The roar of engines, the gleam of polished chrome, and a rainbow of colorful flames filled the lawn of the Hot Rod Express car part store on N.C. 150 in Denver Saturday as the business held its 10th annual customer appreciation day and open house.
â€œThis is just our way to sat thank you to our customers,â€ Chip Caldwell, owner of the classic car part shop, said. â€œIt has always been very successful.â€
The event, which pulled in more than 400 cars Saturday, is also a sanctioned event of the National Street Rod Association (NSRA), a group that is dedicated to the customization and restoration of cars years 1948 and earlier.
Classic car owners came from around the area to show off their prized possessions, although not all of them made their car a part of the actual show.
â€œItâ€™s there if any one wants to look at it,â€ said Steve Little, the owner of a â€™55 Chevrolet, who chose to not register his car for any prizes. â€œIâ€™m here just to look at the other cars and wish and dream.â€
Littleâ€™s friend, Bobby Perkins, shared this sentiment. â€œWe just like to look at old cars.â€ he said. â€œI just enjoy car shows.â€
Although the cars were the main draw for car show enthusiast, it was not the only reason people came to the event.
â€œYou meet some of the best people at these shows,â€ Charlie Thatcher, one of the show participants, said.
Thatcher, who only eight months ago completed work on his 1970Ð… RS Camaro, attributed his love of cars to both family history and investment sense.
â€œI have been into cars since I was a kid. It was always a family thing.â€ Thatcher said. â€œIt is also a good investment, I have about $20,000 in this car.â€
Thatcher is also a member of a local group of car enthusiast named â€œHillbilly Hotroddersâ€. The group uses their love of cars to help others as they hold fund-raiser car shows and other events to raise money for local cancer patients.
â€œWe use the money we raise to help out local cancer patients with their needs,â€ Thatcher said. â€œLast year we were able to present nine different people with about $3,000 a piece.â€
The show also provided a venue for a few local vendors, like Klassic Rides out of Denver.
â€œWe came here just to try to get some more exposure,â€ co-owner Billy West said of the event.
The company, which deals in full restoration on non-collision, mid to high end damaged cars, saw the turnout as a success and plans to return next year.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a lot of visitors,â€ West said. â€œWe wouldnâ€™t mind coming back next year.â€
Although a small downpour caused some of the car owners to rush to cover up their cars or just leave, it did not deter most of the crowd from enjoying the event. Many of the car owners just pulled out towels and began drying.
â€œThe carâ€™s already wet now,â€ David Dellinger, who was seen drying off his 1955 Crown Victoria, said. â€œWhy would I leave now?â€
The show was seen as a success by most of those in attendance, in fact the growth of the show from year to year has suprised some.
â€œThis thing has really turned into a big deal,â€ Little said of the growth. â€œI really enjoy this show.â€
by Chris Dean