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This car show was a classic

September 25, 2005|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

alician@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY

A monster, a clown and Snow White were among the characters sipping cider, dancing to oldies and gazing under hoods of classic cars Saturday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center.

Classic Car Group for Children Inc. drew nearly 1,500 people - many of them in costume - to its Halloween Kruz-N Car Show to benefit Dream Come True Inc.

Larry Sulser of Sharpsburg, president of Classic Car Group, said the 17-member group holds weekly Saturday cruise-ins from the middle of April until the middle of September in the Valley Mall parking lot.

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"We get between 300 and 400 cars every week," Sulser said. "We just gather, talk, look at the cars, like back in the '50s and '60s."

Classic Car Group celebrates the end of each season with its Halloween Kruz-N and a donation to Dream Come True, an organization that benefits children with serious or life-threatening illnesses. This year, the group donated $10,000 raised through raffles and donations.

Rick Unger of Hancock drove his 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger to the cruise-in.

"These things get to be like a family," Unger said. "And you don't get too many of them that do it for the kids."

Sam Long of Hagerstown showed his 1951 Plymouth Special Deluxe at the event. Along with him was his son, Zebulin Long, 3, clutching an ample, shiny, orange and yellow cast iron coupe.

"I'm just into old cars," Sam Long said. "It's nice to hang out and talk to old friends and acquaintances."

Jim Shillingberg of Hagerstown proudly showed his 2002 "chromed-up" Chrysler PT Cruiser to Charles Johnson of Hagerstown. Johnson, who brought his recently purchased purple 1974 pickup truck, said he was fairly new to the cruise-in scene.

"I like it," Johnson said. "It's a place where you can meet a lot of interesting people and show off your car, truck, hearse ..."

The 24-foot-long, 11,000-pound 1974 Oldsmobile hearse in reference belonged to Mike Feigley of Hagerstown, who had plenty of room to transport his three sons - Steven, 13, and twins Christopher and Evan, 10.

"I've had the hearse two years now," said Feigley, who sported a suit and a bug-eyed, bearded monster mask. "I bought it out of a field in West Virginia."

People weren't the only ones in costume. Jennifer Thompson of Hedgesville, W.Va., enlisted the sewing skills of her boyfriend's mother, Robin Harmison, to craft a witch costume for her 1956 Volkswagen Beetle.

"A friend gave me the idea to make a witch's hat and it got my gears turning," Thompson said. "My head kept adding to it."

Thompson's "witch" had eyes on the windshield, green hair draped from the roof and a pointed wart-flecked nose on the hood.

Joe Hemler of Falling Waters, W.Va., vice president of the Classic Car Group, shared his view of cruise-ins.

"We go home at night knowing everyone had a big time," Hemler said.

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