Janie Hampton has had her burgundy 1937 Master Deluxe Chevy at every Peabody Sunday Cruise this year. The restored vehicle has been a regular exhibit, parked in front of Hampton’s retail business, J & M Liquor, in downtown Peabody.
“I thought having it out there might draw people into the store,” she said. “But it actually just draws them to the car itself.”
The car, named Mavis, has been Hampton’s for just about a year. She purchased it from a friend in the fall of 2014.
“He showed it to me shortly after he got it a number of years ago,” she said. “I told him I really liked it and if he ever decided to sell it, to let me know. He said he would give me first shot at it.
“I kind of forgot about it, but then last year he decided he was ready to get rid of her and asked if I was still interested,” she added.
Hampton said the owner gave her a good deal on the price.
“I told him ‘yes’ in a big hurry,” she said.
In addition to appearing in Peabody Cruise each month, Hampton has taken the car to several area car shows and driven it in Peabody’s July Fourth parade.
“I have had a fascination for ‘gangster’ cars,” she said. “I just like the look of them — always have. I never thought I would own one, but when the chance came to buy Mavis, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Although she refers to Mavis as her first ‘older’ car, Hampton admits to having a 1965 Mustang sharing garage space with the Chevy.
“It runs and it’s all original, but it is in need of some real tender loving care,” she said. “It needs body work and needs to be repainted. I’ve had it several years, but one of these days I’ll get around to getting it fixed.”
In the meantime, Hampton enjoys taking Mavis out on the road. She said the car has a 305 Chevy engine and a Pontiac drive train.
“She runs good and has been real dependable. Of course, I don’t take her out in bad weather,” she said. “I’ve also met some pretty nice people because of that car. Everybody likes Mavis.”