(Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press)
ELIZABETHTON — Nicolle Burrell and her husband, Mark, drove their 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am from Rock Hill, S.C., to be a part of the 31st annual Carter County Car Club Car Show on Saturday, which was moved back to downtown Elizabethton.
Nicolle said she has a friend who is a member of the club and was invited to come.
“We just came for the car show,” Nicolle said. “He told us about the show and we thought it would be a nice ride, come up to the mountains.”
With a little bit of interior left to finish, Nicolle said she was surprised to win one of the more than 100 Sponsors’ Choice plaques given out based on local merchant’s preferences. More than 300 other cars were entered into the competition.
“I don’t normally win,” Nicolle said. “My car still needs work.”
Travelling often with his wife to out-of-town car shows, Mark said he was proud of his wife, who now has a total of about four awards.
“The car thing is her hobby so anytime that she does well at it, I’m excited for her,” Mark said.
“Yeah, I do all the work,” Nicolle said. “He watches and cheers me on.”
“That’s right,” Mark said.
Also cheering Nicolle on, but from home, was her daughter.
“I’ll be able to take this home to my daughter,” she said. “I have a 4-year-old, and she gets excited every time I bring a trophy home.”
Nicolle’s daughter will be one of many children excited by the results of Saturday’s car show, which was in conjunction with the weekly Carter County Car Club Cruise-In.
Car Club President O.B. Foster said the club’s mission is to raise and donate funds to give to children’s charities in Carter County, primarily the East Tennessee Christian Children’s home.
The annual Car Show transitioned into the weekly Cruise-In at 5 p.m., Foster said.
“We just go from here right on into the Cruise-In,” Foster said. “A lot of the people you see here do come for the Cruise-In.
“We’ve actually got more cars than I thought we would have because everybody was thinking it was going to rain.”
The car show’s return to downtown for the first time in five years has benefits for the Cruise-In as well as the downtown merchants, Foster said.
“What really makes this special is that this is our first year back in Elizabethton,” Foster said.
“We’re planning on staying here every year. We’d rather bring all the business to our people downtown, all of the merchants, because it’s helping everybody down here.”
Foster was thankful so many people participated in the car show and foresees expanding the car show to other downtown streets, if support continues to grow.
“We’ve got somewhere between 300 and 400 cars,” Foster said. “We’ve got over 300 cars, and as a matter of fact we were running out of room to park them.”