Walking through a car show can transport any visitor back to a time of drive-ins and street races, as well as give a glimpse to what the future of the car industry has in store.
People from the Tri-Cities, as well as out-of-state participants, revved up their engines in their cars Saturday for day two of the Carter County Car Club Car Show and 4th Annual Borla Summer Spectacular, held at Borla Performance Industries off South Roan Street.
Watching where you walked was important as the afternoon crowd casually strolled and frequently stopped to check out unique cars and “the classics.”
One show stopper was the 1923 Ford T-Bucket brought to the show by Normand Dion of Telford.
Dion said he was inspired to build the car when he was young by an uncle who had a T-Bucket.
“I was about 12 years old and just as a kid ... I just fell in love,” he said. “I built the frame and then ... I bought the body and then just kind of piece by piece by piece built it and put it together.”
Dion said his orange vintage vehicle hasn’t required much tweaking, but said a car builder’s job is never really done.
“If you’re building a car, it’s never really done because you always are going to see something that you like,” he said. “You might change something. You might just change the appearance, little things here and there.”
He said he’s been showcasing his T-Bucket since the first car show with Borla and said he enjoys the atmosphere.
“There’s so much diversity here. You’ve got people that bring cars that have never been touched,” he said. “From the factory they’ve never done anything to them and they’re 40-year-old cars.”
David McGee was walking around with his son, Brayden, and said they were excited to check out the vintage Volkswagen Beetles. McGee said he owns two Beetles, a ’74 and a ’67 and has been to car shows before, but this one was particularly fun because it was his son’s first show.
“I’m excited to bring him out,” McGee said. “I think it’s important just like for him, to get him started. It’s been a passion of mine my whole life. If he enjoys it ... that gives us something to do as a father-son and then (it) also gives him something to keep him busy and to keep him out of trouble when he gets older.”
He said the community aspect of the two-day event is a lot of fun and that he’s already run into some friends he hasn’t seen in awhile.
“You see several people that you’ve not seen in years and then also some friends that you see everyday that you didn’t know were going to be here,” McGee said. “There’s more things to do than just look at the cars, and especially for the kids. If you have children, children love it. Instead of their Hot Wheels, they’re seeing these in real life, so it’s good for that.”
Johnson Citian Pete Lonon said a lot of people stopped by his ’54 Chevrolet truck and told him that it brings back memories.
Lonon is no stranger to the local car shows like the Erwin Autorama and the weekly Cruise-In’s in Elizabethton, and said this event is fun for people who just want to get out and see something different.
“It would probably be a good way for them to get out and see the different types of cars that people have at the car shows,” he said. “It might cause some of them to want to get into the hobby.”
He said the yearly show is something to look forward to, even if just to mingle with old friends and talk about cars.
“A lot of times you’ll see people here at the car shows you don’t get the chance to see through the year,” Lonon said. “It’s just a good family-oriented event.”