Joe Dearmon likes old cars. In fact, he will proudly say he likes older cars better than today's models.

He likes how they drive - with a few bells and whistles added - along the highway. The key, he makes sure they are dependable. 

Dearmon is a self-proclaimed "car guy" who owns not one, but three older model cars: a 1961 Rambler American Two-Door Wagon, a two-door 1948 Chevy Areo Sedan, and a 1964 Buick Riviera. 

Each car has been painstakingly restored and modified. 

"I like the classics [because] of the age," Dearmon said. "I can spend hours building on cars. I can spend all of my freetime."

On Friday, during the Food Truck Friday, Dearmon will showcase at least his Rambler wagon, and possibly one of his other cars.

It's a chance to showcase his cars, and help pass on the beauty of a classic vehicle to a new generation.

About the Rambler

Dearmon's car is rare. Only 2,400 two-door versions of the Ramber were made during its production run. 

He purchased it three years ago, from a seller on eBay. During the 16 month renovation process, Dearmon kept the outside stock, while replacing everything from the engine, transmission, dash, seats and more inside.

He added air conditioning, something he said all cars need, and an AM/FM stereo complete with USB port and Bluetooth. He completed most of the work himself, leaving the exterior bodywork to Ed Ayers of Fairland.

Ayers, whom Dearmon said "is the best there is" painted the car one of the Ramblers' stock colors for the body, leaving the top white.  

"I bought it sight unseen," Dearmon said. "It had dents, but no rust. The car had been in storage from 1984 to 2012. They got it running in order to sell it, to settle an estate."

Dearmon said he purchased the car for $5,500, adding an additional $1,000 for the freight to ship it from Redding, California to Grove. He admits he's added a significant amount to the total cost, through his modifications. 

At the time Dearmon was in the market for a two-door wagon, not necessarily a Rambler. But the car was in his price range and looked promising. 

"I fell in love with the little car," Dearmon said. "I let everything [go] around her until I got it done. I was on a mission."

Dearmon admits, he's not like most car enthusiasts.

"I drive all of my old cars," Dearmon said. "A lot of people build them for show - and trailer them everywhere. I believe they are meant to drive."

Next month, Dearmon plans to take the Rambler on a trip to Vermont, Maine, across the Canadian border into Nova Scotia. It's a route guaranteed to add several thousand miles to the new odometer.

"I just like the unique style of it," Dearmon said. "It's just different. It's not a car you see everyday, even in a car show.

"I love it. People often follow me, until I park some place to look at it and talk about it."

If You Go

Food Truck Friday

Officials with the Grove Convention and Tourism Bureau will host the next Food Truck Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4, on the lawn of the Grove Community Center, 104 West Third, Grove.

The event will feature food trucks, as well a car show. Officials from 1909 have sponsored the "best of show" award for the evening - with the winner receiving a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant.

Organizer Mark Hoffman said he's talked with at least 50 people, and anticipates between 45 to 60 cars will be on display at the show - including his own 1922, 1932 and 1934 Fords.  

The 1950s era band Cool Breeze Band, will perform. The event is free, and open to the public.

Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, for seating. A limited number of tables will be provided, near the band as well.