By TIM CLEVELAND
Approximately 140 cars were shown off in the 20th annual Mahoning Valley Car Show at Greenwood Chevrolet on Mahoning Ave.
“It’s a car show to help charities,” National Council of Corvette Clubs local representative Dan Lyden said.
“That’s our No. 1 goal is to raise money for charity. Every year we pick one or two charities. I lost my wife to pancreatic cancer eight years ago.”
Last year’s show raised approximately $4,000 for charity, with this year was expected to do about the same.
One of this year’s charities was Yellow Brick Place, based in Youngstown and run by Donna Detwiler. According to the charity’s web site, it “supports and educates cancer patients and those closest to them by providing individual and group services in the tri-county area of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana.”
The other charity was Burnside Boxing, which is run by Keith Burnside and based in Struthers.
“I started that back 15, 20 years ago in my garage,” he said. “Just taking kids off the street. I started with the K.O. Drugs boxing tournament. I was taking kids off the street and training them in my garage for the tournament every year.”
Burnside said he was very grateful that his organization was chosen as one of the charities that benefited from the car show.
“That’s awesome,” he said. “This is the first time this happened with the kids and everything. I really appreciate Greenwood Chevrolet and the Corvette club.”
Perhaps the rarest car on display was a 1978 Corvette, owned by Sam Sicilia of Salem.
“They made 6,502 of them,” said Sicilia, who also displayed a 2003 Corvette. “What makes it very special is it was the first to have a glass T-top, the only Corvette ever to have its own VIN number. The famous baseball player Jim Bunning, who pitched no-hitters in the American and National leagues back in the ‘50s and ‘60s and he was the senator from Kentucky, he owned it.”
The car was all original except for its paint. It was also the pace car for the 1978 Indianapolis 500, the first time a Corvette had done so.
Sicilia said he acquired the ’78 Corvette through an estate sale.
“Our son was going to medical school in Cincinnati, and Jim Bunning, after he retired from baseball and got to be a senator, he gave it to his dad,” he said. “When he passed away, the estate sold it and that’s how I got it.”
Sicilia said the ’78 Corvette was featured on the second episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Fat N’ Furious”, which features antique and rare cars.
“It was voted No. 1 out of more than 200 Corvettes,” he said.
Sicilia said he does all the work on the ’78 Corvette, while he doesn’t on the 2003.
“It’s all plug-in and stuff,” he said.