Hotrods to roll for wounded warriors

Published 11:42 pm Friday, November 8, 2013

Kevin “Jake” Sweeney and John “Elwood” Vukovich, members of a Blues Brothers tribute band that will be perform in Driver Sunday, pose with their “Bluesmobile.”

Kevin “Jake” Sweeney and John “Elwood” Vukovich, members of a Blues Brothers tribute band that will perform in Driver Sunday, pose with their “Bluesmobile.”

A hotrod “power tour” will roll into Driver Sunday for an event raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hotrod and classic car owners are invited to gather with their rides ahead of the Driver festivities at Charlie Daniels Racing in Smithfield, 20128 Isle of Wight Industrial Park Road, between noon and 1 p.m., event organizer John Vukovich said.

The tour will leave Charlie Daniels as close to 1 p.m. as possible, he said, taking about an hour to get to Driver’s Rio Grande Traders, 3057 Kings Highway.

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Two bands will perform at the village location: The Bill Miles Band from 2 p.m., playing original Americana and folk, and Vukovich’s own Blues Brothers tribute band, The Shotgun Blues Brotherhood, for an hour from about 3 p.m.

Ruck’s BBQ Hut will provide food and refreshments, smaller-scale custom automotive painting and pinstriping will be available, and retro-style pinup art will be on sale, Vukovich said, with vendors planning to make donations from proceeds.

“It’s just going to be a fun day,” he said.

Vukovich said he began planning the event after several months ago running into someone he knew from previous fall car tours on the Peninsula’s Colonial Parkway and other scenic roads.

“The second question out of his mouth was, ‘When are we doing another motor tour?’” Vukovich said.

“That’s what sparked the idea.”

Vukovich said he would lead the tour in his car, which resembles the bluesmobile from the original movie.

The hotrod enthusiast said he knows Rio Grande Trader’s Ronnie and Jason Gould from the Driver Days car show — “one of the ones I put in my calendar every year” — and has been buddies with Charlie Daniels for almost 25 years.

“We just decided the Wounded Warrior Project was a good and deserving organization,” Vukovich said. “I have military friends they have helped.”

The event is open to the public, and folks are asked to make a donation.