Nostalgia and Chrome reign at SRM’s second annual Classics at the Crossing car show

This was the article I wrote as a follow up to our classic car show, an event which I designed, created, and ran for two years.

If the sight of a candy colored, chrome accented vintage car really gets your motor running, chances are you were with us last Saturday for the second annual Classics at the Crossing car show! But if you weren’t, it was a wonderful continuation of last year’s gearhead extravaganza, set against the backdrop of a beautiful Georgia end-of-summer day.

We had a fifty percent increase in show participants over last year, so the lot was dominated by yesterday’s sultans of the tarmac. Representatives of many of America’s beloved auto manufacturers were present, along with a handful of British interlopers. It was a slice of life from a bygone era which thrilled young and old alike. For those who were unable to join us, the museum was full, with guests enjoying their old favorites like the General II and Georgia Railroad #1026, and also walking down memory lane at the car show. Guests were also able to see the cars while they rode the Park Train, whose loop of track encircled the once-a-year automotive treat.

In addition to the usual suspects and our rubber-wheeled guests, we were also happy to play host to two food vendors who helped keep things cool with shaved ice and smelling great with freshly grilled food. Entertainment was provided by our very own John Noack and his band, the K-Tels! They provided some fantastic covers of popular hits from the days of car hops and drive in movies, of whitewall tires and poodle skirts. Classic American food, golden oldies music, retired railroad stock, and antique cars all combined to create the perfect time warp for a day!

The show culminated in a presentation of awards. We had three categories–2 Door, 4 Door, and Convertible–and in each of those a best in show and runner up were chosen. How, you ask? By our wonderful visitors! The public was able to vote for their top picks, and at the end of the show the polls were closed and votes were counted. The results were as follows:

2 Door Best In Show: Candi Hathorn and her 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback
2 Door Runner Up: Henry Dabrowski and his 1951 Hudson Hornet Hollywood
4 Door Best In Show: David Jackson and his 1947 Hudson Super Six
4 Door Runner Up: SRM’s very own Gary Cullen and his 1993 Chevy Caprice LTZ
Convertible Best In Show: Jerry and Wilma Drayton and their 1956 Ford Thunderbird
Convertible Runner Up: Richard Morris and his 1974 Triumph TR-6

Those who were present know that there was a seventh trophy as well…which was awarded by the votes of SRM’s staff. The Museum Staff Pick award went to Frank Cuddy and his 1955 Ford Crown Victoria.

The trophies were donated for the second year in a row by Mack’s Plaques and Trophies. It is with a heavy heart, however, that we must say goodbye to this long time resident of the Gwinnett business community. After a long, illustrious life of over thirty years, they are closing their doors. We at SRM would like to take a moment to thank Mack’s for their service to the community, and to us. You’ll be sorely missed and fondly remembered!

And it is, ultimately, remembering the good and peeling back time that makes classic car shows so enticing regardless of whether you remember them as your first car, or just know them from films like Back to the Future. Guests and staff alike get a chance to not only see the cars, or even trains, first hand and touch a piece of living history, but these pieces come with so many stories that bring that history to life. The cars’ owners, much like the men and women that operated our equipment during their careers, add so much to the vehicles’ stories through their own anecdotes and experiences. A Ford, taken on a modern day road trip from Oregon to Atlanta. A Hudson, bought new and kept in the family through multiple generations.

These memories and amazing journeys are one of the many reasons why our volunteers continue doing what they do with the museum. We want to capture them, explore them, and ultimately share them with you, our guests. And so it is in this spirit that we hope you’ll join us again next September, for another Classics at the Crossing!

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