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Silvana Car Show draws large crowd despite rain
ARLINGTON Drizzling skies did nothing to dampen attendance or enthusiasm for the fifth annual Silvana Car Show May 3, as hundreds of cars and thousands of visitors rolled in throughout the day.
Linda Goodridge, co-owner of the Silvana General Store, started the car show the same year that she bought the store, as a free event to draw attention and tourists to the community, in much the same way as the Silvana Fair.
All the other merchants are in on it, Goodridge said. It really brings the whole community together. Weve got everything from tractors and trucks to tanks and motorcycles, made as early as the 1920s and as late as 2007. Were open to everybody.
The car shows inclusiveness is reflected in its 69 categories of award trophies, including one for each merchants favorite car, and 17 speciality categories, including awards for best in show and peoples choice. Out of the approximately 30 volunteers needed to put on the car show, 16 are judges. Theyre kept busy, since the show drew 264 cars by 11 a.m.
We thought the rain might affect it, but its been no problem at all, Goodridge said. Even local homeowners dont mind. The dragsters cacklefest can get rather loud, but the railroad shakes the town anyway. As long as we keep their driveways clear, theyve even let people park in their yards.
A cacklefest is when dragsters rev up their engines, and with eight dragsters on hand for the car show, Silvanas main street was literally roaring.
Jerry King came all the way from Hansville to deafen onlookers with his Junior Fuel Dragster, a replica of the one he drove from 1966-1968. The original dragster set a National Hot Road Association record in 1966, by reaching 178 miles per hour within a quarter-mile, but Kings racing days are behind him.
It costs me between $200-$250 just to start up the engine twice, said King, who nonetheless attends eight to 10 auto shows a year to do just that. Thats a quart and a half of alcohol, and two gallons of nitro. A true motor-head remains dedicated, regardless of the cost or the weather.
While King relived his racing days, Smokey Point resident Kevin Derrick was living the history of warfare, through his 1959 British Daimler Ferret Mk 2/3 armored scout car. Built like a compact tank with tires instead of treads, it only gets four to nine miles per gallon, but Derrick considers it a relatively convenient piece of military memorabilia to own.
Its street-legal and easy to maintain, Derrick said. The engine is a six-cylinder Rolls Royce, and it fits anywhere a pickup truck will. Commercial parts for it are not that hard to come by.
A veteran himself, Derrick also owns two cannons, one each from the Revolutionary and Civil wars. He laughed as he admitted his wish to own an Abrams tank, since the Armys not interested in selling those, but he expressed pride in his Ferret, with its nearly 30 years of active service to Great Britain.
Granite Falls Jim Scharf revels in both the history of his 1922 Dodge Bros. Roadster and of the people who remember the car from their own lives. Instead of restoring the crack in its wooden wheel spokes, he explained how those cracks came to be, by writing up a complete history of the car for the show.
It ran off an embankment when it came to the United States, Scharf said. When it was entered in a coast-to-coast rally in Australia, it got caught in a sandstorm. It was stored in a warehouse that caught fire later, but onlookers pushed it to safety.
Scharf is happy to share his research on how the Dodge Brothers went from Ford to Chrysler, but more than that, he delights in hearing other owners of Dodge Brothers cars tell their tales.
One guy was traveling with his dad in a Dodge Bros. Roadster, which had the luggage on the sideboard, right behind three cans, for oil, gas and water, Scharf said. They were crossing a narrow bridge when they got sideswiped by a car coming the other way, and it got their luggage and clothes full of oil. You dont have problems like that with cars anymore.
Arlington Car Show:
The next local auto show takes place June 14 on Olympic Avenue, between First and Division streets. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the entry fee is $10 to show your car. Viewing is free. The event is being staged by the Downtown Arlington Business Association. For more information, call 360-435-8991.