The Automotive Restoration Club of Sun City West partnered with the Sun City West Firefighters Charities for a car show Saturday, a fundraising effort the firefighters hope will become a lucrative tradition for the community.
Even early in the day it seemed clear it was sure to be a success. Held in the parking lot of Long Realty at the corner of R.H. Johnson Boulevard and Camino Del Sol, the show was filling up with cars of all types from the start.
From expertly and faithfully restored classics to more eccentric hot rods to even modern eyecatchers like a Lamborghini, there was something for all tastes.
Johnny Davis moved to Sun City West from Illinois last year, and he brought his 1982 Corvette with him.
“In fact, I have a lot of show cars,” he said. “I’m worse than Jay Leno.”
Davis said restoring cars is his favorite hobby, closely followed by attending car shows, which is why he decided to participate in Saturday’s event.
“I’ve been going to shows like these for probably 10 years now,” he said. “You put eight to 10 hours a day into working on a car for four years, you want to show it off.”
He almost did not make it, though; nearly done in by a bad starter.
“My buddy has a roadster. He called to tell me about this show and asked me if I wanted to go,” he said. “I told him if I can start it up, I’ll go. And if I can get it started again later to get it home, even better.”
Holli Sandeen, community outreach specialist for the Sun City West Fire District, said firefighters are grateful to everyone who attended and who helped put the event together.
“Every year our fire department adopts kids from the Dysart school district,” she said. “It’s a 15-year-old tradition, and all the money we raise today will go toward that program.”
Come Christmas time, those children will receive a new T-shirt, socks, shoes, a board game and some kind of sports ball.
“We want them to be able to sit around the table and play a game with their families and also to get outside and play a sport,” she said.
It only made sense, then, to make Christmas the theme of the show.
The Christmas in July Car Show featured Santa Claus himself, who joined the crowd for breakfast and even subjected himself to the dunk tank, all in the name of raising more money for the program.
Sun City Grand resident Linda Sherwood brought her 1969 Mustang convertible to the show, a vehicle she has owned since 1971.
“I’m the second owner,” she said. “It’s been in storage for about 25 years. It was in a barn in Oklahoma for about seven years while I was overseas. I just got serious about restoring it about three years ago, It’s a work in progress, let’s put it that way.”
Sherwood said she enjoys the atmosphere at car shows and the chance to talk shop with other enthusiasts.
“These are always fun. They’re always a good time,” she said. “And this one is for a good cause, too.”
• Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.