The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 2, 2013

Car fans enjoy Norwood VFW’s annual event

Erica Benjamin, for the SNAP

Thursday, May 2, 2013 — Dazzling collector and rumbling performance cars of all makes and models were on display Saturday as the Norwood Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6183 hosted its 18th Annual Arbor Day VFW Car Show.

“We’ve done the car show for years in conjunction with Arbor Day,” Erik VanBrero of the VFW said, adding that the event brings participants from more than just Stanly County.

“We get people from all over. Some come from Stanly, Anson, Montgomery and Mecklenburg counties.”

Car owners began riding into Norwood Municipal Park at 7:30 Saturday morning in preparation for the noon judging. Plaques were presented to the top 100 entrants and dash plaques were given to the first 75 entrants.

In addition, trophies were presented to winners in the following categories: Best car/truck, best interior car/truck, best paint car/truck, best engine car/truck and best of show. Winners were selected by the entrants themselves.

Best overall, best car paint and best car interior went to Randall Kimrey’s 1937 Ford five-window Coupe. Best car engine was awarded to Maurice and Lora Honeycutt. The Advance Auto Parts Award went to Steve Lowder’s 1964 Chevy Corvette. The Mayor’s Choice was Larry Hicks’ 1941 Desota four-door Sedan. The VFW Commander’s Choice was Tom Walker’s 1969 Plymouth 6TX.

“The show is judged by the individuals who bring their cars,” VanBrero said.

Last year’s Best in Show winner, Ron Bales of Richfield, returned with his customized 1950 Ford Convertible with an LT1 Corvette motor. Building and racing cars has been a lifelong passion for Bales.

“I’m what you call a car nut,” Bales said.

“My first car was a 1954 convertible. I also build and run dragsters. I’ve been doing that since 1957.”

Bales had always been interested in entering the Arbor Day VFW Car Show but something would always come up which prevented him from attending. Last year was the first year Bales had the opportunity to participate in the show.

“You meet a lot of friends that last a lifetime at these shows,” Bales said, adding that he enjoyed looking at what other car enthusiasts had accomplished with their vehicles.

“I’ve seen a lot here that I like better than mine.”

The car show serves as the main fundraiser for Nor-wood VFW Post 6183. Pro-ceeds from the fundraisers are used to support veterans and community projects.

“We present awards to the policeman, firefighter and teacher of the year,” VanBrero said.

“On Memorial Day we put flags on the graves of servicemen in cemeteries in the general Norwood area.”

The Norwood VFW Post 6183 has approximately 30 active members, two of which are service members from World War II.

“We’re always looking for new members,” VanBrero said.

“To be a member you have to have served in a foreign area of conflict. Just lately we’ve had a couple of members from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Any veteran who wishes to join the Norwood VFW Post 6183 may contact VanBrero at (704) 474-5117.     

Norwood Women’s Auxiliary was also in attendance at the car show, selling refreshments in support of veterans.

“This is our main fundraiser,” Women’s Auxiliary member Lucy Snuggs said, adding that the fundraisers are used to support local families in need.

“We have bake sales, yard sales and we collect clothing for veterans’ hospitals. We also fix Christmas stockings for the nursing homes.”

The Norwood Women’s Auxiliary reorganized last year after two years of inactivity.

“We have about 20 members. We’re just building up our group now,” Snuggs said.

The group is open to anyone who is related to someone who was in a foreign war. Meetings are at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, at the Norwood VFW Post 6183 headquarters.