Group of men admiring a blue vintage car

Blue Ridge Car Show Sees Record Car Turnout

A group of onlookers admire one of the 216 vehicles registered at the 17th Annual Benefit Car and Trade Show that was hosted on June 4 at Blue Ridge Community College. All proceeds from the event help Blue Ridge Automotive students attend SkillsUSA competitions. (Photo credit: Rich Keen, Blue Ridge Marketing and Communications Dept.) View the fully photo gallery of Rich Keen and Benjamin Rickert on Facebook

Car enthusiasts enjoyed 216 specialty vehicles at the 17th Annual Benefit Car and Trade Show on June 4, a record number over previous years. The event was a partnership between Blue Ridge Community College, the Great Smoky Mountains Region of Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), and area sponsors.

The event was held on the College’s Henderson County Campus. All proceeds from each registered vehicle helped raise funds for Blue Ridge Automotive students to attend SkillsUSA competitions.

Hulon McCraw, Smoky Mountain Region of AACA event chairman, explained how the event is a personal passion because of the importance of fostering student interest in automotive careers and competitions.

“It’s so important for them to go to these SkillsUSA competitions, because it grows their interest and prepares them for their future careers,” he said, “so we’re proud to help them with that cost.”

A total of 28 awards were given out at the event. These awards and their sponsors included:

President’s Choice Award – Tony Carswell, 1952 Chevy Convertible: Sponsored by JZM Tire & Auto
People’s Choice Award – Jim St. Charles, 1951 Ford Convertible: Sponsored by Barry Capps Marine Service Inc.
Best GM Award – Lee Schwartz, 1955 Chevy Bel-Air: Sponsored by Boyd Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac
Best Ford Award – Richard Staton, 1967 Ford Bronco: Sponsored by Parks Ford
Best Mopar Award – Mike Pope, 1969 Plymouth Road Runner: Sponsored by Quik Mart Citgo/Subway
Best of Show Award – Danny Bracket, 1971 Chevy Nova: Sponsored by Napa Auto Parts/B&W Auto Supply
Best Pre-War Award – Pete Leonard, 1929 Chevy Coupe: Sponsored by Gosnell Used Auto Parts
Best Post-War Award – David Watson, 1958 Chevy Corvette: Sponsored by Elite Auto Lights
Best Unrestored Original Award – Gary Barnett, 1971 Buick Riviera: Sponsored by Great Smoky Mountains Region AACA
Best Restored Original Award – Keith Kiser, 1967 Chevy Chevelle: Sponsored by Little Detroit Chapter AACA
Best Race Car Award – Chris Edney, 1993 Ford Mustang: Sponsored by Quik Mart Citgo/Subway
Best Resto Rod Award – Miles Champion, 1932 Ford A: Sponsored by Jim’s Crane Service
Special Interest Award – Michael Collins, 1963 Chevy C-10: Sponsored by Mills River Car Wash
Best Motorcycle Award – Sara Huggins, 1980 Moto Guzzi: Sponsored by Triumph’s on Broadway
Best Import Award – Andy Perry, 1992 Jaguar XK-E: Sponsored by Hilton Head Capital Partners
Best Custom Award – Debbie Belcher, 2010 Chevy Camaro: Sponsored by Morrow Paint & Body
Best Domestic Award – David Fowler, 1973 Ford Mustang: Sponsored by Mark Brown
Best Truck Award – Jack Smith, 1939 Chevy Pickup: Sponsored by Justus Truck Lines Inc.
Best Orphan Award – Mike Gill, 1970 Oldsmobile 442: Sponsored by Old Carb Doctor
Best Street Rod Award – Tommy Opliger, 1931 Ford A: Sponsored by Jake’s High Performance
Brass Era Award – Tom Loftfield, 1912 Ford T: Sponsored by Harmony Corners
Best Rat Rod Award – Eddie Gordon, 1923 Ford T-Bucket: Sponsored by Grand Motoring
Highest Mileage Award – George Brown, 1959 Chevy Biscayne: Sponsored by Buffalo Creek Vacations
Club Participation Award – Carolina Mountain Car Club: Sponsored by Blue Ridge Auto and Conservatory
Hero’s Choice Award – Browney Mascow, 1970 Dodge Challenger: Sponsored by Advanced Auto Parts Stores
Driving Young America Award – Brandon Harris, 1980 Ford Escort: Sponsored by Hilton Head Concours D’Elegance
Women Driving America Award – Kathie Nowakowski, 1955 Ford T-Bird Convertible: Sponsored by Hilton Head Capital Partners

To learn more about Blue Ridge’s automotive programs, visit