10th year of popular auto show starts Saturday in Elizabethton

John Thompson • Apr 6, 2012 at 8:34 AM

ELIZABETHTON — A new season of the Carter County Car Club’s weekly Cruise-Ins begins Saturday in downtown Elizabethton, starting at 5 p.m.

Cars of all sorts will be lining both sides of East Elk Avenue as several thousand people should be walking the streets to admire the beauties.

This marks the car club’s 30th anniversary and the kickoff of the 10th year the Cruise-In has been held downtown.

Club spokesman Ron McCloud said the car show really belongs to the community.

“I may have been lax in saying it in the past, but the small-business owners, the doctors, lawyers, dentists and many others have always been generous.”

He said the principal sponsors, Carter County Bank, Big John’s Closeouts and Advance Auto Parts, have always been there, but the smaller sponsors have also been vital to the club.

To demonstrate his point, he holds up a flyer for the club’s fourth-annual car show at Borla Industries. The inside of the flyer is filled with the ads of local business. He said their support meant the flyers did not cost the club any money.

The same is true for the T-shirts the club sells. The back of the shirt lists 20 sponsors. That means the club did not have any costs in the shirt and the sales were pure profit. The proceeds go to the club’s annual donations to children’s charities.

Last year the club gave Christmas donations to the Angel Tree and Toys for Tots programs and supplemented the giving with bicycles for the children in the Angel Tree program who asked for them.

The club also donates the money it raises to the East Tennessee Christian Home, the Imagination Library, an evangelistic youth ministry and the libraries of every elementary school in the city and county. Donations were also made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Niswonger Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

“I can’t say enough about all the support we receive, but I really have to talk about Borla Industries,” McCloud said.

Once again, Borla will provide the space to hold the Carter County Car Club’s Summer Spectacular on July 13-14.

“Mr. (Alex) Borla give so graciously. He has just come in and helped us so tremendously.”

While the Borla Summer Spectacular may be the centerpiece of the year’s shows and cruise-ins, the heart and soul remains in the weekly downtown events in which anyone who wants to show off his or her car is welcome to do so.

“We don’t have any restrictions,” McCloud said. “It can be a completely restored car or a kit car or a homemade car. It can be a new car right off the lot. New Camaros and new Chargers and new Mustangs are hot right now.”

He said the only requirement is that the car’s owner have pride in his car and have the desire to show it.

There should be about 250 proud car owners on Elk Avenue on Saturday night and every Saturday night through October.

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