SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Bob Bahre's love for cars started when he bought his first vehicle, a Model 'A' Ford purchased for all of $5. Now, the former owner of the Oxford Plains Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway, has a multi-million dollar collection of 75 rare cars that are expertly cared for and maintained.
"I just liked cars, you know," Bahre stated. "You know, like some guys gamble, some guys chase broads, I chase cars."
His collection spans more than a century. His oldest dates back to 1901. His newest is a 2007 Bently convertible.
"Bob has always just been eager to acquire great cars as defined by himself," explained Jeff Orwig, curator of the Bahre Collection. "He just has an impeccable taste in extraordinary design, engineering, and especially condition."
Orwig says Bahre's Packard Collection is second to none and includes Clark Gable's 1934 Speedster and a sedan with gold-plated components that was built for the 1933 World's Fair.
.Most of the collection is housed in two climate-controlled garages at Bahre's house on Paris Hill, which is only open to the public one day a year.
Every Paris Hill Founder's Day, Bahre throws the bay doors open and invites everyone in to view his collection. All the money collected goes to help maintain the Hannibal Hamlin Public Library and Museum, which sits next door.
"It's huge!" exclaimed librarian, Jennifer Lewis. "Last year it was about 80% of all of our revenue, so that is basically what keeps this place running from one day to the next."
Bahre says he is still chasing cars and adding to his collection, but won't spill the beans as to what car he has his eye on to acquire next. Nor will he choose a favorite.
"I kind of like them all," he said with a laugh.
The 36th Annual Paris Hill Founder's Day and Classic Car Exhibit is Saturday, July 19th. The event is held rain or shine and there is a craft fair on the village green, food, music, and of course, the amazing car collection and other antiques on display at the Bahre's home. Admission to the car exhibit is $10 for adults and $2 for kids.