the 1953 Ford panel truck at auction from the City of Nitro. It had been used by the fire department for 20 years as a rescue truck. "It had been wrecked. Its sides and back were banged up. It was in deplorable condition," says Marion. He continues, "Getting that truck in shape became a family project. We worked on it in the evenings and we finished it in time to give it to Sammy on his 21st birthday. It if representative of his birth year." The Marions' oldest son has been blind since birth. But Marion has taught him to drive the straight shift vehicle. "He has a great memory and is extremely sensitive so that I was able to teach him by explaining very carefully what is involved in learning," says Marion. HE ALSO watches for estate sales. He obtained a 1954 Packard after the owner died and her belongings were offered in an estate sale. "That car had been in the garage for years," he says. "It was rusted and the motor was frozen. We had to soak it in penetrating oil for three days before we could get it to work." The Marions restore their own cars and are constantly in search of parts. "Finding parts for the cars can be almost as interesting as actually restoring the cars," Jim Marion says. "Just today," he continues, "I got a call from a man in Dearborn, Mich., who had seen an ad I ran in an antique auto magazine for a part for the '47 Lincoln. He didn't have the part himself but he called EDDIE, THE second son, has a 1960 El Camino. "It's hot an antique," his father explains, "but since that particular car- truck was made only in 1959 and 1960, it is unusual. The style was returned in the Chevelle series in 1964." Tommy is nine years old and he too has a favorite car. It's the spiffy bright red 1965 Corvair. His father describes it as "rare." "It is a classic," he says, "because it is no longer made." Mrs. Marion's favorite car is the 1947 Lincoln Continental. Her husband says she enjoys driving it and has driven it in many parades. As for Jim Marion, he admits he has a special feeling for the 1935 Chrysler. But he also likes the 1929 Ford Phaeton which is in tip-top shape and the 1935 Plymouth MARION HAS always been interested in cars. He says he believes the Marions have cars in their blood. When he was a student at Stonewall Jackson High School, there was a good chance that he wouldn't get into an auto mechanics class. He explains. "It was the one class I really wanted to take, but by the time they got to the M's.. the class was full. I got upset and threatened to' quit school and then it. was decided that I would go to an automotive class at Charleston High School in the morninigs." When he graduated from SJHS, he went to work for the Post Office, where he stayed for 19 years. Throughout those- years, he says, "I always kept a second car to play with and tinker with." He started his car business in 1964, and in 1971 he resigned from his Post Office job to devote full time to automobiles. His . brother, Dan, who had made his home with Jim and Norma Marion, joined the business later and is now general manager of Autoville. JIM MARION also enjoys the fact that the car collection is a family hobby-"something we all enjoy and work on," he says. "We don't go to ball games and take part in other forms of entertainment. We give all our time to working on and driving the cars." The Marions are involved and active members of the Kanawha Valley Antique Automobile Club of America and are looking forward to putting their collection in the annual show at the Civic Center on Labor Day. They travel around and visit antique- auto museums. "Our big dream," says Jim Marion, "is to someday turn this area into an auto museum with a sales and service area. That's our dream." · ·.;. j^*-w?? ·^···i^. .. ^.:MaaB3 fc 1922 Foal Is Much (Mder Than They Are Purchased to Celebrate 2nd Wedding Anniversary of Mr. ancrMrs. Jim Marion 1935 Chrysler^Only One of Its Kind, Called Mystery Car Eddie Marion at the Wheel, Bother Tommy in Rumble Seat

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