George Potter of Eugene. 1937 Packard Twelve Limousine. MIKE ROTHGEB/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Dozens of antique and vintage aircraft, automobiles, and motorcycles made appearances at the Cottage Grove State Airport for the Fifth Annual Wings & Wheels on Saturday, June 23. This event was hosted by the Oregon Aviation Historical Society and presented by Matthew A. Parsons, Commonwealth Financial Network.
Wings & Wheels is a way for the Oregon Aviation Historical Society to raise funds for the museum, and gather like-minded individuals across the State of Oregon and surrounding states. Between registration fees, admittance fees and raffle tickets, they raised nearly $2,700 to improve and further restoration projects and educational efforts at the aviation museum.
Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce members greeted participants and spectators inside the restoration hangar and supplied a barbeque lunch fundraiser of hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream. For their efforts, the Cottage Grove Chamber raised $900 for their scholarships, which will be awarded to select high school students in January.
Raffles were also held at Wings and Wheels and winners chose between historical books, photographs, art, and a one-night stay at the Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove.
Antique planes, aircraft, and motorcycles from as early as the 1920s made appearances at the airport. From 1930s warbirds to custom built roadsters, lovers of finely tuned and restored vehicles came from not only across Oregon but also Washington, California, and Arizona. At noon, spectators enjoyed a presentation on John Gilbert ”Tex Rankin,” an aerobatic pilot and flight instructor from the 1920s.
Every year, Wings & Wheels votes on the People’s Choice Award winners, selecting the crowd favorite automobile, motorcycle, and aircraft. This year, the award for Best Automobile went to George Potter of Eugene. Potter displayed his 1937 Packard Twelve Limousine, which was a magnificent piece of machinery from the World War II era. In fact, Potter’s Packard came from Milan, Italy and was thought to have been owned by a diplomat from France, where it was hidden from the Nazis during their invasion. Potter has owned the Packard for five years.
For the category of Best Motorcycle, Tim Burns of Cottage Grove took home the trophy with his beautifully restored 1937 Harley Davidson Flathead U with sidecar. Burns loves to ride Harley Flatheads on nice days and has owned the award-winning cycle for one month.
Reigning People Choice Award winner Mike Danielle of Cottage Grove once again took home the trophy for Best Aircraft. Danielle and his 1930s replica Biplane won last year and will even make an appearance on Oregon Aviation Historical Society merchandise soon. Danielle’s Great Lakes Biplane was home-built in 1996 and is a piece of history that would make The Wright Brothers proud.
For more information about the Oregon Aviation Historical Society and Museum, visit www.oregonaviation.org, or call 541-767-0244. There are many exhibits and entertaining presentations to enjoy and countless events coming up this year. Be sure to check out their events calendar and let your dreams and inspiration soar.
Oregon Aviation Historical Society & Museum
2475 Jim Wright Way
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
PHONE: (541) 767-0244
SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook.com/ORegonAviationHS
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
May-Sept: Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.