Good times: Little Selbyville comes alive with Old Timers Day


22 OLD TIMER DeFebo 48 chevy woodie

Wilmington resident Paul DiFebo brought his 1948 Chevy Woodie to Selbyville’s Old Timers Day. It was among the award winners in the show, which featured 131 cars and trucks and four tractors.

SELBYVILLE – Glen Gaines and Paul DiFebo live in different states.

Mr. Gaines resides in Fallston, Md.; Mr. DiFebo in Wilmington, De.

They have common bonds.

22 old timers hailey and katie tumbling good

Mid-Coast Gymnastics Dance Studio members Hailey Lewis, 7, front, and Kate Kline, 8, perform at Old Timers Day.


Both served in the Vietnam War as Seabees with the United States Naval Construction Forces.


They also have deep passion for classic cars.

Mr. Gaines owns a shiny blue 1965 Ford Cobra.

Mr. DiFebo’s pride and joy is a 1948 Chevy Woodie. His purple/wood framework hot rod was among the award winners Saturday in the 59th Annual Selbyville Old Timers Day car, truck and tractor show. It garnered “Best Interior” honors among entries in the 1940’s decade.

“Since 1964 I have owned it,” said Mr. DiFebo. “I am one of the few that still has their ‘old’ car. You’ll see people and they’ll be, ‘I had one of those, or I had one of these.’ I still have mine. I always wanted it to be a hot rod Woodie. That is what it kind of is.”

22 OLD TIMER tractors darvin hitchens

Four tractors entered by Darvin Hitchens swept the categorical awards in the car, truck and tractor show.

One hundred 31 cars diagonally lined Church Street. There were four tractors, all owned by Darvin Hitchens.

This wasn’t Mr. DiFebo’s first Old Timers Day.

“I’ve come to it before. It has got a lot of different cars, cars that I don’t normally see at our car shows up in New Castle County,” said Mr. DiFebo. “That is why I like to come down here every once in a while.”

A radiant almost-summer day was the staging venue for the little town’s big celebration, presented by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This is one of the best events we do,” said Kristie Maravalli, director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area chamber.

There were rides on horses and a Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company Station 88 firetruck.

22 OLD TIMER glass onion band

Glass Onion provided musical entertainment at Old Timers Day.

Popular Delmarva band Glass Onion performed in shady comfort in front of town hall and the police station.

Mid-Coast Gymnastics and Dance Studio members performed tumbling and dance routines.

Patrons included town, county and state officials.

“Selbyville is my hometown. Old Timers Day, it is really special to me and it brings back a lot of good memories,” said State Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville, who put “a shout out to all of the dads for tomorrow.”

In the early days of the town celebration, businesses showcased their goods.

“I can remember the first Old Timers Day … clothing on racks in front of the stores” said State Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View.

22 old timer ron gray fathers day

State Rep. Ron Gray of Selbyville gives a shout out to all the dads in the audience in a Fathers Day 2016 salute.

State Rep. Rich Collins, R-Millsboro, called Selbyville “a wonderful little town.”

“Fifty-nine years is a pretty big deal,” said Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, R-Frankford. “Selbyville is such a great hometown in Sussex County.”

Longtime Selbyville Mayor Clifton Murray thanked all of car, truck and tractor show participants for “bringing your cars … and your curiosity.”

“We’re so glad to see this many people in Selbyville. We’re just a small town,” added Mayor Murray,

Mr. Gaines has owned his Cobra for nearly a decade.

“In the nine years I’ve had it I have had a ball with it because it is an absolute dream to drive. It’s noisy. It rides rough but it is fast,” said Mr. Gaines. “I’ve never had it open for a long distance but if I had to guess, it’s probably 160 mph. That will get you off the ground.”

His Cobra led to friendships and a club that supports various charitable causes. He bought it from an owner in South Carolina.

“When I got back I was driving it in the winter time,” said Mr. Gaines. “It was a cold day and there was no snow. Someone actually tracked me down that owned a Cobra. He saw me go by. They were forming a club. Ever since then we have been friends. We have met a lot of nice people. It involves the wives socially. We get groups together.”

22 OLD TIMER mayor clifton murray

Town of Selbyville Mayor Clifton Murray addresses the  Old Timers Day crowd.

The club does things now in the First State like participating in the veterans’ home in downstate Delaware.

“We’ve actually got a group. There is a fellow in Delaware that hosts what we call our Rehoboth Fun Run,” said Mr. Gaines. “We do things that are beneficial to whatever group we are going to. And I am a Vietnam vet so I like to participate with anything that has to with the vets.”

Strapped down on the roof of Mr. DiFebo’s Woodie was a surfboard.

“I did surf. I surfed in Vietnam. I surfed in Hawaii … the Indian River, all along the beaches because the condos weren’t built back then in the late 60s.”

22 OLD TIMER glen gaines 1965 cobra

Glen Gaines’ 1965 Ford Cobra was among the colorful attractions at Selbyville’s Old Timers Day.


News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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