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Classic car fans turn out for show despite threat of rain

POSTED: June 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Classic car lovers enjoy the vehicles on display Saturday morning in the parking lot of Lanier Technical College during the annual Lanierland Old Car Club's car show.

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Saturday's 27th Annual Open Car Show & Swap Meet was a hit, despite the prediction of thunderstorms that did cut the event a bit short.

The Lanierland Old Car Club sponsored the event at Lanier Tech in Oakwood, giving out awards a little bit earlier than planned because of the threat of rain.

The contest was open to anyone owning a car from 1983 or earlier and who was not a member of the Lanierland Old Car Club. The contest was judged by two groups of judges, with four judges -- all members of the club -- in each group.

One group judged the production cars, cars that are still original, and the other group judged the modified cars, which have been changed from the original.

While the enrollment in the contest was down from previous years, club President Chuck Dyarmett attributed that to the prediction of thunderstorms and other car contests being held Saturday, too.

There were a 41 diverse vehicles entered in this year's contest. The oldest one was a 1928 Ford Pickup owned by Bob Leach, which won first place in the Half Ton Production 1900-48 class.

There were 26 classes for contestants to enter, ranging from pony cars to trucks. In order to win first place, the top car had to receive 75 points from the judges. There were also three "best overall" categories.

The Best Modified Car award was given to Mitchell Gilbert with his 1979 Chevy Camaro. The Best Production Car award was given to Leach with his 1928 Ford Pickup and the Member's Choice award, voted on and selected by the members of the club, was awarded to Walter Simonds and his 1951 Chevy Deluxe Convertible.

Gilbert, a self-confessed car fanatic from Cumming, also was the first-place winner in the modified class 1969-83. He said he entered the contest to see friends and meet new people, as well as just for fun. In order to prepare for the contest, he said he did a lot of detailing, such as cleaning, polishing and waxing the car.

Gilbert said he has been interested in cars his entire life and even said he went to his first race while he was "still in the womb."

Like Gilbert, Dyarmett said his interest in cars began in his youth. He said that many people will buy cars they enjoyed and remembered as a kid, such as their first car or the car their parents had.

In addition to awards, door prizes were given by a variety of event sponsors including Slack Auto Parts, NAPA, North Hall Ace Hardware, Billy Trulove, the Rev. Henry and Beverly Loggins, BB&T, United Community Bank, Mountain Community Bank and the club itself. Prizes ranged from caps and cups to $150 off an upholstery job.

The Lanierland Old Car Club was founded in 1979, and the first car show was held the following year. Currently, there are some 50 members of the club. According to Dyarmett, anyone with an interest in old cars can become a member. Meetings are held every other month and the annual fee is $10.



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