BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It might look like an invasion but it's just a get-together. A drive-in patriotic car show Thursday night is being held to show off military vehicles and 4x4's in a celebration of local veterans.
Jim Calanchini is a collector. He's got more than a half dozen military vehicles along with other unique collectibles at a facility in Bakersfield. His own rolling museum that he shares with the community.
Jim comes from a military family. His father, Arthur Calanchini, joined the Marines in 1940 and was sent to Wake Island right before the Japanese attacked pearl harbor.
Art and several hundred marines took part in the first battle with Japanese forces holding them off for two weeks. He was eventually captured and sent to a prison camp for the rest of the war until his release in 1945.
So in 1967, Jim enlisted in the Corp and headed to Fresno for his physical. Unfortunately, rheumatic fever that he had when he was 10 years old prevented him from fulfilling his dream.
Jim started collecting mechanized memories from history and restoring them. You may have seen them in a veterans day parade over the years. It's like his own private platoon.
And he's always in the market for more.
"I have a buddy in Moscow. Called me a year ago. Had a King Tiger tank. Right now pipe dream," said Jim.
There's plenty around his shop to keep Jim busy. All memories of his love for the military and those who served when he was told he couldn't more than 50 years ago.
And perhaps a museum sometime down the road.