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HERMITAGE Classic cars are a classic way to celebrate Father's Day



Published: Sun, June 10, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Antiques and modifieds alike are displayed in Father's Day show.

By VERONICA GORLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

HERMITAGE -- A 1950 Volkswagen Beetle is the just one of the cars scheduled to grace East State Street in Hermitage on Father's Day.

The VW bug is the featured car in the 19th annual Father's Day Car Show, presented by the Shenango Valley Region Antique Automobile Club of America. The show will be from noon to 4 p.m. June 17.

According to club member Fred Ross, an anticipated 600 vehicles and 40,000 spectators will be at the show. Admittance is free, and food and drink vendors will be on hand.

Growing trend: Regional AACA President Ed Bailey said the show has grown continuously the past 19 years.

"I think it's a great Father's Day activity," he said. "The perfect Father's Day activity, I think."

Show-day registration will take place in the Ames parking lot from 8 a.m. until noon. Judging commences at noon, and no arrivals will be accepted for competition after that. Registration for entering vehicles in the competition costs $10. Participants may show cars for sale in the Car Corral for $15 per space or for display only for $5.

Cars, trucks and motorcycles may participate in 34 classes of competition, and AACA judging rules apply. Judges for the show are mostly club members and participating car owners, said Ross. First, second and third places in each class will be honored with trophies, and judges will also award ribbons.

Rick Merz, regional club vice president, said two "best of show" awards will be presented -- one for the stock car division and one for the modified division.

According to Ross, the first 500 cars registered in the show receive dash plaques and "goodie" bags. Included in the goodie bag are tickets for door prize drawings to win free carwashes and products such as oil and filters.

Ross said this is the fourth year the show will feature a freshly painted white signature car that spectators can sign for a donation. This year's car is a Ford Escort donated by David Crisan of Brookfield. Proceeds from the signature car will be donated to West Hill Ministries in Sharon. After the show, the car will be repainted at Maaco in Hermitage and donated to the Prince of Peace Center in Farrell for the Wheels for Work program.

Program requirements: According to Wheels for Work Coordinator Shirley Major-Friday, the program provides dependable transportation to working people who are not welfare recipients. Beneficiaries must demonstrate a good work record for six months, be drug free and possess a current Pennsylvania drivers' license and insurance.

Proceeds from the car show benefit local charities, said Merz. Last year the Children's Transplant Fund received $1,000 from the show's profits, and members have not yet decided where this year's proceeds will go.

Featured car: This year's featured 1950 Volkswagen Beetle belongs to Don Slanina, an instructor at Youngstown State University and member of the AACA.

"It's kind of rare," Merz said. "It's from one of the first years Beetles were imported in the U.S.

Ross, who restores cars for a living, said the car is unusual because it has mechanical brakes instead of hydraulic, flag turn signals that pop out from the door pillars and a split rear window with two panes of glass. He also said the bug won a Grand National trophy in a nationwide car show in 2000. King Motors in New Castle will show a new Beetle at the show for comparison.

According to Merz, the show brings in local cars as well as cars from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and all over Pennsylvania and Ohio.

"It's become a Father's Day tradition in Hermitage," Merz said.




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