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8th year of Hardin classic car show spurs joy

by Deborah Horn Special to The Commercial | May 24, 2023 at 3:20 a.m.
Berry Bolens 1972 Plum Purple Crazy Dodge Demon took home the first place People's Choice trophy at Saturdays Hardin Baptist Churchs Annual Antique/Classic Car Show. (Special to The Commercial/Deborah Horn)

It was Berry Bolen's 1972 Plum Purple Crazy Dodge Demon that took home the first place People's Choice trophy at Hardin Baptist Church's eighth Annual Antique/Classic Car Show on Saturday.

And yes, Plum Purple Crazy is the official name Dodge gave that particular car color.

Kirby Raymack took second place with his orange 1955 Chevrolet two-door and Chuck Bibbs took third place with his 1973 Chevy Impala. That car was black with a pearl white T-top.

There were 23 vehicles entered into the competition held in the church's parking lot, at the corner of U.S. 270 and Todd Lynn Drive, and about 100 people of all ages attended.

Paul Howard, one of the show's organizers and a church deacon, said the winners were determined by the number of votes cast for each vehicle, not by judges.

When he heard his name called, Bibbs said, "I was so excited." Bibbs attended the event with his little dog, Ruby.


There was no entry fee and the event was more about car talk and connecting with friends than competition, Howard said.

Frank Campbell, an active church member, and Wes Shnaekel, head deacon, also helped with the planning.

Saturday's overnight and early morning rain probably kept many antique and old vehicle owners away, Shnaekel said. Most years, there are three dozen or so vehicles entered into the friendly competition.

"It's about people getting together. It's a popular event," said Hardin Baptist Church Pastor Johnny Taylor.

Frank Campbell agreed, adding, "It's good fellowship."

While sitting in her father Grover Doughty's 1968 Pontiac Catalina, Madison Doughty said about the car, "I love it," and then about the show, "It's a lot of fun to see the other cars."

Vehicles ranged in age from a mint-condition 1939 Ford Deluxe and 1952 MG to the latest Corvette.

While many are from the Hardin and White Hall area, Shnaekel said, others come from towns such as Sheridan, Redfield and Star City.

Kathy and Jim Wilson of the Watson Chapel community have participated in this show since 2008, and like most activities, the show wasn't held during the covid-19 pandemic, Howard said.

Like many others showing off their classics in the Hardin Baptist Church show, the Wilsons have entered their 2015 black Mustang at various car shows.

"We have won a few first place trophies," Jim Wilson said.


In addition to the cars and trucks filling up the church's parking lot, the outdoor event served as a fundraiser to send the 100-year-old church's younger members to Camp Siloam in Siloam Springs.

Under church member Dennie Lawson's leadership, about a dozen adult and youth church members were selling home-baked goods like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies, hotdogs, popcorn, drinks and more.

All of the money goes toward the youth summer program, Howard said.

It costs about $320 to send each child, and this year, the church hopes to send about 36 to the camp for fellowship, Bible study and activities geared for youth.

The car show isn't their bigger fundraiser but every bit helps, said Howard's wife, Bertha Howard.

Taylor said between donations and the concessions, they raised about $730 Saturday.

  photo  Kathy and Jim Wilson of Watson Chapel own this 2015 Mustang. While it didn't win at the Hardin Baptist Churchs eighth Annual Antique/Classic Car Show Saturday, it has placed first at other car shows. (Special to The Commercial/Deborah Horn)

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