Girard resident Chuck Latronico has been a fan of vintage cars as far back as high school when his 1964 senior class visited the Lorain Ford Assembly Plant.
Although the Lorain plant closed in 2005, Latronico's memory of that visit has stayed with him.
''I saw a red Ford convertible come off the assembly line,'' Latronico said, ''and I've wanted one ever since.''
Chuck Latronico of Girard, along with his grandson Luke Minor, 8, stand beside Latronico’s 1965 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. Latronico, a fan of vintage Fords, particularly Mustangs, will display his car in the Mahoning Valley Old Car Club’s annual car show Aug. 5 in Boardman Park.
Five years ago, Latronico's dream came true when a bright red Ford Falcon Sprint convertible went up for sale in Florida after its owner passed away.
''The previous owner restored it about 15 years ago,'' Latronico said, ''and so far all I've done is a little mechanical work, but it needs repainted and I'll be doing that soon.''
Latronico, who does all of his own restoration, is no stranger to car collecting. He currently owns seven Mustangs, a model that is close to his heart, as well as one Ford Maverick and two Ford Falcons, including the red Sprint convertible.
What makes this particular Falcon a Sprint is just a few minor deviations from the Falcon model, Latronico said. There weren't many Sprints made, he said, and they have bucket seats versus the more standard bench seat as well as extra chrome on the motor. The Sprint also has a tachometer mounted to the dashboard, a feature not available in the regular Ford Falcon, he said.
Three years ago Latronico became a member of the Mahoning Valley Old Car Club, a local organization with members from several surrounding communities.
Each year, the club holds an annual car show and flea market in Boardman Park, where members and other vehicle enthusiasts can display their antique and restored vehicles.
At the show, first and second-place awards will be given in 23 classes, as well as awards for Participant's Choice, President's Choice and Best of Show trophies in authentic vehicles and modified vehicles. MVOCC member's cars will not be judged and members are not eligible for door prizes.
Latronico also is a member of the Falcon Club of America and his son and daughter are fans of vintage vehicles as well.
''My son has three Mustangs,'' Latronico said.
The MVOCC car show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 5 in Boardman Park. Pre-registration will be accepted through July 31 but also opens at 8 a.m. the day of the show and closes at 1 p.m. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. sharp for all entries.
Proceeds will benefit Mario Novello, 3, who was born with a rare chromosomal 4 deletion condition.
For information and a complete list of classes, awards and rules, visit the website at www.MVOCC.com or call 330-518-9338.