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Cannoy’s coupe a winner at Ga. moonshine cruise-in
Jimmy Cannoy is shown with his prize-winning 1940 Ford Coupe. Cannoy and his wife, Nancy Cannoy, of Snow Creek recently attended the fifth annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In, a classic car show in Hiawassee, Ga. Out of about 400 show cars, hot rods, rat rods and moonshine-hauling cars, Cannoy’s was named “Best Original Moonshine Car.” (Contributed photos)
Actor Robert Mitchum would would have looked right at home behind the wheel of Jimmy Cannoy’s prize-winning Ford.
Cannoy and his wife, Nancy Cannoy, of Snow Creek recently attended the fifth annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In, a classic car show in Hiawassee, Ga., which ran from Aug. 8 through Aug. 10.
The cruise-in featured roughly 400 show cars, hot rods, rat rods and moonshine-hauling cars, Cannoy said.
Among them was Cannoy’s 1940 Ford Coupe, which was named “Best Original Moonshine Car.”
“I bought it several years ago,” Cannoy said. “I took it all the way apart, repainted it and completely restored it. I tried to use new old stock (unused) original Ford parts.”
Cannoy has designed the car to be replica of the moonshine-running classic Fords that once raced their illicit cargo through the Appalachian foothills. While he doesn’t know if his ’40 Ford originally was a moonshine-runner back in the day, he said that while restoring it, he discovered that the bottom of the trunk appeared to have been cut out and later welded back into place.
To complete the scene at the cruise-in, Cannoy surrounded the car with items from his collection of moonshine memorabilia, including a copper still, a mash fork (used to stir the mash used to make moonshine), nine half-gallon jars of “moonshine” in a straw-packed crate, authentic stoneware whiskey jugs and the copper cap from a still used in the 1940s.
“I’ve collected that stuff ever since I was kid,” he said. “I used to squirrel hunt in the mountains. If I found an old empty moonshine jar in the woods ... I’d keep it.”
On the final day of the cruise-in, Cannoy was asked to pull his car up to the stage where awards were being handed out.
He walked away with a plaque for “Best Original Moonshine Car” and a wooden keg for aging whiskey.
“I’d rather have the keg than a trophy, anyway,” Cannoy said. “That was one of the best car show cruise-ins we’ve ever been to.”
Considering that Cannoy and his wife go to car shows nearly every weekend, that’s quite a claim. Last weekend, Cannoy planned to visit a cruise-in in Stoneville, N.C., a car show at the Salem Veteran’s Hospital and the Uptown Martinsville Cruise-In ... assuming it didn’t rain.
“If it’s raining, we won’t go,” he said. “I don’t like getting it wet, because you get water spots. Black cars are really pretty when they’re clean, but it’s hard to keep them that way.”
In Hiawassee, Cannoy said, the ’40 Ford proved to be a hit with the other car show participants. In fact, many wanted to drive it home.
“I can’t tell you how many people tried to buy it from me, asked me how much I’d take for it,” he said.
However, he has no plans to sell the car anytime soon.
“You get attached to them,” he said. “Those old ’40 Fords are right rare ... you don’t see them out too much.”
Cannoy owns seven classic cars, including the 1940 Ford coupe, a 1940 Ford sedan, a 1941 Ford pickup, a 1949 Ford pickup, a 1950 Ford coupe, a 1956 Ford — and a 1963 Chevy Nova.
“I probably would sell (the Chevy),” he said, explaining that he bought it because it was an original car with only one prior owner. Cannoy restored it and said it drives just fine, but he still would consider parting with it to buy another Ford.
“I’m just not a Chevrolet man,” he said.
In addition to classic cars, Cannoy said he also collects antique items from gas stations, including air meters, porcelain signs and quart oil cans.
While he enjoys collecting moonshine memorabilia and loves the history of it, he has no plans to put any of his equipment to use.
“I’ve never made (moonshine),” Cannoy said. “I’ve never liked the taste of it.”