Weekend spotlight on farming heritage

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Terry Beasley, a member of the Eastern Antique Power Association, stands the reproduction of a 1901 Oldsmobile he built. The vehicle will be displayed during the annual EAPA show this weekend in Chocowinity. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

CHOCOWINITY — Terry Beasley rubs the ebony paint on the side of his reproduction of a 1901 Curved Dash Oldsmobile.

Even the most discriminating eye will find it difficult to detect that the automobile is crafted of wood, its body as sleek and polished as metal.

Beasley will showcase the vehicle this weekend during the 15th-annual show hosted by the Eastern Antique Power Association. The vehicle, which made its public debut months ago during Chocowinity’s Christmas parade, is a shining testament to about 350 hours of work. Beasley built the Oldsmobile model from a set of plans. While he crafted most of the vehicle, it does sport a couple of authentic touches: a set of original headlamps and a 1901 serial plate.

Beasley became so attached to the project, which he tackled from July to October 2011, he decided to give it a name.

“I named her ‘Irene’ because her body was built using generator power during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,” he said.

Beasley credits his upbringing, and EAPA president Stan Hudson, with cultivating his interest in vintage engines and antique farm collectibles.

“I grew up working on the Jimmy Carrington farm and the Armistead Taylor farm in the Gilead community of Blounts Creek from the time I was 8 years old and working in a tobacco patch,” Beasley recalled. “And I started coming out to this show and looking at Stan’s stuff. He actually sold me my first engine in 2005.”

Beasley’s collection has grown over the years. He’s partial to Associated brand engines and vintage Honda motorcycles; the latter a passion he shares with the association’s youngest member, 17-year-old Seth Hudson.

“Other than that, I collect just about anything I can get my hands on,” he admitted. “Anything that won’t run and we can make it run. I also like John Deere tractors, but I don’t have one right now.”

Unlike most EAPA members, Beasley is willing to part with some of his treasures.

“I’m notorious for once I get something finished, I sell it,” he said.

But Irene the Oldsmobile is an exception, he quickly added.

Stan Hudson hosts the farm show each spring at his shop, located on Bear Creek Road west of Chocowinity. This year’s activities begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the show is free.

Events will include a flag-raising ceremony conducted by Boy Scout Troop 258, a parade of power showcasing antique tractors, children’s pedal-tractor races, slowest tractor race, pedal tractor pull and a fundraising auction. Throughout the weekend there will be displays of tractors and other farm equipment, classic automobiles and engine exhibitions. Vendors will sell crafts, hot dogs, flavored ices and homemade ice cream. Bluegrass and gospel music will be performed live by the group Unshackled.

For more information about the show, contact Hudson at 252-945-6150.