37th annual Old Wheels Car Show revs up in Columbia

Saturday, September 24, 2011 | 5:13 p.m. CDT; updated 5:57 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 29, 2011
Jim and Beverly Smith show their 1973 Volkswagen Thing on Saturday at the 37th annual Old Wheels Car Show at Hickman High School. The car has won many awards before the Smiths owned it, so they had those awards on display during the show.

COLUMBIA — Hundreds of people spent their Saturday leisurely strolling through the Hickman High School parking lot admiring the cars on display for the 37th annual Old Wheels Car Show. Some brought lawn chairs to sit and relax while others stopped to look at the exotic vehicles.

One hundred fifteen cars were entered in the car show, said Scott Heck, a club member who is on the Car Show Committee. Ray Nichols won Best of Wheels with his '78 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Ted Albin won Best New Wheels with his 2005 Ford Mustang GT.

Songs such as “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley filled the air until an Elvis impersonator, hired by Old Wheels Collector Car Club, showed up.

Glenn Boyer was enjoying the car show with his grandson Shane, whom he considers his “little helper.” Boyer entered his 1953 Kaiser Henry J, which won first place in Class B Personalized and Custom Vehicles 1946-1959. Last year his car won second place in the same class. Boyer said he built the whole car — paint and body work — at home.

Boyer’s car only has one seat and is built for drag racing.

“Can’t have a passenger if you're drag racing,” he said.

Lee Schweighauser of Fayette entered his 1931 Ford hot rod, which won second place in Class A Personalized and Custom Vehicles 1945 and older. When Schweighauser bought the hot rod two years ago, it had BB gun holes in the back window.

“It was that way when I got it, and I liked it so I kept it,” he said.

Jim and Beverly Smith entered their 1973 Volkswagen Thing in the car show.  They displayed their trophies and Hot VWs magazine with photos and a story that featured their car. Beverly Smith said it has been a show car for many years.

Also entered in the show was Dennis and Laura Even’s 1959 Studebaker pickup that had been refurbished by inmates in the Moberly Correctional Center through a special program. The Evens said you have to be a state worker to qualify for the Moberly program. The inmates who worked on the car signed the inside of the hood of the truck. Dennis said you have to furnish the parts yourself, but the inmates refurbished the vehicle for $1.50 an hour.

Paul Larimore came dressed as an Elvis impersonator and performed during the car show. Larimore serenaded the crowd enthusiastically, and his audience was amused to hear renditions of Elvis songs. Paul Hobbs, the president of the Old Wheels Collector Car Club, said this is the first Elvis impersonator appearance at the Old Wheels Car Show.

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