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Posted: 09/05/12

Above, judges and award winners pose after the 2012 Lions Car Show. From left, Shawn Stewart, Ford Plant manager; Armando Medel, UAW representative; Kenneth Turner, 1st Place People's Choice Award; Todd Marra, 3rd Place People's Choice Award; Bill Elliott, Peach Festival President's Award; John Coburn, UAW Award; Duane Hansen, Peach Queen's Award; Craig Maisonneuve, Plant Manager's Award; Lisa Polley, Peach Queen; Frank Rediker, 2nd Place People's Choice Award and Leah Hobbs, Peach Queen Runner-up. Below from top: First place People's Choice Award winners Kenneth and Roxanne Turner of Imlay CIty pose in front of their vibrant "Hugger Orange" `69 RS SS Camaro. Duane Hansen of Ray Twp. holds the trophy he won when Peach Queen Lisa Polley picked his `69 American Motors Corporation AMX that took eight years to restore. Tom Robinson of Romeo asks Bill Elliott, owner of a 1916 Ford Model T Touring Car, about the car he calls "Old Joe." Elliott won the Peach Festival President's Award. Armando Medel, UAW representative, stands by Washington Twp. resident John Coburn, owner of the Ford Model A Roadster he selected to win a trophy.

(Observer photos by Judith Kimpan)

Nostalgia and love of cars
blasts into Romeo for a day

More than 200 cars sign
up for Lions Car Show

Observer Special Writer
      A live dance team swirled about wearing poodle skirts and saddle shoes entertaining the crowd while D.J. Mark Evans of Washington Twp. played songs from the `50s and `60s. Onlookers viewed a blast from the past by walking past classic restored and customized cars and trucks.
       Wendy Powers, this year's co-chairman of the Lions Club 2012 Car Show, was pleased with the number of entries.
       The car show traditionally attracts 100-150 vehicles, but this year the club created a Facebook page and personally invited area car clubs to promote the show.
       "It was a good turnout with over 200 cars and the sun is shining. Entries came from as far as London, Ontario," said Powers.
       Powers entered a `74 Corvette Stingray. When she bought it, it was up on blocks, no tires, seats or steering wheel, but the engine was still in it and the owner turned it on and it started. She restored the Corvette. Next year she will be the chairman of the car show to share her enthusiasm with others.
       It is hard to predict what cars will appeal to the crowds. People came to the car show for the memories, what they used to own or what their parents drove. Sometimes it was just the color or design that was appealing.
       Lisa Polley selected Duane and Connie Hansen's `69 AMX for the Peach Queen's Pick award based on color.
       "It's a pretty green and it looks like they put a lot of effort into restoring the car," said Polley.
       Classic car owners often had an interesting history to share along with how they accomplished their restorations.
       The owner of the `54 Chevy ambulance, David Maple, explained how he used old photographs to help him restore what once was a working ambulance.
       Bill Elliott, Ray Twp., restored his 1916 Ford Model T Touring car in under a year, even after it sat in a barn for 40 years.
       "Every nut, bolt, and screw came off this car to be restored," he said.
       Romeo resident Tom Robinson paused to admire his work. He explained why this car intrigued him. It was the car his dad used to work on.
       More cars meant more walking and this year attendees could refuel at the Road Kill CafĂ© operated as a fundraiser by the Armada Lions Club.
       Members of the "Bad Seed 4 x 4," the mud bogging and off-road truck club, related how difficult it was for some members to attend the event.
       "We lost a few on the way, they overheated or had steering problems," said Jeannie Reicher, club secretary. "They aren't made for driving on regular roads."
       Normally, members trailer their off-road vehicles to a hidden community of bogs.
       The roadster called "The Devil's Joke" started with a `75 Pinto station wagon motor and transmission. In the beginning it was a motorcycle but in 1985 it was turned into a car.
       "It's still a crowd pleaser after all these years," said owner Frank Bianco.
       First place winner of the People's Choice Award went to a `69 Camaro that combined all the nostalgia of that era but had all 2012 components.
       "This car has modern technology with a lot of class," said Roxanne Turner who owns the car along with her husband, Kenneth.

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