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Couple share a lifetime love of classic cars

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oak Grove residents John and Sherien Jaeger share a love of solar panels and a Prius in addition to their classic cars.“Classic car enthusiast” would certainly constitute an understatement for Oak Grove resident John Jaeger, one of the few lifetime members of the Early Ford Club of America and the proud owner of a 1937 Ford V8.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - John Jaeger is one of the few lifetime members of the Early Ford Club of America and the proud owner of a 1937 Ford V8.Jaeger bought his first ’37 Ford when he was a junior in high school, and he’s been hooked ever since. Born in Portland, Jaeger, 72, is a graduate of Lake Oswego High School and received his bachelor’s degree in general studies from Portland State University. The retired insurance-claim adjuster continues to serve as an associate editor to the V8 Times magazine and has contributed countless articles to the national publication.

His wife, Sherien, 71, graduated from Gresham High School and eventually received a master’s degree in social work from PSU. Also a classic-car aficionado, Sherien has cherished her 1966 Volkswagen Beetle since buying it new, and uses her "bug" as an everyday car. But she thinks of her husband as the bigger fan.

“He’s probably got the biggest Ford ’37 collection in the world,” Sherien says.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - John Jaeger's 1937 Ford has one valid license plate, on the left rear fender near the gas cap, but the car sports other fun plates and memorabilia.She points to his reams of original Ford ’37 advertising and more recent memorabilia, much of it one-of-a-kind or extremely rare, including a brochure in Japanese that marketed the ’37 when it was new.

“In many ways we’re old-fashioned,” John Jaeger said. “We don’t have a cell phone, but we do have solar panels that generate all of our power and a Prius that’s the car I normally drive.”

Jaeger’s 1937 Ford was one of the first to cross the Oregon City-West Linn Arch Bridge in the bridge’s reopening ceremony last fall. His car was featured in the South Park Blocks — twice — when the Portland Art Museum devoted its special exhibit to classic cars.

by: PHOTO BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - This family photo shows Jaeger's Ford visiting a historic Oregon covered bridge.Last month was typically packed with classic-car events for Jaeger: On April 13, he hosted the Model A Ford Club of America (1928-31) from Battleground, Wash., on a tour of Oregon City’s Municipal Elevator and McLoughlin House starting from Atkinson Memorial Church. The following weekend, he led 30 cars on a tour of the Old Columbia River Highway, detouring via Corbett to Multnomah Falls through light rain. The convoy visited his nephew’s 40-acre Hood River pear/cherry farm, Sandahl Orchards, and the Parkdale Grange for lunch.

“I never like to drive my car in the rain if I can help it because, No. 1, the windshield wipers don’t work so well, and, No. 2, it leaks, so I have to wipe it down inside and out afterward,” he said.

Jaeger and other Ford V8 enthusiasts will drive up the mountain in support of the graduation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Guide Dogs for the Blind, 32901 S.E. Kelso Road, Boring. For more information, call 503-668-2100 or visit guidedogs.com.

His Early Ford V8 Columbia River Region Group holds meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Abernethy Grange, 15745 S. Harley Ave., Oregon City.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Sherien Jaeger uses her 1966 Volkswagen Beetle as an everyday car since buying it new.




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