Scores and scores of popular automobiles dazzled visitors in the Aiken Mall parking lot Saturday – those whose dreams from youth came true and others whose dreams may persist forever. But they're still good dreams.
The Aiken Horsepower Association held its 10th annual car show to benefit the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons. In addition to Saturday's show, the organization donated about $5,600 in late 2012, said president Vickie Reynolds.
“This is so special for us,” she said. “I couldn't stand to see someone abused, or beaten up. It's not right, and I'm going to do anything I can to support them.”
Dennis Gmerek has volunteered for the Cumbee Center for about 25 years. It's unfortunate in a way, he said, that he and other volunteers are still badly needed.
“But it is rewarding to work as a volunteer for an agency that does so much for people in our area,” Gmerek said. “The car show is a great charity for us and offers more and more support. It's amazing to see the turnout today.”
Fred Pollack brought his beloved 1925 Ford that actually has a lot of other years connected to it. A friend built the chassis, and Pollack added a '34 Ford grill himself. Some old Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola artwork make an appearance. The dash came from 1955 Oldsmobile.
Nearby, Ryan Dukes happily showed off his 1962 Chevrolet Impala – complete with a mostly stock interior and some custom additions, such as low-rider car seats. And how much gas does he get per gallon?
“Not much at all,” Dukes said cheerfully. “I don't really know, because the gas gauge hasn't worked for a while. I just fill it up and ride.”
The car show brought back some memories for many visitors. Barry Hudson's grandfather had a wonderful 1953 battleship gray Dodge. There came a time when he couldn't drive it anymore. Later, Hudson and his brother learned to drive it.
“One day the muffler fell off, and we drove the car around for two months without telling our dad about it,” he said. “When he did hear the car start, we told him the muffler had fallen off yesterday. Our secret was out, but the car had sounded so awesome. We were really cool with a loud sound like that.”
John Troutman's young grandsons were taking a close look at Bryant Allen's dream car, a 2001 Cobra. Troutman liked it, too, but acknowledged going back a bit further.
“The cars of the '50s were my decade,” he said, mentioning the '56 and '57 Chevrolets and a Thunderbird of the era. “But the '44 Ford Coupe? I would have given anything for that. It was a classic of its time and all these years later, it's still considered a classic.”