Yountville car show displays family bonds amid old-school wheels

by Howard Yune | Napa Valley Register | June 20, 2016

YOUNTVILLE — The two sports cars were both red, both nearly half a century old – and both the recipient of family bonding, hours of it.

Wesley Ware’s 1966 Sunbeam Tiger convertible was parked on the grass at Yountville’s V Marketplace, where spectators at Sunday’s Father’s Day Invitational Auto Show saw it first among dozens of restored vintage cars. Beside the gleaming tiger was a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine, which Ware, a Napa resident, already had reserved for his 16-year-old daughter Emma – once the New Technology High junior-to-be earns her driver’s license in the coming months.

Even before sliding into the driver’s seat, however, Emma has started helping her father plan out the engine swap and makeover planned for the Alpine. The work, they said, will carry on a family tradition that began with the Tiger, when a then-teenage Wesley pitched in on a sleek British coupe his own dad bought new in 1966 and thoroughly overhauled after a quarter-century of use.

“I like just being with by dad and having him pass on his knowledge,” Emma said as the auto show opened at 10 a.m. “A lot of people these days don’t know how to work on their cars, and it’s really cool that I get an opportunity to learn it.”

“I want Emma to be able to take it to college and have it be her daily car,” said Wesley. “She’s gonna learn about cars, through me, through this.”

In its 26th year, the Yountville exhibition gathered together an array of internal-combustion art spanning much of the car’s history, from Ford Model As of the 1920s to rumbling, massive engine Detroit musclecars of the late 1960s.

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