Getting them out in the sun

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  • Joe Jensen’s 1971 Pontiac Le Mans Sport won the “Chef’s Choice” award at the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby on Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Snap-On franchisee Dean Peasley flips burgers on his grill built to resemble a tool cabinet Saturday during the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. Peasley said he likes to give back to the community in Libby out of gratitude for the business they give him. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Classic, new and favorite cars fill the lawn in front of RMV Auto south of Libby for the third annual RMV Auto Car Show on Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Classic, new and just favorite cars filled the yard out front of RMV Auto Repair on Saturday for the third annual RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

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    Jesse James points out the “Ranger” logo on his 1959 Edsel Ranger Saturday during the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • Joe Jensen’s 1971 Pontiac Le Mans Sport won the “Chef’s Choice” award at the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby on Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 1

    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 2

    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 3

    Snap-On franchisee Dean Peasley flips burgers on his grill built to resemble a tool cabinet Saturday during the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. Peasley said he likes to give back to the community in Libby out of gratitude for the business they give him. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 4

    Jesse James’ 1959 Edsel Ranger is 100 percent original, including the paint job. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 5

    Classic, new and favorite cars fill the lawn in front of RMV Auto south of Libby for the third annual RMV Auto Car Show on Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 6

    Classic, new and just favorite cars filled the yard out front of RMV Auto Repair on Saturday for the third annual RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 7

    Jesse James points out the “Ranger” logo on his 1959 Edsel Ranger Saturday during the RMV Auto Car Show south of Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

The annual car show at RMV Auto Repair south of Libby on Highway 2 is a growing tradition all about getting people and their cars out in the summer sun.

Steve Voss, owner of RMV auto, said that, for him, it’s all about getting the cars out of the garages and out where he and others can enjoy them.

Among the cars parked on the lawn of Voss’s shop Saturday, an owner with a rare lineage had a car with one as well.

Jesse James, who has lived in the Libby area since 1977, said that he is a fourth generation Jesse James, And he even has a brother named Frank.

But no less of a standout is the car he brought to the show, a 1959 Edsel Ranger, with everything — including the paint — original. Only 2,300 of the four-door hardtops such as his were made, and the 361 V8 engine had to be special ordered from the factory, make it that much more rare.

With 102,000 miles on it, James admitted he did have to recently replace some rear wheel bearings, a job he entrusted to Voss.

He credited that in part to the previous — and only other — owner of the car, who even at 95 was going out every day to start the car and keep it running.

When he found it for sale around 20 years ago, the paint did look a little “dead” and grey, James said.

“I took emery cloth, knowing it was lacquer, and I buffed it, and brought it up to the color it is today just by a lot of elbow grease,” James said.

When James was graduating high school in 1959, he asked his dad to cosign for a new Edsel, but his mother felt her children already had enough cars, James said. So, from that day to the day he bought the one he now owns, he had an eye out.

The poor reception the Edsel received when it was first launched was undeserved, James said. The one mechanical issue — a short in the unique push-button transmission — could have been easily solved with a wiring trunk.

In his opinion, much of the rest of it came down to the people piling on early rumors and nay-saying, he said.

But, once the perception was in place, it stuck.

“This thing runs like a charm,” James said. “It’s a driver — I drive it to all the shows. I’m just real careful watching for the crazies.”

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