By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
Two Mannington residents have a passion for vintage cars.
Sam Snodgrass and Larry Efaw have enjoyed cars since they were young and growing up in Mannington.
“It’s just been a lifelong hobby,” Snodgrass said.
Now Snodgrass and Efaw own the cars they had growing up.
Snodgrass takes pride in his 1955 Chevy because it was the first car he owned.
“My wife and I started dating in a ’55 Chevy,” he said. “So I finally got one again, and I think I’ll hang on to it.”
Having the car he owned when he and his wife started dating has brought back memories for Snodgrass. His favorite memories are of the times he and his wife went to the drive-in theater.
“We would go to the Parkette Drive-In in Fairmont,” Snodgrass said.
Efaw, who owns a 1957 Ford now, said he’s the same as Snodgrass. Efaw has been into cars all his life and remembers going to the drive-in in a 1957 Ford.
“A ’57 Ford was what I had when me and my wife were dating,” Efaw said. “Same color, same model.”
With a love for cars, Snodgrass and Efaw, along with others, formed the Over the Hill Kruzers car club in Mannington in 1995. Now the club has 30 members.
“As a club we have car shows, we participate in other shows and it’s all family-oriented,” Snodgrass said. “You can bring your family and have a good time.”
When putting on car shows, Snodgrass said proceeds from the show go toward local charities.
“Sometimes we’ll help people who are just down and out and just need a couple bucks,” he said. “But we don’t keep any of the money. We give all of our money away.”
Every year the two take their cars to different car shows including Mannington’s Blues and Cruise Car Show this past weekend.
In fact, Snodgrass and Efaw played an instrumental role in starting the annual car show.
“We worked with Mannington Main Street when they first started,” Snodgrass said. “It’s grown a little bit every year.”
Although the Blues and Cruise Car Show was Snodgrass’ first car show of the year, Efaw has been to about eight.
“The farthest has been the Holley River Festival,” Efaw said.
Going to car shows gives Snodgrass and Efaw a chance to see other vintage cars and meet car owners who share their passion.
“You meet nice people at car shows,” Snodgrass said. “It’s the same reason everyone is there — for cars. So you have something in common to begin with.”
Both Snodgrass and Efaw have owned other vintage cars. Snodgrass has had a 1964 Chevrolet El Camino.
“I had that car for 10 years,” he said. “Then I started trading and ended up with the ’55 Chevy, which is my favorite.”
Efaw said he has done a lot of buying and selling cars recently. He has owned three vintage cars in the past four weeks.
Efaw said he owned a 1951 Ford and a 1941 Chevrolet before the recent purchase of his 1957 Ford.
“The coloring of this car and the styling was what I had when my wife and I were dating,” he said. “It’s what I wanted.”
Having vintage cars requires Snodgrass and Efaw to do maintenance on them in order to have the cars looking the way they did when they were built.
“It takes a lot of work,” Snodgrass said. “But when I bought the Chevy it pretty much looked like this. I did the top myself though, and I repainted the bottom of it. But once you get everything up to your standards, it doesn’t take much to keep it up.”
Snodgrass said having older cars is enjoyable because he can work on them.
“These cars you can work on. The newer cars you have to take it to a garage and have somebody look at it,” he said. “But I can take this car apart and put it back together.”
Snodgrass said he not only enjoys older cars because he can work on them, but he likes that they look different.
“When you’re driving down the road and 10 older cars pass by, you know the name of each one,” he said. “The new cars, you have no idea what they are because they all look alike. Cars back then were individuals.”
Snodgrass’ favorite thing about his ’55 Chevy is the look of it.
“1955 was the big changeover for Chevrolet, and it’s a very popular car,” he said.
Efaw said his favorite thing about his 1957 Ford is the styling of it.
“I like the body style and the lines,” he said.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.