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Spooktacular Vette/Chevy Fest draws classic car buffs

By Staff | Oct 24, 2010

Classic beauties to modern knockouts took center stage Saturday at the eighth annual Spooktacular Vette/Chevy Fest.
Open strictly to Corvettes and Chevrolets, there were about 77 trophies handed out in multiple categories including best paint, best engine compartment and best interior. Ten “best of show” awards also were given out at the show, held at Roger Dean Chevrolet.
Hosted by Corvettes on the Gulf, the event was held in the memory of Ron Gagnon, a former president of the club who passed away in June. Proceeds from the show were to benefit Operation Open Arms, an organization that links servicemen and servicewomen on overseas assignment leave with services donated by local sponsors.
On Saturday, Cape Coral resident Bob Suhrie could be found looking over the rows of Corvettes on display. Once the owner of a 1999 red convertible, Suhrie said he is a little bit of a car fanatic, adding that he prefers Corvettes over other high-performance cars.
“It’s a little more unique than driving a Z-28 Chevy Camero or a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am,” Suhrie said.
Admittedly always interested in sports cars, he said he was hoping to come across some Corvettes on sale. Suhrie, who said he has been to a couple of car shows, explained that there are usually a few vehicles on display at a show that also are available for purchase.
According to Suhrie, the Cape event appeared to be a success.
“They look really nice,” he said of the vehicles on display.
“A lot of people are out,” Suhrie added. “The weather is great.”
One entrant in Saturday’s car show was Donald Jones, of North Fort Myers. The owner of a 1945 Chevy pickup truck, Jones said it was the first time that he had participated in the Spooktacular Vette/Chevy Fest, but he has entered the truck in other shows and won.
Asked what he likes about car shows, Jones said it is the socializing.
“Getting to know different people and their hotrods,” he said.
Though Jones wished the spectator turnout was higher, he called the event very good.
“It’s well organized. There’s live entertainment,” Jones said. “It’s a well-balanced show.”
Hoping to bring home a trophy, he said the judges for the show seemed to “go for the new car.” Jones explained that it can be difficult to win using the more classic models.
“I try to keep it simple and straight,” he said of his vehicles.
For brothers Zachary, 12, and Nicholas Leonardi, 10, the best cars on display were the ones decorated with skeleton drivers or ghouls for that added Halloween touch. Sanibel residents, the boys dropped by the show with their mother, Lisa Leonardi.
“I dragged the kids and said let’s go,” she said.
“I think it’s great,” Leonardi added. “A lot of nice cars, and the kids love it.”
Neither boy could pick out their favorite, but they knew why they liked the cars.
“I really like them because they’re all different,” Zachary Leonardi said.
“They’re cool,” Nicholas Leonardi added.
Roger Dean Chevrolet is at 101 S.W. Pine Island Road.
For information on Corvettes on the Gulf, visit: www.corvettesonthegulf.com.
For more information on Operation Open Arms, call founder Capt. John “GiddyUp” Bunch at 822-8888 or visit the organization’s website: www.operationopenarms.com.