What comes around goes around and something is bubbling in Pottstown. You can feel it. New businesses are popping up and you hear rumblings of something else on the rise. Something that has been long in Pottstown’s DNA. Cars.
From the 50’s through to the 90’s Pottstown grew into one of the preeminent fast car towns in the country, word spread all around the US. Those who spent their Friday and Saturday driving or watching cars up and down the main drag in their hometown knew of Pottstown.
Tina Kissinger writes in her book “Cruising in Montgomery and Berks Counties,” “Did you or your friends cruise on a regular basis—or even just one night? It may have been in a town such as Pottstown, Hatboro or Lansdale in Montgomery County. These towns have become known as far away as the West Coast for fast cars and street racing, which made for a fantastic cruising experience.”
Pottstown seems to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance with cars, history and innovation taking center stage. Something seems to be rising up now.
Along the way many local businesses were woven into the fabric of the Car scene and brightened the spotlight on Pottstown as the Cruising Capital of the USA. Places like the Hilltop Drive-In, which opened in 1952 and still operates.
But today, the intersection of history, cars and innovation has taken a new turn. Enter Chuck Harders.
Chuck Harders, a thirty year military vet with fifty eight combat missions to his name, is no stranger to creative solutions for difficult challenges. Over the years as a collector of classic cars, motorcycles and rare autmobilia Chuck has developed a passion for preserving the history of the American automobile. While many would operate in the confines of their garage, Chuck has taken it to the world. And what better place to shine a light than Pottstown.
Since becoming a very well respected collector of all things Auto, Chuck has curated collections for some of the biggest collectors in the country. Along that road Chuck has owned or curated some of the most country’s important pieces of automobile history often times resurrecting historical pieces from dust and oblivion.
So what does any good collector need? A place and people. So Chuck went to work. In the span of three years Chuck has opened Red Horse Motoring Club in Pottstown, has purchased Pottstown’s High Street Car show, so that it can continue to operate, and is opening another auto-based social club in Peapack, New Jersey.
The High Street car show, known as Pottstown Nights has been at the center of the cruising universe since the late 1950’s. The Car show is experiencing new life under Harders’ leadership. Pottstown is beginning to look like the Pottstown that was once energized by car enthusiasts.
But the real stroke of innovation can be found in Red Horse Motoring Club. Red Horse is a social club for automobile enthusiasts. The brilliance is in the execution.
Red Horse is housed in the old Ludwick Motors building in Pottstown. It has been remodeled with meticulous detail. When you walk into the space you would swear you are in the automobile wing of the Smithsonian Institute. Maybe that’s because many of Chuck Harders’ pieces, which reside at Red Horse, could very well wind up in the Smithsonian Institute.
Members of Red Horse Motoring Club will quickly tell you about Pottstown’s place in automobile history. They will also will tell you with much pride about the nostalgia the Red Horse building holds. Almost with a note of thanks, you can hear in the conversations a nod to Chuck Harders’ mission to deliver to Pottstown its rightful place in the history books.