Cranking it up: Horseless carriages arrive Sunday

PORT TOWNSEND — When Harold Hanson was born on Seattle’s Capitol Hill in 1912, people were buying motorcars at a Buick dealership a few blocks away on Eighth and Pike streets.

So when, as a Boeing engineer, he saw a 1912 Buick in a collector’s sale in 1970, he bought it.

He worked on restoring the Buick over the years, but died three years ago, before it was finished.

His son, Charlie, took over the work, and on Sunday, will crank up the car and take it on a road trip.

“This will be the first tour for this car in 50-something years, ” Charlie Hanson said.

The tour of Port Townsend and East Jefferson County is sponsored by the Horseless Carriage Club of America’s Skagit-Snohomish Regional Group, based in Mount Vernon.

It is expected to draw 35 to 40 motorcars, all vehicles built prior to 1916.

“They are known as brass era cars because the trim is made of brass,” he said.

The local Rakers Car Club will provide chase cars — or escort vehicles — for the tour, said Keith Marzan, a Raker who is organizing the escort.

Tour participants are expected to arrive Sunday about noon, Marzan said, rendezvousing at Memorial Field for a picnic. They will be in Port Townsend until early Thursday.

Using the Harborside Inn in Port Townsend as a base, participants will make excursions to Bundy’s Troll Haven on Discovery Bay, tour an antique car collection on Marrowstone Island and tour the Old Consulate Inn in Port Townsend.

Inherited vehicle

The drivers welcome people to the Harborside Inn to see the cars, Marzan said, and a visit to Blue Heron Middle School to show them to students is planned for Wednesday.

For Charlie Hanson, inheriting the Buick and several other antique cars from his father has been a learning experience, he said.

The best part: the wealth of information on the Internet, making it easy to contact other owners.

“My dad would send and receive letters,” Hanson said. “It would take a month to get a part.

“Now you can get what you need in a day.”

His brother, Pete Hanson, who lives in Port Angeles, owns a fishing resort in Alaska, and isn’t into old cars, Charlie said. But his brother, Paul, has a 1914 Model T.

“It’s a family disease passed down from generation to generation,” Lucy Congdon Hanson said of antique car collecting as she watched her husband, Charlie, back the 1912 Buick out of the garage for a test spin.

For more information on the Skagit-Snohomish Regional Group/Horseless Carriage Club of America, see

The Rakers Car Club meets the first Tuesday of the month at Highway 20 Roadhouse, 2152 Sims Way, Port Townsend. Visitors are welcome.

For more information, go to or phone Michael Hinojas at 360-385-7044.


Port Townsend/Jefferson County reporter-columnist Jennifer Jackson can be reached at

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