Heritage Square Rod Run rolling out Saturday

Dozens of classic and custom cars expected for one-day show downtown

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

Oct. 24, 2008 - Dozens of hot rods, class cars and custom vehicles will be on display in downtown Sulphur Springs Saturday for the Third Annual Heritage Square Rod Run, sponsored by the Downtown Business Alliance.

The car show, for vehicles built before the 1988 model year, kicks of with registration at 8 a.m. and continues until the awards presentation at 3 p.m.

As in the past, awards will be given in 13 categories, but six others have been added, as well.

The traditional awards are given for "Top 15," "Best of Show," "Best Paint," "Best Engine," "Best Rat Rod," "Best Interior," "People's Choice," "Participants' Pick," "Best Race Car," "Best Street Rod," "Best Original," "Unfinished," and "Best Tri 5" (the best 1955, '56 and '57 Chevrolets).

But Rita Edwards, president of the Downtown Business Alliance and the driving force behind the organization of the car show, said six new awards were added after the flyers fro the event were printed.

"We visited with some of the people who have been coming to our shows, and their vehicles really didn't fall into any of our categories," she said. "So we came up with "Best Model A," "Best Model T" "Best Restored Original )Chevrolet, Ford and Mopar)", and "Best Foreign Car" -- the MGs and Volkswagens, those types of vehicles that we've had in the past but didn't really have a category for."

The show has quickly evolved after attracting 45 entries in its inaugural run in 2006. The following year, entries doubled to more than 90, providing an eclectic assortment of classic and vintage iron and steel in, for lack of better words, show-worthy condition.

And the event served its purpose, drawing hundreds, if not thousands, to ogle the lineup.

Edwards has her doubts that the entries will double again.

I'm hoping, but with the economy the way it is I'm afraid we might not do that, but who knows?" she said. On the other hand, she added, "The shows we've been to so far haven't seemed to have been affected by it, so we're hoping ours will be at least as good as it was last year."

The beauty of the vehicles isn't the only reason to come to the free event. There are also games for the participants, prizes, T-shirts for sale -- "The T-shirts are really awesome this year" -- a DJ to entertain the crowds with music, and the courthouse will be open for tours.

"And, of course, all the merchants will open and having special sales that day," Edwards said.

While the event was designed to attract more people to downtown, another draw for the central business district -- the newly redesigned Main Street -- likely won't figure into the Rod Run's plans.

It depends on how many cars we have," explained Edwards. "If we have more than we can handle on the square, then we'll shut down Main and we'll have them on Main Street.

The quality of the entries has been outstanding the first two years of the show, a fact that is not likely to change. Saturday's show includes at least three vehicles that took home trophies from other car shows

They include the 1968 Camaro, shown by Alan Pound of Yantis, that took the "Homebuilt Heaven Pick" at the Good Guys Lonestar Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this month, an annual show that draws around 2,000 cars.

Others include a 1952 Ford and a "surprise" vehicle.

"It's going to be unveiled," said Edwards. "We know what it is, but he wants it to be a surprise."

"It's nice, but it's different," added her husband, Eugene Edwards, who usually has at least one entry in the Rod Run.

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