Gearheads enjoy community car show

Published 1:32 am Saturday, April 8, 2017

Car lovers enjoyed the return of a local meetup in Carrollton on Friday.

The Smithfield Lions Club held the first Cruz-In for the car show’s ninth season. Car lovers gathered at Sentara St. Luke’s parking lot in Carrollton, the site of all 14 events for the show’s season. Each one will occur on the first and third Friday of each month, from April to October.

More than 35 cars kick-started the season on Friday. That number is expected to increase as the weather warms up, as each event typically draws about 78 cars, according to Smithfield Lions secretary Tim Marinelli. The average for all 14 events is 1,100 to 1,300 show vehicles.

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“Our motto is if you’re proud to drive it, we’re proud to show it,” he said.

Dozens of car owners stood next to their prize vehicles. A 1970 Chevy Nova was displayed, along with a jet-black SS 2017 Camaro. There was a custom Ford F-150 with 35×12 tires that kept its frame steep off the ground, and a deep red 1951 Ford Victoria.

“We get just about everything under the sun, like model A’s, hotrods and drag cars,” Smithfield Lions member Solomon Sherfey said.

Owners and spectators perused the cars while eating shrimp, fish nuggets, hotdogs and fries served by Carrollton restaurant Main Catch. The seafood restaurant will be selling food for the first show each month, while Q Daddy’s Pitmaster Barbecue will have its menu available for the in-between shows.

“You get good food,” said Sidney Jones, a 17-year-old Smithfield High School student and secretary for Leos Club, the youth extension of the Lions.

A disc jockey played music next to a 1946 Chevrolet panel truck with seafoam green paint. The music was a mix of ‘50s and ‘60s classics befitting the cars on display.

“It’s an opportunity for gearheads to come out with their vehicles and talk shop,” Sol said.

Standing next to his 1983 Lincoln Continental was William Dickens, a Surry resident and car collector of several years. This was his first car show in which he had entered a vehicle.

“I think it’s pretty great,” Dickens said. “It’s just a part of your life.”

Smithfield Lions asks each owner entering a car to donate at least $2 to the organization. Season ticket holders pay $25 for a regular spot at the show throughout the season.

By rule, all of the money that people give is strictly for community service initiatives. The Lions themselves cover administrative costs while money raised contributes to scholarships and leadership programs, along with vision and hearing screenings for public schools and other efforts.

“Every penny we get goes back into the community,” Smithfield Lions member Terry Castonguay said.

Call 688-1974 for more information.