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Show spotlights dream machines

August 07, 2005|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

You'd think there wouldn't be enough room in a Mini Cooper S for several thousands of dollars worth of extra equipment.

But Ed Howell of Hagerstown found a way to stuff the ultracompact car with 12 DVD monitors, 16 speakers and plenty of other features and still keep a tidy, organized vehicle with room for a couple of passengers.

The car, bearing the license plate "WickedM," was on display Saturday at the Bethel Assembly of God Church 2005 Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.

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Overall - including the monitors, speakers, redone interior, sleek blue-flame paint job, underbody lights and other frills - Howell has spent about $49,000 on the upgrades over a six-month period, he said.

Monitors and speakers, several of which are on each door and elsewhere throughout the car, have transformed the vehicle into a minitheater.

Why?

"We didn't want to miss a shot of the movie," Howell joked.

Other vehicles at the show also were fancied up to carry the latest trends, such as neon lights, flashing lights and even video game systems hooked up to monitors.

Carolyn Sellers of Hagerstown said she didn't have a favorite car, but she just wanted to browse.

"I just like to look at them to see what they've done with them ..." Sellers said. "Oh, yes. We like the motorcycles here."

Mark Felder, of Positive Image Car and Truck Club in Hagerstown and who attends Bethel Assembly of God on East Wilson Boulevard in Hagerstown, organized the show for the church.

The church uses the event as a fundraiser and as an opportunity for community outreach "to let them know we're here," Felder said.

Felder said vehicles in the event were eligible to win first, second or third place trophies in 22 classes. Seven specialty trophies also were to be awarded in "Best of" categories, he said.

The show included new and old model vehicles, a feature Felder said spectators like.

"The combination of new and old (vehicles) at this show makes it really unique ..." Felder said.

He said all proceeds from the show, in its second year, go to the church, and all the trophies were sponsored.

"Every dollar that we make goes to the church, and they don't have to spend anything," Felder said. "It's just an awesome thing."

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