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BREAKING NEWS

Family auctions off Model A’s, T’s owned by late father

HANOVER – It is a rare occasion to see one Model T or Model A car. Imagine how rare it is to see more than two dozen of the vehicles in one location for sale, all owned by the same person.

The late Walt Pazda Jr., from the town of Hanover, was a collector of not only antique cars but other various antiques and car parts. Walt’s daughter, Bonnie Pazda explained her father started his collection of antiques about 23 years ago after he retired. She said her father got into his hobby of cars from his brother. According to Bonnie, the pair went to a sale and found one vehicle and his collection grew from there.

“Throughout the years they would go different places and they would find cars or he would bring home a load of parts and make them,” Bonnie said.

Walt would fabricate some cars himself and personally did all the work to restore others. Bonnie and her brothers, Dave and Larry, would help their father work on the vehicles. She said it was “really cool to see him bring home a car hauler,” which would be full of various car parts that most people would assume to be “absolute junk.”

Bonnie recalled going to various auctions and antique shows with her dad, where he would walk around with signs looking for specific parts. She remembers traveling to Hershey, Pa., with him looking for a wrecker body. Walt even found parts locally, some of which were on the next road over from his house.

“Every yard sale he would go to, he would always ask somebody ‘Do you have any old cars? Do you have any old car parts?'” Bonnie said.

Over the years he had built or acquired 25 cars, which he worked on at his residence. The property has four buildings on the grounds, which Walt would use to build and restore vehicles. Any wood on the vehicles Walt would construct by hand, according to Bonnie. One building had dollies with vehicles that you could walk in between the rows of cars. Another building had cars and parts hanging from the ceiling.

“It’s a wonderful collection. It’s like what you would see in a museum and there just aren’t any around here for people to see,” said Bonnie. “These are the neat old things of history that people aren’t going to see.”

In March, Walt passed away unexpectedly. While Bonnie and her two brothers would love to keep their father’s collection, the family does not have the space to properly display the collection. The family decided to host an auction, which took place Saturday, featuring the vehicles and other antiques, including a gasoline engine washing machine, an original treadmill and a shoemaker’s bench from the 1700s.

Bonnie hopes the vehicles will end up with someone who can display them in a museum. Some of Walt’s friends helped to ensure the cars were working for the auction. Larry thanked Jim Hycner, Benton Bryant and Tyler and Shelly Surrel for all their work with his father’s collection before Saturday’s auction.

“This is pretty much a real good celebration of what our dad did. … The official start of the auction is kind of a reminder of us growing up as kids here in Smith Mills. Our mom would blow a conch shell that we could probably hear five miles down the creek when we were playing around. The neighbors heard it as well. With that, I’m going to blow my replacement for the conch shell and let the auction begin,” Larry said Saturday.

While many of the vehicles were auctioned off not all of them were sold; Bonnie and one of her brothers kept two vehicles in the family. Bonnie wanted to keep a truck that said “Pazda Brothers,” but her garage isn’t big enough. She chose a pickup truck that she and her father worked on together instead.

“It’s going to be hard to see them go but it was fun to work on them for him. We would help him put together the inside, the vinyl top. My brothers would come up from down south and they would be helping him … There was a lot of history that we helped him with,” Bonnie said.

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