Step back in time while strolling through rows of antique and classic cars at the Manchester Area Merchants Association's 3rd Annual Car Show Sept. 26. This event, complete with old time music from the 1950s and '60s, will give participants the chance to admire not only classic cars, but modern, tricked out vehicles, street rods, hot rods, trucks, motorcycles and more.
Guy Garey, MAMA treasurer, said the event, held at Manchester Valley High School, will have something for everyone. The association puts on the show with help of the Future Business Leaders of America Club at the high school.
Garey said the show will feature plenty of cars, music, food sales and vendors selling crafts and flea market items, as well as home consultants — including Stamp it Up, Tastefully Simple, Home Interior, Mary Kay cosmetics, and Scentsy Candles — selling new wares.
"We have a lot going on," Garey said. "The school clubs will be doing games and entertainment for smaller kids, too. And all the money we make is going right back to the high school students. [MAMA gives] two $1,000 scholarships annually to Manchester Valley High School students and this event funds those scholarships."
DJ Doug Hood will spin the oldies, while car show host Dave Serio broadcasts his radio show live from the car show.
Serio has been in the automotive business for more than 30 years in many different capacities but is most well known for the radio show he started in Florida in 1979 called You Auto Know. Serio now hosts the You Auto Know radio program each Saturday on Baltimore's AM 680 WCBM, on Q1370 in Baltimore and on AM 930 WFMD in Frederick.
Westminster resident Ron Ecker, owner of North Carroll Pools and Spas in Manchester, will be there to show his classic car. He said he and his brothers seldom show the 1959 Corvette they bought from his mom after his father died, but for a group like MAMA, he's willing to dust off the upholstery and take it for a trip. Last year Ecker took away the Best in Show trophy for the Corvette.
"My dad bought the car in 1972. I think he paid $1,200 for it. The funny thing is, he made my mom think it was a second car for her to use. My mom actually did drive it but she got upset because it was a two seater and she had to put my brother and [me] both in the passenger seat. So my dad said, 'Okay, I'll get you something else,' and he put this one in the garage. I am pretty sure he knew what he was doing," Ecker said with a laugh.
When he was alive, Ecker said, his dad painted the red car back to its original turquoise color and had the upholstery done.
"I love the car," Ecker said. "My brothers and I like to drive it, but with no power steering, no power brakes and a high performance engine with a tight clutch, after 45 minutes or so it tires you out."
Ecker said every time they drive the Corvette people stop them to ask why they are not showing it, so they now do two or three shows a year. The car's sentimental value is what he says matters most.
"For me, my dad having this car since 1972 means a lot to me," he said.
Still, Ecker said, he realizes what others see in the Corvette.
"It is a rare car," he said. "There are only two people in this area who have these first generation, C-1 Corvettes. It's special for people to get to see them. Corvette people know that the rear suspension of [a 1959 Corvette] is based on leather straps. At the shows they sometimes crawl underneath to check, and they see that the original leather straps are still there."
Garey said folks should come to the car show hungry because they will have plenty to eat.
"We will have snowballs, ice cream, pit beef and ham, pizza, and Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club will sell breakfast items in the morning starting at 6:30 a.m. — things like coffee, donuts, juice and breakfast sandwiches."
There is no pre-registration for vehicles and the show is open to any kind of vehicle, including street rods, hot rods, classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. The cost is $10 per car to enter, but the event is free to spectators.
"It can be anything," Garey said of the vehicles. "We do not restrict by the age of the vehicle. Some folks have show cars that are 2- or 3-years-old but are customized."
Garey said he has 100 dash plaques to give to the first 100 cars registered and he is hoping to give them all away. The show has grown each year and after handing out over 1,500 flyers at other car shows to promote this show, he hopes MAMA will see a big turnout. He is ready to give out 20 regular trophies this year plus a Best in Show trophy.
"Judging is by participant's choice," Garey said. "Car show participants get three voting cards. They usually vote for their own car and then two others. Car show people know a nice car when they see it and they will vote for the nice cars."
Garey said one of the trophy winners will be chosen by the Future Business Leaders of America Club at Manchester Valley High School.
"I'm a car nut and I find it interesting to see what they pick," he said. "I'll see them pick a car based on color or something else that I wouldn't look at. They have a totally different eye."
Garey said last year the show saw a lot of Mustangs and Camaros, but they've also had heavily modified hot rod cars and original cars preserved in pristine condition.
Visitors will see a good mix of cars, he said.
Each person showing a car gets a raffle ticket. Throughout the day, tickets will be drawn and prizes donated by local businesses will be given away to participants.
"We are also going to raffle off some higher value items that were donated," Garey said. "Things like gift certificates, shop vacs — that sort of thing. Anyone can purchase a ticket and drop it into a bag or basket with the item they want."
Raffle tickets will cost $1 each or six for $5 and winners must be present to win. The event ends at 2 p.m. with a trophy presentation and then the drawing.
Garey's uncle, Richard Garey, will be at the show, too. He said he has a 1956 Lincoln Premiere two-door hardtop and a 1965 Buick Wildcat convertible.
"Both of my cars are more driver cars than show cars," Richard said. "I like to drive them, especially the convertible when the weather is nice."
Richard said he gets thumbs-up from people when he drives by and sometimes the cars are conversation starters.
"There is history in these older cars," Richard said. "A lot of people come and say, 'My dad had one just like that,'" he said, adding that the show is not just about the restored older cars. "Some of the cars you see at these shows are not original. The street rod cars are customized. That is more about people displaying their talent, redesigning a car the way they would like it. I like to watch the collector car auctions on TV and some of those customized cars go for quarter of a million dollars at auction."
Ecker said there are two good reasons for people to attend this car show.
"The money that they make is used toward scholarships for our local students. And you get to see cool cars," he said.
If you go:
What: The Manchester Area Merchants Association's 3rd Annual Car Show
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26
Where: Manchester Valley High School, 3300 Maple Grove Road, Manchester
Cost for cars: $10 per car. The first 100 cars get a dash plaque and everyone gets a door prize ticket.
Cost for vendors: Vendors can get a space for $15. MAMA members may set up a booth to promote their business for free. Reserve in advance if possible. Day-of event spaces will available, too.
For more information or to reserve a vendor space: Call 443-929-1558