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Threat of rain fails to wash out classic car show

Staff writer

The weather was all bark and no bite. For the 30 participants in the Route 56 Classic Cruisers car show Saturday at Memorial Park in Hillsboro, the threat of rain was no excuse to deprive themselves of a good time.

Event organizer Kim Abrahams of Hillsboro said attendance would have been greater had the forecast not been so ominous, but he was pleased nonetheless.

“We’d normally have 60 to 70 here, but when the weather’s like this it makes a big difference,” he said.

Some participants were from Marion or Hillsboro, but most were from places like Hutchinson, Salina, Newton, and Wichita.

“They come from all around,” Abrahams said.

Mark Franklin of Salina was in town to show off his “rat rod,” an old, unpainted automobile. Listed as a 1928, it was made with parts from myriad companies. His ride was completed in 2012, with spiderweb and skull stylings throughout.

“A lot of rat rods have themes,” he said. “You don’t want to show off what’s just an old rusty car.”

He said rat rods were becoming more popular because they didn’t require the same level of specifications that exact year models do.

“There’s no rules; anything goes,” he said.

The best of show award was Bill Snyder of McPherson, whose 1932 Ford Victoria was voted first place by those who participated.

Jim Dush of Hillsboro was awarded best GM vehicle for his 1973 Chevrolet Nova, Richard Dirks of Hillsboro received the Ray Abrahams Memorial award for his 1931 Ford Model A, and Brian Haden of Hope won the Dave Unruh Memorial award for under-21 participants for his 1974 Chevrolet Nova.

Franklin took first in a nut dexterity test game, unscrewing 12 lug nuts in 36.71 seconds.

His mother, Dody Franklin, won a fanbelt toss by tossing two of five fanbelts over a pole. She also won a pushrod drop by dropping four of six pushrods through a small hole in a bucket. Dody won in a tiebreaker over Mark.

Kids participated as well, and winners received coupons for a free meal at Sonic, one of the event’s sponsors.

Proceeds will benefit Marion County Toy Run, Abrahams said.

Franklin, who had been at the show once before, said he enjoyed the atmosphere despite overcast weather and occasional sprinkles.

“This is a good show; the people here are nice,” he said. “It’s too bad the weather scared so many people off. They’re afraid their cars would melt if they got wet.”

Last modified June 18, 2015

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