LAKE TWP. — Glenn Mears loves classic cars but he values education more.
On Thursday, Mears took the unprecedented step of donating 10 cars, a custom-designed motorcycle, and two engines from his extensive collection to benefit the Stark County Wrestling Scholarship Fund.
Kiko auctioneers were to conduct the sale at 2 p.m. Thursday at 4900 Aultman Road NW near the Akron-Canton Regional Airport.
Pristine and colorful, they include hot rods and cruisers; the kinds of cars people used to write songs about.
“I’ll be 80 my next birthday,” Mears said. “But I am keeping a lot of my high-performance, newer cars, so I’ll have some toys to play with.”
Mears’ son, C.J., was a state wrestling champion for Hoover High School in 1982 in the 132-pound division.
“It’s been on my mind,” he said. “I was one of the original people who started the Stark Wrestling Scholarship Fund in the mid-1980s. I’ve been wanting to make a large contribution to that. I believe education pays big dividends.”
Mears said he started collecting cars in the mid-1980s.
“Mostly, I collect, and very seldom sell the cars,” he said. “I decided to sell the pre-1972 models, which are in high demand. Some are very unique.”
All of the vehicles offered are American-made, though Mears said he does own a few foreign vehicles.
“I’m not glued to any one brand,” Mears said.
Asked how he finds his cars, Mears replied, “Sometimes, they find me.”
“I don’t do much traveling to shows,” he added, saying that he sticks mostly to local cruise-ins and the annual car show at Stark State College in Jackson Township.
Mears noted that the scholarships are available to boys and girls, including mat statisticians and team managers.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Don Turner, president of Stark County Wrestling. “He’s always been a strong supporter of the scholarship fund and I think it’s fantastic.”
Turner said the organization has awarded about 318 scholarships since it was formed in 1979. Currently, they give an average of 10 a year, based on applicants’ grades and their community involvement. The current award is $1,400.
Peter Kiko Sr., who was to conduct the auction, said he heard from potential bidders from across the country. A man from Australia registered to bid online. The auction will be shown live on the internet.
“We’ve had tremendous interest,” Kiko said. “I’ve talked to people from seven different states. It’s kind of exciting.”
Kiko said he’s auctioned cars for Mears in the past.
“I’ve known Glenn all my life,” he said. “We’re a wrestling family. He’s a good guy. He called me out of the blue and said he wanted to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the scholarship. They’re good community people, the Mearses.”
Which car is Glenn Mears’ favorite?
“All of ‘em,’” he laughs. “We had a preview showing on Monday night that was well-attended. A lot of people asked me that question, and I said the same thing. ‘I love ‘em all.’”
To learn more about the sale visit: www.kikoauctions.com/?nav=auctions&details=8908
To learn more About Stark County Wrestling visit: starkcountywrestling.com
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP