Jerry Barkley, 57, has been collecting cars since he was 16, the year his older brother gave him a 1937 Ford flatback sedan.
The Seattleite's collection has grown to a dozen cars since then, including a 1968 Dodge Dart convertible powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi engine and a 1955 Shasta "canned ham" trailer pulled by a color-matched 1960 Dodge pickup.
But for Barkley, owner of Crown Hill Automotive in Ballard, the fun is not just in acquiring and restoring cars. Sharing them with other collectors and enthusiasts at car shows is what really makes the work worthwhile, he says.
"Car shows always have a real sense of camaraderie," Barkley says. "People share maintenance tips, talk about the cars, see old friends and make new ones. It's a good time."
Barkley is no ordinary participant, though. He's director of the Greenwood Car Show, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Saturday, June 30. The show, a 1.5-mile stretch of collector cars and hot rods along Greenwood Avenue North in Seattle, draws thousands of spectators and is the biggest one-day car show in the state.
If you go
- Greenwood Car Show
- When: Saturday, June 30, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Location: Greenwood Avenue North, between North 67th and North 90th streets, Seattle
- Cost: Free
- Online: greenwoodcarshow.com
"The Greenwood Car Show attracts everyone from hard-core collectors to families just looking for a fun day outdoors," Barkley says. "The huge variety of vehicles covering a mile and a half of street really draws people in."
This year, Barkley will be showing the Ford his brother gave him. He has finally finished restoring it after four decades.
"All the cars I've bought over the years I've had to restore," Barkley says. "Some needed more work than others. The car that took the longest time to restore was the '37 Ford, which I completed last year after raising a family, building an auto repair and restoration business, and dealing with other things that life threw my way."
Barkley became active in the car show in 2009, when "the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce asked some local car guys to pump new blood into the show and make it cool again," he says.
He and four others formed the Greenwood Knights car club to produce the show, and the group turned the event into a fundraiser for local charities and nonprofits. Last year, the show generated about $13,000 in donations for various groups.
"Cars shows have a real benefit for the communities they're in," Barkley says. "The Greenwood Car Show, for instance, brings people to the neighborhood for the day, and vehicle-entry fees and sponsorships put resources back into the community, where they're needed."
The expected 50,000 visitors to this year's show can expect to see around 650 cars, ranging from antique classics to straight-out-of-the-showroom contemporaries. An awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m., emceed by Lance Lambert, host of "The Vintage Vehicle Show."
"The Greenwood Car Show gives me an opportunity to be part of a big event that gives back to the community where I grew up," Barkley says. "That's a great feeling."