Classic cars are main attraction at the drive-in

Enthusiasts: At the eighth annual Big M Spring Bash in Churchville, car owners gather to buy, sell and show off their automotive treasures.

May 30, 2004|By Patrick Tyler | Patrick Tyler,SUN STAFF

Hundreds of vendors, car owners and enthusiasts converged on Churchville this weekend for the eighth annual Big M Spring Bash.

The car show is held every May on a field behind Kroh's Nursery, next to the Big M property on Route 22. The Big M restaurant is part of the Bel Air Drive-In.

The restaurant, which has been in business for 42 years, sponsors car shows from April to November. The spring bash also includes musical performances and a fireworks display that was scheduled for last night.

Alongside hundreds of proud owners who were showing their cars in hopes of winning awards were others who wished to sell their prized possessions.

Near the entrance to the show in a lot at the edge of the field was the car corral, where owners sat by their classics, waiting for buyers. About 100 cars were for sale, ranging from old frames to completely restored models.

Craig Dickerson of Middle River sat behind his fully restored 1934 Ford four-door sedan. He was asking $27,000. "I'm selling it because I just want something with air conditioning because I travel a lot down South," Dickerson said.

Tom Winkler of Chase was selling his 1923 Ford T Bucket Roadster, an open car with almost no driving cabin. He and his wife "belong to a street rod club and we all go out to eat once a month," said Winkler, leaning against his candy-red car, "and in the winter everyone else gets to drive their cars, and we have to go in a Chevy truck."

Matthew Tibbett of Elkton invested four years of effort into restoring the 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air that he was selling at the show. After finding the car in woods near his home, Tibbett, a welder, replaced the floorboards, the engine and transmission and cut 2 inches from the roof.

He described selling as both a good and a bad experience. "I dread somebody calling about the car, but I'm a busy man and I have kids," Tibbett said. "Whenever I do get time to work on it, I have to work on something else."

Many car owners simply felt the need for change. Jim Nichols of Glen Burnie was selling a Chevrolet cruiser at the show. "I need something new," he said while looking at the 1964 Buick Wildcat parked next to him. "The most fun part of classic cars is fixing them. Once you're done with that, you look at it for a while and get bored. Then it's time for a new one."

Jason McMillen of Street sold his 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle at the show. "Selling is never fun," McMillen said, packing his belongings to go home. "The worst part is that the buyers can be rude and not respect the seller."

The event ends today.

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