Buckley firefighters gearing up for another Flashback

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By Jessica Keller

The Courier-Herald

This year's theme for the Buckley Firefighter Association's Flashback Car Show is "It's a family affair," and for Buckley's Maas brothers, that's certainly true.

Ken, Mike and Bob Maas, all graduates of White River High School, have shared a passion for collecting and restoring cars since they were teenagers. This year, the cars they will be showing this weekend at the car show will also be featured on the Flashback T-shirts.

Of the Maas' cars, Mike is showing his viper red 1937 Ford pickup, with its F85 flathead engine and all stock running gear.

Ken's is a prowler purple 1930 Model A street rod with a Mustang front end, a 351 Cleveland motor and a Corvette rear end, which he worked on for three years with his four sons. It will be the second year he will be showing the Model A.

Bob, who does not live in the area any longer, also enters the show every year, driving from his home in eastern Washington. This year he is showing a blue and white stock 1957 Pontiac with a 348 engine under the hood. Bob spent about five years restoring his car, working on it with his son Danny.

Ken's wife Terrie is also showing a car, an original 1930 Model A Ford her dad built five years ago, when he was 73, using the leftover parts from Ken's Model A.

All the Maas' cars are homebuilt, not purchased finished.

"That's part of the fun," Ken Maas said.

He started building his Model A in 1998, finishing it a couple of years ago. Ken had a 1940 Chevy Deluxe Coupe when he saw the 1930 Model A and knew he had to have it. He sold his Chevy Deluxe, bought the 1930 Model A, and promptly tore it apart.

"And we build it out of my garage, frame up," he said, adding the only thing he didn't do was the paint job, which was done by a friend.

Like Ken, Mike also tries to do all the work on his cars. He bought his pickup from Ken's son, who traded a motorcycle for the truck and then sold it to Mike. The original truck was pretty beat up, Mike said, but he restored the entire thing himself with the help of friends and his son David.

Car collecting and restoring is a never-ending hobby, Mike said. A person starts out with a car and keeps improving and building from there.

"You just trade up," Mike said. "You find something you like until you find something you want to keep."

Both Ken and Mike's interest in old cars came from when they were teenagers. Ken bought his first car when he was 15 - he paid $50 for a 1932 Model A.

Mike's interest was because of a 1935 Chevy pickup his grandfather drove. He was 15 when he drove in his grandfather's truck for the first time, "and that's the one I wanted right there," he said.

But he had a number of other cars before coming upon his current truck, which reminded me of the old pickup he fell in love with. His first car was a 1950 Plymouth Business Coupe he purchased as a teen.

"If I had all my cars I had in high school, I wouldn't have to be working today. They'd all be sold," Mike said.

Ken's Model A also fulfills a teenage dream.

"When I was 15 years old, I always wanted a purple car," He said. "Purple has always been my favorite color, and I said some day I'll paint a car purple."

In addition to his car's paint job, he also has purple spark plugs and more.

"It's unreal what you can do now a days," Ken said.

Mike's car also reflects his personality and style. As a way to make his car more original and unique, he lined the box of his truck with glossy curled maple wood and a mirror finish.

"You try to put your own mark on it," he said.

While working on cars is a hobby for the Maas brothers, both Ken and Mike admit it's costly.

"It's always been our hobby, but it was a hobby we had to stop for awhile when we had kids, but we all got rid of the kids and picked up the hobby again," Mike said.

It is also a time-consuming one, both agree.

"My wife has a lot of patience with me down in my garage," Ken said.

"Yeah, me too," Mike added.

When he completes his pickup to his satisfaction - the interior upholstery is next to be restored, Mike can begin work on his 1955 Chevrolet Del Ray. He also owns a 1939 Plymouth Coupe.

"They're never done," Ken Maas said. "The money runs out before they're done."

"Yeah, that's for sure," Mike agreed.

The Maas brothers, who also show their cars in other events, say Buckley's is nice because it's a hometown event, and they know a lot of the people who show their cars.

The events are not so much about winning, although both Ken and Mike say it's nice to take home a trophy. It's about seeing other people's cars and what they've done with them, exchanging sharing car trivia and the fun involved.

"It's really a fun hobby," Ken said.

The Flashback car show is open to the public and runs from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Buckley Log Show grounds.

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