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Summer Slam cruises into Arlington

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Municipal Airport hosted the 16th annual Sittin Pretti “Summer Slam” car show Aug. 22, as auto enthusiasts turned out to help out a local community organization.

This year marked Sittin Pretti’s third at the Arlington Airport, and Sittin Pretti President Shawn Altermott, who grew up in Marysville, explained the appeal of both the venue and the cause.

“It’s a great location, with plenty of room for us to expand,” Altermott said. “You couldn’t ask for better. Plus, it’s a chance to give back to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club. We’re registered as a non-profit, and last year we raised about $2,000 for them.”

Altermott estimated that the day would see nearly 200 vehicles and their owners, as well as 400-500 spectators, from as far south as Southern California, as far north as British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta, and as far east as Montana, with one attendee who flew all the way from Phoenix, Ariz.

While Sittin Pretti is primarily targeted toward mini-trucks and sport trucks, the “Summer Slam” is also open to sport compact cars, hot rods, classic cars and full custom cars.

“Some of these cars are worth multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Altermott said. “There are some that have $18,000 in Italian leather alone. That amount of money is like a house. They basically drove their houses to this show,” he laughed.

Altermott thanked the city of Arlington, the airport and Arlington Boys and Girls Club Director Bill Kinney for their support, and praised the atmosphere of the event.

“We can all get together here, even though some of us only see each other a few times a year,” Altermott said. “It’s like a family. We’re all different creeds and cultures, but we share a common love for these vehicles.”

Kinney insisted that Altermott was being modest, since Kinney’s estimate of last year’s earnings for the Arlington Boys and Girls Club was more than $2,500, which went toward scholarships to put kids through the Boys and Girls Club’s summer camp, and its before- and after-school programs.

“We put about 10 kids a week through our summer camp,” Kinney said. “We can offer something to just about anyone who applies for a scholarship. A lot of people don’t realize that we have these scholarships for our programs, so they just stop coming.”

Kinney credited Altermott and his “young group of folks” with also helping to stage the annual Drag Strip Reunion at the Arlington airport, and deemed it a pleasure to work with them.

“It’s amazing how much work it takes to do a good job on something like this,” Kinney said. “They might get a bad rap sometimes, but these are a good bunch of guys.”

Linc Boyington and Jon Olsen were among the event’s judges, who evaluated the vehicles’ exteriors, interiors, engines, undercarriages, wheels and tires, and displays according to the criteria of creativity, cleanliness and detail. They explained that vehicles are also classified by “street” for one to three modifications, “mild” for four to seven modifications,” and “wild” for more than seven modifications.

In the past three years, Marysville resident Robert Chandler’s 1997 Lincoln town car has won one first-place award and two second-place awards for its paint job, but Chandler is quick to mention the role that others played in helping him make his former wreck presentable.

“When I got it six years ago, the whole car was trashed,” Chandler said. “The rear quarter was completely crushed, and the passenger door was sagging. I worked on the frame, but I had a lot of help, from guys like Arthur, Greg Paulson, Ian, and Jeff Schwab, over at Diamonds and Pearls. I told Jeff the colors I like, and this was the paint job he came up with.”

What Schwab came up with was “The Gambler,” a sunset-hued combination of yellow, orange, purple and blue, set against a sparkling silver background, complete with a painted hand of cards. Chandler has insured the paint job alone for more than $10,000.

Chandler got into building cars from watching his grandfather and he believes in supporting local car shows.

Robert and Jennifer Schultz, of Snohomish, actually met as teenagers through their mutual love of Volkswagens. That and Robert’s lifelong love of Orange Crush soda were on display at the “Summer Slam” Aug. 22, in the form of their orange-painted 1966 VW convertible, whose front luggage compartment held an antique cooler container for Diet Orange Crush.

The Schultzes purchased their VW convertible three years ago, after trading in a hardtop VW from the same year that they’d owned for nine years. They sold their old VW for $14,000, purchased their current VW for $7,000, and estimated that they’ve spent another $7,000 in restoring the current VW since then.

“It has an all-new paint job, interior and engine,” Robert Schultz said. “The chassis was the only thing that remained.”

Like Chandler, the Schultzes have been attending the “Summer Slam” for all three of its years at the Arlington airport.

“There’s a little bit of everything to look at here, from contemporary vehicles to classics,” Robert Schultz said. “It’s nice to attend a car show that’s a genuinely family-friendly event.”

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