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'Sense of nostalgia' steers hundreds to Hot August Nights event

'Everybody has a good time and it’s like a party,' says organizer of Hot August Night’s Classic Car Show that drives into Webers every Tuesday night in August

A classic car show is turning up the heat at Webers on Highway 11 every Tuesday evening this month.

The Hot August Nights Classic Car Show, founded by Jim Pearsall, is now in its fifth year.  

“I have old cars and I’ve been associated with running events for a long time,” Pearsall explained. “I love the hobby.”

Pearsall, a Washago resident, says the car show gives the iconic hamburger restaurant a boost during a time when summer traffic starts to dwindle.  

“They are so busy from May to July with cottagers and Americans that they don’t have the ability to take the overload from our car group,” he said. “In August things drop off a little bit because people are getting ready for back to school.”

The car show, set up on the burger joint's parking lot on the southbound side of Highway 11, is the perfect spot for the weekly event, Pearsall says.

“It’s all grass, nice trees, it’s a beautiful spot,” he said. “People just love it.”

Each week, there are no less than 175 classic cars set up across from Webers. Last week, the event drew more than 350 classic cars.

“It was our biggest opening night ever,” Pearsall said. “It blew me away. I thought we would get 200 cars and we almost doubled it.”

Pearsall, 74, says classic cars bring a “sense of nostalgia” to those who attend the event each week.

“It’s what we grew up with,” he said. “Everybody sat in the backseat of their dad’s car when we were younger. We grew up around these cars with our parents.”

There is also a selection of newer sports cars and unique vehicles at the event each week.

“We promote that because we want the young guys mixing with the old guys,” Pearsall said. “That’s how this hobby is going to continue.”

While the event is free of charge, attendees are asked to donate to Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. Over the course of the last five years, the car show has raised over $10,000.

“It’s not a lot,” Pearsall said. “But they appreciate it very much.”

Last year, alone, the show raised $5,000 through various raffle draws, auctions, and donations.

“It’s made me feel good that we are doing something for the community,” Pearsall said. “Whether they are born there, receive treatment there, or die there, everybody in this area will touch that hospital. It’s very important to this community.”

John Haley, the owner of a 1965 Chevrolet C10, bought the classic truck four years ago and just put it on the road this summer. 

"It was an old rusty truck and I re-built it," Haley explained. "I had a '52 Chev before this that was all done, so I wanted to start over. I'm retired so it's my hobby." 

Haley, a Washago resident, says Webers is the perfect spot for the weekly classic car show. 

"We always get a good turnout," he said. "There are a lot of friendly people." 

Wayne Knight, the owner of a Ford 1930 Model A, bought his classic car in 2003 and finished refurbishing it in 2007. 

"It was a barn fire," he said ."There was no glass in it, the dash was all rusted out, off-road tires, it was a piece of junk." 

Knight took on the challenge of the project so he could work on it with his son. Getting to show off the finished project at what he says is one of the best classic car shows in the area has been the highlight of his summer. 

"There are so many cars that come in," he said. "The guys who are running it are classic guys and they know what they are doing."  

The Hot August Night’s Classic Car Show takes place two more times this year on Aug. 15 and 23. Both shows start at 5 p.m. and wrap up at dusk.

“Everybody has a good time and it’s like a party,” Pearsall said. “Walk around, enjoy yourself, have a look at the cars, and have a hamburger. It’s a great place to go.”

For more information about the Hot August Nights Classic Car Show, click here.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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