Drive to Remember Auto Show Rolls into Longview

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 12:28 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - If you are distracted by shiny objects, prepare to get very distracted. The Drive to Remember Auto Show is happening tomorrow at The Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview. It’s to benefit the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance. And vehicles from many eras are represented including one that originated in the United Kingdom sixty years ago.

You just don’t know what’s going to race into the Drive to Remember Auto Show.

Michael Gantley has a car to show, Cameron Williams is going to let him show it since he founded the show, and Michael’s dad Brian Gantley helped Michael build that car. It’s not just any car. It’s a 1961 Rolls Royce Limo.

“We have a few cars. And a friend of ours came up to us and said do you want a Rolls. And we said okay we’ll go look at one. Well, we went out to Blanchard, Louisiana. It was in a barn, sat in there for eighteen years,” Michael said.

But it didn’t look like this.

“I mean, there were rats inside, wiring, everything was in bad shape. But we liked the body lines. It was that aristocratic body lines, so we said yeah, that’s the car we want,” Michael said.

Brian, an Air Force Veteran, says he loves cars, especially this one.

“Just to show a Rolls Royce to a person that hasn’t seen a Rolls Royce makes me feel wonderful inside,” Brian said.

The build was not quick.

“There’s over six thousand hours in this car. Man hours,” Michael said.

Michael says the car has a lot of meaning for them because of his mother.

“She was English and one of the things she always would love to have had is a Rolls Royce. So, every time we went to England for travel, she’d find one and, take me a picture, take me a picture,” Michael said.

So, the car was rebuilt for her memory and had quite a first owner.

“Actually, the original owner was Sir Aynsley Brigland, who was the President of the Golf Society of Great Britain,” Michael said.

So, Michael and his dad have taken the car on tour, and every stop is special.

“Dad has Parkinson’s. He’s stage four. I know we’re supporting the Alzheimer’s right here. And that’s what we look for, you know. It gets dad out. He’s not sitting there,” Michael said.

And Michael says it also brought his two brothers closer to him and his dad.

“It’s all going back to family. It’s not about chasing that proverbial dollar. It’s about family,” Michael said.

In fact, Cameron started the car show because his father died from Alzheimer’s in 2016.

“We grew up going to car shows and doing things like that for fun and so I was inspired by that to something that the general population could enjoy and participate in that would also benefit Alzheimer’s awareness,” Cameron said.

By the way, Michael says the barn the Rolls was in burned down two weeks after they bought it. It’s won a lot of shows now, but to Michael, all that really matters is his dad will always be in that car.

The Drive to Remember Auto Show runs Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm at Maude Cobb in Longview. It’s free to attend, although they wouldn’t mind a donation. Last year the show raised about ten thousand dollars for the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance.

Copyright 2022 KLTV. All rights reserved.

KLTVs Jamey Boyum talks with Cameron Williams, founder of the Drive To Remember Auto Show benefiting the East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance.