Wendling Brothers - 1936-1970s - Macungie, Pennsylvania
Wendling Brothers - Macungie, Pennsylvania old classic-era auto body builder
George & Bob Wendling
On another memorable trip from Abereeen, up to Macungie, Pennsylvania, to visit the remains of the Wendling Brothers plant, an old classic-era auto body builder
Bob and George Wendling were no newcomers to the antique automobile business. They had operated the successful Wendling Brothers garage on Chestnut Street since 1936, rebuilding cars for customers from all over the United States, including the DuPont family of Wilmington, Delaware, and a Packard once owned by Clark Gable.
Das Awkscht Fescht has grown from 432 cars in 1964 to over 3,000 today, with an attendance of 40,000 to 50,000 people during the three-day event. According to Bausch and another early participant in the Fescht, The Honorable Bob Young, the first weekend in August was selected because it was the only weekend when there were no other car shows. The distinctive name was chosen because it sounds Pennsylvania German, although in fact it has no meaning in German.
At first he was just a tag-along, Bausch said, because he was friendly with several of the men who planned the 1964 Fescht. Those who deserve the greatest credit for guiding the event are LeRoy Schaeffer and brothers George and Bob Wendling, whose Wendling Brothers garage on Chestnut Street in Macungie specialized in rebuilding cars.
For the first Fescht, Schaeffer and George Wendling invited several members of the Antique Automobile Club of America to run the show. These men, who were experienced in running car shows, were George Norton, Sterling Zimmerman, Mahlon Patton, Morris Kunkle and William Baumgartner. That year the show made a profit of a few thousand dollars - and even if it had not, an antique-car enthusiast from Allentown, "a Franklin guy," had promised to cover any debts, Bausch said.
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