By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
Thursday, April 11, 2013 —
A swarm of Volkswagens descended on Badin Saturday morning: Bugs, buggys, vans and more. The Badin Bug Bash was sponsored by the town of Badin and was yet another event marking the town’s 100th birthday.
“I’d count this as a success,” said Jay Almond, Badin town manager, his whiskers waxed and curled in a centennial fashion.
“The weather, the cars, the crowd, the food, it’s all been great.”
“I’m well pleased with the turnout,” said David Summerlin, one of the organizers of the event. Summerlin was dressed in suspenders and a grey top hat, fully decked out in his centennial garb.
“I didn’t know what to expect with so many other things going on this weekend. We laid out 50 spaces and got 49 registered for the show. We have more cars than that, just not entered into the show.”
Lined up along Pine Street: Bugs from every year and in every shape, size and style, including some original creations; Jettas, sparkling in the golden sun high overhead; Buggys, original to modified and tricked out; VW vans and even a first-aid bus; and there was a 1959 Transporter, also known as a VW single cab.
First-, second- and third-place trophies were given to the top three vote getters at the Bug Bash, chosen by those who entered the show. There was also a trophy given to the mayor’s choice.
“I like them all,” said Badin Mayor Jim Harrison, who had also donned his centennial garments for the occasion.
“My preference goes to the traditional VWs, the originals.”
Harrison talked about the 1958 Bug he had when he was younger.
“Somebody must’ve brought it over from Europe; it had little flags for turn signals. It had horsepower. We used to joke that it had holes in the floorboards, because if you were on the highway you had to get a running start to pass somebody,” he said.
In addition to the car show and vendor parts, Badin Volunteer Fire Department cooked hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue.
“And the fire department is doing a bang-up job on these hamburgers,” Harrison said as he took a bite of his quickly vanishing burger.
“We’ve probably cooked about 90 hot dogs, 60 hamburgers and 15 pounds of barbecue,” Fire Chief Dale Ward said.
Despite friendly heckling, Ward did not reveal the secret behind Badin VFD’s renowned barbecue.
As the lunch hour ended, Harrison went for one last look-through of the VWs gathered for the occasion, before he sidled on over to the judge’s tables.
Summerlin took the microphone and began to call out the winners.
“In third place is number 20, Steve Bradford with his 1967 Beatle. Second place goes to number 25, Danny Ford and his 1964 Beatle. First place goes to number 34, Mickey Shaw and his 1959 Transporter, which is also the oldest car in the show,” Sumerlin said.
“They call it a single cab,” Shaw said.
“I just finished restoring it. It took me four and a half years to finish. This is a unique VW. I got it when I had the chance, and I’ve been restoring it ever since.”
Shaw spoke about VWs and why people like to own them.
“I’ve had a VW since I was 16. I’ve never been without one. People relate to them.”
Shaw, who was from Asheboro, said he was a member of the Good Ole Volks VW club out of Greensboro. He said that among the club members, some 350 people, they owned about 1,500 VWs.
Harrison said his first two selections had already been chosen, thus he had to go with his third choice.
“This is the first time I get to make a decision without having to get four other people to agree with me,” joked the mayor.
His choice for the Bug Bash went to Jerry Boger and his 1965 Bahama blue Beatle.
Everyone involved with the Bug Bash said that the event was so successful that they would like to have another next year.
To submit story ideas, contact Ian Faulkner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 982-2121 ext. 21.