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Cars and trucks still cool on hot summer day in Rouzerville

July 14, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. - It was a juxtaposition displayed in gleaming steel and chrome. Old adjoined new, small met large and speedy encountered sluggish at the fifth annual Rouzerville Lions Club car and truck show held Sunday.

Perhaps in no way was the contrast more evident than by walking a few dozen steps away from the blue 1957 Dodge pickup truck with a cassette tape deck affixed to its dashboard.

There, at the edge of the Hooverville Elementary School parking lot, Ben Messler had selected a spot to show off a modern-day Chevrolet Silverado. The tailgate lay open to reveal the large flat-screen television and Nintendo Wii system installed on the truck bed.

"We do video game systems in cars all the time," said Messler, who owns Sounds So Good Car Audio in Rouzerville.

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Messler estimated that 850 hours of work went into his customer's Silverado, which has been displayed at several shows recently. The adaptations would cost about $35,000.

The Silverado was one of 20 trucks and 81 cars registered at the show, which is one of the Rouzerville Lions Club's major fundraisers. Proceeds benefited the club's work in the community.

"It's for the immediate area, the things we do in the neighborhood," said Pap Lynerd, president of the club.

Lynerd said about 18 volunteers came out to run the event. Among them was Doug McCleaf, called "the main man" by his fellow club members due to his efforts to organize the vehicle show.

"This is a nice day, a nice area and a nice place for a show," said McCleaf, who collected $1,000 worth of sponsorships prior to the event.

The club eliminated classes and categories for 2008, instead allowing registered entrants to vote for the vehicles they liked.

"The showgoers seem to like a top-30 class better. They vote for their favorite cars and trucks, and we tally them up," McCleaf said.

Best-of-show honors went to Melvin Mills of Taneytown, Md. He entered a 1957 Ford Thunderbird.

Diana Summers, of Chambersburg, Pa., walked around to take pictures of many of the vehicles. She and her husband recently returned to showing their 1958 Impala after putting five years of work into it.

"It was frame-off restoration," she said.

Since then, the couple has taken the car to Chevrolet events in Carlisle, Pa., and as far as Chicago, Baltimore and South Carolina.

"You make friends from all over the world," Summers said.

Tammy Fraley, of Hagerstown, enjoys traveling to benefit car shows to see old acquaintances and meet new people.

"We've seen the amount of people coming out to shows decrease because the cost of gas to run (the cars) has been ridiculous," Fraley said.

Fraley entered a "super girlie" Volkswagen Beetle and lounged in the sun, something she said is rather relaxing after a week of work in an office. The car, painted in shades of deep pink, was filled with hearts, ladybugs and a flip-flop ornament.

"I enjoy taking it to the shows," Fraley said. "Everybody has a VW story."

Fraley remembers getting behind the wheel of a neighbor's Beetle when she had just gotten her learner's driving permit.

"I drove it and I was hooked," Fraley said.

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