The 'Bay State' Returns
Reprinted with permission
The South Middlesex News June 14, 1975
by SYLVIA CEGELIS
Of The News Staff
FRAMINGHAM - The "Bay State" antique auto in Sunday's 275th parade will be making a return to Framingham after a 50 year absence.
Built here in1925 by the R.H. Long Motor Sales Company on Fountain Street, the car has traveled some 53,000 miles, taking it from Framingham, to Maine, to Carolina, back to Maine, and finally back here to Framingham for restoration and the parade.
The car has undergone an $8,ooo, month-long restoration process, which normally takes a year.
Alphie Ouellette, manager of the auto body shop at the Charles F. Long, third generation Pontiac dealership on Waverly Street, did much of the work himself.
"The toughest part of the whole thing was finding parts that weren't available any more, I had to
"It's the only kown
roadster to exist in the
make many myself," said Ouellette. During the restoration, two and one half pounds of rust were found in the gas tank.
Taking apart and re-building the 50 year old car took some 2,000 miles of traveling to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and all over Massachusetts by Ouelette to get the materials and parts necessary.
"We took the car virtually apart and re-built it piece by piece," said Long
"It's the only known roadster to exist in the United States," added Ouellette, who took so much personal pride in the project that he spent many a night at home working on the car.
PARADE CAR - The 1925 "Bay State" completely restored, shines under the cloth of Alphie Ouellette the man who took personal pride in the $8,000 project. The car will be in Framingham's 275th anniversary parade Sunday.
(News Photo by Ric Getter)
The Bay State is an 8-cylinder engine vehicle, that will reach a top speed of 75 miles per hour. It will get 14 to 15 miles per gallon, and runs on regular gas. "Would you believe that the clock still works after 50 years?", Ouellette added. The wood frame of the car is covered with a sheath of aluminum panels, one of the prime features of the car's construction 50 years ago.
"We tried to make it as original as possible," said Long. And authentic it is, with exact replicas of the running boards and the dash board, which Ouellette hand finished. "That dash is as smooth as silk," he noted.
The Bay State, which will be on display in the R.H. Long showroom until the beginning of July and in the parade Sunday, is owned by Donald C. Morton, of Rangley, Maine.
"My grandfather bought it new back in '25 or '26," recalled Morton. When it was new, the roadster cost $2,500. The antique car dealer told Morton that having been restored, the car would be at least worth $10,000 today.
After the original owner's death, the car was in storage in Maine for 16 years. Morton's father and brother took it out of storage and sent it to North Carolina, where Morton's brother operated it for 10 years.
About five years ago, the car was brought back to Maine, where Morton had been running it. "Before having it restored, she was in pretty good condition for almost 50 years old," he said of the automobile the Morton family had owned for three generations.
When asked if he had any plans to sell it, he said, "I plan to keep it in the family." Morton has one daughter, Dorothy, and two sons, Donald R., and Richard F. Morton.
When the Long company returns the car to Morton sometime in July, Morton will have his first glimpse of the restored car. "No, I haven't seen it yet, but I imagine it should be a pretty sight!", he said.
Morton's father is expected to visit him in August, when he comes up for vacation from his home in Florida. He too will be seeing the restored car for the first time.
Restoration Photos - The above photos were taken by employees during the month long restoration process in 1975. (rollover to view)
1925 Bay State Roadster Restored - The above photo was taken after the restoration process was completed in 1975. This is one of only two known color photographs and the only one showing the roadster with its top down. (click to magnify)